Design & Development

This series of Black Cap Design blog posts have been developed to address specific questions our clients have asked about web site design and development.


Black Cap Design Supports Our Community
Black Cap Design Supports Our Community avatar

We believe it is important to support our community.  In addition to volunteering on the Board of the Women’s Business Network and providing Web evaluation to a national program for career practitioners, we also sponsor local events by providing support with their websites. For the second year in a row we will be sponsoring the International Women’s Day Conference by providing website design, development and hosting services.  The IWD Peterborough website is an e-commerce site where tickets are available to… continue reading Black Cap Design Supports Our Community

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It’s Official: Google Has Decided You Need a Mobile-Friendly Website
It’s Official: Google Has Decided You Need a Mobile-Friendly Website avatar

We have been writing about and working with mobile-responsive design for a few years now.  Up until April of this year, building or switching to a mobile-friendly platform was a good idea, but – in my estimation – not a “must have”.  That changed on April 21st, 2015 when Google announced that “we will be expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal.”  They make it sound so friendly!  But what does it mean? It means that, as of… continue reading It’s Official: Google Has Decided You Need a Mobile-Friendly Website

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Web Accessibility for Everyone: AODA and WCAG
Web Accessibility for Everyone: AODA and WCAG avatar

WCAG  – short for Web Content Accessibility Guidelines – is a set of international standards aimed at making the Web more accessible to everyone. The AODA  is shorthand for the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act. As of January 1, 2014, the AODA requires not-for-profit organizations and private businesses with 50+ employees to comply with the WCAG when launching a new website or undertaking major revisions to an existing website. (Reference: http://www.mcss.gov.on.ca/en/mcss/programs/accessibility/info_sheets/info_comm/website.aspx) It’s not just Ontario that is pushing for… continue reading Web Accessibility for Everyone: AODA and WCAG

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Do I Need a Home Tab?
Do I Need a Home Tab? avatar

Why do I need to include a Home tab on my website when everyone knows you just need to click on the logo?  You may find it surprising to learn that not  everyone knows that, in a well designed website, clicking on the logo will open the Home page. Many of your visitors may still expect to find a Home tab on the menu.  A “Home” tab does take up space.  If you have a crowded menu it can be… continue reading Do I Need a Home Tab?

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Call to Action
Call to Action avatar

Blog posts and web pages need to include some way for your visitors to connect with you directly.  This “call to action” motivates people to take the next step, which may include sending you an email, signing up for an event or placing an order. Call to action buttons can work effectively for a wide range of website functions.  For example, your site could include buttons that say, “Buy Now” or “Donate”, or “Join”, or “Volunteer” or “Call”, or “Sign… continue reading Call to Action

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Mapleridge Recreation Centre Site Launch
Mapleridge Recreation Centre Site Launch avatar

Black Cap Design launched the redesigned & rebuilt Mapleridge Recreation Centre website earlier this year.  Mapleridge, located in Peterborough, Ontario, is a drop-in centre for people over 50 who are looking for social, physical and educational programs, activities and events.  Mapleridge is a community-based not-for-profit organization operating out of a beautiful new building in Peterborough’s west end. Black Cap Design worked with the Mapleridge Board of Directors to develop a website that could be easily managed by staff and volunteers. … continue reading Mapleridge Recreation Centre Site Launch

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Responsive Design Revisited
Responsive Design Revisited avatar

Back in January I wrote a blog post called “Responsive Web Design – The Silver Bullet for Mobile Friendly Websites?” discussing the cost/benefit of responsive design. In case you’re not familiar with the term, responsive design involves designing and building a website that is capable of adapting to the screen size of the end user.  Responsive websites will morph or shift to accommodate very large and very small screens. Since writing that article we have completed several more responsive websites… continue reading Responsive Design Revisited

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Andrew Benedetto Site Launch
Andrew Benedetto Site Launch avatar

We recently completed a website project for Andrew Benedetto, a Psychotherapist and Jungian Analyst, providing client-centered therapy in Toronto Ontario. Andrew came to Black Cap Design by way of Sharp Connections, a Toronto-based technology consulting company, and frequent collaborator with Black Cap Design. Andrew was interested in being able to manage the site independently, so we recommended the WordPress Content Management System – which provides him complete control over his website content. Andrew played a key role in selecting images… continue reading Andrew Benedetto Site Launch

