Sublime Layout with One Picture

How to get the most out of using just a single picture (photo or art) on a page? The page can be a page in a magazine, a book, a folder /announcement or a web page.

Using just one photo or picture may be seen as a challenge. But the difference and impression between using no pictures and a single picture is much bigger than the difference between one picture and several pictures on a page, whatever printed material or an online webpage.

A sublime layout with pictures has nothing to do with the number of pictures but how they are used.

Be inspired for your desktop publishing and web page layout by the following ideas and tips.

* A full page picture on the left page

A full page picture on the left page in a magazine, folder or book is a simple and functional layout. If possible choose a picture that directs the attention towards the text at the right page and be careful to select a really appealing picture of good technical quality.

* A picture as a whole page background

A picture as a background on a printed page can look very attractive. The real challenge is to find a picture that fits with having text on parts of it. The part of the picture that is covered by text shouldn’t have any structure and the color mustn’t be aggressive. A thin blue sky will often be a good choice if it matches the message.

The effect will be improved if a few small white clouds hang around but do not let them interfere with the text. Do not compromise with these aspects of interference between structures in the picture and the text. If the text is partly on an uneven background many potential readers will avoid it or get a lower level of retention.

Background pictures on commercial websites have dropped dramatically due to this effect.

* One big picture on a page

The classic layout with a combination of text and a large picture on a page is a functional but quite boring layout. The surface of the page covered by the picture might be a half of the page on the top, or at the bottom or a vertical picture to one of the sides. Putting the picture in the centre of the page with the text waved around may look much more attractive.

* One small picture on the page

A small picture or especially a very small picture alone on a page should be treated with great care. Not to say that any picture wouldn’t help with the look and feel. But the point is that just one small picture may add a lot of attraction to a text page if used wisely. Because of its small size the picture should have

– a simple object and message.

– If it is in black and white it is even more important.

– a few and strong colors, mostly one color is fine.

Red and yellow can be fine as an ‘accent’ but may also be too aggressive. Clear blue or green may be excellent too.

* The interaction between the font and the picture

Be careful with the choice of font for the text, if you have any influence on that. Especially how the title looks like with the chosen font and how it interact with the picture is important.

* Where to get the pictures

You can find hundreds of thousands of professional stock photos including royalty-free photos at picture agencies like AgeFotoStock.com and Alamy.com that have a good reputation.

For small sized pictures the price is very modest in royalty-free photos.

If you have a very slim budget and you are not too ambitious with your products you will find cheap photos too, by searching for “stock photos” or fotos in Google. See also the following article.

* In conclusion for sublime layout with pictures

To include just one picture on a printed page or a web page will enhance the layout of the page considerably. You might even be able to produce a sublime layout with your desktop publishing. Your goal should be to hit the best interaction between the photo and the arrangement of the text.



Preserve Your Family Memories With Digital Scrapbooking

Scrapbooking is a great hobby and art form. Preserving your family memories and histories is an excellent thing to do for yourself and for your family. Traditionally people go to their local craft store purchase a scrapbook and the materials that go with it. This entails using a lot of room at their home and a small mess with clippings and glue. With the advent of the Internet this scenario has changed. Now there is a vast amount of information online that allow for digital scrapbooking. With the Internet you will not have to deal with all the clippings and glue.

Now with doing things on a computer you will have some distinct advantages over traditional scrap booking. Keep in mind that you will be giving up some things also. But we’ll talk about that later. With the computer you will be able to regenerate a photo an endless amount of times. If you happen to mess one up while you are working on your scrapbook then it isn’t that big of a deal. You will also have many different fonts and labels. Most of these will be for free. You see avid scrapbookers are more than willing to help you out for free.

Another great advantage to digital scrap booking is that getting the scrapbook out to your loved ones is much easier than with a traditional scrapbook. With a traditional scrapbook you would either have to take the scrapbook around, ship it around or make multiple copies of it. Not that easy of a thing to do. With digital scrap booking you can email it, post it to a family website or burn a CD and send it in the mail. How much easier is that not to mention less expensive?

Another tremendous advantage is all the effects you can do to your scrapbook at the click of a button. You can easily color your letters. You can apply various effects to your pictures to make them standout. You can remove the red dots in people’s eyes that seem to always happen when you take their picture. You can digitize your own handwriting. If it is a Christmas album you can make it snow. In one of my last albums I had specific songs playing for each different page. The effect was very powerful and got exactly what I was feeling across to my family. The options are almost endless.

