How To Understand Your Developer

Web development code.

 

 

 

 

 

Are you working with a developer on a new site and don’t know what certain words they keep saying mean? Web development comes with a lot of confusing jargon, and today on the blog we’re going to be defining the most used development terms to help you understand your developer at every step of the process.

Cross-Browser Compatible


This is the ability for a website or an app to be supported on all browsers and to degrade beautifully when features are present or lacking. Cross-browser compatibility is important because there are hundreds of web browsers around the globe and you’ll always want your website to look nice in whatever browser a person is on, be that Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, Safari, etc.

Responsiveness

A responsive website is a website that responds to and/or resizes itself so it can fit nicely on all devices and window sizes. That could be a desktop monitor, a laptop, a tablet, or a smartphone. Responsive web design make web pages on all devices easy to read and navigate.

Front-End


There are two areas a developer works in. The first one we’ll explore is the front-end. The front-end of a website is the part users interact with. Front-end development controls a website’s fonts, colors, and menus. So essentially everything you see when you type a URL in was conducted by a front-end developer.

Back-End


Behind every website is a server, an application, and a database. A back-end developer builds and maintains those features so the site can work properly.  

Full Stack Developer


A full stack developer is a developer that has both front-end and back-end skills. You have to know different coding languages to do front-end development and back-end development.

SSL Certificate

SSL stands for Secure Socket Layer. It provides a secure connection between a client and the server through which your website’s information is delivered. You can tell if your website has an SSL certificate by looking at your website on Google Chrome. If it reads ‘non secure’ next to your URL, then you don’t have an SSL certificate. An SSL certificate prevents anyone from tampering with your website. When your website is secure, no one can tamper with the traffic or spy on what your visitors are doing. People can also not access your router and Internet service provider and inject malware.

Data Validation


Data validation deals with validating sensitive information you receive through your site. Sensitive information for a doctor’s office would be HIPAA information. Sensitive information for an ecommerce site would be credit card information. You have to validate sensitive information so it can be processed. Data validation is important because it prevents people from hacking into your site.

Wireframe


Wireframe deals more with design, but when you hear the person making your website refer to ‘wireframe,’ they’re talking about your website’s skeleton. It’s essentially an outline of the finished product. It should be the first thing a developer comes to you with after you agree to work with them.

What else do you find confusing about web development? We will try to answer your question in a future blog post.

Our Favorite Things To Do In Salem During October

The exterior of the Salem Witch Museum in Salem, Massachusetts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s October and, as a Salem-based business, we couldn’t be more excited. October in Salem is such a magical time and today we’d like to share with you our favorite things to do in the witch city during the month of October.

Go To Far From The Tree for Cider.

 
Nothing screams fall quite like apples. We’re so lucky to have a cidery here in Salem and Far From The Tree is an exceptional one. What we love about this place is they aren’t afraid to experiment with their ciders. They make unique ciders that have featured jalapeños, black tea, and maple syrup in them! Far From The Tree has a cozy taproom, delicious pop ups on the weekends, and they host regular events such as trivia, movie nights, and local bands.

Visit the Salem Witch Museum.


We had the pleasure of creating a new website for this iconic museum this year. The Salem Witch Museum is the museum to go to if you want to learn all about the 1692 Salem Witch Trials and witchcraft today. The first part of the tour is presented through thirteen life-size stage sets, figures, lighting, and stirring narration. The second part is a guided tour that explores paganism, how Hollywood has shaped our perception of witches, and Wicca.

Go to the Hawthorne Hotel Annual Halloween Party.


On October 27th, the Hawthorne Hotel is throwing its 20th Annual Halloween party. If you haven’t been, you haven’t properly experienced Halloween. Their annual party includes three floors of food, fine costumes, live music, DJs, physics, and a costume contest. This year’s theme is “Happily Never After.”

Visit the Hocus Pocus filming sites.


Who doesn’t love the Halloween classic, Hocus Pocus?! The film takes place here and, as such, was filmed here. Old Salem Village was filmed at Pioneer Village, Max’s house is 4 Ocean Street, Allison’s house is the Ropes Mansion, and the Halloween party that Max’s parents attended took place right across from our office at Old Town Hall.

Watch Cry Innocent: The People vs. Bridget Bishop.


The best way to understand the Salem Witch Trials is to attend Cry Innocent: The People Vs. Bridget Bishop. In this live action play, Bridget Bishop is convicted of being a witch and you are put on the Puritan jury. You get to cross-examine the witnesses and make the final verdict. Cry Innocent is the longest continuously-running show north of Boston.

Have you come to Salem for Halloween before? If so, what’s your favorite thing to do? Let us know in the comments.

Photography Exercises To Help You Become A Better Photographer

A camera next to a keyboard.

