New DVD Design for DVD Video Courses.

April 4th, 2014


After years of the same old design for our DVD’s, I’ve finally decided that we needed a fresh new look. I felt inspired, so instead of getting our designer (Ben) to take care it … I broke out my old designers cap and did it myself!

- See more at:

Thanks for reading.

Stefan Mischook

The Best Way to Learn Web Design

March 28th, 2014


I try to start with the point of the article whenever I can … so what is the best way to learn web design and web programming?

In a nutshell:

  • You want to as quickly as possible, get past the basic concepts and basic code principles. Too many courses these days concentrate too much on too many details.
  • Once you have that minimal knowledge, you should be building actual projects!

I’ve been teaching web design and programming for over a decade now and have been teaching for about 20yrs – give or take. And I can tell you that without a doubt, the best way to learn web design and programming is to build.

… With each site that you design, your skills will jump. With each dynamic database driven website that you build, your skills will jump.

Finishing the Job is Key

It is important that you complete projects. For some reason, leaving something half done, just doesn’t seem to have the same learning impact. That’s why smaller mini projects are great for learning because big projects take a long time to finish.

With that in mind, our Complete Web Designer training package follows these principles … which only makes sense since we created all the courses!

PS: If you want a DVD/USB hard copy sent you, we do that too.


Stefan Mischook

Facebook Advertising … is it worth it?

March 27th, 2014


Strong evidence is showing that Facebook is a good place to pour your money into … IF you want to dump cash into a black hole of no return!!

Advertising on Facebook is revealing itself to be extremely sucky in a few ways:

  • Most Facebook friends are likely fake. Especially if you promote to get them.
  • Facebook is cutting off access to these friends – now it’s at about 15% and it is said to be heading towards 1% as a matter of company policy. This is called ‘organic reach’ … and the organism is dying fast.
  • There are accusations (that seem credible) that Facebook is padding the numbers, in terms of traffic it claims to be sending advertisers way. Facebook does NOT allow you to have outside audits of their traffic flows – that should tell you something!!
  • A huge number of Facebook profiles are fake – a huge number!

Here a few comments I picked up on the Web:

Facebook has already slashed the organic reach. It’s not coming, it’s here. I run the page for my company and at best 10 out 757 people are seeing what I post. Sometimes only 2-3 people see it. I’ve also heard from pages I personally follow (that aren’t big brands) that they’ve seen this trend for over a year now.


We all have seen crushing decrease on the number of engagements over the course of last 3-4 months. And this has caused us to go and look elsewhere.


The organic algorithm is not currently this low, so if in fact they are reducing it to 1-2%, that is news. Currently ablout 8-20% of my fans organically see my posts.


That is false, I have a local sports conference page on which I post highly viral content, the recent changes have taken likes and shares on posts from 1,000 to 2,000 on a viral post down to 250 to 500 sometimes even less. People liked the posts and responded as their friends and family responded but now they flat out aren’t getting the chance to see them.


Just so we all understand the racket: Facebook sells you Page Like ads so you can acquire an audience. After you acquire an audience, they want you to pay a second, third, fourth (etc.) time to reach the audience that you’ve already paid (at least in part) to acquire. Facebook is a business, for sure, and needs to make money in order to keep shareholders happy, but its business ethics are questionable at best.

Some things to read:

About Facebook likes

On Facebook organic reach

Facebook $600 000 ad spend disaster

I have no inside information but it seems to me something is going down.


Starting a Tech Company, VC Money and Reality.

March 25th, 2014



One day you wake up and decide that you want to start a tech company but you don’t have the cash. So you figure that the easy way to get rich, is to go get some of that juicy VC (venture capital) money. Easy enough … right?


Here are a few facts you should ponder before you decide to jump into this pool:

  • You have about a 20% chance of making money when starting any new business.
  • With VC backers, your chances are even less! Learn why below …
  • VC guys are looking for flipability of startups and NOT viability.
  • VC guys will very often flip your butt out the door when they decide to. Yes, firing founders is not uncommon!

When you make a deal with VC guys, you are making a Faustian bargain – a deal with the devil.

I am not saying that all VC guys are evil but they are typically motivated by selling out or going public. They don’t make money if you create a nice business that makes $500k/year. Nope, they want the multi billion dollar flip or an IPO, so that they can dump all their shares onto the public.

In a nutshell:

The business of finance and venture capital is one filled with sharks and quick-cash money junkies. Creating long term sustainable value is not the game.

Tech Start-up Mania

We now have a new mini-mania in tech startups. I think too many people watch SharkTank or have watched the movie The Social Network – everyone thinks they can build the next huge tech company. The reality is that Facebook, Instagram and other high-flyers that you hear about, are the lottery ticket winners. The vast majority of companies fail. These are all the startups you’ve never heard about …

VC money = loss of control

One thing you have to be aware of, is that once you bring in outside money, you will lose control – they are the boss.

For me, this has always been unacceptable because I went into business primarily for independence. You will work harder and longer when you own a business but the trade-off is that you will have freedom to get up when you want, to work on WHAT you want – you will have intellectual and mental freedom.

With lots of hard work and a pinch of luck, you may have a few bucks too!

Stefan Mischook

What Learning Web Design has done for me.

March 9th, 2014

stefan mischook


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,
Stefan Mischook

Code is Key in Modern Web Design

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:

  1. HTML
  2. CSS
  3. JavaScript
  4. PHP

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:

Stefan Mischook

20 yrs of web design – my perspective.

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:


Have web design questions? Ask them in the forum!

January 23rd, 2014


Lots of people come the 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: forum



Create Gmail Email Templates

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.

Stefan Mischook

WordPress and Security

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.

… Being a WordPress web designer will unlock many more job opportunities for you. Especially if you add in a little PHP and JavaScript knowledge into the mix.

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 »

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