Montague WebWorks November 2015 Update

Mik tells you all about the latest doings at Montague WebWorks

Hello Montague WebWorks customer!

It's been a while since I've seen or talked to some of you. Wow, so much going on at MWW right now. Where to begin? Well, let's start with the most important thing...

1. RocketFusion is Moving onto Bootstrap

You've probably never heard of it, but there's a new web layout technology called Bootstrap. It's what we call a "framework", which means it's not a programming language, but a set of building blocks for creating website layouts.

If a website programmer were to use Bootstrap, they would have access to a toolbox full of little goodies, like standardized form buttons; a grid system for creating columns that wrap just like words do when the screen gets narrow; and most importantly, provides "responsiveness" to a website layout, with almost no effort at all.

What is a "responsive" website? It's a website that "responds" to the device that is displaying the web page, such as a wide-screen desktop monitor; a laptop monitor; a tablet screen in horizontal mode; a tablet in vertical mode; a smart-phone in horizontal, a smart-phone held vertically. No longer do website programmers have to create separate templates for each display device and orientation. We now create ONE layout, and the layout file itself "responds" to the device that's displaying the page. Brilliant!

So, Montague WebWorks is converting RocketFusion into a Bootstrap platform. What does that mean for you?

Phase One: the Back-end

For the past month we have been slowly adding Bootstrap calls and tags to the back-end for our new clients who are starting fresh and have the Bootstrap support files already enabled. For the customers who don't yet have the support files enabled, this has the result of making the back-end look a little weird. We haven't enabled the support files for everyone because we found it breaks the front-end layout for most websites, which is not good.

Starting in December, we will begin enabling the support files for every RocketFusion website. One by one, each website will be converted to use the new buttons and forms, using the Bootstrap toolset. There is no extra charge for any of this work. The upgrade is part of the hosting fee you pay, which includes software upgrades such as this. We will send out regular notices to everyone when the upgrades have been completed.

Phase Two: the Front-end

Once your website has had Bootstrap enabled in the back-end, you will be eligible to have your front-end website template converted to Bootstrap as well, but for a fee. The conversion fee will start at $200 and will go up depending on how customized your original layout was, and whether you want your site to use one of our standard five templates, or if you want a customized template. You are not required to do this front-end upgrade, but we suggest that you do, and schedule the upgrade. This work will begin in January.

You can take a look at some recent responsive websites MWW has completed here...

... and more are coming online in the next six weeks. We have already been contacted by three customers who want the upgrade. Get on the list today. Email me back and I'll set you up.

2. The 2015 Tips & Tricks Book is Coming Out!

Yes, we are publishing our little black book again. This year we'll have more articles, and more customers listed, and more copies to hand out... 800 copies, to be exact, and you are all listed! We will give out 400 copies alone at the annual Franklin County Chamber Holiday Breakfast, on Friday, December 18th. Display ads have sold out already. Thank you to all the advertisers:

  • About Face Computers
  • Albert Allen Insurance
  • Cathy Roberts Realestate
  • Cliff's Smokin' Backyard BBQ
  • CRD Metal Works
  • Daniel Piasecki Photography
  • Easthampton Music Conservancy
  • Fire Chifs Association of Massachusetts
  • Gillmore & Farrell Insurance
  • Henshaw Farms
  • Lynne Rudié Graphic Design
  • Martin's Farm Compost & Recycling
  • Pioneer Valley Custom Construction
  • Quabbin, Inc.
  • Reil Cleaning Services
  • River Valley Crack Repair & Waterproofing
  • Ruggeri Real Estate
  • Ryan & Casey Liquors and Cold River Package & Cafe
  • Sackrey Construction
  • Turns Lawn Care
  • West County Equipment Rental

These 21 pages of display ads help defray the printing costs, which is helpful. Thanks again! And special thanks to Lynne Rudié for helping me put the book together.

Last year we didn't mail out copies to all our customers because we had hoped they would come to our monthly WebWorks University classes to get your copy. About 1/3 of you did. The rest of the copies were handed out to new customers and other local businesses. We have maybe 50 copies left, and will send them out to those who request one.

3. Montague WebWorks is re-doing Greenfield's Town Website!

Yes, you read that right. We got our first Town website client, and it's Greenfield, MA. We've been working on it for about a month so far, and the go-live date is Tuesday, December 8th. We have been working with Town staff, and things are moving along nicely.

As a result of getting this major website customer, MWW is dramatically improving the back-end interface. Many new tools are being brought in, and workflows are being improved, and made simpler. You should notice some of these changes even today. And once your website's back-end is Boostrapped (see above) it will look and operate even better.

So, good times here at the MWW labs, and even better times ahead!

Let me know if you have any questions.

-Mik