How Often Should You Redesign Your Business Cards?

This is a question I ask myself every so often. I’m a big advocate of young talented people establishing their identity with business cards. I’ve had them since I was about 13, and I’m 17 now. In four years, I’ve gone through four redesigns. For me, I make an update when the crucial information changes (portfolio, etc).

For some, information might not change very often. I think it’s best to make changes on these factors: outdated designs, outdated information and new logos.

In order to fully express my creativity, I make sure each design is totally different than the next.

So, how often should you change your business cards? Think about the nature of your business, the people receiving these cards and the image you wish to portray. Does your information change frequently? Do your current cards give off the reflection you want it to?

This picture shows the first business cards I ever designed! Share yours!

 

Need new business cards? Check out BusinessCards.org templates!

6 years ago

My Experiences and Honest Review of InMotion Hosting

I have been building and running websites of all kinds for many years now, as some of you may know. With this, I have experimented with many different web hosts over time. Some have been awful, yet some of them have been really great! Today I am going to share my experiences with InMotion Hosting. I’d like to mention, that I’m not a fan of those large hosting companies. As a medium sized company, I found InMotion to have great support and great service – without having to compromise a single thing, as you would have to with other, larger hosts. (When I say that InMotion is a medium sized host, I am saying that they are not this big force trying to do everything so great – they focus on a few services, making them as great as possible. Quality over quantity!) I appreciate the friendliness and comfort I experience when dealing with the guys over at InMotion.

When I did my research on InMotion when I was looking for a new web host a few weeks ago, I was not able to find one negative thing about these guys. After going over my options, I took the dive and went for InMotion.  The sign up process was fast and easy, even for a beginner. All of the options are evident and you know exactly what you’re paying for. I have never seen an ordering process this straightforward!

99% of the time, you get a welcome email with account info when you order a hosting account . Most of the time they are the same tedious email, buy with InMotion hosting, I found the welcome email to be very thorough, well organized and jam packed with more information than I know how to do with. To be honest, I see a lot of hosts that just throw you your account information, which can be very non-newbie friendly. Although I knew what I was doing, I feel that here, things seem to be more newbie friendly and easy!

In the few weeks that I have had two of my sites with InMotion, I have experienced superior uptime and am thoroughly enjoying the great features they have to offer. Among them are: Reliable Backups (Weekly or Daily), cPanel, Multiple levels of hosting when your sites grow, money back guarantee and so much more. With hosting starting at $5.95 a month, you really can’t go wrong.

You may have had experiences with shady hosts, feeling uncomfortable about using their servers  – because I know I have. At InMotion, I feel safe. I know my data is secure. I don’t have to worry about downtime or compromised security; instead I have a peace of mind that is unsurpassed.

6 years ago

How to Choose the Best Hosting Plan for Your Website

I know how difficult it can be to choose a web host.  In fact in my years of being online, I have cycled through at least five different hosts.  Choosing a good host can be a daunting task.  Here, I will outline all of the things that you need to consider before purchasing hosting for your website.

First off, let me explain the different types of hosting solutions available.

Shared hosting is the most common type of hosting that you will see, mainly because it’s cheap.  It means that tons of websites are hosted on the same server, which isn’t a good thing.  If one website uses up too many resources, it can bring down the entire server – with your website in the sinking boat.

Another option is dedicated hosting.  This means that you’re basically “renting” your own server.  So, you don’t have to worry about anyone else using up your resources since you will not be sharing the space with anyone else.  This is also an ideal choice if you want to have full control over your server and the software installed on it.

Lastly, there’s VPS hosting.  VPS stands for Virtual Private Server.  A VPS means that you share the same hardware (server) as others, but you get your own partition (piece) of the server with your own operating system.  It offers a lot of the same benefits as a dedicated server does, except you physically don’t have the server to yourself.  This is like the next step up from shared hosting.

So, what are the different features offered with each?  Here’s a basic breakdown.

 

Email Servers

Dedicated and VPS hosting give you access to your own email server for your domain, thus bringing beefed up security and more functionality.

Platform Control

For those of you who don’t know, platform control refers to operating systems – in this case, it means that with dedicated and VPS hosting, you can choose what kind of software goes on your server.

Performance and Security

Shared servers are best for smaller websites that do not need many features or strict security.

Dedicated and VPS hosting allow for a lot of server set up and customization options with the added benefit of increased performance.  With these hosting plans, you have full reign over most aspects of the server.  These are best if you need your websites to perform well with a great deal of security features.

6 years ago

Why Teens should attend Seminars and Events

I jus found MeetUp, and I think its great to find some kind of event to attend!

