Idaho State Civic Symphony now on the latest ARTdynamix® platform

Without any background in web design or maintenance, I never would have imagined that I’d be guiding the look of and updating content on a website for a symphony orchestra, while enjoying the creative process and getting excited about adding new pages. Keeping the ISCS ARTdynamix® website fresh, user-friendly, and engaging has become one of the favorite parts of my job thanks to the incredible “Dream Team” at Dream Warrior Group with their patience, responsiveness, and outright brilliance.
They are an absolute joy to work with (and know how to keep me calm).

~Kathryn

Last week, Idaho State Civic Symphony (ISCS) took the plunge and upgraded their site to the newest ARTdynamix® with the re-imagined, easy-to-use CMS.  ISCS has been using ARTdynamix® for over 5-years with great success but said ‘yes’ quickly when our Project Manager demonstrated the features including drag n’ drop page builder, content versioning, private areas, show, class and artist management, the ability to change the navigation on the fly and easy integration with leading show ticketing solutions.

“Making Magic and Changing Lives in our Spectacular Home.”
ISCS Mission

Established in the early 1900s, ISCS is the oldest orchestra in the State of Idaho.   Since April of 2005, the Symphony and our audiences have enjoyed the benefits of the incredible acoustics of the Joseph C. Jensen Grand Concert Hall of the L.E. and Thelma E. Stephens Performing Arts Center. The Center is an imposing 123,000 square-foot edifice of classic design, with a hub-and-spoke arrangement centered on the large Marshall Rotunda lobby, which serves us as a venue for our pre-concert activities and chamber music.

DWG looks forward to partnering with ISCS for many years to come — our goal is to make their website easier to manage and effective for ticket selling and information sharing.

 

Currently NOT indexed – Say What?

The most important news of the last month for all website traffic was the Google’s confirmation that both “Discovered – Currently Not Indexed” and “Crawled – Currently Not Indexed” Status could Last forever” in the Google Search Central. In other words, they may crawl a webpage, but they may choose not to index it and unless interdicted, they may never come back to it again.

Till now, this would have typically happened only if the Googlebot was unable to index, because your site was coded in some obsolete language, or was extremely slow, or you had no-index, or a block on the page.  As of last year, “Googlebot may decide that some crawled pages on the domain aren’t worth indexing and decides not to index them by looking for a pattern in their URL, meta-information, or content.”

The recommendation by Google is to ensure that the pages have fresh titles and fresh content.  In case of shows, here is a general example of a time when DWG helped address a title freshness issue for one of our art clients on ARTdynamix™:

The venue has a repeating annual one-day program, and chooses to promote the program by year and program name, e.g. alphabet-soup-series-2021 page and alphabet-soup-series-2022.  In this case, since the 2021 page had been crawled and the meta titles for both pages were alphabet soup series, despite clear differences in content – because some of the content was pulled from the previous year’s page -the bot chose not to index the page.

To resolve this problem, we first 301 redirected the 2021 page to the 2022 page to ensure that the appropriate information reaches the consumer.  Second, we requested an indexing of the 2022 page which took a while but was eventually done.  Once the 2022 page was indexed, we removed the 301 redirect from the 2021 page. And finally, we modified the title tag for the 2021 page, renamed it redirected the old link, and removed the duplicate content, in case the bot returns to look at these pages. Of course, the time is worthwhile to make sure the page is found!

We encourage you to use more descriptive meta titles, for example if 2021 alphabet soup series is about Diversity, Equity & Inclusion then the meta title of the Diversity-Equity-Inclusion-series page should be 2021 Diversity, Equity & Inclusion program for 2021 alphabet soup series, and for the Disability-Justice-Series page(2022 alphabet soup series)  the meta title may be Disability Justice program for 2022 alphabet soup series.

This rule is applicable if you are a presenting organization or have shows of your own and choose to have topical series included and is not necessarily the same for those membership organizations that hold annual conferences, or if you have e-commerce or content site.  Googlebot is smart enough to tell the difference and treats them differently.

But no matter what kind of site you have, at the end of the day, you should have an indexing strategy in mind, and create a well-optimized site map and avoid duplicate content.

–Nami

Credit to Google updates, think, search, and tools

Web Accessibility Update

Web accessibility is in the spotlight once again. On March 18th, the Department of Justice (DOJ) published new guidance, spurring discussions around legal requirements for web accessibility.

Here are a few takeaways and what they mean for businesses in the United States.

  1. Web accessibility is clearly a requirement under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Title III of the ADA requires any business that’s “open to the public” to make their online content and services accessible to people who rely on assistive technologies, such as screen readers, to navigate the internet.
  2. While the statement doesn’t provide a new legal standard, it points to WCAG and Section 508 Standards for technical guidance.
  3. Web accessibility is a priority. Recent settlements listed in the guidance show the DOJ’s commitment to ensuring businesses make their web content accessible to people with disabilities.

More than anything, the DOJ guidance reminds us that under the law, in our increasingly digital world, access to online content and properties is no different from access to a physical location.

If you haven’t taken any action on your site’s accessibility, or feel unsure whether your efforts are enough, please contact Dream Warrior at [email protected] and we’d be happy to discuss.

(Update from our partner Audioeye)

Mobile First…and Primary

DWG has been building and spreading the word on mobile first for a long time…remember “.mobi?”  Times have changed since then and at some point the emphasis flipped from a mobile site as an accessory to your desktop version to mobile primary. This concept is so important that we thought a refresher may be helpful. The idea is simple – the site needs to respond to the visitor and visitors are on their devices.

A few reasons:

  • It is now often your first impression.  Where do you open your emails and click links?  So do your visitors
  • Google – This isn’t a surprise or a secret especially if  you keep up on Google various email channels. If your site does not have mobile friendly interface, you will be downgraded.  Google considers mobile primary — they are not wrong.
  • Why not?  At the end of the day, all of your versions should be well-designed and fully functional.

Your visitors use your mobile first, so it should be primary to your design.

 

Communities: Ukraine

We all are part of various communities — clubs, family, neighborhoods and work.   Sometimes communities are social, purposeful, or just because there is a commonality — sometimes we help – sometimes we ask for help.

Right now one of our communities, technology experts from Ukraine, is in circumstances I can’t fully fathom but I know we should do what we can to help.  I think of all the developers and IT specialists who are unable to work right now as they are protecting their lives — but I also imagine they are wondering what will happen to their job.  The other side of this equation is the challenge this must be causing for those companies that are struggling to maintain their work, create new projects and serve their customers.

Here’s how we will help with the goal of helping Ukrainian developers be able to return to their work.

When we agree to take on a job from those in a war torn region, we ask that they return the work back to original techs once they are able to do so.  We also be proactive with the technologists pass back the work the moment they are ready.  In this way we act as a project caretaker and not a project taker.

If you need assistance whether technologist or client, let us know how  we can help during this distressing time. Let me know how we can help: [email protected]

To  my technology friends and competitors:  please think about jumping in to do the same.  Not so that we can gain work but so that we can help our communities displaced by war.

~LaMae