 

 

 

 

 

 

We are hosting a photography workshop in three days. It’s called Capturing Better Photographs & Videos For Your Small Business. This workshop is aimed for business owners who feel self-conscious to post pictures and videos to promote their business because they’re not a “photographer” or a “videographer.”

In this workshop, we’ll be teaching attendees the basic camera settings for their camera of choice, be that a DSLR or iPhone. When we’re done teaching the class, the attendees will explore Salem and take snaps and videos. At the end of the class, we’ll critique everyone’s work in the hopes of making them feel more confident.

Today on the blog, we’re going to be covering photography exercises you can use to help you become a better photographer.

100 Paces

This exercise is what we’ll be doing at our photography workshop. Go out for a walk (try going without your phone to avoid distractions) and take a snap of everything you see. This exercise will help improve your observation skills and how to capture more objects.

Recreate Someone Else’s Photo

Try recreating your favorite photos. It gets you thinking, “What do I like about this photo? What do I have to do to achieve its specific effects?” Your favorite photographers probably did this exercise too.

Start A Photography Blog

Starting a photography blog is great for two reasons. 1) It serves as a creative outlet. And 2) it will help you stay accountable with taking photos regularly.

Take 10 Photos Of A Scene

This exercise will make you more creative. It’s easy to photograph something from 1-2 angles. This exercise will spruce things up and get you thinking about perspective and storytelling.

Take A Break From Social Media

Social media can cause a lot of anxiety. It can put pressure on us to post everyday, and to maintain having a certain theme to our grid. By going off it, you’re able to block out the noise and develop your own style. It also gets you doing photography for yourself and not for the likes, shares, and comments.

 

What do you think of our tips? What do you do to improve your photography?

Google Is Closing Google+

Google+ symbol

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In 2011, as social media started gaining popularity throughout all age brackets, Google decided to hop on the train and start its own social media platform Google +. On October 8, 2018, Google announced it will be closing the consumer version of Google+ over the next ten months, with a completion set for August 2019.

Why Google Is Closing Google+

Google’s reasoning for closing its social network is due to a lack of use and security issues. In the blog post where Google announced Google+’s closing, Google reported Google +’s usage and engagement is so low “90 percent of Google + user sessions are less than five seconds.”

Did Google+ Ever Impact Ranking?

For a while, Google+ did impact search results. Since Google+ was set up to rival Facebook, Google really tried to generate conversations on Google+. Back in the day, it would highlight Google+ content in search results and in Google News. There was also a time when Google+ was essentially Google My Business.

Google+ Features

Google+ launched Circles, Hangout, Huddle, and Sparks to make it a more social platform.

Through Circles you can personalize your friend groups. Rather than sharing all of your updates with everyone your friends with, you can select which circles see what.

Hangout is Google+’s video chat and instant messaging. You can communicate up to ten users at once through Hangout.

Huddle was a group chat for phones, and Sparks was a place where you could find content on your interests.

When Google+ was unable to replicate Facebook, it switched its strategy and used Google+ as a medium to bind not only Google services between themselves (Google+ is integrated with Gmail, Google Maps, Google Drive, and Google Calendar), but Google with external services. You may have noticed a website offering you registration via Google+ before.

What are people saying?

Many marketers have been saying the demise of Google+ has been a long, drawn out death. Over the years, many marketers stopped creating a strategy for Google+ and a lot of websites took it away an option to share. Google’s top executives stopped using it about three years ago.

According to an article published yesterday by Business Insider, Google is beta-testing Google+ features for businesses. One of the features is tags. Tags will make it easier for employees to engage in conversations across their company and they will also help employees follow specific content. Google is planning on providing analytics with tags so employees can see what employees are viewing their content. Google is planning on unfolding more features in 2019. 

What do you think about Google closing the consumer version of Google+? Did you ever use the social network and have a strategy for it? What are your thoughts on Google unrolling features for the business version of Google+? Let us know in the comments.

Facebook Stories Ads

A laptop opened up to Facebook.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Brace yourself. There is a now a new way to advertise your business through Facebook.

Toward the end of last month, Facebook announced it is launching Facebook Stories Ads. Facebook began testing the idea back in May in the US, Mexico, and Brazil. The advertisement you will see in Facebook Stories Ads will generally be videos. As we mentioned last month in our blog post, B2B Marketing Tips, Facebook is prioritizing video content more than ever.

Facebook Stories Origins

Facebook brought ads to Instagram Stories in January 2017 and launched Facebook Stories in March 2017.  Facebook made Stories available to Pages in October 2017. Facebook has said Facebook Stories is being viewed by 150 million people. In August 2018, Facebook reported that 400 million people view Instagram Stories.

In the next few weeks, Facebook is going to start testing the placement of ads inside Stories on Facebook Messenger as more than 100 million people use Stories In Messenger each day.

What People Think of Facebook Stories

An Ipsos survey commissioned by Facebook showed 62% of people said they became more interested in a brand or a product after seeing it in a Story. Additionally, more than 50% of the people surveyed said they have made more online purchases as a result of Stories.

