Screen Shot 2014-05-19 at 8.00.59 PM
29 May

8 of the best, full video background web and mobile designs

One of the most popular trends in design right now for both large and small brands alike, is the full video background effect. When done correctly, full video backgrounds create a stunning effect with minimal text or "copy." If you're considering taking this route when working with a design or marketing agency like ours, then be sure to look over the 10 best examples we've put together here for inspiration. Screen Shot 2014-05-19 at 7.58.17 PM

8. Hotelstyle

As stylish as the company name, the Hotelstyle website is based on a short and sweet video background where a man is dressed in eye-catching clothes, by invisible forces. It’s the perfect marketing hook for a business that trades in saucy men’s fashion, and the message that takes the screen once the video ends – a simple “Welcome Gentlemen” and a button encouraging customers to “discover” the Hotelstyle collection – effortlessly posits Hotelstyle as a curator of cool. Screen Shot 2014-05-19 at 7.59.07 PM

7. Pan Pacific Defense

Pan Pacific Defense is a stunning example of how video background website design can be used for effective viral marketing. This website, built to market the Warner Brothers Pacific Rim film that came out last summer, is a visual tour-de-force. From the moment users arrive on the site, they will be swept away by the intensely realistic atmosphere of it all, a feeling meant to mimic the view from inside one of the robots portrayed in the science fiction blockbuster. Screen Shot 2014-05-19 at 7.59.34 PM

6. Rabbit Hole

The website of a cutting edge graphic design firm based in the United Kingdom, Rabbit Hole makes subtler (but no less effective) use of video background design than many of the other sites on this list. Using a river flowing in continuous loop as its visual springboard, this site cultivates a natural and calming feel from the word go. Encouraging visitors to “go underground” and check out a portfolio of the design firm’s clients is a nice play on the Rabbit Hole name. Screen Shot 2014-05-19 at 7.59.50 PM

5. Kingsbury Press

The Kingsbury Press printing company makes incredibly evocative use of the video background design gimmick, using it to show brief snippets of their production process. The video is a powerful tool that wordlessly conveys commitment to quality, while the ambient sound provides nice accompaniment to the video without being distracting to internet users who, for instance, like to listen to music while surfing the web. Screen Shot 2014-05-19 at 8.00.59 PM

4. Bienville Capital Management

This investment management firm sells its investment services by selling the city where stock investments are king: New York. The video background design is one of the most simplistic and minimalistic on any site. It uses a variety of live feeds from around NYC to present backgrounds that are sometimes not even clearly videos until a plane flies by.
Boise State
12 Nov

6 Super High Traffic Websites You’d Never Know Were Run on WordPress

As of November 2013, approximately 20% of websites are powered by WordPress (up from the 14.7% in 2011!). Thanks to its increasing versatility as a content management system, WordPress now powers some of the most popular websites (over 72.4 million websites in total) making it the most popular CMS in the world.  In this post we've selected an eclectic group of six from a number of different industries that are sure to fascinate and possibly amuse you! Plus, we've included their Alexa rankings in the United States for some perspective on how big these WordPress giants really are.

Modern News Publishing

1. TechCrunch

TechCrunch (Alexa traffic ranking in the US: 242) is one of the premier technology news websites, and it's entirely run on WordPress. Not only does it provide valuable information about companies of all sizes across the globe, it rates technology companies and experts in its free database, the CrunchBase, to help keep the public informed about the tech world. TechCrunch Website Powered by WordPress

2. Digital Trends

Digital Trends (Alexa traffic ranking in the US: 913) provides technology news, as well as product and app reviews for the technophile. Their website has an ombre effect, where top-news articles are highlighted in large pictures on the top, featured stories are differentiated by large-font bylines with blurbs separate from their accompanying pictures, and even more linked articles are provided at the bottom. The  use of images and text on this news/reviews site is organized with finesse, and yes, it's all fueled via WordPress. Digital Trends

Go, Team, Go! Major Universities & WordPress

3. Boise State University

WordPress is robust enough to host the university website for Boise State (Alexa traffic ranking in the US: 7,937), consolidating over 200 individually-managed university websites into one enterprise level WordPress site for educators, administrators, students, parents, and fans alike to take part in both their studies and school spirit together. Everything there is to know about the Broncos is on the easily-managed website, which incorporates responsive design for viewing on your phone and tablet, too. Boise State
Perfect coding for small business websites
03 Sep

Building Quality for WordPress Websites, Inside & Out

The quality, craftsmanship, and general working relationship between an agency and its client can mean a lot of different things to a lot of different people. For example, to some clients and agencies, it might be the effectiveness of the finished product (without a care for what's underneath the hood), or it might be the personalized experience they had while working with a great project manager. Perhaps it might even be the perfect color of the headlines... but for the BWD development team, a quality website is built on quality code.

Code? Seriously? I know, it sounds uninteresting. Folks might say "Who cares about the code? I just want the thing to work and look good while doing it!" That's a valid expectation and one that we share, for every project. But the code behind the curtain, the stuff that makes the buttons click and the faders fade, needs to be as top-quality as the final design for a variety of purposes, including user experience, speed, SEO, and much more.

WordPress, Leading By Example.

We build our projects with WordPress, so we're lucky enough to be working with a 10 year old, solid foundation for a while now. Not only is it's administrative panel and content marketing capabilities extremely user friendly, but the code really powering this leading content management system is rock-solid. WordPress even has its own set of coding standards that we proudly follow. But even if you have a great base for a bridge, the stuff on top still counts. So how do developers like us define quality?

