New Year Party

Yes I do. But only positive ones. New Year 2017 is perfect to change my business name from Lipowski.PRO to MILAN.MEDIA

I asked a few people for feedback about it. They found it positive. Also DR made me feel comfortable about it. He is a friend and client who is very experienced with business and marketing.

The simple reason

I’ve found it a little bit annoying to spell my Polish name Lipowski. I like my surname very much and I had possibility to choose it and ask government for change. But many people are writing it in my country how they hear it – with a v. For English speakers it is not an English name so I decided to make it very simple and easy.

You know, just milan.media

And this is also my slogan. My clients wants things easy and clear. They are expecting something new and unusual. Unusual is the end of web address: dot media. It’s very 21st century. The domain world is constantly on the move, as I have been writing in the article about new domain extensions here. Well, something ends, something starts. I love changes.

Few plans

Definitely I will speed up my service, so long as my clients provide me with their content on time. Also I have to find an affordable, super-fast and long-time CDN provider (it could be Amazon AWS, hmm).

I should update my Portfolio website and write blog articles more often. I should do exercises which I’ve been talking about whole year. Well, let’s keep it short and simple, exercises can wait…
I wish you 2017 as a whole year full of positive changes! Take care!

Milan is a web designer & developer and stock photographer. He also has over 20 years experience with hardware and software computer servicing for individuals, and small & middle-size companies, read more…

SSL certificate

What is it?

I will keep it simple: the certificate is a verification for the website It means www.you.com is really you and connection between your website and visitors is encrypted and safe. It is a duty to have a SSL certificate installed for shops, and also for websites, which are handling any visitor’s private data, like name, surname, email, birthday, etc.

How I will notice a secure connection with SSL?

Look at you browser’s address bar now. You will see small lock icon. Yes, this website has SSL certificate installed, connection between you and this website is encrypted and secured.
Do not use credit card, nor provide any private data on websites, which are not protected, with no SSL.

Can I see the certificate?

Yep. Just click on the Lock icon and then on Show certificate or Details. You can see additional information, also ‘Show certificate’ should appear. You should also see the certification authority. It is the company which released the certificate and for whom. The certificate can be provided just for the purpose of verifying the domain name, and address of web site only, but also to verify a person or company.

How much does it cost?

Out here is SSL for free by Let’s Encrypt. I don’t like it for business. I prefer paid certificates. The fee is something like 5-15 USD per year. More expensive certificates which includes paper work also have insurance covering. My clients will always get the best recommendation for their needs.

Tricky prices!

Some companies are charging really a lot of money, even for standard certificates.
Example: Namecheap.com is selling a basic certificate for max 20 USD/3years, but Zoner is charging more than double.

Tip: buy an SSL certificate which includes paperwork.

Where to buy

Namecheap.com have good prices. I have also had good shopping experiences with them, such that I didn’t need to look anywhere else.

Milan is a web designer & developer and stock photographer. He also has over 20 years experience with hardware and software computer servicing for individuals, and small & middle-size companies, read more…

Enfold theme for WordPress

Everybody who is making WordPress web sites is faced with making the decision “What WordPress theme to use?”
This decision has an impact also for my clients and I want to offer the best. I don’t care what other people say. My targets are clear to me.

I do not want:

  • to waste my time with setting up a layout with annoying ‘shortcodes’ for example one third column.
  • hundreds of useless animations.
  • officious or grumpy people from tech support

I do want:

  • a theme which is not ‘just a template’.
  • something for making almost any design I want.
  • small files for fast loading.
  • fast and friendly support for special modifications
  • re-code what I want without doing code research longer than 10 minutes
  • fast loading.

Yes, as is in the heading I end up with Enfold. It is an engine with freedom. A low-cost project can be done by loading a demo and replacing the content. Standard projects are individually set up and designed my way, where my vision has priority over theme limits.

And yes, I had a look for other themes too. Some have been impressive like The Rex theme for The Italian Eye Magazine. It was a once only. I am sticking with Enfold Theme. I really haven’t found anything better for me and for my clients.

If something changes, I will definitely let you know!

Milan is a web designer & developer and stock photographer. He also has over 20 years experience with hardware and software computer servicing for individuals, and small & middle-size companies, read more…

Generic domain names

The internet domain world has changed. It is extremely difficult to find some nice domain name for your website if it should end with .com, .net, .biz or .org. It’s time to leave this limited cave. This trend already started some 16 years ago, but over the last two or three years people have started noticing that something other than just the four top level domains exists. Everybody has an opportunity to be special with extensions like: something dot gallery, club, shop, live, travel or blog. Prices are very affordable.

