All posts by Brandon Devnich

Accepting Reservations for Web Mastering Clients

Last our Web Mastering program completed its signups of new clients.  It is our position that we should never over commit ourselves when delivering a superior service.

Until such time that we again open up the Web Mastering program, when we have more resources available to take on additional clients, we are allowing interested parties to join a wait list.

By joining the wait list, you will get access to pre-order a plan prior to the program being opened up again to the public.  We will notify you when we have positions available.

Dreamweaver Template + 12 Modules for only $399

Did you know that you can one of our Dreamweaver Templates, plus ALL of our awesome website plugins, for just $399?

I know, right?  That’s crazy!

diavloUntil Sunday September 21st, you can get this super Back-To-School special, saving over 60% (regular price is over $1000).

We know that text-books cost a ridiculous amount, so save your money by buying all the plugins and Dreamweaver template at once.  In fact, we’ll even install the plugins for you out on your server for you!

Any questions?  Give us a shout, toll free, at +1-866-943-5733.

Oh, and one other thing!  This applies even if you aren’t a student (well, duh, it should).  But if you are a developer, we have a super deal on getting a developer package (unlimited use, all of the colors of the available Dreamweaver Template you choose), for just $999.  That’s a savings of OVER $1500.

Be sure to check out our catalog of awesome website templates.

WordPress 4.0 – Now Released

If you’re concerned about whether the latest version of WordPress will work with our WordPress Themes, I’m happy to announce that if you are running a latest update of our Aquila or Orion WP Framework themes, then you’ll be just fine.

Back a couple of months ago, WordPress released v3.9 — and when they did, it broke a lot of websites.  The most notable issue was that they upgraded the TinyMCE rich text editor to version 4 — the trouble with this was that many TinyMCE plugins are are not forward compatible (including the ones we were including in our themes).

So, a huge headache ensued.

But, we’re happy to report, after downloading it and looking at our current framework, that the upgrade to 4.0 from 3.9 has not caused any adverse affects on sites running latest version Aquila or Orion framework themes.

However, if you’re running an older version of our frameworks, or one of our now discontinued and no longer supported Phoenix or Taurus framework themes, then you may not want to rush into updating — you’ll experience the same issues.   For those sites, we can make a manual fix for you, however we would bill for the support involved, somewhere around $50 for a custom fix.

For the latest from WordPress, check them out at wordpress.org

DIAVLO: A web design worth 50x what we are selling it for

Truly, if we sold Diavlo to a client hungry for a unique and engaging design, we would have no trouble selling the design alone for $3500.

The amount of time that went into development alone is worth that, then there’s the intrinsic ‘je ne sais quoi’ factor.

diavlo

You see, DIAVLO has what we, in the web geek world, call “a cinematic experience”.  When you load the home page, you just feel a part of the experience.

The fullscreen slider is one thing, but… go watch what happens when you scroll… it does something you don’t see in sliders.  It parallaxes.  In other words, it scrolls at a different rate than the rest of the page.

Lower in the page, other regions parallax as well.

When you get to a particular point in the page, the top menu slides back into view, fixed to the top of your screen, to allow you (and your visitor) to comfortably navigate site.  It helps to anchor the user and allow them to utilize the rest of your site, and keep a sense of bearing.

Headings and icons slide into view when you scroll past them.

The entire EXPERIENCE is DESIGNED to be CINEMATIC.  To elicit a VISCERAL reaction that has you not only CONNECTING with the website, but also encourages you to keep EXPLORING the content.

This is so important in today’s web world where you have to balance the ideas of CONTENT is KING vs DESIGN is KING.

This one is definitely worth 50x what we’re charging.  But, we’re offering it to you, of course, for just $79.

Go take a look, I think you’ll agree this is one of the best we’ve ever released.

WordPress Themes now E-COMMERCE Ready

I’m excited to announce that we have made a new package available for our Aquila Framework WordPress Themes — the “Pro” Package — that is compatible with WooCommerce and WP E-Commerce, two fantastic e-commerce solutions.

If you already have a one of our latest generation WordPress Themes, and you want to run a storefront, then you can upgrade to this new package by taking the following steps.

  1. Go to your account at my.i3dthemes.com
  2. Find your WordPress Theme from the summary list on your account home page, and click on the “License Information” icon
  3. Click the “Upgrade” button on the right side of the License Information summary.
  4. Proceed through the steps to upgrade to the Pro package.  If you have a Multi-Site or Developer version, you will already qualify for this new package.
  5. Once you’ve run through the upgrade process, log in to your WordPress site dashboard
  6. From the left menu, go to the “Update Theme” menu option, which is probably at the very bottom of the menu (or available as a sub-menu from your THEME Framework menu.
  7. Run through the Update process.
  8. You’re done!

Now, all you need to do is go and grab WooCommerce or WP E-Commerce from the Plugins repository.  Activate whichever one you want to go with.

If you’re going to use the WooCommerce system, be sure to have the WooCommerce plugin create the pages upon initialization.

How to Solve WordPress 3.9 Upgrade that Breaks Page/Post Editor

Earlier this month, WordPress launched their latest version (v3.9 aka “Smith”) in which they upgraded the TinyMCE system to 4.0.

