How to sell somebody a mattress or a water ionizer machine via innovative web design

modernes schlafzimmer mit dekorationA friend of mine has recently been interviewing candidates for a web designer/developer position that has opened up at his company. As part of the interview he’s asking candidates to design web pages that would encourage people to buy two different products, a mattress, and a water ionizer machine. I’m always interested in providing answers to interview questions as I think it gives an opportunity to exercise our own creative muscles that can maybe get a bit slack if you haven’t interviewed for a new job in a while. So, in this post I’m going to blog about the answers I’d provide if I was interviewing for the position, here goes – Continue Reading →

The Technology Behind Minecraft and its Global Impact on Children

minecraft-wallpaper-2It does not matter if you love or hate Minecraft, it will not change the amount of children and adults across the world who are currently obsessing over this global gaming sensation. The purpose of the game revolves around the following premise: technically speaking, it is a creative sandbox-type game granted players the ability to construct brilliant and complex worlds. While some children choose to recreate famous architectural pieces, others build elaborate creations first built within their imaginations. The premise can be simply summed up as a fun and exploratory creative sandbox where you can build anything your mind imagines. Continue Reading →

Hiring a Web Design Company in Hertfordshire Will Help Prevent Costly Website Design Mistakes

There are so many mistakes that inexperience web designers can make when creating a website. Discussed are some of the major design mistakes that are made and how a professional web design company in Hertfordshire can help prevent them.

If you are beginning a small business and need a new website, or are considering revamping your company’s old website, you may feel tempted to cut costs and do it yourself. Don’t get caught with a dud of a website. There are many web design companies in Hertfordshire that can help create a stunning and effective website. Hire a web design agency to avoid costly website mistakes.

First Impressions Are Everything

For many people, their first experience with your business will be through your company website. There is never a second chance to make a first impression with your website. Poor design, sloppy layout, and inconsistent branding can really have a detrimental impact on your business. Web design agencies in Hertfordshire can help prevent these costly errors with your site and help you build a coherent, attractive website for your business.

Web Designers Know the Art of Subtlety

Many people who are not trained to design websites believe that the more photos and copywriting they can fit on the page, the more polished it looks. The opposite is true; when a designer makes the site less busy and flashy the more customers can navigate and learn about the products and services the company offers.

Web Designers Can Focus Your Website

The problem with many do-it-yourself websites is that there is no focus. The websites try to target everyone in a hope to bring in customers. When a website is focused to a target customer, the website is far more successful in turning views into money-making business opportunities.

Web Designers Make Websites User Friendly

Many do-it-yourself websites forget to take their target audience into consideration with their website. For example, they forget to make the website easily usable on smart phones if they have a younger demographic for their clientèle. What about making the font larger or more easily readable if your target customers are older? Considering how your clients will interact with your website is the sign of a great website.

Information on the Website is Out of Date

A mistake that many companies make is after web design is done in house; it may be neglected and not thought of again. Many web design agencies in Hertfordshire offer services to maintain websites. This ensures that your website has the most current and relevant information about your company and its products. It is important that customers see that your company keeps their communication to customers updated regularly.

Consider Adding A Way to Purchase Online

Many customers love the efficiency and convenience of ordering products online. If you made the mistake of not already having an online catalogue and a method to order your products, you should consider adding this feature to your website. Methods such as Zencart, PayPal, and Google Checkout can help you add the ability for your customers to purchase directly on your website.

Using Too Much Text

Although inexperienced web designers think that customers want every single detail about their products and services. It is best to be selective and concise when writing content for your website. Professional web design agencies understand this and write in a way that will appeal to perspective customers.

Many companies who decide to create their own websites make many errors that make their website ineffective and actually chase away potential customers to their business. If you need professional web design in Hertfordshire web design in Hertfordshire contact One Creations for a polished website for your company

Podcast Production: A New Radio Show For Lawn Care Professionals

There are tonnes of podcasts for everything from comedy to lessons in business marketing. But what there lacks are podcasts for professional tradesmen like landscapers and plumbers. Landscapers, for example, have websites that are often terrible and they often don’t even know it. The lawn care industry alone is $70 billion a year. Why aren’t there podcasts that focus on lawn care professionals and helping them market their business online?

This was the thought process that I went through a few weeks ago. I decided to take action and contact a friend of mine who is a lawn care pro. He runs a business and has 3 employees. I know about web design and online marketing and he know about the lawn care industry. We decided to team up and launch a podcast for lawn care professionals.

I didn’t want to do all the work necessary to launch a podcast without sponsorship. So I contacted a great power equipment brand and they agreed to sponsor it.

