Cinco De Mayo at Beacon Technologies

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Beacon Technologies had a festive time at this year’s Cinco De Mayo celebration. We took some time away from our computers and desks to spend some time sharing some great Mexican food, cold beverages, outdoor games and even crushing a piñata on a beautiful May day. The Beacon Team participated in some cornhole, washer toss, ladder golf and enjoyed the unseasonably warm temperatures to help celebrate the holiday and the success Beacon has had so far in 2015.

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We hope everyone had a “smashing” Cinco De Mayo!

By | 2017-06-16T13:07:37+00:00 May 7th, 2015|Beacon News|Comments Off on Cinco De Mayo at Beacon Technologies

How To Make The Most Out Of Your Web Design

I spend a lot of time inside and outside of work studying design. I think it gets to a point for everyone where design becomes difficult to ignore, as it influences our every day decisions. It’s important to understand design elements and how they not only affect you on a day to day basis, but your customers as well. You can ask yourself the following questions:

How does my target audience perceive my brand?

Does my website’s design go hand in hand with my content?

What kind of experiences are users having when they land on my website?

Is my design making an emotional connection with my customers?

Because websites are so multi-dimensional, there is no one way to answer these questions. It’s an ever changing industry and with new technology comes updates on how we approach design. Lucky for you, Beacon has been in the industry for 16 years. We love answering these questions because these are the questions you have to ask to get to a successfully designed website.

Since being in the website industry, I’ve had the opportunity to wear many hats. This has helped me approach website design and development from every angle with all considerations in mind. Below I have listed a few elements to consider when designs a website.

 

User Experience

  • A beginners guide to UI design. Read more.
  • How to beat the paradox of choice in UI design. Read more.

Fonts

Colors

  • An introduction to color theory for web designers. Read more.
  • How to get a professional look with color. Read more.
  • Five web design colors that encourage visitors to click that subscribe button. Read more.

Images

  • How to use images effectively in websites. Read more.
  • How to use photography in web design. Read more.

And finally…

 

In today’s world, your website is one of your most vital marketing tools. If you would like to find out more about how redesigning your website can push your business forward, let us know!

By | 2017-08-15T15:50:26+00:00 April 11th, 2014|Cascade CMS|1 Comment

Sitemaps and More!

I only have 4 weeks left for my internship at Beacon Technologies. I am still learning a lot about the process of creating a website. We have decided on a template for the Beacon NetCafe. Richard and I are going to start pushing this website through and have the pilot run before the end of my internship. I look forward to completing this project in the near future.

 

When designing a website, it is important to create a sitemap. I have already learned this fact. You shouldn’t pick or design the website before creating a sitemap. This would be counter-intuitive. Never use a website to create your sitemap. After creating the sitemap and better understanding the needs of the website, we were able to find a template much more effectively. Now that we have the sitemap and the template, our next step is to create a wireframe for the website. A website wireframe is a framework of the website design. I am learning more and more about the process of designing a website. So far, I have been using Paint to complete the wireframe for the Beacon NetCafe website. Using my master Photoshop skills that I don’t really have, I have been copying and pasting images and words to a screenshot of the template. Although anybody can see the boxes from copying and pasting on my wireframe, it will get the job done. I also enjoy messing around with pictures on Paint so this part of the project is turning out to be pretty fun. I will also start to work on a requirement document next week to plan out everything needed for the website. After about 6 weeks of researching and planning, I am actually starting to see how this website is going to turn out. So far, it has been exciting and I can’t wait to have a demo website up and running in the near future. The process has had its ups and downs but I am confident that this website and event will turn out to be great for Beacon Technologies.

By | 2017-06-16T13:11:25+00:00 June 22nd, 2012|Beacon News|Comments Off on Sitemaps and More!

Heading South to IRWD!

Hopefully it will be nice and sunny in Orlando for next week’s Internet Retailer Web Design & Usability Conference (Feb 13-15).  I’m looking forward to meeting with our partners and clients that are attending.  Let me know if you are going to be there – maybe we can grab some coffee and talk “Web”!

Mark Dirks
Mark Dirks is the CEO for Beacon Technologies, but claims that Senior Web Business Consultant is more fitting. With a Masters Degree from Kansas State in Information Systems and a BS from Wake Forest in Mathematics/Computer Science, his passion is helping clients get the most out of their website and internet technology. Mark co-founded Beacon after spending a couple of years with RJ Reynolds and 13 years at AT&T. Outside of Beacon, he is an avid racquetball and softball player, while also coaching youth baseball and football.
By | 2016-11-18T14:12:49+00:00 February 10th, 2012|Beacon News|Comments Off on Heading South to IRWD!

Beacon’s Top 10 Blog Posts of 2011

The Beacon Staff wrote nearly 200 blog posts in 2011!  So we are highlighting our Top 10 and want your help to identify the “Beacon Blog Post of the Year”.  Please check them out and leave a comment telling us which one you enjoyed most and why.  Some of these were actually written in 2010, but received enough views in 2011 to make the Top 10 List.

