New Website for Extreme Basic Training Fitness Class at the North Platte Recreation Center

I have been taking the most excellent fitness class for about two years now.  I love the way it challenges my body and increases my strength and fitness.  I was the very first student to register for Extreme Basic Training at the North Platte Recreation Center.  The first session had only myself, another student, and our awesome instructor Nicole.  Over the past two years the class has grown significantly and is now offered 4x/week, 6 week sessions.  It has grown in large part to the amazing results people are experiencing because of the fun, creative exercises that our instructor Nicole comes up with.  Rarely are two classes alike.

I have experienced the benefits of this class personally and am passionate about the way this class accomplishes increased health and fitness.  I designed and developed this website for Nicole to use as a tool and resource for enhancing the class and what the participants get out of it.  The administrative side is smooth and easy for Nicole to use herself so that she can use her website to keep her classes up to date on their exercise homework, motivational testimonies and inspirational stories and encouragement.  Check it out and maybe YOU’LL even sign up for the class!

Extreme Basic Training combines 6 weeks of high intensity group exercise classes with individual nutrition guidance.  Be inspired by each member of your class and instructor to be the best you can be.  This program will help you change your lifestyle and reach your goals, sign up today!

Extreme Basic Training Includes:

  • Pre and post body composition assessments
  • 2 group workouts each week, for 6 weeks, that will challenge every muscle in your body
  • “Exercise homework” for the days you are not at Extreme Basic Training
  • Weekly personalized nutritional guidance
  • A team atmosphere that will push you to be your best
  • Extreme Basic Training t-shirt upon completion
  • Guidance, support, motivation and  encouragement!

Do you shop in Grand Island, Nebraska?

If you ever shop in Grand Island, Nebraska, you have probably been to Conestoga Mall.  Conestoga Mall, located in central Nebraska, features a Best Buy, Dillard’s, JC Penney, Sears, Younkers and Showplex Cinemas.

LuHow Designs just completed a redesign of their website.  Their site is mobile and search engine optimized, integrated with Facebook, and includes simple client-side editing capabilities.  The movie feed from Showplex Cinemas comes directly into their “Movie Showtimes” page.  Conestoga Mall updates their own eventsjob openings and sales, which automatically time-out when they set it to do so.  Once LuHow Designs completed the requested website redesign/development and dynamic features, the power and control of the website content was given back to Conestoga Mall employees.

 

 

First North Platte Real Estate Website with Custom Integrated IDX

Recently, LuHow Web Design/Development launched the first website in North Platte, Nebraska, for a Real Estate company, which included a custom IDX (Internet Data Exchange) solution.  This means that the live feed of properties in the Lincoln County MLS actually comes into the website, thus, is integrated into the website itself, with it’s own URL.  So now, when you do a search for different types of properties for sale or for rent, you actually do the search on the company’s website, which is a service to you and GREAT for the company in terms of capturing leads.  This is the type of thing we are used to seeing at Realtor.com, but that we have not yet seen, locally, incorporated into a website of a Real Estate Agency here in North Platte.

You can check out the custom IDX solution for the Commercial Properties department of Gateway Realty of North Platte, Inc. Real Living, here.

LuHow Web Design/Development of North Platte also recently included a Rate of Return Calculator within the website.  For any investors who are asking, “What Is The Return On My Real Estate Investment?”, use this valuable tool by plugging in purchase price, loan terms, appreciation rate, taxes, expenses and other factors to be considered when you evaluate a real estate investment. Use this calculator to help you determine your potential IRR (internal rate of return) on a property**.

We should also mention that this website is mobile and notebook optimized.  It can be viewed and utilized on all smartphones and digital notebook platforms.

 

**This information may help you analyze your financial needs. It is based on information and assumptions provided by you regarding your goals, expectations and financial situation. The calculations do not infer that the company assumes any fiduciary duties. The calculations provided should not be construed as financial, legal or tax advice. In addition, such information should not be relied upon as the only source of information. This information is supplied from sources we believe to be reliable but we cannot guarantee its accuracy. Hypothetical illustrations may provide historical or current performance information. Past performance does not guarantee nor indicate future results.

