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EXPERT SERIES – QA = Quality Assurance = Smooth User Experience

pepperoni pie 589 isolated

Written by Angela Robinson, Web Developer

Hey, who needs it?!

Have you ever visited a website that irritated your soul because of the use of their, there, and they’re? A site that raised the hairs on the back of your neck with the sheer quantity of broken links within it? Do you manage or own a website that turns your visitors into IET – Instant English Teachers?

No? Great! Then this article is not for you. For the rest of you mere mortals, I will state that the message of this article is simple:  Do Not Skip Out on the QA Process!

 

Quality Assurance – Pizza, Cheeseburgers, or Nachos?

Believe or not, there are many IT professionals that has either – a) never heard of Quality Assurance, b) has heard of it but has never included it’s process into their website development cycle, or c) considers it a complete waste of time and resources. This is because Quality Assurance is all about pizza, cheeseburgers or nachos.

The meaning of Quality Assurance or QA is in the definition of the words. The assurance that your website doesn’t suck and every piece of information contained within it meets quality standards – pictures, videos, the words in pictures and videos.

When you’re playing putt-putt golf at the local Magic Mountain, are you expecting to see Tiger Woods? No! But what if he does show up… with his kids… and his entourage… and dozens of paparazzi. If you’re the owner of that Magic Mountain, wouldn’t you like to double check your inventory, or make sure everything is clean, or all the vomit is removed from the jungle gym that a certain adult snuck into (NOTE – I know nothing about that). But that’s what QA is all about – a double check, a triple check, a quick check.

Remember way, way, way back in school and your math teacher told you to double check your work. The difference of checking or not checking your work can mean an A+ or a C-. That same rule applies here.

Why is it all about pizza, cheeseburgers, and nachos?

Pizza

How would you make a pizza?

  1. You make the crust (the website design)
  2. You put the sauce on top of the crust (the website layout, code, a management system, a database, etc.)
  3. Any self-respecting pizzeria knows that the cheese (the content) goes on first!
  4. Then depending on your customer, the toppings goes on next:
    1. Does the customer want a lot of pepperoni (forms or applications) – then you must check that the pepperonis are on the pizza (that the forms or applications work)
    2. Does the customer want a supreme pizza with a lot of various toppings (a blog, import of old but necessary data, etc.) – then you must check that the toppings are on the pizza (that the blog is working, that the import was successful)
    3. Does the customer want a pineapple and chicken (a bunch of bells and whistles that’s really not relevant to the site but is fun to look at) – then you must check that the toppings are on the pizza (this would be an entirely different article)
  5. Bake at 425 degrees and once done give it to your customer (present the finished website to client and release the website to the production stage)

Five steps to make a great pizza – it’s a family recipe. Five well thought out and defined steps with 3 possible QA processes to make a great and user friendly website. The better defined your QA process is, the better your website will be.

Cheeseburgers

How do you make a cheeseburger?

  1. Fry the hamburger meat in a smashed oval, or square, shaped patty, flipping it on both sides until it’s done (the website design and layout)
  2. Slap the hamburger patty on a hamburger bun – with Miracle Whip and cheese – (the content)
  3. You might take the time to add the fixings to the hamburger – like onions (forms or applications), pickles (a blog), or ketchup (other bells and whistles) – and check to see that the toppings are on the cheeseburger.
  4. Wrap it up and give it to your customer (present the finished website to client and release the website to the production stage)

Four steps to make a cheeseburger.

Four semi-defined steps with the QA process and activation dependent entirely on the customer. Because the QA process is dependent on the customer there is not guarantee that it will be executed. If you lead your customers to believe that the QA process is an unnecessary fixing and depending on what that fixing is, it might cost more, then prepare to live with the consequences of those beliefs – over extended budget, higher demand on support resources to fix production site errors and issues, less willingness to actual pay for a process that could save time, money and your customer’s customers, and so much more can be reaped from that disastrous belief.

Nachos

How do you make nachos?

