HelloARI logo: vinyl signs and identity design home«    web design«    sign design«    photography«    blog«    contact« 
web design and wordpress development 94114
blog»
san frnacisco web design

Crafty Cart WPEC theme

storefront ad logo 125 Crafty Cart WPEC themeCrafty Cart was a great free WPEC (WordPress e-Commerce plugin) theme that I customized for a couple sites. But the developers seem to have disappeared so I’ve moved on to other WordPress ecommerce starter themes like those from Storefront Themes.

What I like about Crafty Cart is the playful design. It also features:

  • Simple product management options.
  • Fun and simple way to browse categories.
  • All the customizable power of the WordPress eCommerce system.
  • Want to try it out? See download link below.

crafty cart wordpress theme Crafty Cart WPEC theme

Crafty was useful as a starting theme – as I mentioned I used it twice. It had some issues with IE and had a number of CSS cleanups to go through but came out well in the end. Let me briefly show some of the e-Commerce customizations I made.

Meeks Design Handbags craft eCommerce

My customizations on this site include making the product list only show image and name without price or ‘buy now’. I designed the logo and the over all “I’m busy crafting” branding that matches the aesthetic of the fabrics used in the products. This project included business card and other print collateral. I trained my client to use the site and manage inventory,  sales reports and other WordPress eCommerce features.

meeks bags ecommerce 619x600 Crafty Cart WPEC theme

Sugar Petals cake decorations and food eCommerce

This project features a wholesale-only setup that only shows pricing to those that have applied and been approved for an account. The design started with their existing logo and created a new look that blended into their existing branding materials. I trained my client in how to accept new wholesale customers and manage a complex set of product and pricing tier options via the WordPress eCommerce coupons functionality.

sugarpetals ecommerce 619x600 Crafty Cart WPEC theme

 

Download Crafty Cart theme

Since it’s hard to find this theme online anymore, here’s a download link – this is the whole original theme but none of my customizations. This is still a great theme but one important feature that it is missing is a responsive design that makes it easier to purchase from a mobile device.

Posted in WordPress, WordPress Ecommerce | Leave a comment

PayPal, Square and Stripe: more online payment options

A great new payment option is Stripe – it is a Payment Gateway which means you can sell stuff online, take credit cards on your site yet avoid any recuring monthly fees. I have not used it but hope to try it soon. Has anyone out there used it with WordPress? WPEC is oftem set up with PayPal Payments Pro but that’s $30/month so not a great option for smaller scale merchants.

Here’s a great summary of services that more or less copy Square – they take payments on a mobile phone. Article courtesy of David Pogue’s blog. He also talks about Square’s in store payment system.

Intuit offers something called GoPayment, with a rather huge phone attachment and a complicated rate structure. It advertises a 2.7 percent rate, but the fine print reveals that you’ll pay 3.7 percent for reward cards, American Express and corporate cards.

A company called mPower is aimed at big companies that want the money to flow directly into their own accounts — not be deposited first into a holding account, as Square, Intuit and others do. PayAnywhere’s notable feature is that it takes the lowest cut of all: 2.69 percent.

And then there’s the elephant that’s just barged into the room: PayPal. Its rate is a hair lower than Square’s 2.7 percent, and its reader is a triangle instead of a square. The reader is more stable than the Square when you swipe the card, but it’s relatively giant.

via As Pay-by-Phone Advances, Square Takes Another Leap – State of the Art – NYTimes.com.

update:

Card readers for stripe:

  • Innerfence makes it easy to accept face-to-face payments with your Stripe account.
  • CardFlight enables you to easily accept in-person payments in your own mobile application.
Posted in WordPress, WordPress Ecommerce | Leave a comment

SerialTeller: Serial Fiction Online

 logo1 SerialTeller: Serial Fiction Online

I recently redesigned this site that I launched last year. It features hover-based “teasers” and a Netflix-inspired interface. It’s got a modular custom content type that will grow as they add more serials. You can submit your own writing via a Gravity form so you don’t have to be a WordPress expert to update the content.

serial0fiction 529x600 SerialTeller: Serial Fiction Online

SerialTeller is devoted to serials drawn from all areas of fiction ranging from science fiction and fantasy, to mysteries, thrillers, and romance.  Serial fiction has been around for hundreds of years and has been the basis for some of the greatest works of literature known to man including those created by Charles Dickens and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

 

Posted in Web Design | Tagged | Leave a comment

PayPal Payments Pro vs PayPal Payments Advanced for WPEC

PayPal Payments pro cmparison 634x312 PayPal Payments Pro vs PayPal Payments Advanced for WPEC

 

There is a new, lower-cost option coming for the WP e-Commerce Plugin. It launched in April 2012 and is called: “PayPal Payments Advanced” and it will soon be a great option for WordPress ecommerce.

