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Remove Mailman’s Archive – Reduce Account Disk Space

September 24th, 2012 admin

Sometimes you may run into a situation where a Mailman mailing list is keeping either public or private archives of your messages and therefore you’ll eventually run into an interesting problem:

Problem:

Because Mailman has been keeping an archive of every message, image and email content that has been used in the list, that means that eventually that archive will be enormous, or at least big enough to make you want to delete it. How do you go about doing that? You can spend hours trying to find the right answer in Google and testing what works and what doesn’t or you can bypass all that and jump into the answer! Here it is:

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Using Apache .htaccess file to remove Query Strings

July 31st, 2012 admin

So today’s post is a little bit more technical than usual. But I’m sure that some of our technical readers will get a lot of value out of it.
In the world of SEO everybody is trying to move ahead, gain an advantage. Because of this fact, sometimes some webmasters are willing to take positions that are unethical. Sometimes they manipulate their own websites to get an advantage. However, sometimes they manipulate other people’s websites to take advantage as well. Read the rest of this entry »

Merkados™ GridMaker for Photoshop CS5 – Web Design

May 7th, 2012 admin

Are you ready to design like a pro? Professional web design requires a grid. How cool would it be if you were able to customize that grid to match your needs? Select column width, number of columns and much more…

This script works with Photoshop CS5 only. By purchasing and downloading you acknowledge that you will read license agreement before installation.

Now go ahead and start building professional websites!

To purchase, simply create a free account, then visit the “members content” section from your Dashboard. Once there, click on the “BUY” button next to the Merkados GridMaker Product. Finally click in the “BUY NOW” button and follow the instructions.

Merkados™ GridMaker for Web Design - Photoshop CS5

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Justifying your Consulting Rate

April 19th, 2012 admin

So let’s say that you are a consultant, therapist, lawyer or any independent professional that makes a living with one-on-one interactions. Some people call this interactions “consultations”, others call them sessions, but it doesn’t matter what you call them, at the end of the day, as a business owner you have to decide what to charge for them.

Some people like to give the first one for free,  as a way of “promoting” their service or expertise, they think, well if the client really liked it then he will come back and then pay for the services. So in this article, we are not going to be talking about those cases. The promotional rates need to be for the purpose of increasing the consumption of your services. Pretty much like that piece of chicken that the Chinese restaurants at mall give you. It is meant to be a teaser. We have in fact, talked about teasers in another post and therefore we will skip this particular kind of rate. Read the rest of this entry »

3 Ways to get better Search Engine Positioning Today

April 12th, 2012 admin

In this video, Alex Centeno MBA., creative director at Merkados™, explains three ways to gain better search engine positioning. Most of the time, when you hire a professional advisor, they will give you a comprehensive list that can help you increase your indexing and rankings. Of course, this can be overwhelming. So here are three simple easy ways to start in the right path.
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Website Design & Strategy Critique – CNN.com

February 14th, 2012 admin
CNN Website Critique

CNN Website Critique

What are the components that make a fantastic website design? Is it positioning of items? Is it the color palette? Is it negative space? It certainly is a combination of all these factors and many more. In this edition, we will be doing a 3 minute critique of CNN.com.

General Assessment

The CNN website is great. It has a lot of information and therefore the biggest challenge for the designers is the presentation of that information without extending the homepage indefinitely. The color palette is relevant and pleasant, not distracting. Certainly using a non-traditional grid with gutters smaller than the traditional 20pixels, which helps to maximize the available horizontal space. Three main columns separate content to designate hierarchy effectively.  It is well organized and believe me, organization of this kind of website is probably the biggest challenge that a designer could have.

