Twenty Fifteen

Last week WordPress 4.0 was released. An update without major changes, although -in their own words- “this release brings you a smoother writing and management experience we think you’ll enjoy”. For us the main changes are the improved Media Library and some improvements to the text editor. More here:

WordPress 4.1 is planned for a December release. The last update of the year always is accompanied by the new default theme. (A WordPress theme is the template that makes the website layout what it is.)

In my experience the default WordPress themes follow developments and trends in web design from a safe distance. Good to see that simplicity and focus are continued in Twenty Fifteen.

Here is a first look:

first look at wordpress theme twenty fifteen

New words

A month or so ago I rewrote most of the info for the Dutch section of the website. Simpler, shorter and sharper.

Next I translated the new pages to English. Then I asked my American friend Jamie Adrianse (who also happens to be an excellent writer) to do her editing magic.

And she did! Thank you Jamie!

Special deals for June

Special deals

All throughout June our webhosting rates are reduced.

E-mail onlyemail-icon
For business or personal use, club, family: your own mailserver with your own domainname. Independent from your ISP. Be able to switch to a different ISP without having to change e-mail addresses or inform your contacts. Keep your e-mail stored on the IMAP server, and have access to your e-mail at all time, even with a smartphone.
(50mb, 5gb datatraffic/month, domainregistration, 1 nl/be/eu domain, 5 e-mail addresses, 5 forward addresses, control panel)
subscription: € 20,- / year
special deal: 1st year € 10,-

Your own domainname, a mailserver, your own virtual server, full control, lots of free software solutions. We have three plans. For other customized plans contact me. Along with nl/be/eu domains we can also offer com/org/net and other domains, albeit for different prices. Hosting in the Netherlands or USA.

(250mb, 5gb datatraffic/month, domainregistration, 1 nl/be/eu domain, 2 e-mail addresses, control panel)
€ 50,- / year
special deal: 1st year € 40,-

(500mb, 10gb datatraffic/month, domainregistration, 1 nl/be/eu domain, 10 e-mail addresses, control panel)
€ 100,- / year
special deal: 1st year € 80,-

(1000mb , 20gb datatraffic/month, domainregistration, 3 nl/be/eu domains, 15 e-mail addresses, control panel)
€ 150,- / year
special deal: 1st year € 130,-

(Prices are excl.21% BTW/VAT)

Offers valid until 30 juni 2014.

Save Pacific View

SavePacificView.orgMy friend Scott from Encinitas, California asked me to offer technical support to the website of

The buildings and grounds of Scott’s old (no longer in use) school Pacific View in Encinitas, CA were up for auction. Save Pacific View. is a grassroots group of concerned north coastal residents who are working to keep the historical Pacific View school site in the public domain for present and future generations to enjoy. One of the means to achieve this is a website.

Phase 1

For the WordPress website the Destro theme was chosen as the template. Soon it turned out that there were some technical difficulties with what Scott had in mind (petitionform, video, custom header, etc) and so in early February he called for my help. With some adaptations and tweaking most problems were fixed relatively easy.

Read more


I am currently working on the build and updates of five online stores for a Belgian client. Each of the webshops is build with e-commerce software by ShopFactory.

Here are two examples of shops that went live earlier this month:

Along with these new webshops I have also taken over the maintenance of a couple of already operating webshops. We expect the shops to grow both in size and in number.

February Deal

This month only I am offering a 25% discount on all new web design orders. The only condition is that the order is placed and the work is done in February 2014.

Web Design Basic
5 pages (What?, How?, Who?, Why? and Where?)
Blogroll (newsfeed)
Standard-layout, with adjustable font and background colours, your logo in header, footer info.
CMS with limited authorisation
€400 – $550 € 300 – $ 412,50

Web Design Standard
Max.15 pages (What?, How?, Who?, Why? and Where? plus subpages)
Blogroll (newsfeed)
Standard-layout as a basic layout, with adjustable font and background colours, your logo in header, footer info, background and other extras.
CMS with limited authorisation
Social media integration
€750 – $1000 € 562,50 – $ 750

For all other web design work I will also use a reduced fee.

Interested? Please contact me.

Make your website Responsive

Did you know that in the Netherlands more than 8.5 million people own a smartphone? And 1 in 3 people aged 65 and older have a smartphone? That about 7 million people in the Netherlands have a tablet (which means 1 in every 2 households)?

And it is not just a Dutch thing. Of the 91 percent of US adults who own a mobile phone, roughly 60 percent have smartphones (source: Forbes / Marketingland (dead link) / Pew  Internet  June 2013.) Tablet ownership in the US doubled in a years time, from 18% to 34% (source: Pew Internet June 2013.)

Numbers may be different in other countries, but you get my point: that is a lot of people using smartphones and tablets.

And growing…

Both these numbers and the new approach to websurfing by smartphone and tablet users bring to the surface a weakness that many (especially smaller) websites have. Many websites are not or not sufficiently tailored for smartphone/tablet use.

You are visiting a town and while walking to the hotel you pass by an art gallery. You notice a piece of art that you really like. There is no info card with specifics of the artist, the exhibition or price. You take your smartphone, visit the gallery’s website and look for the information. The result of your search may or may not lead to a sale.

Second example:
You are the logistics manager in your company. You are stuck in traffic, and for quite some time you see a truck in front of you. You take your mobile phone and visit the company’s website. On the website you can see the company’s services, the team, the company info, you fill in the contact form and a new business relationship is in the works.
In both cases it is essential that the website is working properly on the smartphone. Unfortunately quite often this is not the case. Missed opportunities.

Optimizing website for all screen sizes and platforms is called Responsive Web Design. Studio Tal builds responsive websites. Most modern browsers support the technique used for this, which means that your website will have a pretty consistent layout and functionality on all platforms. Also we try to keep the “weight” of the pages down.

Adapting your already running website to a responsive mode is not a huge task. In any case it is worth looking at the possibilities. These days every missed opportunity is one too many.

More information? Contact me.

Webshop Development

A remark during a coffee break has lead to the order for the webshop development for a new activity by a Belgian client. My client already has a couple of webshops that run on the ShopFactory e-commerce software. The plan is to have the new webshop follow the layout and structure of those other webshops.

The biggest challenge will be integrating article specifications from spreadsheets. The range of articles is wide and varied and prices change on a regular basis. Supposedly with ShopFactory’s importwizard it is possible. Hopefully without too many extra steps.

As part of the hosting packages Studio Tal also offers e-commerce solutions. Tailormade and with lots of options. For small and big webshops. Interested? Feel free to contact me.