Formidable Forms – WordPress Plugin

Posted by Mark Greentree on October 23, 2014  /   Posted in Helpful Tips

formidableAre you looking to make a Contact Form and just don’t know how or what plugin to use?  We have found Formidable Forms simple and easy to use.

With Formidable Forms, you can add multiple email recipients, clone other forms, add customized css and even export forms as an .xml file for use on other WordPress sites.  Formidable Forms also provides a customizable confirmation email to personalize your communication with your users.

formidable-dndFormidable Forms gives you the ability to drag and drop your input fields with a click of the mouse. This feature considerably reduces the time it takes to make a contact form.  Formidable Pro, a subscription base, allows for more custom fields (note grey buttons under the ‘Pro Fields’ in graphic to the right).

Check ’em out – Formidable Forms


New eCommerce Design Project – Parakeet Feet!

Posted by Mark Greentree on October 22, 2014  /   Posted in eCommerce Design Projects, Latest News

eCommerce Design Project – Parakeet Feet

We recently converted Parakeet Feet’s WordPress design into a full fledged eCommerce storefront using Shopify.

About Parakeet Feet:
Parakeet Feet is a family-owned business with a flagship storefront in Ithaca, NY. Parakeet Feet sells terrific children shoes, clothing and accessories from brands like Beatrix, Charmit, Jambu, Hatley, Livie & Luca, Kamik and much more!

About The Parakeet Feet Project:
Parakeet Feet needed an eCommerce platform that would help them sell their products online and from their brick and mortar store located in Ithaca, NY.  We recommended Shopify (We just finished work on another Shopify project – as they had the tools, excellent tech support and competitive prices.

Shopify’s tech support is phenomenal.  We had some functionality questions we needed assistance with  so we enlisted Shopify’s Live Chat built into the Shopify admin panel.  The tech was able to answer our question instantly.  They were friendly and prompt – can’t beat that!

Shopify allows you to install third party apps to make the admin panel robust and extremely useful.  Here are some that we recommend:


All In One SEO pack – WordPress Plugin

Posted by Mark Greentree on October 22, 2014  /   Posted in Helpful Tips, WordPress Websites

Are you looking for a WordPress plugin to add your SEO Meta data?  We recommend the All In one Seo Pack by Michael Torbert, click here to download.  The plugin is easy on your admin panel, quick to load and a breeze to use!

Some of the benefits of All in one SEO pack are as follows:

  1. Ease of use.  To add your Meta data for your homepage, simply go to the General Settings/Homepage Settings of All in One and add them to the top section
  2. Another great feature is say you’ve already created a website and didn’t have time to tag out the pages or posts.  You don’t have to go into edit every individual page and add the tags you can edit them directly in your page or post listing.  Just click on the little pen icon, example in red circle, drop in your tags and you’re done!

Navigation – The first Item on your to-do list when building a website

Posted by Mark Greentree on October 11, 2014  /   Posted in Helpful Tips

Navigating websitesSo you are ready to start thinking about a website?

What should be the first thing you should communicate with your users – NAVIGATION.

Think about it, you want your users to be able to find what they came to your site in the first place.  You do that with a well thought-out, intuitive navigation.

First you consider your audience or who your audience might be.  For eCommerce websites that means you want your navigation to be product focused.  This means you want to categorize what you are offering in clear/concise manner.  You can do this very easily by creating a category structure that allows your users to navigate through your site with little or no thought.

So you’re selling shirts.  Are you selling male and female, boys and girls products?  Then your navigation should reflect that.  Organize your inventory by breaking it down or departmentalizing it.  This will prove effective with search engines as well.

Say Sally is looking for shirts for her daughter theorectically she will find your site because your categories are labeled rich in search engine keywords that adequately define the product they are searching for, i.e. girls, shirts, short sleeve etc.  But don’t stop there, make categories that allow you to shop by size, by brand, even by price.

Rollover menu/Dropdown menus

You want to display your content pages or products or categories and don’t know how to organize them so that they’re easy to find, navigate – rollover menus are a great way to display these pages without weighting down your look and feel.  The menu items in a rollover menu on first glance look hidden but don’t be fooled, the search engines can read every link in your menu.  So all the keywords you have embedded in your product categories, page names will get served up faster since they will be placed in a rollover menu at the top of your code.

