Choosing the right Content Management System (CMS) for your blog, business, or affiliate website may seem like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. These days managing the appearance of your site is easier than ever.
With thousands of free templates to choose from, plenty of useful add-ons, and support staff all over the world, most entrepreneurs can be up and running within minutes without spending a dime.
Save Some Overhead – Fire Your Graphic Designer
In the early days of internet business graphic designers made an enviable amount of money by designing websites in html. The high price tag came with good reason, html can be challenging to update without causing upsets elsewhere in your site. These days, however, cosmetic changes to your site, graphics, and overall design can be done in minutes – with just a simple drag and click. No graphic designer needed.
Choosing the Right CMS for Your Business – What to Look For
There’s a CMS that’s right for every business need, from small storefronts to large enterprises, there’s a CMS that suits them all. What’s nice to know is many of the most powerful and competitive options are also free.
Start by looking for something that’s open source with a large body of contributors who are passionate about building a powerful, user-friendly CMS. Oftentimes this means you’ll get regular updates and a trustworthy group of support should you need assistance. For the sake of discussion I’ll cover three of the most popular choices ranging from easiest to use to most challenging.
A Quick Comparison of the Top CMS Options
- WordPress – By far the most popular CMS available today, Wikipedia reports over 60 million users all over the world rely on WordPress to power their site. A great deal of functionality is packaged within a very user-friendly environment that makes updating a business site simple and less time consuming.
There are thousands of themes available, some are free and the more professional styles come at a reasonable fee. It’s important to know the difference between WordPress.Com and WordPress.Org, however, the former is for the free hosting of a blog and the latter is intended for professional use with your own personal domain name.
- Joomla – The second-most popular CMS in use today, an estimated 30 million downloads have occurred as of March 2012, according to Wikipedia. Joomla offers greater flexibility and power for businesses that demand a reliable method of making updates quickly and easily. Open source in nature, with regular updates and a large support group, Joomla offers a decent alternative for those who are looking to do more than just host a blog.
Rather than being built upon html, like standard templates, which can be full of unnecessary code, Joomla calls upon the Model-View-Controller (MVC) software style in all of its architecture. This is a fantastic option for businesses, such as eCommerce and real estate sites that require more oomph from their CMS.
- Drupal – If you’re looking to get into eCommerce, build a decidedly complex site, or host a large community, then Drupal may be the right choice for your business needs. Bear in mind, however, that this powerful tool requires some expertise to get the full functionality – it is a power tool, after all. Drupal can handle it all, from the smallest of blog to the most security-conscious of agency.
Though some study and skill is necessary to master the Drupal CMS, the end result is well worth the effort. Like all open source projects, Drupal offers an extensive body of support as well as frequent updates, and with each new release it becomes easier to use. If you like to feel like a true master of your domain, Drupal may be the CMS option you’ve been searching for.
Where’s a Newbie to Start? The Ideal CMS for Beginner
The best CMS for your business needs is ultimately a personal decision, but if you’re looking to get your feet wet and expand from there then WordPress is likely your best option. WordPress offers fantastic practice in learning how to make a website for free. Then, once you have more confidence and technical expertise you can make the leap towards Joomla or Drupal.
Freelance writer Rick Mercado loves working as an online marketer because it allows him the ability to work from the comfort of his own home, or his local coffee shop with the urge strikes. A fan of the outdoors, Rick loves the freedom that his work-at-home lifestyle affords because it gives him plenty of time to explore his neighborhood of Halifax, Nova Scotia. When he isn’t working, researching and writing, he can be found pursuing his dream of learning to be a pilot.
The Top 10 Best Free Android Retro Games of all time
Retro games are games that usually refer to 80’s and early 90’s games that have been endeared into the heart and souls of people growing up during that time period. Back when a certain Italian Plumber dominated the game market and names like Link, Sonic, and PAC Man was on the tips of every one’s tongue. The fact that these games can be played in the palm of your hand still astounds me – these games originally came out in the arcade, and required an entire large cabinet to house the electronics just to play this game.
Why play them at all? Retro games are still played because the people that grew up with them have fond memories of playing on a lazy Saturday or Sunday with their friends. It represented the dawn of the hand held game, the beginning of an age where you didn’t have to go spend a load of quarters at the arcade to have the most awesome fun.
Ping Pong –
The original game. Back on the Atari 2600, this bad boy of the simplistic game world was based on a simple concept – table tennis, or ping pong, but virtually. What a bold idea, right?
PAC Man –
Likely the most recognizable arcade name out there, PAC Man has come in various forms – Mrs. Pac Man, Baby Pac Man, and Professor Pac Man – but the original still stands strong and proud as the original classic that released in 1980.
