Working for yourself can give you as little or as much flexibility as you would like.
Do you want to head to the beach for two hours in the middle of the day?
Do you want to attend that school concert that starts at 11am?
Do you want to spend every Friday having lunch with a different friend every week?
Working for yourself can enable you to do exactly this, however the more people I speak to that work for themselves, the more I understand that it isn't just myself who struggles with maintaining that work life balance. I used to consistently work too many hours for not enough money and seemed to never be "me". Just recently (like 3 months ago) I finally sat down and worked out exactly why I was doing this and the answer was not a surprise. I knew I did it, in fact I knew it was my worst character flaw, but somehow even though I knew I repeated the same behaviour over and over, I never stopped doing it. Until I did!
Wondering What It Was??
Why I Never Said No
It can be very stressful working for yourself and particularly in my line of work. There are so many well qualified good web developers out there and it can be hard to establish yourself in such an over saturated market. My background is programming, and when it became clear that I was going to have to spend many many hours of my non work life staying on top of the constant barrage of changes that goes hand in hand with working as a programmer, I decided that even though I loved the work, I didn't want my life to be just work. Basically while I loved programming, I wasn't a geek in my life. So I morphed into a role that used my coding head, but didn't mean that I was spending every waking moment learning the latest platform changes.
What I hadn't done at this point however was really drill down what my web niche would be. So I never said no. If someone that was a Wordpress client (which I never use) wanted some changes, sure I would do it, but in doing it spent at least double the time it should have taken me because I wasn't a wordpress specialist. A new client would ask me to make changes to their eCommerce store without telling me that it was run through an integration into their physical point of sale. So I would work out how to do it and of course be charging way less than I should because so much of the time was me figuring out a POS system that I'd never used before. I used to think that it wasn't the clients fault I had never used that system before so I couldn't charge them for it, and to a certain extent I do still think that. HOWEVER: by saying yes to everything I was spending my valuable work time learning systems and processes that I would never use again. That was time during which I could have been earining good money. I was, by never saying no, being the Jack of all trades and master of none.
Saying Yes To Saying No
I've spent the last three months embracing my "saying no" principle and honestly its like a light bulb has gone off in my head. It wasn't easy and I"m sure I've said no to work I could have done, however it was important for me to embrace the action of saying no. I felt like if I didn't say no to things that were just outside my scope, I wouldn't say no to anything.
How I Did It
I did what I do best. I broke it down into numbers. I started by sitting down and listing my skills. I made a list of skills I had and then added a capability % against each skill. I created my ideal client and described who they were and why they would use me. I created a project plan for around 10 different development possibilities, from a new website design through to image edits and updates and assigned value to each one. Then I decided that for now, I wouldn't stray more than 10% away from those skills, clients or project costs.
What I did also decide though, was that if a client presented me with a project that was less than 25% outside of my skillset (IE: small changes of text or images on a wordpress website - well within my capabilities but outside of my immediate skill set) instead of saying an outright no, I would say "no - not right now". If the project was outside of my perfect scope of works, I simply told the client I wasn't able to do it because I was fully commited to a few projects that had open end dates. I felt that by doing this I could always give them a call in a month (if I didn't have any work on) and ask if they found someone to help them. If they hadn't I could always fit it in on an immediate basis which would fill my open time frame and give the client a sense of urgency which (fingers crossed) would mean they would commit to the project and provide everything I needed in the most timely manner. I felt that keeping an open relationship would give me options if I needed it, however I've still not made a single phone call to those possible clients.
The Outcome Of No
I actually work a four day week now instead of just saying I do and now that I am well versed in my no responses I don't even feel bad about doing it.
What I worked out was that by not saying no, not only was I making it hard for myself, I was making it hard for my clients too. While they never knew that what they'd asked for wasn't really in my line of work I did realsie that I treated those client differently. I never meant to, but because the level of stress that I had attached to those clients was very real, whenever I heard from them I was wound so tight that I could never have provided them with the level of service I should have. I would just do whatever they asked for and get rid of them as soon as I could. The other thing I discovered was that I was doing myself out of work because by not fully understanding the platform or system they needed edits on, I could never suggest options they could take up. I couldn't say - "look at a later date why don't you consider a dynamic shipping integration" which not only would have been great for that client, but also for my bottom line. If they were a Joomla client I didn't really know how to integrate a shipping component to that so I would never suggest it.
