Jordan Foster Construction and Stanton Street: We Build Beautiful Things Together!

in Announcements, Design & Development, Launches

Jordan Foster Construction Responsive Website

Jordan Foster Construction is an established, award-winning Texas construction company headquartered in El Paso with offices in Austin, Dallas, Houston and San Antonio. Formerly CF Jordan Construction, the company had recently gone through a name change and needed a new online identity to go along with it. So when we got the call to update their site, we knew it was our time to shine.

Armed with user profiles, competitive research, surveys and overall best practices, we dove into developing what we think is one of our best sites to date. The site is responsive, meaning it will adjust to the view of a desktop, tablet or smartphone. This especially comes in handy for those viewing details from a job site or in an important development meeting. Navigation is simple and direct, getting users where they need to go in one click.

Subcontractors and job seekers have first dibs sitting at the top of the main navigation. Job seekers are given a brief introduction and contact information. Subcontractors get to meet their Contract Administrator, download applicable forms and access to their regional key contacts for additional information.

Taking into consideration the breadth and depth of their reputation and experience, the homepage features flagship projects from each of their service categories in commercial, residential, infrastructure, concrete and federal. With one click, a user is taken from the homepage to the project details.

News blips at the bottom of the page highlight Jordan Foster’s commitment to its community as well as updates on projects that are underway. Social links above the footer give users a quick link to each profile giving users and opportunity to follow the company on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and Flickr. Need to contact the company? A quick rollover of the locations serves up a quick glance at the addresses and phone numbers of each office.

The About Us section includes a company overview, office locations and contact information, a historical timeline and profiles for executive leadership and board members. Feeling a little daydreamy? Visit the Projects section for photo galleries of various projects. Here, a user will find details about each project such as: client, architect, size, cost, a small description and a pop-up photo gallery.

The Video page houses webcams and YouTube videos for current and future projects. Our favorite? The El Paso City Hall Demolition video. It’s a must see. Speaking of must sees, there is also a News section that contains press releases and media coverage from local, regional and national outlets. The whole site is wrapped up in a nice, cozy SEO blanket making sure we don’t miss a search.

And now a few words from our sponsor – Mark Gudenas, Vice President Corporate Communications at Jordan Foster Construction:

“When I selected Stanton Street to build the new Jordan Foster Construction website, I knew that I had picked the right company. I just didn’t how right they were. The entire team at Stanton Street is incredible! I have been wowed by their talent, knowledge and expertise throughout the entire process. They made it efficient, organized and truly a delight. And they’re fun to work with.

The look, feel and design of the new website are all excellent. Through a well-thought-out process, the team learned precisely what I wanted in the new website and delivered it in spades, beyond what I was hoping for. The navigation is intuitive, and flows seamlessly. The architecture is brilliant. To the uninitiated, you don’t even notice it. But there was a lot of expert work done to build something that performs so effortlessly.

Many thanks to Amy and Brian who oversaw the enterprise, Christine who takes such good care of clients, Tony who has a magic design wand, Karen who is best friends with Neo and actually knows how to get into the “machine,” Simeon who has a special wrench fitted specifically to 1′s and 0′s, and Naomi who expertly, professionally, diligently and wonderfully guided, drove and managed the entire process, all while working under the hood writing copy, editing and directing content to ensure a great website was being created.”

No denying we’re blushing over here, but we’ll still ask. Do you need some beauty in your corporate life? Fill out our contact form and we’ll get started on a smashing website. You can also give us a call at (915) 351-8440 to find out more.

0 Comments

The Hunt Family Foundation: Giving Back with an Easy-to-Use, Refreshed Site!

in Announcements, Design & Development, Launches

Hunt-Homepage

Being a not-for-profit organization is not easy. It takes many hours and much dedication to keep it going and sometimes finding and receiving funding is a monster of a job in its own. Thankfully, The Hunt Family Foundation is a resource that regional healthcare, education, arts, local heritage, quality-of-life initiatives, and regional economic development can turn to.