Up till now you had to pay the full “PayPal Payments Pro” $30/month fee. But soon this new $5/month option will give you almost all the same features. WPEC does not support this new gateway yet but I think soon we will see more integration for “PayPal Payments Advanced”. There is an option to use PayPal’s API to set up a gateway now but there is a greater efficiency in waiting for the community to fully support ongoing maintenance of that gateway.

As far as I can tell now,  ”PayPal Payments Advanced”  will not give the fully seamless experience that “pro” offers. PayPal will have some of its branding on the checkout page. Here’s the screenshot that PayPal provides in their API PDF.

Paypal payments advanced api 634x425 PayPal Payments Pro vs PayPal Payments Advanced for WPEC

If users choose to fill out this payment form they stay on the store site.  If they click “pay with my PayPal account” the go off to paypal.com.  So this is not as professional of a solution but it’s close and for smaller stores it will be a welcome choice.

“PayPal Payments Pro” also gives you Virtual Terminal but you can get that same functionality via Square Up for no monthly fee (and they don’t even charge a fixed fee beyond the 2.75% as long as a physical card is present although the forthcoming PayPal Here will do the same at 2.7%). I look forward to the day that Square offers an online payment gateway but no word on that yet.

PayPal Payments Pro vs Website Payments Pro

Now one thing to keep in mind is that the names of these PayPal accounts are very confusing. “Website Payments Pro” used to be the name and now it’s called “PayPal Payments Pro”. Not to be confused with the simpler (older) WPEC gateways “PayPal Express Checkout” and “PayPal Payments Standard”.

Here’s their explaination regarding the name change:

…we’ve dropped the word “website” from our U.S. product names. In the same way that Apple did when it dropped “computer” from its name in 2007 to represent its move beyond the Mac to a comprehensive consumer electronics company, this name change represents our move away from our online heritage to the future of PayPal and the multi-channel nature of payments in the new retail environment.

 

Note: Website Payments Pro includes Direct Payment, Express Checkout, and additional PayPal solutions and tools, such as Virtual Terminal, Fraud Management Filters, and reference transactions.

Posted in WordPress, WordPress Ecommerce | 3 Comments

Flickr widgets for WordPress

many of these plugins need your Flickr API to work. It will look something like this:
flickr api Flickr widgets for WordPress

Slickr Flickr
This is my favorite—very fully featured for the active Flickr user or just someone who wants to embed Flickr into WordPress. Displays Flickr photos as a gallery or a slideshow that is NOT the Flickr slideshow widget. Many other features: shortcodes, multiple galleries, sidebar widgets, various standard Flickr sizes and orientations.

Fidgetr
http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/fidgetr/
simple but does not seem to show title. seems faster than the other one we were using. it is live now…

flickrRSS
http://eightface.com/wordpress/flickrrss/
this is nice and simple but only shows the latest one. Or you can set it to show a few but it has limited sizes.

Awesome Flickr Gallery
http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/awesome-flickr-gallery-plugin/
this looks promising but i didn’t play with it yet. try it out and let me know.

see also:
http://www.bloggingot.com/blogging-tools/20-top-flickr-plugins-for-wordpress

Posted in WordPress | Leave a comment

arisalomon.com – my new photo site

Today I’m launching a new site to feature my fine art photography. It will give me a chance to focus this site on my WordPress website business and related graphic design work. I’ve got some more content to shift around so let’s just call this a soft launch – a secret between you and me.

Have a visit over at arisalomon.com.

