I love to cook. I'm not a chef but I'm a passable cook. I can do more than boil water and love to try new recipes. I love the art and science of cooking and how flavors are created, layered and combined to create the final delicious meal. I love the feel of a sharp knife as it cuts and the smells as I build a dish. There is an art in choosing side dishes that match the main meal that match the wine or other beverage and all of them work together to maximize the taste experience. Heady stuff and beyond my simple abilities. I'd never survive in a professional kitchen - I'm better suited to mess halls - but I have learned there is a close parallel between cooking and building a fantastic website that's not only functional but fun to use! ...continue reading
When it comes to efficiency I'm a tad militant. If I can shave a few seconds off a task - especially one that I repeat over and over again through a work day, week, month, I'm a happy boy. I don't mind spending a few minutes to do prep and setup because in the end the result can save me many hours over time - which leads me to KISSing Google Analytics. ...continue reading
Have you noticed how software authors and online service providers are very clear about where their responsibility begins and ends? I don't fault them. It's good business to be clear. But it doesn't help a user that's struggling to figure out what to do. The WordPress install itself is extremely easy BUT it depends on having a place to install it! I've had dozens of clients come to me because they simply didn't know what to do. 5 minutes on the phone and I could hear their shoulders relax and their pulse slow down. In this post I'll tackle the basics of getting ready to install WordPress - the stuff you should know and do before you even download and install WordPress. ...continue reading
I like to help the people especially when it comes to web related issues. But I have a problem. What to do with run-on-explanations. You see, I'm not one to gloss over technical details. Glossing over details installs malware, starves puppies and spreads plague. I try to avoid such things. So I explain what I see and think to a (eventually) very sorry listener. I live and work in a world that has way too many hidden possibilities and there is no clearly defined horizon between what the average user/business owner sees and what is actually happening.
Take email for example. Most people think it simply goes from their outbox to the other ...continue reading
I remember a new toy I got at Christmas that was exactly, EXACTLY, what I had asked Santa Claus for. It was the GI Joe Jeep. I remember the excitement and the anticipation while tearing off the wrapping paper and opening the package. Oh the joy at pushing that jeep around and making all the vroom, vroom sounds. I had freedom! I chased the Wehrmacht across the Rhine, was blown up in France, and drove in a victory parade in London. I had power to chase bad guys, fight wars and I was cool.
Then a wheel came off and went rolling into the kitchen. My world came to a stop. It didn't help that my sister grabbed the wheel and taunted me before running off. I was stunned. It came off and there was no more wind in my hair, chasing bad guys, or winning wars. I was crushed. Working with technology can be like that only a lot more frustrating than a toy with a missing wheel. At least I could pretend the missing wheel had been blown off by enemy mortar fire. But if my mobile phone stops working, it's pretty much done. The term is "bricked" as in that's about all it's good for. ...continue reading
A WordPress website for small business is a process. And it's not really Design as we know it. It's more of a selection process with the visual design as the last item of import. Here's the basic recipe that I always follow:
Choosing a theme for WordPress can be exciting and fun! I don't know about you but I'm like a kid in a candy store with $40 to spend! Big dramatic images of beautiful people, colorful wide vistas, deeply moving landscapes, iconic world events, extraordinary photographs of everyday life, combined with appealing color schemes all designed to capture the visitor's attention. That's exactly what I initially react to. I have an impulsive desire to choose a theme based on my initial reaction to the visual design. What a theme looks like is very important and sometimes a powerful influence in my decision but it shouldn't be. There is a lot more to consider before I buy a theme. ...continue reading
I love Google. There, I said it. I love the general direction they're headed in even if I don't like (sometimes loathe) how they organize their content and navigation. But add two other tools I love and now we have a killer combination of content delivery platform, analytics, and automated report generation. Perfect for faculty and staff and makes my job so much easier. ...continue reading