Frogger – The dodge the cars –
And get to the other side of the road game (I wonder if this had anything to do with a chicken?) is back on Android with the Frogger ad supported version, or you can purchase the app for an ad free jumping experience.
Probably more spin offs from this than any other game, the Russian Computer Engineer who developed this has also gone on to create other works, including some Xbox titles, but none so influential as this puzzle masterpiece. With 20 Versions across multiple platforms, you can choose whatever you like, but we suggest Android free play.
Boulder Dash –
It came out the same year as Tetris, 1984, but not nearly as popular. Still, there have been 5 versions of this game since its original release date, and it seems that it will remain in our memory banks for at least a few more years to come.
We all remember the Nokia phone in the 90’s right? That all familiar ring tone? What about the game ‘Snake’ where you use the buttons of the phone to control the snake while it tries to get the stars, while avoiding hitting any walls. While it wasn’t completely high tech, few of these games rarely are.
Commander Genius aka Commander Keen –
This spawned a number of series (or episodes) that was favored by many in the 90’s, including episodes on the famous game boy, the earliest release of hand held gaming.
So let me get this straight, we want a hedgehog that runs really fast, collects coins, and spins around loops, and fights other animals. Sounds great! While I wouldn’t have wanted to be in that board meeting, I cannot deny the hours of fun this game will bring you. The challenges are still quite formidable, and the action is still fun.
Avid retro-gamers shouldn’t miss out on these 3 fabulous games in the LCD Retro Games Collection application that really capture the whole feels older games, back when graphics were simple and steering your character was a cakewalk. These games come in many titles, and will keep you entertained for hours so that you can relive your glory days as an 8 year old playing hand held games.
Space Invaders –
The classic battle to save earth from invaders from – well, space. You are armed with a laser cannon that you can move from left to right to shoot down the aliens, and go on to the next level. This was released in 1978, and still rocks today.
Overall, the best way to relive the good old days is to get a few of these free applications on your android phone – and spend an afternoon reminiscing.
Author Bio: Jason Phillips is the writer of this article. He provides his suggestion about the latest video games and technology through his articles. Even he has worked with a gaming site for Sniper Games 365 as an advisor.
Guest Blogging Do’s and Don’ts
In the world of Penguin, link building has become a sophisticated science. Getting links to your blog or website is harder than ever. One of the most effective ways to build solid and high quality links is through guest blogging. When done in moderation, blogging as a guest could provide a number of advantages, particularly in terms of the links you will be able to generate. However, overdoing it could make it counterproductive than getting the results you are looking for.
Yet, writing too many guest blog posts is just one of the mistakes you can make. There are many other guest blogging dos and don’ts you have to be wary of if you are to make the most of it. The interesting thing is that there are many bloggers and marketers who don’t yet gauge the importance of guest posts. In the current year, the happening trend in online marketing is content marketing. Guest blogging is one of the best ways in which you can get your content published and read by your target audience.
This is why you need to pay special attention to the choices you make when deciding to become a guest blogger. The key is to select the best possible blog or website and there are a number of criteria that can help you do so. At the same time, you have to make sure your choice of blog doesn’t end up hurting your own blog. So, without further ado, here are the dos and don’ts of guest blogging.
Dos of Guest Blogging
The first thing you need to consider when deciding to write a guest blog is the website it will be published on. There are several factors that make a website or blog a perfect fit for the type of content you want to share with the world. Here are some of the most important dos of guest blogging.
Theme of the Website
Relevance is crucial to success in online marketing today. Google pays a lot of attention to relevance and it is the name of the game as things stand. Your choice of blog has to depend on its relevance to what your website is about. This is important in terms of link building as well. A link will only be considered valid and high quality if it emerges from a website similar in theme to yours. Of course, you can be flexible regarding the theme and even subtle similarities work. This also ensures some level of reader overlap, meaning more people get to read what you post.
Ranking is also a crucial thing you need to consider when selecting a platform for a guest blog post. The two things you need to keep at the forefront are the Domain Authority and PageRank. A high score on both is imperative for a website to be considered worthy of guest posting. Otherwise, keep looking.
You should make sure the website you are posting your content on has a large reader base. Otherwise, there is no use for you to make the effort. If your content is not going to get more people to read your content and visit your website, the endeavor is worthless. You can do this by checking the number of subscribers and also the social media activity of the blog. This way you have a clear idea of the number of readers you can expect to gain.
Frequency of Posting
Will the blog allow you to post regularly and how frequently do they expect new posts? These are important considerations. You need to know if you have enough time to keep coming up with quality content for your guest blog posts. Don’t take on a responsibility that make become very difficult to fulfill in the long run. This will only divert your attention from your own content marketing efforts.