In the planning of the podcast my friend and I decided to focus on the following 3 lawn care topics:

1. Getting Customers From The Web

These days most people find a tradesman online with a Google search. The results displayed on the first page get all of that traffic. So our podcast will have a heavy focus on SEO and getting our listeners websites to the top of Google for their local area. For example: if our listener has a lawn care business in London then when someone in London searches for a lawn care professional their website shows up number 1.

2. Email Capture Online and Offline

Everybody knows that it is easier to keep a customer than it is to gain a customer. Combine this fact with the knowledge that everyone has an email address that check almost daily and you have a winning strategy for customer retention: email marketing. So our second main focus for the podcast will be how to get customer emails offline and online (and how to properly email them deals for your services).

3. Getting Into The Lawn Care Industry

My friend was very adamant that we needed to talk about how others could start their own lawn care business. He said that there are almost zero resources targeted to lawn care professionals in terms of training. So the third focus of our podcast is helping people new to the lawn care industry get their business up and running. Things like tips to picking the best power equipment for their needs, getting the appropriate business licenses and insurance and learning how to care for a lawn.

Podcast Launch

We are launching the podcast in a few weeks. I’ll be sure to write another post on launching a podcast after that. We have already done lots of research and recorded our introductory podcast. The second and third podcasts will all be recorded before the first is released. We are doing this because we want to release a new podcast once per week but we will release the first two on launch day. Having three recorded gives us some cushion to stay one week ahead of the release schedule.

Why you need a VPN to be a China based Web designer


Digital Nomad Web Designers

Working as a web designer is a great gig that has the potential to be location independent. Many web designers I know have the luxury of travelling around the world while they work from clients purely on the internet. Often times they can leverage the low cost of living in other countries, while still making a great standard wage that they normally receive in a developed country with much higher standards of living.

One destination that is especially popular with these so called “digitial nomads” is Asia. The warm weather, great food, and low cost of living makes countries like China and Thailand particularly attractive.

However there is one thing you need to make this all work: Good Internet.

I spent some time in China working as a freelance web designer, but was unaware how bad the internet censorship was in China until I arrived. The so called “Great Firewall” is active in the entire country (except for Hong Kong and Macau) and essentially prohibits access to important sites such as Google, Facebook, and Youtube. These websites are often crucial for doing your work, whether you are searching for images or videos to imbed, or looking up tutorials or linking FB fan pages.

A VPN – your best friend in China

That’s when I discovered Virtual Private Networks or VPNs. A VPN is essentially an intermediate channel that you can use to connect to websites outside of the Great Firewall. Theses VPN services are usually sold as a yearly or montly subscription and also have the added bonus of encrypting you interenet data. A typical yearly subscription is about 75$ / year.

VPNs use different protocols such as OpenVPN, PPTP, L2TP and various methods of encryption to make sure that your data is secure and not blocked.

Choosing a VPN for China

There are literally hundreds of VPN services that you can purchase. So how do you choose the best VPN for China? Here are some points to consider:

  • Choose a VPN that is known to be reliable, and one with support specifically for China. The problem with many VPNs is that they cannot adapt to the ever evolving Great Firewall censor. Consequently, some VPNs can suddenly become useless or very slow in the wake of an update to the Firewall.
  • Choose a VPN that can be used on multiple device at once (like your computer and your smartphone).
  • Make sure your VPN has unlimited bandwidth. You don’t want to run our of GBs right before a major web design deadline.
  • Make sure your VPN has iOS and Android support so you can accesss your youtube and facebook on your phone.

The startuplivingchina.com blog has a great break down of reviews of the best VPN for China if you are looking to purchase one so you can access the unrestricted internet in China.

Some popular VPNs include:

VyprVPN

Astrill

Private Internet Access

Summary

The digital nomad lifestyle can be great for those who love to do web design and travel all around the world. Just make sure that you can always get a good, fast, and unrestricted internet connection wherever you decide to travel, especially in China. A great, effective, and relatively cheap way to do this is to simply get a VPN.

The Best Gadgets for your Looks

There is certainly no shortage of gadgets that promise to improve your looks. While many of them are cloaked in hokum and shrouded in mystery, there are some truly innovative gadgets that can help you look and feel your best. Here’s a definitive list of what to look out for in 2014.

For Exfoliating your Skin

The Neutrogena Healthy Skin Rejuvenator features ultra-fine aluminum-oxide crystals to moisten the skin and strip dead cells. By smoothing the skin’s surface, it really makes the skin glow. Use it up to three times each week. You shouldn’t use this product if you have severe acne or rosacea.

For Reducing Wrinkles and Acne

For anyone looking to treat greater than just one skin issue, the Ansr:Ray acts as a true multi-tasker. Aim its blue LED onto your skin for 5 minutes to kill the P. acnes bacteria that causes blemishes; switch to the red LED to stimulate collagen production, which may assist reduce lines and redness.

