10 Ways to Integrate Your Website and Email Strategies

10 Ways to Integrate Your Website and Email Strategies


Your website and email strategies support each other. One of your website tasks is growing your email list – with email signup forms, gated content, etc. – while your targeted email campaigns drive traffic, engagement and transactions back on the website. Without mutual support and close integration, they’re not as successful.   To give you some examples – here are 10 specific ways they can integrate to grow your audience, drive more impact and create efficiency.   Automated Content Distribution If you have regular communications going out with the same […]

17 Ways to Measure Website ROI

17 Ways to Measure Website ROI


Re-building websites costs money and time. The trick to approval is justifying the expense. It has been my experience that rarely is the decision to rebuild a website up to one person. That being said, since different internal team members will need to be excited and inspired by the idea to rebuild, you will want to share different customized ROI stories. It would be smart to start with crafting a few ways that you see the website redesign benefiting the company and then tell the right story to the right […]

Google Sends Warnings for HTTP Sites

Google Sends Warnings for HTTP Sites


For the past several years, Google has been pushing site security to webmasters. HTTPS has been an organic ranking signal since at least 2014. When browsing on an HTTP website, instead of HTTPS, a third-party can insert ads that aren’t on the original webpage, inject cryptocurrency mining software (here is a popular example of this recently), or redirect you to a different site in order to steal your username and password.   HTTP Not Secure Warning Starting July 24th, along with the launch of Google Chrome 68, Chrome will display […]

SEO Site Migration Checklist: Moving to HTTPS or New Domain Name

SEO Site Migration Checklist: Moving to HTTPS or New Domain Name


Making some big changes to your website? Change is good! But if you aren’t careful with site migration, it could be disastrous for your SEO presence. Here’s our site migration SEO checklist for changing domain names or moving to HTTPS: Ask Yourself: Why Are You Migrating Your Site? The two main reasons you may be migrating your site: A domain name change Moving from HTTP to HTTPS Both are long-term investments in the site’s future. A domain name change is typically sparked by a branding overhaul. Moving to HTTPS is […]

Regression Testing Templates and Tricks

Regression Testing Templates and Tricks


Testing your website or software application can be time-consuming, but it can help ensure a smooth user experience for your visitors and backend users. We build testing phases into every project or feature rollout; but it’s helpful to repeat testing activities, even well after deployment, to identify vulnerabilities and breakdowns before they are reported to you by your users.   The Regression Testing Template There are many types of testing procedures for documenting and validating software functionality at every stage of its development. Perhaps one of the most under-utilized, but […]

How to Build a Daily Roundup Email Solution

How to Build a Daily Roundup Email Solution


Are you subscribed to a regular or daily roundup email of some kind? Office Snapshots has been a favorite of mine since before we moved offices, for example.   One of our clients, YRC Worldwide, is a North American authority on shipping and is in the position to lead awareness of news coverage and recent industry developments. They started a daily news briefing email and it took off. The only problem was that the emails were cumbersome to build.   Extending the marketing stack with a daily roundup email This […]

What You Need to Know About Website ADA Compliance

What You Need to Know About Website ADA Compliance


Take a trip to a local business and you’re likely to see wheelchair ramps, Braille buttons, automatic doors, and other ease-of-access modifications designed to provide equal access to persons with disabilities—these are the physical accommodations that most businesses and nonprofit service providers must legally make to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). But did you know that the same businesses required to make physical accommodations for persons with disabilities are also required to make accommodations on their websites?   Not sure if your website is ADA compliant? Learn […]

The Technical Side of Adblocking

The Technical Side of Adblocking


Following on from Alan’s great blog post about advertising blockers, I wanted to share a bit of information about the technical side of adblocking to help the techies in marketers’ offices understand how it works, what you need to know if you’re employing trackers, and how vendors might be impacted. So I took a quick dive into Webkit’s Intelligent Tracking Prevention (ITP) initiative from a technologist’s perspective.   Alan’s post focused a lot on the adblocking aspect of this and how it’s driven by consumers. I’m going to focus more on the […]

Goodbye Lance


Today is bittersweet for us at emfluence: One of our own is pursuing a wonderful opportunity. That happens to also mean that he won’t be working at emfluence. Today we say goodbye to Lance!

