Archive for the ‘Web Development Industry News’ Category

How to Design for a Mobile First Website Strategy

Tuesday, February 11, 2014 @ 02:02 PM
Author: Jade Carter

This is pat of our development mantra -Mobile First. Unless the client is adamant, or they have a stand alone mobile strategy to be implemented at a later date, we will insist on a comprehensive small screen experience for all of our web projects. It would be negligent for us not to at least strongly recommend it. Mobile browsing is only growing and visitors have learned to expect a much higher level of experience than just a year ago. And by mobile support we don’t mean shrinking the website down from a desktop resolution to fit into the smartphone viewer. This is the best way to encourage someone to check out your competition.


Percussion (WCM Software) just posted a great little article on this very subject. It’s called 8 Ways to Make Your Website Design Mobile First.

RELATED: Responsive Web Design is Not a Trend

In summary, they are:

Design for the smallest screen first

As we mentioned earlier, all sites should begin their lives as a mobile first development.

Think task-oriented instead of browser oriented

You have a narrow window to engage the viewer. Don’t make them hunt, give them the goods quickly and easily.

Define what’s most important

Eliminate any site elements that are not essential (when in ‘Responsive Mode’) and leave only the most important action items.

Choose Progressive enhancement over graceful degradation

This is pretty much a repeat of the above. They stress that as the viewport shrinks, the site should subtract elements while maintaining key contact info and relevant content.

Plan for resource constraints

They mean bandwidth. Be certain to remove all graphics and media from the page load. Also be certain that the code is removing them and not simply hiding them via CSS trickery. The assets are still downloaded!

Leverage mobile only capabilities

Personalization can really go far here is their point. Utilize location services, orientation, camera, etc… to really deliver that mobile specific experience.

Recognize which user base is shrinking

They are really just repeating what I mentioned about building a mobile first strategy. They prop this up with stats supporting the slow death of the desktop computer.

Serve the user first

I like this item especially. Many websites still tend to lean towards the vanity-based, self promotional variety that touts their accolades over their ability to help the customer. Visitors are becoming wise to this and will quite simply, leave. You need to humanize the content with value and less chest thumping.

Read the full article here: Percussion Blog

Are you looking at a mobile solution for your website? We’re pretty good at this. Give us a shout!

How to Create Content for an Engaging Mobile Experience

Thursday, January 2, 2014 @ 02:01 PM
Author: Jade Carter

We’re going to start off 2014 with a shout out to Search Engine Land and Author for this great article below:

Mobile First web development is an appropriate phrase to describe what we’re going to see with more of our production this year. The article describes how people are jumping on the ‘Responsive Design’ bandwagon without properly developing their content architecture. Site owners who think they can just slam a responsive website out their and cover the mobile experience will want to rethink their strategy.

Content Marketing and Mobile will be the Big Ticket this Year

In 2013, mobile traffic in the US almost doubled. Cyber Monday of 2013 was the year that cyber Monday went mobile. And, according to Gartner, Q2 of 2013 was the first time that sales of smartphones surpassed sales of feature phones, with the former accounting for 51.8 percent of mobile phone sales worldwide.

That last fact in particular shows the unlocked potential of the mobile web. The mobile web is on fire, and a mobile content strategy is a must for 2014.


Evan Britton, CEO of, kicked off the IEEE International Symposium on Multimedia conference with a very engaging keynote entitled “Succeeding with content in a mobile world.” Britton has grown to 3 million unique visitors monthly, and smartphone traffic — which currently accounts for 40% of the site’s overall traffic — has grown 400% year over year. The site profiles famous people, and part of their content strategy is that they do so in an informative and concise format which is easy to read on smartphones.

Britton’s keynote discussed the psychology and expectations of mobile users, along with a great guide as to what to incorporate in a mobile strategy. This was followed by a checklist of “hurdles” or things to avoid when creating mobile friendly content. The talk culminated with some well known success stories that have deployed these mobile content strategies.

Mobile Users Are Different From Desktop Users

Mobile users are different from desktop users. Just as you don’t get to decide what platform your visitors use to access your site (they do), the same philosophy applies to your content development.

