Wrapping up the perfect project to work on with my sixteen year old daughter, Bridget. Check out Funtastic Inflatables.

Funtastic Inflatables Bounce Houses in Grand Blanc MI

Michigan Garden Center Ready For Spring 2014

Visit http://campbellsgreenhouses.com to momentarily forget that snow is blowing sideways here in mid-Michigan! I was thrilled to receive a fantastic referral to work with Campbell’s Greenhouses – their owners and staff are fun, energetic and knowledgeable. They wanted their new website to coordinate with their new flyers, and it came out bright and lively – just like them!

A requirement was a site that they could take over and manage themselves, and they selected WordPress as their CMS. The site is responsive (works great on many screen sizes) and uses parallax show/hide background images on the home page. Advertisements for the animated home page banner can be set up in advance and will only display during the dates specified.

There’s so much more going on at Campbell’s, the bottom line is if you love gardening, bookmark their site, especially the Gardener’s Blog. This large Michigan Garden Center grows an amazing assortment of annuals, perennials, trees and shrubs. I plan to purchase hardy rose bushes as soon as the ground thaws – come on Spring!!!

Michigan Garden Center

10 Surprising Social Media Statistics That Might Make You Rethink Your Social Strategy

The bottom line is social media hype aside, there is no denying the benefit of incorporating blogs, YouTube and other social media outlets in a business marketing plan. Here is a quick overview of the latest stats including demographics and usage of social media and mobile: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/belle-beth-cooper/10-surprising-social-medi_b_4325088.html.

200+ Ways to Make Money Online

200 Ways to Make Money Online

Great resource! Read the article or view the infographic. (Hat tip IMGrind.)

Contact me if you find something you want to collaborate on.

Happy Friday,

Google Web Designer

New toy courtesy of Google – a free web design tool, Google Web Designer (beta)!

The main purpose of the tool is to help create responsive (works on many screen sizes) advertising blocks that are able to take advantage of the latest HTML5 animation fun. Not to be confused with creating full websites. I say that because the code generated with this tool is only compatible with the newest browsers. The rendered code will most likely look “off” when viewed on older browsers, such as Internet Explorer 9 and below.

Nevertheless, I am a fan and love tools that embrace the latest advances.

Check the minimum system requirements before you download it and let me know if you create something cool!

A-1 Mobile Storage vs The Competition

Make is easy for your customers to compare your business to your competitors. If you can back it up, state specifically how you stand out.

In the mobile storage business, there are popular national chains such as PODS®, Mobile Mini® and U-Haul, and self-storage facilities such as Public Storage®.

A-1 Mobile Storage Leasing of Michigan decided to use their website to make it clear how they surpass the competition. Check out at their chart that compares A-1 Mobile Storage Leasing to PODS. One point of comparison is that PODS is a “Big national chain with a big national advertising budget” whereas A-1 is a “Michigan owned company without the large advertising overhead.” Another point mentions PODS provides generic units while A-1 offers containers that can be customized with lighting, shelving, hooks, clothing racks, refrigeration & more.

Compares A-1 Mobile Storage Leasing to PODS(R)
The A-1 site also dedicates pages to compare their service to national chains in portable storage and self-storage locations.

It is a pleasure working with the owners of A-1 Mobile Storage Leasing. They truly care about providing the best service possible to their clients and their impressive client list proves it. If you need temporary storage space, I highly recommend you visit A-1 Mobile Storage Leasing and call them at 989-295-5453.

Great Service: Print What You Like

Print What You LikeEver wanted to print out a web page and just include the good stuff, not the navigation and ads? Here is the tool for you: Print What You Like.

I’m working on an eCommerce website that uses WooCommerce. Great shopping cart! The only downside is that their user guide is online in the form of a wiki, meaning others can add their tips to the guide. Great idea… except if you want to print it out in a book to give your client.

Initially thought I could scrape the user guide to easily create a pdf, but it was anything but easy (unless you have Adobe Acrobat – which I didn’t have on the computer I was using at the time). Then, did a few searches on how to create a pdf file from a wiki and found Print What You Like. It’s still a manual process, but it works like a charm.

To use the service, you highlight exactly which parts of a web page you want to print and can save it to a pdf. If you want more than one web page in your pdf, there’s an Add Page function. You just keep adding pages until you have everything you want and then convert it to a pdf. You can even perform formatting changes.

Print What You Like is a free, advertising-support service. The ads are not bothersome and are actually relevant.  Made my day 🙂

Auto Parts Online Store Launched To Save On eBay Fees

Heaters for Cars, Boats, Trucks, Marine, Tractors WebsiteBusy first of the new year at Suski Web Design includes launching AutoCoolingSolutions.com. A Grand Blanc manufacturer who sells their automotive air conditioning parts and heaters through eBay contracted with me to build their own online store.

They have a great product line with parts that come in handy for anyone who owns a vehicle in Michigan:

  • Block Heaters – Keeps engines warm in cold temperatures and eliminates cold start engine damage.
  • Battery Heaters – Easy installation and extends battery life by reducing the strain of cold weather starts. (I think I need one of those for my 1996 Jag! It’s not getting much use these days since I drive a 2013 Volt.)
  • Cooling System Heaters – Just get in and go with a warm engine and a heater that blows warm air.
  • RV Truck Bus Interior Heaters, Marine Interior Heaters, Auto Interior Heaters, Engine Oil Heaters, Hydraulic Fluid Heaters, Transmission Fluid Heaters, Diesel WVO Bio Fuel Heaters, and Heater Accessories

The folks at Auto Cooling Solutions are enthusiastic about building their online business and they roll up their sleeve to add products to the website and market online.

The shopping cart I put in the site allows them to manage the products and add content. It uses a responsive layout, which means the website re-sizes to accommodate large screens as well as smart phones without having to duplicate content. Have questions about a part? There’s an ‘Ask a Question’ link on each product page.

Buy local and visit AutoCoolingSolutions.com!

Shopping Trends Include Augmented Reality

Great article mentions 4 trends, the most unique is  “augmented reality”: http://www.digitaldoughnut.com/highlights/highlights/trends-shaping-the-future-of-shopping.

Check out Zugara. Among other AR (augmented reality) projects, they develop online shopping apps that leverage AR and motion capture to provide a virtual shopping experience.

Would love to work on a project that uses that technology!!

“Your Google Maps Listing Is Not Set Up Right” and Other Scams

I work with small business owners who are bombarded with phone calls from “SEO experts” who tell them their website is not search engine friendly even though the caller has not even bothered to visit the site. They are nothing but slick salespeople who want to mislead business owners for a fast buck.

Today, however, takes the cake! I got a call and the voicemail recording was, “This is Larry Young *from* Google and I’m calling about your Google Maps listing because it is not set up right. Please call me at 800-838-7969 extension 23895, it will take about fifteen minutes.” I was incredulous and googled the phone number. Of course, it’s a scam.  The bottom line is scammers get bolder by the day. If I help one business owner with this post, it’s a great day 🙂