Dorchester Children’s Advocacy Center: Website Design, Website Development, Website Hosting

What we did for them: Website Design & Development, Website Hosting, Ongoing Website Maintenance

Industry: Nonprofit

Dorchester Children’s Advocacy Center is a 501c3 non-profit organization serving abused and neglected children and their families from Dorchester County and parts of Berkeley and Charleston Counties. Dorchester Children’s Advocacy Center works in collaboration with law enforcement, DSS, Guardian Ad Litems, Mental Health and other agencies involved in caring for abused and neglected children in our community. 

While designing the website, we focused on bringing a friendly, playful element without detracting from the serious nature of what Dorchester Children’s Advocacy Center is dedicated to. We accomplished a balance by creating hand-drawn elements, like icons and titles, while maintaining a clean and professional aesthetic.

Dorchester Children’s Advocacy Center’s main two focuses for the website were reporting abuse and donating. Consequently, we made sure there was a call-to-action (CTA) for both options in the header of the site, so no matter what page a visitor is on, they will always be able to see the option to donate or report abuse. 

Ease of use and a clean, clear design are always one of the primary focuses when we design websites for our clients. We designed their new website to be user-friendly from both the front end (for website visitors) and the back end (for when staff at Dorchester Children’s Advocacy Center needs to make a quick edit).   

Every single page received individual attention because each page has unique content. Dorchester Children’s Advocacy Center is a large organization and they provide several different services to the community. They have over 40 pages—they have a lot of services, offer all kinds of education & training, and there are a lot of different sections to highlight for donations and support. They organize many events. They have a lot of information about who they are and what they do. 

Their website was huge and we made it very easy for people to find what they were looking for. So, we condensed the top-level navigation and made each parent page which features a nice preview of all the sections under the page. Every page was addressed individually and designed based on what the page needed. 

A great example is the contact form. With their contact form, we made sure to consider what features would be easiest for both the user and the client. DCAC has 10 different departments information from a contact form would go to. We set up conditional logic which ensures forms will go straight to the person in the relevant department, making it a simpler experience for everyone involved.  

A more user-centric feature of the site is the section on the home page directed towards “Caregivers,” “Professionals,” or “Supporters.” It’s a different way to find a page you may need. So specifically, the Caregivers section goes to the therapy page, the Professionals section directs to educational resources, and the Supporters section routes to the donate option. Designing it this way is more engaging and considers the user’s perspective.   

It was interesting and fun to work on building out so many different pages with different content in a way unique to every page but still cohesive and consistent with the website as a whole. 

The Dorchester Children’s Advocacy Center is a very large organization with many decision-makers. Our graphic designer, Sarah, worked directly with 2 staff members, Faith and Melissa, to make sure all information and ideas were passed on properly and applied correctly on the website. We were ultimately able to present it to the board and had complete approval upon the first review. 

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Dorchester Habitat for Humanity: Website Design, Website Development, Website Hosting

What we did for them: Website Design & Development, Website Hosting, Ongoing Website Maintenance

Industry: Nonprofit

Habitat for Humanity works to provide people with decent, affordable housing. The nonprofit is also dedicated to building strength, stability, and self-reliance in the community. We had been providing IT services with the Dorchester branch of Habitat for Humanity for a while, and when they found they were in need of marketing help, we stepped forward to help them with a website. 

Their current website is a redesign of a website we made for them a few years ago. The original website we developed was still strong and functional, but every few years is a good guideline for getting a new website even if your current site is fine. A lot changes in three years—code programming changes, new plugins and extensions are available to be added, and it’s also a good time to sit down and revisit your business brand itself and think about how you want to present it. 

Additionally, at the time of our redesign, Habitat for Humanity corporate had new brand standards we needed to incorporate in updates on the website. The new brand standards included new logo and brand colors, typefaces, and other design guidelines we had to follow. 

Other than updating to reflect the brand, we wanted to make their website easier to use. Our goal was to make it so visitors coming to the website were easily able to find what they were looking for, whether it’s the Restore, how to donate, scheduling donation pickups, how to volunteer, or how the housing program works. We made it as easy as possible for people to help Habitat for Humanity. 

To achieve the goal of making the website as user-friendly as possible, we included a few new features. 

We wanted a specific ‘call to action’ (CTA) for how people can get involved, and we wanted to have a unique way to display this information rather than just a standard image slider. So, we designed a way to show a lengthy description with a call to action button to learn more about one of the three main ways they could help. The CTA feature is animated to automatically scroll and expose new sections so it’s not too much text all at once, and you can click on each tab individually.

We took great care to make sure each page is very clear while still being engaging. The content answers “what is this page and what should I be doing” while visuals and text are appealing and fit brand standards. The information on the site is arranged in a way that is easily readable and navigable but isn’t just placed in standard, boring, block ways. 

So, for example, you’ll find elements breaking out of their grids and boundaries to catch your eye, but the design remains balanced, structured, and flowing. We designed the website to be bright, friendly, and exciting. The layout is modern but clean, fun, and fresh. It’s intended to get people involved and excited about getting involved. 