Let your users tell you what content they want to see. How can you do this? One great way is by leveraging query logs. Look at what those logs tell you about what users want to see. Just as Google will look at query logs to determine what questions to answer next, Britton applied the same strategy to his website and let user traffic tell him which celebrities the users themselves wanted information about. When queries came in and he had no corresponding content, he created that content. In essence, user demand drove the content creation.

Along the same lines of user engagement and content driving website strategy, Google updated its ranking advice on June 16, as reported by Barry Schwartz:


“In general, webmasters can improve the rank of their sites by increasing the number of high-quality sites that link to their pages.”


“In general, webmasters can improve the rank of their sites by creating high-quality sites that users will want to use and share.”

In other words, content that engages the user and retains their attention is key. And, as mobile users are different from desktop users, here are some key takeaways in mobile content creation.

Expectations Of Mobile Users

Mobile users are different from desktop users and thus their expectations are different. They even use different devices for different things. As Bing pointed out in a recent SlideShare presentation entitled, “Choose your words carefully,” just as there is no one set of ad copy that works best across all devices — you have to tailor your content (be it an ad or the site itself) to the device.

Remember: when considering the mobile user, simple and to-the-point (concise) is key.

Mobile users are different from Desktop Users: People use different devices for different things

Mobile users are different from Desktop Users: People use different devices for different things

Consider the following about your typical mobile user:

  • They are on the go. Content must be easy to digest and directly to the point. Examples of success stories that bear this in mind are Twitter (140 character limit) and Vine, a twitter owned video-sharing app that leverages 6 second videos. i.e., content that errs on the side of being terse and to-the-point is a plus.
  • The screen is small. Vertical (up and down) scrolling is preferable — not horizontal. The challenge lies with the 320-pixel width limit.
  • Load time is critical, more so than ever. With the typical impatience of any Internet user exacerbated in an “on the go” situation (i.e., I want it, and I want it now) anything that significantly increases load time is to be avoided. Keep in mind also that Google’s mobile guidelines emphasize the importance of page speed.
  • Static is better. Avoid the use of animated content unless it is user requested. Avoid the use of animated GIFs, and make sure things like videos are click-to-play (play by default is to be avoided).
  • Less is more. Simplicity is critical, and a screen with a lot of “noisy” information can be a deterrent. As a specific example, look at the amazon mobile optimized website vs. the non optimized version below, and you can clearly see which has a stronger call to action.
Amazon mobile optimized website vs non-optimized: Less is more

Amazon mobile optimized website vs non-optimized: Less is more

Eliminate User Hurdles

User hurdles can be major obstacles, sometimes causing the user to instantly abandon the site. Britton gave the following checklist of potential hurdles and how to avoid them:

  • Unnecessary logins. Ever encounter those annoying login screens while on your mobile and suddenly lost attention or looked for an alternative mechanism to entertain yourself or find what you need? Make sure to avoid login screens when possible.
  • Too many steps: “Less is more” is a repeated and not to be underestimated philosophy in mobile design. Too many steps can make things overly complicated and time consuming, something the mobile user especially does not have time for.
Creating a Maze of Steps in your Forms or Checkout Process.

Creating a Maze of Steps in your Forms or Checkout Process.


  • Pop-ups. Make sure to eliminate popup usage for mobile content. Not only are these annoying to the user, they place an additional burden on load time.
  • Large logos: These take up most or all of your screen real estate on mobile — and don’t accomplish much else.  ”A picture speaks louder than words” is a great philosophy to adopt and adhere to, but if you are using that picture to assist in explaining a piece of content, it probably ought not to be your website’s logo.
  • No clear call-to-action. Remember, mobile is about simplicity, not being “fancy” or “slick.” Make your call-to-action large. Do not try to brand on mobile; rather, focus on the user experience.

Examples Of Successful Mobile Content Strategies

This section details some of the preferred and effective strategies for handling content on mobile.

Headlines Work Better Than Stories

Headlines work better than stories for content discovery. Although the user will ultimately end up reading the story they are interested in, using primarily headlines is effective from a navigational perspective, as there is only so much screen real estate available in mobile.

Headlines Work Better Than Stories

Headlines Work Better Than Stories

Keep It Short And Concise

Typical success stories of companies that have adopted this strategy would be Twitter (140 characters) and Vine (6s video sharing app that is now owned by Twitter). Summly (purchased by Yahoo for $30 million) is another typical success story that was based on this design philosophy for mobile: simple, concise, less-is-more.

