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Thursday, 16 March 2017 15:55

Wordpress and Joomla DIY websites

Using Wordpress or Joomla as a Website builder is now becoming a choice for those that want a simple easy website solution.
Unlike the many services out there that offer website builder services both Wordpress and Joomla are coming up with solutions that maybe a better way to go.

When you signup with a service like Wix or Squarespace your website is locked in with there company.
The site can not be moved without redesigning it as the site is built using their system.
There is no export ability as that would not be good for their business.
Those companies will not make it easy for you to change.
This is not good for one major reason - what if the company you signed up with goes out of business?
If no one takes them over your totally out of luck and no longer have a website.

A better solution to total ownership is build your site with either Wordpress or Joomla!
Both are just as easy to create pages as you will see in the videos below.
Another advantage to a Hosted solution is you get email service with it.
The only downside is that they need maintainence every so often for upgrades and patches.
But should your Web Host not be to your liking then moving your website is easy to do.
In fact you new host might even help you to move it.
So the cost of extra time required to run the upgrades is well worth it for the advantage of having email and total ownership.
 

Ok so lets start with Joomla first. Developers prefer Joomla for it's flexability and structure.
For first time users it will require a bit more time to learn as the cost of flexability is a longer learning curve.

The different builders available for Joomla are as follows:
Quix is a powerful builder
It supports all frameworks and when using Joomla a framework is suggested to use to avoid version upgrade problems.
A good framework will allow you to upgrade to a new major version without destroying the theme used.

Two others are JSN Pagebuilder and JoomlArt

Wordpress has several popular builders.

Beaver Builder, Divi and Nexusthemes

With Nexusthemes you pick a design from the many themes they support.
Nexusthemes

Beaver Builder and Website Builders

 

The best tool to reap the most from your website.

Having looked over LiveAdmins I can say this mining tool along with their live chat does it all.
The power of LiveAdmins is it's ability to give you contact info of those people visiting your website.
Lets suppose that a client visits your site looking for info but never contacts you.
They did although leave their foot prints and with that info LiveAdmins can tell you who it was and what their email address and phone number is!
Well with this info you may have the ability to taylor ads to target their IP address or you can pass it on to your telemarketing people.
Most companies have fixed or what's called static IP addresses and due to this that IP address can be looked up to see who owns it.
The info given not only covers who owns the IP but also covers all known business email contacts and phone numbers.
Not all IP addresses will translate to complete information on who stopped by as only those using a business account with their ISP will be avalable.
For those visitors that visit your site using a personal ISP, home account verses a business account, it will only show who the ISP being used.
No other info will be displayed which is due to home accounts having IP addresses always changing.


In addition to the fantastic ability to garner all that info from visitors they also offer Live Chat. This helps catch a person on your site and trys to comunicate in hopes of selling your product. The Live Chat team is well trained, has basic knowledge of your business and will answer to the best of their ability. For questions they cannot answer they will ask the person if they would like someone to call them back.
When there is a business opportunity LiveAdmins will contact you by Voice mail, Email or SMS.

If you have a mothly budget to cover the cost of this service I think it's well worth it.

Contact us for info on setting up your site with Live Chat from LiveAdmins.

Tuesday, 26 January 2016 15:15

Having trouble uninstalling a program?

The Revo Uninstaller will remove hard to remove programs.

Have you decided to remove a program you installed many years ago but couldn't remove it. You might have gotten an error stating file not found or the uninstall never starts. This type of problem happens when Windows updates alters the way the windows installer or can happen if you upgraded to a newer version of Windows. In either case the Windows installer / uninstaller may no longer support the install method of that older program on your PC.

What not to do is erase the files of the program as that may cause problems with your PC. When programs are installed they enter information into the Windows Registry about the application. If those entries are also not removed that may cause a system crash depending on what type of  program was installed.