What will be your astonishing web address for 2017 and beyond?

The registration process is the same as an order for a common .com domain. The average fees are from 0.88 to 30 USD. Some very specific domain names are very expensive, for example name dot car, lotto, luxury. Domain registrars are making amazingly cheap promos, sometimes you can even get a domain for free, but it is always about being aware of the renewal fees.

yourname(dot)SEXYLOVEBLOGPHOTOLIVEPUBVETCITYDEALSSHOW

Should I have domain and hosting with the same company?

From my experience I recommend splitting these services. Keep the domain name with a company which is stable and their primary business is hosting domain names. Hosting companies are good with hosting;that’s their specialty.

I used to be under one roof, but I didn’t find it comfortable, especially when I wanted to leave the hosting company because of slow services or weak customer support. As I mentioned, no strings are better.

What company for registration?

I very much like name.com, but they started to charge me Tax, weird. Namecheap.com has amazing promos and good domain management. The third company I favour is Uniregistry.com

Are there any additional domain services?

Yes. It is called Premium DNS. It is good to have it, but definitely not a must have item in your basket. What I recommend is SSL certificate which is linked to web hosting services. More information about SSL is in this article.

Milan is a web designer & developer and stock photographer. He also has over 20 years experience with hardware and software computer servicing for individuals, and small & middle-size companies, read more…

Better articles in WordPress

Some people are writing articles/posts directly in WordPress, some in different text editors because of additional content editing before publishing, grammar check etc. Then they will paste it from eg Word to WordPress. It can cause issues and it does.

WordPress has a set font type in CSS file (let’s say in human language a ‘general design file’ which is part of a WP theme). After a year you might decide to use a different font; which you can change in WP Theme settings. But your articles won’t change their font. You must go through each article and change the font manually. Why?
Pasting text from Word will also copy style formatting from this editor – font type, size, colours and other formatting data.

Paste text with no mess

How to get rid of this text formatting data? To keep consistent font formatting in your WordPress theme design just copy the content as plain text. For this purpose there’s a great plugin TinyMCE Advanced – a classic ‘must have’.

tinymce drag and drop buttonJust go to Plugins – Add new in your WordPress dashboard. On right side type ‘TinyMCE Advanced’ in search field and install it in the standard way. Go to Settings – TinyMCE Advanced also in your WP dashboard on left side and on settings page drag and drop into the main editor button ‘T – Paste as text’. From this moment this button will be available every time, when you make a new or editing existing post / article or page.

Before you paste text from Word, simply click on ‘T’ button, paste your text and start formatting on WordPress.

Small tip: never use the font type button in any article, use default font and make font changes through theme font settings.

Good text formatting is good SEO

tinymce headingSo you’ve pasted text as plain text. Click anywhere in the text field and select Paragraph. Your whole text will now be in one long paragraph. Use Enter key to split blocks of text and text for headings and/or other elements (sub-headings, paragraphs, lists, and so on). Now click in the first line of text which I guess will be a nice heading and in editor select Heading.

You will see in editor Heading 1, Heading 2, … Heading 6. These options are usually providing different font sizes and making invisible codes which are important for search engines about relevancy of headings. H1 is more important than H2, of course. Heading 1 should be the only one on the page, but feel free to use more of Heading 2; also think of using keywords when you will create sentences. It is important to have good headings for SEO. As you know, headings are an important part of content.

Keep an article nice

What does a good heading look like? Just look at mine. I am using keywords which should outline the content of my web site and the main theme of this article: articles, wordpress, formatting, seo. Also your heading should have some sense, point, and/or marketing thrust.

Also enjoy using bold font for your important words, or groups of words. Bold doesn’t mean only visual font weight – Google will recognise that word as important. Use underline and italic font too if you think it is good and a relevant idea for your content, but do it elegantly – don’t destroy the visual look of your article.

One more tip: when you insert an image into your article, always use the ALT tag. The ALT tag adds a text description to an image and should be used for all images including image design elements. Search engines will know what is in your image and your image will be indexed properly.

Milan is a web designer & developer and stock photographer. He also has over 20 years experience with hardware and software computer servicing for individuals, and small & middle-size companies, read more…

Making new website

When you are ordering a new website the first question is: what you should provide me with, as website designer, to get your new website? Quick answer is: your ideas and thoughts about design (links to favourite websites as examples), text, images, requested functions, and before publishing, choose an ideal domain name, title of website, description and keywords. Let’s go into it in more detail.

