Templates are boring!

Why graphic designers don’t always make the best web designers & often times, don’t know how to actually develop a custom website. In addition to our in-house graphic designers who have a niche for digital production, we also work with freelance graphic designers on a regular basis and have the utmost respect for their talents. We love their creativity and out-of-the-box thinking that generally make for really interesting, unique and custom website designs. If we’re working with a freelance graphic designer, or a company’s internal graphic design team, we always seem to have to continually educate them on what can and can’t be done when it comes down to actually turning their designs into a functioning website or a custom WordPress theme. We hear the words “pixel perfect” all the time, but what exactly does… Read More >

Phoenix, AZ — 3/16/2017 – eCreations, a full-service digital agency, has been named a 2016 Solution Provider All Star Award winner by Constant Contact, part of the Endurance International Group, Inc.’s (Nasdaq: EIGI) family of brands and the trusted marketing advisor to hundreds of thousands of small organizations worldwide. The annual award recognizes the most successful 10 percent of Constant Contact’s customer and Solution Provider base, based on their significant achievements using email marketing to engage their customer base and drive results for their organization during the prior year. Since 1997, eCreations has grown to establish itself as the premier web services firm in Phoenix, with a mission that exists above all others: serve the client. Recently named one of the top web design companies in Phoenix by Three Best Rated, eCreations commits itself to responsible growth; proudly serving an impressive… Read More >

If you have a WordPress site that uses WooCommerce, eCreations just developed a free, simple, must-have, no-brainer plugin that makes the checkout process just a bit easier for your customers! The result?  Reduced cart abandonment and increased sales! The Checkout Address Autocomplete for WooCommerce WordPress plugin will hook into the WooCommerce checkout page to add a feature that gives customers an autocomplete suggestion dropdown of addresses as they type in the address field. When customers click or hit enter on one of the addresses, then the corresponding Address, City, State, and Zip fields automatically populate with the selected address data. Features of Checkout Address Autocomplete for WooCommerce: Reduce cart abandonment Prevent address typos Works for Billing and/or Shipping addresses Address suggestions are relative to the selected country Supports the latest version of WooCommerce To enable… Read More >

On December 1, 2016, ICANN will be implementing a new transfer policy that will be imposed on all registrars. Currently, the transfer policy only covers domain transfers between registrars. The new transfer policy will cover the process of changing ownership of the domain from one registrant to another. How will the new transfer policy work? Every time a registrant updates their contact information, the policy is called upon, and validation requests will occur. This applies to any minor updates to a registrant’s first name, last name, organization and email address on a domain. What would trigger this change of registrant process? Making any change to the first name, last name, organization field, or email within the registrant contact object, will start the process. An approval email will go out to both the old and new… Read More >

Roughly 60% of the world’s top 500,000 websites are insecure and vulnerable, according to ongoing SSL Pulse research. It’s a jaw-dropping number; but what’s even more stunning is the fact the percentage of technically unsafe websites is likely even larger if you look at the internet’s top-million most popular websites. cIf the answer is no, we have some compelling reasons that you might want to correct that– ASAP. But first, we’ll tell you a little more about what security certificates are, and just how they protect you, your website… and your visitors. What Are Security Certificates? It’s not impossible, or even uncommon, for hackers to be able to disguise their digital identity as a secure website, server, or computer with which your website or databases should communicate. In fact, Google identifies over 9,000 websites compromised… Read More >

Phoenix, AZ – December 7, 2015 – This is a question business owners should be asking themselves when deciding how to update or create a new website. Most people may not even realize the website they are creating using one of the popular website builder tools for free, like Wix or SquareSpace, is not truly theirs. In fact, many are surprised to find out they are only renting the domain, content, design and platform.   Thanks to the “cloud”, the software as a service (SaaS) industry has exploded over the last five years, and the web design industry has closely followed suit with their “website as a service” model. Rather than being a product delivered to a client and deployed on the host of their choosing, many companies now offer all-in-one, off-the-shelf website design packages,… Read More >