The answer is Revo Uninstall.
Revo Uninstall will first run the normal windows uninstall and then scan the PC by checking the Hard Drive and the Windows registry for any files or entries left by the application. After it finds everything related to the program it will list them for you to look over and allow you to delete them all removing them all from your PC. I have used this program for many years now and find it to be of great value. It helped when I upgraded to Windows 10 where I had a few programs that stopped working proper and had to be installed again. The problem was that when I tried to install them they wouldn't install. So I tried to remove them using the Windows uninstall and also no luck.
Using the Revo uninstaller took out the problem apps and I then had no problems installing them after a successful removal.

Using it is as easier than the Windows uninstaller. You launch it and you get a screen that lists all programs that in listed as installed in your PC. It shows either icons, list view or details view which shows the size of the program, Date it was installed, type (32 or 64 bit), Version, Company name and location of it. For Programs that are not listed it has a Hunter mode which when launched has a small blue box which appears on your screen. Place that box over a desktop icon, a folder in windows explorer / file explorer or over a running program. It will find it and remove it. This is a feature I never had to use but I am sure there is a need for it and it's nice to know it's there.

The program has other features which are nice but I will limit my review to just the uninstall which is the main reason one would buy it.

A video is provided at the company website located here

Revo has a free 30 day trial of the Uninstaller Pro which is available on their website at VSRevo Group.
 

Wednesday, 23 December 2015 16:21

Will Windows 10 Redeem Microsoft?

Windows 10 has been released this year and to most people's surprise it is free to upgrade all the way down from Windows 7!

Microsoft is hurting big time.

The new version addresses the features that PC users demand to have.
These were the features that Microsoft decided to junk in favor of targeting Tablets for Windows 8.
The problem is the PC is king but the people running Microsoft seemed to have forgotten it.

So now we have Windows 10 and Microsoft is telling us how sorry they are for forsaking us PC users by giving us a free upgrade.

There is an old saying in the US that goes like this - Three Strikes and you’re Out!

So will the free upgrade be enough to redeem Microsoft?

I think it will as it is better than Win 7 in some ways such as faster starting and faster shut down and is the solution for Wundows 8 which was a major mistake. It also has DirectX 12 which many existing games that were written to support DirectX 11 will not be able to run at all on Windows 10 until a patch is available.

Do not go by the Games list given here as they were tested on a pre release of Windows which did not have DirectX 12.  If you look at the list it contains games that require DirectX 11 to run and the final version of Windows 10 was released with DirectX 12.

Now on to the positives and negatives of Windows 10.
What we have is a faster OS with better start up and shut down time than prior versions.
I have not found any application that ran into problems with this new OS.
Other than games it seems that if it worked on Win 7 then it will work on Win 10 also.

Upgrades have been improved both in the way they are administered and the way they are applied. Hard drive checking has changed as now you will see error checking under tools for properties of a drive. If you click it will tell you don't need to scan this drive as Windows has not found any errors on it. This is due to ReFs which was introduced with Win 8 where disk checking is now done by windows automatically. Last is Microsoft Edge which is a much better browser than Internet Explorer. You may find some websites will not work with Edge and to solve this problem there is a link in the menu to open the page with Internet Explorer. Microsoft has provided both browsers with Windows 10.
The upgrade from Win7 or Win 8 is flawless.

On the downside we have a start menu that is horrible. Microsoft has given us a one dimensional menu that is so backwards I find it hard to believe this is part of the I'm sorry gift!

The best solution is to install the Classic Start Menu which is a free download at Classic Shell.

If you like Card Games you will face another problem. They now want you to login to play them! My guess is they want a new way to throw ads at you or worse they want a better profile of you!
In any event no matter why they pushed this on us I prefer not to login to play solitaire and found that you can install the original Games from Win 7 in Win 10 from this link Winaero.com

The standard control panel is still available to use but we have a mish mosh mix of Win 8 ideas along with Win 7. So you have the new settings screen and the control panel screen.
I can't see why they came up with this settings screen as it's ten times more work to get to what I want.