You will need a few items to be able to do scrap booking. The first is a computer, of course, not an issue since you have to have one if you are reading this. The next is quality scanner. You will need this to get actual pictures into you computer. You should also invest in a decent digital camera. Pay special attention to the software that comes with the camera. These packages are normally quite good and will definitely enhance the pictures in your albums. If you don’t want to buy a digital camera then don’t worry there are a number of free packages available online.

Make sure you don’t pass up this great new trend in scrapbooking. Now earlier I mentioned that there are some downsides to digital scrap booking. Digital scrapbooking, like all things on computers, can be a little on the non-personal side. Traditional scrapbooking is great because you share the creation of the albums with your loved ones. You can spend an afternoon putting one together with your kids and reminiscing with them about the pictures of your family. This is quite powerful. There are also scrapbooking clubs so you can socialize while doing your hobby. Interaction with other people is important and I think gets lost in these days of computers. Ultimately I expect you will find that blending digital scrapbooking with traditional scrapbooking is the best way to go. Each have their strengths and put together they benefit greatly.



Top 10 Most Common EMarketing Mistakes

When using eMarketing (or even general emails to prospects), it’s better to focus on what is likely to arrive, than on what might look good on your computer screen. In other words, think about what the email will appear as when delivered, as opposed to the original which you perceive was sent. Here is a list of ten important eMarketing (or business email) mistakes to avoid.

  1. Do not use an enhanced email signature: If your email signature (your name, contact info, etc.) uses a large font, is boldfaced, or appears in a different color, this is called “shouting” in email jargon and Outlook Junk Mail filters and corporate email filters don’t like this. Your email is more likely going to arrive in a spam filter or email junk folder. This is true for large scale eMarketing campaigns and your individual personalized emails.
  2. Don’t use an HTML email: These days text base emails stand a better chance at getting past junk mail and corporate email filters than HTML emails. Besides, if you’re using HTML, you’re more likely to take advantage of special fonts, invoking some of the issues noted in rule #1.
  3. Avoid words like “free”: It’s one of the most common words activating junk mail and corporate email filtering. It’s right up there with the prescription dysfunction drug names and other spam alert words and phrases.
  4. Don’t use colored fonts: Spam filters will sometimes filter these out because they think it is an advertisement, it’s similar to rule #1.
  5. Don’t italicize, underline or use exclamation points: Again, this is a form of shouting.
  6. Avoid rush words or phrase: “Act now, offer good today, respond soon, or sale ends tomorrow” are all examples of rush words or phrases. This is a big red flag for filters, sounds like a sales ad and shouldn’t be used.
  7. Avoid using your personal email for business communication: AOL, Yahoo or Gmail type accounts can cause two issues for spam filters. These personal email accounts are often the source of “spammy” emails (you’ve probably seen these in your junk mail folders), as they are free to set up and easy to abandon. Thus, if you use any type of special characters (shouting) or accidental use of rush words from these types of accounts, your personal email (which is why it should not be used for business) is more likely to appear as spam. Set up a business email – even if you are a small home office operation. It conveys a more professional image than a personal email.
  8. Avoid Bayesian Poisoning: Odd or complex phrasing can invoke something called Bayesian Poisoning, which appears to be an attempt to bypass Bayesian spam filtering and results in your email looking like spam. The best way to avoid this is the old, “simpler is better” rule. Keep your eMarketing campaign emails simple and succinct whenever possible, which isn’t a bad idea for general business correspondence either.
  9. Avoid Graphics when possible: Graphics often display poorly, especially for text base email clients. When sending B2B eMarketing Campaigns, use multipart mime to ensure optimum rendering. When sending individual emails, don’t assume what you see is what they get. WYSIWYG may be true for the email you’re looking to send, but what arrives can be a completely different story. Remember all the retail advertisements you receive and the blank real-estate and little red X’s which appear everywhere? Not only can graphics create a poor look and feel, they can increase the likelihood of appearing as spam. Graphics often connote an advertisement.
  10. Don’t include too many graphics above the fold: When you deem it necessary to send graphically rich emails, like newsletters, make sure the delivered email can render professionally if the graphics are stripped. The best way to check this is to send a test email to a text based email client and observe the results. In some cases it may be important to use graphics (newsletter, photographs for architects or photographers, schematics for engineers, etc.). These could be conveyed as a link to a landing page, or if you deem it important, you can embed the images. Just make sure that the email is professional and recognizable if these are not displayed in a text client.