And then every WordPress site that upgraded to 3.9, that had TinyMCE plugins that were not compatible with TinyMCE 4.0, had a broken Page/Post Editor.

Short story is, javascript errors caused by out of code that is no longer supported in the new version (there was no backwards compatibility with this upgrade to TinyMCE 4.0).

What a PAIN in the “post”erior… POST…erior.. get it?  Nevermind, sorry.

And, this all went down while I was away for a week.  The team had to come up with an interim solution for those customers who had our WordPress Themes that experienced this.

I’m happy to announce that the Aquila and Orion framework downloads are ALL UPDATED.  So, if you download a new copy from your account, right now, you’ve got a version that is compatible with WP 3.9.

But what if you have an existing site?  What if you’ve upgraded to 3.9 and have just realized that you can’t edit any of your posts?  Can you apply a patch of the latest files to your system?  Yes.  Do make sure to make a backup copy of your theme folder on your website prior to making these updates.

The Solution: Short Description [TL;DR]

The best way is to do a manual patch where you download your product package and then log in to your site via FTP and then upload the following file and folder to your theme folder.

  • functions.php
  • includes/framework/functions.php (if the file exists — the includes/framework folder only exists as a part of the Aquila framework)
  • includes/admin/tinymce_plugins/ [folder with all containing files/folders within]
Edit: ALL Themes (including the Aquila framework themes) need to have their functions.php files updated as well.  In my videos that follow, I may mention that this is not the case however there was another bug discovered April 28th which requires that the main functions.php file now be updated for all themes.

The Solution: Update Files Manually via FTP

The Solution: Update Files via Aquila Framework Dashboard

The Solution: Update Files via Orion Framework Dashboard

i3dTHEMES safe from Heartbleed

You may have heard of the recent vulnerability in the OpenSSL system, discovered earlier this month, dubbed Heartbleed.

We wanted to reassure our users and customers that our network of servers are not (nor have ever been) affected by this vulnerability. This includes all of our web hosting servers, i3dthemes storefront and members area websites.

This is a serious vulnerability, but thankfully we run unaffected versions of the OpenSSL software. If you wish to learn more about Heartbleed, there is a website dedicated to answering your questions.

Dedicated mobile sites, and why they’re bad for your business.

Cloud Social Media App Sync
Mobile devices access the same content as desktop browsers in an ever increasing connected world. If you denying your visitors your traditional website’s content, you’re shooting yourself in the foot.

If you’re a webmaster or business owner, you’ve probably received an email, or phone call, or both (sometimes several times a day) from someone with a service that will provide a “mobile” site for your visitors.

These services will basically create a separate website that your mobile visitors will be directed to, if they land on your regular website, that is formatted specifically for a mobile browser.  Sound great, doesn’t it?

No!  Ugh.

There is a MUCH much (much much much) better solution available.

We’re not the only one that believe that running a separate site (and paying someone for the service) is a bad idea.  Bruce Lawson over at Smashing Magazine wrote nearly two years ago on this.  He has a number of great points, but what it boils down to are (from our point of view) three major problems.

The Problems

Problem #1: Arbitrarily Pushing Visitors (and customers) from your GREAT Content

If you’re pushing someone in a mobile device over to a site that has nothing but an “about” page, how to “contact” you with perhaps a map, and some social media links, you are assuming that is the only thing that your visitor wants.

This is where you need to find a balance between the two camps of “content is king” and “design is king”.

It is true, in the “local search” market, mobile devices are often used to quickly look up and contact the merchant.  The primary use of a mobile phone is, well, to call someone (or at least, it used to be) — looking at cat videos seems to be a increasingly popular pastime.. but I digress.

Let me give you an example of someone who is looking to contact a merchant, but also wants to see what they offer…  how about anyone looking for a product or service, such as a florist, a barber, or antique dealer.

If you are arbitrarily limiting what a user is viewing based on their device (as in, seriously limiting the content) that is much like saying in the sense of a brick-and-mortar setting,  “We think we want your business, but because you’re wearing glasses, we’ll simplify things for you.  Please just look at some posters on our front door — don’t bother coming in, all the information you need is there, trust us.  By the way, the door is locked, come back without glasses.”

How would you feel about that?

It might be enough information, but as more and more mobile users are using their mobile devices EXCLUSIVELY to access the web (I can’t remember the last time I pulled up my laptop at home.. oh that’s right, I gave it to my mother-in-law because I NEVER used it).

So if you want to anger your visitors, and spend more money than you have to, go and sign up for one of these services.

Problem #2: Negative Impact of Lost Time-On-Site and Lost Page Views

Good GRIEF.  This is something that wasn’t even considered five years ago.  But it’s HUGELY important.

If you’re sending someone AWAY from your website, even if it is in a “subdomain” situation, it isn’t helping the ranking of your own primary website.

Google looks at the time-on-site, time-on-page, number of page-views (plus a number of other secret metrics), to figure out how to rank you for any given key term.

