Benefits of deploying the use of Git into your workflow

One of the harder parts about development is the workflow. There’s no one right way to do it. What works for one person or team may not be efficient for you. For this reason it’s not something that is widely taught. You generally have to find your own way of doing things.
Today we’re talking about adding git into your workflow. If you already aren’t using version control and developing locally, you need to start now. You’ve probably been told time and time again, but seriously stop it. Don’t wait until something terrible happens before you change. There are plenty of resources (Like try github), which make it easy to learn.

Once you’re actually using git, how do we deploy sites?

If you are working on a server that you do not have ssh access or git isn’t installed, you may want to look into solutions like git ftp and git tower. These programs make it easy to use git and take care of pushing changes live. If you do have the appropriate access, you can look into a workflow like the one that net tuts has put out. It’s a nice solution, but there’s a simpler way to do it without the use of GitHub (read: free).

General idea of what we’re doing:

Because we can only push to a bare repo, we need to create two repos on our server. The first, our hub, will be our bare repo. A bare repo is one without a working tree, i.e., it contains none of your working files. We will push to this repo, and on a hook, have our production repo pull from the hub. Our production repo, which we will name prime, will contain our live production code.

Setting up the server

The first thing we need to do is get onto our server. Find out your SSH settings from your host and open up the command line:

$ ssh user@example.com -p 22

“–p 22” defines which port you are connecting to. If your host is not using a custom port for SSH connections, you can leave this part off. Entering our our password everytime we connect to our server costs time, so it is a good idea set up an SSH key. I will not go into that here, but a quick google search will give you instructions on how to set this up.

Creating our repos

We are going to navigate to the root of our server and create a folder named git to hold our hub repo:

$ cd
$ mkdir git
$ cd git
$ git init –-bare

Now let’s create our production “prime” repo. In our case this is going to be in the public_html directory.

$ cd ~/public_html
$ git init

Simple enough. We also need to add the hub repo as a remote:

$ git remote add hub ~/git

 

Creating our hooks

First, we’re going to create our hook that will run when we push to the hub. Let’s move into our hooks folder and edit our hook.

$ cd ~/git/hooks
$ nano post-update.sample

Now paste this into the file above the exec command. If you don’t want to use the command line, you can always FTP to the file and change it there. When you push to the hub, this script will navigate to our prime repo and pull the changes from the hub.

echo
echo "**** Pulling changes into Prime"
echo
cd ~/public_html
unset GIT_DIR
git pull hub master

Get out of nano, and rename our hook file to activate it.

^X
$ mv post-update.sample post-update

 

Getting our local repo ready

If you haven’t already done so, set up the local repo. On your local machine:

$ cd /your_project_directory
$ git init
$ git add .
$ git commit –m "Our first commit"

Alternatively, if your site is already live we can clone our live repo. On the server:

$ cd ~/public_html
$ git add .
$ git commit -m "Our first commit"
$ git push hub master

On the local machine:

$ cd /your_project_directory
$ git clone ssh://user@example.org:22/~/public_html

Again, the “:22” is for custom ports and is optional.

Now let’s add our remotes.

$ git remote add hub ssh://user@example.org:22/~/git
$ git remote add production ssh://user@example.org:22/~/public_html

Everything is set up-Let’s push to the server.
Now that we have the set up out of the way, it’s easy sailing from here on out.

$ git push hub master

On no, the live files have been edited!

We don’t get a one line command to fix this, but it’s still fairly easy.
On your web server:

$ cd ~/public_html
$ git add .
$ git commit –m "Live files were edited"

from local:

$ git pull prime master

Have questions? Contact us and we’ll help you figure it out!

Building business with Instagram: The bigger picture

With its very recent, very public and very pricey Facebook acquisition, the mobile photo maven coined Instagram has caught the eye of both big and small marketers, business builders and brands, worldwide. What started in 2010, as a seemingly small point, shoot and post application, has grown up to fulfill the visual needs of today’s tech-savvy social networkers.
So, what is Instagram? It’s Insta-awesome! At least we think it is. Instagram allows its 80 million+ users to broadcast their lives visually, vividly and artistically… FOR FREE! With some help from your mobile camera phone and a little photo-finishing, even the most mundane Monday morning office view can be brought into brilliance. Just point, click and share. Its simplicity is inarguable and to be quite honest, it really does make you feel like a pro photo pundit. Its features are few in number, but completely satisfy the bell & whistle requirement to keep this app usable, interesting and easy. Fun filters can turn an average afternoon walk into the embodiment of Ansel Adams. Unfortunate lacks in light can be brightened with a button-swipe. Even the most crowded images can be clarified using blur effects for extra depth of field. New office space? Share images showcasing the exotic interiors of your favorite Florida Advertising Agency and its mapped location, using a Geo-tag. Then invite them to come and see it for themselves. Most of all, Instagram images can be instantly shared with other users. Comment and “Like” capabilities allow for easy user interaction within the application. You can even choose to send your mobile image magic to your Facebook, Twitter or Tumblr feeds with ease.  Toss in #hashtag and search ability, and you’ve got a brand building brainchild that rivals marketing perfection.