With their recently refreshed website, organizations can find out more about the foundation, its staff and several key projects that are currently being funded. Organizations can also keep track of the great things going on in the News section of the site.

Those seeking funding can read more about the deadlines, information needed and requirements. If an organization meets the requirements, then they’re one click away from filling out a grant application online!

Annual reports are displayed on the website for a deeper look into The Hunt Family Foundation. Here, organizations can find out even more about the foundation itself – past and present. If organizations can’t find what they need on the actual site or have unrelated questions or comments, they can easily submit them via the contact us page.

Do you have a foundation or business that needs more exposure? Fill out our contact form or give us a call at (915) 351-8440.

0 Comments

MNK Architects Showcase Superb Projects with a Dynamic New Site

in Announcements, Design & Development, Launches

MNK Architects is making waves in the El Paso architecture world, and they wanted that to show with their new website. MNK tasked us with making their site look and feel light years ahead of other regional firms. Using award-winning websites as inspiration, they set the stage for a creative, interactive, yet sleek, user friendly, professional site.

Founded in 1985 by Mervin Moore, AIA, MNK is now one of the leading architectural firms in El Paso. It is a full-service architecture firm with a variety of clients in both the public and private sectors. Its portfolio includes projects in the health care, education, recreation, religious, industrial, commercial and military fields. Most recently, MNK is the lead architect for the El Paso’s new Triple A Stadium, which will be completed for the Chihuahuas’ season this April.

Stanton Street launched the first phase of MNK’s site last week. The site opens with a beautiful rotating display of their work on the homepage. The visitor is instantly drawn in by the interactive information bar that bounces in and out with one click. Users who are inspired by what they see on the homepage and want to learn more can dive directly into the project page of the featured work.

The first phase of the site also provides easily accessible information on MNK, their services, and their strong team of licensed architects. The “Our Work” page presents MNK’s projects by category. Users can, with as few clicks as possible and while always staying on the same page, read the details and see the associated pictures for each project. This means that users don’t have to click the “back” button over and over or have a pesky menu bar ever-present to get back to the main projects page.

Tony Casas, Stanton Street Creative Director, had this to say about MNK:

“Not only was the MNK website a fun site to work on, but we had to opportunity to work closely with the client in developing functionality that we had never tinkered around with in the past. The outcome is not only a beautiful site, not only a great functioning site, but a website the both MNK and Stanton Street are very proud of. I hope we have more clients like MNK who want us to push the envelope creatively while still maintaining functional integrity.”

What the user sees is only one part of the project. Stanton Street complemented MNK’s site with a fully-loaded Content Management System (CMS), which means that MNK is able to update their site as often as they want, and it is as easy as writing a Word document or updating your Facebook page. MNK can control who in their company has access to the CMS and what each person is allowed to change. MNK can update the description of their services, change the fun infographic on the “Team” page, add/remove news postings, and most importantly, fully manage the projects in “Our Work.” The CMS includes a step-by-step (35 page!) guidebook on how to use it. It makes caring for and maintaining a live website very manageable.

Jennifer Matthews, Principal at MNK, commented on the launch:

“Our new website looks extremely sharp, but more importantly, the information our clients are looking for is well-organized and easy to find. We had a great time working with the Stanton Street, and before it went live, we went over how to maintain it, which was pretty easy.”

The second phase of the project will be the launch of MNK’s “History” page which will be an interactive storyline of MNK’s compelling history from 1985 to present. Look out for an announcement on that launch! Until then, you can find out more about building your own custom site by filling out our contact form or calling (915) 351-8440.

0 Comments

Beware of SEO Spam

in Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Have you noticed an increasing number of emails about Search Engine Optimization (SEO) in your inbox, your website contact us form or even phone calls lately? Stanton Street gets them for our site too, several times a month, and we are in the SEO business! We also suspect that even Google gets their fair share as well. Messages like the one below are only one such example:

SEO Scam Email Example

These kinds of emails, contact us form submissions and phone calls are SPAM, and we give you permission to delete or hang up on every single one of them. But just in case there is any hesitation on your part, here are 10 signs that it is SEO Spam.