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Need a Website But Don’t Want to Break the Bank?
Need a Website But Don’t Want to Break the Bank? avatar

We have recently been taking calls from people interested in establishing a presence on the Internet for their business, club or organization, without the financial resources for a full blown website with all the bells and whistles. These calls are typically accompanied by the questions: Can it be done? Is it a good idea? How much will it cost? Can it be done? Absolutely. The web is an incredibly flexible platform. Think of it like Lego™. A website can be… continue reading Need a Website But Don’t Want to Break the Bank?

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Get Your Website Working for You
Get Your Website Working for You avatar

I had a conversation with a new client recently.  His employees have been encouraging him to “get a website and join the 21st Century“.   He said “I guess they’re right, but we’re already really busy and I’m not sure we can take on more business right now“. It’s true – having a website can generate more business – but it can also work for you by reducing your workload. This particular client receives a ton of calls from prospective customers… continue reading Get Your Website Working for You

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Blogging Software
Blogging Software avatar

The word ‘blog’ is short for ‘weblog’.  A blog is actually a website with a standard structure that allows you, the blogger, the ability to regularly record and share information, opinions, images, videos and links with a world wide audience.  If you want to blog, you will need to make a few decisions. Do I want a basic blog or do I want a website that has a blog as one of the pages? If you already have a website,… continue reading Blogging Software

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The Power of Colour
The Power of Colour avatar

What colours should you use on your website? Do you want warm, vivid, energetic colors like red, orange and yellow, or cool, calm, soothing colours like blue and green? What you decide depends on the message you want to send, the emotion you want to convey and the appeal it will have for your target audience. Branding If you’ve already worked through the branding process, a Web Designer can use this information to design & build your site, integrating the… continue reading The Power of Colour

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My website is old…how do I know if it’s time for a new one?
My website is old…how do I know if it’s time for a new one? avatar

You have a site that you really like.  The only problem: it was built 10+ years ago.  Does that mean it’s time to bite the bullet and have it redone? Not necessarily.  Like anything (computers, cars, people) “old” doesn’t necessarily equal “ready for the junk pile”!  Like an old faded pair of jeans, sometimes websites can look and feel more comfortable with age. People often judge a website by the way it looks. The way a site looks has nothing… continue reading My website is old…how do I know if it’s time for a new one?

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Responsive Web Design: The Silver Bullet for Mobile-friendly Websites?
Responsive Web Design: The Silver Bullet for Mobile-friendly Websites? avatar

There has been a lot of buzz lately about Responsive Website Design.  I’ve recently read several articles suggesting responsive design is the future of the Web and without it, sites are not truly mobile-friendly.  What is responsive design, and does it live up to the hype? Let’s start with some historical context.  In the early days of the Web, computer monitors were massive, but the screens were quite small.  To accommodate small screen size, website layouts were narrow.  As screen… continue reading Responsive Web Design: The Silver Bullet for Mobile-friendly Websites?

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The Website of Your Dreams
The Website of Your Dreams avatar

If you’re considering having a website designed or redesigned, selecting a Web Designer is just the first step. Imagine you have just commissioned a painting.  The artist will need to know what you have envisioned – portrait, landscape, abstract… A Web Designer is like an artist staring at a blank canvas.  You really don’t want your Designer jumping in without any guidance from you, especially if you are working to a deadline.  In most cases a Web Designer will start… continue reading The Website of Your Dreams

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New Site for the Lakefield Horticultural Society
New Site for the Lakefield Horticultural Society avatar

We recently had the pleasure of working with the Lakefield Horticultural Society to design and build their new website.  We communicated closely with the Society’s Past President, Brenda Ibey who provided a clear vision for the the new website, and contributed many of the beautiful images featured on their site. Lakefield Horticultural Society volunteers work hard each year to beautify the village of Lakefield, Ontario and provide a trove of information about gardening and horticulture, including hosting monthly speaking engagements…. continue reading New Site for the Lakefield Horticultural Society

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