If a user is immediately redirected off to a different domain, and doesn’t spend any time browsing your site for contact information, or your content (be it products, photos, services, or whatever you offer) then you’ve just shot yourself in the foot.  Google will not attribute the time that the user could have spent (and is now spending somewhere else) to your site.

Problem #3: The Need to Maintain Two Sites

This one is a pretty basic concept.  If you have information in two places, then it’s likely something will get out of date.

Granted, a simple “mobile specific” site, as we have been talking about, doesn’t contain a lot of content, it still is something you need to maintain.  And pay for.

The Solution

Just run one website.

Really?  Just one?  Yes, just one.

But make sure it is MOBILE FRIENDLY, or as we in the business specializing in web design call it… “responsive”.

What “responsive” means is that the containers that the content is resides in, in your web page, should “respond” to a different browser width.  Should you be on a desktop, tablet, or mobile phone, the content is all the same, just how it is presented is different.

But HOW?

Oh, well there’s this fantastic mobile-first framework that we use in our designs called “Bootstrap”.  It’s designed by some of the guys over at Twitter.  You might have heard of Twitter.

Anyway, the Bootstrap framework simplifies the organization of content for all devices.  As web developers, we set up the organization of the content containers so they shift “this way” or “that way”, based on the size of the device.  Sometimes we even hide superfluous content if it seems like something that mobile users don’t need to see.

The benefits of  using a responsive framework such as Bootstrap includes only having one site to manage, keeping visitors on site so that you can benefit from longer time-on-site and pages-viewed metrics, as well as allowing the visitor to view the content they WANT to view.

Having a mobile friendly site can mean the difference between someone being able to find they product that they want to purchase (and still call you) and those that have no idea what you have to offer, and subsequently go find another website in search of what they want.

Responsive Websites For Newbies

Now, part of the problem with having to maintain a website that is mobile friendly, is that if you’re going to be managing a traditional website, it’s a good idea to know how to make the regions different sizes.  Bootstrap has a fantastic resource site.

But if you’re not a web developer, it can seem a bit overwhelming. That’s why we’ve designed and created a WordPress theme framework that does all of the thinking for you.

Aquila (our cool code-name for the framework) was developed to provide all of the power of the MOBILE FRIENDLY nature of the Bootstrap system, but wrap it in an Graphical User Interface (GUI) powered by WordPress.

The short and simple description is this: Aquila allows a user to click and drag to change the widths of the regions, as well as enable and disable regions for mobile and tablet users.

We have a number of professional wordpress themes that utilize this framework.

You can be online in minutes with a mobile, tablet and desktop friendly website all wrapped into one.  Watch our introduction video here:

Unlock ALL of our Website Plugins for one low price.

If you’ve been on our site recently, you would have likely seen a couple of promotions we were running with regard to our Numo Website Plugins/Enhancements.

Truth be told, we have had astounding response to these promotions.

So, we’ve decided to make it a permanent offer.  You can unlock ALL of our website plugins for just $399 when you bundle them with a website template — this ALSO includes the price of the website template.

That’s a steal.

Actually, that’s more than a steal.  That’s a ridiculously crazy price.  The regular price is over $1000 for all of the plugins plus the template.

WHY are we doing this?  Because we want you to buy them!  🙂  And $399 is just the right price.

Enjoy!

Now Accepting Webmastering Clients

I can’t believe how many times a week we hear about how someone can not get a hold of their webmaster.  Their webmaster won’t return their phone calls.   Or, their webmaster has left town.  Or, their webmaster has allegedly died.  Died?!

Seriously, are there really that many unreliable webmasters (read: unprofessional webmasters) that can’t:

  1. answer an email
  2. answer a phone call
  3. do the work they were contracted to do
  4. do the work they were contracted to do in a reasonable amount of time

Seriously, where do these people get off giving the rest of us in the industry a bad name?  Surely, it can’t be because the clients are THAT demanding.

In any case, in response to all these requests we’ve had lately (it’s not like we weren’t doing the work already, we just didn’t have the plans set out), we’ve set up a number of plans based on the following:

  1. what small business really need
  2. how much time they typically would need per month
  3. restrictive budgets
  4. what the rest of the market is offering

So we took at look at what the “professionals” were charging (and I use the term loosely) for some pretty basic plans and said “seriously?  you’re charging THAT much?”  We figured we could do better.

Check Out Our Plans

You can sign up for monthly, yearly, or quarterly plans.  Bigger price break on the quarterly and yearly terms, but we recommend the quarterly plan for most individuals.

But here’s the deal.  We’re only accepting a limited number of clients, as we are committed to not overbooking ourselves.

Now, I’m sure you’re thinking “yeah right, you’ll take as many clients as will want to sign up” Not true.  We will only take on what we can handle.

And right now, we’ll be evaluating our commitment levels on new signups daily as we reserve the right to shut down the new signup at any time.  Right now, we have room.  Next week, maybe not.

So if you need to have your website managed, visit our webmastering plans page.  Each plan includes web hosting and domain name registration.  Some of the plans even have roll-over hours (you can roll them over to the next billing cycle).

Don’t delay on this one, because when the signup is closed, it’s closed.  If you have any questions at all, feel free to call us toll free 1-866-943-5733.