Now that no is ingrained in my vocabulary I've noticed a few things:
Have you ever known that you have previously found something you wanted on a particular website but have no clue how to find it again? Google's ability to search within a website will set you on the straight and narrow toward your desired result.
Search Within A Website
To search for specific text within a particular website you can use Googles site:search to find exactly what you are after. This is one of my favourite Google search tools and to be honest I use it at least a few times a week and sometimes multiple times per day.
I'm looking for a trip on Intrepid's website that not only goes to Turkey but visits Oludeniz. I have already been to Intrepids Australian website and found the link for turkey, which I'm using to help narrow down the results to show trips only. I could leave it at just www.intrepidtravel.com, however that would show me blog posts as well and I want to look at trips. To format this search type "site:" followed by the URL (no spaces) and then a space and your search term.
Search - "site:https://www.intrepidtravel.com/au/turkey oludeniz"
As well as getting results for my search, I'm also shown images from Intrepid Travel that have the term Oludeniz in them which is really handy. As you can see below (and we can tell by the page naming convention) the first three results are Turkey Family Holiday trip, Hike, Bike & Kayak trip & Best Of Turkey. So voila! I've found three trips that Intrepid run in Turkey that visit Oludeniz!
While most of use realise that we can and often do find almost anything via Google, what some of you may not realise is how well you can customise your searches. If you are just generally searching for the latest Kardashian news, you probably won't need this, however if you are searching at work and need to nail something down pretty quickly, these tips will help you do that.
Words In Text
To search for text that you know appears on a page (not the title or web page URL) you can type allintext: followed by the text you would like to search for. To us it you type allintext: followed by the words you want to look for with no space between the semi colon and the first word.
Search Term - allintext:geek queen
Result - I will get a result back that searches for website pages that contain the text geek and queen but not necessarily in that order, and will also show me results where the words are in the page but not necessarily in the same sentence or paragraph.
Search Term - allintext:"geek queen" (to be clear there is a semi colon not a full stop there)
Result - this will show me web pages that have geek queen as a term. IE "geek queen" appears on the page in as a phrase.
Have you ever known that you had previously found a PDF file with the elevation of the next hike you want to do, but of course you just can't find it again? Using Google's filetype filter in your search will ensure the chances of this happening again are greatly reduced.
This is one of my favourite search tools, however you do have to be quite specific in your terms to make the very best use of it. If I type camino elevation filetype:pdf I get LOTS of info on the town called Camino in California. If I type camino frances elevation filetype:pdf my results are much more accurate. So this is one instance where your search term needs to be pretty good. Using an explicit search will lessen results in this case too. As you can imagine if you use a specific phrase, google will only show you results with an exact match AND that is a PDF in this case. So "camino frances elevation" filetype:pdf will greatly lessen the results. So remember - no exact match and try for a fairly accurate search term.
Search Term - camino frances elevation
Result - Returned to me is a reasonably broad set of results showing a lot of info on elevation gain and multiple images, but no PDF files that I can see. While the images are good, what if my reader will only view PDF files? I need the PDF so I need to specify my file type.
Search Term - camino frances elevation filetype:pdf
Result - you can see that I get a list of results that are PDF files. They might not be exactly what I'm looking for but at least they are the file type I'm after.
Google is getting smarter and smarter and you are often able to find what you are looking for relatively easily, however sometimes you just need to filter your results to a location. Google helps with this by offering us the location: tool.
The Location Tool
Lets say you are looking for a restaurant on the Gold Coast that you know has "Fire" in it's name but you can't remember the actual name or where it was. I'm using this example because I actually used this search today. Someone told me about a restaurant that was something "fire" but we had a fire here on the Gold Coast yesterday so when I searched for fire gold coast - guess what? Not a restaurant to be found. When I added the location: phrase to the search I found it first pop.
Search Term - fire gold coast
Result - Returned to me are results that are based around the fire we had yesterday here on the Gold Coast.
Search Term - fire location:gold coast
Result - As you can see from the outcome below, the restaurant I was looking for is in the list at the top of the page. This is because Google has showed me the results based on the location. Where does Google get this location? Locations are used primarily in Google My Business setups so Google is showing me results for businesses that have fire in the name and are in the location I've specified. Cool hey??
Searching in Google happens multiple times a day for most of us, however would you like to know how to refine your searches to include the most appropriate results? Stick with us for our series on Google Search Tips.