  1. Buy tortilla chips and a cheese dip
  2. Put it in a bowl or serving tray
  3. Dig in!

Nachos are fun to look at in the beginning, and they might taste very good. But its easy food – easy to buy and easy to forget. There are millions of “nachos” sites. Some don’t even look or smell good. These are cringe worthy sites that I will not waste another sentence on.

Do Not Skip Out on the QA Process!

Don’t even think about!

You! Yes, you in the business suit. You running that awesome, local IT business, down the street from McDonald’s, with your brother and father. You’re the person in charge of it all. When your team properly applies a consistent and detailed QA process into their website development cycle business will be a’ booming!

Because – hey, who needs it?!  Everybody! Even “pizza” websites. And you do know that it’s all about pizza, cheeseburgers, and nachos.

Is it lunchtime yet?

EXPERT SERIES – Responsive Design: What is it and what are the benefits?

computer, laptop, mobile phone and digital tablet pc

Written by Lindsey Richardson, Web Developer

Technology is constantly improving and changing and because of that, so are websites! We have so many different options and technology has developed to Smartphones, tablets, laptops and desktop computers that all come in all different colors, shapes and sizes. With the large variety and evolution of devices we have, if your website is not responsive you might want to consider it.

So what is a responsive website design?

To keep it simple, responsive design is the way the website appears on the device you are using. The website is built to displaHand holding smartphone on white background. Generic mobile smart phone, 3d rendery its content properly on a variety of different devices and orientations. When you open your site on your desktop screen, and let’s say this is a 23” screen, you are going to most likely see a full width image and content across the entire screen. But what if you are on your tablet and only have a screen size of 10”. With a responsive design the website is built to recognize and accommodate to the device you are using.

What are the benefits of responsive design?

That’s easy, you can actually see the information you want to see on any device you may have! So rather than building multiple sites for every screen size out there, one website is built to respond properly for all devices and screen sizes. This is very convenient for visitors because all the information is still in view and the site remains easy to navigate. Although a responsive site may take a little more work to build, with so many devices available it is a must have for websites.

There are endless possibilities you have with responsive website design. Kayla Knight writes “But responsive web design is not only about adjustable screen resolutions and automatically re-sizable images, but rather about a whole new way of thinking about design.” In her article she covers Responsive design, what features it has and what additional ideas are to come.

Contact Robintek today to see what we can do to improve your website and make it responsive!

EXPERT SERIES – Think Big, Build Small

 

web_based_solutions

Written by Jeremy Jorgenson, CEO

As one of the senior developers at Robintek, one of the things I’m regularly tasked with is to help develop technical project plans and quotes for projects. Most projects start with our marketing team meeting with the project stakeholders, listening to their needs, and then putting together a quote. The quote has to take into account the project complexity, timeline, budget, staff availability, and all sorts of other complicating factors. All of these things are really important, but by far my favorite part of working on project plans is trying to find opportunities to think beyond the problem at hand.

Too often, we as developers want to exist in a binary world. Problem A will be solved by implementing Solution B. The real worldabstract_building almost never works that way. Problem A probably has dozens of possible solutions, each with its own advantages and pitfalls. To narrow the field a bit, we like to present our clients with what we feel are the “good”, “better”, and “best” options. Often we’re able to meet the minimum project requirements with the “good” option, but the “better” and “best” options are more robust solutions.

What I find most helpful about approaching projects this way is that it forces us to look past the needs of the moment.  By looking at and discussing the “better” and “best” solutions, we’re able to anticipate what needs may come up down the road. I often think of this in terms of a home constructions analogy. If you’re building a single story ranch house, but in the future you’re going to add an Olympic sized indoor swimming pool, you’ll probably pour the foundation a little differently.

Often, our clients opt to go with the “good” solution, and that’s fine. Not everyone needs an Olympic sized indoor swimming pool… but if we can lay the foundation for the pool without any additional time or expense, most people start making plans to do some laps.

WordPress Security Update – August 22, 2016

Internet Web Security

To Our Valued Clients,
The following is an important announcement for any of our hosting customers using the WordPress platform for their website or blog: 


WordPress 4.6 is now available. This is a core upgrade for all previous versions and we will begin updating your sites immediately.