Web design and layout

First what you want to see is some visible results as soon as possible which will make you satisfied. Please let me know your ideas on what the design or layout should look like. You can describe it by mail, phone call or at a meeting. Also please send me some links of websites, which you like, let me know your favourite colours etc to enable me to ‘tune in’ to the image you want to project.

Writing and reading

Please, prepare and provide content. Write some text about you, your company, products and/or services. While you are preparing the content, I will apply, in the new layout, dummy text in lorem ipsum, so you will see the typographical design and how much text should be inserted. If you have no idea what kind of text to write, I can help. I will interview you and create quality content.
Too much text for presentation is annoying. Visitors are mainly searching for what they want to find. Everything must be user friendly. If you want write more and more, a blog is a better approach.

Printing business card

It is a small but important detail right at this point. Be ready to update contact details everywhere. With your new website I can make stylish business cards.
You will get a proper PDF printing file (CMYK, 300dpi, crop marks) which can be printed by professional companies anywhere. If you need new letterhead, envelopes, flyers, billboards or gifts with printed logo, just let me know. Get it printed professionally and on quality paper. I can recommend Conqueror, the king of elegant papers, for corporate purposes.

Making it visually interesting

Your text information has to be inserted between graphic elements like pictures. It is great to provide your own high quality photographs. Visitors will have a chance to see your real services or real products.

To catch visitor attention, your website must be pleasing and visually interesting. Text needs to be presented in clear typography and also provide a visual feeling.
If you don’t have your own pictures, you can order photographic services (which I can provide), or I can buy illustration images for you from photobanks. For reasonable prices these photo stock agencies are selling images in high resolution with strict control on quality and technical aspects such as colour balance or composition. A good thing is that you know you are buying and publishing images legally. Payment is for these is safe and secure, of course.

I prefer three photo stock agencies: photodune.com, fotolia.com and shutterstock.com. Especially on shutterstock.com you can find photographs of some of the world’s bestselling photographers.
If you would like to read more about photo stock agencies, the relevant link is at the end of this article.

Functions and mobile devices compatibility

The website structure should be simple; simple means comfortable for visitor’s browsing. The website menu has to be clear. Easy navigation is part of graphic user interface. Simply decide what sub-pager you want.

A standard part of your website is a contact form with AJAX (no reloading the page while using form) and with spam protection. If you would like to have some specific enquiry form, newsletter system or some specific visual behaviour, please let me know please before making a quote.

From January 2015 I prefer building up new responsive websites on WordPress. This content management system provides great flexibility for design and functional needs with amazing technical support. You can also update content by yourself, or ask me to handle new updates and requests if you are too busy with other things.
Your new WordPress website won’t use some cheap uniform design theme. It will be a customised and ‘hand-crafted’ design especially and only for you, so nobody will say ‘ahhh, I know this design, it’s just a theme’.

Preparing an individual quote

The fee for services is set up for each client individually. The standard price is set between 600-700 EUR. It can go down by up to 200 EUR when you just need a good-looking online presentation with a standard corporate design which looks better than your competition. Also the price can go up if you want much more of my effort and time to create quality design with a developed sense for each of the graphic elements and you need me to work out ordering or booking forms, ordering or booking full system, setting up e-shop and so on.

To make it simple, you can also write down how much you would like to invest in the new website. Good motivation means some services for free.

Part of the deal is standard SEO optimisation, tuning up the speed of website loading and installing a few useful verified plugins. Payment can be by bank transfer or credit card over the safe and secure PayPal payment gate in any currency. An electronic invoice can be written in English, French, or German.

Time to publish your new website

Once you approve the design and we have settled the content (texts, images and other components), it’s time to publish everything and make your new website alive. This process takes a day or two. Polishing the details can take longer, but the website can be visible.

Part of the polishing process is SEO optimisation, minifying files for faster loading, compressing images, adjusting little details, better formatting of paragraphs and headings, adding codes and files for search engines. Also the pages will get optimised for viewing in mobile phones and tablets as well as on regular computer screens.

Search engines

Here are the key things which you should provide to maximise searchability (SEO).
Title of website: this will be visible in search results page. Your sentence cannot be longer than 60 letters with spaces. Use your name, or name of your company plus a short sentence with the most important keywords. It must look perfect and catch the visitor.
Description: visible in search results page below Title of website. Sentence(s) cannot be longer than 160 letters with spaces. These sentences should describe the content of your website (content as in type of information, products and/or services). Use the most important keywords.
Keywords: provide ideally the 25-30 most important words which have been written in the content of your website. Choose words which are relevant and which you guess people will use in searching. If you want to include in your keywords some word not mentioned in content, this keyword is totally useless. But if you really want use this word, create some text where this word will be used at least 3-4 times (and also used in heading).