As a teenager, you’d probably be thinking to yourself, why should I attend X, as a teen? Well, if you are somebody with a passion/interest/business in that field then maybe you should.

There are events for any and everything you have interests for. In order to network yourself successfully, you should try to attend some type of profesional event that deals with something you can relate to.

For instance, I am going to be attending WordCamp Miami 2010 in a few weeks. Why you ask? I really have a passion for web design and development; and this will be something I am going to peruse in the future. At an event like this, I can network myself and show older designers and developers what a teen can really do. (Not to mention that an event dedicated to WordPress is something I would attend for fun as well) I have never properly networked myself. But an opportunity like this is amazing to meet new people.

Why Would you Want to Network?

Meeting people can do so much for your online [and offline] presence; for example, lets say you had a small craft business, and you attend (or even had set up a booth to ell) a local crafting event. Fellow (befriended) crafters would mention you in their websites/tweets, or you could even meet a store owner willing to display and sell your products. Even one mention in a large blog could boost web traffic and/or sales tremendously.

Wherever you go, Think Big

Attending local events like these can be fun, but dont forget to take advantage of the situation. Design some business cards, and hand them out as you meet potential friends, clients, or employers.

What Kind of Events Should I Attend?

A lot of local events aren’t expensive to go to; for example the WordCamp Miami I mentioned earlier was only $30 per ticket. That may sound like a lot, but when broken down, it’s really not.

  • Free Lunch
  • Free Tee
  • Swag Bag
  • Hours of soaking up advice from spakers
  • Networking Opportunities
  • FUN! 😀

Do some research in your area, and see if there are any events you could go to!

Last minute advice; attend an event that pertains to something you love. For example, if you like Photography, but really have a passion for painting, don’t attend something related to Photography, spend the effort into going to an art exhibit or event. You’ll meet people that can relate to you, and be further inspired to pursue your goals and dreams.

PLEASE NOTE: Don’t go to an event or meet up by yourself. Make sure you go with a buddy, or PARENT, as it isn’t safe to be vulnerable and alone at an event or meetup.

6 years ago

8 Tips for Creating an Office at Home

office
Source: smemon87

Whether you are running a business out of the guest room, working from home in the den, or paying your bills in a corner of the family room, constructing a comfortable, professional space is critical. Use these eight tips for creating an office at home.

 

1. Design an office that meets your needs

The first step in crafting the perfect home office is to settle on its purpose.

  • Will you have sole access, or will it be shared with family members?
  • Will you always work alone, or will you need seating for vendors and clients?
  • What shelves, baskets, filing cabinets, and desk space will you need for storage and organisation?
  • If you will claim your home office as a tax deduction, make sure you meet the Internal Revenue Service guidelines.

 

2. Create a floor plan before making purchases

Before you bring new furniture into the space, you must confirm that it will fit. The same principle applies to wall accessories like bulletin boards and dry erase boards.

The simplest method for fashioning a floor plan is to draw your room measurements on a piece of graph paper, cut out coloured paper to match the scaled size of the items you want, and then try different configurations to until you find the best combination. If you prefer a high-tech approach, you can built your floor plan with a spreadsheet, CAD software, or an interior decorating application.

When you are developing your plan, remember to about one foot of extra depth for open file cabinets and desk drawers. More importantly, make sure you have enough electrical outlets and amperage to accommodate all of your equipment. You do not want extension cords wrapping around the room, and you do not want to trip a circuit breaker every time you switch on your desk lamp.

 

3. Define the space

Separating your office into a professional space will help you stay in a work mindset and remain productive. If you will be using only part of a room, consider designating your space with some type of barrier. Some inexpensive options include a Japanese Shoji screen, painted bookcases, adjustable curtains or fabric panels, or even a row of potted plants or trees.

 

4. Pay attention to the furniture

You will get little work done sitting in an uncomfortable chair for hours. You also risk aggravating back problems. Choose a chair and desk that will maintain your good posture. According to Cleveland Clinic, having a proper sitting position means the following:

  • back straight and shoulders back
  • knees at a right angle, even or slightly higher than your hips, with feet flat on the floor and legs uncrossed
  • elbows and arms resting on your chair or desk with your shoulders relaxed
  • shifting to a different position at least once every half hour.

 

5. Avoid bad lighting

Poor lighting can cause eye fatigue and headaches. Move your monitor to a position that will prevent glare. Take advantage of natural lighting whenever possible, and use soft, ambient light bulbs to complement the space. Keep in mind the placement of task lighting for reading and manual work and the general level of room light for other activities.

 

6. Keep the office fun and inspirational

Surround yourself with pleasant colours, motivating artwork, creative toys, and gallery-like accessories. The items in your office should be calming or thought-provoking but never distracting. Live plants, soft tunes, and aromatherapy products can help form a relaxing environment.

