Category Archives: Uncategorized

Facebook Graphs

Facebook Graphs

- The Facts

Facebook’s latest update now allows you to search for people, photos, and more using keywords. If you wanted to look at pictures from your dad’s birthday, you would search for “Dad’s birthday pictures” and results would appear for those terms.

One way they will be ranked is on the strength of the relationship between you and the person publishing the post. Basically, the closer the connection, the higher the content will display. Facebook also takes your interest into account when choosing what will display in your search results and how it will be ranked in those results.

The results will not be ranked by most recent. You will find old posts intermingled with more recent posts for the same search term. This is actually a great way to re-discover old posts that may have been funny, awkward or that one time you posted a little too much.

Facebook Graph Search only shows results based on connections, and public posts by personal profiles will not automatically be displayed in the results. The only exception is when you search for a hashtag, and any post using that exact hashtag, can be found and displayed in the search results.

Marketers Can Take Advantage of Graph Search

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These new improvements were designed with users in mind, they also give a massive opportunity for marketers than Graph Search ever has before.

- Evergreen creation and promotion

In Facebook Graph Search, older posts still will show up if they are relevant to your search. If you are trying to increase your Facebook CTR in the long run, create more blog posts based on evergreen content (Evergreen content is SEO content that is continually relevant and stays “fresh” for readers). Evergreen content will also be great at building sustainable traffic from Google.

- Keywords, link page title, like URL

When you look at the results of your search you will see the keywords get highlighted in blue. The bluer you see in the results, the more likely they will click on the post/link. It is important to have relevancy because when relevancy happens, clicks begin to happen.

- Reaching Fans

Facebook Graph Search currently only displays results from pages and people that you have previously interacted with. If you are a marketer you will need to devote more time into increasing Facebook engagement (likes and comments).

- New Fans

If you are targeting your existing fans you will end up reaching their friends as well through Graph Search, if their friends are searching for something related. There are no set guidelines for getting engagement on Facebook posts, but the need for understanding how to reach future and currents fans through Graph Search will be and is crucial to your marketing strategy.

We’re Looking for a Front End Developer

We’re looking for a skilled and talented front-end web developer to join our team. Below is a description of the position. Please contact us if you are interested or if you know someone who is.  Thanks!

Qualified candidates will:

  • Know the differences between the several DOCTYPEs and how to code for each
  • Be able to carve PSD files into functional pages using purely CSS for styling
  • Be able to carve new and fix existing websites to look and function the same across supported browsers
  • Able to build responsive websites efficiently and make existing sites responsive
  • Be able to integrate back-end code with front-end code
  • Be able to create new and modify existing jQuery code
  • Be familiar with current HTML Standards (HTML 4.01 Transitional and XHTML 1.0 Transitional mostly)
  • Be familiar with current CSS Standards and browser compatibility issues
  • JavaScript
  • Have experience with Adobe Photoshop
  • Basic Classic ASP, PHP, and ASP.Net knowledge for front-end integration (or the ability to learn it, as necessary)

We’d love to see someone who also:

  • Uses progressive enhancement methodologies to build websites
  • Follows semantic HTML methodologies
  • Is able to build unobtrusive JavaScript features
  • Is able to carve layouts that allow for dynamic user content
  • Knows the differences between GIF, PNG-8, PNG-24, and JPG files and how to optimize all images for quality maximization and size reduction
  • Able to keep a URL/folder structure clean and intuitive where everything is easy to find and very little sifting needs to be done
  • Knows and uses ALT attributes

 About Us:

We are an established company that thinks like a startup. We are professionals who take our business and our fun seriously. We care about our team, our clients, and our community. We are flexible and are continually learning new things. We are looking for people who help us deliver great client experiences and grow our business.

To Apply:
Send us your resume (careers [at] lunaweb [dot] com) with “Front End Dev.” as the subject. Tell us in a few paragraphs why you would be a great addition to the LunaWeb team. And please include references – we do check.

Heartbleed Vulnerability: Another Security Breach

The highly overused “BREAKING: … ” actually fit this week’s news of the discovered Heartbleed vulnerability.

Heartbleed

Earlier in the week, we used a couple of different verification tools to ascertain any exposure with any of our hosted certificates, found none, and notified our respective clients. It could have easily been that we had though, and this event is another reminder that absolutely nothing on the Internet is 100% rock-solid impenetrable.

However, we want to be sure you know that just because your website didn’t have the vulnerability, you’re not out of the woods. As users of the Internet, we’ll all need to go through the necessary hassle of changing your passwords on affected sites. But, since this is a recommended practice it shouldn’t be a big deal, but it is. For the next few months, the “forgot password” links are going to be the most popular around. As many of us are just getting over some hassles associated with the Target breach, this is an unwelcome activity.