Having installed it on my PC I find I can live with the problems of this still backwards OS.
I did how ever had one problem which was the calendar did not work.
Turned out I had to remove a entry in the registry in order for it to function.
The solution was found here at answers.microsoft.com and I believe it's an upgrade problem which will not show in fresh installs and also not in all upgrades.
Had Microsoft not come up with Windows 10 I would have moved to Linux.

Open source has advantages as the products much better reflect what the users want rather than what some CEO wants.

In closing Windows 10 has made up somewhat for the horrible Windows 8 move that Microsoft has made. I believe games that were designed to work with DirectX 11 better move fast to create patches as I think the lure of high performance gaming will move most gamers
to Windows 10 quickly.

If you are still using Windows XP you will find that Internet Explorer no longer works with most websites. This is due to it being limited to version 8 which forced XP users to switch to Firefox or Chrome Browsers. This same problem will take place with Windows 7.  The way Microsoft forces you to upgrade is they don't offer newer versions of the web browser or DirectX to the older operating systems.

So we can expect Internet Explorer 11 will not be able to view many websites in the future.
For this reason I think upgrading is something that you have to do.
If you use your PC for games then I would check if your games you like will run on Win 10 and wait if they don't. The main factor is if your current game requires a specific version of DirectX.
My guess is most game companies will have a patch for older games as pressure for DirectX 12 will ramp up by users for both older games and new games.

I have in the past been a Microsoft supporter where I find myself in an opposite position these days. In the past many were against Microsoft and I was for it.
Today most are for it and I am starting to look for other solutions.

I have been upgrading my PC and Windows since Windows version 2.
In each case when I upgraded my PC I would move the Hard drives over to a new one or would restore the drive image to a new larger drive.
The PC I am using today is directly upgraded version by version from Windows 2

Saturday, 12 September 2015 20:23

Google Captcha will cost them.

Google has decided to use Captcha!

Maybe someone in Google thinks this is a good idea but I doubt they will think that for long. Having run into Captcha several times I started to use other search engines.
If I'm doing it others will do it too. So Wall Street should not be surprised if Google's profit is down in the next two quarters.

Search spam is a problem one which we experienced firsthand. We had invested quite a bit of money in a meta search engine but search spam had become such a problem we decided to drop the meta engine and took quite a loss in time and money.

I can see why Google is addressing this problem but using captcha is not a solution.
There are many ways to prevent some of this abuse but using automated blocking of any kind in my opinion is not the way to go.
Nothing works better than human intervention where a person can decide what is search spam and what is normal search habits people may have.
And if found to be spam then proper action should be contacting the ISP or Host and informing them.

But I guess Google will at some point notice it's ad revenue is down and someone in upper management will be given the task to find out why. That person will have to write a report on what his department found. The report will be presented at a meeting and will include recommendations on what actions should be taken.

In the end someone will lose their job for coming up with an idea that cost the company millions of dollars in lost ad revenue.
A mistake that one would not want to put on their job resume.
In the end Captcha will be gone and a new person will head up that department.

So I guess until then I will use Bing or Yahoo.

Sunday, 16 August 2015 20:09

Yahoo going south

Yahoo and Yext

A client had wanted to update his Yahoo Maps listing and said they couldn’t find a claim this business link.
I decided to take a look and see what happened as Yahoo did have it not that long ago.
When I checked the maps listings sure enough there was no way to claim or edit a business.
Then I thought maybe they only allow you to see the claim link if you are a Yahoo member.
So I went to login and as I suspected there was the hidden link.
So I clicked on it and to my surprise we wind up with a Yext scan !!

It looks like Yahoo has partnered with Yext to manage local listings.
Yext which started out as a service which charged $300 to list people in all local directories has now grown into a monster.
Yext has raised its rates to a fee of over $500 for the same service that was once $300 and based on what I am seeing this company is forcing small businesses to pay them a monthly fee.
They have transformed from a listing service into a landlord.
So now we see the Yext monthly Fee in Yahoo !
Yes with Yahoo you now need to pay Yext to rank in their local results.
I suspect Yext is managing Yahoo local results as their results does not match results found in either Bing or Google.