Number of Guest Posters
This one is not commonly cited as an important tip for guest blogging but it could work to your advantage. You would benefit more from contributing to a website that has few guest bloggers. This is because your competitors will have a smaller chance of getting a link from that website. Also, it will be more lucrative.
Top 10 Blogs
Perhaps the biggest DO is that you should try your luck getting your post on one of the top 10 blogs on the web related to your niche. If you can manage to do so, you will be able to gain the maximum exposure and benefits from guest blogging. Else, you would have to work harder.
These are the dos of guest blogging you need to keep in mind. As you can see, they will enable you to select the best possible blog for posting. That is exactly what you need to do to get started off on the right foot with regards to becoming a guest blogger. It is time to look at the don’ts now.
Don’ts of Guest Blogging
Compared to the dos, the don’ts are relatively fewer. However, they can cause the downfall of your blog so make sure you pay due important to them and try to avoid them as much as possible.
Free for All Blogs
There are many blogs online that accept content from anyone and everyone. They are simply looking to boost their content offering so there is no benefit for you of posting on them. You need to find blogs that are relevant to your own blog.
A blog that has a lot of ads is a strict no-no when it comes to guest blog posts. The intent is clear; they just want to make money.
Web Design and User Experience
Perhaps the most obvious don’t of guest blogging is that you should stay clear of blogs that are designed poorly and offer substandard user experience. Not many people will consider spending time on such a blog.
Simply avoid any website or blog that has been penalized in the past for any reason, especially low value links.
Blogs holding back their contact information are shady to say the least and should be avoided completely.
Social Media Presence
Blogs that lack a solid social media presence or have a low number of subscribers aren’t what you should be looking for to publish a guest blog post.
In addition to the don’ts mentioned here, you should also shun blogs that have a low PageRank and Domain Authority.
Keep in mind that these dos and don’ts are just the tip of iceberg. There are many other things you need to learn about guest blogging in order to become an expert. However, these will help you get started off perfectly. Best of luck!
Roman Viliavin, vice CEO at Promodo SEO Company.
Unconventional Thinker and candidate master of chess. Roman has been working in the field of search engine optimization since 2005 and is the moving spirit of the company. Participant and speaker of all major events in SEO business. Roman has successfully completed dozens of projects and gladly shares his experience with SEO community via articles and various online and offline publications. Follow Roman on Twitter and Facebook.
Four Tips For Beginner Website Designers
Web design is a skill that many people claim to have, but few actually know how to do well. Web design is one of those fields where someone could easily teach it to themselves, or learn in a classroom setting. Even though it’s possible for people to teach themselves web design, most businesses and companies will hire a web design company or a freelance designer to handle building and designing their website. When you’re working with your design clients, be sure to keep these tips in mind.
Keep It Simple
Nothing makes a website run slower or look tackier than putting in a variety of different design elements. In the ’90s when people were first starting to explore the web, web designers would put as many different themes and elements in their websites as possible. There would be different frames on each page, moving gifs in nearly every corner, and there would be a different eye-catching background image for each page. When you’re designing a website, pick one central theme or element to design your website around. When you’re finished the entire site will look well planned out and put together, and not like a design nightmare.
Value A Well Done Website Over 100% Customer Input
When you’re designing a website you’re going to hear a lot of suggestions from the client, and not all of them are going to be good. When you’re working in web design, you’re going to have to deal with clients that want you to add elements that won’t mesh well with the overall design. Some web designers adopt an attitude that the customer is always right, and they’ll give their customers everything they ask for whether it’s a good idea or not. These clients may be happy with their website in the beginning, but once complaints from their customers and employees start to come in they’ll blame you for their shoddy website. As a web designer making a good and functional website should be your top priority. Never be afraid to tell a client that their ideas may not be the best for overall website design, but also be prepared to offer good design alternatives.
Don’t Ignore Mobile and Tablet Users
When you’re working on a law firm website design, making a separate page for mobile users may seem like it should be the last thing on your mind. A few years ago making a mobile version of a website was on the bottom of every web designer’s priority list, but today it’s essential for websites to have a mobile or tablet function for their users. Today people are used to seeing mobile-friendly alternatives to regular websites, and if they can’t easily access and navigate a website on their smartphone or tablet they’ll bounce from your website.
Talk About SEO Tools
When you’re client first talks to you about their ideas for their new website some more web-savvy clients may mention SEO, but there will be some clients who won’t have a clue about what SEO is. When you’re meeting with your client be sure to ask them if they want SEO tools. Some clients may not know what SEO tools are, but they will want a way to monitor their website’s traffic. Some may even assume that there is a way to automatically monitor web traffic without having to use SEO tools. If you bring up SEO tools when you first meet with your client you’ll be able to explain what they are and ensure that there won’t be any confusion down the line.
Mike has extensive experience in designing websites and knows all of the tools and essentials to create a successful and functional website.
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