Another New Website in North Platte

Check it out, another website redesign that is almost done…..
(I can’t wait to tell you all the cool things it can do, real-estate listings importer, featured listings, image slideshow, site searchability, client-side editing, instant post to facebook and other social media and MORE)
sheribourne.com

 

Sneak Peak

Check it out, a website redesign that is almost done…..
(I can’t wait to tell you all the cool things it can do, client-side editing, time-out sales, google calendar, instant post to facebook and other social media and MORE)

Kandi Mall Shopping Center

Community Event Fundraiser

The fundraising event, “Hope in a Kayak” was a successful first time event!  Four teams bravely navigated the water in their kayaks, some for the first time ever.  The sport of kayak water  polo is a bit difficult to learn only because there is so much bodily coordination and team strategy involved.  First, you must learn to row and maneuver (often very quickly), the kayak boat, then in addition you must work as a team to move a ball to your opponents goal and score, while following all (if not most) of the rules of play.

Anyway, the sport of kayak water polo presented a unique backdrop for raising funds for our local child advocacy center, Bridge of Hope, in North Platte, Nebraska.  In addition to helping form a team for the competition, LuHow Designs contributed web design services for the event.  We can’t wait to be involved next year and hope to see many more teams from the community rally to support an essential service to children and have fun while doing it!  Thank you to all who participated.  (If you don’t want your picture to appear on this website, please email me and I will remove it promptly.)

My team captain had a much more detailed description of our experience and you can read about it here.  Or read the North Platte Telegraph’s coverage of the event here.  Or you can view KNOP’s coverage of the event here:

Is There Hope in a Kayak?

Is there Hope in a Kayak?  There is now!  LuHow Designs just finished putting together online registration/payment for an upcoming fundraiser for Bridge of Hope Child Advocacy Center in North Platte, Nebraska.

Hope In A Kayak is a Double Elimination Kayak Polo Tournament on Saturday, Oct 22 at the North Platte Recreation Center Pool. Pre-game check-in will begin at 5:30pm. Games will start at 7:00pm and will go until 12:00am.

Teams must consist of 5 people, (at least one team member must be of the opposite sex) and 21years or older.

Each team member will pay a $15 registration fee and collectively each team will raise a minimum of $500 in donations.

Each  participant will receive a T-Shirt, different colored shirts for each team.

The Canteen will host a post-game celebration party.

No experience is necessary, but you can participate in the regular games days beginning Sunday, 25 Sept.  You will receive a 10% discount for the Sunday games prior to Oct 22 if you are registered.

Register Your Team Online for Hope in a Kayak and support Bridge of Hope TODAY!

(Registration deadline is October 5th, 2011)

Meeting your web/graphic design needs – even the fun ones!

Throughout my career as a web designer I have produced web sites while living in Denver, Colorado; Erie, Pennsylvania; and now here, in North Platte, Nebraska. I have also worked in the marketing department of Richmond American Homes on a team of web designers. My clients vary from sports jersey display kits to malls, across the board and everything in between.

But what is so refreshing as a web designer is the chance to do a project, just for fun!

Last fall/winter, some friends of mine started brewing their own beer and were in need of some creative labels for their homebrew.  At about the same time we also started playing a strange, sometimes violent new sport called Kayak Water Polo.  It was being offered here in North Platte, Nebraska for the first time (that I know of anyway).  Out of our awkward tussles for the ball while trying to row along in river kayaks, came some very funny stories and inside jokes.  Eventually these stories made their way into beer labels.  I had a blast creating these, I used grunge effects for the first time and it was fun to create something visual from all the stories we were collecting while laughing together playing this new sport.  Check out some of the labels below (WARNING: SOME MAY FIND THE CONTENT OFFENSIVE).

I should probably mention that the web sites I have linked to in this article are in no way affiliated with other fun projects, such as this one, that I choose to do.  That being said, if you are the least bit intrigued by this strange sport called Kayak Water Polo, check out the website I created for the company that runs the games here in North Platte!  Hope to see you there!

Is Your Website Static or Dynamic?

There are many static websites on the Internet, I designed some of them!  There are especially a lot of static websites in North Platte, Nebraska where I live and work.  A static website is the traditional way to build a website – it’s an easy way to get something up and going and they are cheap to host, but you really have to know coding (like someone with web design/development skills) to edit it and keep it updated.   You may not be able to tell right away but if the site looks basic, and gives you information without anything cool happening, it could be a static website.

Although a static website can be fairly cheap to develop in the short run, they could be costly to maintain in the long run because of the growing number of pages and the need for help from a web developer who knows the code, AND, what people don’t realize is that the site is usually not very useful for the user and that the content can get stagnant, which is not conducive to site ranking high on search engines.  They give the user and the search engine (like Google) exactly the same response over and over again.

Dynamic sites on the other hand can be more expensive to develop initially, but the advantages are numerous.  A dynamic website can give the website owner the ability to simply update and add new content to the site. For example, news and events could be posted to the site through a simple browser interface. There is really no end to the features that can be added to a dynamic site.

