Category Archives: blog

Austin WordPress Training

Learn WordPress

We are now offering seats for training on wordpress at Lakeway Web Design. By popular demand we now are offering training sessions for end users of wordpress on how to administer and maintain their own WordPress website and keep it secure, fast, mobile friendly, and even get better rankings in Google and Bings search engines. We understand the daunting task that a beginning WordPress administrator and these courses are specifically designed to help you navigate your new CMS. Here are the top ten items we cover for our classes topics including how to topics below.

Top 20 Features Of Our Training Program

  • Select a good WordPress theme and examine it for proper SEO and mobile capabilities.
  • Install the selected theme or install a new theme without affecting a secondary theme.
  • Adjust the settings to provide user security and how to navaigate the dashboard.
  • Discuss the differences between posts and pages, with the taxonomy implications as well.
  • How to change a wordpress homepage from a static to a blog page or vice versa.
  • How to Adjust and update the themes logo, header, and colors.
  • How to install and configure plugins. We go over the top 5 must have ones as well.
  • How to create and organize your site with Categories for posts.
  • What are tags and how to use them.
  • How to setup a static landing page.
  • How to write proper amounts of text for a good SEO presence, and make the page layout visually appealing.
  • How to use widgets and create widgets on certain pages.
  • How to create new pages and posts and organize a site with a sitemap.
  • How to align and manipulate photos with the most recent versions of WordPresses exciting new media manager.
  • How to backup and offsite your backup for safety and security of your website.
  • How to install and track users on your website with Google Analyitics.
  • How to embed media such as Videos or Flash into your website.
  • We cover how to install and configure your websites contact form and setup email addresses.
  • How to enter the correct information into Meta descriptions and keywords, and proper alt image tagging.
  • Plus a free hour of Q and A at the end of every session to go over the specific problems and solutions you are facing.

WordPress Training By Professionals

We practice what we preach and that is why over time we have noticed the same questions coming up over and over from our clients and trainees which are the topics we cover in the course. Our goal is to provide you not just the set of tools you need to address the current website that you are maintaining or creating, but to give you the knowledge to seek out the proper solutions to future items that arise. Reguardless of your level of experience with WordPress going into the session, everyone will walk out of the our training with a the congfidence to grasp and take initiative to create the website experiences that their end users desire.

What You Get With Our Training Courses

All of our training sessions are also recorded so you have access to the material in the future as well as a burned copy of the training class. You also receive a workbook to review with materials we go over in class as well. Bring your laptop and we will have one on one interactions with your specific problems to deal with. We also show you how to take your marketing to the next level with a variety of tools such as google adwords and mailchimp.

  • Video burned of the training session plus online copy in case you lose your dvd.
  • Complete manual going over all the covered topics plus additional references in both printed and PDF versions.
  • Hands on interactive training that helps YOU with YOUR site! Most of our competition offer training on the generics of WordPress, not the specifics you will encounter with your unique site.
  • Integrated Q and A for on-topic learning and education.
  • Certification of completion of WordPress training session for your workplace. We also offer an optional scoring test which is completed after the training session for an additional fee.

Price

On-site training for your team costs $450 and serves groups in the greater Austin metropolitan area. On-Site courses are 8 hours long.

Weekend training at Lakeway Web Design is $250 and is a 4 hour course. Classes are first come first serve and limited to three people per weekend per month. Shoot us an email or give us a call (512-807-9327) to sign up today.

Helpful tips for Photoshop

Multiple Image Trims and Exports: No Longer a Nightmare

So you have a simple but tedious task. You have a bunch of small UI elements, or logos, or custom images of some kind in one Photoshop file. You need them all individually trimmed and exported. You dread having to use 20 click commands just to export one. There’s hundreds of them. That could take hours!

The Solution to a Common Problem

Here is where Photoshop’s scripts menu comes in handy! Under File -> Scripts -> Export Layers to Files Photoshop has a built in trim and export action feature for pngs. First select all the layers you wish to export in your psd. This step is helpful is you just with to export layers form a design mock up. Next click the Export Layers to Files command from the scripts menu. Click trim and transparency. Create a new folder where you desire all your new pngs to go. Leave the prefix box empty. All the pngs will be exported with a number for the order exported and then the layer name. This is the only downside. You will have to go rename all your pngs to something more type friendly.

This process has many uses. And there is no need to create your own action to handle the needs of large numbers of trimming and isolation to separate pngs. Whether you are making sprites for an animation, cutting up custom images or elements for a website, or creating individual logo files this little tip can save you time and a little bit of carpal tunnel.

Email Marketing- A Make or Break for Small Business

You are NOT Spamming Your Customers!

Email marketing is a huge deal. With the rise of sites such as Groupon and Living Social more and more people are becoming accustomed to receiving email promotions in their mailbox. Gmail has even custom altered their inbox to create a space for promotions. More and more people are signing up to receive email marketing.

Read more ...

Updates to CMS Interfaces

Primary Web Annoyances- Updating Interface Without Warning

MATJ8YXRDN46 Doubtless you have heard someone complain about interface on sites like Facebook or mobile apps used to access social media. Imagine the difficulty of having an update pushed on the back end of your Content Management System without any warning or introduction. Such changes can kill productivity. Recently there was a huge CMS interface change to MailChimp. While this clean design does simplify the interface ultimately it provides a learning curve that slows down production and output.

Simple Solutions

The three simplest solutions to avoiding frustration are: choice, explanation, and fair warning.
The best of these is the ability to allow your users to choose. You can let them know an update is coming and give them a choice of switching back and forth between versions. This allows slow familiarity with the new interface. It also allows for you to get feedback on beta testing to see if you are actually creating a better user experience. The next best possibility is to create a popup walkthrough of your new back end user experience. A simple walkthrough to show users how to navigate their new digital environment can alleviate confusion related to new placement and location of key features. If none of these are options at least give your users a fair and advanced warning that a change is coming. That way companies can be sure to complete important tasks prior to change overs, and schedule to allow new interface learning time into their schedule. Otherwise you will create frustration and lose clients. Also it is important to provide rare updates. You do not want to update your interface more than once a year at most. Critical security updates are fine to do more often, but users need to feel secure in their experience as well. Limit visual and UI updates to provide a warm and familiar environment as well as user productivity.

UI Controls & Web Design

The importance of UI controls in design for apps and web

User interface controls are an important and often over looked part of web site design. Considering them is a necessary part of the user experience for a cohesive and modern look. The details of a site and navigation experience are critical to keeping users on site and converting site browsers into clients and customers. Many sites offer UI packages that cost very little and can be tweaked over and over for different clients and user experiences.

Smashing Magazine has  freebies section where you can grab some UI quick and free, but often it is old and will require work to update.

Other sites like FreebiePixels, 365pd, and designmoo are great places to find free designs. Crawling the Behance UI section is a way to get great cutting edge free UI templates.