Daniel Chadwick, Author at

Author Archives: Daniel Chadwick

Cherry Blossom Home page

Posted on March 9, 2015 by

Cherry Blossom banner

In our series of home pages, we’ve been trying to come up with creative ideas to keep the front of our site looking “fresh”. The idea for the Cherry blossom came from a simple excercise of thinking through; What characterises spring? Blossom – falling cherry blossom would look great.

So, as you can see, we have found an image and added some traditional Japenese footwear (called Geta) to keep our general theme of feet related banners and then from a technical point of view we have taken bits of our script for the falling snow we used in winter and added some sideways music using some maths (it’s a slightly randomised sine wave if you’re wondering).

We think it looks great and it was certainly quite enjoyable to work on as well…

Why we think the iPad sales are going down..

Posted on January 30, 2015 by

iPad-AirWith Apple Inc posting their biggest ever sales quarter recently, it sparked a conversation in the Web-Feet office about tablets and where they fit into the mobile device space. This was as a result of iPads sales growth slowing significantly whilst smartphones sales, iPhone included, continue to rise quite sharply.

Aside from the argument of what a tablet actually does vs a PC or smartphone, we feel that smartphones and phablets, as larger smartphones are sometimes referred to, are increasingly becoming both cheap and capable. However, we feel that it’s also smart, responsive website design that’s also driving these changes in buying behaviour and phone use. A couple of years ago, many website owners were tempted into building mobile only versions of their websites, however with hi-res screens available, most users will switch to view the desktop site because the mobile sites were just too limited and not very engaging.

With a fully responsive design, a good website now optimises itself based on the users device, therefore optimising the user experience. As such the need for a ‘retina’ tablet for browsing the web isn’t necessary and users can stick to their primary device for browsing the web and still have a great user experience.

We feel that cheaper, smarter, faster phones will continue to drive their popularity and further marginalise tablets. If you know you can get a great browsing experience on your phone, your primary device, you are less likely to bother reaching for your tablet.

What this means for businesses however is twofold. Firstly, a good responsive website is a must or your users will have a poor experience and you will not be able to leverage your online presence to your best advantage, put bluntly, your users will just not visit your website. Secondly, Google now lists sites that are mobile friendly in their search pages on mobile devices and shows them as such in the search listings. This is useful information to users as they may well avoid even looking at a site that is not shown as mobile friendly. Furthermore, Google will actually penalise your site in it’s search engine rankings, or put another way, will list mobile friendly websites above those that aren’t. Eventually, non mobile friendly, non responsive sites will fall right down the search listing when carried out on a mobile device, this is a significant point bearing in mind how much traffic is now from mobile devices.

Lens Flare New Years Home Page

Posted on January 14, 2015 by

beautiful home page banner

In a concinuation of our varied home pages we came up with the concept of a New Year’s banner that reflected the practice of people getting fit as their New Year’s resolution, Jakub, our designer came up with the concept image above and we all thought it was great so we got the banner ready to go.

In keeping with all of our other home page banners we wanted some kind of interesting movement. After a bit of searching I found a link to this tutorial – https://www.script-tutorials.com/flare-lens/ which enabled me to put a nice lens flare effect on page load.

Migrating from CactuShop to Magento?

Posted on December 16, 2014 by

magento site screenshot

If you’re running CactuShop to manage your online eCommerce experience, it’s probably about time you started looking at your options, not least because you’re site is probably more than 3 years old (which is in general the lifespan of any website’s design) but also because the technology behind your site is now, well it’s old and is not future proof. Which is why over the past year and a half or so we have been building new sites and converting customers with CatuShop sites to the Magento Community Edition platform. CactuShop has served Web Feet and many of our customers incredibly well over the years but it is time to move on and Magento is the most popular, extendable and feature rich eCommerce platform out there boasting excellent security, constant upgrades and hundreds of thousands of merchant users.

Continue reading →

Life after Magento Go, well after it goes….