1. Unsolicited SEO Offers – especially from generic free email accounts such as gmail.com or hotmail.com.

Spammers use spiders to crawl for lists of urls and email accounts. They then send mass emails that aren’t even personalized with details about your website while making alarmist claims. Also, any legitimate SEO company would email you from their company email account, not a gmail account. Delete, delete, delete.

2. Social Media and Organic Traffic Claims

If the spammer did their research, they would give you specific examples of what your traffic currently is, and what they think you should be getting.

3. Reference to Important Keyword Phrases

If we were trying to get your SEO business we would let you know what your important keyword phrases are, and where you rank for them. Examples, even if they are only just a few lend so much credibility to an SEO pitch. Without relevant examples, the email is just spam.

4. Social Media Sites Claims

Doing well in social media is a comparison game. How are you doing relative to your competitors? So which pages are they comparing you to and which metrics do they say you falling behind? Oh, we forgot. They didn’t provide that information. Spam.

5. Free Website Audit Offers

If it is free, and they really want your business, why don’t they send the report as a pdf file with their email to prove that they really know about your website. Oh, yeah it must be spam.

6. Guaranteed Rankings Claims

Any SEO that guarantees rankings is a scam artist.

7. “I’m not Spamming”

If they have to tell you they aren’t spamming, they are.

8. They Claim to Have Found your Site Using Google in a Post Script

Hmmmmm …. Anyone else see a total contradiction? Your website must be ranking well in the search engines for something if they found you on Google. In reality, they used a spider to find your site, gather your information and spam you.

9. Future Technologies Suggestions

HTML5 and Responsive Design are not future technologies. They are the latest technologies that are here to stay. This doesn’t mean they are the best options for every website. Perhaps a mobile site would work better to meet your goals and your budget. Ask your current web developer. If they thought you needed it, they would have probably already have tried to sell it to you.

10. Does the Self Proclaimed “Marketing Consultant” have a website?

If the “Marketing Consultant” specializes in getting you better search engine traffic, they should first prove their success by having a professional website. So go ahead and Google them. A little research on your part will uncover if they are legitimate or a spammer.

Need more information on how to improve your Search Engine Optimization the RIGHT way? Give us a call at (915) 351-8440 or fill out our contact form.

0 Comments

Website Down! Reasons Why Websites Go Down and What to Do

in Design & Development

Website Down

Websites go down. It’s a digital fact of life due to Mother Nature, hardware issues or other things mostly out of a web provider’s control. Either way, there’s no question what your next action should be: call your developer. In this case it would be us at (915) 351-8440. If it’s during the weekend, submit a HelpDesk ticket and we’ll get back to you right away.

Now let’s get into the details of why your site is actually down. A few of the more standard reasons are below listed by severity. Other wacky, unbelievable things are the stuff of legends.

Server Maintenance
Typically we alert our customers ahead of time when we have server maintenance scheduled. Server maintenance is necessary for hardware upgrades or security/software updates. Users are notified ahead of time and most maintenance is done when there is very little traffic to a site. For most businesses, midnight is usually a great starting time.

Coding Errors
Coding is very cerebral work and when the cerebrum is full, a developer may forget to close line of code or comment something that makes your site work. It’s typically an easy fix once the developer downs a Monster then reads through lines of code associated with site functionality.

Hardware Malfunction
Servers are machines and sometimes fans bust, circuits fry or are just angry in general. Replacing the offending part is usually an easy fix; unless it needs to be ordered then it’s up to UPS and their trusty steeds.

DNS Changes or Expirations
Domain names are typically a third-party affair. Sometimes, the third-party company the website address is purchased through changes its IP address and doesn’t communicate it with our servers. Other times, the domain name expires and no one renews it. Both result in chaos where villages of sites burn down.

