Look what can happen in 3 hours with WordPress!

A Daylight Websites Post in WordPress, by Daylight Websites
San Diego Yacht And Boat Show Prototype

Another Daylight Websites design

We are having fun with a new client here in Maryland. Easton-based Ad Strategies specializes in organizing and promoting trade shows – in particular, Boat and Car Shows.

Daylight Websites were commissioned to build a new-look web site for an upcoming boat show in San Diego. The fun part for us was that there was no specific design guideline, just content.

We created several designs, but one was a clear favorite and we submitted it first.  The other prototypes were never viewed!

Check back for details of when this site goes live, meanwhile here is a link to the development version:

San Diego Yacht & Boat Show Prototype

For the techies, this was developed using WordPress v3.1.2, and a number of custom components. The majority of the work was customizing CSS. The basic design was completed in 3 hours.

Contact Daylight Websites for a quotation on your website project.

Regular blogging keeps the home-fires burning - need our help?

They say that a successful blogger should be controversial. This heading should upset one or two.

When training a Daylight Websites client, one of the most frequent debates is about the necessity of blogging. Our conversations from the very beginning underscore the importance of blogging. It is the reason we use WordPress, it is the essence of what Daylight Websites stands for and the range of services we offer.

At the core of this lies the unique ability of WordPress to automatically summon the search engines. the moment you publish something in WordPress, the software not only places your formatted contribution on your website, it also ‘pings‘ all the major search engines to let them know you have published. They come immediately – normally arriving within a few minutes.

The effect of this is dramatic. The updated Google search engine indexing formula is called ‘Caffeine‘ and it is well-named. Almost miraculously, your latest post will appear in Google under the keywords you chose for your all-important Title. WordPress allows you to dictate the URL layout as well, so you are able to control the two most significant components of a search engine result – the Title and the Link.

Why is this important?

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Congratulations to WordPress, but don’t tell anyone!

A Daylight Websites Post in WordPress, by Tim Twinam
Open Source Awards 2010

The 2010 Open Source Awards

One of the reasons it’s fun to work with WordPress is the often self-deprecatory nature of the humor of the developers.

When a company can afford to poke fun at itself or risk minimizing its achievements, you should immediately know that this is a sign of great confidence.

In the case of WordPress, it is well-deserved!

For example, read this announcement on their blog a couple of days ago:

WordPress Wins CMS Award

by Matt Mullenweg (founder of WordPress)

I was just informed that WordPress, in head-to-head voting against Joomla and Drupal, has won this year’s Open Source CMS Hall of Fame award.

We have to be careful because if this trend continues people might think WordPress is a real CMS, useful for more than just a blog. This would ruin our stealth campaign and might bring dozens of new users to the WordPress community. If you could keep this on the DL we’d appreciate it.

We don’t want WordPress to develop a reputation.

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WordPress helps you live longer

A Daylight Websites Post in WordPress, by Tim Twinam
The WordPress Schedule Feature

How to schedule a WordPress Post

If you’ve been following our series on WordPress, you will have already learned that this blog environment is far from being just a bloggers tool, it is a better mousetrap, it is easy to learn, it keeps the search engines busy (a very good thing) and … even helps you choose breakfast.

What you may not know is that WordPress has a feature that is guaranteed to extend your life!

» On the right-hand side of the ‘Add New Post’ screen lies the blue ‘Publish’ button that will simultaneously publish your new post and call the search engine spiders. It is the single most powerful mouse-click you can make in WordPress.

» Just above the ‘Publish’ button, note that the default setting is for WordPress to publish your post immediately.

» If you click the ‘Edit’ link alongside, you will see that a date and time can be entered. This can be set to any time in the future. It will instruct WordPress not to publish immediately, but to publish at the time that suits you.

» Once you change the date to the required date and time and confirm by clicking ‘OK’, the wording changes to ‘Schedule for:’ … and you can now continue to edit, add extra information, review tomorrow … or head to the airport.