Conclusion:

For eMarketing campaigns, think in terms of textual email clients and monitor delivery rates carefully. Limit graphics, and ensure your email will look good in a text based email client, or if graphics need to be downloaded (this can be an issue even for HTML clients). For individual email communication, from Outlook for example, consider defaulting to text instead of HTML. And if you do use HTML, refrain from using boldface, italics, capitalization or other forms of shouting. Borrowing a phrase from the minimalist movement, when it comes to eMarketing think in terms that “Less is more”.



Free Funeral Program Template

Utilizing a free funeral program template can be a wise and time saving choice. If you are interested in putting in a little creativity in the production of a funeral program design, the result can be beautiful. The first thing you need to do is download a free funeral program template for Microsoft Word. When you open the funeral program template on your computer, it will have the text and format already in place for you.

To edit those fields, simply click on the text boxes and begin customizing your text. The free funeral program template is formatted in a two column letter size layout. There will be two pages that you will need to customize. The first page is the front cover on the right and the back of the program on the left.

On the front cover, choose a beautiful background scene as the design that displays behind the photo of the deceased. This makes the cover more aesthetically pleasing to the eye. To select a nice photo, you can purchase it from a stock photograph online or better yet, take the photo yourself. If you purchase it online, you will need to make sure you have the proper license to print the number of copies you are going to print. The online stock companies adhere to very strict guidelines on the usage terms. So make sure you are clear about what it is you are allowed. You can also phone them and get clarification.

Sometimes, the stock photo companies will charge by the amount of copies to be printed. The better option is to take a photo yourself and use that as your background. Some ideas of backgrounds would be a rolling hill landscape, floral garden, sky with light beaming through the clouds, or a lake landscape scene. All of these are good candidates for a front cover of your funeral program template.

The photo of the deceased should be situated in front of the landscape design with the name of the deceased under the photo. The date of birth and date of death should also be placed under the name. You can create a title for the front cover that reads “In Loving Memory of…” or “Celebrating the Life of…” in a nice script font above the photo. These things wiill make for a nice presentation.

The back of the program, which is the area adjacent to the cover on the left side of the letter size paper would include a poem, pallbearers names, short obituary, or prayer. At the very bottom, you can note the location of the funeral service, address, and phone number if you like. Also indicate whether or not there will be a gathering after the service and indicate the location.

The second page is the area for the order of service. If you can fit the order of service on one side of the page, you can use the other side of the page for a poem, reading, prayer, or song lyrics. You can also add some design elements into the internal page that coordinates nicely with the cover design you just created.

Funeral program templates are a time-saving tool because it will save you the time it takes to create the layout of a letter size paper program. If your not familiar with Microsoft Word or don’t have a lot of experience using it, it can be a frustrating experience doing it yourself. Utilize a funeral program template and just embellish it with your own creativity by following the above guidelines.

There aren’t many resources on the web today that offer free funeral program templates but there are some good resources noted below for you to visit and try. I should note, that if you choose to create a funeral program from a free template, you will need to be familiar with Microsoft Word or Publisher in order to manipulate it. You will need to know how to create image boxes, insert photo within the image boxes, import images into the template, and move graphical elements around the page.

If this sounds too much for you right now and especially since you may be under a tight time frame, you may want to enlist the assistance of a friend or family member who is more comfortable with performing these tasks. The other option would be purchase a funeral programs templates that already has the design backgrounds set for you. So you will just be entering the photo and customizing the text.

Whether you utilize free funeral program templates or purchase a predesigned funeral program template, remember to enlist the help if needed and give yourself enough time to complete the project from start to printing.



Flee From Free Money

We know that there is no such thing as free lunch, which holds true for the free money scams out there tempting us. Although there are genuine ways to make money now a days with the advent of internet based jobs, as in all popular methods people have found ways to defraud you through lucrative free money offers.