Server Overload
If you happened to post something controversial or are giving away free cars through your website, expect a tsunami of traffic. If well planned, you can have backup servers to help maintain services while millions of calls are being made to your URL. If not, the tsunami will consume and obliterate.

Datacenter Problems
Servers are usually large and in charge – so like many other companies, some of our websites are hosted offsite. These offsite locations are large storage facilities specifically designed to maintain the optimum performance environment. When those datacenters are hit with a power failure or a hardware malfunction, it affects all of the sites that live there.

Hacking
Now unless you’re a high profile what have you, it’s unlikely that you’ll get hacked. However, these things do happen especially for slimy malware programs that make their way onto the computer you use to maintain your site. To prevent this, make sure your password is secure and you’re not a “Clicky Cathy” clicking on every banner ad you see.

As mentioned before, websites go down. The best advice we can give is to be patient, available and provide all of the information that you can. We’ll help you as quickly as possible to get to the root of the problem. Questions? Comments? Hit us up via our contact form or call us at (915) 351-8440.

1 Comment

WestStar Mobile-Friendly Site: Easy to View, Easy to Use

in Design & Development, Launches
WestStar Mobile-Friendly Website

WestStar Mobile-Friendly Website

Looking for a quick, easy way to access WestStar Bank while you’re on the go? Check out their new mobile-friendly website on your smartphone! Here you’ll find the latest information on products, get directions to the nearest ATM and more.

The first stop on the mobile-friendly site is the Mobile Banking tab. Users can download iPhone/iPad or Android apps and also login and manage their account through WestStar’s mobile NetBanking site.

Interested in Personal Checking, Lending or Business Products? A quick click on the Products tab gets you the information you need to make an informed decision regarding your financial needs. Forms and links to additional information are also available where applicable.

If you’d like to speak to a Customer Service representative, report a lost or stolen card or send WestStar some feedback; simply click on the “Contact Us” tab to access click-to-call phone numbers and addresses for the main office and branch locations. Clicking on the “Contact Us” button on the page delivers a feedback form that seamlessly captures your comments and routes to the proper department or individual for a reply.

The “View branch locations” link takes you directly to the Branches and ATM locator portion of the mobile-friendly website. The locator can find the nearest branch or ATM through the GPS location of your smartphone or from an address or zip code. The branch locator not only helps you find the nearest WestStar branch but also provides details on operational hours, contact information, a list of services as well as directions served up through a Google map. The ATM locator works in a similar way using the GPS location of your smartphone or a zip code. If there’s not a WestStar ATM nearby, click on the Allpoint link to access their database of ATMs across the U.S.

WestStar ATM/Branch Locator

WestStar ATM/Branch Locator

For users that want to dive deeper into the services WestStar has to offer, the mobile website also provides users with quick links to the full website and privacy disclosures. Alerts are also available on the mobile site informing users of upcoming events, service updates and possible scams to be on the lookout for. Have socializing in mind? Click on the Facebook link to connect and interact with WestStar Bank and their fans!

Thinking a mobile-friendly site is for you? Fill out our contact form or give us a call at (915) 351-8440 to find out more.

0 Comments

Communication Nightmares? Get Organized and Get Intranet

in Design & Development, Technology & Trends

Internal Communications Nightmare

One of the biggest challenges for businesses is internal communication. If you’re a medium to large size business owner, maybe you’ve tried several out-of-the-box solutions that have failed to give you the customization you need. That’s when you can call on Stanton Street to create a custom, streamlined intranet built directly to your specifications.

Using the power of the web to streamline your company’s internal operations, our private websites allow you to quickly and efficiently share and organize information with everyone in your organization. Employee intranets can serve as a central location to store documents and other important information allowing your organization to go paperless.

