So what have I been up to?

Well I’ll start with a shout out to Eric over at Cobalt Apps. I am using Dynamik Website Builder on all of the new sites I develop now. It really simplifies the development process and the expanded skins options really help to jump start a site. The community around the product is active and it’s support from the developer is excellent.

I’ve also got good things to say about InfiniteWP. Its hard to believe that a utility like this is free. It manages all of your WordPress websites from one easy to use control panel. InfiniteWP has saved me countless hours in updating plugins and running backups!

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas friends! It has been a long time since I have blogged anything, but a lot has been going on.

The redesigned website for Century 21 Monticello Properties is now live although there is still a bit of construction mess to clean up. Now through the end of January, there is a cool photo contest on the site for residence of Lake Monticello, VA.

I have also just completed a redesign of a website for Marie Allen Homes. As soon as the domain transfer is complete, the url will be www.marieallenhomes.com. Meanwhile, you can find it at its temporary home, marieallenhomes.leanbones.com.

cvillecya.com is now live as the presence for the First Baptist Church College and Young Adult ministry. Periodically, I’ll be doing some blogging over there. (hopefully a good bit more than I do on this site)

So that’s what I have been doing in web design over the last few months… Now that we are caught up, hopefully it won’t be another six months before I post something again.

Role Scoper

I am configuring the plugin Role Scoper for a site I am building.  I highly recommend this plugin for anyone considering a CMS system.  This plugin allows to you build on the incredibly easy to use foundation of WordPress but get much of the more granular with security rights for multiple users.  This contrasts with full blown CMS systems like Joomla that start out with robust security controls but have a steep learning curve.

If you do have any questions about implementing Role Scoper though, just drop me a line.

Added Resources Page

I have added a Resources page with links to some of my favorite web design resources.  I have used all of these many times and continue to use most of them.

I will be adding to this page with any new sites that I find particularly useful.  Feel free to post any of your favorite web design sites in the comments to this post.  Who knows, I may add them to my list.


Finally on the first page of Google results

My site is finally on the first page of Google search results when searching for “Abe Nelson”. That didn’t take too long.

Nothing else inspirational to blog about in the web design front. All my other pursuits have kept me running around enough.

One of the coolest things going on right now is Daniel learning how to ride a two wheeler. It really makes me proud watching him work so hard to learn something so difficult.

Tips for planning a website

Is your business or organization in need of a web site? Want to put your thoughts online in your own blog?

Well where do you start?

I saw a commercial on TV the other day that used the perils of several web design routes to steer prospective customers to its product. The truth is every route you could take to putting yourself on the web has its ups and down. Today I’ll try and break some of those down for you.

Option 1: Have a tech savvy friend or relative make your site.

This is a great choice if you know someone that you can trust. They must have a strong work ethic and be willing to hold back some of their friendly criticism so that your idea’s can shine through. Friends tend to feel like they know what you want and the familiarity to not be afraid to say it. Who knows this could be a big hit or a big miss. The strongest argument for this option is generally the money that you could save. Not to be too Dr. Phil’ish but the strongest argument against is putting your relationship at risk.

Option 2: Hire someone professional to do it.

This is generally the best option for a high quality site. It can be costly though particularly if you don’t have a clear idea of what you want. You might spend hours just having them try ideas before they can put your vision on the web.

Option 3: Do it yourself

There are so many options for do it yourself web design these days. The biggest hurdle is just wading through all of the providers and technology to decide what the best thing for you is. You could do it old school and learn HTML and hand make the site yourself, but, if its your first time, you won’t get close to professional results and you’ll probably burn up hours of your valuable time. The method that the commercial I mentioned is advertising is a template based system. This is one of the easiest. You basically just need to sign up for the service and pick a template for your site. Add in some content and your on your way. The disadvantage to this approach is that the templates lock you in to something that is never quite right and you can’t change it easily. Template sites also tend to look a little less professional than hand made sites.

Of course, with each of these choices, it is important that you first decide what the site is for and how much you are willing to put into it (both in terms of time and money). For a simple personal blog, a free template based service like Blogger is probably more than enough. For a high traffic business site, it just wouldn’t do though.

What could be a better way to round out this post than with a little self promotion? I guess I am biased, but whatever your web design needs are I can tailor my services to fit them. My approach to web design takes the time saving aspects of starting with templates then adding custom hand design to perfect the site. If you are looking for an honest, simple and affordable approach to designing your site, send me an email.

The snow castles of 2010

From Snow Castles of 2010, posted by Abe Nelson on 3/13/2010 (12 items)

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