Portland welcomes spring! The swifts and sparrows are singing, the air smells fragrant with camellia blooms, and cherry blossoms float gently amongst the soft breeze. This weekend calls for celebration — from the birth of a new season, to the Passover and Easter holidays, to just good old-fashioned quality time spent with loved ones.
Below you will find our top five Portland picks for fun for this weekend (many of them are free to enjoy).
We recently had the opportunity to revisit the Cooke Orthodontics site we launched in March, 2010. Ethan Marcotte was still a couple months away from publishing his first article about responsive web design in A List Apart at that point, so not at all surprisingly, the site was built with a fixed-width, centered layout. Dr. Cooke and her team were recently seeing a noticeable increase in non-desktop visitors to the site and asked if we could make that experience a little better. We agreed, of course, because we like good, device-agnostic web experiences as much as the next geek, but also because taking an existing design and retrofitting it to work across devices and screen sizes poses a number of interesting and fun challenges. (Well, what we call fun around here, anyway.)
Blogs are marketing gold, but this is hardly groundbreaking news.
What is surprising is that many businesses are not capitalizing on these marketing opportunities as often as they should. Beyond the opportunity to get your brand in front of a new audience, there is another important reason to be marketing your product/services on blogs—it can improve your SEO.
The reason: the all mighty backlink.
In the midst of chatting with students, giving advice to emerging website designers, and spouting philosophy on our podcast, The Job, I’ve been reminiscing quite a bit about the early days at Needmore.
We were a scrappy duo, pulling ourselves up by the bootstraps and making it work. Nine years later, being part of the team at Needmore is something I love. I get to spend my days talking to clients and potential clients, learning their stories, and crafting sites that tell these stories beautifully and elegantly.
I think this is just about the best job and am grateful to be here today. But it wasn’t always easy. If I could go back to those early days, there are a few core truths I’d love to have known straight away. These are lessons that took years to learn and many were learned the hard way. In no particular order, here’s some advice from the front on starting a web design business.
How to win friends and influence people on Instagram.
There is so much wrong with The World’s Longest Invoice, it is difficult to find a starting point. (If you haven’t seen it yet, the invoice is a place where freelancers are posting money “held hostage by deadbeat clients.”) As of today, it has an untold number of entries totaling almost 14 million dollars. Continue reading
When I visit a restaurant, I love being able to see into the kitchen. A big, open kitchen says to me that they have nothing to hide. “Here we are!” it says. “We’re proud of what we do, go ahead and have a look.” I trust them a lot more.
Olympic Provisions is a great restaurant and they do this well. You can see every ingredient right in front of you, watch them make your sandwich with those ingredients, and they hand it right over. Like a good sushi bar.
Perhaps it’s because I’m a web developer, but I feel like the “source code” of your website should be treated the same way. It should be something you can be proud of. Neat, clean, tidy, with an attention to detail. And only the freshest ingredients!
A week ago, we walked into what can only be described as every website owner’s worst nightmare, the dreaded malware warning. Warning: Visiting this site may harm your computer! How could we have gotten to this point?
We have had a website for over 8 years now without such an incident occurring. Then, a couple weeks ago, we made the decision to move the Needmore website to fancy, fully hosted hosting package at WP Engine. (We were seduced by claim of lightening fast, secure hosting.) Their motto is: The buck stops with us and we take that responsibility very seriously. These are big words, but unfortunately not at all what we experienced when our website was hacked.
I am heartbroken to learn that the Portland Yoga Studio is closing. (They were critical in guiding my recovery from a car accident this past year; I do not know what shape my body would have been in without them.) What stings even more is their recent admission about the cause of the closure: Groupon.
When the founder’s circle promotion was cut short because of the last minute rush of Groupon activations, I knew things would be tight in 2012 but I never thought it would come to this…
Groupon must sound like a good idea at first glance, especially for a struggling small business. They offer the mystical allure of free advertising and a wealth new customers. What could possibly go wrong? Well, the devil is in the details — and the details are sketchy.
My iPhone and I get along well. Besides acting as a phone, it gives me directions when I am lost, mentions when I need to grab a coat before I head out the door, reminds me of family birthdays, and keeps me company when I have insomnia in the middle of the night. And yet, more and more, I have been feeling suffocated. My iPhone and I are just a bit too cozy these days.
After I mentioned (nay, Facebooked) the idea of taking a break from my iPhone, my partner responded with trepidation.
“That’s like getting rid of all the food in your house just to go on a diet.”
“Ah,” I noted, “but we actually need food to survive.”