We can help you centralize your internal communications with functionalities such as:

  • Employee Clock In/Clock Out
  • Employee Action Items
  • Job Openings, Birthdays, Anniversaries, Announcements
  • News and Events Display with RSVP Feature
  • Employee Quick Link Customizations
  • Employee Directory
  • Document Repository
  • Vendor Documentation Management
  • HR Information
  • FAQs

Stanton Street has developed intranets for organizations both large and small. Like all of the websites we develop, your intranet will be custom built to meet your specific needs. While your company may require a calendar to post vacation requests and keep track of employee birthdays, another business may be more concerned about implementing a document repository which can neatly hold and categorize multiple types of documents. Maybe there’s a need to track online sales as well as related documents, forms and information. Stanton Street is capable of handling these types of needs and more.

Our experienced staff has developed intranet systems for a variety of client types, including financial institutions, non-profit organizations, real estate developers, travel center networks and a wide array of other businesses which have benefited from their custom built structure.

To find out more, check out what we accomplished for one of our clients. If you’d like to get started, fill out our contact form or call us at (915) 351-8440.

0 Comments

Use Your #Hashtags Wisely!

in Marketing, Social Media, Technology & Trends

If you’re on one of the more popular social media sites, you’ve seen them lurking in the body or bottom corner of a post. Sometimes they take up the whole next line, sometimes they’re only one small word. They’re meant to grab your attention one way or another – unfortunately sometimes it’s for all the wrong reasons. So, my friends, here are some tips to keep your hashtags legit.

What Are Hashtags For?
Hashtags are used to categorize, and in some cases, clarify the content of your post on social media networks. This allows marketers, businesses and users alike to be found for particular keywords or topics.

Do’s & Don’ts
Hashtags are simple to create but that doesn’t mean you can simply cram a bunch of words together and expect people to find you. A little bit of research and finesse can take your # a long way. Here are some tips:

1. Do focus on a message
If you’re using a hashtag, think about the people you are trying to reach and what keywords they will be searching for. Know your audience and connect with them using their language. Keep it simple, timely and relevant:
080113_SXSW

2. Do know what’s trending
If you’re attempting to attract traffic to your profile, including a trending hashtag related to your content may be a good idea. Our advice? Approach this with caution because you don’t want to step into a conversation that could do more harm than help:
080113_Aurora

3. Do be creative
If you’d like to build some momentum for a contest or topic you can create an original hashtag. Pick something catchy and clever then see if it already exists. And don’t forget what seems to be a theme on this blog – read through for other interpretations. Dirty birdies and smarty pants are a-plenty on the interwebz:

080113_Susan-Boyle

4. Don’t over-hash or string us along
#Please #dont #do #this OR…. #dontdothiseitherbecauseitmakesyoulookcrazytoeveryonethatfollowsyou
Simply tagging each word means you expect someone to search for the words “please” “don’t,” “do” and “this.” No one is going to look for those words individually nor will they search for an entire sentence. Tagging each word or putting a sentence behind a hashtag shows that you really don’t understand how it all works:

Hashtag Meme

Need more advice, tips, ideas? We can help take your social media strategy to the next level. Give us a call at (915) 351-8440 or fill out our contact form.

Read More:

How to Use Hashtags on Facebook

How Does A Regular User Benefit From Hashtags?

The 7 Types of Hashtag Abusers

1 Comment

Don’t Just Build Your Website with Stanton Street, Build Your Business Too!

in Design & Development, Marketing

If you’re familiar with our company you may automatically think Stanton Street simply builds websites, but did you know we can do so much more? Aside from website development we’re quite skilled in building intranets, managing social media, creating online marketing campaigns, designing complicated intranet structures, coding custom applications and so much more. Want details? Here’s a quick overview of what we can do for your business!

Copywriting-2Copywriting
Content is one of the most important things you’ll put online. Make sure you’re using the correct lingo and techniques to be seen and heard. Hard-hitting keywords paired with a dash of SEO can make a world of difference.

 

Custom-Applications-1Custom Applications
Got a problem that needs a-solvin’? We’ll code ourselves silly to get you the custom application you need using the latest techniques and up-to-date languages.