YextWith so many small businesses in the USA I can't imagine a worse idea for a search engine to do.
I am glad that Bing didn't follow Yahoo in this direction.
At a time when business is not all that great here comes Yahoo to gouge the Local Business Communities.
If the Yahoo CEO took a pay cut it would bring in more money than they can hope to raise from this incredibly dumb idea.
Maybe the share holders should think about a new CEO.

 

The internet once gave everyone a shot at being able to reach a large audience.

It’s a shame that it is becoming a den of thieves.

Vincent G.

Monday, 20 July 2015 23:00

Artisteer Website Builder

Another very fine website design tool that runs on your PC

Artisteer website builder is an excellent low cost tool that allows you to quickly create a website.
Their website shows a Mac version is on the way and a Linux version is down the road but at the time of this article only the Windows PC version is available.

Artisteer is more geared to the professional designer and comes in two versions - Standard ( $129.95 ) and Home edition ( $49.95 ). For a user that wants a simple to use WYSIWYG design software this one does fill the bill. The Home Edition comes with many templates and art work to make designing your site very easy. Unlike other design tools which has a fixed number of templates this one builds templates by use of a suggest button.

The suggest feature also can alter the template you picked to change any part of it such as menu position, background images / patterns and more. I found it no harder than using MS Word to work on a design and I think you too will find it easy to use.
For a user that wants a simple to use WYSIWYG design software this one does fill the bill and it has all the bells and whistles that one would desire.

When you have your design completed you can publish it or export it to HTML, Blogger Template or Wordpress Theme. Now this is realy a neat feature as for many that would like to use Wordpress but may find it hard to find a template that fits and may find it harder to make the template look the way you want even if you did find one you like. Here all you do is design your website on your own PC and when done export or publish it.

The Standard Version is basicly the same as the Home version except it can not only export as a Blogger Template or Wordpress Theme it can do more.
The Standard Version can also export as a Joomla, Drupal or DotNetNuke template!
In addition there are plug-ins available to export to others and it comes with a Library of Textures, Glares and Gradients plus more.

It has a good clean design and even a novice will find it not hard to use.
It does not have a drag and drop object type of design which is popular today as it's more a basic editor.

The the default creates a Responsive design but can be set to fixed size.
The HTML produced is very good as I do not see anything that profesionals may complain about.
It has excellent FTP support as you can set port selection, secure or non secure and SCP connections.

On the downside it does not allow you to open a Template or HTML file that you may have purchased.
Be sure to turn off suggest mode when you no longer want to use it else things you click on will change to a new suggested design.
The import is limited to Artisteer file types only.
There is no way to edit / view the whole page HTML as source. You can right click and edit a small section which opens a plain text window with two check boxes. One is for word wrap ( on or off) and the other is edit whole article. When edit whole article is checked everything in a column is brought into the plain text editor and a message which states warning after saving everything will be combined into one cell. You can edit the HTML or CSS when done with the design when you export it as the HTML code is clean and easy to read.
There is no application help as clicking on help sends you to a PDF document on their website.
This needs to be addressed as it took me quite some time to find out you can't import html files.

Overall I find it an excellent choice for anyone that is looking for an easy to use tool for website design and the added feature of being able to export the design to a template for Wordpress, Joomla or any of the others is a big plus.
 

Sunday, 31 May 2015 22:23

90 Second Website Builder

Low cost quick Website builder for Windows users.

The 90 second Website builder is a good solution for those that want a low cost alternative to creating a website. Unlike other tools out there such as Dreamweaver or Expression this tool is very easy to use.
Microsoft has abandoned  Expression but still has it available to install and use for free.
Expression is a powerful website designer but it is not for someone that is looking for something they can quickly jump into and turn out a website in a short time period.
But if you are an very advanced user and have good knowledge of HTML syntax then you can't beat free and Expression is a good tool.