A consistent question for new business owners and the most common misperception that persists even three years after it has been rendered irrelevant by Google is “Should I pick an SEO name for my web address?” Some call those “Exact Match Domains” other call them SEO domain names, but after a Google update in 2012 the significance of that part of the Google algorithm is minimal.  Google’s EMD Update: The Numbers. By Ben Milleare    The purpose behind these SEO domain names was obvious; they would generate a higher position in the search results. But that was then, this is now.                                                                                   Keep in mind that your domain name will be more useful if you can keep it a long time and build the credibility of that site over time. It needs to represent your… Read More >

It’s a confusing topic with the tangibility of a voodoo spell.  What does it take to really make it worth the effort? We use search engines to find what we want on the Internet, so the common perception is that our product or service needs to be found on Google or we can’t sell anything. Well, maybe or maybe not. There are a few things to consider before jumping into the deep and mysterious waters of the SEO world, but we need to understand the ROI (return on investment), the time frames involved and compare those to other marketing options.       How many visitors can I expect to my website for every keyword that I get to the top half of a Google search result? Basic keyword research will give you a general… Read More >

  Unfortunately, beauty is in the eye of the beholder and art is subjective. So opinions will vary as to whether or not your site “looks good” or not. However, if you move beyond the subjective aspect of the website appearance there are some pretty clear industry standards for what is functional, modern and best practices concerning website design.   1. Does your website have a Fixed Width boarder?                       Have you ever thought it would be a great idea to put something in all that blank space to the left and right of your website? Some refer to this style as a “boxed” format. It is a clear indicator that your site is several generations out of date. When your content and images do… Read More >

Accessing the Internet via a phone has now surpassed any other method. On average, US adults spend 34 hours per month accessing the Internet via their phone compared to 27 hours a month through a PC.  80% of online adults own a smartphone in the US. As the method of accessing the Internet shifts to mobile devices like smartphones, tablets and other devices, it becomes evident that websites needs to rise to that technological challenge. Although there are a few different ways to accomplish that, the most effective is called Responsive. The responsive design approach was adopted in web design so the website with all its components will resize (or “respond”) itself for the device it’s being viewed on. This improves the user experience by eliminating the need for the user to try and resize… Read More >

If you are using the latest Chrome version 44 it can cause sites to forcefully load over httpS if the website checks for HTTPS headers.   Depending on how sites are written, they may depend on the browser to tell the website, that the user is accessing the website over HTTPS. Chrome’s latest version is always telling the website that the user is accessing the site via HTTPS. Forcefully announcing that the user is using HTTPS will break sites that are not configured to handle HTTPS, causing formatting issues, broken functionality, or even prevent a website from loading.   User’s may use other browsers to access sites. PHP Developers can add $_SERVER[‘HTTPS’] = false; to their site that do not use HTTPS. No fix is released yet for Chrome, but the Google Chrome team is… Read More >

As soon as you throw around words like “Ethical”, I get ready for a lecture on morality and religion.   That is not the intent of this article. However I will provide you with a sliding scale and you can impose your own sense of ethics and morality to determine which end of that scale you are comfortable with. I am quite convinced that ethics is a sliding scale affected by Risk, Reward and Motivation. Risk = Likelihood of punishment Reward = Size of the prize Motivation = Emotional drive derived from positive or negative circumstances As an example, if you ask most people if they would eat food from a dumpster, most would say “Hell No”. However, as your hunger grows and your options for something better recede, your willingness to partake of the… Read More >

Should I care about Facebook?  Brad Haws / eCreations   /  June 2015 The business relationship with Facebook is like the restaurant that everybody you know says you should go there and when you do, you ask yourself am you’re missing something here because you just don’t see the attraction. Maybe you ordered the wrong food; maybe the cook was having a bad day. Maybe you should give it another chance. Many businesses are looking to Facebook as a source of measurable return on investment for their time and marketing dollar, but it doesn’t always work like that. Facebook has multiple functions and only a few of them have ROI attached. So, it comes down to how much time or money you want to put into it. Be aware of the mindset of the person on… Read More >