 

Digital-Advertising-1Digital Advertising
Banner ads, native advertising, pay-per-click campaigns… they’re all derived from a great marketing plan and even greater execution. We’ll work with you to reach your audience and your goals.

 

E-Commerce-1E-Commerce
From a few products to several, we can build a database to house your inventory. Secure payment transactions and a simple interface give your customers a reason to come back for more!

 

Event-Registration-1Event Registration
Start your event off on the right foot with our online registration process. Need online bill-pay? No worries, we’ll make sure it’s secure and easy-to-use giving your participants peace of mind.

 

Intranet-2Intranet
The ability to manage mass quantities of data is necessary in the business environment of today. We can help you efficiently organize and structure documents, calendars, directories and reach out to your employees from one location. Save paper and space!

Mobile-Responsive-1Mobile/Responsive Websites
Smartphones, tablets, consoles… we know what’s out there and we know how important it is for you to reach your audience where they’re at. That’s why when it comes to developing mobile-friendly websites and responsive designs we’re right on point.

Photography-1Photography
With smartphones, bigger screens and retina technologies, imagery is increasingly playing a larger role in the online experience. We believe that having an enjoyable online experience means having custom, quality images. Now isn’t that something you want to give to your customers?

Scheduling-Applications-3Scheduling Applications
Is the day-planner just not cutting it anymore? If you have a jumbled mess of days, times and names, we can help you sort it all out with an easy-to-use program.

 

Social-Media-2Social Media Management
Connecting with your clients takes a lot more than just opening up a profile online. Strategy, timing and technique will help you gain the followers you desire!

 

Strategy-Consultations-2Strategy & Consultations
Brainiacs are in full-effect at Stanton Street. Do you have an online business problem that needs to be solved? We’ll help you figure out the best approach and create a solution. Just think of us as your one-stop shop for all things online.

Time-Clock-1Time Clocks
Organizing your employees’ time is vital to your bottom line. Our web-based time clock system allows supervisors and managers to keep track of hours and time off and export data to their payroll systems.

 

Vendor-Contract-MgmtVendor/Contract Management
Managing contracts, legal requirements and vendors can be tedious. That’s why we have several solutions to help you keep track of it all. From vendor management to reports, we’ve got you covered.

 

Whew… is your head a whirly bird of information? We have this and so much more to offer. The bottom line is: If you have an online business challenge, give us a call so we can help you conquer it! You can reach us via our contact form or at (915) 351-8440.

0 Comments

Yardbright’s Landscape Lighting Website Illuminates the Internet

in Announcements, Design & Development, Launches

Yardbright Landscape Lighting is a manufacturer and distributor of quality outdoor landscape lighting and garden products based in El Paso, Texas. They had an existing e-commerce website that needed to be spruced up a bit. Stanton Street had lots of ideas to improve the website, easier to navigation, updated design and lots more pictures. But, we also had a business solutions idea to help Yardbright better manage their product inventory.

A peek at Yardbright’s refreshed homepage

Yardbright’s new website gives them the ability to customize their product catalog by adding or changing categories, sub-categories and products at the speed of light. It also features lots of great products on the homepage. Since a picture is worth a thousand words, Yardbright can now upload multiple images of each item they sell. Multiple pictures are so very important in helping customers to make their final purchase choices. The system also suggests other items to a customer based on purchases made by other customers.

To further assist customers, at the beginning of the checkout process they have the option to create an account. This account will allow customers to login to view their order history, make changes, as well as place new orders.

But wait, there’s more. Stanton Street added an Inventory Management System. The system tracks exactly how much product Yardbright has on hand. It also lets the online customer know if the item they selected is “in stock,” in “limited supply” or is “out of stock” and identifies the approximate ship date.

Do you need a custom website or business solution to spotlight your products or services? Give Stanton Street a call or send us an email. We’d love to help your business shine!

0 Comments