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You have started a business, developed a new product or you are an established business that does not have a web presence. You know that in order to compete in today’s technologically driven landscape; you need a website. The problem? You do not know where to start, what you need or what it even means to have a website. Clients tell me all of the time during the course of their web projects, that they never really realized what all goes into having a website. They just knew that they needed one, but did not realize what that would entail. The goal of this article is to provide some basic and general information to arm you with the knowledge you need to know.
First, let’s start with the basics. When you view a website from your computer or mobile device, there is a lot more going on than just what you see on screen. It’s kind of like macaroni and cheese. When you see it sitting in front of you in all of it’s ooey, gooey, goodness; you rarely think about the components and the time and effort that was put into making what you see and are about to taste. That is unless you are like me, and you are calculating how many extra miles and reps you will need to put in, to keep your left thigh from enlarging. I digress. A website is the same way, just without the fitness calculations.
A website is comprised of files that contain code. The code in those files dictate what you see on screen. They dictate where images are placed, where forms and buttons go and how they should behave and the text that you see on screen. There are also image files and files that even dictate the overall styling of colors, fonts, etc for the entire site.
These files need a place to live, much in the same way that your couch, bed, pots and pans need a home or dwelling place. The dwelling place of your files is on a server with a “host.” This is also known as web hosting.
The final component to all of this is the domain name or web address. When you view an advertisement from a company and they list their web address as www.CompanyName.com, you are looking at and typing in their domain name.
My analogy for all of this (I am the self proclaimed queen of analogies) is that a website is like your home. Your home has a physical street address where the actual structure lies. Inside of that structure are all of your belongings. A domain name is like your physical street address; it is the virtual street address for your website. Web Hosting (sometimes just referred to as “hosting”) is the structure that resides at that virtual address; just like your home’s physical structure. The files that compose and control the visual representation of your website are like your belongings.
Where to Purchase Domain Names & Web Hosting?
Now that we have covered the basics, where and how do you obtain a domain name, web hosting and create these files? What are your options? There are a ton of options and solutions available to you. Some cost a little, some may cost a lot depending on your needs and technical adeptness.
For domain names and web hosting, there are companies that only provide domain name registration (purchase) or web hosting and companies that provide both.
Web Hosting + Domain Name Registration Companies:
Domain Name Only Registrars:
Web Hosting Only Companies:
I always recommend that my clients make the purchase themselves for domain names and web hosting, because it is in their best interest. It is definitely easier on them if I make the purchase for their domain name, but then I am the registered owner of that domain name and address. Yes, I am an honest person, but what if I became incapacitated in some way? Do you really want your brand and website to be under the sole control and ownership of someone else?
If you are using a web designer to build the actual site (files), you retain ownership by making the purchase yourself. All you will need to do, is give them the information they request to gain access to the hosting server; where they will place the files they have created for your website. Most web designers have no problems doing this and can make recommendations as to where to purchase hosting and a domain name. Some web designers also sell hosting space that you can purchase from them, just be sure to read any small print.
Another alternative is to go with a company that is an all-in-one shop and provides everything. There are companies that offer domain names, hosting and web design all for one price and/or monthly payment plan. The benefit of using a company/service like this is that you do not have to deal with the hassle of trying to navigate making purchases for a domain name and web hosting. The downside is that the company will be the registered owner of your domain name and should you become dissatisfied with the service and wish to take your business elsewhere, you may not be able to take your actual site (files) and domain name with you. Some companies have clauses in their contracts to allow you to do so, but usually at a price. Just make sure to read any fine print and enquire about such things.
While I advocate hiring a web designer, there are options available that allow you to design a website on your own and without the aid of a web designer. With a web designer, in my opinion you will get a better final product. It will probably look better, function better, be more intuitive and user friendly for your site’s visitors. However, if you are so inclined, you can use the WordPress platform and a basic template, or a site like Webs.com or Wix.com to create a website on your own.
Choosing A Web Designer
If you decide that you would rather hire a web designer, here are some tips for finding and choosing the right designer for you and your needs.