Recent events like Target and the Heartbleed vulnerability, drive acceptance of more advanced security. After all, this whole password-thing is as old as knock-knock jokes. One increasingly popular security method is to use “Two-Factor Authentication” which requires the use of a second code generated in a variety of means (pre-established, SMS txt, or independent device, etc…). If your site offers it as an option, take it. It will become more of a standard; plus, it’ll keep your info much more secure.

Here are a few related links:

9 Hard and Fast Rules of Web Design

web-designWeb design is a broad art with thousands of different aesthetic choices, but ultimately all web designers have one common goal: to display content on the web. That’s why we can compile a list of hard and fast web design rules to use regardless of your website’s look or function.

Let’s start with the building block of your content: the type.

Typographical Rules

1. Your body font size should be between 13px and 17px. Though 12px font is common on websites, it’s really too small for the web. Fonts sized between 13px and 17px are easy to read on screens. Your readers shouldn’t have to squint!

2. Your line-height should be between 120% and 160% of your font size. In CSS, this might look like this:

body { font-size: 14px; line-height: 1.45em; }

This means that your font-size will be 14px and your line height will be 1.45 times that font-size, giving your text plenty of room to breath.

3. Put space between your paragraphs. Again, so your text can breathe. Spaces can be coded right into your stylesheet with the following CSS:

p { margin-bottom: 1.5em; }

Now every paragraph will have a blank line-and-a-half after every paragraph.

General Design

4. Don’t auto play music, not ever. Not even if your website is about music. Not even if you’re in a band. Not even if you think it’s so perfect and audibly illustrates everything you want your website to say. Just. Say. No. Provide musical links or widgets so your site visitors can play your tunes at will – I assure you they will appreciate your consideration.

5. Make the navigation prominent and easy. Your navigation is the backbone of your website, and it’s also where people will first look to find the information they want. Your navigation should be clearly visible, and your menu links should be labeled with clear titles like ‘About’, ‘Portfolio’, ‘Contact’, etc.

6. Include contact information. Most websites have a goal, whether it be to land a sale or just get someone to call the office. For those sites, having a clear way to contact the website owner is paramount. Several ways is even better, such as a phone number, an email address, and a contact us form. For some websites, the goal is just to get visitors to read blogposts. Even in those cases, readers like to get in touch, so provide some way for them to reach you.

7. Be consistent. To make your site as user-friendly as possible, certain key elements should stay in the same place on every page like navigation and the site header. Other important points of consistency are to use the same font choice, weight, and size for headers, the same border (or no border) around content photos, and the same color for links across the site.

Compatibility

8. Browser check. Your website might look great in Safari, but Firefox might have other ideas on how to render your site. Be sure to run your website through a browser checker like Browser Shots to make sure there are no huge glaring errors in any of the major browsers.

9. Be mobile ready. Gone are the days when mobile compatibility is optional. More people than ever are browsing the net on their phones, so it’s crucial to ensure your website looks good on mobile devices. Whether you opt for a separate mobile site or a responsive one (check out the pros and cons of each in this blogpost), just be sure you have a mobile solution.

6 Text-Driven WordPress Themes

Not all of us are photographers, but so many WordPress themes seem focused on images. When choosing a WordPress theme you might want to ask yourself how much time you want to put into your photos. Is it enough to warrant a full width carousel? Do you want seven photos on the homepage?

Text can be beautiful, too. So if you’re really more of a writer, embrace it because there are lots of great WordPress themes just for you. And here are six great ones!

FREE

Lefty: This theme is sleek, striking, responsive, and FREE. Even though it’s shown with photos, it would definitely look great with just text. What else could you want?!

Lefty

 

ManifestThis is a beautiful, clean, and narrow theme that is also totally free. It’s a great theme for anyone who doesn’t need a sidebar. (Not responsive)

Manifest

 

Pinzolo: Another minimalist, responsive and FREE theme.

Pinzolo

 

Twenty Thirteen: Let’s not forget about WordPress’s homemade themes! It’s free, responsive, and very modern!

twenty-thirteen

 

PREMIUM

Auguste: Only $15, this theme available on ThemeForest incorporates color in the header and rotating top slider, but the rest is mostly clean text. Really nice! (Not responsive)

Auguste HTML — Themeforest.net — By Carlo Franco

 

Acute: Here’s another no-sidebar theme, but with a lot of sophistication! It’s $40, and it’s responsive!

