Grace Lutheran Church and School – JAX

Passive Ninja / Luthernet was recently hired to redesign and host both websites for Grace Lutheran Church and School. The school site had been mostly abandoned and even hacked. The church site was too difficult to use to be of much good. Luthernet fixed all of that in a matter of weeks.

Grace Lutheran Church
Grace Lutheran School
Luthernet

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Jacksonville, FL: Articles, Reviews, Advice, and Research

This website didn’t exist in Jacksonville before. Niche sites, yes. Reviews, yes. News, yes. But not something that combines several types of writing about the city. That’s why we started New Jax Witty. It has articles, reviews, and advice, along with real research.

Sure, it’s mostly a local blog. But it’s done well and from the perspective of an outsider trying to learn the ropes. Local news is too busy trying to cover all the crime to bother with many of the softer or controversial stories. Other local bloggers are too caught up in being local to realize there is a story.

Schools in Portland, ME, to Get Chromebooks

I work on websites using a newer desktop, a super-old laptop, and a Chromebook. While image editing needs special programs on the other devices, my Chromebook works well for when I want to hang out on the couch or work outside on the patio.

Portland, ME, schools are changing from Macs to Chromebooks, and it makes sense. Check out an article that discusses some of the concerns Portland school officials should consider.

Once the high schools make the move to Google, maybe the other schools will also follow. Right now, Portland high schools include the following, listed from Wikipedia:

Cheverus High School (private – Jesuit)
North Yarmouth Academy (private)
Waynflete School (private)
Cathedral School (private – Catholic)
Lincoln Middle School (public)
Lyman Moore Middle School (public)
Portland High School (public)
Deering High School (public)
Baxter Academy for Technology and Science (charter)

We included the local private schools and middle schools, since those should also be looking into Chromebooks.

Pioneer Exteriors KC Assessment

Here’s another local business I found on Google Maps. I can’t do a full website evaluation because it does not exist at http://www.pioneerexteriorskc.com/.

Framework

We’d recommend a budding business get something set up, even if it’s the default for Godaddy or whatever company from which the domain name was purchased. An online business card is at least something.

However, it’s best to use a CMS. If you want to do this yourself, you can use WordPress (like this website) or some other free service. Passive Ninja tends to use Joomla, but we can work with Weebly, Wix, WordPress, and other CMSs that don’t start with W.

Mobile-friendly

Be sure that whatever website you choose is mobile-friendly. Lots of optimized images, too.

Other Concerns

Write about jobs. Not addresses, but situations. Client wanted this, that, and the other thing, and you performed it on budget and on time. Tips and tricks will also get others to take note of your website. Most people will read them and then call for help, so it’s not just you giving free advice. Contact information is important, as well as any recommendations. That’s about it.

Trifecta Contracting

This website evaluation is for Trifecta Contracting of Lenexa, KS, at http://trifectacontracting.com/.

 

With most websites, we’d discuss framework and mobile-friendliness, but Trifecta is not quite to that point yet. In fact, as a consumer, I reached the conclusion that it’s a business that was started and then lost financing or had some other internal issue.

I am not sure where it is located or where it’s supposed to be located. The map shows it in my neighborhood, but the photo shows some larger building I’ve never seen. The website says it’s under construction, which is kind of ironic, I know. Google Maps also identifies the business type as a glass and mirror shop, at which point some of the photos of unrelated buildings makes more sense (jobs, not location). But Maps says it’s where the UPS Store now is, so I assume maybe there’s an update that needs to be made…in fact, if you know Trifecta is no longer there, let me know and I’ll get it changed on Google.

But it’s still very confusing. If I was starting a business today, I’d have the website done six months before the lease on a building. A year before the TV or radio campaign. It’s your foundation for advertising, but for Trifecta, it’s evidence that there may or may not be a business to advertise.

Country Hill Animal Clinic Evaluation

This is a website assessment for Country Hill Animal Clinic in Lenexa, KS, at http://countryhillanimalclinic.vetstreet.com/.

Framework

The framework for this website is apparently Vetstreet, which is also the main domain. Here are two issues I have with the website setup: A. It’s a subdomain, meaning Country Hill is not as important as Vetstreet (and never can be). B. If Vetstreet decides it’s done making websites or wants to charge double, Country Hill is stuck.

Mobile-Friendly

The website looks like other websites that are at least five years old and not mobile-friendly. However, it actually IS mobile-friendly.

Other Concerns

One email address is published, but there’s also a contact form, which is probably a decent idea to limit spam. The map could be interactive on the page rather than as a link out. Nothing major.

Biggest issue is the same on most websites. The blog has a single entry from April of 2014, meaning that it’s been nearly three years of nothing since then. As a visitor, I wonder if the doctors are still the doctors and services still available. The care guides seem to be from Vetstreet and 2011, so nothing better there.

Country Kids Day Care Evaluation

This website assessment is for Country Kids Day Care of Lenexa, KS, at http://www.countrykidsdaycare.net/.

Framework

Country Kids is built with WordPress and appears to be a recent version of the content management system. That’s good. However, using a CMS to its fullest potential would be best, which means a News, Updates, or Blog-type page. Google sees these pages when updated, and it helps people find a business. The current website uses a dynamic website framework in order to achieve a fairly static website.

Mobile-Friendly

Country Kids Day Care’s website is not mobile-friendly, according to the Google test. Here are the problems on mobile devices as identified by Google:

  • Viewport not set
  • Text too small to read
  • Clickable elements too close together
  • Content wider than screen

Many people are using their mobile devices to research local companies, and it hurts a company that is not prepared for this. Also, Google has begun ranking websites lower that do not meet the standards. The good news for Country Kids is that WordPress has many themes that are mobile-friendly. Actually, it’s surprising to see an updated version of WordPress that is still not ready for mobile. While it might take some skill to implement the new theme, Passive Ninja or another qualified local freelancer could do it if needed.

Other Concerns

The single-image slider is odd and on ALL pages, which puts the content too far down to read. I’m fine with a slider on the main home page, but it gets redundant quickly. I’d also add a favicon instead of the one currently appearing.

There seem to be menus in four or five places on the page. A bit confusing, but not a huge issue. The thing to remember here is that once it’s mobile-friendly, only one of those menus will be a mobile menu, so it might make sense to simplify.

I know the .com is owned by someone else and probably too expensive. That said, .net is one of the sketchier dots out there. Maybe .biz or .info are worse. I’d at least find out what the .com costs. It’s also strange that the .org has some kind of bandwidth issue, but it also seems to be a parked domain. If it’s owned by Country Kids, redirect to the .net.

Gambino’s Pizza Evaluation

This website assessment is for Gambino’s Pizza in Lenexa, KS: http://www.gambinospizza.com/stores/ks/lenexa.html.

Framework

Gambino’s Pizza website was built with Dreamweaver. While there are still versions of Dreamweaver being updated, this website has not been keeping up, as indicated by the 2014 copyright and mobile-friendly issues.

Mobile-Friendly

Gambino’s is not mobile-friendly, according to the Google test. Here are the issues seen by Google:

  • Clickable elements too close together
  • Viewport not set
  • Text too small to read
  • Content wider than screen

With more than half of people searching for local businesses on mobile devices, this website hurts business.

Other Concerns

Since the website is fairly expansive, including several locations, the best bet might be to use Dreamweaver in order to make it mobile-friendly. However, if there’s a desire to have multiple users update the website, write fresh content, and drive more people to the website, a content management system might be best. This website is built on WordPress and is very basic. Joomla is another good option that we normally use. The main point is that people are using mobile devices to look for pizza, so the website should reflect that fact.