 

7. Keep the office clean and tidy

Do not be tempted to pack items into every nook of your office. Leave some open space, remove unnecessary trinkets and piles, and use creative storage units to keep unattractive cords and clutter out of sight.

 

8. Reduce the noise

Locate office noises and take steps to quiet them. Add a door to the furnace, install carpet or wall hangings to absorb echoes, seal door frames, close windows during peak traffic periods, and let your family know your office schedule so they will control interruptions.

 

With a little planning, you can create a perfect environment for your business activities. As you are pulling together your ideal furniture, equipment, and accessories, keep in mind these eight tips for creating an office at home.

6 years ago

Understanding Web Hosts: Free Vs. Paid

Hello all! Here is the first post in a new series called ‘Understanding Web Hosts’. In this handy guide, I will be showing you what to expect when purchasing hosting and what to look for when doing so, as well as other aspects in web hosting. In helping you understand the logistics of all of this, I won’t go into lots of technical details. This helps you grasp the concepts and it makes it easier for me to explain! To start off, I’m going to explain the difference between Free Vs. Paid Web Hosts.

Free Hosts

Free hosts generally have a lot of limitations. They aren’t in it to help you, they are in it to make money. (I do realize that there are good people out there who do like to help others and offer free hosting, sometimes they are few and far between.) The people I am talking about are the larger, impersonal ones. Like 000webhost. Features are very limited. No free host can really offer you the support and services that a real paid host can offer. At the end of the day, your site is in their hands. All that hard work can be gone in an instant. Why free hosting is a bad idea:

Not professional

Very limited features

No domain

Bad support

Would you like me to think of more?

Paid Hosts

There are many great and affordable web hosts out there, that can take your site to the next level without hurting your budget. Paid hosts really can make a huge difference in a hosting experience. If you have never had an experience with a paid web host, you really should try.  Now, there are many different features that may confuse you when purchase hosting, but I will cover that in the next post.  Features of most paid hosts:

Good Uptime

Freedom with your site

Installers (Fantisico!)

Other cPanel Resources (Stats, Email)

Add-on Domains

Option to Upgrade

Friendly and prompt service

Payment discounts

Money back guarantee (sometimes)

Alas, hosting can be expensive, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be. In my experience, I have been hosted by these two companies; A Small Orange and Jolly Works Hosting. JollyWorks has a hosting plan for only $1 a month. I actually used to be hosted on this plan, and I have no real complaints. Good customer service, good prices, good uptime. I don’t remember why I switched, but I did. And that was to A Small Orange (Coupon Codes). In the time I have been with them, I have had relatively no downtime and excellent customer service. I pay $5 a month for about 6 or 7 websites. (Add-on domains) To me, you really can’t go wrong here! If you are considering buying web hosting for the first time, go with one of these two companies!

Now, not every paid host out there is as glamorous as I have told you above. The ones I have mentioned here really are great. Before you purchase ANY kind of web hosting, research! Look at reviews! Don’t invest until you know everything. Ask someone who is hosted by a certain company what they think of it. Just promise to do your research!

6 years ago

Free Month of Web Hosting at A Small Orange + Exclusive Coupon

SoDevious is hosted at ASmallOrange, and I thought that I would share some exclusive coupons that I came across. The first is for $5 off any plan. I used this for my first month, which cost $5, so I got the first month free! It was great because I could do a ‘test’ run to see if I liked the company or not. But I did! I’m sure you will too. Here’s the code:

sodevious1

$5 off

The second coupon code is for 15% off any order. Their pricing is organized so that if you buy an annual plan, it’s like getting 2 free months.

sodevious2

15% off

Honestly, I love ASO! The price is great, and the space is more than enough for what I use. ( I have the small plan) When I have problems, these guys are quick to respond. Not to mention that they are an actual company, not little kids trying to sell you stuff. Did  I mention that they also support reselling? Fun stuff!

7 years ago

Split Toning In Photoshop

Split toning is a pretty simple effect that’s also striking. I’ll be using Photoshop CS5 Extended, so if you have a different version you’ll have to adjust accordingly.

Final Effect:

The image we will be using:

Now, open up your image in Photoshop. Click on the ‘adjustments’ button on the layers palette (it’s the one thats round and half grey half white).
Click on color balance.


Change the settings for highlights to this.


And the shadows to this.


Hopefully, it should look something like this now.

