March 9th, 2014
I built my first website in 1994 for my import/export business – I needed a cheap way to reach people in Europe and Asia. At the time, the Web was very new to most of the world … in fact, I had one of the first websites with photos!
Becoming a web designer and programmer:
By 1996 I was a full time web designer taking on web design contracts. In those days though, the Web was just really starting to heat up; I still remember having to go into meetings with prospective clients, having to explain to them what the Web was! A typical question I got:
“How is the Web thing going to help my business?”
Financial Freedom with Web Design:
Becoming a coder has had many major positive impacts in my life:
- Improved my ability to think logically.
- Taught me how to organize and create complex things.
- Opened my mind to abstract ideas – I could understand things that once totally confused me.
… In many ways, learning code and programming, is like doing pushups for the brain! That said, I have to admit that the #1 thing that learning to code brought to the table, was financial freedom and choice.
You see, when you get over that learning hump that can scare so many people away from programming, you will unlock earning power that you probably never imagined.
In a nutshell:
Learning web design and programming almost guarantees high paying jobs and lots of work.
Thanks for reading,
February 21st, 2014
Let’s get to the point:
The days of only using web design programs like Dreamweaver (and not knowing any code) are pretty much over … if you want to be a professional web designer.
These days, web designers need to learn code and a few different coding languages, to be able to effectively build modern websites.
… The good news is that it isn’t that hard with the right training.
Which languages do you need to learn?
In the order of importance:
This may seem like a lot but the good news is that you DON’T have to be an expert in everything … you just have to have working knowledge of these key languages and know how to work them together.
Studioweb makes learning code easy!
If you are serious about developing these skills, take a look at my interactive video training system Studioweb.
Used by public schools, career centers and community colleges to train their students, you can take advantage of this self-paced learning system that will gently guide you towards total nerd glory and domination!
… As an added bonus, you can get certified with the same certification used by schools!
If you have questions, feel free to contact me:
February 20th, 2014
I’ve been building websites since 1994 … that’s makes it 20 yrs now! Anyway, it only takes me 9 minutes of video to give you my perspective … I think young nerdlings might find useful. Check it out:
January 23rd, 2014
Lots of people come the KillerSites.com in search of an answer to some web design related question – if that’s you, then I invite you to join the forum – it’s free.
Check it out:
January 18th, 2014
In this video, I show you how to create (and use) Gmail email templates – they are very useful if you send out the same email or similar emails on a regular basis.
Check it out:
Thanks for watching.
January 13th, 2014
Anyone who knows me knows that I am an advocate of WordPress, especially from the point of view of a web designer since so many small business websites use WordPress.
Not all is well in the world of WordPress
The sad thing is that with great popularity and ease of use, comes great evil – WordPress has had a plethora of security holes and can be the source of many of website headaches because of all the hacking that can likely be subject to. Here are some WordPress safety tips:
1. Keep WordPress up to date!
It seems that the WordPress nerds update this popular CMS every 2.6 seconds! Though annoying, these updates are made with good reason: to plug security holes and other bugs.
Thankfully, the in WordPress update feature (as of WordPress 3.x) works very well. You don’t have to go through the 10 step process anymore to update it – just click on the update button and WordPress takes care of it for you.
Read the rest of this entry »
January 7th, 2014
Let’s start off this article with the conclusion – web design in 2014:
- Usability – learn to make websites easier to navigate.
- Simplification of design.
In the last few years, the web design world (finally) totally embraced the importance of understanding code. The move in that direction started back during the web-standards evangelizing days … in about 2002-2003. There was resistance, but my feel for it now, is that the vast majority of web designers accept the fact that you can’t just rely on point-and-click web visual web design tools, if you want to build sites on a professional level.
… Yes, if you just need to build a brochure website that promotes your raspberry muffins, you can use simple website builders and a template. But if you are building a website that will have any depth to it, code is king and is required. Why? In a nutshell: control and optimization.
Usability is as much as art as it is a science because each site requires it’s own innovation (if you will) when comes to making a website easy to use. That said, there are simple conventions that people come to expect:
- Top left logo is always a link to the homepage.
- Navigation is found at the top and footer of the pages.
- Breadcrumb navigation is fantastic for deep sites.
I would argue that the hardest part of building a website is in making it usable. It also probably the most important aspect of any website because if a site is too hard to navigate, no one will use it.
Simplification of design
This trend towards simpler minimal design I believe is a reflection of the growing understanding in the importance of usability. Usability is hard enough, but making a complex visual design easy to use it mega hard! Simple design means:
- More whitespace – more ‘breathing room’ on the page.
- Use larger sans serif fonts – less fancy.
- Less images, but larger and higher quality.
Putting the money where my mouth is, we kept all this in mind when building the StudioWeb e-learning website.
December 3rd, 2013
Some of you know that we’ve been hard at work refining our interactive training system for schools – StudioWeb.
The feedback we’ve been getting from teachers and students has been great and has helped us really improve. So over a year later, nearly 2000 students, we are about to release version 2!
Top StudioWeb 2.0 Features – from a teachers perspective:
• Turn-key courses with automated quizzing, correcting and tracking
• Full reporting + charts
• Teachers answer book
• Printable course outlines
• Course project files
StudioWeb removes all the bookkeeping so you can concentrate on the teaching!
With StudioWeb, even teachers who are not tech savvy can effectively manage a class! In fact, given all the automation that StudioWeb provides, teachers can more easily manage large classrooms.
If you have any questions, feel free to ask!
November 27th, 2013
I get a lot of questions from people wanting to build a web based business. I’m not talking about becoming a web designer or a web programmer, I am talking about building a website and then making money off it.
Sometimes, people just want to put up articles and then sell other peoples products (through affiliate programs) other times they simply want to put up a bunch of ads.
The more ambitious want to sell a service or a product. This blog post is going to be about how to do that … in a nutshell.
What do you need to know (and what to do,) to set up a web based business?
Well, before I get into it, I should mention the stay at home mom who contacted me recently. She had an idea for a website and her goal was to generate ad revenue and sell memberships/access to premium content. She was asking a bunch of questions about setting up a forum, an e-commerce system etc …
So the first thing I ask when people come to me with these questions, is if they know anything about building websites? If you don’t know much, you will either:
- Need to hire someone.
- Or, learn some web skills.
Since this mom in question had no money to pay someone to build her site, she was going to have to learn. Before I get into what you have to learn, when you are a do-it-yourself web entrepreneur, let’s quickly talk about NOT ‘putting the cart before the horse’.
Read the rest of this entry »
November 4th, 2013
Some of you may know that I am a BIG advocate the code in the classroom. In fact, I feel that all kids should be learning code in middle and high school for a few reasons:
- Knowing how to code opens up many work opportunities.
- Knowing how to code opens business opportunities.
- Coding teaches discipline, logic and project planning.
… You can read about it all on studioWeb.