There are many free money frauds out there. One of the ways is an inheritance email promising you a huge money transfer and then asking you for your name, date of birth, contact address, and bank details. They also ask you to just pay a nominal legal fee or any fee for example $30-$40 to facilitate the transfer of a huge fund. If you would stop and ask, “Why can’t a person transferring a huge fund afford a small fee?” you would identify the scam.

Payment processing is yet another free money fraud where they would want you to collect a check from a client, deposit it in your bank account and then debit a certain amount to the company after keeping a small portion as a commission for yourself. Once they do get your financial information this way, they swindle you of your money.

One of the famous ways that you might see routinely online is a website promising you ways to earn “Free Money” for a small fee. The signs to watch out for are obvious: the website has a cheap look, sometimes with different font size and colors; there is a video presentation about the scheme; and a long testimonies column by its various associates who were successful though this scheme. The main goal is to get you to introduce their site to many more people. A thumb rule that applies is that any scheme that asks you to pay money upfront to make free money is most probably a scam.

Free products are also free money though not in the form of cash. Some companies contact you with offers to ship you a vacation package, of free products worth a huge amount, and so on. All that they need you to pay is the small shipping charges for example $4.95 using your “Credit Card.” They will give you a lot of “legitimate” reasons why this is not a scam. As mentioned earlier in the case of email funds transfer the small fee for a huge gift should set off the scam alarm.



Top 3 Android Apps For Students and Teachers

Wapedia – Best Android App to Access Wikipedia Free Version: 1.6.1 Taptu

Want to access Wikipedia from your phone with just one tap? This Android app makes it easy to explore the pages of Wikipedia and mark where you’ve been with bookmarks and a history file. This is truly a best Android app to navigate Wikipedia, and all the pages and headings are laid out nicely on your phone’s screen.

Wapedia remembers the page you were reading last, so you can pick up your research where you left off.

INFORMATION OVERLOAD: Wapedia lets you instantly jump from the top of a long document to the bottom. You can set a preference for how much of a page you want to load at once, and from there you can move up and down the page with arrows and intuitive navigation. This app works with other wikis, so in case you exhaust the 3 million+ articles on Wikipedia, there’s tons more for you to browse.

SHARE THE KNOWLEDGE: If you find something wonderful, this app will let you share it quickly. Click on the Share link and you will be prompted to share via email, Facebook, or Twitter, or to open the link in a browser. Sharing ideas with friends and colleagues is a great way to strengthen social bonds and keep a conversation going. So go ahead and find, read, and share with this great resource.

Quickpedia

Free Version: 1.0.7 Next Mobile Web

Quickpedia is a simple Android app with a straightforward interface for all uses. You are given the options of Search, Featured, Popular, News, and Nearby. When a Wikipedia article is displayed on your screen, the app provides you with the options to use a Bigger Font or Smaller Font, Send to Friends, or Send to Self. You can save your email address in the settings for quick mailing in the future, and navigate to the home page by pressing the menu key and then tapping Home. You can also refresh the article, which lets you read it even when you’re offline.

FEATURED AND RANDOM: This Android app can take you to a randomly selected article, or you can view the articles that are currently being featured on Wikipedia. Quickpedia is relegated to honorable mention status because it does not allow you to bookmark your favorite articles.

Droid Dictionary – Best Dictionary App for Android

Free Version: 1.4 Webcipe

This Android app is a simple front end to definitions, wikis, and thesaurus entries. It includes a useful “speak” icon that will pronounce the word you are looking at. If you download the Droid Dictionary Plugin ($0.99) from the Market, you can also save your words and definitions with this app.



Top 10 Content Mistakes Made on Amateur Websites

Once you have decided to embark on a journey to create your first website, there are a few things you should consider before creating your content. Most amateur website owners think they can just log into any website builder they want and start typing in whatever content they want. What they don’t realize is that the simple mistakes made when creating their website can make visitors leave it as soon as they see it – and not want to come back. But this doesn’t have to happen to you.

Before we begin, here is good Rule Of Thumb to always consider when creating content for your website: Do professional periodicals and magazines do this with their articles? If the answer is ‘No’, then chances are you probably shouldn’t do it on your website either.

