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Issue 062 - Jul 31, 2007



1. Summer Special - Consulting for only $50
Summer Special - Consulting for only $50 For two weeks only (until August 15th) you can get Priority Consulting for only $50 per hour (discounted from $75).

Consulting projects are started on a first-come, first-served basis, so if you want to book your project at a special rate, now is the best time. If your project isn't ready to go, you can purchase the time now and bank it for later projects (or even refund unused hours within 90 days).

Instead of spending your time customizing your site with our products, Priority Consulting is an excellent way to have us take care of it. All you need is your website or even a recently purchased template design. We'll do the rest. :)

"Many Thanks! You came through at just the right time for us. I will keep you posted on my other projects. Article Manager 2 Rocks and so does Priority Consulting!"
-- Dave Mackey

When you're ready to get started, send an email with what you need for your next project or give us a call (toll free 1-800-752-0455) and we will start planning your project together! :)

If you need to get started with consulting right away simply visit the order page.

Not sure what consulting can do for you?
Check out these 10 Ways to Improve Your Article Manager Site with Priority Consulting or The 3 Most Popular Realty Manager Tutorials for some ideas.
2. Ross Report - A New Method for Setting Up Featured Articles
Ross Report - A New Method for Setting Up Featured Articles Hi Everyone,

Has it really been four months since my last Ross Report? Wow! I am actually working with the consulting team now and things have been moving along so fast that I just haven't been able to get a report to you lately.

We have a slight reprieve now so I thought it would be nice to share with you a new method I invented for setting up featured articles in Article Manager 2. The usual way to is to create a new checkbox in your admin program and use a search query to find and display articles that have been checked. That still works great but on sites with a lot of traffic, it can be a bit of a burden on your server.

The new method would be to create a category called "Featured Articles" and assign articles to that category (as well as any other category that it actually needs to be in). You'll end up creating a new publish rule and template so if you are up for that check out this tutorial.

Just so you know, setting up this featured article add-on is definitely something we can handle for you through consulting and would be a project we can probably turn around within a day. It would also fit nicely into a larger, full site project too so always keep it in mind. Consulting projects can range from single add-ons like this all the way up to full site integrations. Either way, we are always happy to help.

One last thing, with the summer slowdown our project schedule is currently a bit lighter than usual, so if you were looking to get started now would be the perfect time for you to get your project completed very quickly. It would be great to hear from you so feel free to send me an email through [consulting@interactivetools.com] or call me toll free at 1-800-752-0455.

Talk to you soon!
Ross Fairbairn

3. Coach's Corner - The Coach's 3 Tips for Starting Your Project
Coach's Corner - Featured Articles with Article Manager Two newsletters in a row? What's that you say? I'm spoiling you? Well, I can't help myself! As I work on so many template integrations and projects for Priority Consulting clients, I thought I'd impart some of my project wisdom on you and let you know a couple of great tips for getting started on a new project with any of our products and their template files.

To get started you'll of course need the essentials, an HTML/Text editor, an FTP program, and our software. If you have any questions about these items and what we recommend feel free to let me know. Otherwise, here are my key tips you'll want to keep in mind as you get started with our software:

  • Backups, Backups, Backups

      I can't stress enough how important it is to make backups of any file you modify. It's such a quick and easy thing to do and can save TONS of time and prevent many headaches later on. On a related note, I'd also suggest making only a few small changes at a time to your HTML templates. This way when it comes time to upload your file, if something doesn't look the way you'd expect or if things seem to have gone horribly wrong for one reason or another you won't have lost hours of work and you won't have to dig through your template file to find the error, just re-upload the most recent backup and carry on from there.


  • Create a Working Design

      If you have a design you'd like to work with, I'd suggest that you start by creating a working example page that ISN'T part of our software templates. This way you'll be sure that your HTML code is working correctly and from there you'll have a full sample listing or article page. Then, when you're ready to start working with the software it should really just be an issue of replacing the sample content with the program's specific placeholders and code.


  • Experiment with the Default Templates

    When we start training here at interactivetools.com we take the templates from all of our software and work them inside and out. We customize them, we play with them, we break them. If your software isn't live when you start with it, you can basically do the same thing (as long as you follow my first tip and make backups :). The more knowledge you have about the default templates, the errors that can possibly come up and how they work in general, the easier it will be for you to work with the templates later on when it's time to add your design.

Of course if you have any questions about any of these steps, just let me know. Also, as always, if you're having trouble with the templates or you have an urgent deadline you need to meet, contact me (consulting@interactivetools.com) and we can take care of your project for you through Priority Consulting.

Cheers!
Mike "Ditka" Briggs
4. Developer Resources
Developer Resources Here are a couple of useful resources for web developers and designers. Email me YOUR favourite resources, I might feature them in a future newsletter.
ColorBlender
A free online tool for color matching and palette design. You just choose a color using the color picker and a 6-color matching palette will be automatically created.

BrowserShots
With the increasing popularity of Mac and more people using Firefox (a 28% market share in Europe) it's important to test your sites in many different browsers on various platforms. BrowserShots let's you do this without having to install every browser on every system.

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