Header Bar

I really like the fact that the logo is used in the center as opposed to the traditional left side. This makes it look more authoritative. Search bar to the right powered by Google (no surprises here). Then we are presented with the navigation bar. This website’s homepage is ultimately a navigation bar on itself. However the designer uses the navigation bar to maintain consistency across the site. One big problem in the main navigation bar is that the Home link is located at the very first position. You may think that this is not a big deal, however with a site this big, I would think that they are interested in people spending as much time as possible in deeper sections of the site. The more involved they get with particular sections the better. In the English language we read from left to right and from top to bottom. Making it more likely that CNN users will start reading the navigation bar and therefore return to the homepage with more frequency than if it was at the end of the navigation bar. Another inconsistency that can be found is the use of bullets at the end of the two last sections: Money and Sports. The bullet usually represents that you can hover and access a dropdown menu. However in this case this doesn’t happen. In other words, there is no real point in having those bullets other than perhaps giving it a bit more of attention. I recommend changing the navigation bar items that need prominence to the left in the hierarchy and remove the bullets.

Finally in terms of color, I personally like the red hue and shades that are being used.Specially because it is not overpowering. The use of color red is very difficult because of its intensity. In this case, since it is limited to the top header then it doesn’t feel overpowering.

Content

I think that the content is beautifully presented. Almost everything is click enabled and you are capable of going directly to the section that you are interested in.

Sub Headings

I don’t like the top margin that is being used in the subheadings. I feel like the subheading belongs to the previous news item instead. I know that the designer is already using all caps, different color and font-type. However I still would love to see some top padding or margin larger than the one found below the subheading.

Below the Fold

Below the fold you transition to four columns instead of three. Well defined sections that each have a fantastic and clear heading. Even with the enormous amount of information there is plenty of white space used in this section which makes it easy to read. Sponsored links are somewhat different in terms of styles and therefore at least let you decide if you want to click on them.

Nothing is Poping and moving

I really like the fact that at least in my visit to it, nothing was popping up uninvited. Nothing was moving either, in fact flash wasn’t even present. Not that I don’t like Flash, I do, however in some things I think that static content is better. I don’t like moving objects screaming for my attention, specially if it is coming from advertising. So in this case they have done a great job limiting all that animation in the homepage.

CNN.com has done an excellent job administrating their flow of content. I think that we have a lot to learn from them.

Until next time,

Alex

Using Teasers Effectively in Online Marketing

December 23rd, 2011 admin

The concept of a teaser

A teaser is a perfect way of presenting your information without giving away all of it. With the rise of interactive marketing the concept of teasers has become more and more utilized. With the amount of information that you can find online it’s difficult to prove your value to anybody these days. With a teaser people learn about your products and at the same time allow you an opportunity to explain why should they care. But wait, can the wrong teaser harm your business?  Read the rest of this entry »

Track Scrolling in a Page (Engagement) with Jquery and Google Analytics

December 20th, 2011 admin

So I came across a post by RTP Harry from http://runtingsproper.blogspot.com/2010/03/google-analytics-tracking-content.html where he explains how to track scroll depth in Google Analytics.

Since I was looking for exactly that for one of our projects I was excited to give it a go. However it didn’t work. And so I started in my usual journey of understanding why it wasn’t working, fixing it and then sharing it with all of our readers. So here it is:

Problem:

You want to track the engagement of your users and therefore you would like to see in Google Analytics if your users are scrolling down your pages and reaching at least 90% of the length. Read the rest of this entry »

Great Hotel Website Designs

December 16th, 2011 admin

Most of the time we give examples of bad design. So today I decided to give our readers a break and show some great design and hopefully explain some of the reasons why we think these designs are better than average in terms of design. So for today we have four designs in total. So we are going to start with the most simple and then finish with the best. Read the rest of this entry »

Programming a Slider for WordPress 3.3

December 14th, 2011 admin

If you are a designer or developer starting in the use of WordPress as one of your Content Management Systems of choice, then perhaps there will come a time when you’ll want to implement a Homepage slider.

So what is a Slider exactly? A slider is also known as a “Featured Image Section” that usually transitions from one message to another either by fading in and out or by other effects like SlidingUp or ZoomingIn. In any event, the use of Sliders has been a very popular one because not only is it the most prominent thing in a page because of its size, also it has movement. This combination will attract the eyes of your audience better than anything else, and therefore is a good promotional tool for your site. Read the rest of this entry »