Now we have to add in some contrast, because it’s looking rather dull. Go back to the adjustments button, and click ‘brightness & contrast’. Set the contrast to whatever you think looks best.
Now, to add extra contrast, click down onto the original background layer. Hit Ctrl+J (Or just duplicate the layer the other way) and change the blending mode to overlay.
Lower the opacity of the duplicated layer down to around 50 – 60 so it’s not too harsh.

If your finished product looks like this, then ta-da! You did it right.

Finished Product:

Sorry if this wasn’t extremely helpful or if it was confusing. It’s my first tutorial, and I hope to get better. 🙂

-Keely.

7 years ago

How to use Grids in Your Design and Why, Part II

This post was Written by Juan Sebastián Celis Maya, of Evolucionemos.com and Sebascelis.com.

As I promised in my last post, today we are going to see how grids can be used inside grids and how we can fill in spaces without having to add divs with the specified size.

As we want to get the most of our grid system, we need to understand how it works, and how we can adapt it to our needs.

Do I always need a div to fill in spaces?

Of course not… Actionly there’s a better way to do this. Sometimes, when we are faced to create a nice web design, creativity is not a problem, but placing our imagination on the web is. Distributing and organizing content has never been easier since the grids were brought about.

As we saw in the first part of this series, all we need is to make sure that the screen is filled in each row. And in our examples, we talked about having 3 divs, with 4 units each one. So the sum was 12.

Introducing Prefixes and Suffixes

If we need to add some space before the div, we need a prefix.

And of course, if we need to add some space after the div, we need a suffix.

Prefixes and suffixes have the same 12 sizes;

prefix_1, prefix_2, prefix_3, prefix_4, prefix_5, prefix_6, prefix_7, prefix_8 , prefix_9 , prefix_10, prefix_11, prefix_12

and

suffix_1, suffix_2, suffix_3, suffix_4, suffix_5, suffix_6, suffix_7, suffix_8, suffix_9, suffix_10, suffix_11, suffix_12

Prefix example:

Prefix example

<div class="grid_4 prefix_4"></div>

 

<div class="grid_4"></div>

If you take a look, you’ll note that here we have a 4 unit div (with a 4 unit prefix) followed by another 4 units div. So both divs sums 8 and the prefix (which is 4) gives a total of 12.

Suffix example:

Suffix example

<div class="grid_4"></div>

 

<div class="grid_4 suffix_4"></div>

Equally, here the sum is 12, because we add a 4 unit div, and another 4 unit div with a 4 unit suffix.

You can use any size of divs and prefixes and suffixes you want. All you need is to make sure the sum of all sizes is 12, because if not, the div will drop for space absence.

Using grids inside grids

Even with all the posibilities we can count on right now, we may want to get a little more advanced using grids. I won’t explain why you may need to use grids inside grids, but it all has to do with situations when we need to group content somehow.

To insert some small divs within a bigger one, we can’t simply anidate the sourcecode. But wait! there’s a catch.

You need to tell the grid wich one’s first and wich one’s last.

Introducing Alpha and Omega

Let’s suppose we have a big div containing some divs. The first of all, we should have an additional parameter as we used prefixes and suffixes. The parameter for the first one is alpha. And so, the parameter for the last div is omega.

Alpha and Omega Example

Alpha and Omega example

<div class="grid_8">

<div class="grid_2 alpha"></div>

<div class=”grid_4“></div>

<div class=”grid_2 omega“></div>

</div>

<div class=”grid_4“></div>

 

<div class="grid_4"></div>

As we can see, within the 8 unit div we added a 2 unit div, a 4 unit div, and another 2 unit div. The first element has the alpha parameter and the last element has omega.

You may be wondering… what could happen if I don’t use alpha and omega?

Well… the width of the divs inside the bigger div, won’t add to what is needed and in consequence some divs will drop, messing up everything we did.

Bonus!

As a bonus for reading this second part, you can download the files used in the examples.


 

Download now

 

7 years ago

The Benefits of Using WordPress

WordPress is amazing and flexible blogging engine; so flexible in fact that it can be used as a CMS, and often is. There are so many advantages with using WordPress, for one, it’s user friendly, and if you aren’t comfortable messing with PHP, there’s no need! These features just make blogging that much more enjoyable.

Some Advantages:

  • Can be installed in any subdomain or domain
  • Multitude of Fantastic Plugins
  • 1-2-3 Theme and Plugin Install
  • Its Totally Free!
  • User Friendly
  • Easy to Template
  • Can be used as a CMS to make a static site
  • Posts + Pages
  • …And plenty more. WordPress proves to be flexible and easy to work with, wherever your a serious n00b or a PHP Expert. So if your looking for an easy and great software for your blog, WP is one great way to go!

    What’s your favorite CMS/Blogging Engine? Do you use WordPress?

    7 years ago