KillerSites Blog

web design business

Using PayPal to Process Credit Cards.

October 20, 2008

paypal image

Paypal is a very familiar service that most Web citizens know well. But is Paypal the way to go if you want to process credit cards on your website?

Short answer: yes.

… But it ain’t perfect.

read more

Writing a Web Design Contract

August 20, 2008


In this session of the Business of Web Design, I go over what you need to have in a typical web design contract.

There are important elements that you must include to avoid problems down the road, things like:

– Payment terms.
– Delivery dates.
– Project specifics: how many pages, functionality etc.

… and a whole lot more.

Check it out: Writing Web Design Contracts.


Stefan Mischook

read more

Does it take 8 hrs to test a button?

August 4, 2008

I’m very busy with things (video games, movies etc …) so it is not uncommon for me to outsource some programming work these days.

Side note: I have to tell you, as an old-school web nerd who likes code, it was really hard at first to let go and let others do the work. Fortunately, it’s getting easier with every project!


Anyway, I do have my assistants here at, who by the way, are a tremendous help. Nonetheless, sometimes I get outside help for whatever reasons.

Crazy quotes from Java nerds

I decided recently that I wanted to contribute back to an open source project that I have used in the past … by throwing the people involved in that project, some work. I also agreed to release the additions/modifications back to the community.

Anyway …

The modifications I wanted were relatively simple – a couple of filters, some rearranging of the UI etc ..

So I get back the quote for this project. I want to mention that I could do it myself in say two days – and my Java skills are rusty! The point is, this was not a big project.

… And yet in the quote, we had a project manager budgeted in and crazy time devoted to testing. For example:

For a button that took the user to a screen/view that already existed … just a button: 8 hrs of testing!


Now we all know that Java guys love to over engineer, but this is crazy! When will Java nerds learn that you don’t need an aircraft carrier to move a rocking chair.

Stefan Mischook

read more

Business of Web Design – hardware and software

July 30, 2008

Business of Web Design Audio Book


The following session answers a common question that has been put to me many times:

What hardware and software do you need to run a web design business? Do you need to upgrade to ‘industrial strength’ tools?

I also touch on a few other things that I know many of you will find interesting.

You can listen to the latest Business of Web Design podcast in the magazine.


Stefan Mischook

read more

The Business of Web Design – First lesson is out!

July 26, 2008

Business of Web Design Audio Book


I just uploaded the very first session of the Business of Web Design course/audio-book.

The first session is the introduction to the course, where I go over some of the specifics of what I’m going to cover … along with a few other things.

Introduction to the Business of Web Design audio book.

Please post comments, questions, criticisms and even praise for what your hear.

I have many other session/chapters already recorded and they should be out very soon … I just have to do the final edits.


Stefan Mischook

read more

Business of Web Design Audio Book

July 23, 2008

Business of Web Design Audio Book

The ‘Business of Web Design‘ is an audio book/podcast series that teaches you to start and build a home based web design business.

I am still currently in the process of fleshing out all the details, but I do have a lot down on paper.

That said, I am very close to being ready to record the first (of many) sessions and I expect to have something out this week.

You can learn more about in the magazine


Stefan Mischook

read more

Nerds – you can’t know it all.

June 21, 2008

I’ve been a professional nerd for many years now, and over that time I’ve learned to use many different technologies including 8-9 programming languages, a few operating systems and a whole bunch of frameworks, database programs etc …

… The sad truth

Recently, I was challenged with some tech problem, and to be honest about it, I forgot the specific steps to solve it!!


This always bothers me – when you forget how to do something you once knew so well.

I am now resigned to the fact that I’ve probably forgotten more than I now remember. I guess there is only so much room in your brain ..?

You can’t know it all

This brings me to my larger point: as a professional nerd, it is not realistic to think you will learn everything that is out there. There is simply too much and you have to pick your battles.

That said, that doesn’t mean you should learn one or two things and then just rest on your laurels. No, you have to keep learning otherwise you will fall behind and you won’t stay competitive.

read more

Why is the truth so hard?

June 17, 2008

It is rare that I go into anything off topic, as I promised in one of my earliest post – there will be no discussions about what my cat is up to.

That said, I am compelled to comment on a couple things that the recent death of Tim Russert, has brought to the fore.

Issue number one: Where societies spend their money.

Mr. Russert apparently died of a heart attack … the way you are most likely to die. From the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute:

Each year, about 1.1 million people in the United States have heart attacks, and almost half of them die. CAD, which often results in a heart attack, is the leading killer of both men and women in the United States.

Given that so many people die from heart attacks, I was wondering how much money is spent on researching ALL disease.

read more

New Magazine on

June 9, 2008


I just wanted to announce a new section on the Magazine.

Why another section?

I wanted a place where I could include other people articles and tutorials and I wanted a place where we could keep you up to date with the latest news on new products, technology … whatever on all things web design and web programming.

killersites magazine

… I did this a little on my blog, but I felt a needed a more author neutral location.

Anyway, it sports a brand new layout, gravatars (Globally Recognized Avatars) and a way to subscribe to the magazine’s RSS feed through email.

We are just starting and so there is much to do … but I kicked it off with a great video on Actionscript 1, 2, and 3.

I hope you find it useful.

Stefan Mischook

read more

Alexa Rankings – how accurate are they?

May 8, 2008

One of the Web’s most popular places to get an idea of a web site’s traffic is

There is one major problem though: Alexa is not accurate at all.

Alexa gets a lot of it’s traffic data from its’ Alexa toolbar and other nebulous source they don’t identify. So that leads me to think that they still get most of their data from the toolbar.


Sounds OK, except for one glaring problem – who uses the Alexa toolbar?

read more