With the 90 second Website builder you just pick a template from the many templates given or quickly design your own and you will have a website in one or two days.
It in fact works very similar to Website builders such a Wix or Webs but with the 90 second website builder you avoid the high monthly cost of such online diy services.
With a low onetime cost of under $50 this has all other ways of diy beat.
You can start off with a blank page and let your imagination go from there or you can use the import feature to bring in any template or webpage. They also offer for $20 more access to their complete template and graphic library which is a low cost should you want to get by on a small budget.
With a domain names as low as $9.99 per year and hosting as low as $24.95 per year your total cost can be under $100 to setup your website.

From the early version of this application which had less features to version 10 which has so many features it comes close to competing with much more expensive versions of software builders.
Features such as Image Galleries, Sliders, Videos, sounds and more can be placed on a page by just clicking on the selected item and then point and click with your mouse dragging it as to create a  box to the required size needed.
To edit text or anything placed on a page you just double click it and a pop up response window will display all the settings you can alter.


The company has managed to add all the needed features to the product so as to be up on the latest trends of web design.
From support for HTML5, animation, responsive design and mobile devices such as iPhone or tablets this software covers it all.

On the downside the program saves projects in a single file which if you are a bit more advanced and like to edit the HTML you will not be able to edit anything saved by the builder. You can although edit the HTML using the editor in the builder.
There are many free templates you can download but adding them to the application is not easy.
I found that it was easier to copy the contents of the zip files which contained many templates to the folder \Documents\90 Second Website Builder\system\templates was much easier than using the built-in template install feature.
Another problem is it saves everything in div containers so each line of text is in a div. This makes it hard to edit a page for a user that is somewhat experienced with HTML code.
Last the support for FTP is lacking secure FTP connections ( SSL ).
With security becoming more important by many hosting companies the trend is moving towards many hosts only supporting secure connections which can make uploading a finished website a bit of a problem with this product.

Although the average website designer will not like the looks of the code the application creates the resulting pages are quite good. Also since search engines don't care about such things you needn’t worry about it effecting your search ranking.
In closing I think if you ever used FrontPage and want to find a good replacement you may find this to be a perfect replacement.
Based on the final results and the low cost I find this an excellent tool for those that want a website but don't want to pay the high cost of a custom design or the high monthly cost of website services such as Wix, Webs and others.

Friday, 22 May 2015 10:09

Blog your way to better ranking

Blogging To A Better Search Presence

Chances are good that you follow several blogs on a regular basis.  In fact, you’re reading a blog post right now.  And if you’re like a great deal of folks, you’ve probably even written a few of your own blog posts or at least added commentary on a blog or two.  Blogs are catchy and usually fun to read, after all.

But did you know that blogs are also an incredible way to create a thriving search engine presence?  It’s true, it seems that blogs have quite a competitive advantage for several important search engine visibility producing results.  In fact, optimized blog posts are notable for:

  • How quickly they show up in a search engine’s results.  A quality well-targeted blog post from a moderately popular blog is often indexed and live in the search engines in just a matter of hours—not days or weeks.  It’s actually rather amazing!
     
  • Being ranked and listed for terms where creating a traditional static web page would end up with way to much competition to show up in a timely fashion (or at all).  While they usually don’t stick around in the search results quite as long as a static web page would, blogging is a great way to keep a fresh, up to date web search presence.
     
  • Attracting all kinds of natural free incoming links.  In the blogosphere, it’s friendly and customary to share and give back. This means that other bloggers and blog commenters will freely add a link to your blog or blog post from one of theirs if they find it appealing.  In the world of traditional static websites, you would practically have to beg, borrow, and steal to get links so easily!

And these are just a few remarkable benefits of blogging to improve search presence.

Here’s How To Make Blogging Work...

Blogging is not difficult, but there are a few things to consider in order to achieve the maximum possible benefits:

  • Optimize for a keyword.  Many think that writing a blog post is just a matter of sitting down in front of the keyboard and rambling.  This is not the case—just like any type of writing, presenting thoughts in an organized way is always best.  By keeping a certain topic or keyword phrase in mind while planning a post and writing, you’ll be naturally targeting the post for better search-ability.
     