One of ADVYON’s goals is to give back a portion of our time and financial rewards to local businesses who do great things in our community. We do a lot of work with nonprofits, and we put a good deal of effort into making it as easy as possible for people to help them. 

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Reagin Orthodontics: Web Design, Web Development, Website Hosting, Google Ads, Ongoing Marketing

What we did for them: Website Design & Website Development, Website Hosting

Industry: Medical

Reagin Orthodontics is an orthodontist’s office with a personality in Summerville, SC. They were a ton of fun to work with; they have a very unique personality and Dr. Reagin himself is really fun and aims to be super warm, inviting, and friendly. 

Even their office has personality—it’s decorated in all kinds of patterns and colors, and their main Summerville location even has a chalkboard wall as a central feature that gets decorated by a local artist. Whenever someone gets their braces off, they get balloons and take a picture with Dr. Reagin in front of a specially decorated wall.

These factors speak volumes about who they are and what kind of environment they offer. We wanted to take the friendly, fun vibe from the office and staff and translate that into their website. They had worked with other people in the past who had only produced cookie-cutter type websites for them, ones that did not reflect their personality at all. 

There were a lot of things for us to work with and it was very easy to pull from that to design and build a website that is not only user-friendly but user engaging—it really pulls you in. We made the functionality work very well with the decorative aspects of the website. 

Some of the custom features we included in their website design were new patient forms, a customized question button, and a feature that redirects people to the FAQ page every time they submit any kind of form. 

The new patient forms are not just forms that patients can print and bring with them; they can fill them out and submit them online. The customized question button lets whoever is checking on Reagin’s side know what page someone was on when they submitted the question, making it easier to answer the question, especially if the question was not specific (i.e. “how much does this cost?” instead of “how much does Invisalign cost?”). 

The slider section is super unique. It has curves and angles that play on each other and features cutouts of their ideal customers. The next section is a video of Dr. Reagin showing the office and showing some happy patients. It’s got an autoplay feature to where if you click to hear audio it starts the video over. The next section shows how the process works. We created an animation in that section that highlights the first step, then second, then third. It’s a cool user engagement feature, something that really draws your eye. 

The next section is an introduction to what pricing is like. It features different examples of patients that would need different kinds of treatments. It also gives a general estimate of what those kinds of corrections would cost, for those who are trying to get an idea of what their own treatment would involve or cost.  

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How To Block Access To Specific Websites from your Router using Tomato Firmware

Tomato firmware is a free, downloadable firmware for the Linksys WRT series and some Buffalo and Asus routers which provides vastly improved functionality over the stock firmware. One of the nice things about Tomato, assuming you have a router which it’ll run on, is that it provides a very configurable method of selectively blocking access to the net in general, specific applications or protocols, or even specific websites. So if you have youngish kids who have (largely) unsupervised access to a computer with a net connection, you can keep them away from social networking sites like facebook, myspace, habbo etc. pretty easily. Here’s how:

1.) Go to you routers web interface (http://192.168.1.1 on my setup) and click on Access Restriction

Tomato1

2.) Click on Add to create a new rule

Tomato2

3.) Untick Block All Internet Access to display the full options list, and set it up something like this:

Tomato3

In the above example I’m only blocking selected machines (so the wife still has access to facebook etc.) – the PC the kids have access to is 192.168.1.105, and my IP is 101 (so I can test the blocks on my machine before removing myself from the block list).

The blocklist uses regex sub-string matching to decide which sites to block as follows:

You can also block specific protocols (BitTorrent, eDonkey, LimeWire etc.) using the built-in IPP2P module, or via Layer 7 (Application Layer) deep packet inspection, which can detect and block traffic of specific types (World of Warcraft, FTP, Flash etc. etc.) regardless of what port they’re running on.

Mac OS X Cleaning temp files etc.

If you insist on running any maintenance tasks, you could run these commands in the Terminal:

WARNING! The “sudo rm -f” command is VERY dangerous, and can cause data loss if used incorrectly. Please, PLEASE, ensure that you type the commands listed below correctly, double and even triple check, I will not be held responsible if you hose your system.

1. “User-level” tasks that do not require a restart:

Run maintenance cron tasks

Code:

sudo periodic daily weekly monthly

Flush logs under your home directory

Code:

cd ~/Library/Logs
sudo rm -rf ~/Library/Logs/*

Flush cache under your home directory

Code:

rm -rf ~/Library/Safari/Downloads.plist
cd ~/Library/Caches
sudo rm -rf ~/Library/Caches/*

Flush Directory Service resolver cache (DNS, etc)

Code:

dscacheutil -flushcache

Update application pre-binding

Code:

sudo update_prebinding -root / -force

Repair disk permissions on boot volume

Code:

sudo diskutil repairPermissions /

Log out and back in to finalize the above steps.

