10 sites for web designers & developers to bookmark on National Reading Day

Happy National Reading Day, y’all!

While today is semi-officially reserved for encouraging schoolkids to read, don’t look past the opportunity for us to nurture our inner child. And there’s no better way to do that than by focusing on growth — professional growth, that is.

National Reading Day Bookmarks

In the spirit of National Reading Day, these 10 sites could turn your breaks in the porcelain palace into a legit web design masterclass. Here they are, in no particular order… 10 sites that will help you build your web professional skills.

1. Smashing Magazine

Okay, you might be familiar with this one — hence this reminder to make sure Smashing Magazine gets bookmarked and browsed regularly. It’s one the definitive places to turn, not only for trends and news, but also a wealth of tutorials. While the basic site is free, a paid subscription is worth considering. A couple … Read more

Minnesota rethinks how it supports entrepreneurs and businesses

As cities and states face pandemic-induced budget shortfalls, they’re struggling to create playbooks to help businesses get back on their feet and put millions of unemployed Americans back to work.

The Brookings Institution projects that state and local government revenues will decline $167 billion in 2021, and $145 billion a year after that.

That doesn’t leave local and state policymakers with a lot of levers to pull to stimulate economic growth.

Related: Online micro-businesses can be an easy economic win for local governments

That puts the onus on these leaders to strike a careful balance: Come up with creative ways to help these businesses without depleting key funds that are needed to keep emergency service workers and teachers employed, as well as deliver adequate services to residents.

Thankfully, there are some models for supporting businesses of every shape and size, whether brick-and-mortar Main Street stores or home-based digital enterprises.

Among … Read more

Website Terminology Glossary: Domains, Vol. 1

When you’re hustling, time is money and that money comes in coins, not bills. It’s why we made our Website Terminology Glossary for web pros. This free resource for designers, developers, marketers or anyone else makes it easier explaining technical stuff to clients. Rather than a lengthy back-and-forth, use this glossary of domains terminology that breaks it down in real terms.

Start getting time back, and put more of those coins in the bank.

Website Terminology Glossary: Domains, Vol. 1

If you don’t keep things simple, explaining domain names to clients can quickly turn into an epic saga sweeping through the entire internet and its infrastructure. We recommend using the analogy of navigating the streets of a brick-and-mortar city.

DNS

The domain name system (DNS) links everything on the internet. It translates the random numerals and dots used in networking (an IP address) into easier-to-type domain names. A domain name’s … Read more

Daymon Hoag: Ecommerce in the Buckeye State

Daymon Hoag is the owner and operator of Buckeye Web Development, LLC, based in Kenton, Ohio. We caught up to him for a discussion ranging from his pride in the Buckeye State, to a love of ecommerce, to the power of believing in yourself.

The who:

Given a business name is so central to a brand, we tend to put a lot of importance on it. How did you arrive at a name, and how do you feel about it now that you’ve been in business a while?

I live in Ohio, the Buckeye State, so I wanted a name that reflects the region in which I do business. I also own Phone TV Internet, LLC which was too restrictive since it was telecom based. I needed an umbrella for which to place all of my web development projects under. In 2012 Buckeye Web Development, LLC was born.

I … Read more

14 client-screening questions to ask before designing a site

There was a time, early in my freelance days, when I gleefully accepted any client who came a-knockin’ at my door — no client screening or preliminary fact-finding recon necessary. However, I quickly learned that it pays to be selective, and moved to using a rigorous screening process early in my onboarding process.

Providing a finely tuned and comprehensive questionnaire allows prospective clients to work at their own pace, pondering the questions over time, while formulating their responses.

Trust me, working through this exercise at the start saves time and aggravation down the road. If the prospective client answers all questions to your satisfaction, in addition to confirming the right fit, you’ve assembled much-needed information for your proposal. Useful questions not only gather information, but raise red flags to seriously consider.

Ask these client-screening questions

Here’s my starter list of 14 key questions for your “new client” questionnaire; take … Read more