1) Centering All Your Text

Most people new to website design seem to want to center all of their text. Not only does this make for an unattractive website, but it is the hallmark of an amateur. According to extensive research done on website design, usability and user surfing behavior, visitors read web text from left to right. Knowing this, it only makes sense to align your text this way. There are a few exceptions, but for the most part you should avoid centering all your text.

2) Too Many Fonts

If you have seen all the unique fonts available in Word or other programs, you may think that using a lot of those fancy writing styles is a way to make your website more popular or impressive. The truth is quite the opposite. When a variety of different fonts are used on a website, it makes the page look messy, and even hard to read. Use fonts that are clear and easy to read, like Verdana (which is a common font used for web text). You can use different fonts for headers and sub-headers; but they should be consistent throughout your website.

3) Over Bolding

As you build your website, you may be tempted to try and make a lot of your content stand out by putting it in bold print. Avoid the temptation. If you really have a certain phrase or key sentence that you want to make stand out on your page, you can bold it. However, be aware that bolding a lot of sentences and words does nothing but lessen the overall impact of the bold type.

4) Over Capitalizing

In order to emphasize your website content, you may think it’s best to capitalize many of the words you are typing. This is another nasty habit that many novices to web design get into, especially when they’re using a website builder program. Putting your content in all capital letters is equal to yelling at those reading your page. This will annoy visitors, dilute your message and will likely send them away.

5) Over Enlarging All Your Fonts

Avoid the overuse of large fonts for the same reasons above. Enlarging too much (or even ALL) of you content dilutes your message and throws off your design. If you make the content text larger than the headers, you are really messing up your website.

6) To Many Exclamation Marks!!!!

Order Now And Get A FREE Sushi Knife!!!!

People will feel like they are in a infomercial – enough said.

7) Too Many Font Color

It’s amazing how colorful you can make your website nowadays. If you have been doing typical store-based marketing, you may also equate all those bright and dazzling colors with signs used to get customers into a store. The Internet is different. When people bring up your website, it’s the first, and often only, impression they will get of your company. If you have too many font colors on the screen, it will look cheap and amateurish, plus your marketing message will be hard to read and will send your prospects away.

8) Spinning Logo / Animation Images

For some reason, back in the 90’s when web development was first coming out, everyone thought having lots of animation on your website was really cool. It only took a few years for web designers to figure out that this was not the case. Today, amateur web designers make the same mistake. Spinning logos and animation distract people from the most important thing about their website – the content. Over the years, advertising banners on peoples websites have had lots of animation put into them. They do this so they can do just that – get your attention AWAY from the content on the site to look at their ad!

9) Too Much Data to Load

While most website builders will allow you to add a lot of things to your web page, that doesn’t mean you need all of them. If you overload your site with pictures, music, videos or other graphics that have long load times, you will send some users – especially those with slower connections, away.

10) Too Much Content

While you may have a lot to say about your company, most people don’t want to read that much. They want to know who you are, what you do and if you can help them. Then they want to know how to contact you for that purpose. If they have to read a novel to find the information they need, they will probably go elsewhere.

Make sure to keep these ideas in mind when you log on to your Doodlekit (http://doodlekit.com/home/website_builder) website and create your own online masterpiece.



How Good Is Google Chromebook Pixel

Google has launched the new Chromebook Pixel. This is said to be the first offering by Google that has a hi-resolution touch enabled screen. The pixel density of this laptop is more than that offered by Apple’s Retina screen. It is powered with Core i5 Processor priced at $1,299. If you want an advanced model that includes 4G LTE technology then you need to shell out $1,449, this model is slated to be shipped April 2013. Let us find out more about it and discover if Google has done impressive work with its Chromebook.

The screen

The screen of Chromebook is multi touch-enabled that is up against its rival with Retina display. the screen measures 12.85-inch with a resolution of 2,560×1,700-pixel and a ratio of 3:2. The screen is protected with Gorilla Glass to avoid any scratches. Additionally, the screen brightness is high to make the contents appear clear and sharp.

The difference that the 3:2 ratio brings is the vertical space that you get. You will enjoy online experience on this dimension as Chromebook is designed for Cloud and is highly suitable for it. This is what makes scrolling easy and navigation smoother.

The density of screen is 239ppi that goes beyond what the 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display has to provide at 227ppi. Here again the Google product takes a lead and provides good graphics along with smooth display of fonts. The touch screen is highly responsive, however, you might find it difficult to switch tabs in Chrome. You will need to tap twice to switch tabs, the pinch to zoom feature worked well.