Connections from social networks

Social networks are very useful for SEO. If you don’t want to use and look after them because you just don’t have time, we can just make a profile, publish basic information and link to website. That’s it.

Statistics

It is good to see how many people visited your website, which keywords were used, how long visitors stayed on your pages and then use this to tune up the content and keywords later.

Get super domain name

The domain name is the address of your website, eg something.com It can be your name or business name. Ideal is a domain which includes your most important keyword. If you are selling flowers, domain could be flowers.com but this domain will be already taken – registered. You can make some alternatives like freshflowers.com, flowersdelivery.com, thomasflowers.com, … your domain name should be easy to remember. Shorter is definitely better.

A few years ago there was just the standard top level domains .com, .net, .org, .biz, … and country domains us, .co.uk, .ca, .it, .de, .ru, … Today very creative domains are on offer, so you can get anything.nyc, .sydney, …, .club, .news, .expert, .party, .dental, .design, .photo, .news, and many others.

Choosing good web hosting

Very important is to choose the right web hosting provider. It is a company which is providing the space where your website will be stored and accessible on the internet. And which company is the right one, no matter where you are located in the world?

I like GoDaddy with its good balance price and services. Also Blue Host provides fast web hosting. If you would like to read more about web hosting companies (and CDN), below this article is a relevant link.

Read more:
Article about photo stock agencies
Article about web hosting services

Milan is a web designer & developer and stock photographer. He also has over 20 years experience with hardware and software computer servicing for individuals, and small & middle-size companies, read more…

Photo stock web design

Important part of your website is the visual aspect. Text needs to be presented in two ways:

  1. As clear typography
  2. To provide additional visual feeling

All photographs are manually checked by inspectors and approved individually after they meet each stock agency’s high quality criteria. Every image is sharp with good colours.

I prefer three photo stock agencies with millions of photos in their databases. I can recommend these three agencies to you:

Photodune by Envato Pty Ltd., Melbourne, Australia

Photodune.net owned by Envato Ltd. Australia Their prices for extra small (XS) images start from one dollar. XS size is big enough for 70% of design needs. Bigger images, small or medium cost 2 and 3 dollars. Yes, their database has millions of images, but if you are looking for more specific images or you will want a bigger and better collection of a theme image, then is better fotolia.com.

Fotolia.com by Fotolia LLC, New York, USA

They are a little bit more expensive, but their prices are still low. They have a much bigger database of images which is also in some ways more creative. Also you will find there very interesting video footages which can be used instead of static images, so your website will look more dynamic and live.

Shutterstock.com by Shutterstock Inc., New York, USA

Shutterstock has an amazing database! Tons of creative, beautiful and fabulous photographs. It is the top agency in the World also with the best stock photographers in the world. Prices are higher, approx. 9 EUR for one image of any size. Their lowest pricing package starts from 39 EUR for 5 downloads. If you are company or person who is not saving every euro (or dollar), there’s a great package for 199 EUR for one month and you can download 750 images, it’s 26 cents per image. You can use them all easily and keep your website fresh with changing images.

One thing about stock agencies and buying images is that you have everything legally. Nobody can claim you are stealing images from the Internet. You will have a licence to use them.

Milan is a web designer & developer and stock photographer. He also has over 20 years experience with hardware and software computer servicing for individuals, and small & middle-size companies, read more…

web site network

Finding the right pay as you go CDN service (Content Delivery Network) with an afforable price, I would say an amazing price, is quite hard job. Lots of CDN providers try to offer a service, which has good quality, but the price is not balanced against standard traffic of WordPress sites. Even a price of 30 bucks per month is just too high.

Some providers brand their service as Pay as you go but in fact, there is a monthly fee again.

I thought I would end up with CDN77. I found out later that their pricing page is not at all honest. Some relevant information is missing, for example a 99 USD credit which you have to pay.

Anyway, this article is not a review of CDN providers; this is about a solution which has a simple name: keycdn.com

It is a Swiss-registered company headquartered in Winterthur. They have all you need. Enough data centres around the world. Features also for experienced users.

How much does it cost? One-time payment for credit is 25 USD. If your website doesn’t have very heavy traffic it is enough to keep you going for a long time.

cdn coupon 10 usd

Milan is a web designer & developer and stock photographer. He also has over 20 years experience with hardware and software computer servicing for individuals, and small & middle-size companies, read more…

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Milan is a web designer & developer and stock photographer. He also has over 20 years experience with hardware and software computer servicing for individuals, and small & middle-size companies, read more…