Ask Around for a Referral – If you have a friend, family member or business associate that has a website that you like, ask them who did their site for them. Ask them how there experience was with the designer and whether or not they would recommend them to someone else. If their review is favorable, ask them for the designer’s information and contact them.
Check Their Portfolio – If a designer tells you that they make websites, they should be able to show proof that they really can do what they say, with work that they have done. You would not hire someone to cater your party, wedding, etc, without first seeing proof that they can actually cook and cook well? The first bit of proof should be the designer’s actual site. If they do not have one, run away. Far, far, away from them! If you visit their site and you do not like what you see, you may not like what they build for you either. Granted, as designers in general, our own materials may not show our full potential. Mainly because we are so busy putting in work for our clients that we sometimes neglect our own stuff. However, we should at least be able to show you client work that we have done and our own site should be presentable in the very least.
Ask Lots of Questions – No matter how stupid you may think it sounds, ask it if it is something you are unclear about. Chances are, it’s something that someone else has asked us as well, which makes the question an intelligent one and not a stupid one. Most designers will send you a detailed estimate with the scope of the project, what it will entail, and what you can expect to receive. If there is something that you feel is missing, ask about it to make sure that it is something that will be included. If need be, ask that it be worded into the contract that you sign as well.
Read the Fine Print – Before signing any contract, make sure that you read all of the fine print! Most of it may be benign, but make sure you read it anyway. There may be something in the fine print that you did not think of or that you may have assumed would be included/standard. This will help protect you from an unwanted surprise or hiccup in the process.
I know this article was a little long, but hopefully if you made it this far in reading, you now feel you have a better understanding and some tools to complete the task of having a website built.
Original post on the Colleen Eakins Design Blog: http://colleeneakins.com/i-need-a-website-where-do-i-start/
Chinese Plant Compound Wipes out Cancer in 40 Days, Says New Research
A little-known plant with a truly bizarre name is now making headlines as a cancer killer, with the compound of the plant vanishing tumors in mice with pancreatic cancer. Known as the ‘thunder god vine’ or lei gong teng, the Chinese plant is actually integrated into Chinese medicine and has been used for ages in remedying a number of conditions including rheumatoid arthritis.
According to the new research out of the University of Minnesota’s Masonic Cancer Center, the thunder god plant compound led to no signs of tumors after a 40 day period — even after discontinuing the treatment. Published in the journal Science Translational Medicine and funded by the National Institutes of Health, even the scientists working on the project were stunned by the anti-cancer properties of the compound. Known to contain something known as triptolide, which has been identified as a cancer fighter in previous research, it is thought to be the key component that may be responsible for the anti-tumor capabilities.
Study leader and vice chairman of research at the Cancer Center explained to Bloomberg how he was blown away by the effects of the simple plant:
“This drug is just unbelievably potent in killing tumor cells,” he said.
And just like with numerous other powerful substances like turmeric and ginger, mainstream science is still slowly confirming what many traditional practitioners have known for their entire lives. This is, of course, due to the fact that there is simply no money for major corporations in researching the healing powers of natural herbs and compounds such as the compound found in the thunder god vine. Turmeric and ginger, for example, have been found to be amazing anti-cancer substances that are virtually free compared to expensive and dangerous cancer drugs.
Nevertheless, the Big Pharma sponsored corporate scientists have managed to ignore these spices as much as possible. In fact, they have even been caught time and time again faking thousands of studies to fraudulently demonstrate the supposed value of pharmaceutical drugs pushed by major pharma juggernauts — many of which are later forced to pay millions in fines which only slightly stack up against their billions in profits.
Profits that are threatened by the many real studies that were performed by scientists examining the rejeuvenating power of cheap ingredients like turmeric, which has been found by peer-reviewed research available on PubMed to positively influence over 590 conditions.
While it is great news that this study is bringing the beneficial effects of inexpensive and near-free plant compounds to light, the bad news is that the individuals responsible for the research are actually looking to create a pharmaceutical drug from the essential component triptolide. A drug that will seek FDA approval and ultimately be patented, nutritionally ruined, and sold for exorbitant amounts of cash. Instead, just get your hands on some thunder god vine for yourself.