Search engines read websites read through your website code top to bottom. It is imperative you have the most important navigable items at the beginning of the code which you will be presenting via the top navigation area in the header of your website.

The Search Box

There are those that may utilize your well thought out navigation or skip it altogether.  This means you also must provide an easy to use and see search box.  Place it above the browser fold in your header or atop your left or right column of the content area.

For an eCommerce store or even a content driven website, information will only be found successfully if your meta keywords are embedded well for the search box to deliver to its users.

The footer is important too!

The footer can often be overlooked because it is at the bottom of the website.  Don’t be fooled, the footer can be very helpful.  Say you happened upon the bottom of a long list of products or informational page.  You can save your users time from navigating back to the top of the site by creating a footer that reiterates the header and other useful information. It is a great practice to serve up your parent categories in the footer along with company links like policies, about us, contact etc.

Focus groups have found when challenged to use a website if they do not find what they are looking for in seconds they will leave the site almost instantly.  This is a harsh reality so make sure you keep that in mind when creating your website.

Good Luck!

Social Media

Posted by Mark Greentree on October 11, 2014  /   Posted in Helpful Tips

Facebook Twitter WordPress Pinterest LinkedIn Social MediaOften, after a project is nearing its completion, a client will ask, ‘What should we do next?’   After the project checklist has had all the ‘I’s’ dotted and ‘T’s’ crossed we ask, ‘Do you have/use Social Media?’  Believe it or not there are still hold outs on the relevancy or effectiveness of social media.  Social Media can help your business in many ways:

  1. Social Media can be great for increasing your search engine page rank by sending outside page links to your website.  This helps increase your relevancy with the search engines by proving your site is worthwhile to index.
  2. Social Media is an excellent avenue for disseminating information to the world at large.  Use Social Media to make announcements about your business, notify your customers of new products, sales, specials etc. – what could be easier?
    1. Say you have an eCommerce store and you want to show off some of your new products in a visual manner.  Use Facebook, Instagram, Youtube or Pinterest to do just that.  While potential customers find this information they will be channeled toward your website because they frequent one of those social media platforms after they happened upon your photo!
    2. Social Media is great for P.R.  Use platforms like Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn to make announcements about your company.  Once you have followers on your social media your customers will be hungry for everything that is your business!

Put those social media badges up on your website – Get your customers interested in everything that you do!

Making eCommerce Work For You

Posted by Mark Greentree on September 30, 2014  /   Posted in eCommerce Design Projects, Helpful Tips, Web Design Projects

eCommerce Websites that workSo you’ve purchased your eCommerce site.  You’re ready to start a new side career that may eventually lead you full time that you can quit your current job or you are ready to start out on your own already?

You have your product/s now what? 

There are many options out there that could satisfy what you are looking for but what do they all possess over the other?

First consider how many products you want to sell when you first open your storefront.  This will factor in what kind of platform you might want to use.  Some platforms have a lower monthly rate but charge a transaction fee.  If you have a small inventory, transaction fees will seriously cut into your profits.  If you have a large inventory and would like to have a lower month rate the per sale transaction fee may balance out nicely for you.

Now that you’ve decided what platform you want to start with what’s next?
At Greentree Designs we have worked with many different clients from small, sometimes one product inventories to ones with sku’s reaching into the thousands.

Your next step should be how do you want to plan your website to look, function, navigate etc.

A unique design can separate you from the pack.  A well thought out navigation scheme can give your customers the ease of mind to find what they are looking for without having to look for it.  Make sure your navigation is chock full of SEO keyword terms.  If you sell shoes, list brand names, list style of shoe etc.

A search box – Some customers, no matter how well you set up your navigation, will ALWAYS go to the search box.  This means in order to satisfy those that use search only you need to include good SEO keyword phrases on your product pages, categories etc.  Otherwise the customer will never be able to find the product they came to your site in first place to find.  These keyword phrases will also help potential clients find your site when making a simple Google search.

Keep your site up to date, current – The best way to ensure retention of your customers is to offer them specials, sales, new products etc.  Who wants to go to a site more than once that offers the same thing every time they visit the store?  This can be accomplished simply by displaying a featured products photo slider linking it to the product page for quicker purchasing or providing a new products listing.