» The blog post you have just edited will automatically publish at the date and time you specify. It’s magic and a much-overlooked feature of WordPress!

And just how will this help you live longer?

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WordPress, bbPress, BuddyPress, and now: FoodPress

A Daylight Websites Post in WordPress, by Tim Twinam
WordPress moves into the Food Industry

De tal palo, tal astilla.

It is a natural progression. Indeed, one could almost call it organic. First, WordPress, the most popular CMS on the planet, outsmarts the traditional Content Management System affectionados by removing the mystique, minimizing the jargon and maximizing the SEO impact. And now it offers you breakfast.

Daylight Websites was founded one morning over a cup or three of fresh ground coffee in late 2009. C. Jane Taylor and I had served a four year tenure in the traditional web design industry. Jane is an accomplished SEO Tactician and Copywriter and I have been writing code since the days of punched cards (anyone remember Hollerith Code?).

We realized that a new SEO-tuned website could be created in just a morning using the WordPress capability of installing, thematically designing and functionally customizing – in sometimes just a few mouseclicks. When we stirred-in the uniquely powerful ability of WordPress to literally call the search engine spiders to every new posting, we realized we had a recipe worth attempting.

Our first public tasting of the concept resulted in that stunningly motivational sound of a check being torn out of a check-book – before the sales meeting was even over! We had our first client. A short while later, their first Google Analytics report showed an astonishing 700% increase in traffic!

A memorable meal in the Bahamas

Modern web design and development is perhaps not such a far cry from the kitchen after all

As with any new idea, there were lessons to be learned. Using a theme is not always the easiest route if the proposed design is non-traditional. Fortunately, certain WordPress themes are highly customizable: the default Twenty Ten allows you to change header, menus and sidebar content; Arjuna and Atahualpa offer far greater flexibility but demand a higher level of technical ability; the increasingly popular Thematic requires the use of child-themes; the list goes on …

Our favorite quickly became Suffusion. This free WordPress theme allows Daylight Websites to quickly produce customized websites by manipulating the settings in its comprehensive setup pages.

We’ll share some more of our discoveries in the weeks ahead, but for now its time for breakfast, several clients are waiting and FoodPress is tempting us with an array of early-morning treats.

In this series, Tim Twinam will continue to explore the history and culture of the Internet and the impact of modern day tools such as WordPress. Subscribe to his WordPress Series by email.

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Stencilled hand paintings in the Cueva de las Manos, Argentina

Using a template is not a new idea. Wall paintings in the Cave of the Hands in Santa Cruz, Argentina date back some 9,000 years. It is believed that the stencilled hands on the cave walls marked a rite of passage into manhood.

Woodcuts, from the 9th century onward are another form of using a medium where a basic design could be used to recreate a structure – which could then be enhanced with color or other means.

Contemporary art holds well-known examples. Perhaps Andy Warhol is one of the most renowned. His portrayal of well-known cultural icons as diverse as Coca Cola, Marilyn Monroe and even Queen Elizabeth demonstrated how a templated design could be transformed into free-standing versions of an otherwise identical theme.

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Vermont websites and Crunchy Granola

A Daylight Websites Post in Vermont, by C. Jane Taylor

While our web design office is in Vermont, our market is the Internet, which as you know reaches far beyond our lovely little state into the nether regions of the Universe, there are some things we do here in Vermont, however, that tend toward the local. Food is paramount among these.

Vermont Maple Granola - a new Daylight Websites standardTake breakfast at Daylight this morning, for example: cranberry nut granola from Manchester Center, honey crisp apples from Shoreham, and soy milk from Hardwick (OK, you’re right, the Brit had his with ‘arf and ‘arf from Monument Farms Dairy in Weybridge, he doesn’t fancy soy milk, dahling).

The granola and a new office in Maryland inspired this post, But let’s start with food first: the granola is made by the Vermont Maple Granola Company. The balance of sweet to salt in this particular blend is absolutely spectacular. Check it out if you have a chance: they sell it online!