Consider Entity Search

Understanding the impact entity search has had on mobile is also critical. Since search results themselves are now entities, this enables and paves the way for a far better user experience, as entities (and hence SERPs) can themselves be actionable. They can contain relevant images, calls-to-action, navigation within a website to the appropriate location, directions to a location and/or the answer to the search query itself.

Typical entity results can be seen by looking at rich snippet examples in SERPs or Knowledge Graph search results. You can clearly see how entity search and entity results in SERPs provide a far better mobile experience for the user. Google Now cards are a classic example of an effective utilization of this strategy in mobile.

Google Search Engine Results

Google Search Engine Results

As you can see from the images above, the left-hand side results depict mobile entity SERPs where the entity is of type “event.” The right-hand side results depict where the entities in the SERPs are of type “tourist attraction.” Clearly, any search where the result set is a list of entities of the same type is ideally suited for a carousel-type display. Interestingly enough, when Google first acquired Metaweb, this was one example of the use of entities in search results which it cited as follows:

With efforts like rich snippets and the search answers feature, we’re just beginning to apply our understanding of the web to make search better. Type [barack obama birthday] in the search box and see the answer right at the top of the page. Or search for [events in San Jose] and see a list of specific events and dates. We can offer this kind of experience because we understand facts about real people and real events out in the world. But what about [colleges on the west coast with tuition under $30,000] or [actors over 40 who have won at least one oscar]? These are hard questions, and we’ve acquired Metaweb because we believe working together we’ll be able to provide better answers.

In other words, when all the entity results are of the same type of entity, there are all kinds of engaging visual displays that are possible, depending on how the information is aggregated. I presume A/B testing is conducted in real time on a wide scale to determine which specific result displays convert into the optimal user experience.

You can see how the desktop version of the same search will actually result in different display formats. Many of the entity SERPs (or rich snippets in this case) have different action items available.

Entity SERPs on a desktop, where all entities are of type “event”

Entity SERPs on a desktop, where all entities are of type “event”

Final Thoughts

The tips provided above address the expectations of mobile users as well as hurdles to success in the mobile world. Success stories with respect to mobile content emphasize the need to keep things simple and concise. There is also a need to look to the future by considering entity search.

Read the article at:

Realizing the ROI potential for your eCommerce Solution

Sunday, March 17, 2013 @ 09:03 PM
Author: Jade Carter

The great eCommerce systems allow the companies to maximize the ROI potential, but the best eCommerce systems today do that with the social and mobile integration. It all boils down to accessibility, usability and marketing which the new social and mobile help achieve. Some companies get it and make their eCommerce sites do exactly what they were meant to: Drive Sales.

CMS-Connected will take an in-depth look into eCommerce Solutions with Gabe Sumner, Product Manager at Sitefinity; and hosts Tyler Pyburn and Scott Liewehr. The show aims to tackle topics within mobile eCommerce including but not limited to: payment, ticketing, and banking. The show will also have MODx in the Spotlight Segment by Bryan Ruby of CMS Report.

Make sure you register to tune live on CMS-Connected show on eCommerce Solutions.

Got questions? Contact CMS-Connected via Twitter #CMSConnected or

Understanding the “Mobile Shift”

Wednesday, December 19, 2012 @ 09:12 AM
Author: Gary Eisenstein

Obsession with the Mobile Channel Obscures the Shift to Ubiquitous Computing

Whitepaper by Tim Walters at Digital Clarity Group


The rapid adoption of smart phones and tablets represents an unprecedented transformation in the way consumers access the web and other digital services. This “mobile shift” poses fundamental challenges for virtually every business, and calls into question most established assumptions about how to create, nurture, and sustain profi table customer relationships. Some observers argue that this means “fixed” websites are in radical decline, and that successful enterprises must adopt a “mobile first” approach and prioritize the user experience on mobile devices. Others maintain that mobile access, while undeniably important, is “just another channel” among others.

“The transition from a PC or notebook to the ‘always on’ smart phone or tablet is not primarily about the smaller, more portable, mobile device. It is rather about the fact that computing services are now available virtually wherever and whenever the user desires them. The mobile shift marks an evolutionary leap to the era of ubiquitous computing.” Tim Walters, Ph.D.



