Google Apps for Work

In the past year or so I switched from Zoho to Google Apps and its been a great experience. Here is some information about what you get.

What is Google Apps?

Google Apps is a cloud-based productivity suite that helps teams communicate, collaborate and get things done from anywhere and on any device. It's simple to set up, use and manage, so your business can focus on what really matters.

Millions of organizations around the world count on Google Apps for professional email, file storage, video meetings, online calendars, document editing and more.

Watch a video or find out more here.

Here are some highlights:

Business email for your domain

Looking professional matters, and that means communicating as you@yourcompany.com. Gmail’s simple, powerful features help you build your brand while getting more done.

Access from any location or device

Check email, share files, edit documents, hold video meetings and more whether you’re at work, at home or in transit. You can pick up where you left off from a computer, tablet or phone.

Enterprise-level management tools

Robust admin settings give you total command over users, devices, security and more. Your data always belongs to you, and it goes with you if you switch solutions.

Start free trial

If you want to save $10 per user per year for the first year, I've got a few coupon codes I can give out.

Squarespace Secrets: How to put images in your navigation.

I've only had a few clients request this, but unless you know that Squarespace actually supports html in their navigation titles, it can be extremely difficult. Here is an example of one I did just the other day for tyesbytara.com.

Tara has a few different brand that have different styles of products. After running three different sites for a while she decided to switch down to one, but still wanted to show the three different brands in the navigation. So let's get into how to do this.

tyes_by_tara.png

1. In the configure page section on the navigation item you want to replace with an image you need to type in something like this.

<span class="entyece" alt="entyece"></span>

Here we are creating the class called "entyece" and giving it an alt attribute to give the search engines more details of what it is.  You can name your class whatever you want, we'll be using that later in our css.

2. Upload the image we want to use and type our custom css.  If you've never done custom css before, then you might want to get some help with this part, but you start by going to Design -> Custom CSS.

At the bottom of the custom css area you'll want to click on manage custom files and then upload the images you are wanting to use.  Make sure it's not too big, but it doesn't need to be sized exactly.  Here is the code I used to make it work on Tara's site:

.entyece {
background-image: url('your-image-url-here');
background-size: contain;
background-repeat: no-repeat;
height: 50px;
width: 70px;
display: inline-block;
position: relative;
top: -10px;
}

The background image url comes by having your curser where you need the url and then clicking on the image in the manage custom files area.  It will automatically paste the url you need.  Background-size: contain; means we don't have the have the image the exact size, it will make sure it fits in the space we create.  The height and width I figured based on the sizes of the existing navigation.  Display: inline-block; needs to be there so it will show up. Position: relative; and the subsequent top: -10px; are two that you may or may not need on your own site.  When I placed the images in the navigation, the top of the image was aligning with the top of the navigation items, which dropped the images too low, so I used those settings to bring it up a little.

I'm sure there are other ways to do this and different ways to write the css, but this is just one example that has worked for me and hopefully is helpful to you.

Let me know if you have any questions about this or any other customizations you want to see a tutorial for and I'll see if I can help you out.

Cheers!

 

Habitat Logan

I'm excited to announce a new venture that I've been working on for the past few months.  I'm in the process of moving back up to Northern Utah and I've loved being in my current co-working space at Weber Downtown and there isn't anything like that up in Cache Valley.  So the only obvious solution is to create the space myself.

 
 

After some time I settled on the name Habitat because I want the space to be something that you can live and thrive in, not just some dull office space that small businesses expect to reside in here in Cache Valley.

Our 2500 sq.ft. space is under construction and should be ready for entrepreneurs and businesses to join this spring.  Here is a view of the current status.  There is a lot of work left to be done.

The Secrets of SEO and Squarespace

I've heard a lot of SEO's say that you can't optimize a Squarespace site as well as you can a Wordpress or a custom site and I most definitely disagree. While Squarespace is a closed platform and you don't have full access to all of the code, even within the developer platform, you still have access to everything that you need to optimize your website. 

Squarespace has done a fantastic job of building a solid framework that is built with SEO best practices in mind from the beginning so there are only a few simple guidelines to follow when building your Squarespace site to make sure it is fully optimized.

Squarespace's native features include: Automatic Google Sitemaps, Canonical Tagging, Facebook Open Graph Support, Robots.txt, Clean URLs, Google AuthorRank Support (which Google sent to the dungeons this past year), Page Titles, Automatic Tagging, Automatic Redirects, and Anti-Spam. (http://squarespace.com/feature-index#seo)

Automatic image optimization, progressive loading, etc... 

Switching your site over to Squarespace, don't forget to forward your old url's to your new relevant pages. Squarespace has you covered for forwarding url's. 

Here at Simple Group we are happy to provide on-site SEO analysis for your Squaresapace site and help you optimize it, help you through your transition of switching to Squarespace as to not lose any of your linking juice from all of your past work. 

The Value of Design

My favorite part of working on a full site design is when I'm able to get in the flow.  Everything comes together almost effortlessly, the site is looking beautiful.  In the end I often feel it's some of my best work to date (which is good, because I know I'm improving).  

Then it's time to show the client...and that's where I think things go downhill.  (This definitely isn't always the case, most clients like the design and don't often want too many changes, or they have a good eye for design themselves and know when things look good).

"We love what you've done, but we don't want it to look so good."  

Those definitely aren't their own words, but that's what it sounds like to me.  Dumb it down a bit, it looks too good for our target audience, they are used to seeing websites from the 90's.  They won't be used to something this nice. (I know this is quite the exaggeration, but you get the point).  

The thing about the 90's is that they started over 25 years ago. It's time to move your industry forward, innovate, stand out from the crowd. In the book, Design Currency, they share some details about the benefits of design in business:

"...companies which strategically used design were approximately 2.5 times more likely to experience market growth and increased demand for products and services, whereas companies that were not using design were 4 times more likely to experience no growth at all."

If you're not using design in your business, you are 4 times more likely to experience no growth at all.  Consider that when you are thinking about launching a new product or service.