During the update process, your site will be placed into “Maintenance Mode” until the new software installation is complete. It is also possible that the core WordPress software upgrade could affect other functionality on your website.

If after this update you notice any changes in aspects of your website or if you have any questions concerning this most recent security release, please email us at info@robintek.com or call 614-888-3001.

Thank you,
The Robintek Security Team

 

WordPress Security Update – May 9, 2016

iStock_000024952088Small

To Our Valued Clients,
The following is an important announcement for any of our hosting customers using the WordPress platform for their website or blog: 


WordPress 4.5.2 is now available. This is a core upgrade for all previous versions and we will begin updating your sites immediately.

During the update process, your site will be placed into “Maintenance Mode” until the new software installation is complete. It is also possible that the core WordPress software upgrade could affect other functionality on your website.

If after this update you notice any changes in aspects of your website or if you have any questions concerning this most recent security release, please email us at info@robintek.com or call 614-888-3001.

Thank you,
The Robintek Security Team

 

Instagram Releases Much-Requested Feature

Good news this week for those that handle multiple Instagram accounts, the photo-sharing service has announced that users can now toggle between multiple accounts within the app, without having to log out of one and log into another.  This is a feature that Instagram users have been clamoring for, for quite some time, and starting Monday morning, users already have been able to see that feature.find us on instagram

This is particularly exciting news for small business owners that now have the ability to quickly switch between their business’ account and their personal accounts, not to mention social media managers out there who have long struggled with handling the log in and log out process for several Instagram accounts.  The update, which is version 7.15 for the app, allows up to five separate accounts.

For more information on how to get multiple accounts set up for yourself, check out Buffer’s article here.  And, be sure to follow Robintek on Instagram!

WordPress Security Update – January 2016

To Our Valued Clients,
The following is an important announcement for any of our hosting customers using the WordPress platform for their website or blog: 


WordPress 4.4.1 is now available. This is a core upgrade for all previous versions and we will begin updating your sites immediately. 

During the update process, your site will be placed into “Maintenance Mode” until the new software installation is complete. It is also possible that the core WordPress software upgrade could affect other functionality on your website. 

If after this update you notice any changes in aspects of your website or if you have any questions concerning this most recent security release, please email us at info@robintek.com or call 614-888-3001. 

Thank you,
The Robintek Security Team

Robintek News – December 2015

MERRY CHRISTMAS FROM THE ROBINTEK TEAM!

Merry Christmas from Robintek

Robintek Featured Product of the Month:

Mobile Website Design

Creating a strong brand and identity for your business allows you to consistently and clearly communicate and build your reputation with your clients. There are many aspects to a strong brand design including logo design, branding guides, and design consistency in all your business’ marketing materials. Robintek can help you develop your brand and identity design.


Robintek Featured Project of the Month:

GODofGAM3Z.com Kickstarter Campaign

We have helped GODofGAM3Z launch a fantastic idea for matching casual and competitive gamers to meet, play, and share their experiences!


Industry News:

Search engine king Google has announced that its Google+ network is putting more emphasis on “Interests,” and thus diminishing its Google+ Local pages for businesses.  They have reiterated that they are still committed to local search, but do not believe Google+ is the proper platform for displaying business information.  You can read the full article here, via Search Engine Journal, but here are the highlights:
  • Google+ started as a social network, but never gained the traction they were looking for to compete with the likes of Facebook. They kept the elements that were successful, like Photos, Communities, and Collections.  Google+ Local was the place where Google displayed local business data, but have decided that is no longer the appropriate place for that information.
  • The change will not affect SEO or the ability to attract new customers from Google. They will continue to display local business data in both normal search results and in map results, in fact, the map results now contain more information than ever about local businesses, which is a good thing.
  • The Google My Business dashboard is not changing, as a business owner, you will still update any information about your business there. Data from there will show up in Google Search, Maps, and mobile search.
Local Search is still an immensely powerful tool to attract new customers.  Per the article, here are some statistics that support this:
Robintek SEO services target local search and review your website to elevate your business in search results using a variety of tools, starting at $95/month.  Consistency is key, and Google will reward businesses that have consistent information across the web.  Our specialists know the best techniques for your business, let us know how we can be of service!