Explicit Search Terms
This is by far the easiest and best way to get the most relevant results if your search term consists of more than one word. By using the double quotes around your phrase, you can limit results to be these words in this exact order.
Search Term - small business help
Result - Returned to me is a reasonably broad set of results showing everything from grants to fairwork to marketing.
Search Term - "small business help"
Result - you can see that I get a list of results that have the phrase "small business help" in their title, page or URL. While this is a reasonably generic search term (and that's why I've chosen it) you can see the immediate effect of using Google's explicit search.
Registering your website domain name seems like the most fun thing you can do, and it can indeed be very exciting to secure that desired domain name. I'm not wanting to put a downer on your domain name search, however there are some factors that you should take into consideration prior to that all important purchase.
While it is always a very good idea to grab a .com domain (if you can get it) you really want to try and focus on your locality domain extension. Australia is of course .com.au, New Zealand is .co.nz and the UK is .co.uk.
The reason you will be trying to obtain these domain extensions is that Google considers that if you are using a .com.au domain name, that you are servicing primarily this country and will direct visitors to your website from Australian browsers. You domain name isn't the only factor in Googles consideration to relevant traffic but it does carry quite a bit of weight to how your website can be ranked.
This is a primary consideration if your website is an online store that is freighting primarily to Australian consumers. While you may be able to freight globally, postage costs on larger items can be prohibitive so you may be directing your attention to local purchasers first. A .com.au domain name will help you to address the local clients first.
What I would recommend is that if .com is also available purchase that too. There are no restrictions on a .com domain name so you can either use it to direct traffic to your .com.au website or just keep it so no-one else can grab any traffic meant for you.
Likewise, if a .com.au domain name is gone and it is very specific to your registered company or business name you might be entitled to persuing legal action to get it released to you. Alternatively, use the .com one in the meantime if that is available.
Registration of .au extensions is governed by the AUDA domain administration. Open .au domain extensions include:
asn.au, com.au, net.au, id.au and org.au.
As general information goes (the actual rules on the AUDA website), to register a .au extension, you must be a commercial entity (a company or business) and be registering a domain name that is either a direct representation of your business name or company name, or be directly related to services you provide.
For Example: You could register broomepearls.com.au if you business name was "Broome Pearls", you sold Broome Pearls or maybe grew Broome pearls. What isn't allowed in the .au arena is domain squatting. IE you can't purchase a domain name that doesn't pertain to your business in anyway for the purpose of investment or extortion. So you can't register broomepearls.com.au if you have nothing to do with Broome Pearls. Actually let me clarify that - you could do it, but you would have no case to hold it should a company called Broome Pearls challenge it, and you could be made to hand over the domain name at your own cost.
The requirements are clear however they are not your only consideration.
Business Name Vs Domain Name
Your domain name might not always be an exact match to your business name. Often your business is up and running before you get to your domain name so it's not always possible at a later date to get the domain name you would like.
My recommendation is to make registering your domain name a priority asap you start your business development. I always try to register both a .com and the .com.au domain if its possible. My main reason for doing this is to have the monopoly over your own business operating name. You don't have to use both domains, but having them both means that you have control over them.
What if you can't get your domain name?
Consider a .net or .net.au extension. While a lot of people consider these extensions to be less that perfect, that's not really true. Having your exact domain name but with a .net or .net.au extension is probably better than something that isn't a direct link to your business name. The work you put into your business, your website and your SEO (paid and organic) will enable you to override the fact that you don't have your exact domain name.
Please take into consideration who actually has those .com and .com.au domain names registered. If they are a very similar business to you and sell similar products, you must take into consideration that you will almost certainly loose a certain amount of business to that company. If I accidentally type in yourbusinessname.com instead of .net and they sell similar products and I'm not familiar enough with your business to know it isn't you, I'm going to purchase from them. I won't know I'm in the wrong place, so you do have to consider that when registering your domain name. It might be worth the cost of an extra business registration and some unique branding to avoid this happening and establishing your own web presence free and clear of direct domain name competitors.
After you register:
Ensure that you make a note somewhere of where (the registrant) and when and for how long you registered your domain name along with the password or login for that account. Tag or label it in your emails or add it to you notes or even something like Google Keep. It's imperative that you have that information readily available so you can use it and have it available for your web developer.
Add the renewal date to your calendar so you can check it whenever you need to
What to watch out for:
There are unscrupulous people who troll domain registrations and then register other extensions and try to sell them to you or worse, send you an invoice for renewal which often people pay not realising its a scam.
