The Myth of the Zero-Cost Online Business


Stop me if you've heard this one before. I have a friend - I'll call her Maggie. When Maggie and I get together, the conversation inevitably turns to my online business. How are things going? Do you have plenty of clients? Do you still like working from home? People are always interested in my self-employment experience because it's so different from what many of them do for a living. Maggie has a particular interest in what I do because she'd like to start an online business herself one day. We spend lots of time talking about the ...
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5 Reasons Why a “Simple” Website Isn’t So Simple


Want to know the best way to make a designer or developer run away screaming? Tell him or her, "I just need a simple website." When I see those words in a quote request, that's an automatic, "Sorry, but I don't think I'd be the best fit for your project." Why? Because "simple" projects are never, ever simple. And when potential clients assume their projects are worth less effort, they're telling me they don't value my work or their own businesses enough to expect better. Here are five reasons why your request for a "simple" website is a ...
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Easy Tips to Improve Your Online Security


The time difference between building something and tearing it down can be an eye opener. Demolition crews can tumble buildings that took years of labor in a few minutes. A week of casual eating seems to reverse months of sweat in the gym. The disconnect also applies to online security. Our finances can quickly unravel with online security breaches. A hacked bank account can undo years of dedicated saving. Routine downloading may allow internet crooks to hack your website or even take over your computer. So, how can we enjoy the benefits ...
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Why My Business is Breaking Up With Facebook


(I vote no.) Over the past year, I've spent a lot of time building up a following for my business on Facebook. I followed all the expert advice - I used images, I asked relevant questions, and I offered discount codes and promotions. I posted frequently, but not so often that I spammed my fans' feeds. I maintained my personality and offered help with WordPress issues and did everything "right" from a marketing standpoint. Then Facebook decided none of that was good enough.  Today, if you want your Facebook fans to see what you're talking ...
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How to Create a Test Site for Customizing Your Genesis Child Theme


Yesterday I responded to a commonly asked question on the StudioPress support forums: Is there a way I can import my blog to another domain so I can make edits to my Genesis child theme, then move the new design over without annoying my readers? Since this comes up frequently, it seemed like a good idea for a post. Whether you're using Genesis or another theme/framework for WordPress, it's easy to create a test domain or subdomain where you can customize your Genesis child theme without making the changes on a live site. By using a test ...
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How to Customize Your Genesis Child Theme with Chrome’s Inspector


As a moderator on the StudioPress support forums, I see a lot of questions from Genesis users each week. More often than not, those questions relate to making various changes to Genesis child themes - changing colors, altering padding, and other customizations affecting the way the themes look. To be honest, sometimes it's a little frustrating to see those questions because it's so easy (in my mind, anyway) to find the answers. I found myself skipping over CSS threads in the forums because I kept thinking, Quit being lazy! You can take 30 ...
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Three Fundamental Truths About Being Self-Employed

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In my years as a blogger and web designer, I've spent a lot of time around people who are self-employed, freelancing on the side, and/or plotting to quit their jobs. I think of it as an occupational hazard - it's natural for us to gravitate toward those who are in our field or niche, and only a fellow self-employed person can truly understand the nature of the work I do and the frustrations (and joys!) that come along with it. Plus most bloggers and designers are nerds at heart, so there's plenty to talk about. The other side of that ...
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How to Check Any Website for Mobile Responsiveness


It's Monday, and I'd like to start the week with an important question for you: How does your website look on small screens? No matter how vehemently some of my clients fight me on this, it is essential that your website be accessible to visitors on mobile devices. With the average site receiving 30-60% of its traffic from tablets and phones, we can no longer afford to ignore the diverse ways people choose to consume our content. Personally, I'd say more of my web browsing happens on my phone and/or iPad than on my computer. When I'm at ...
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