How to transition your Toronto business online

Hello! Without a doubt, the covid-19 pandemic has caused a massive disruption to the global economy including a fundamental shift to how small, medium and large enterprise businesses can conduct their day-to-day operations. The impact of social distancing and other quarantine strategies as dictated by the various health regulatory bodies have had a staggering impact on brick-and-mortar businesses without a doubt. This shift, albeit temporary or more longer term, has put an onus of importance on establishing or improving an online presence. Many grocery stores, butchers and other essential retail businesses have transitioned to an online e-commerce ordering system to accommodate the ability to delivery grocery and goods to their customers. Having an online business can be the deciding factor as to whether you can actually continue operating as a business. Your front doors to your showroom may be closed, but your customers still will be able to browse and […]

What is good web design?

Hello! Trends in web design have come and gone over the years, however there have been some recurring indicators that have manifested as good web design in different iterations as styles change, web development technologies change and the internet changes. CSS, HTML and Javascript frameworks have all come a long way in terms of front end development and the tools that the different technologies bring to the table that allow us to implement modern, interesting, artistic, clean and beautiful websites. But what makes good design? That’s the million dollar question! At Shift8, we have offered web design in Toronto for hundreds and hundreds of businesses across all niche markets. Each marketplace or industry has their own unique challenges, however there are common elements and expectations that we have noted happens for the most part across almost all of our projects. I will attempt to break down these challenges in order […]

How to Start an E-commerce Site in Toronto

One of the biggest roadblocks to starting a new business in Toronto is the upfront costs involved with opening a store or even securing office space. With today’s online economy, though, those expenses can be eliminated by opening an E-Commerce Site. These online sites provide you with a great virtual storefront that doesn’t come with a price-per-square-foot. It also allows you to market your products to people across Canada, North America, or even the world. You may actually be able to bring in many more customers and make a larger profit by going with an E-Commerce site instead of a traditional storefront. The biggest question most people have is simply “how to I get started with an E-Commerce site?” It may look like a large project at first, but selling online is actually pretty straightforward.   Become an Official Business It can be tempting to try to skip over registering […]

How to Start a Business in Toronto

Are you thinking about starting your own business in Toronto? There are a number of benefits to owning your own small business. You’re the boss, for one, and you get to make all of the decisions about the company, its products/services, and its direction. While starting a new business in Toronto isn’t difficult, you do need to make sure you do everything correctly so that your business is a legal entity in the city and that it’s a business poised to make a profit.   Refine Your Business Idea Before you start looking at the paperwork to create a business or sign a lease on office space, you need to make certain you know what your business is and what you’ll provide. Spending money to start a business without a clear plan is not likely to end well. You need to do your research to identify a need your business […]

Web Design for Toronto Businesses

Hello! If you are operating a local business in Toronto, one of the most important things you need to do is maintain a web presence. Whether your business is a startup, business services or restaurant : your web presence is key to the fundamental survival and operation of your business. What does it mean to have a web presence? Well the most important aspect that reaches across any niche market or industry, especially in a local market like Toronto, is having your address and phone number indexes properly as a local Google business. We have put together a checklist of steps to ensure that your business is positioned as best as possible and as visible as possible. In a dense city like Toronto, it is more common than not to have very high competition for even basic visibility.   1. Create a Google My Business Account You need to create […]

How to inject advanced custom fields into your WPBakery post grid

Hello! Yes of course WPBakery / Visual Composer is bloated. Absolutely correct its more ideal to simply create your own page template with a custom WordPress query and design your own post grid from scratch. For smaller budget WordPress projects where time is money, it is sometimes ideal to go the post grid route. Why not? The customer wants the designed and customized end result but they have a restricted budget. WPBakery (aka “Visual Composer”) does save time in these scenarios, and there’s something to be said about applying customized CSS and jQuery to customize and tailor the vanilla packaged look and feel that these types of WordPress bundled solutions usually bring to the table. All that said, the point of this post is to describe how to properly inject custom ACF fields (advanced custom fields fields) into your post grids. Why would you want to do that? Well if […]

Steps to take when designing a logo for a client: From research to presentation.

The method of designing a logo and formulating or refreshing a brand is a practice that I have become much more comfortable with over the years. The identity of a business and how that business is characterized by the world is, at first glance defined by their logo. I’ve put down our experiences collaborating with clients into the form of a ten point list below. 1. Getting to know the client & their nature I find that before we even get started with a project for a client of any type, it’s important to get to know them. This is specifically true when it comes to developing a brand identity or a logo for a client. I usually prepare some questions to ask specifically for each client. These questions can be broad and specific to their industry, what they want the logo to accomplish and about their personal tastes. Every […]

How to craft an XSS payload to create an admin user in WordPress

Hello! XSS (or cross site scripting) attacks are a common method to maliciously execute actions against a website installation. In particular this type of attack vector is useful when dealing with a CMS like WordPress where you have administrative user accounts to target. This means that if you are able to craft an XSS payload that will ultimately be executed by the administrator of that site, you can essentially do whatever you want. In javascript of course. What I’ll go through in this post is exactly how to capitalize on a particular (old) WordPress plugin vulnerability to deliver a persistent XSS injection (not logged into WordPress) that will later be executed by someone logged into WordPress with higher privileges, such as an administrator. Persistent versus Reflected XSS This is debatable, but to simplify things it would be easiest to describe XSS attacks as being two high level methods : persistent […]

How to integrate Chart.js into WordPress Woocommerce to show charts and graphs of your products

Hello! One of the nice things about Woocommerce is that it is very easily customized. Actions can be removed and re-added in order to adjust the default behavior. Additionally you can override many of the default templates that come with Woocommerce and its many extensions to fine tune and adjust the way you want your e-commerce to behave. Whether you are selling t-shirts or auto parts, sometimes its nice to have a clean visual representation of the statistics of each of your products. This will allow the customer to easily attain the pertinent information that they may be looking for, perhaps even assisting in leading them into an online sale. One of the best javascript libraries out there for “charting” is Chart.js. It is very simple yet extremely flexible for plotting and drawing visual representations of data. Things like chart colors, borders and a responsive layout are all things that […]

Read and auto populate fields in WordPress Gravity forms with jQuery

Hello! When designing and implementing Gravity forms there may be occasions where you would want to auto populate multiple fields based on a preceding field selection. This was the case in our scenario where we wanted to populate the selection of a drop-down box based on a Google Map location field within Gravity Forms on WordPress. What we wanted was for the person to enter their location in a Google Map location field (within gravity forms) and based on that selection, read the respective City within that location and based on that selection, populate a drop-down box. Gravity forms already possesses the ability to implement conditional logic, however it largely is designed for the purpose of revealing/hiding/activating input elements based on preceding choices. We need to actually inject an input selection I’ll try to walk through the process to implementing this type of logic specifically with Gravity Forms. Get the […]