2. “System-level” tasks that require a restart:

Clear the global cache database

Code:

cd /Library/Caches
sudo rm -rf /Library/Caches/*

Flush system cache entries

Code:

cd /System/Library/Caches
sudo rm -rf /System/Library/Caches/*

Flush LaunchServices Database (helps with multiple “Open With” entries)

Code:

/System/Library/Frameworks/CoreServices.framework/Frameworks/LaunchServices.framework/Support/lsregister -kill -r -domain local -domain system -domain user

Flush Apple Type Server (ATS) cache (resolves issues with corrupt fonts some times)

Code:

sudo rm -rf `lsof | grep com.apple.ATS/annex.aux \
| grep Finder | cut -c 66-139`
sudo rm -rf /private/var/folders/*/*/-Caches-/com.apple.ATS

Repair disk permissions on boot volume

Code:

sudo diskutil repairPermissions /

Finally, restart your Mac after completing any system-wide maintenance tasks.

OS X Mavericks: Methods for Starting up Your Mac

Normally you can restart your Mac by choosing Apple menu > Restart. However, in some cases—for example, if the pointer freezes on the screen or the Mac becomes unresponsive—you may have to use one of the startup methods listed here.

You can use these key combinations when you start up your Mac. Unless otherwise specified, hold down the specified key immediately after you hear the startup tone (while the screen is still black).

Action Shortcut
Manually restart Hold down the power button on your Mac until it shuts off. After a moment, press the power button again to start your Mac. You may lose unsaved changes in open documents.
Prevent automatic login When you see the progress indicator (looks like a spinning gear), hold down the left Shift key.
Prevent login items and Finder windows from opening when you log in After clicking the Log In button in the login window, hold down the Shift key.
Start up from a CD or DVD C
Start up from the default NetBoot disk image N
Start up in target disk mode T
Use Apple Diagnostics or Apple Hardware Test D
Use recovery tools Command (⌘)-R
Select a startup disk Option

To open the optical drive when choosing a startup disk, press Command (⌘)-Period (.).

Eject removable discs Hold down the mouse or trackpad button.

Hold down the Media Eject key (⏏) or F12 key.

Reset parameter RAM Option-Command (⌘)-P-R
Show detailed status messages (verbose mode) Command (⌘)-V
Start up in single user mode Command (⌘)-S
Start up in Safe Mode (Only essential OS X items are started; some features and apps might not work correctly.) Immediately after you hear the startup tone, hold down the Shift key. Release the Shift key when you see the progress indicator (looks like a spinning gear).

Last Modified: May 8, 2014

How to Use Screen Video Capture on Your Mac

Not sure when this feature got added, but since this was new to me, I thought this was worth sharing.

Launch QuickTime Player (it’s in your Applications folder). Now select New Screen Recording from the File menu, or type control-command-N. A small screen recording window will appear, like so:

recorder

Click the little triangle on the right side of the window to adjust the microphone and mouse click options. When ready, click the record button in the center of the window. Click and drag a section of the screen to record part of the screen or just click to record the entire screen. Once you do that, click to start recording. Click the stop button that appears in the menu bar to stop recording.

Pretty easy, and the end result is a QuickTime movie you can use anywhere you’d expect (iMovie, YouTube, etc.) Clearly not a method a pro would use, but if your needs are relatively simple, this is a great solution.

Mac Boots to Black Screen But Can See My Cursor

1. Shut the computer down by holding the power button for 10 seconds

2. Restart the computer and press shift at the same time until you see the progress bar start moving

3. Once you reach the point where your screen goes dark and you see the cursor, type the first letter of the username for your computer, then hit Enter, then type your password, then hit Enter.

4. After a moment, you should see the spinning beach ball

5. Your screen should then move on to something along the lines of “Completing OSX Installation” (I can’t remember the exact wording). Let it finish. After that it should go to your normal desktop and the issue should be fixed. (If your screen goes pitch black during this process, hit the space bar. I thought it wasn’t working, but the screen was just sleeping).

Apparently, it’s an issue with an automatic update that never quite got past the login screen.

https://discussions.apple.com/thread/5984310

Also may need to do a Pram reset:

A small amount of your computer’s memory, called “parameter random-access memory” or PRAM, stores certain settings in a location that OS X can access quickly. The particular settings that are stored depend on your type of Mac and the types of devices connected to it. The settings include your designated startup disk, display resolution, speaker volume, and other information.

Note: To print these instructions, open Help Viewer’s Action pop-up menu (looks like a gear), then choose Print.

Shut down your Mac.

Locate the following keys on the keyboard: Option, Command (⌘), P, and R. You will need to hold these keys down simultaneously in step 4.

Turn on your Mac.

Immediately press and hold the Option-Command-P-R keys. You must press this key combination before the gray screen appears.

Continue holding the keys down until your Mac restarts, and you hear the startup sound for the second time.

Release the keys.

Resetting PRAM may change some system settings and preferences. Use System Preferences to restore your settings.

Last Modified: May 8, 2014

Gmail, G Suite Sync, How to update your billing information

Here’s how to update your billing information in Gmail.

1.  Login to Gmail, Click the icon with the 9 dots.  This is located in the top right next to your profile name and picture.

2.  Then click the admin button.  You may have to scroll down.  If you do not see the icon in your list, you may need to ask your e-mail administrator for admin access.

3.  Then you will find the Billing section