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Archive for April, 2010

30 Apr
Posted by Kay

New Look Hair benefits from search engine optimisation

Being a hairdresser’s daughter has it’s benefits – as does having a web developer for a daughter! Kay’s mum Karla has a hairdressing salon in the Scarborough/Wembley area of Perth, so naturally her only choice for a new web site was Clever Starfish.

The web site has been around for several years now, and Karla finds that many of the phone calls from new clients that she gets come from people who have found the salon via the web site – usually because they are searching for one of the specialist products or techniques that New Look offers, such as hair straightening, hair extensions, nanokeratin treatments and ammonia-free products. The site’s strong search engine presence is due to a combination of the many pages of informative, keyword-rich text, and the length of time it has been online.

New Look Hair has made use of Clever Starfish’s copywriting partner, Leticia Supple, for some of the product and service pages – disentangling the psuedo-scientific babble that beauty and hair companies generally provide about their products can be quite a challenge, but Leticia did a great job. New Look also sends out a monthly newsletter via Starfish Send, with hair tips, special offers and news from around the salon, which anyone can sign up to on the site.

New Look Unisex Hair Salon – Scarborough/Wembley Downs

29 Apr
Posted by Kay

Why Write It? Why indeed!

David Wilson came to Clever Starfish to help realise his business idea – a one stop shop for business training resources, materials and courseware on safety, project management, sales, human resource management, and dozens of other topics. Why Write It offers high quality materials that companies can customise and use for their own purposes without complicated licensing.

We created the logo and branding along with a web site powered by WordPress for general content management and our own Tentacle product management system for orders and managed product downloads. Customers can choose to view prices in US dollars, Australian dollars or UK pounds, and payments are handled by PayPal. It’s all hosted by Fasthit, and Judd Exley of Jex Analytics is taking care of search engine optimisation for the site.

Why Write It – Training materials, resources and courseware

28 Apr
Posted by Kay

Video tutorials for landscape photographers from Rubbing Pixels

We’ve done quite a few web sites for landscape photographers in the past year or so… but this one is a little bit different! Matt Lauder’s specialty is creating video tutorials on Photoshop and Lightroom software techniques for landscape photographers of all skill levels. New tutorials are added weekly, and several levels of subscription are offered as well as some free tutorials to whet customers’ appetites.

The sites uses WordPress for general content management and our Tentacle product management system for subscriptions and managing the tutorials, as well as our Starfish Send newsletter system. Payments are processed by PayPal or eWAY, depending on the customer’s preference. Videos are hosted on Amazon’s S3 cloud hosting service, which delivers great performance, and as it works on a “on demand” basis, it’s very cost effective.

We really love the way this site turned out, and we’re sure it will be a huge hit with all the great content from Matt and his other contributors.

Rubbing Pixels – Landscape photography video tutorials

27 Apr
Posted by Kay

Educating about Australia’s unique marine environment

With our ocean-inspired business name, working with marine organisations seems like a natural fit!

Marine Discovery Centres Australia (MDCA) is a non-profit organisation made up of representatives from marine discovery centres around the country. MDCA’s aim to collaborate and discuss key issues around discovery centres, education, and marine conservation.

With centres scattered around the country, we first set up a Google Group mailing list/collaborative workspace to help gather ideas, materials and content from all stakeholders. Then, Levi created a design mockup and presented it to the group for discussion, expecting the worst as dealing with large committees can often be difficult. Luckily, this time around Levi nailed the design almost completely in the first pass, and we were able to proceed to the build and populate stage very quickly, with the site going live just in time to meet the group’s funding deadline.

The site is powered by WordPress. As well as information and news from each of the participating marine discovery centres, a members-only area allows the group to collaborate and share resources. We held online training sessions over the Adobe Connect Pro teleconferencing system, using the screen sharing and live audio feature to demonstrate editing techniques, and allowing participants to ask questions via the text chat. The site is hosted by Fasthit.

Part of the site requirement was a two year maintenance agreement to help the group keep the site up to date, and we look forward to working with MDCA on an ongoing basis.

Marine Discovery Centres Australia

26 Apr
Posted by Kay

Better blog integration for Christian Fletcher

When we built Christian Fletcher’s new web site, his wordpress.com hosted blog was left in place, so there would be one less thing to worry about during the migration process. However, we had always intended to move it to Christian’s own domain name, so the search engine benefits from incoming links would be applied to his web site as well. Not to mention so that it could be integrated into his site’s design.