You will also get a lot of emails, phone calls and or physical mail trying to sell you website services after you have registered your domain. If you have an option during the registration process to pay an extra fee to make your information private, that is almost always worth doing.
Where to register your domain name
There are many many many domain registrars out there however I use GoDaddy to register all my domain names. I find them to be well priced with lots of options like private registrations and very easy to use.
Can I Register Your Domain For You?
Of course I can.
I'm more than happy to register any domains you would like as it is much easier for me to do it AND I always register the domain in an account that is under your control. I always work with complete transparency and will bill you for the domain cost + a $50.00 fee for me to register it for you. That fee will cover up to 4 domain registrations too - its not per domain. Get in touch if you would like to take advantage of this service.
Google has a wide range of extra FREE resources as part of its Google Account (or G Suite if you are a business). Most of you will know about Google Photos, Calendar and Drive however a great feature that not as many people know about is Google Keep.
Keep is a note taking app that is available across all devices that are logged in under your google account.
For example, my PC, my Surface Pro and my Android phone all use the same google account login. Because of this I can add, edit or update my notes on Keep and immediately those updates are available everywhere I'm logged in to Google.
Features Of Google Keep
Google Keep is basically a note taking app, however its features and much more advanced than a basic level.
Your notes can have:
under the more tab (the three little dots):
Keeping On Keeping On
You can see from this screenshot of what my Keep looks like how handy it is when you use the colors and check boxes. I have allocated different colors to clients and subjects and there are so many notes in there that are just one off weird things that I know I can search for and find easily. Oh did I mention you can search for stuff in Keep??
I put everything from Movies I want to see to client lists to travel tips to the KM's I'm allowed to do in my car under my insurance policy. So handy and as long as you have given it time to sync, its also available offline!! So handy at an airport when I'm travelling.
A meta description for a web page is the information that appears about that particular page in search results. Looking at the pic above, the text you can see that describes what the page is about is the meta description.
In this case, Yoast describes what a meta description is, where it shows and moves on from there.
Meta Descriptions are a contributing factor in your website's SEO. Google uses the information provided in the Meta Description to establish that page's relevance to the search term used by their clients. However, its not just the SEO factor that is important, the meta description is where you get a chance to convince potential clients that YOU are the best option for whatever it is they are looking for.
Some Q & A's About Meta Descriptions
How Do I Access My Meta Descriptions?
Usually your website developer will either ask for the text you wish to use for each page of your website, or they may develop that meta description as part of their service. I tend to write meta descriptions as a free service to my clients to start and then once their website is up and running, they can send me the text they would like if they want to change it.
Meta Descriptions appear in the <head> tag of your website page and unless your website is completely coded from scratch, there is usually an area in the page settings for your meta description.
How should I word my Meta Description?
I always suggest to clients that this is their one chance to convince possible clients to click through to their website. That's not entirely true, it's not your only chance, but that usually stresses how important meta descriptions can be. People are very busy in today's world and most tend to just scan through for something that peaks their interest so using relevant keywords is vital. What is also vital however is that it reads well (as a sentence not just a list of words) and accurately explains what is on that web page. Google will pitch a fit if you try to direct traffic to your website that has no relevance to your content, and trust me you never want Google deciding you aren't doing the right thing. So well formatted sentence using keywords relevant to that page (not generic words for your website) directed toward what you consider to be your perfect client.
Can I just repeat the first paragraph of my page?
In a word - NO! Consider this, your meta description is not only a paragraph that could drive traffic to your website, its also one part of your SEO for that page. So if you repeat your first paragraph that is diluting your SEO actions because you are using the same keywords, the same phrases and the same content so instead of getting two bites at the apple, you are only getting one. A meta description while used for your clients, is another chance to reinforce to Google that your content is extremely relevant to this search term. If both your first paragraph and your meta description use similar phrases and repeat some (not all) keywords, Google considers that a double whammy and slides you up the list.
What if I don't add a Meta Description?
Google will grab the first paragraph from your page and use that as the meta description. See - it's important you do your meta descriptions.
How long should it be?
Google upgraded the length of meta descriptions from 170 characters to 320 in around November 2017. However, just to ensure we don't get too comfortable they recently went back to the 155-170 character range. There is no technical length, however keeping to around 170 characters will ensure your meta description isn't cut off.
What should I prioritize?