[drop-quote text="Did you know that nearly 40% of our new clients have struggled with poor web professionals in the past? With our set of coding standards, we ensure month-past deadlines and utter messes NEVER occur." credit="-- Check out our article, Expert Web Design in New York & Boston for Small & Medium Sized Businesses for more details"]

Coding Standards for BWD Developers

For each project, the BWD development team adheres to a very strict set of standards to ensure that all projects are kept neat and tidy at all times. This creates security and efficiency throughout the process, providing the client with the most value for their budget possible. As different parts of a digital project are handed off to different team members, we know that nothing will fall through the cracks or get left behind thanks to our well defined set of standards. This means that we're constantly on the same page, avoiding and quickly mitigating mistakes whenever possible.

[caption id="attachment_4266" align="aligncenter" width="700"]Perfect coding for small business websites Sometimes a website's code might seem like part of the Matrix to our clients and end users, but clean, well written code is critical to the success of any digital project.[/caption]

What does this mean for the client? We deliver on-time--always--and we usually get it right the first time. It also means that future changes to a project become far less painful, and of course, less costly. Want to add a super-cool new feature, two years after launch? No problem. Everything is well-documented and we can jump in and make the change without having to re-learn and remember what we built oh-so long ago.

15 May

Custom Integration of WordPress and Tinypass: Our Findings and Tutorials

WordPress and Tinypass Integration After surveying a number of content access systems supporting a paid subscription model, we settled on a service called Tinypass. Tinypass has gathered a great amount of fantastic press most recently when prolific blogger Andrew Sullivan and our friends over at BKLYNR made the switch to start charging for their high quality content--and seeing great results, with some in the six-figure range!--as well. It's no secret that we're the ultimate fans of WordPress as a CMS, so when we saw the company's great WordPress support, we knew that Tinypass would be a perfect fit for our client. Ultimately, Tinypass provides a slick and streamlined solution for sites looking to charge for their content, whether it be on a one-time, per-article basis or for entire site access at a monthly cost, even with options for a free trial month and more. Below is a great tutorial from our lead developer Chase Wiseman on what you'll need for an advanced, custom integration of WordPress and Tinypass. Check out our blog again soon for our further findings on the Tinypass platform from a marketing and product perspective as well.

Tutorial: What You'll Need for a Custom WordPress/Tinypass Integration

Here I'll detail some of the steps I took in order to have WordPress and Tinypass play nicely. If you are only wanting to get Tinypass up and running on your blog quickly, then I recommend that you consider using the official Tinypass WordPress plugin. The plugin has plenty of options and should meet the needs of most standard blogs. While their plugin is suitable in a lot of cases, there are a few distinct areas where it falls short:
  • There doesn't seem to be out of the box support for custom post types or pages.
  • Lack of styling customization - You can't alter the look and feel of the interface too much here.
Head over to their setup tutorial to determine if the plugin has what it takes to meet your needs. Alright, so from here on I'll give some general tips and functions for custom Tinypass integration. This article makes a few assumptions:
  1. You are very familiar and comfortable with WordPress plugin and theme development.
  2. You can take these ideas and bend them to your own needs. This is not a "copy, paste, and save" tutorial.
  3. You already have a registered Tinypass account and have an app ID already set up.
With that in mind, let's roll.
16 May

4 Reasons to Ditch Microsoft Word and Exclusively Work in WordPress

The WordPress Logo.In today's modern world, Microsoft Word doesn’t hold the same prestige it once did. Ever since the .docx format was adopted, Word files have become inefficient and more difficult to properly output in other formats. Luckily, WordPress (WP) has a great post editing interface with a myriad of different features. In this post, we'll explain why bloggers should use WP exclusively and opt out of using Microsoft Word altogether.
30 Sep

3 Critical Points to Consider When Choosing a CMS

The WordPress Logo.Commonly known by its acronym “CMS,“ your content management system is generally the backbone of your website, whether it’s a blog or a complex, user-driven portal. As a result, it’s essential that you and the team members involved during the strategy building phase of your digital project consider why choosing the right CMS now is critical.

What to Remember When Choosing a CMS

  1. You may be prone to security breaches. Widely distributed content management systems are very often prone to regular security breaches. These threats include basic bot scripts trolling the internet for old and faulty versions of your CMS, to more sophisticated personal data theft attempts. Regardless, as a website owner you’ll want a content management system who’s security is widely accepted and respected, in addition to an option that is regularly updated so as to plug security gaps found after the previous version has been released.
  2. You’ll want a user community to be available quickly and easily when things break down. During the diagnostic process of repairing a broken feature or any other technical aspect of your website, you or your developer will most likely check first to see if the bug has been replicated by another individual. This means heading to Google or the CMS’ developer community. Systems lacking such a community or widely read database of bugs can mean increased costs for you, the owner, thanks to a more lengthy repair period. Features such as discussion boards can cut this period in half or better.
  3. Switching CMSs can be costly. Although we often provide comprehensive transfer services for clients, either from host to host or from one CMS to another, it is definitely prudent to make sure that you’ve made the best choice so that this situation never arises. Having published thousands of posts and have ten times the number of comments, it can be much more costly to correct any hiccups during the transfer process.