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Here it is!!!! Had this problem last night!! I wanted a small piece of cake but I knew if I made an entire cake one of two things would happen 1) It would end up going bad before we ate it 2) I would give in and just let the kids eat it all.
3, 2, 1 CAKE!!
1 box angel food cake mix
1 box cake mix, any flavor
Mix two cake mixes together, and store in large zip lock bag.
These individual little cakes are amazing and ready to eat in one minute!
They are perfect for whenever you feel like a treat without all the fat and calories that cake can have.
This recipe is called 3, 2, 1 Cake because all you need to remember is:
3 tablespoons mix,
2 tablespoons water,
1 minute in the microwave!
FYI (if you’re a teenage girl)
Posted on September 3, 2013 by Given Breath
I have some information that might interest you. Last night, as we sometimes do, our family sat around the dining-room table and looked through your social media photos.
We have teenage sons, and so naturally there are quite a few pictures of you lovely ladies to wade through. Wow – you sure took a bunch of selfies in your pajamas this summer! Your bedrooms are so cute! Our eight-year-old daughter brought this to our attention, because with three older brothers who have rooms that smell like stinky cheese, she notices girly details like that.
I think the boys notice other things. For one, it appears that you are not wearing a bra.
I get it – you’re in your room, so you’re heading to bed, right? But then I can’t help but notice the red carpet pose, the extra-arched back, and the sultry pout. What’s up? None of these positions is one I naturally assume before sleep, this I know.
So, here’s the bit that I think is important for you to realize. If you are friends with a Hall boy on Facebook or Instagram or Twitter, then you are friends with the whole Hall family.
Please understand this, also: we genuinely like keeping up with you. We enjoy seeing life through your unique and colorful lens – which is what makes your latest self-portrait so extremely unfortunate.
Those posts don’t reflect who you are! We think you are lovely and interesting, and usually very smart. But, we had to cringe and wonder what you were trying to do? Who are you trying to reach? What are you trying to say?
And now – big bummer – we have to block your posts. Because, the reason we have these (sometimes awkward) family conversations around the table is that we care about our sons, just as we know your parents care about you.
I know your family would not be thrilled at the thought of my teenage boys seeing you only in your towel. Did you know that once a male sees you in a state of undress, he can’t ever un-see it? You don’t want the Hall boys to only think of you in this sexual way, do you?
Neither do we.
And so, in our house, there are no second chances, ladies. If you want to stay friendly with the Hall men, you’ll have to keep your clothes on, and your posts decent. If you try to post a sexy selfie, or an inappropriate YouTube video – even once – you’ll be booted off our on-line island.
I know that sounds harsh and old-school, but that’s just the way it is under this roof for a while. We hope to raise men with a strong moral compass, and men of integrity don’t linger over pictures of scantily clad high-school girls.
Every day I pray for the women my boys will love. I hope they will be drawn to real beauties, the kind of women who will leave them better people in the end. I also pray that my sons will be worthy of this kind of woman, that they will be patient – and act honorably – while they wait for her.
Girls, it’s not too late! If you think you’ve made an on-line mistake (we all do – don’t fret – I’ve made some doozies), RUN to your accounts and take down anything that makes it easy for your male friends to imagine you naked in your bedroom.
Will you trust me? There are boys out there waiting and hoping for women of character. Some young men are fighting the daily uphill battle to keep their minds pure, and their thoughts praiseworthy.
You are growing into a real beauty, inside and out.
Act like her, speak like her, post like her.
I’m glad we’re friends.
Hawaiian Millionaire Pie
Ingredients: yields 2 pies
2 Ready-Made Graham Cracker Crusts
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 Large Container of Cool Whip
1 Large Can Crushed Pineapple (drained)
1 8 oz jar Maraschino Cherries (chopped & drained)
1 Can Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk
1/2 Cup Chopped Pecans
1/4 Cup Lemon Juice
Blend together the cream cheese, lemon juice and condensed milk; gently fold in the whipped topping.
Stir in the crushed pineapple, cherries and pecans; pour into pie crusts and refrigerate for 3 to 4 hours.