Multiple CMS Vendor Partners… Is this a good strategy?

Thursday, November 1, 2012 @ 05:11 PM
Author: Gary Eisenstein

Recently, I was at a Web Content Management vendor conference in Vegas, chatting over drinks with colleagues about different business strategies. When out of the blue one of my competitors chimed in with a remark about Falcon-Software being a CMS vendor whore. Now, aside from finding that word offensive, I believe there was a little jealous undertone with his backhanded comment.

Regardless, this got me thinking about which strategy is truly the best; for an integration partner to be loyal to one or two CMS vendor partners or like Falcon-Software, have a healthy line up of several CMS platform solution for customers to choose from?

Now, I do understand the value in supporting only one particular vendor and becoming highly proficient in deploying that CMS platform. In fact, in 2002 Falcon-Software started off with only one CMS vendor – Ektron, which fostered a healthy funnel of sales leads between us over the years. In 2006, Ektron selected Falcon-Software as their Partner of the Year amongst their list of 200 partners worldwide. So it would seem the benefits can be very rewarding. Well… let’s peel back that onion shall we!

In 2007, Ektron decided to change their partner model and starting offering integration services, and having all our eggs in one basket all the sudden seemed potentially hazardous to our health. So Falcon-Software quickly countered by adding three new CMS vendor solutions Kentico, Sitecore and Sitefinity to our portfolio and the pros quickly became apparent over any cons. Instead of having leads and RFP opportunities with just one vendor, we now had four vendors feeding the machine. More importantly, we could offer our customers a solution that truly was a best fit for their business needs, budget, infrastructure, etc. So it makes sense to me that being limited in offering only a couple of CMS vendor solution to customers, that objectivity becomes seriously compromised.

Over the years, I’ve managed to acquire an in-depth understanding of the differences and limitations between all the top CMS vendors, limitations that are not generally discussed in their glossy marketing brochures and flashy PowerPoint presentations and in my opinion, the only way to acquire this knowledge and expertise is by having a deep portfolio of successful deployments from many different CMS solutions.

On a side note, in 2012 Ektron went back to their original partner model abandoning their integration services all together.

Currently, Falcon-Software partners with 8-different .NET Web CMS vendors: Ektron, EPiServer, Elcom, Kentico, SharePoint, Sitecore, Sitefinity and our latest addition – DotNetNuke. Our philosophy is that there is no one size fits all CMS platform on the market today that can provide the best solution for everyone’s budget and technical requirements. For example, some customers may require an out-of-box solution that offers a robust e-commerce or social media application, which narrows down the field. Others may require a system that excels in site globalization or one that can seamlessly integrate with a particular ERP or CRM solutions, which certainly narrows the field of players down even further. Let’s also not forget about those customers that have a $200,000 project scope with only a $100,000 budget. Try that budget with Sitecore or SharePoint and you better be prepared for a stripped down gas can of a solution… not a good fit.

Can an integration firm be successful offering just on Web CMS solution? Sure… we did it for 5-years. But having tried both strategies, for us there is a clear and definite advantage to offering our customers a multitude of vendor solutions. The key is being proficient in delivering all the solutions you support so partner certification and ongoing training is vital.

Please Note: The image being used in the blog post is in the spirit of the debate and to help drive home a point and in no way meant to be offensive towards any female readers. I promise to post a follow up with a male character casting a seductive pose to help even things up :)


August 23, 2012 – Falcon-Software has announced that Stephen Medve has been hired as its new Client & Partner Development Manager. Medve will report to President & Chief Strategist Gary Eisenstein and will be responsible for the company’s vendor relations and client development out of the companies Toronto office.

Medve previously served as the Client Development Coordinator at Prescient Digital, a group of senior Intranet and Internet consultants that provide strategic Internet and Intranet consulting, planning and communications services.

About Falcon-Software

Falcon-Software offers a unique combination of deep technical expertise and creative thinking with a wealth of experience in website consulting and planning, web design, development and the deployment of web content management software on Microsoft’s .NET platform. Falcon-Software partners with DotNetNuke, Ektron, Elcom, EPiServer, Kentico, SharePoint, Sitecore, and Sitefinity, the worldwide leaders in .NET WCM software. Falcon-Software also provides CMS server hosting and CMS software training services.