How exactly can your business benefit from this billion dollar baby? By reaching your audience at their most personal levels, paying attention to their daily interactions with your products, listening to what they say (using pictures) about your brand or the business you’re in, and reacting accordingly. Still confused?

Let’s say you’re a new business, involved in wholesale. You’re small, but offer great prices to compete with the monsters you model after like BJ’s and Sam’s Club. You’ve recently launched your supercharged and supercool looking website, optimized for greatness, but there’s one problem… It’s been 2 weeks and nothing. Not one hit. So you pull up your Instagram account, slide to search and see what your industry giants are up to these days. “#Costco” Search and BOOM! Long lines and bustling buyers populate the images before you. They’re slammed! And they’re giving away free memberships for the next month! How this detail could have slipped by you is of major concern, but now you know exactly what you need to do. Within a week, your free membership offer is rolled out and the promise of premium and personalized customer service that only a small shop can offer is still on your side. Your big savings coupled with brand names and the same free membership the big guys are dealing makes you a force to be considered in the market. Now, you’re on your way!

[quote]Just as important as it is to pay attention to your audience on Instagram, is the equal importance of knowing how to utilize it effectively to push your story into the palms of your audience’s hands.[/quote] You’ve done your research and noted the trends. You’ve even found some unusual ways in which the market puts your product to use. Now what? If a picture truly is worth a thousand words, then this is your chance to TELL YOUR ENTIRE STORY! Imaginatively and strategically, you can populate your market’s minds with images of your brand. Build your web-persona using eye-catching close-ups. Share memorable moments from your most recent events. Entice new audiences to check out your next event. Host a photo contest, urging users to hashtag your business, bringing even more views to your profile. Start a trend centered on your brand! It’s easier than you think if you have a few willing friends or coworkers and some out-of-the-box photo opps. Opening an Instagram account for your business is like opening the curtains for a sneak peek behind the scenes. Users can have the coveted opportunity to see who and what makes you tick. Showcase employees having fun at work. Make it known just how awesome it is to be in the business you’re in. Post your favorite photos to your Facebook page and tweet your tinyurl off with links to each photo capture.

Above all, be genuine. They will know if you’re full of Photoshop.

Any of this sound insta-interesting? Enter the era of new marketing and contact an Orlando Marketing Agency that’s well-versed in the ways of the web. Integrate the social networks with your digital marketing strategy and see how much farther your reach will go.

Florida advertising agency discusses importance of keywords

The use of keywords will directly determine the amount of traffic your website and business earns from search engines. Utilizing a Florida advertising agency that understands the principles of a search engine will help solidify a business’ traffic. In June news was announced regarding the frequency US online users use search engines, which an Orlando advertising agency wants to share with you. The study was conducted by AYTM and showed that many companies undervalue search engines and just how important they are to internet users. Roughly 63.5% of users will go to a search engine every day they are on the internet. Furthermore, only 2.5% of those polled stated they never use a search engine.
Orlando Advertising Agency on Mainstream Keywords

The research suggests that any Florida advertising agency working with local companies needs to focus on keywords consumers will be able to pick up in a search engine. The Orlando advertising agency can offer a review of a business website to determine where keywords might be lacking in directing traffic to a website from a search engine. Searching mainstream keywords nets millions of sites. An advertising agency helping your local business will utilize main keywords with niche words to produce the proper SEO effect on your site.

Florida SEO Company Utilizes Local Keyword Phrases

To be effective websites need to use a location with mainstream keywords. Using Florida advertising agency shows the company is located in the state of Florida. Using a keyword phrase Orlando advertising agency narrows the location even more. A company can find more consumers by specifying the area they operate in. As an example, a law office would need to be state specific, sometimes city specific to help a consumer thus location with a keyword phrase is important.

 

BIGEYE’s highlights from the 2012 Design Conference

On June 8th and 9th, I attended the Front End Design Conference in St. Petersberg, Florida. It was a two-day event for web designers and programmers covering the front-end side of web development and design. The first day featured a line-up of seven speakers, who discussed various topics including the future of shapes, fonts, and colors, to more technical topics like CSS preprocessors and CSS/JS tricks and techniques. My favorite had to be Dave Rupert’s hilarious “Getting’ Flexy with Uncle Dave” talk.
One of the great things about this conference is the community. The conference is a small one, which makes it much more personal and intimate. It also gives you many chances to talk to the speakers and the community in general. It was great to be able to meet so many new people as there are a lot of passionate and smart people in the community. Not all of it was serious though. The Github After Party was a lot of fun and I got my first taste of chocolate covered bacon (which I later successfully recreated). This was my first conference I’ve attended, and I had a blast!

