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Based in London, Ontario, Concerto Designs offers affordable website design and SEO (Search Engine Optimization) services for small- to medium-sized businesses, churches, and other non-profit organizations in Canada and across the United States. We specialize in Open Source Content Management Systems (CMS) and e-commerce platforms such as Joomla, Wordpress, Drupal, Silverstripe, CMS Made Simple, Magento, X-Cart, and others. We also offer mobile app development and custom data applications.

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January 2016

    At the start of another busy year, I am finally taking a moment to look back and catch up on latest developments. Recent projects here include the design and launch of veterinaryha.org, a new Joomla 3.4.x web site for the Veterinary Hospitals Association, a non-profit organization based in St. Paul, MN. The original web site was built in WordPress, and the initial plan was to optimize the site for mobile with a responsive WordPress theme. After the first meeting, it became clear that the functionality requirements would be difficult to manage in WordPress, so I converted the site content to the Joomla platform, developed a new design, and implemented quite complex access levels for the many types of membership that the VHA offers. As a note of explanation, I actually appreciate and enjoy working with WordPress (I have several clients using the platform), but for more complex feature sets, I prefer to use Joomla or Drupal. The alternative would be to install a lot of plugins, which, as any experienced WordPress developer will tell you, can be quite problematic.

     

    The launch of the new elmwoodproperties.com website design was followed by the development of a custom, multi-step lease renter application that integrates renter data directly into the company Access database. I had the very good fortune of working with Andy Oaks, at Oaks Consulting. Andy is knowledgeable about almost every aspect of Access, which is to say, a subject of which I am completely ignorant. My job was to transition a series of pdf forms with many fields into a streamlined web app. New renters can log into the site, edit their profile, choose their preferred apartments., and apply for a lease online. The new process saves a lot of time and money AND (like all my new projects), works perfectly on mobile devices.

     

    In other news, I am in the middle of large Drupal project that involves upgrading a Drupal 6 site to Drupal 7 and then optimizing the site for mobile. Working with Drupal makes me appreciate how easy it is to run mundane and routine tasks in WordPress and Joomla. On the other hand, the ability to map csv values onto fields is very cool and is also the main feature of this new project. More news to follow on that!

     

    • Web Design @ London, Ontario
      Web Design @ London, Ontario

      There is tremendous opportunity for web design and development in London, Ontario and tremendous competition as well. Londonn has emerged not only as a technology hub but also as a home for web design firms of all types and sizes, from the very large to small (well - Concerto Designs, for one!), from enterprise solutions to WordPress sites and everything in between.

      Concerto Designs thrives in this environment because we offer a focused, efficient approach to providing a unique product model.

      Let's start with our product: although we have experience designing and developing web sites in a wide range of platforms, (Drupal, Wordpress, Magento, X-Cart, DNN, and others), we focus above all on providing complete, turnkey solutions using our optimized configurations of the Joomla CMS platform. By turnkey solutions, we mean everything necessary for a well-functioning, optimized, beautifully designed, hand-coded and content-rich web site. We stress content because we know that content is the most valuable - and challenging - asset in developing an effective digital presence.

      We also offer flexible development plans that streamline production and costs.

      For some businesses, this means a website that features daily specials, product updates, or e-commerce, for others it might involve downloadable brochures, email campaigns with newsletters, blogs, bulletin boards to handle FAQs, or other dynamic content options. However you put your website to work, Joomla CMS allows you complete flexibility and control so that your website and your business grow together. By providing the web solutions that make the most sense for your company, we keep your costs down and your marketing focused. And with Joomla, you can always add new components later.

      in Web Design @ London ON Read more...
    • Content to Marketing: Joomla Helps You to Connect the Dots

      Your web design gives your business a face – your content gives your business a voice.

      And the best platform for shaping and broadcasting that voice is Joomla.

      Well-written content that is crafted and published with Joomla's outstanding editorial tools lets your business and organizational goals come in loud and clear through search engines and social media. Our Joomla’s CMS (Content Management System) web sites provide multiple tools to manage all aspects of content development, publication, and optimization.

      After years of developing Joomla sites for clients in the Twin Cities (Minneapolis and St. Paul, MN), South Carolina, and across the country, we have selected an array of extensions and tools that give your site the competitive edge it needs, including:

      1. The JCE (Joomla Content Editor) lets you style content, spell-check, insert images, add links, embed pdfs and other attachments, add captions, and much more. No knowledge of html or coding is required at all. The full-featured editor panel lets you perform all editorial tasks easily and efficiently. Images can added directly into content from your desktop or laptop computer.

      2. The K2 Content Creation Kit (CCK) brings in the best features of other platforms like Wordpress and Drupal into Joomla, including full-featured blogging capabilities, layout options that can be changed on the fly or varied from page to page, tagging, and extra fields that allow you to add customized maps, contact info, spreadsheet data, and much more.

      3. Joomla’s flexible system of modules (typically used in side columns, dialogue boxes, text boxes, header, footers) provide visually rich, flexible snippets that broaden the scope of your messaging.

      4. Joomla's built-in SEO (Search Engine Optimization) features allow you to manage search engine-friendly urls, page titles, metadata, and other structural elements critical to short- and long-term SEO campaigns. By responding quickly and efficiently to shifting visitor traffic and keyword patterns, you can propel your site's page ranking without having to pay expensive SEO consultants.

      5. Frequently updated content scores better with search engines - and with repeat visitors. Joomla makes updating and adding content as easy as editing a word document. You choose how often to update modules, add new pages, blogs, specials, or news items. That’s good for search engine visibility, good for visitors and good for business.

      Joomla makes managing content simple. With these tools you shape access and create trigger points for visitors to find your site’s most important information.

      Before your site launches, we make sure you understand and can use all these Joomla tools.

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