Last month, in conjunction with our friendly neighbourhood search engine expert Judd Exley of Jex Analytics, the move was finally made. There were a few rough patches along the way – Christian’s been a pretty prolific blogger over the last two and a half years, so there were a lot of posts, a lot of images and a lot of comments to bring over – but now you can read Christian Fletcher’s blog on his own web site domain. All previous links to posts on the hosted wordpress.com blog will redirect to the same post on his new blog – like magic!

Christian is a very funny and engaging blogger, so if you have any interest in photography at all it’s well worth subscribing.

Christian Fletcher Landscape Photography blog

23 Apr
Posted by Kay

A touch of class with Cabaret Cadenza

Cabaret Cadenza is an ensemble consisting of some of Perth’s top classical opera singers, performing vocal highlights for corporate events, receptions, dinners, weddings and other special occasions.

We know Fiona Smyth through her husband, landscape photographer Richard Smyth. Fiona wanted to update the Cabaret Cadenza we site to reflect the high calibre of the group’s performances, plus make photo galleries available from some of their recent shows.

We put together a simple design and a WordPress-powered web site. We think the end result is very classy indeed.

Cabaret Cadenza – Ensemble of classical opera singers – Perth, Western Australia

22 Apr
Posted by Kay

Silk Road Silver, for treasures from far away places

Robyn Kennedy loves the exotic – she travels to India each year and brings back gorgeous silver and semi-precious stone jewellery, textiles and more. She then offers these treasures for sale at various markets around Perth, at jewellery parties, and now, on her own web site.

The Silk Road Silver web sites uses WordPress for content management and our own Tentacle system for product management. Orders are manually processed, so customers arrange payment directly with Robyn. The web site is hosted with our preferred hosting partner, Fasthit. Super talented Starfish Levi did some of the product photography, and Robyn will be using Starfish Send for her newsletters – so subscribe on the site if you’d like to hear it first when she has new stock!

Silk Road Silver – Exotic Silver and Semi Precious Stone Jewellery and Textiles

21 Apr
Posted by Kay

New “real world” shop for Richard Smyth

Richard Smyth’s web site was the very first landscape photography web site that we did, back when Clever Starfish was just starting out. We still love the interactive way the online shop works, allowing customers to change sizes and framing options and see the price update in real time.

Richard has had a shop at the famous Fremantle Markets for quite some time, but he’s now moved to a larger store on the outside of the markets, which gives him more space to showcase his works and also the ability to open on Wednesdays and Thursdays as well as weekends and public holidays.

The new shop is in Henderson Street Mall, opposite the Sail and Anchor pub, so drop by and say hello!

20 Apr
Posted by Kay

‘Top Emerging Photographer’ nomination for Alex Cearns

We love to hear about the successes of our clients – and so we were thrilled to hear that pet photographer Alex Cearns of Houndstooth Studio has been nominated in the Australia’s Top Emerging Photographer 2010 competition.

The awards are peer voted, and the results will be available later this month on the awards programme web site. Alex is the only pet photographer in the portrait category, and we wish her the very best of luck!

9 Apr
Posted by Kay

Clever Starfish keeps on trucking

We’ve been working with the Australian Trucking Association since 2008, and these three sites for 2011 represent the third “series” of web sites we’ve done for their annual conferences and events.

First up we have a web site for Truck Week, an initiative in February that brought industry together with the community and government in a series of events around the country.

The Truck Week web site enabled industry groups to register their events and interested parties to find events in their area, as well as distributing news, media information and fact sheets.

The 2010 Australian Trucking Convention on the Gold Coast is actually on at the moment. This web site featured details of the conference program and Gala Awards Dinner, as well as the other peripheral events to the main event, and included online registration.

Finally, the 2010 Technical & Maintenance Conference – will be held in Victoria in November. Similarly to the Trucking Convention site, the TMC site includes all the details of the event of interest to attendees and allows online registration.

All three sites use a combination of WordPress and Adobe Contibute for content management. The Clever Starfish team works with branding elements supplied by the association’s print designers.

The Australian Trucking Association people are always great to work with and we look forward to even bigger events from them in 2011.