91% of respondents noted that globalization produced meaningful improvements in web engagement, lead generation & revenue

Phoenix, AZ – August 23, 2012 – Limelight Networks, Inc. (NASDAQ:LLNW), a leader in Digital Presence Management, today released results from a recent survey that confirms that the development and implementation of regional websites is a strategic, high-priority initiative for both B2B and B2C companies. In a survey of 200 U.S.-based CMOs and VPs of Marketing, respondents stated that they are adding multiple regional websites and languages within the next year to build global brand awareness and drive revenue. However, respondents noted challenges to efficiently adding and managing regional websites, including lack of sufficient internal human, technical, and budgetary resources.

“Our goal with this survey was to gain insight on CMOs’ plans for and experiences with expanding their digital presence globally, including understanding their objectives and the challenges they face,” commented Kirby Wadsworth, CMO, Limelight Networks.  “Respondents (57%) noted that their biggest challenge to website globalization is using multiple platforms to manage sites and content. Publishing web and mobile sites using several disparate solutions is timely and costly, especially when managing multiple regional sites that are in different languages.  Enterprise marketers can streamline internal processes and ultimately improve the end user experience if they leverage one integrated platform to build, manage, and optimize a global digital presence across all channels.”

“The explosive growth of global online commerce and the ever more competitive worldwide landscape make it imperative for companies to expand and improve the globalization of their digital presence,” said Jeff Freund, VP and GM, Web Content Management, Limelight Networks. “Globalizing a web presence entails more than simply translating a company’s primary site – it also includes developing, deploying, localizing, and regularly maintaining sites with regionally-specific content.  Marketers face the challenge of deploying multiple regional sites in multiple languages and featuring custom content that is unique to each region – while still ensuring brand consistency worldwide.”

Respondents are Managing and Adding Many Regional Websites

For the survey, website globalization was defined as launching an adapted, multilingual version of a company’s core website into different regions throughout the world.  A regional website was defined as an adapted version of the company’s core website whose content has been translated and/or altered to match the region that it serves.

Link to Website Globalization White Paper: Web Globalization Whitepaper (pdf)

In this whitepaper you’ll learn:

  • The results of a comprehensive survey to 200 CMO’s regarding their biggest web challenges
  • Why US-based CMO’s are globalizing their digital web presence like never before
  • How regional specific content is improving site engagement, lead generation, and revenue





July is all About Globalization

Wednesday, July 4, 2012 @ 10:07 AM
Author: Gary Eisenstein

With an every increasing number of organizations across North America expanding their clientele base worldwide, Globalization is one of the top trends in the web content management space. Is your organization looking to offer multi-language website capabilities in 2012/13?

Scott Liewehr and Tyer Pyburn will be taking an in-depth look at Globalization in the Web Content Management industry on CMS-Connected with special guests: Allie Kelly at Lionbridge and Tim Walters at Digital Clarity Group.

Make sure to tune in to The CMS-Connected Show ( on July 25th @ 12:30 EST (9:30 Pacific)


CMS Connected May Episode Revisited

Tuesday, June 12, 2012 @ 11:06 AM
Author: Jade Carter

It’s been a couple of weeks since CMS-Connected shot its May 2012 episode and considering some of the bombshells that let fly during the show we wanted to recap some of the more ‘colourful’ segments and perhaps loosen some tongues out there. Click the [Time Stamp] to fast forward to the segment but don’t forget to come back to share your comments.

Kevin and Scott discussing Web Experience Management

Recession Relief?

[@ 2:06] – Really? is this the case. Is everyone in consensus that the CMS industry really didn’t feel much of a recession? Is this just the natural evolution of the ‘information exchange’ increasingly moving to online destinations rather than some pretend economic factor?

Sitecore Plays ‘Catch up’ With their Brightcove Partnership Announcement?

[@ 10:03] – Co-host Scott Liewehr wasn’t that impressed with Sitecore’s press release citing the fact that many leading platforms (Ektron, Adobe, Drupal, WordPress, etc…) have already integrated Brightcoves’ capabilities. To their credit Tyler backed them up stating that they’re just one of a long line of companies that will also fall in line with Brightcove video integration. Big deal?