  • Blog regularly and blog often.  You don’t have to do several posts a day, or even a week for that matter.  But it is important to stick to a predictable and regular schedule for both your readers’ sake and for the search engines to become accustomed to your regular postings.
     
  • Put your blog on autopilot.  For most of us, coming up with the time to write good posts on a timely basis is just not very realistic.  Consider hiring professional web optimization writers to handle your blogging for you.  It requires zero effort on your part, and the payoff is practically unlimited when it comes to growing your site’s targeted traffic.

Blogging is here to stay—partially because readers love it and partially because the search engines love it.  How could it be any better than that?

Computer infected with Spyware?

Follow these steps which has a 95% success rate of removing spyware and adware.

Your first line of defense is a good Anti Virus software.
Most Antivirus programs are commonly available in two forms.
The first form is Antivirus and the second is Internet Security.
The Internet security version replaces the Windows Firewall with their firewall.

I personally just use the Antivirus form as I see no advantage to having some additional firewall.

For Anti Virus I recommend either Kaspersky or McAfee.
If you have either make sure they are updated.

There are two types of infections that most PC users wind up getting.
One is Spyware / Malware and the other is Adware.
The difference is Adware just adds popup and other ads to your browser making browsing the web a bit of a nightmare.
The others cause your PC harm by various methods. Some claim to be Antivirus programs which is telling you your PC is infected.
Also it tells you if you send them X number of dollars it will remove the infections.
Of course it is a scam and hope if it happened to you that you didn't fall for it?

Even the best Antivirus applications can't block everything out there.
If you are not careful and take your PC where no man has gone before you are bound to find some bad boys.

To fix your problems should you have fallen victim to one or more of these unwanted infections follow these two steps.

Step 1.
 Download SuperAntiSpyware from http://www.superantispyware.com/.
 There are a few different versions to choose from.
 If you want to try it out then choose the free version.
 I although would suggest the portable version where you can used when needed.
 The portable version runs on a USB Memory stick or a CD.
If you install it on your PC then first go to system tools / preferences and uncheck start superantispyware when windows starts.
Also uncheck Enable real-time protection if you purchased it.
These may cause problems with your Antivirus application so best to disable them.
 After downloading and installing your choice of versions run a full scan.
 At the end of the scan have it remove all infections and allow it to reboot the PC.

 

Step 2.
  Download AdwCleaner from https://toolslib.net/downloads/viewdownload/1-adwcleaner/ or from http://adwcleaner.en.uptodown.com/

  I don't know why there is no official website for this software but I prefer sites that don't force you to install anything else on your PC.
  The two sites I give links to require no software to install and do not require you to register with them.
  After you download it run the application as it does not seem to install on your PC.
  It has a uninstall button but I cannot find any place where it installs anything nor does it place a shortcut or menu item on your PC.
  So I am assuming it installs nothing on your PC.
  At the end of the scan it will have a check boxes next to items it finds.
  Go tab by tab to see if anything it has listed is something important to you.
  For all other items make sure they are checks and then click Clean.
  Check off everything it finds unless it's something you wish to keep.
  Click on the Cleaning button and when it's done again you will need to reboot.

After you run these two on your PC it should be clean of all bad boys.
If you still have problems then repeat running both again but this time do it in safe mode.
To get into safe mode reboot your PC and tap the F8 when you see the PC is booting on your screen.
If you can't seem to time hitting this key at the right time then use msconfig to get into safe mode.
On the first tab you can change it to Diagnostic Startup which is safe mode.

Run SuperAntiSpyware first and then AdwCleaner.
To get back to normal mode again run msconfig and set it to Normal Startup.

Lastly I again remind you that an up to date Antivirus software is your first line of defense.
Just removing the infections is not enough - you also need to bar the doors.

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