Secure the web! Early experience with the Let’s Encrypt Open Beta

Secure the web! Early experience with the Let’s Encrypt Open Beta


I’m writing this blog post because I just can’t hold in my excitement. Let’s Encrypt has just entered public beta! Read on for technical details.

The 10 Commandments of Redirects


Emfluence relaunched an awesome Magento theme update for our client Instore Design Display last week, and this got me thinking about the do’s and don’t of redirects. I started to list a few how-to’s when I realized that this would be much more fun with a theme. Since redirecting and canonicalizing can ruin an otherwise successful site relaunch, what better theme than the 10 Commandments?

Managing the ever-dizzying costs of Amazon Web Services


If you’re a web development agency like us, hosting a growing number of clients in the cloud, you may sometimes feel like this guy with the balls in the  air. That can be especially true when it comes to managing resource costs in Amazon Web Services. Don’t get me wrong: I love that we can spin up an array of servers at a moment’s notice with minimal fuss. It’s one of the greatest reasons to use AWS.  But I also love feeling in control of the costs so that I’m […]

Conversion Optimization for New Websites: What’s really going through your customer’s head?

Conversion Optimization for New Websites: What’s really going through your customer’s head?


Customer acquisition is only a small piece of your audience’s marketing journey. Oftentimes, marketing efforts are successful in bringing customers onto a website, but your website isn’t grabbing the baton when it’s time to finish the race. This is where an oftentimes overlooked piece of digital marketing comes in, conversion optimization. Many people know the phrase, but believe this part of strategy can only be accessed by user experience pros. It’s time we take the veil off of conversion optimization. Here are 5 useful tips to use during your website […]

Put a little Spark in your RESTful API


Spark is a PHP micro-framework that follows the Action-Domain-Responder (ADR) system. It is PSR-1, PSR-2, PSR-4 and PSR-7 compliant. Spark allows a developer to fairly quickly create a RESTful API as you’ll see in this article. In this article, we’ll be using Composer to install Spark and other dependencies. Initial Setup Using Composer, pull down the Spark project using the following command. This will pull the latest version of the project from Github and place it into a new folder called ‘spark-project’. [code linenumbers=”off”] composer create-project -s dev sparkphp/porject spark-project […]

Creating a Style Guide for Authors


A key part of any brand is consistency. We regularly work with brands to help ensure their voice, image, and communication mediums are reliable. The key to consistency is standards – easy to find, understand, and follow. If you don’t keep it simple, you’re bound for failure. That’s why an early part of any web development project should be establish the style guide for your project. Style guides are not sheets of paper, or creative briefs. If that’s where your head is at, you’re stopping too soon. You, the marketing […]

How we evolved mature identities in Amazon Web Services

How we evolved mature identities in Amazon Web Services


Are you an all day every day user of the Amazon Web Services (AWS) management console? Do you represent a number of clients, each with their own AWS assets and separate AWS accounts? Do you find yourself managing dozens of AWS account credentials and juggling logins just to make small changes throughout your day? Are you tired of jumping through hoops before you can even start your work? If you’re a developer at a digital marketing agency, (and like many developers these days, your cloud provider of choice is Amazon,) […]

Is Your Checkout Process Causing Lost Conversions?

Is Your Checkout Process Causing Lost Conversions?


You got your customer to your site, helped them find what they were looking for, and now they’re ready to order. Nice work! While it may seem like you’ve accomplished your mission, the reality is that an average of 68% of shopping carts are left abandoned. (http://baymard.com/lists/cart-abandonment-rate).  That means for every three people that come to your site and add items to their cart, only one is buying! Those other two may have decided against buying, or found a better deal elsewhere. But what if the problem could be the […]

