Vegan-Free Gluten, An East-Bank Food Search

WSausagee just moved to the Eastbank Commerce Center, on Water ave, and even though we can almost see our old office across the river, as far as food options go, it’s like we’ve moved to another city fifty years ago. From the previous office, we were right around the block from a slew of food carts. (Oh how we miss you Sonny Bowl) There were also tons of other vegan / gluten free options within easy walking distance.

I’Friesve discovered why the east bank is referred to as the “industrial” district. It’s clearly a reference to the size of the deep fryers at the brew pubs littering the area. Imagine going from 6 great vegan options at one food cart, to 6 options within a couple blocks, and three of those are actually deep fried. And really, can you even count a side of tots as an option?

There is hoGreen smoothiepe though, veganism appears to be sprouting and sending out gluten free shoots in the area. A Kure juicing company has opened across the street, and I discovered Cookies Cupcakes and more, which opened a few weeks ago under the hawthorne bridge. The more includes a fairly robust menu of vegetarian options. and if you get at least 3 flavors of cupcakes, that makes a complete meal, right?


Bad Design 1: Navigation Bar

While we like to show off great websites that we’ve created, I often have to wade through the internets shady back alley of design in the name of research. So, I thought maybe I should share some gems that epitomize what NOT to do. Run, no, Run Screaming, if someone tries to sell you on a site with design like this.Menu Bar




I stumbled upon this site while checking out a clients competitors. I always like to know what we’re up against. In this case, I spent several minutes exploring this site, for the same reason people have ugly sweater parties. The picture above is the navigation bar at the top of the site:

Let’s break this puppy down.

  • First off, there are a lot of menu options, so much that it takes 3 rows to fit it all. I’m already confused, and I haven’t even read them yet.
  • It gets worse! Yes, these are actually drop downs, under many of the headings, there are additional options! This must be the most complicated dental practice ever!
  • Argh!, it gets even worse! Unbelievably, several of the drop down menu items have a sub-menu. That’s 3 levels of menu, on top of the already excessive 3 rows!

So, what’s wrong with having a comprehensive menu?

  • If you think your visitors are going to go through 50+ pages, I’ve got a bridge to sell you…
  • I’m not even sure what “Endodontics” is, let alone if I need something that’s encompassed in the sub menus.
  • Confusing your customers is never a good business model (unless you’re a magician)
  • Your menu is a powerful conversion tool, this one doesn’t give me a clear call to action.

This practice would almost be better off with a website that said “Have teeth? Call us!”, as it’s only content. All joking aside, I can’t imagine who would click “contact” based on the website. That represents a real, tangible, loss of sales dollars for this business.


What is “Hosting” And What Are My Options?

To have a website, you need 2 things, an address to let people know where it is, and a computer that stores the site data and serves it out to people asking for it. The address is your domain name, e.g. “” The computer where your site lives, is called the server, or “host.”

Theoretically, you could host your website on your home computer, but processing power and bandwidth limitations would make for a very slow site for you users. Also if your electricity went out, so does your website.

ServerThe next best option is to pay a hosting company, such as Godaddy, to host the site for you. They operate the server, usually in a large data center, where there are very fast connections available. This leads to an acceptable level of performance, but these discount hosting companies have to pack many sites onto each server to turn a profit. All those sites competing for processing power leads to sluggish response times.

The crème de la crème of hosting is to rent a dedicated server, which means that you have all the processing power and bandwidth for your site alone. This introduces it’s own set of problems however, such as maintaining the server, and the much higher cost.

The winning solution

Modern Interface is dedicated to making sure you and your users have the best experience possible. Our solution to the hosting conundrum is to rent dedicated servers and put just the right number of sites on each server to keep the cost down, but not so many that performance starts to suffer. We manage the technical details (such as security, speed optimization, backups and OS updates), so you don’t have to worry.

Disaster? No Problem.

VolcanoCurrently, we host our staging and production West Coast websites from a California data center. We back both up daily to two separate servers, in addition to copies on our local development machines. That way, if Mt Hood erupts, and Portland turns into Pompeii II, you’re site would happily keep on running. Or if the “Big One” hits, and California slides off into the Pacific, we’d still be able to fire up a new server and restore your site in less than an hour. But let’s hope neither happens.

It’s Official, Spring Has Sprung

TulipsYou may not have noticed, since we’ve been having such great weather this year, but spring is officially here! One of the advantages of living in Portland is the close proximity of rural areas. There are a lot of great places to visit in the spring, one of which is the Tulip Festival. Located in Woodburn, just 30 minutes south of Portland, more info here.  Every spring 40 acres of tulips burst into bloom, quite a sight. There are also a lot of other activities and attractions for the whole family.

Here’s a tip: head out early, as the crowds and traffic can back up on a sun filled weekend.

Keep your website fresh and up to date, as us how!



The cobbler finally gets around to making his childrens’ shoes

BootsEveryone has heard the old yarn about the cobbler whose own children are left barefoot. We can relate to that poor overworked cobbler, as we’ve been making do with a very basic website here at Modern Interface for far too long.

Well, the wait is over, and we’re pleased to unveil our shiny new website! Go ahead, check it out:

It’s not all there yet. In the coming months, we are developing a magnificent app to help you determine specific needs and costs for developing a website, a sort of calculator on steroids. More details to come. Meanwhile, enjoy what we have and let us know what you think! And go ahead, buy that new pair of shoes, you deserve them!