Top 10 Posts by Views

1. Slick Pop-up Video Player using GreyBox & Flowplayer by Thomas Brinegar

2. Google Analytics Event Tracking in a Template File by Eric Westerman

3. Google AI – Artificial Intelligence is the future of Google Search by Jeff Pickle

4. Robots.txt “Disallow” and “No Index” Meta Tag: What ‘s the difference? by Andrea Cole

5. Best PPC Call to Action Keywords by Jeff Pickle

6. Instant Messaging in the Workplace by Annette Fowler

7. XSL for Formatting pubDate from RSS feed by Tiffany May

8. TOMS Designs More Than Cool Shoes by Rick Boccard

9. 100 Call to Action Keywords for ad campaigns by Jeff Pickle

10. Facebook Developer Tools – URL Linter by Tiffany May

 

 

 

 

By | 2016-11-18T14:12:49+00:00 January 5th, 2012|Beacon News|1 Comment

United Way Week at Beacon

It’s been a fun week here at Beacon as the entire team has stepped up to raise money for the United Way.  It’s great to see everyone participating in the various activities to give back to the community.

We kicked off United Way Week on Monday with a couple of guest speakers from the United Way along with a short video that showed exactly how the money we raise goes to help people in Greensboro area.   We also created 5 teams of employees that are competing against each other during the week.  Of course the teams came up with interesting team names and the trash talking began pretty quickly – all in good fun.  Team names were

  • We’ll Kick Your ISAPI,
  • Soup-A-Stars,
  • Occupy Beacon,
  • 404 and
  • Gary and the Webonettes

The first event, which lasts all week, is Penny Wars (coins are positive, bills are negative).  Each team has a jar in the lobby for anyone to put coins or bills into.  Today is the last day for this event and I expect it will get crazy as the clock nears the 5pm deadline.  All of the money for this event goes to United Way.

On Wednesday, we had our Team Competition and brought in lunch.  It was a series of 6 events

  • Bean Bag Toss
  • Hall Bowling
  • Beer Pong (w/o the Beer!)
  • Balloon Pop (hilarious!)
  • Putting (harder than it looked!)
  • Tailgate Golf (outside)

Each Team accumulated points for each event.  Final results after Wed showed that every team is within striking distance to win the overall competition, so it comes down to the Penny Wars.

On Thursday, we had a silent auction for home made baked goods – dinners, desserts, snacks.  Great participation and personally, I wanted to have a bite of everything!  Very tasty and unique items were brought in.  All the proceeds go to the United Way.

Lastly, we have a 50/50 Coin Drop where individuals can drop coins into a water-filled jug into a shot glass.  Coins count for face value (quarter = 25 points; penny = 1 pt).  Whoever has the most points at the end of the week gets half the money in the jug; the other half goes to the United Way.  Again, the race is close and I expect coins to be dropping right up until 5pm today!

Although our primary objective was to raise money for the United Way, I believe we had a lot of fun and got to spend some “non-work” time together as a company.  Priceless.  Congrats to everyone on the Beacon Team for making United Way Week such a success… and special thanks to Suzanne Bugg who coordinated everything!

Mark Dirks
Mark Dirks is the CEO for Beacon Technologies, but claims that Senior Web Business Consultant is more fitting. With a Masters Degree from Kansas State in Information Systems and a BS from Wake Forest in Mathematics/Computer Science, his passion is helping clients get the most out of their website and internet technology. Mark co-founded Beacon after spending a couple of years with RJ Reynolds and 13 years at AT&T. Outside of Beacon, he is an avid racquetball and softball player, while also coaching youth baseball and football.
By | 2016-11-18T14:12:50+00:00 October 28th, 2011|Beacon News|1 Comment

Beacon Gets an Intern

Thomas Brinegar has joined the Beacon Team as a summer intern in the Software Development group. He comes to us from High Point University and we are just thrilled to have his help this summer.  He’ll be working on content development as we work through our many summer projects.  Welcome Thomas!

By | 2017-02-23T17:22:32+00:00 December 10th, 2010|Web Development|Comments Off on Beacon Gets an Intern

What’s New Now??

Yes – it’s been quite a while since I last made a post in the Beacon Blogosphere!!  So, I thought I would comment on some of the new enhancements to our hosting arena – some of these enhancements have been here a while and some of these features have been added recently.

We have made several enhancements to our infrastructure over the last 18 months.   Here are some of the hi-lights:

  • Increased Internet connection to 100 Mbps to improve our network capacity
  • Upgraded all the switches and firewalls to support Gigabit network which increased our network performance
  • Installed new servers to increase web site performance
  • Implemented VM Ware to allow us to provide virtual dedicated hosting solutions
  • Upgraded to SQL Server 2008
  • Installed a new Barracuda Spam Firewall
  • Installed a new SAN to increase our storage capabilities

We continually strive to provde state-of-the-art solutions and technologies for our hosting clients.  If you need a hosting partner please consider Beacon as we have experienced engineers and flexible pricing options to meet your needs.

It’s important to remember that at Beacon we provide manage hosting solutions so you can focus on your business and leave the hosting issues to us.

John Scaramuzzo
John Scaramuzzo, COO, is a seasoned technical strategist, innovative engineer, and creative entrepreneur with nearly two decades of distinguished service and experience in platform and server technologies, ecommerce, business consulting, and customer-service management. Before co-founding Beacon, he worked for 12 years at AT&T where he started his career after graduating from the College of Staten Island with a BS in Computer Science/Mathematics. When not working he enjoys spending time with his wife and two daughters. He still plays softball, loves tennis, and coaches for his daughters’ sports teams.
By | 2017-02-23T17:05:44+00:00 December 5th, 2010|Web Development|Comments Off on What’s New Now??
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