Acute

6 Web Design Trends that Will Make Your Website Pop in 2014

web-designCan you believe 2013 is more than halfway over? Next year is just around the corner, and if you’re looking to meet the future with a website that says “hip and savvy,” you’ll definitely be interested in these five web trends. Embrace all of them or none and be a design rebel!

Flat Design
We’ve already written a whole post on flat design here  but this is definitely the hottest and most-hyped trend in web design. The whole idea is about embracing the 2D screen and shedding the drop-shadows and heavy textures that try to make websites look more three-dimensional. Read more about it here!

Mix-and-Match Typography
Ok, this one is tricky because many websites try, and only some succeed in successfully mixing and matching several fonts. In general, you want to stick with one font in each larger typographical category (i.e. one serif with one sans-serif, or one serif with one script, or one script with one serif and one sans-serif). Here’s a good example of three font styles mixed beautifully on the Brooklyn Soap Company site:

brooklyn-soap

Parallax Scrolling
This one is harder to explain that to just see. Check it out here or here  See how the background actually becomes and interactive part of the content when you scroll? It even helps tell a story! Coooooool.

Single Page
Instead of putting all your content on different pages, many websites these days are opting to put all their content on one page that users scroll through. This trend is often used in conjunction with parallax scrolling, but not always!

Full-width Background Images
Often displayed with text over them, full-width photo backgrounds can give your site a unique look without much work. And it’s not just for photographers! Check out the Brooklyn Soap Company again or the Paper Mill in Edinburgh.

Responsive Design
Not everyone has jumped on the responsive design train yet, and that’s okay. We’ve actually got a post that helps break down when you might want to go with a separate mobile site instead. That said, responsive design is really hot right now, and it can be just as easy (and often easier) to develop than a separate mobile site!

8 Essential Principles of Web (and Every Other Kind of) Design

Monday we brought you a summary of flat design and presented many pros and a few cons of this approach to web design. We also talked briefly about skeuomorphic design, which uses more 3D elements to convey a more realistic sense of depth on a 2D screen.

These are only two of many, many styles in web design. To better understand any design, whether it be for web, print, or just art for art’s sake, we have to go back to the fundamentals.

Hierarchy
Your various pieces of content have different purposes and levels of importance, and your designs should reflect that. But it’s more complicated that just listing your most recent posts at the top since you’ll also have modules like search fields, logos, and call to actions to work in.

So how do you establish heirarchy? By using any of the below elements to help you make the most critical parts of your web design pop!

Direction
When viewing a website, most people in the Western hemisphere tend to naturally move their eyes from left to right and top to bottom – just like we read. You can either use this tendency to your advantage by arranging your content from left to right and top to bottom, or you can buck the trend and lead the eye in a different pattern by using strong elements that divert the natural pattern.

Below, you can see that Sony is using a typical web layout to emphasize important elements along the natural path of the eye.

sony

37 Signals, on the other hand, starts your eye in the center, then down and across, then back up to less crucial elements in a layout that still works because it effectively leads your eye through the design.

37-signals

Color
There’s a million different ways you can use color on your website, but the basic principle is to use the most saturated, brightest colors to draw the eye to your most important elements. Beyond that, you want to find colors that complement each other and don’t overwhelm the eye, which can be done with color tools like Kuler.

Contrast
Hand-in-hand with color is contrast, which is basically the difference in brightness, saturation, and hue of adjacent elements. For text, you want a high-contrast between the text color and background – like black text on a white background. Less important elements might be lower contrast, like a light green search field on a darker green background – still visible, but it won’t draw too much attention.

Spacing
Spacing can make a design beautiful or illegible. White space (whether it’s literally white or not) is the empty space around an element, and in general, the more white space around a particular item, the more important it seems. When trying to pack a lot of information on one page or above the fold, white space is often sacrificed, leaving the design looking cluttered and visually confusing. Consider your spacing carefully!

Similarity
This is usually an easy one for web designers who’ve taken the time to make even a rudimentary branding plan. Some elements of similarity will be universal across the site – like rounded corners or drop shadows, while other similarities, like a specific color or shape used in just a few places, can denote that these places contain similar content or functionality.

Dominance
Usually relating to size, dominance is another way to establish your hierarchy. Larger elements are obviously the most prominent, but the most colorful or bold (as in text) will also draw attention.

Texture
A textured background can add depth and character to your site, while a textured element like a button can be visually appealing in comparison to a flat background. Use textures sparingly, though, as too much texture can be overwhelming.

Honestly, web hierarchy could have another post all it’s own… so I guess we’ll go get to work on that!

6 Email Etiquette Guidelines to Improve Your Correspondance

email-marketing-smaller

We use it more than the telephone, we’re more addicted to it than Twitter, and it can be more frustrating than autoplay music on a website. Email truly is one of the most revolutionary forms of communication in history, but it seems like we’re still pinning down the etiquette of this correspondence medium.