Anyone who has spent any time working on improving their website ranking will know the phrase "Content is King". That is true - Google does have it perched firmly on the throne right next to "Solid SEO" on the left and "Link Master" on the right, however bad content won't necessarily help your SEO.
Google is smart. They've been doing this a long time and have had exposure to every trick in the book that has been used for the sole purpose of increasing your websites exposure.
They are so smart in fact that they often know what your visitors are looking for even before you do. That seems somewhat scary at first, however when you really think about it, embracing this concept and putting yourself in the shoes of your visitor will enable you to create content that keeps Google blissfully happy.
They are not the big bad SEO monster - they are in business just like you. Their business is showing their clients the best possible results for their searches. That means that they will never put one of your posts at the top of that search, UNLESS - it, along with the rest of your website meets the clients expectations.
Content must do these 4 things:
Content that is blatently self serving won't help you acheive that.
Content that is stuffed with what you consider to be keywords - again, won't help you acheive that
Content that is posted at an over zealous rate won't help you do that - UNLESS its crisp, quality content.
A huge quantity of content, if its hastily written and has no value won't do you any good, so its entirely possible that you've spent your weekends writing, writing, writing for no benefit.
The Key (ignoring the pun) Is Consistency
Take the following steps into account when you are assembling your content.
Today's browsing world can be very "big brother". I constantly feel like I"m being tracked and marketed to and while I undertand that is the world I live and work in, sometimes I really need to just search for flights without being shown hot to get from the Gold Coast to Turkey on every single page I visit for the next few weeks.
Enter: Private Browser Windows!
You all know I use Google Chrome for 80% of my work day. While I do use other browsers every day its Chrome that is my default browser so while other browsers do of course have this facility, its Chrome I'm talking about today.
What is Incognito?
Incognito mode will erase your browsing and search history from any websites you visit during the session as well as deleting any cookies your browser picked up along the way. Cookies are the little tracking slivers of info that websites store on your browser to give them information about your visit, your location and also for the purpose of advertising relevant content to you at a later date. By not storing these you won't expose yourself to what can be a very annoying few weeks of remarketing based around your website visits.
My primary reason for using incognito windows is mostly personal I will admit. If I'm searching for flights or accommodation for our next trip I flat out don't want to be distracted by adds for this for the next few weeks, so I use incognito. Once I'm done I know that I'm not going to get adds everywhere for the next few weeks which will drive me crazy!
A primary benefit to me is that by not having a record of my searches, prices aren't going to go up when I go back to those travel websites. They don't know I was already looking so don't show me inflated prices based around the fact that they know where and when I want to fly. On the down side of this, I also don't get any "Prices have dropped" emails from Booking.com which if I'm honest, has saved me a bundle in the past.
Another benefit of using an incognito window could be to avoid your "free" limit on pay per use websites such as newspapers for example. Some news websites will give you access to full articles up to a limited number and then their pay per view kicks in. IE you may be allowed to read 7 articles before they max you limit and ask you to start paying. That's fair enough to me but using an incognito browser, you aren't storing any cookies and you can confuse their system into thinking you are a new visitor every time. Less than ethical in my book, however it's not illegal and there is no way these large companies don't know you can easily do this. Its just too expensive for them to keep you out altogether so for now, this work around is completely overlooked by most business operating on the pay to play model after so many free visits.
How Do I Open An Incognito Window?
In Chrome its really easy. You see the three little dots at the far right hand side of your browser window?
Click on those
Click "New incognito window" and Voila! Done.
It's that simple. Browse away.
What Won't An Incognito Window Do?
Most browsers have an incognito function, some call it different things, but for most of them, clicking the menu on the right hand side should put you in the right place to find the private browsing window.
How many times have you gone to a website, only to leave inside 4 seconds when it isn't fully loaded.
Slow loading websites are 99% of the time caused by too large image files. Images that aren't just large in physical dimensions but also in kb size are DEATH TO YOUR WEBSITE!
I know your skill set probably isn't resizing images but there is a free and easy way to do it.
Hello Image Optimizer
There are more than a few image resizing tools out there, however I've found this to be very easy and wonderfully add free!
To use it is very simple. You can just upload your images online or download their image resizer to your PC. I've only ever used the online version primarily as I'm horribly suspicious of anything I have to download. You can make your own decision.
" The steps are very easy, simply choose your file, set what options you want and the maximum sizes, and click Optimize Now.