Hardware Specifications

The Chromebook Pixel is powered with a dual-core 1.8GHz Intel Core i5 processor that supports Intel HD 4000 graphics and a memory of 4GB. This is what brings it on par with its competitors sporting Windows 8 OS and systems like Macs.

There are two variations of Chromebook. The first one with the Wi-Fi and 32GB SSD costing $1,299, the other has an inbuilt 4G LTE technology with 64GB storage priced at $1,449. The only common factor in both the models is the cloud storage of 1TB available for three years. The left side of the unit has a USB port, Mini Display port and a jack connector for microphone/headphone.

There are in total two USB 2.0 ports in the unit along with a Mini DisplayPort that connects external monitors. As far as the battery juice is concerned, you will be able to squeeze out 5 hours flat with basic usage. Despite the USB options and other ports, you will feel short changed in options related to video output. The unit lacks HDMI input that might disappoint you.

Yet another additional key is included in the keyboard called the search key. This key is however replaced with the caps lock key. Nonetheless, you will be quickly able to launch search functionality with one key. If you want, you can change the functionality to Caps lock as per your requirement. The traditional keyboard is out as some keys like excluding the right hand delete key and caps lock might need getting used to.

Conclusion

In conclusion, to what has been said above the good thing that you get with Google Chromebook Pixel is the design, sleek style, powered with Intel, touch enabled screen for Windows 8 OS along with 3 years of 1TB storage and enabled with 4G LTE.

The downside seems to be the premium pricing that is $1,299, the Chrome OS that needs online connectivity for its functionality.



How to Start an Online Baby Shop Cheaply

Come up with a domain name for your business. To do this, you really need to come up with a name that has an available.com domain. There are a few tools that are useful for this, such as: wordoid.com (for coming up with creative names), or instantdomainsearch.com (for testing name availability). Once you’ve come up with a name you’re happy with, register it with a registrar such as godaddy. Do not buy hosting however! This should cost you $8.

Create your logo and business card now. Go to vectorstock.com and find a vector logo that you like. Also buy any other vectors that you think will be useful in the design of your website. This should cost you $20. Then go to fontspace.com and find a nice free font that matches your logo, for your business name. Then you’ll need a designer to create some nice graphics for your business card and website using the font and vector you purchased. Most of us have a designer friend these days, but if you don’t, you can find one on sortfolio.com who can help you with this. You can then get your business cards printed for free (!) through vistaprint.com.au, or you can pay to get nicer ones printed.

Now lets design your website. Do a web search for ‘free css templates’ and browse the various sites until you find a free template you like. Find a web designer (hopefully a friend can do this for free, or cheaply, or you can find one through sortfolio.com) and get them to integrate your logo into the template, and make the minor adjustments necessary to make the template visually suitable for a shopping cart (as most templates are designed for blogs, but can be adjusted to suit).

Next you’ll need a programmer to integrate a shopping cart into your website design. Again, you may be able to find a friend to do this, or you may need to pay someone from sortfolio.com to do this. They will need to know how you expect to receive payments. For a beginning website, your best bet is PayPal’s express checkout or (preferably, if available in your country) website payments pro, as these options do not have a monthly charge, unlike most payment hosts. To do this, set up a PayPal business account, and work with your programmer to integrate the cart (they’ll want an API key, and will be able to help with that).

Web hosting will depend on the programming language that the programmer used for your shopping cart. Most often, they will use PHP, in which case bluehost.com is a very good option. However, if they used Ruby, heroku.com is a great option and has a free hosting plan which is great while your traffic is low.

Now you have a website live, you need products for it! A great place to buy items to sell is the bulk buy section of eBay, or aliexpress.com makes buying from suppliers in china incredibly simple. Just be careful not to spend too much (eg more than $200) in any one purchase. Spread your purchases into smaller orders, so that if you get scammed on one order, it is not a huge loss. You’ll need to be more patient with things like that when buying wholesale, but persistence brings success.

When your products arrive, you’ll have to take photos of your items and upload them to your shopping cart so that people can see what they are buying. For this, borrow a friends digital SLR camera (we all know someone with one!) and take photos of the items against a neutral background, such as a denim jacket, or sheet. Pay attention to lighting, you want your photos to look professional. Once you have your pictures, you can create your products in your shopping cart and begin selling!