Emails often fall victim to a strange problem – we write them so fast in the name of efficiency that we don’t get our point across. This necessitates another explanatory email, and the motive of efficiency is negated.

Allow us to propose a new email philosophy: it might, in fact, be more efficient to take more time with our emails (at least a little more) to ensure that we really communicating. Here are six guidelines that will help you get the most out of your emails without sacrificing too much time.

Lead with the actionable item.
Email users often just read the subject line of an email before they decide how to file it, so if you bury your call to action in the very last sentence, it may not get addressed right away.

When in doubt, use proper grammar.
Punctuation and capitalization do make sentences easier to read and comprehend, but you don’t need to be a grammar Nazi. If you choose not to adhere to the strict rules of the English language, make sure your words and abbreviations are completely comprehendible to your reader. If there’s any question, go ahead and write it out properly. Miscommunication is less efficient than taking the extra time to type acronyms out and add commas.

Use “Reply All” sparingly.
Ever been annoyed that you got attached to an email thread that everyone is unnecessarily Replying All to? Don’t be guilty of doing the same. Consider if everyone needs to be CC’d on your reply before you press send.

Never ever ever send an email with (no subject).
Your email’s subject is like a newspaper headline – it’s your key to making your recipient think this is important or even worth reading. A (no subject) email is basically the same as saying “this doesn’t matter.”

Don’t go overboard with your signature.
We’ve got a whole post about this! Email signatures are really fantastic for getting your contact information out there, but refrain from loading it up with 2 images, 3 phone numbers, and 8 social media buttons. It makes your emails heavy (data-wise), and the chances are slim that your signature will look clean in all email clients.

But do include a signature!
Your email signature should be much like your business card – brief and relevant. Really pare it down, and consider the avenues through which you want people to contact you. Try to limit your email signature to three ways of contact (i.e. phone, email, and Facebook).

The most important component of your email is your message, so our overall point is to make sure that your primary message is front and center in your email.

How to Make Your Business’s Website Reflect Your Business

If you’ve ever taken your business to a branding consultant, you know that your business has a personality.

It might be professional or casual, modern or classic. Whatever the personality, a good branding manager will choose it carefully and make sure any materials put forth by that business are in sync with that tone. Really well-done branding will promote credibility and customer loyalty, so it can be well worth the time to get it right.

Ideally, your business’s website is an extension of your business – it’s tone matches your tone. But how do you fit a website into your branding strategy?

1. Think of your website as an employee. Since your website should work for you, it’s not too far off! If your website were a person you could hire, would they be smart or funny? Warm or serious? Think of the key qualities you would seek in an employee to solidify what the most important aspects of your website’s personality should be.

2. Look to your logo, if you have one. Does your business’s logo have particular colors or fonts? Rounded corners or strong lines? What about any 3D elements like a drop shadow or bevel effect? All these design qualities can be included in your website to help your cohesive branding. If you don’t have a logo, well you’re freer to take your website in any direction!

3. Prioritize the most important information. Really think about your individual website as a vehicle for your individual business. What are your site visitors looking for? Make it easy for them to find.

4. Break tradition. Just because some websites have an About page doesn’t mean you have to. Or maybe you want to make the About page the first page on the site. Look around at other websites to see what you like or don’t, but think outside the box about what you want people to do on your site.

5. Make your calls to action prominent. Ultimately, your goal isn’t to get customers to marvel at your site design, but to contact you or buy your product. Make sure the actionable items are obvious, but also pay special attention that they integrate into the design well. A call to action that overtakes the design can annoy rather than intrigue.

6. Tweak the copy. Your site’s copy should emphasize your chosen personality while still providing all the valuable information your visitors need. We have a whole post about writing great site copy here!

7. Make sure it works. This one seems obvious, but the best design in the world can cover for flaws like broken links or clumsy navigation.

LunaVersity is back!

Our really cool and casual LunaVersity events are back! At LunaVersity, some of the Memphis’ top web pros come together at the LunaWeb offices to teach and inform without the techno babble. This is a great way to keep up with the newest trends in internet marketing, web development and social media.

Topics include:

  • Webpage optimization, how make your web pages more effective.
  • Increasing Facebook fans via social ads.
  • All things Google+, Google+ pages, +1 and G+ buttons.
  • Of course one of the fastest growing websites ever – Pinterest, what it is and how people are using it.

LunaVersity is a quarterly event hosted by LunaWeb. This intimate classroom type discussion is designed to keep attendants up to date with how people use the web and web technologies.