Now on to business: Daylight is expanding! Tim is moving south and we’re taking an office in the Baltimore, Annapolis, D.C. Area. We will also be keeping our office in Vermont. Daylight Websites South is on the Chesapeake Bay, so I’m sure lunches there will include Maryland fish cakes. Beyond the fish sandwiches and salt breezes, we also look forward to bringing our SEO and WordPress services to the D.C. market, where business is booming.

Internet marketing world dominance, one office at a time…or should I say one meal at a time?

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Sigmund Freud: the father of modern Blogging?

A Daylight Websites Post in Blogging, by C. Jane Taylor

Sigmund Freud the ultimate marketer - image from WikipediaMy son is taking a “Psych” class this year, last night he wrote a paper about Freud. So like any good, somewhat meddlesome, mom, I picked up my Mac and Googled the good doctor. As it turns out, Freud would have been the best blogger. Not only did he invent concepts like “passive aggressive”, he was also a great marketer and the ultimate networker.

I found a goldmine about Freud in a single post, check it out: The Sigmund Freud Guide to Marketing written by Susan Giurleo, a psychologist by day; a marketing superhero by night. She built her tiny solo practice into a powerhouse with an 8-week waiting list. If you are a therapist, you should read her blog. If you are interested in marketing, you should read her blog.

Freud got to be the father of modern psychology by marketing himself.

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We don't need no stinkin' badges

Blog training? We don't need no stinkin' blog training... thank you, Mel Brooks.

Daylight recently converted a client “blog” to WordPress. We brought forward more than 300 posts, spanning more than 3 years of social networking online. The client, whose name has been changed to protect the innocent, has been blogging since Al Gore invented the internet.

The client has gained an excellent reputation based on the juicy, insightful content of his posts. But check out some of his post titles:

“Hang in there everyone, improvements are coming!”
“Possible new development?”
“Quick run out and grab the latest newspaper!”

This blogger has his finger on the pulse of a major American metropolitan city. He is smart and funny and a good writer. But without proper blog optimization, only those who already know him will ever read him.

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Google Caffeine is good for you. How do you take your Google?

A Daylight Websites Post in SEO, by C. Jane Taylor

How do you like your Google Caffeine ?

I have always contended that blogging and coffee are good community builders. With the recent launch of Google Caffeine, Google just turned my coffee into a Macchiato.

Because it works in real-time, Google Caffeine will favor sites that add new, fresh and index-able content regularly. This is just our cup of tea at Daylight Websites. We love fresh, broad, diverse, deep content and now Google is making it possible for that very content to be searched (and found) at lightning speeds.

As a writer and blogger, this is music to my ears because it means that content is still king. At Daylight we coach clients on good blogging practices and content creation to harness this exciting development.

Here’s the word from the man behind the curtain (big G):

With Caffeine, we analyze the web in small portions and update our search index on a continuous basis, globally. As we find new pages, or new information on existing pages, we can add these straight to the index. That means you can find fresher information than ever before — no matter when or where it was published.

This is Google's image of Caffeine

– from the Official Google blog

With these changes, deep sites will prevail and content will continue to rule the kingdom. As these changes will certainly affect SERPs going forward (that’s Search Engine Results Page – the results from a Search), now more than ever your site must contain unique, well-written, interesting content for more than just your visitors.

Content is still king. Long live the king!

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The Rooster crows!

What people are saying about Daylight Websites:

"You single-handed raised the bar for us!" - Alastair Gracie, Adstrategies Inc

"Whew! It looks awesome - let's launch
this damn thing! ;-)"
- Keri Piatek Crafts, Place Creative

"You and Tim were always so easy to work with and being comfortable with both of you made it so much easier for me to ask the "stupid" questions without being intimidated by your superior technological know-how...." - Vicki Wilson, Hoisington Realty

"Damn you guys are good. I don’t know what Bud will think – and it’s really none of my business. But from an integration standpoint, this is just nuts. Well done, sir."
- Dustin Moore

"Awesome!" - Bud

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