Next up, you need to do promotion. Start a Google AdWords campaign, open a stall at local markets and sell your items and give out business cards, start a page for your business on Facebook, basically do all you can to get people to visit your site.

When the orders start coming in, get in touch with your buyers via email and be friendly, ask if they can suggest other things they wish you could sell, and try to connect with them in any way you can. This way they will be impressed by your levels of customer service and will hopefully return. And ensure you send out your products in the mail as soon as possible, with registered post so you don’t have to worry about things being lost in the mail. And have fun! This could be a great way to supplement your income. Viva entrepreneurialism!



Fresh Content For Google

Google is always looking at your website for fresh content and when Google sees fresh content it tells the whole world. It’s been proved that when websites change content, their position in Google improves.

To keep your website content fresh you can:

* Pay web designers for updates, or

* Learn HTML and CSS coding and update it yourself, or

* Use a good online Content Management System.

To pay web designers is the easy way, but they have their own timetables, so your website may not get updated as quickly as you like.

You can learn HTML and CSS to update content yourself, but will it look good on all browsers? You need to keep yourself up to date with HTML and CSS as Browser versions change the rules. Will you need to buy and learn to use software like Dreamweaver?

There are many good Content Management Systems, but some are costly to install. Is there any free CMS?

Yes. Most Linux hosting plans using cPanel provide FREE installation of utility software including blogs, site builders and content management systems. Just a couple of clicks, set a password, and the system is installed ready to use.

We have tried most of these installations and found that the easiest to use is WordPress. Popular for a long time as blogging software, WordPress has been improved over time so that now the blogging can be disabled and a static page can be chosen for the home page of a website. An advantage that WordPress seems to have over some other CMS is that it constantly being updated to maintain its security. We know of other systems that get hacked.

New themes (layout and styles) are continually being written for WordPress and some of these themes have hundreds of options to change layout and style. The beauty of WordPress is that you can change themes without losing any data. Inside WordPress admin is a section for browsing and installing new themes.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is taken care of in WordPress with its Permalinks, a system of automatically making the web address of each page look search engine friendly. Instead of the URL of a page looking like yourname.com/?page_id=1234 which is bad SEO, it can look like yourname.com/mexican-vacation which is good SEO.

Some web hosting providers, like us, will install WordPress free with a theme to suit a client’s website. The client then can just type in, or copy and paste their text into a WYSIWYG box, just like in word processing. To change an existing website to WordPress, the hosting provider can copy the website to a temporary location like host.com/yourname, setup WordPress at yourname.com, then you just copy from host.com/yourname and paste into yourname.com.

The WYSIWG text area has two tabs, “Visual” and “HTML” so that you can see the HTML coding of what you have entered. Of course you can even enter your own HTML.

When you add new pages you can choose to have them as main pages or subsidiary to main pages, and you can decide on the order in which pages are listed. You can set a hierarchical system of subjects and sections.

There are also icons for uploading and positioning images and other media. One trap is that you are allowed to upload images of any size and let WordPress optimize the image to fit the place where you want to display it, while storing the original image. That’s OK, but if you upload hundreds of poster sized photos of 2 megabytes each you can quickly fill up the disk space of your hosting plan. We advise using your graphics program to optimize your photos to the best size for your web page before uploading them to your website.

The WordPress theme that we use allows two left and two right side-bars, which with the center area makes a five column web page, although we don’t know any one who uses four side bars.

Other layout options include fixed width pages or percentage width pages, font families, font colors, font sizes, font styles, link effects, background colors, background images, header images, alternating header images, text over header images, logos and favicons.

The navigation can be across the top before or after the header image, down a side bar, or both. Colors and borders and hover colors of navigation buttons can be set. Widgets (items in the side bars) can include text links, image links or both. Links can be divided into categories, some with images, and some without.

SEO options include setting title, description and keyword tags, and whether the page title shows before or after the website title in the title tag. The title tag can be one of the most important areas of a web page for search engines.

For the keen there is also an option to add your own lines of CSS. In brief, the theme is totally customizable.

The biggest advantage of WordPress as a content management system is that in a few minutes you can add fresh content to your website. Search engines like Fresh Content.