Posted on December 8, 2014 by

Magento Go Blog post

You may have seen the news that Magento Go is being discontinued as a service as of Feb 1, 2015 (https://go.magento.co.uk/). If you are a current Magento Go customer and are looking at your options then you’ll probably be looking around to see what your options are. We at Web Feet can help, even if you would just like some consultation on the next steps, give us a call and we’ll see what we can do to help. Alternatively you may want someone to manage the entire migration of your existing Magento Go Store to Magento Community edition (presuming you want to stay using the Magento Ecosystem) and somewhere to host it.

Either way (or if you’re somewhere in between) then give us a call or contact us (https://www.web-feet.co.uk/contact) to find out how we can help give you peace of mind during this transition.

Roughton International Case Study

Posted on December 5, 2014 by

We recently built a large CMS for leading engineering services firm Roughton International. We are very grateful in that they have written up a Case Study of our work with them and how pleased they are with what we’ve provided both in terms of  the end product and the service throughout the project.

We’re pretty pleased with the outcome, but don’t take our word for it – read for yourself how it went!

Halloween home page…

Posted on November 11, 2014 by

This year, for Halloween, we decided to amend banner on web-feet’s homepage. The orange pumpkins were an obvious choice, but because we love challenges we decided to add something extra in the form of a flickering candle

To create the candle flickering effect we took a trick from the animation industry to build a frame by frame version of the candle flame and used a  jQuery carousel auto playing on page load and looping through the images of the flame in different positions. We think it definitely added something a bit special to the overall Halloween mood of the scene.

We hope you liked it..:-)

If you missed it this halloween it’s still available to look at here

Why we use WordPress, but only for blogs…

Posted on October 30, 2014 by

Wordpress Logo

I am writing this in WordPress, at the same time our website is built on our very own CMS where we edit content for the pages there. Why? You may ask. Well we believe that WordPress is brilliant for what it is, a blogging platform. Yes, you can extend it and yes you can add pages and create menus but the primary purpose of WordPress was always as a platform for bloggers. WordPress is also favoured by google in the search results as Google knows and understands the structure of WordPress sites, so it creawls them more specifically.

So we took a decision to use WordPress for blogs for that reason, it’s great for blogs and combined with the Yoast SEO plugin, our clients and ourselves can use it to target specific audiences and drive traffic to the rest of the site. This way we can let our CMS be great at what it does; clever templates, quick editing of content and pages, easy video search, simple file management and page linking and brilliant features like a comprehensive search and news articles without the additional features of a blog). Our CMS also means we can create some custom features in the admin system, like dropdowns for content specific to our clients and linking between sections and pages.

We think that WordPress is great and we think our CMS great, and we’re constantly thinking of ways to make them work better together and of how we can imporve our offering to our clients who want to edit and add content as simply as possible.

Magento, HREF Lang plugin

Posted on October 3, 2014 by

One of our clients approached us to build a way that they could manage hreflangs on their Magento stores where they were looking to have multiple language versions of the site with different pages on each site. I looked at a few options online and there were some that worked provided the sites would be identical in terms of content but none that would enable control of where the links would go if there wasn’t an alternative url.

… so I built a plugin that enables our client to upload their urls in a csv with the base site in the first column and then they can add as many columns after that to upload the urls for the other language sites. The plugin then retrieves any alternate urls for any other site from the data and adds them to the <head> section of the website.

If this is a solution you think you would require for your multi language Magento, then please don’t hesitate to contact us at info@web-feet.co.uk.

Magento HREF, multi-language

Facebook down 19/06/2014

Posted on June 19, 2014 by

I went to check twitter briefly this morning and saw a few tweets saying facebook was down…. I went to check by updating the feed on my phone, and indeed nothing was updating.

On a desktop browser, this is the message that appears:

Screenshot 2014-06-19 09.18.42

This is pretty rare for facebook and just goes to show that any web service is vulnerable to downtime no matter how large or small the operation.

I’m sure there are many developers at facebook scratching their heads and running around desperately trying to repair whatever issue has caused the site to come down…

As much as this is a pain for millions (billions?) of people around the world it does show that you cannot guarantee uptime forever in any environment…

So for now while it is down…. enjoy the world around you… or just jump over to twitter until facebook returns…..

UPDATE: 19/06/2014 09:25 – Site came back up the moment I posted this! In total, it was down between about 09:05 and 09:25.

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