That same survey found 68% of people polled said they use Stories on at least three apps regularly, and 63% said they plan to use Stories more in the future.

It really appears that Facebook is trying to optimize its advertising on every platform. Facebook acquired in February 2014 and on September 28th, Gadgets 360 reported WhatsApp is working on implementing ads too. Facebook has received a lot of bruises this year. Perhaps it’s trying to utilize more avenues to increase their revenue.

Do you watch Facebook Stories? What do you think of this form of advertising? Are you interested in using it to promote your business?

How To Keep Your Data Safe From Breaches

A blurred photo of the Facebook icon.

 

 

 

 

 

On Friday, September 28, 2018, Facebook announced the largest breach in the company’s history. On September 25th, Facebook’s engineering team discovered a security issue affecting 50 million accounts.

Facebook has stated the attackers took advantage of a weakness in the “View As” feature. The “View As” feature enables users to see what information other people can see about them.

The hackers stole digital keys that keep you logged into Facebook so you don’t need to re-enter your password every time. Facebook promised that they have fixed the vulnerabilities, reset the digital keys for the 50 million affected users, plus an additional 40 million accounts for precaution.

While Facebook has addressed the issue, fixed it, and informed law enforcement, you should still take steps to help protect yourself.

Consider Changing Your Password.

Create a new password that has numbers, uppercase letters, and symbols. Make sure this password is separate from the other passwords you use. It’s always good to play it safe with passwords. We should note again that users’ passwords were not stolen during this breach. The hackers got access to the digital keys granted to users after they first log in so they don’t need a password for future sessions.

Beware of Scammers.

We share a lot on social media and, as such, hackers can gain a lot of personal information about you, your friends, and your business connections. Beware of hackers trying to impersonate people you know. If somebody starts asking you for money or sensitive information, don’t give away either!

Reconsider Using Facebook to Log In to Third Party Apps.

So far, Facebook has said hackers did not access any third party apps. But it’s still investigating the scope of the hack. To secure your information, don’t use Facebook to log in to other apps like Spotify and Instagram. “It’s easy and convenient, but when when you use shortcuts, there can be consequences,” said Dana Simberkoff, Chief Risk, Privacy, and Information Security Officer for the enterprise security firm AvePoint. Disable the auto-logins for Facebook.

How did you feel when the breach was announced? Has it impacted your usage of the platform?

Why Instagram’s Founders Left Facebook + The New Head Of The Company

An iPhone with the Instagram app open.

 

 

 

 

 

 

On September 24, 2018, Instagram CEO, Kevin Systrom, and co-founder, Mike Krieger announced they are resigning from Facebook.

“We’re planning on taking some time off to explore our curiosity and creativity again. Building new things requires that we step back, understand what inspires us and match that with what the world needs; that’s what we plan to do,” Systrom said in a statement.

Instagram was founded on October 6, 2010. On April 9, 2012, Systrom and Krieger sold their 13-person start-up to Facebook for $1 billion. At the time, Instagram had 30 million monthly users. Earlier this summer, the photo sharing app hit 1 billion users.

Many news outlets are reporting there was tension brimming amongst the Instagram founders and Facebook’s founder/CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, over the direction for Instagram.

“We remain excited for the future of Instagram and Facebook in the coming years as we transition from leaders to two users in a billion. We look forward to watching what these innovative and extraordinary companies do next,” Strosberg addressed in his statement.  

In a separate statement, Zuckerberg said, “Kevin and Mike are extraordinary product leaders and Instagram reflects their combined creative talents. I wish them all the best and I’m looking forward to seeing what they build next.” With Strosberg and Krieger, Zuckerberg now has total reign of the platform.

In an interview with the Wall Street Journal a day after his resignation, Strosberg stated, “the whole idea of joining Facebook was that we could scale way more quickly than we could independently.” Maybe the platform scaled larger than either he or Krieger would have liked.

Adam Mosseri, who used to head Facebook’s newsfeed, was named Instagram’s head of product earlier this year, and when the news broke that Strosberg and Krieger were leaving, many speculated he would be the top candidate to run the platform. On October 1, 2018, Mosseri was named head of the platform. Mosseri has been with Facebook since 2008. 

“To us, the important thing is keeping our community-all of you- front and center in all that Instagram does. We believe that Adam will hold true to these values and Instagram will continue to thrive” Strosberg and Krieger said in a new statement. 

A related article from the Los Angeles Times reminds us that “founders departing is nothing new in the tech industry. Apple and Microsoft have both continued to thrive without Steve Jobs and Bill Gates, namely because the companies had already matured.” With that, we can expect Instagram will continue to be a popular platform even with the founders removed from it.

What do you think Instagram will be like now that its founders are no longer involved with its development? Let us know in the comments.