A company’s website is a critical part of an overall marketing plan.  Choosing the right web company as your partner is equally critical and can greatly improve your return on investment (ROI).  A good website can enhance revenue streams while conversely; a “not so good” website can actually drive traffic away from your business.  As retail giant Wal-Mart experienced, online sales increased by over 30% to approximately $10 billion, accounting for nearly 8% of its $114 billion in quarterly sales. So, while not every business can do $114 billion in quarterly sales, here are a few things to keep in mind when making your selection. To have a functional, successful website, the partner you choose should have several skillsets, which is rarely found in just one person. Graphic Design Art is subjective and normally, when… Read More >

Google Algorithm Change: website owners should consider mobile. Recently, Google basically sent a shot across everyone’s bow for mobile-friendly adoption, and it’s going to have an impact on organic search results, just as their recent major algorithm updates, including “Penguin” and “Panda.” “Starting April 21, we will be expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results.” In a 2014 survey on Internet Trends, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers revealed that mobile now accounts for 25 percent of all Web usage, up from 14 percent a year ago. Many website owners have seen mobile usage surge to as much as 50 percent of all traffic in 2015. From Google’s Webmaster Central Blog: When it comes to search on… Read More >

BestWebFirms.com recently named eCreations as one of the best web design companies in the country for February, 2015. BestWebFirms.com, the #1 source for rankings and reviews of the best web design companies, is committed to helping business leaders like you find and connect with the best of the best web design firms. Ranking order is based on an independent review of numerous quality factors. Every company below has demonstrated a consistently high level of customer satisfaction, originality, turn around time, business acumen and diverse technical knowledge. eCreations placed 3rd in the top 10 best web design companies in the country. Read More >

Once upon a time, the web was a place for content — research data, personal websites, encyclopedias and references. Since then it has become a repository for the world’s entertainment, communication, transaction, and wealth of knowledge. Every business has a web presence, everybody has accounts on half a dozen social networks, and if you don’t have an e-mail address, you’re not reading this.   We get online to go to work, to stream TV shows and buy music, to do our banking, to find recipes, to discover astrophysics, to share funny news articles with our friends, to download and update our software, to laugh at cats, to do our Christmas shopping, and to do just about everything else.   We’ve begun to demand software on more devices than ever — it’s no longer just PCs… Read More >

It’s no secret that people these days seem to be glued to their mobile phones or tablets. Mobile sales and internet usage has exceeded that of desktops over the past few years. Many sites today are seeing 25-30 percent of their traffic come from mobile devices. Having a responsive, fluid layout (according to device width), is essential. Users will visit your site more often because of the legibility, usability, performance, and easy navigation. For organizations that already having existing sites that lack responsive design, responsive retrofitting is an option to creating better user experience across all devices. This approach essentially works backwards to create responsive design. The most common approach to apply new responsive styles is to link CSS containing a “max-width” media query in individual CSS files. Max width indicates at what screen width… Read More >

Technology is great, especially wireless technology. RFID, NFC, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, etc, all allow the transmission of data without the need for cables. When at the register, ready to pay, I take my phone out, enter my pin into Google Wallet, and swipe my phone on the card terminal. I just paid for my groceries without taking my wallet out and without having to sign or enter the card PIN. I get home with my new wireless device and attempt to connect to the Wi-Fi. I no longer need to remember my wireless point’s password. I press the WPS button on the router and any device can be connected without entering a password. However, I’m not able to connect this time. In fact, my wireless point has been renamed and who knows what the password is…. Read More >

Sam is an online guru. He is cognizant of the links he clicks on, and the emails he opens, and his passwords are complicated to the point of tedium. Even his Facebook profile has been tweaked to ensure the highest level of privacy. He is confident that his digital identity is under lock and key. But recently Sam got sick, visited the doctor, and filled out a routine insurance form. Now, thanks to a wonderful hacker group in China, Sam’s personal information, including his social security number, are on sale to the highest bidder. If even Sam can fall victim to online identity theft, do we live in a world where anyone’s online identity can ever really be safe? The hackers involved in the hospital patient information heist described above, were able to bypass Community… Read More >