Increase Your Conversion Rates!
This means every eCommerce storefront should have the following displayed on every page, preferably in the header or above the fold.

  1. Your Shopping Cart display – This is vital.  Allow your customers the ease of shopping when they add an item to the cart, the cart displays a subtotal, item count and a link to Checkout.  Make the cart display a primary, focal element that is not competing with any other part of the design but flows seamlessly within it.
  2. Purchase your own SSL certificate –   Most eCommerce platforms provide a shared SSL certificate.  What this means is if the customer goes to view the cart or check-out the url physically changes.  NetworkSolutions Commerce Space is a great example.  Say you are shopping at, you add something to the cart and then want to view your cart you do so by clicking on the View Cart link and it redirects to  If your customer is paying attention, and they probably are, they may panic that they’ve just left the store they were on even though the design hasn’t changed but the url has.  What having your own SSL will help is by only changing one thing, adding an ‘S’ to the url, or simply

If you’re ready to make the plunge into eCommerce and want to start selling your products effectively and get placed well with the search engines let Greentree Designs help!  We look forward to working with you!  Click Here today!

Seven Considerations For A Successful, Distributed Workforce

Posted by Mark Greentree on September 15, 2014  /   Posted in Business Partners, Latest News

Great article by Tolga Tanriseven (the co-founder and CEO of

Remote employees save larger corporations time and money in utilities and benefits.  Typically remote employees work all hours of the day so time restraints generally aren’t a factor when considering time sensitive projects.

No longer are companies restricted by geographical distances.  Employing remote employees allows businesses the ability to provide their services in a broader spectrum, with lower churn and higher return on investment.

green world globeJust think, save the planet, remove the need for fossil fuels wasted in the daily commute, hire a remote worker today!


Converting your old website to WordPress

Posted by Mark Greentree on September 11, 2014  /   Posted in Helpful Tips, WordPress Websites

wpTraditional HTML websites are steadily becoming a thing of the past. CMS or Content Management Software platforms like WordPress allow you to make global design changes in one fell swoop. No longer are you slowed down by using .DWT files or includes when WordPress allows you to change your design via theme files and CSS. The best part with WordPress is that you can make these changes from any computer or even cell phone. If you want to add your latest news or announcements you can do so with a time/date stamp via a Post. The best part about WordPress is that it is always evolving to stay ahead of security threats and most of all add great features like image resizing tools and text editors.

So if you are wanting to take the next step and take more control of your site we can help convert your current design into a WordPress theme with all your design bells and whistles but most of all we will bring over all your content too.

Agency Overflow

Posted by Mark Greentree on September 04, 2014  /   Posted in Business Partners, Latest News, WordPress Websites

canstockphoto2349246Are you a design firm that has overflow work that is time sensitive and need to outsource it quickly?  A great alternative is to use a smaller/boutique design firm.  Working with a smaller agency can save you time and money for the fact that you will find the experience and capability you are looking for for those short term projects.

Greentree Designs has been collaborating with agencies like,, and helping them realize those projects that need to get completed and out the door.

We provide the expertise and a fast turn around in multiple areas you may be looking for.  We offer services in website maintenance, website design for eCommerce, static and WordPress websites.  We also offer graphic design for those looking to update their logo or create business cards and other print ventures.

For more information working with Greentree Designs to outsource your overflow projects, click here!

eCommerce Platforms we support

Posted by Mark Greentree on July 08, 2014  /   Posted in eCommerce Platforms We Support, Latest News

There are many eCommerce platforms to choose from. Make sure the one you select has the tools you need.

Carts like NetworkSolutions Commerce Space is a great all inclusive storefront. Shopify and 3dcart provide multiple add-ons to create a robust storefront. Volusion and BigCommerce provide overall ease of use for those new to eCommerce.

Another aspect to consider when choosing an eCommerce platform is how they charge for their service.  NetworkSolutions Commerce Space lowered their pricing structure so that their monthly rates are lower but charge a transaction fee.

If you are not selling a high volume of products or are just starting out this could be a considerable factor in what platform you choose.

3dcart, Shopify and Volusion all offer packages that don’t require transaction fees.  BigCommerce offers packages with transaction fees and without.

So if you’re ready to start an eCommerce store today let us know, we’d love to help you out.

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