Click the Optimize Now button and wait. Remember that it has to upload your large image so it's not instantaneous. Spend that time thinking about how frustrating this would be for a visitor to your website if they were trying to load your page with three 4mb images! Makes sense now doesn't it.
Once you are done, you will see a resulting output as below. Simply download the file to your computer. Make sure to save it in your "Optimized Images" folder - you don't want to confuse the files. Also remember to rename it to a meaningful file name before you upload it.
Visiting Chimanimani in Zimbabwe in 2017, I met our amazing hiking guide Colin. If you've ever been to Zimbabwe you know they are struggling terribly and I decided that if I could help out Colin I would.
So once I got back to Australia I started gathering everything I could to build his new website.
You will notice that the website is reasonably pared down and has no large images or video. This is primarily as its really hard to get reliable internet in Zimbabwe and most users will be using their phone. Even travellers will probably not start looking for hiking or bird watching in Chimanimani until they are in the continent so it was very important that the website rendered well on mobile devices.
The colours are based around Colins Rasta personality and of course the green ties in well with Africa.
If you are ever going to Zimbabwe, consider Chimanimani and hike up the second highest mountain in Zimbabwe, which actually straddles the border of Mozambique so unwittingly, you visit Mozambique during your climb.
Chimanimani Tour Guide Website
I have a very bad thing to admit! Very bad from a website developers perspective!
When I went away, I really dumbed down my website so that I wasn't fielding requests while I was travelling. I KNOW! It was horrific, however I just could never be sure of where and when I would have internet and I made the decision that not getting inquiries was probably better than not answering them.
I know in the overall scheme of things I will be paying for that now, however the upside was that when I came back from travelling I got to build a whole new website and design it around who I am now, not who I was before I left.
My new logo embraces my love of the sparkle. My husband started calling me The Geek Queen years ago so I've always had the crown as part of my logo, however I really decided to fully embrace it just recently. Everything around at the moment has sparkle so I decided that Gold Geek Queen was me!
The other colours are directed at my primarily female client base. I do have a few male clients and I do not discriminate however its women that I work for primarily so that's who I've aimed my website at.
Let me know what you think. I'd love to know.
I'm sure this seems like a strange title for a blog post, however the keystroke for these fractions has been one of the best things I've ever learnt.
I must have learnt this trick maybe 20 years ago now (it might have been the old Word Perfect actually) and I find I use them most days. If not daily at least weekly so I figured I would share the knowledge with you.
Behold: ALT + number keys
So if you don't already know, you can create these fractions by holding down the ALT key and pressing a combination of numbers on your keypad.
Its very simple, you hold down the ALT key and while you are holding that down type in the 4 numbers that follow for each particular fraction.
As per usual, you can thank me later!
Have you ever been scrolling through the 127 tabs you have open in Chrome, closing all the ones you don't need and then, BOOM! You closed one you were using and haven't bookmarked?
Yes - we all have. There are ways to find out what you had displayed on that page of course, however they can be long winded and frustrating. You never know just how much crap you look at until you open your browser history.
So.... did you know there is a way to instantly open that tab back to exactly where it was??
Yup, its that simple. Hold down the CTRL and Shift buttons and while you are holding them down hit the letter "T" and voila. You closed tab will open right before your eyes. How cool is that.
There is an extra bonus to this keystroke as well. If you keep doing it, it will reopen tabs in the reverse order that you closed them. IE: It will open the last one you closed, and then the second last one, and then the third last one etc etc...
My new favourite thing.
You can thank me later!
My husband isn't really that tech savvy. Actually in the spirit of full disclosure he's borderline hopeless.
I'm not casting aspersions on his intelligence, his learning skills or abilities as he achieves some amazing things, however he just doesn't have the need to keep up with those little techy things.
It got me thinking though - I wondered how many of you also don't have time to learn or remember practices that can really help you out of a jam so I thought, why not add a new blog category - Keystrokes and Tech Tips.
So.... being the first blog post of this category I thought I would start with the most common thing I get asked.
What is the difference between F5 and CTRL F5
Using any web based service will eventually result in a bit of a clog between the website server and your browser. It's not rare, its doesn't mean anything is wrong, it just means that things might have changed since you loaded that page into your browser.
When you load a webpage if its the first time you've visitied it, the browser asks the server for the content and the server returns it for your viewing. To save both resources and time, your browser stores this info in something called a cache. This enables you to navigate the website quickly as the pages are stored in the cache locally.