Written by Michael Hurwitz, BIGEYE Web Developer

Curious about other conferences we have attended? Find out here!

The best response for your web design money can buy

Responsive web design – a term related to the concept of creating a website in a way that helps the design respond to different devices that access it, changing with the users screen resolution.
Put simply – the layout of a website changes according to the size of the screen it’s being viewed on.

Think fluid, content being automatically adjusted.

So, rather than designing multiple sites for different-sized devices, the design is desktop-compatible but is also optimized for Smartphones and tablets. The reason for using this web design technique is to make sure that it works with the different screen resolutions while still looking crisp and clear – It designs one site but specifies how it should appear on varied devices.

The importance of this technique is emerging fast – The future of the Internet will rely, primarily, on mobile devices (tablets, Smartphones, portable consoles) rather than basic desktops and laptops.

The Basics:

There are three essential elements involved in this method – flexible grid, HTML structure and media queries. The main element, flexible grid, is supposed to get you to stop thinking in “fixed” pixels. Now, screen resolutions need to have a liquid layout for the best solution, compared to the old fixed width style.

Having a liquid layout means that the elements of the page are resized and somewhat rearrange. What flexible grid does for this is make the elements of the site proportioned in relation to one another when either stretched or contracted.

Next is the HTML structure, which is basically how you’re design is set up and if it’s done in a logical manner.

Last is the trick for responsive design – media queries. This element supports all the same media but has many new media feature including max-width, device-width, orientation and color. You also specify media type – screen, for example.

There are three aspects to consider using this method of web design.

  1. Regardless of the screen size, you need to always make sure that the key information remains visible.
  2. The text must be easy to read whether you have one column or three.
  3. Other than the resize, the site must have thoughtful organization and is easy to navigate.

Is this the best option for you?

Three things to consider when deciding: context, content and your current situation.

If your website is responsive, it will display the same content to both small and large screens, the only thing that will change is the formatting. So, consider what your goal is for mobile users and whether or not to show different content to them.

A big consideration when developing mobile websites is speed. Mobile users are often using slow or weak Internet signals compared to desktops, and are a little slower in general. So, it’s necessary to avoid using any unnecessary content and stick to including just the key content.

The last thing to consider is your current situation. For example, ask yourself how satisfied you are with your current website, how’s your budget and how valuable your mobile visitors are. Re-designing an existing website will be much more expensive than creating one from scratch.

So now it’s time to ask yourself: “To go responsive, or not?”

Our web design is pretty stinkin’ impressive. Head over to our Website & App Development page to see what else we offer.

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Ideas + Process = Unlimited Umbrella Drinks For Days

A lot of people are enjoying a well-deserved summer vacation. The vacation you are enjoying probably started with the simple question: Where to go? Do you want an adventure experience or a more relaxing getaway? After a little location research, most of us dust off the calculator to match our budget to a location. Then we start to plan our vacation experience, making tour arrangements or restaurant reservations.
The bigger the vacation, the more planning it requires.

While we all want to get to the fun part (really, who doesn’t love an umbrella drink poolside?), it’s all the work you’ve done before departure that makes the vacation so much fun.

Much like a summer vacation, the creative process is a whole lot of fun. But behind every logo, video, website or marketing campaign is a thoughtful creative process. This process digs into the weeds of your marketing needs, and it is what turns a great design into a powerful marketing tool.

For example, a logo advances your company by supporting desired perceptions. Brand identity expresses itself in every touch point of the brand, and becomes intrinsic to your company’s culture and a constant symbol.

Wow! That brings into perspective why branding requires a disciplined process. Admittedly, it does take some patience to complete a logo design questionnaire (yes, every question) and spend time in conversation about the nuances of your product/company. Clarifying brand strategy through a full discovery makes it possible to design a logo that frequently appears in a space of about 1 ½” x ½” to represent your brand.

Sometimes the excitement of the creative process can overwhelm one’s patience for the process. It really is important for you to compile all your logo design feedback into one document. This step brings your focus away from the individual elements and back to the big picture. Your feedback written down into one document also gives your team a chance to make sure everyone is on the same page. Our designers will use your specific direction to move your logo through several rounds of revisions until the final concept is achieved.

With this perspective, you can see this outcome, your company logo, is worthy of a thoughtful and intentional creative journey.

We love bringing our clients into the artistic world to explore colors, style, fonts, etc. But just like the roadmap to your summer vacation destination, it is our creative process that gets us to our destination — the right idea and design to meet your marketing needs.

Thanks to all our clients for the awesome road trips we have experienced together to market your brand.

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