Industry News:

Does Mobile Friendliness Affect Your Website’s Search Ranking?

Mobile responsiveness is one of the biggest hot-button topics in digital marketing in 2015 as we head into 2016, and that was only strengthened by Google’s algorithm change in April of this year, putting a premium on mobile-friendliness of websites as one of the more important parameters for good search ranking.

In addition, 2015 is the first year that more Google searches take place on mobile devices than on computers in the United States.  In anticipation of this, Google made the change to their algorithm to emphasize the importance of either mobile responsiveness of websites, or the existence of a standalone mobile website or landing page.  Google has also created a mobile-friendly test tool that allows users to enter a webpage URL and see if it is responsive.
Per Google Webmasters’ blog, this update will not affect searches from tablets or desktops.  Only mobile-friendly pages on a website will feel the positive impact, not the entire site, so essentially, making one page mobile responsive doesn’t mean Google will recognize your website as a whole to be mobile-friendly.  Finally, mobile-friendliness is recognized equally whether you have a responsive website design, or a standalone mobile site.
Robintek has been building mobile responsive websites for many years and has retro-fitted many sites for mobile-friendliness as well.  We are happy to consult on your needs and budget to determine which path is right for your business.  Let us know how we can be of service!

Does Mobile Friendliness Affect Your Website’s Search Ranking?

Mobile responsiveness is one of the biggest hot-button topics in digital marketing in 2015 as we head into 2016, and that was only strengthened by Google’s algorithm change in April of this year, putting a premium on mobile-friendliness of websites as one of the more important parameters for good search ranking.Mobile-friendly websites are good for search ranking in Google.

In addition, 2015 is the first year that more Google searches take place on mobile devices than on computers in the United States.  In anticipation of this, Google made the change to their algorithm to emphasize the importance of either mobile responsiveness of websites, or the existence of a standalone mobile website or landing page.  Google has also created a mobile-friendly test tool that allows users to enter a webpage URL and see if it is responsive.

Per Google Webmasters’ blog, this update will not affect searches from tablets or desktops.  Only mobile-friendly pages on a website will feel the positive impact, not the entire site, so essentially, making one page mobile responsive doesn’t mean Google will recognize your website as a whole to be mobile-friendly.  Finally, mobile-friendliness is recognized equally whether you have a responsive website design, or a standalone mobile site.

Robintek has been building mobile responsive websites for many years and has retro-fitted many sites for mobile-friendliness as well.  We are happy to consult on your needs and budget to determine which path is right for your business.  Let us know how we can be of service!

Learn More About Mobile-Friendliness

Google Is Changing The Way It Shows Local Search Results

Search engine king Google has announced that its Google+ network is putting more emphasis on “Interests,” and thus diminishing its Google+ Local pages for businesses.  They have reiterated that they are still committed to local search, but do not believe Google+ is the proper platform for displaying business information.  You can read the full article here, via Search Engine Journal, but here are the highlights:google local

  • Google+ started as a social network, but never gained the traction they were looking for to compete with the likes of Facebook. They kept the elements that were successful, like Photos, Communities, and Collections.  Google+ Local was the place where Google displayed local business data, but have decided that is no longer the appropriate place for that information.
  • The change will not affect SEO or the ability to attract new customers from Google. They will continue to display local business data in both normal search results and in map results, in fact, the map results now contain more information than ever about local businesses, which is a good thing.
  • The Google My Business dashboard is not changing, as a business owner, you will still update any information about your business there. Data from there will show up in Google Search, Maps, and mobile search.

Local Search is still an immensely powerful tool to attract new customers.  Per the article, here are some statistics that support this:

Robintek SEO services target local search and review your website to elevate your business in search results using a variety of tools, starting at $95/month.  Consistency is key, and Google will reward businesses that have consistent information across the web.  Our specialists know the best techniques for your business, let us know how we can be of service.

Learn more about SEO!

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