Here’s my new logo for my photo work – these business cards arrive monday here at my hotel at the Fotofest conference.
ari sal cards 451x600 arisalomon.com   my new photo site

Posted in Fine Art Photography | Leave a comment

New Site: Greenbelt Alliance

Last week I launched a new client project – rebuilding a large site for  the Greenbelt Alliance. It was a complex project that spanned the last 8 months or so and included alot of stakeholders and a complex planning process that intersected with a revamp of their long term strategies.

We used WordPress (of course – and after my training they are now WordPress experts) and customized the presentation of events and people in a variety of contexts. Many landing pages were customized with  the amazing Page.ly MultiEdit plugin that allows the client to edit the various pieces of these multi column landing pages with featured content via easy-to-manage, custom built shortcodes.

Donations, subscriptions and other CRM actions is integrated with Convio’s services via act.greenbelt.org.

logo smaller New Site: Greenbelt Alliance

Protecting Open Spaces & Creating Vibrant Places: Greenbelt Alliance brings people together to protect what people love about the Bay Area and to make it an even better place to live.  Learn more .

You don’t have to be a WordPress expert in San Francisco to have a site like this for your business or non-profit. Just contact HelloARI Design and I can give you  a free demo of how easy it is to use WordPress to streamline your online business presence. 

Posted in Design, WordPress | Leave a comment

Tether Relaunches iPhone Version

tether logo Tether Relaunches iPhone Version

Tether is an application (2 apps – one for your Mac/PC and one for your iPhone/BB/Andriod)  that allows you to share Internet access from your phone to your  laptop (or other wifi device)  using your smartphone’s data plan. No need for jailbreaking or paying extra for WiFi hotspots or data “tethering” plans.

I have not tried it yet but will soon – I wish I had know about it before I gave up my unlimited data plan. They have had a real battle with the AT&T/Apple corporate control … But they came up with a innovative technical solution. Reminds me of how the clever Dropbox guys hacked OS X core to get their amazing technology to “just work”.

Tether’s new version for the iPhone is purely based on HTML5 and creates a completely wireless connection over AdHoc. This circumvents the need of buying the application directly from Apple’s App Store and allows any iPhone or iPad with a data connection to allow tethering.

via Tether Relaunches iPhone Version | Tether.

Posted in Inventions | Leave a comment

ManageWP vs the rest: remote WordPress site management

managewp logo ManageWP vs the rest: remote WordPress site management

Some great new tools out there to monitor and update a number of WordPress sites from one central place. Here’s some notes I’ve gathered – please share your experiences in  the comments.

WHY REMOTE MANAGEMENT OF WORDPRESS SITES?
As part of my services as a web developer and WordPress expert, I have to manage many websites for my clients — it’s a tedious chore to track the latest  plugin updates, and  WordPress versions. Most updates go smoothly but on occasion plugins conflict and updates can even make your whole website become unavailable.

When people sign up for my WordPress small business web hosting service they get to avoid all these headaches and let me manage their WordPress updates. I include at least an hour per year for the updates and that’s plenty for most small businesses.

But that leaves me with a growing number of WordPress sites to manage. So to the rescue come a new generation of tools to

 

 

ManageWP
I’ve been hearing about them for a while and have been enjoying the free trial service. They are the best and most comprehensive service and offer a free trial. But they are not cheap. I had a problem adding a site and their support was very responsive – that’s a great sign.

main features:

  • bulk install, update and management of plugins and themes and WP
  • backups to FTP, DropBox or S3
  • email notification: for updates and other stats
  • clone or migrate a WP install from one site to another,
  • SEO tracking tools (for highest tier price)

more features:

  • One-click automatic login to any website
  • Bulk Add Posts/Pages and  Links
  • Simple cleaning of spam comments, removing post revisions or optimizing database
  • Built-in pageview statistics
  • Restrict login to your ManageWP account by IP address(es)
  • Two-factor login authentication (email code)
  • Backups for your websites (to your server, Amazon S3, Dropbox, FTP or an email address)
  • Schedule daily, weekly or monthly automatic backups
  • Easily Clone or Migrate website from one domain/hosting server to another
  • Bulk User Management (change your admin password on all sites with ease, add/remove users, change roles…)
  • Add and manage Sub-users in your account
  • Run code tool
  • Google Analytics dashboard widget
  • Traffic alerts (receive an email if your daily website traffic changes by set amount)
  • Website Uptime Monitoring
  • Remote Maintenance mode
  • View PHP error logs