Crimson and blue lights work on different depths of the skin and consequently on distinct difficulties of the various layers of the epidermis. A comparable treatment provided by doctors covers a bigger area at one time and is significantly stronger (though much more expensive). Many pros view this apparatus as a great alternative, when used daily.

For Treating Blemishes

By providing heat to your pimple for around two minutes, the battery-operated Zeno Mini Acne Clearing Device destroys P. acnes bacteria and helps fix inflamed pores. To minimize the measurement of a single blemish at a dermatologists, you’d pay anywhere from $75 to $100 get a cortisone injection. So using this device more than a couple of times allows it to pay for itself.

For Removing Body Hair

The Tria Laser Hair Removal System inhibits the growth of hair via heat using a diode laser that is absorbed by the dark pigment in hair. Use it on small regions, like armpits or the bikini line, at least once per month for six months to see its long lasting results.

The laser works well on coarse, dark hair and fair skin. It’s not as powerful on hair that is lighter or finer, also pigmentation spots can be caused by it on skin tones that are on the darker side. The laser must not be utilized on the neck or facial skin, and also the small head might impractical for large areas, such as the legs.

For Glorious Straight Hair

When it comes to your hair, there are so many gadgets and gizmos promising straight locks that you can be forgiven for getting a little confused. What sets the better flat irons apart, however, is their ability to select different temperatures that can be used on various hair types. Also, including tourmaline, which conducts heat and dispenses positive ions, in the plates can really boost the straightening process. The sedu range of straighteners is a great example of this.

For Promoting Hair Growth

The hand-held HairMax LaserComb provides heat vitality to hair roots, raising blood circulation to the hair and scalp. This may lead to bigger follicles that produce thicker hair shafts. This device was cleared by the FDA to handle hair loss in men. It is likely to improve hair diameter in women, too, particularly when combined with external prescription medications. It might also provide an anti inflammatory effect on the entire scalp, which could possibly prevent future hair loss.

For Skin Firming

The battery-controlled NuFace Facial Toning program delivers a low level electric microcurrent to the muscles under the skin. This engineering has been used for several years by doctors for healing wounds, also it may stimulate the creation of collagen. It may also increase muscle tone when used for three months, making slack skin appear tighter.

For Cleaning your Skin

The Clarisonic Mia Sonic Skin Brush oscillates dirt to loosen and lift from skin. Dermatologists agree that it does a great job of deep cleaning your skin, and also removes dead cells on the skin’s surface, which may make your skin look and feel smoother for a temporary period. Skin doctors suggest using light pressure with the brush, and washing it once a week with water and soap so it does not harbor bacteria and skin cells.

Integrated Gadgets: How to Value Your Home

The time has come to sell your home, but over the years you have added a number of high priced, luxury (and dare you say it, ingenious) gadgets and technologies. You can’t start ripping things out of the walls, so how do you incorporate their cost and worth in to your home’s sale price?

Make a List

Before you start worrying about how much money you will lose on these gadgets it is important that you have a list of them all. It’s easy to do, just go around your home and write down everything that you have added to it that has improved your quality of living.

Once you have your list you will be able to use it to price everything as you would if you were going to sell it. It’s then time to take the list to your estate agents or home sale company so that they can use it when valuing your home.

Some agents and companies may not be aware how valuable your gadgets are. If this is the case then there is sure to be another one who will.

Check the Warranties

Whether it’s an integrated coffee maker, remote control blinds and curtains or a state of the art Bose system, it is important to know if the warranty will cover the next owners, if it is still in date and if it can be extended. This will make a difference to what your gadgets are worth to someone thinking of buying your home.

Your gadgets may cost a lot to replace and just as they will get a survey done on your home, they will want to ensure they are not paying extra for added luxuries that will cost them a great deal of money as soon as they move in.

Don’t Drop Your Price

If the people that come to view your home aren’t as tech minded or adventurous as you then they may not see the value in your gadgets. This means that they may not want to pay more for your home. Before you make the serious decision of whether or not you would like to lower your asking price to encourage more viewings and hopefully a sale, make sure that you have thought of all the options available to you.

If you haven’t considered it, it may be worth thinking about a we buy any house type fast homebuyer. Many of them will be able to offer you up to date and valuable advice about your situation and you could get a good idea of your other options.

It may also be useful to think about anything that you can remove without too much hassle. Or better still, when installing a gadget, make sure you do so in a way that will allow it to be easily removed.

Hopefully now you will have a better idea of what to do with your gadgets when you move house and consider some ideas that you may not have thought of. So until next time, good luck and happy moving!