Dynamic features enhance the user experience and most often result in an increase in traffic and added time spent on the site. Some examples of dynamic website features could be: forms, photo albums, content management system (CMS), e-commerce (selling stuff online), forums or discussion boards, newsletter, contact forms, detailed searches, social networking (connecting the site to Facebook, Twitter and other social sites), intricate calculators, RSS feeds (like a theater’s latest movie listings or recent news from CNN), ability for administrators or users to create content or add information to a site (dynamic publishing), without worrying about “breaking” something in the core code and thus, disabling or seriously disabling the website.

Advantages of dynamic websites

  • Much more functional website
  • Ability to continue adding dynamic features
  • Much easier to update
  • Deliver information to a wider audience
  • New content brings people back to the site and helps in the search engines
  • Can work as a system to allow support staff or other users to collaborate

Disadvantages of dynamic websites

  • Usually takes longer and is more expensive to develop
  • Hosting costs a little more

Many sites from the last decade are static, but more and more people are realizing the advantages of having a dynamic website. Dynamic websites can make the most of your site and either use it as a tool or create a professional, interesting experience for your visitors.  Here is an example of a static website  AND Here is an example of a dynamic website. (I created both of these, by the way….the static site is about 6 years old).  When I first started designing web sites I created a lot of static ones, since then I have redeisgned my old static sites into dynamic sites for my clients in North Platte, Nebraska, Denver, Colorado and across the U.S.  What remains the same is that I listen to what my clients need and I help them step by step to accomplish the web presence they desire, that will accomplish their goals.

If you have any questions or comments, please add yours to the post interaction or contact us.

What to Look for in a Web Designer

Trying to find a company or individual to design, program and maintain your website can be a very intimidating task!  I have seen many people go through this process and, initially, they always seem to have a “deer in the headlights” look on their faces!  It really isn’t too different, I think, from the way my face must look every time I walk into The Buckle to buy a pair of jeans!  Hey, some of us are overwhelmed by the thought of developing a web presence while others of us are intimidated by the thought of matching our own clothing before we leave the house…..it’s all about how we present ourselves to the world, right?

Today I found a very helpful article that I wanted to share with you if you happen to be shopping for a web designer at the moment.  Don’t be overwhelmed.  Take some advice and then go with your gut.  I found this article on about.com.  A few things the author said that I would like to highlight for you are:

Designer Portfolio…look for examples that show diversity and range for the designer. Ask to see the portfolio online so that you can see how the websites they’ve built actually work. This is especially important if you’re looking for a designer to build any type of interactivity for your website.

Designer Skills…to assess this in a Web designer, you need to know what you need on your website. This can be hard, but worth thinking through beforehand.  But some skills that they should definitely know include: HTML, CSS and JavaScript.  It is important to note that there is the possibility that one person might know a wide range of technologies and programming languages (like PHP, Flash, Ajax, SEO, graphics creation, content writing), it is NOT likely that they will know them all well.  If they tell you they don’t like JavaScript, so they sub-contract all JavaScript work out to someone else, you should consider this a bonus. They know their weaknesses and have figured out a way to work around them.

Designer Experience…while experience can be useful, it can also be a drawback. Just because a designer has less experience doesn’t mean that he or she can’t build a beautiful site for you. Before you base your decision solely on how many sites they’ve built or how long they’ve been in business, think about this:

  • Many long-time designers are stuck in their habits and might not be willing or able to give you a cutting edge website (if that’s what you want).
  • Younger designers are more likely to have gone to school to get a Web design degree. While this isn’t vital either, it does tell you that this person has academic knowledge that an older designer might only have through practice.

Designer Fees…the same rule applies here as with anywhere, “you will probably get what you pay for”.  “Free” means you’ll get a very bad site or very very little, or maybe you’ll get a good site, and then when you ask them to make one change they’ll never answer your calls.  Volunteering and barter is different than free. If you run a non-profit, you might be able to find a Web designer to volunteer time for your website. If you offer a service that is valuable to the designer, you may be able to trade for their web services.

Remember, web design is a specific expertise that only a qualified and trained individual can deliver.  If you need a plumber, you don’t call a florist.  If you need an electrician, you don’t call a hairdresser.  The world wide web might be somewhat new and you may be wary of how to navigate the process of entering it….but you will probably need the expertise of a qualified individual or company to help you, web design is a specific skill set like any other specialized trade.

Read more helpful information on hiring a web designer at about.com>>>