Here’s my wishlist of features:

  1. Incremental backups: this make all the difference in  the world when it comes to making a backup of a big site and committing to the computing resources to make it happen often.
  2. Backup options:  stored at managewp.com . I wonder if they could team up with vaultpress to offer that service within their service perhaps? Ideally I would like a less expensive option since I’m already paying for a server-level (domain-level) backup.
  3. Multiple service levels/flexible billing:  I have lots of WP sites but not all of them need the higher  level of service so I’d like to adjust the service level for each site (eg: not all sites are concerned about SEO).  I’d like to have a per-site billing system so I don’t have to think about the big price leap from 50 sites to 51 sites. I add my WordPress sites one at a time (as I build them for my small business clients) so i’d like to be billed one at a time. This would also make ManageWP more competitive with the free offerings out there (see below)
  4. Automatic backups – I am dreaming of an email telling me that my site was updated with screenshots before and after the update! Or maybe not an email but adding before and after screenshots or a few key pages would save alot of work in assuring the completeness of a backup

 

The competition:

WP Remote
WP Remote  handles updates to installed plugins and themes remotely via the WP Remote website and provides quick access to core updates. It can also create full off-site backups. Seems to be free but hard to tell from their site.

portal.wpengine.com
They are still coming up with a name for their service – it’s very new. Minimal functionality but it’s free and they promise not to start charging – which makes me wonder if it’ll really get continual development. Log into any site from  the central control panel, view WP version, some troubleshooting links. Update 10/2012: there has not been any progress on this product in a while.

wpmanagerdx.com
Only $67 per year, this offers a php script that lives on your cpanel-based server. Offers uploading and updating of themes and plugins, backup, RSS autopost and quick WP installs based on profiles you configure.

UPDATE: 10/2012

InfiniteWP
This is a brilliant idea – all the management features but you host it yourself so there are no ongoing fees. Best of all – the basic software is FREE and addons are available for extra features like backup. I am using this and so far it’s working well.

 

WPberry
Yet another new offering – still in beta but coming soon… Offers 3 features: 1) Remote WordPress Updates 2) Manual Backups 3) Scheduled Backups
 

Posted in WordPress | 5 Comments

What’s the difference between a logotype and a logomark?

When clients ask me to design a logo for their business I always start with this discussion of what kind of “logo” they need

A “logo” is often made of a logotype and a logomark. But not every business needs both.

eyebm 300x125 Whats the difference between a logotype and a logomark?

The letter "IBM" written in a certain number of blue stripes is a logo. The blue is very specific and there are a different number of stripes depending on the size of the logo.

Usually when using the word “logo” people are thinking of logotype. A logotype is the name of a company that is designed in a visually unique way for use by that company. It may be displayed in a preexisting font  that is customized to some degree or another.  Or it may be built from geometric shapes that abstract letters for a specific effect. There can be other specifications associated with the design of a logotype that are referred to more broadly as corporate identity elements. These include PMS colors and how much empty space is required around a logo.

 

 

 

 

 Whats the difference between a logotype and a logomark?

An apple with a missing "byte" out of it is the logomark of Apple Inc.

A logomark  or “symbol” does not generally contain the name of the company — it more abstractly represents that company.. It may or may not always sit next to the logotype and there may be a few types of marks in the corporate identity system that get used in different contexts. These rules will be spelled out in a brand usage document.

 

Do I need a  logomark?
How to decide if you need both a logotype and a logomark? It depends on how you will use your logo and what business sector you are in. Designing a logomark can add a significant cost to your brand development process so budget can be a factor too. Some new businesses will start simple and add a mark after the business grows and perhaps gains more (or sometimes less – meaning broader)  focus.

It’s important for all logos to remain equally readable  at each zoom/ scale level. You may not be buying a giant billboard but printing a logo a few inches across on a brochure is a much higher resolution environment than on a website.

 

To see some logos I’ve design head on over to my logo design portfolio or just download my updated identity design portfolio PDF.

Posted in Design | 1 Comment
Add this ribbon to your WordPress website re-abolish slavery
© 2014
contact  |  links  |  rss