If during the time you are checking out this website something changes you won't necessarily see it as you are viewing the cached version. Different browsers refresh the cache at different times and you can also override this is most browser settings, however we aren't going to go into that here.
If you are working away and your page seems to stop, your first option would be the F5 button.
F5 and the refresh button will go to your browser's cache and redisplay the page based on what is stored in the cache.
So if you just want to reactivate your browser F5 will most likely do that.
If you use Ctrl + F5 that forces the browser to go back to the server and ask for a brand new instance of the website. Effectively it forces the browser to clear the cache, get the newest verions and refill the cache with that info, and of course that is now what you see.
I have the nasty habbit of using CTRL + F5 constantly as I'm often refreshing to see code changes so I need the server to show me the latest version.
One isn't worse than the other, the only difference is that if you use CTRL + F5 you will reload the page from the server which will be slightly slower and of course use your bandwidth.
You will be aware I've started a new blog category that evolves around Awesome Chrome Browser Extensions. This second one in the list might not be super useful for many of you but I am completely hooked. It makes life so much easier for me and I'm sure once you know what it is you will have some use for it also.
What Are Google Chrome Extensions?
Chrome Extensions are little tools that you add to your browser that enable you to take actions on or within the browser environment.
You add them simply and start using them straight away. They are like Apps for Chrome I guess.
What is Full Page Screen Capture?
Full Page Screen Capture is an amazing extension that enables you to capture a screen shot of your entire screen. It doesn't just capture what you can see on your screen, it captures the entire page, even what you can't currently see.
For me, it's ideal. I can do previews for clients and then capture the entire screen shot and send them the image, or upload it to imgr and send them the link. I LOVE this extension and its so simple to use.
Once you've installed it, simply click the little Camera icon and it will capture the entire screen from the page you are on and open it in a new tab as an image. Once the Capture tab has opened click the very obvious download button to save the image.
How Do I Get It?
Visit the Chrome Extensions page, search for "Full Page Screen Capture" and click the Add To Chrome button.
Chrome is my browser of choice. Primarily I must admit its because Google drives so much of my daily work, however I like it better than Edge, and about the same as Firefox. So Chrome it is.
One of the best things about Chrome is the extensions you can add. Over the next few weeks I'm going to share my favourite extensions and why they are my faves. Some may be suitable for you, some may not, however I'm sure you will find at least a few great ones in the mix.
What Are Google Chrome Extensions?
Chrome Extensions are little tools that you add to your browser that enable you to take actions on or within the browser environment.
You add them simply and start using them straight away. They are like Apps for Chrome I guess.
What Is Keywords Everywhere?
Keywords everywhere is a great little tool that enables you to see the Cost Per Click (or CPC) for every search term you enter into google. Cool huh?
Not only can you see the current CPC, however you can see the search volume for the term and also the competition rate. I realise that sounds confusing however let me explain:
Search Volume: this is the average number of searches for this term per month (usually averaged over the last 12 months). So if this says 40/mth that means that on average this exact search term is searched for 40 times per month.
CPC: this is the current cost per click that advertisers are paying for one click on this keyword in Google Adwords.
Competition: this is a number between 0-1 that tells you the number of advertisers that have ads with Google Adwords for this specific search term. 0 signifies a low number of advertisers and 1 signifies a lot of advertisers.
Check out the image below. I've used a search term that applies to my husbands business, mostly because he works in a very niche market so the volume and advertisers will be low.
You can see that the volume is 40/mo - which means that on average only 40 people globally search for this term every month. The CPC is $1.53 and the competition is 0.94 So a decent score which would indicate that there are more than a few advertisers using this term in Google Adwords.
Now compare this search term.
You can see that over ninety thousand people searched for womens shoes on average a month. OK so I'm probably 1000 of those, but even so you can see its a very popular search term. You can see that the cost per click is only 97c but the competition is 1 - which means that a lot of people are using this term in Google Adwords.
How Do I Get It?
Visit Keywords Everywhere and then click the "Install For Chrome" button and follow the prompts.
Once it is installed you can save your search terms as favourites and then monitor them by clicking on the icon. To save just click on the tiny star after the competition number. Easy peasy....
If you know me you know that I come from a programming background. My skillset was very much started on the backbone of logical programming. Design, while I love it, is not my strongest skill so when I discover a great tip or trick I always share.
Here is todays CSS tip:
Using padding on a menu for mobile devices
Small business owner, web developer and programmer.
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