How time logs can save your client $33,600…and your weekend


An interesting email arrived the other day that has caused me to rethink how I document the work we do for clients. From: emfluence Accounting To: Me Just received this from [our client’s controller]. We will need to make changes to the invoice descriptions… Ok, sometimes clients want more details. Normally, the project and ticket names are enough, but there are some clients who want more. No problem – let’s check who it is, and what kind of details they are after. From: Client’s Controller To: emfluence Accounting Thank you […]

Automatic Image Optimization Tips

Automatic Image Optimization Tips


We’re all about improvement here at emfluence. Anything we can track, improve, and celebrate gets us a little giddy. Things we can track, but cannot improve, not so much… So, when I updated the look of the emfluence blog recently with some small tweaks, I thought it would be a good time to verify that what I had done helped performance (or at least didn’t hurt it). Enter Google’s PageSpeed Insights. Like that friend of yours who knows everything, PageSpeed Insights gently reminds you that you really could do better. […]

Drupal Hook Usage – 5 Years in Review

Drupal Hook Usage – 5 Years in Review


I’m a big fan of Drupal, possibly the biggest in our office. Over the past seven years, I’ve been thoroughly indoctrinated into all things best practice, patched inherited hacks, learned how to replace core components in ways that ensure the site can still auto update, and generally, just stretched the limit of what Drupal can do. So I thought it’d be a good time to step back and review just what it is I use Drupal for most often in custom development. I’ll start by giving some statistics on what […]

AngularJS 1.3 Review

AngularJS 1.3 Review


An Introduction AngularJS is the proclaimed “superheroic JavaScript framework.” I was turned onto Angular a little over six months ago with mild curiosity. I found it interesting, but never really had a reason to need it, as all our websites lately have been self contained. After all, Drupal and WordPress come with a well-developed theme layer. Even frameworks like Yii and Symfony include some concept of templating that do an acceptable job. Why would we bother to recreate a front end when one is already available? Increasing popularity just does […]

AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate: From Zero to Certified

AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate: From Zero to Certified


Some Backstory First off, emfluence uses Amazon Web Services for all of the hosting that we provide. Before starting at emfluence, all of my server management experience had been on local servers, or providers who only did hosting. I had zero experience using any of the offerings of AWS and as you can see below, there are a lot of services that they offer. Wanting to learn more about AWS—and before realizing how many services they offer, I decided to take it upon myself as a goal for my first […]

Creating Original Websites With Minimalist Design

Creating Original Websites With Minimalist Design


Gone are the days of trying to wow your website visitors with over-the-top visuals that look nothing like anything their eyes have seen before. The visual web continues on its path of simplification, lead by minimalist design and the need to function well across multiple platforms. Instead of facing the challenge of creating a website design to knock your customers’ socks off, web designers are now tasked with making websites that are incredibly simple, yet somehow distinct. How can you design minimally while still giving your brand’s website distinction? Life […]

Making Sense of Complicated Web Development Projects

Making Sense of Complicated Web Development Projects


As a developer, I’m keenly focused on what goes out the door. Who will use my software, and what can they do to break it? How can I ensure the success of the client and their customers’ experiences? These things are pretty universal, regardless of the project. Over the last few years, I’ve come to realize that there are two different kinds of projects. The kind of project has a far greater impact on how I approach the work. The first kind of project is common in marketing agencies. It […]

The Best Way To Setup A Complex Drupal Theme


Complex Drupal themes can quickly become unwieldy. Managing the pieces of your theme, and more importantly ensuring they are easily managed by those that come after you, requires a systematic approach. I’ve found that the easiest way to control an ever-increasing theme layer is to separate the components into entities, bundles, and view modes. Our standard operation is to output all users and content in specific view modes using the lightweight Entity View Modes module to produce custom displays as required. As a handy side benefit, always outputting entities will […]

Choose The Right Content Management System for your Website

Choose The Right Content Management System for your Website


The content management system for your website allows you to easily create new webpages and modify existing content on your website without knowing a programming language. Before content management systems, even simple copy and image updates had to be requested from a web developer, making it very challenging to keep sites up-to-date and add new content regularly. Then came the birth of the content management system or CMS for short. The WYSIWYG (which stands for ‘What You See Is What You Get’) editor became part of all content management systems, […]

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