Cold Spring: We conceive, design, build, host and maintain websites
Cold Spring Design, Inc.
We conceive, design and build, then host and maintain beautiful, clean websites that inspire trust in your business.

Please contact us about your next website project.


We're Hiring!
Cold Spring is looking to hire either a web developer or a web designer in order to help us continue to grow our business.  If you know someone who might be interested, please send them to our website and have them check out our job listings.  


What Would You Like to Know?
Got a question about websites, design, web marketing, social media,  or search engine marketing?  It sometimes hurts our bottom line, but we love to talk about this stuff!  If you've got an idea for a future newsletter article or want to talk a possible project, we want to hear from you!  

Send us a note at info@coldspringdesign.com or give us a call at 508.865.5191.  We look forward to hearing from you!


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Topics @ Cold Spring
What are we reading online?

Jeff:
  • Trail Journals: Jeff follows a few thruhikers every year.  Most AT thruhikers start northbound in March.
  • Brand New: We like seeing new logos and reading what our peers think about 'em.

Chris:
  • Engadget: Technology reviews and previews of upcoming hardware and software technology
  • Gizmodo: Same topic as Engadget, but more personality and entertainment.


Recent Blog Posts

Does Your Domain Name Matter?
My two-year-old son had a pretty good laugh at a domain name the other day. We were driving behind a contractor’s truck on the highway and observed that the contractor had gone through the effort and expense to have his website address painted onto the truck. Nice lettering job too. The chuckle? Well, the address was (contractor name).blogspot.com. 
Read the rest of the post on our blog...

If Nothing Else, Observe the Basic Rules of Identity
I received a brief HTML email this week from an organization I belong to.  And I cringed.  Not only had they omitted their extremely recognizable logo, they also changed the colors of the email such that it shared nothing with the organizational color palette.  That may be seen as poor judgement and bad marketing, but the final bit was misspelling the title of the note.  Far better to have not sent that email at all.
Read the rest of the post on our blog...

Other recent posts:

Thank You

You are a proud owner of the First Edition of Cold Spring's inaugural newsletter.  What's that worth?  To you, we're hoping there's some kind of a value.  Heck, we're hoping you actually open this thing.  To us it means a ton.  It means you took the time to care, to sign up, hopefully to read,  And even more hopefully to share and then read the next one.

Why Should You Bother to Share and Enjoy?*
*All references to Hitchhiker's Guide are intended.  Always.

Because we hope to bring you some interesting stuff. Information about websites, sure.  But also about the Internet, marketing, technology, business and people whom we think are doing it right.  We hope it will help you earn money too, but that's mostly your problem.


Internet Explorer 6 Is Almost Dead

Web designers have had to deal with non-standard browsers since the Internet was new.  The last major truly non-standard browser, IE6, is nearly dead now.  It's down to 4.4% market share as of December 2010 and we hope its passing will be quick and grisly.

Why do you care?  Well, web designers are a lot freer to use the capabilities of new browsers now.  With CSS3 and HTML5 coming into standard use, that means users of Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Apple Safari and others see websites differently from users of even the newer versions of Internet Explorer.  Our website, for example, has rounded corners, drop shadows, and links that fade on/off rather than responding instantaneously.  Little things, but they add up.

When I built some of my early websites back around 2004, I used masks on the photos in order to produce rounded corners.  It took time to process the photos this way and had to be done every time my clients wanted to add photos to the site.  Now the rounded corners are done by code rather than graphics - we just place the photos in the site as squares or rectangles.  Our client ends up paying for an hour or so less time.

Internet Explorer 9 is due to have full support of CSS3 and HTML5.  Finally.  Let's see if Microsoft finally upholds web standards and lets us build websites right!

The State of Spam Email

It's the annoying kid next door.  At least, it used to be.  Spam email runs the gamut from silly stuff that your friends pass along to ads for sexual enhancement.  Occasionally a big ugly virus comes up and everyone pays attention, but most of this is troublesome rather than scary.  What's new?  You can check it out here.

Or maybe not.  How about emails that result in identity theft?  Simple campaigns that deceive elderly email users?  Social media phishing schemes that strip all the information you've carefully protected on Facebook?

As a web designer, we feel a responsibility to cut down on the number of emails that come through our web sites.  We don't want email addresses mined for spam campaigns and we don't want the contact forms on our sites to produce a flood of spam for our clients.

What do we do about it?

  • Dual techniques of requiring some information on the contact forms, but refusing to send the forms if other information is filled in works well.  We put 'honeypots' into the forms that spam-bots fill in but humans leave blank - that lets us cut out a lot of the automated spam.  It's tough to stop the human spammers, though!
  • Email addresses have been obscured by a number of techniques over recent years.  They're been hidden by code, they've been displayed as images they've had spaces and non-printable characters introduced. Without exception, they either get solved by the spam-bots or annoy your potential clients & friends.
  • Spam protection within email services has gotten much better in recent years.  If your email doesn't handle spam effectively, we have the answer for you!  Our partners, Horizon Info Services, will set your business up with Google Apps Premier Edition for only $75 per year per account.  We've been using the service at Cold Spring for the past two years and I believe it's the single best value available for small businesses today.  Given how important email is for our businesses, anything less than this service is just silly.  Want to learn more?  Drop me a note and I'll tell you why this may be the single most underrated business decision you will make this year.


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Copyright (C) 2011 Cold Spring Design, Inc. All rights reserved.

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