Amazon Prematurely Launches Dynamic Content Features to CloudFront Customers

[@ 13:20] – In what appears to be a ‘jump on the bandwagon’ effort to push cloud based dynamic content, our hosts discuss the low end features available in Amazons latest offering. Was Amazon a little naive to push this product which is so clearly a ‘low cost, low feature’ offering? Or will they gamble on their client base feeding them with rich and relevant constructive opinion in order for them to build out a truly worthwhile product. Shouldn’t this have been done during Alpha/Beta phases? Thoughts?

Kevin Cochrane Delivers ‘Epic Win’ Quotes

[@ 20:50] – Given that the phrase of the day was Web Experience Management (WEM), Scott wasted little time in tossing a grenade at Kevin only for him to bounce back some atom smashing ordnance. When asked “how many of your clients have achieved ‘web experience management’?“, Kevin replied: “None of them“. Bravo sir, take a bow. Then comes my favorite, as a ‘grey haired’ search engine marketer I’ve never been swayed by the cheat and exploits of ‘black hat’ tricks that have demolished websites after the latest ‘Panda’ Google update. I’ve been 100% motivated by ensuring our client provide relevant, valuable content. So we at Falcon-Software were especially thrilled to hear Kevin continue with his answer to Scott’s WEM question; “Companies need to first ask; who is my customer, what makes them tick, how to I engage them, where do I engage them and what level of conversation do they want to have with me? And if you don’t do this FIRSTthen you’re screwed!. Thank you Kevin. Always a pleasure to have you on the show. : )

Open Text; Holding Company for Innovation?

[@ 45:04] – Is OpenText an innovation graveyard or smart business? Our hosts seemed to think that their business philosophy seems to be entirely acquisition based with no internal innovation. Buy up already established and mature solutions, ride the maintenance revenue with limited integration with their suite of software and then mothballing the works when it runs its technological lifetime. Is this a bit harsh or is there some truth to this? If your solution is bought up by OpenText are you pleased to see some long term stability or doomed to live out life in the technology graveyard with little hope of integration and continued innovative development?

Voice your opinions!

First off we hope that this post will encourage some of our readers to chime in on what is a completely open ended topic which can easily break off in many different directions.

Mobile Web

Okay, our experiences engaging the web via all manner of mobile devices has been around for years. Thankfully the technology and deployment of the mobile web experience has recently exploded into a truly focused enterprise. Early adopted strategies (let’s start at the first smartphones; I don’t think anyone puts much thought into the flip phone browsing experience) presented featureless static external websites. These sites were managed outside of the main ‘desktop’ website and were generally glorified business cards with some text links and contact info. Gradually, as phones gained both bandwidth and processor speed, we started to see more ‘experience’ based enhancements providing a Mobile Application feel with poppy buttons, functional forms and some deeper content. Still, there were little to no transactions occurring as the game was still to get you through the door, on the phone or submitting simple form data.

Beyond the Two Site Mobile Strategy

This dual site mobile strategy, while the best that the web had to offer at the time, was a management nightmare and a very inefficient deployment model for most site owners. Sites with endless resources could produce a high value mobile solution but this was rare as this mobile web phenomenon was still vastly misunderstood and technologies (mobile devices) still maturing. Sure, the CMS platforms were starting to adopt OOB device detection capabilities and providing interfaces and layouts for the ‘mobile site’, but we were still seeing the use of external domains ( and separation of CMS data creating additional layers of workflow and content creation.

Enter Responsive Design …design … design …design …

Now don’t we sound smart? Well we know now that this is the game changing development framework that we’ve been waiting for. Retire the outdated external domain, consolidate your content development and let the parent website serve up the appropriate layout and content based on a combination of device OS and aspect ratio. The deployment possibilities are only bound by the creative energy of the implementing firm, but in the meantime try resizing your browser window size after loading this site:

Hifi Centre Responsive Design Example

So… Mobile Web; will you emerge from the virtual shadows to answer any of these questions?

  • Which Web CMS is providing the best OOB Mobile Web experience?
  • Which Web CMS is ‘bottling’ their OOB Mobile Web offering?
  • Which Web CMS can boast “Can’t Touch This!” with their clearly, industry leading OOB Responsive Design solution?




Falcon-Software has partnered with these .Net Web CMS Vendor Solutions