Blogs, commonly WordPress sites, are targets for online hackers. Hackers target blogs for many reasons such as infecting visitors, collecting information (physical location, passwords, favorite places) for identity theft, or to purposely take up server resources to take the blog down. In order to gain access, and achieve their goal, hackers need to log into WordPress. Once hackers attain access, securing the site can become incredibly difficult and can sometimes require completely erasing everything. In order to mitigate the chance of intrusion, an extra layer of security can be applied to the WordPress login page. Hackers automate their attacks. They want to gain access as quickly as possible before they are noticed, and slowing down their attempts makes you an unfavorable target. To slow down hackers accessing the login page, example.com/wp-admin, we can enable a… Read More >

SQL (often pronounced as sequel) stands for Structured Query Language and is one of the most commonly known programming languages. It is used as an interface for exchanging information between a person or program and a database, which is often known asquerying. It is also one of the easiest programming languages to understand, as it reads almost like English. Say you have a table in your database that holds the data for your blog posts. The data looks a lot like a typical Excel spreadsheet, where the columns (also called fields) describe the data and the rows are entries in the table.  Writing a SQL query to get information from this table (called BlogPosts) is really quite easy. For example, if I want to make a list of the titles of all my posts, I… Read More >

Remaining anonymous online isn’t just for people with things to hide. Normal citizens have become concerned with unwarranted intrusions into their private lives. Organizations like the NSA have arguably taken powers they weren’t entitled to and collected meta-data on United States Citizens. People should be concerned about these mounting threats to their freedom, but these threats are not going to keep Americans (or anyone else for that matter) off the internet. With that being said there are some measures one can take to help limit (but not eliminate) your online footprint. The first measure one could take is to utilize the beautiful inventions of anonymous email providers and/or temporary email accounts. The benefit of an anonymous email account is that you don’t have to provide your real name at sign up. This makes it harder for people wanting to track your… Read More >

  Hashing Did you ever write a secret, “coded” message? Speak in Pig Latin? Swap “A” with “1″, “B” with “2″? These are all different methods of encryption – and whether it’s ROT-13 (A = M, B = N, C = O, …) or super-secret wartime ciphers — the idea is that you use a key (think Little Orphan Annie’s secret decoder ring) to encode a message and someone else with the same key can translate that into the original message. The idea of hashing is a little counter intuitive at first — because, once something is hashed, it can’t ever be converted back into the original message. Let’s use the MD5 algorithm, for example. MD5(“Hello world!”) = 179420601124810473743368533902492969504 It is impossible to ever turn that 39-digit number above back into “Hello world!” The reason is that you can hash anything:… Read More >

This question is often overlooked and is one that social network users should be asking themselves more often. Social networks are here to stay, and while they have many beneficial qualities there are some legitimate safety concerns that their users should be aware of. Many of these safety concerns are linked to a piece of functionality that allows a user to let their networks know where they are at a certain point in time. From this point forward I will refer to this functionality as “checking-in”. The first safety concern that users should be aware of is that “checking-in” can turn the user into a victim of a violent crime. Another safety concern relates to “checking-in” or posting information regarding travel plans which can help burglars plan their home invasion. The final security concern discussed… Read More >

Internet security is based on the “weakest link” principle, and passwords are often times the only method of protection. Passwords are our first line of defense when trying to protect our computers, our online accounts and our data. We all know that “strong” passwords are better than “weak” passwords, but what we don’t realize is that hackers are becoming increasingly sophisticated at “cracking” passwords. We should routinely change our passwords to stay ahead of hackers, but more importantly we need to be aware of the techniques they’re using to steal them in the first place. Think about what we have protected by passwords and understand the consequences if someone steals them – email, bank accounts, contact lists, websites, photos, files and whatever else we have on our computers. Files can be changed or deleted; computers… Read More >