About That Website: Reviews on Two Tools

Two Tools to Create Your Website

[dropcap background=”” color=”” circle=”0″ size=”3″]W[/dropcap]hen you create your online presence, you’ll no doubt be faced with a myriad of choices for creating your website. There are literally hundreds of ways to solve the problem of creating and maintaining your website. While you could spend hours researching and comparing these solutions it’s my hope that this post will help you cut through some clutter and make an informed decision about which solution to use.

Right now there are about four possible solutions to your website that this post will discuss. This post will provide you reviews on two tools for your site.  First, the self hosted WordPress site. Second, a site hosted through Squarespace.

Before starting out with the creation of your website, you should consider the following:

  • What is your budget for both the design and construction of your website?
  • Who will be responsible for maintaining the site, in-house or outside agency?
  • Will you be using your site to sell products or services?
  • How familiar are you or your team with technology, including coding (HTML, CSS, Javascript, PHP)?

These questions will help you decide the right solution for you. With websites, there is no set solution for everyone.

Create your Website Through WordPress


WordPress is really a piece of software that you download and install to your own website host. It is used to manage your website’s content, the text, photos, videos, and other assets that appears on your website. The software was originally used for bloggers who wanted to post articles on their blogs. It now has evolved into the system to use to maintain and manage a website that has a blog capability.

WordPress can be used on a site for a solopreneur’s business and can scale up to be used for a large business with thousands of workers and many different departments. It’s really quite powerful.

Websites that are built on WordPress use a Theme which is the way the site looks to the visitor. Some are free and some are paid. If none of the themes work for you, you can hire a designer to design and code a custom theme for your business.

While WordPress works pretty well straight out of the box, there are a multitude of plugins that help add functionality to your site.

WordPress is a tool that can be used by beginners and advanced users alike, but there requires some things to use this tool.

  • You have to have your own website host.
  • You have to install a Theme for your website to show on the Internet
  • You will have to install Plugins for any additional functionality you might need.


  • WordPress is free for everyone to use so the barrier to entry is low
  • There is a wealth of information available and a huge community of developers and users for help and advise
  • You can make WordPress do anything you can think of
  • There are thousands of themes and plugins to choose from


  • WordPress requires you to have a website host
  • Using WordPress may require you to enlist the help of a developer for higher end websites
  • Some may feel that WordPress may not be the best system to manage a website

Create Your Website Through Squarespace


Squarespace is a fully functioning website publishing platform that is fully hosted by Squarespace on Squarespace’s servers. It’s a really slick platform to use for a website for just about any business, brand, or cause. Websites that are built on this platform take advantage of a subscription style service and can be as simple as a one page site, a full website, or a complete e-commerce solution. For anywhere from $7-70 a month, you can have a website that packs a lot of punch.

Subscribers to Squarespace have a choice of 35 different website themes, much like WordPress, and enjoy a “drag and drop” editor with many different content types to choose from.  Much like WordPress, you can edit your website from anywhere you have an internet connection.

To use Squarespace, pretty much all you need is a credit card and a computer you won’t need to download plugins or install any additional pieces.


  • Cutting edge website templates
  • Ease of use of platform
  • Everything you need is included, social media, analytics


  • Your website is hosted on their servers, so what happens if they decide to go out of business?
  • You may not be able to do exactly what you want on your site
  • You are limited to 35 layouts


WordPress and Squarespace are two of the hottest Website creation tools on the web today. They each have their own strengths and their own weakness. It’s up to you to figure out which makes the most sense for your organization or business.

Question for you is this, which would you prefer to use for your website? Comment below!

How To Get the Most Out of Your Web Designer

How to Get the Most Out of Your Designer

[dropcap background=”” color=”” circle=”0″ size=”3″]W[/dropcap]hen a business, brand, or cause decides to use the Internet to begin growing their sales, increase awareness, or promote an idea, they usually have two options. First, they can do it themselves and take on the myriad of things that require a solid web presence. Second, they can seek out someone who is knowledgable in website design/development, social media, or technology to help meet their needs.  But, how do you make sure that you get the most out of your designer? In this post, I’ll share with you some ways that you can ensure that you get everything (and more).

While it’s not impossible to do everything you want to for your business or organization, it’s often best to enlist the services of a professional. They have the knowledge and experience necessary to get your website, social media, or email marketing program up and running and done well. Besides, you should be working on your business, what you do best! Let someone else wrangle the pixels and other stuff for you!

Make Your Web Designer Sign A Contract

The online communications world is one where creativity, and creatives, reign supreme. Creatives are often more interested in providing a great design and functionality than they are great business people. That’s not always the case, but to be on the safe side ask that the two of you negotiate and sign a contract. I’m not an attorney, so specifics are up to you and I’m not able to provide legal help.

A contract will state what the work you are paying him/her to provide, various terms of payment, the amount of payment, and other necessary information. The contract will help protect both you and your web designer from each other if something goes wrong.

Provide Your Assets As Quickly As Possible

From your web designer’s perspective, he or she has great plans in store for your brand or business. He or she may have sketched and outlined your design, scanned in prototypes, and has probably sat down to type by hand thousands of lines of code to bring your design to reality. All this work though, is for naught, if he or she doesn’t have your assets to put the finishing touches on those designs.

Assets include website copy, photographs, videos, email addresses, logos, artwork, etc. The easiest way to make delivery seamless is to ask your designer to sign up for a cloud based service, like Dropbox, Google drive, or some other service. If necessary, create a secured file and share via FTP (File Transfer Protocol).

Over Communicate With Your Designer

Many times in the client/consultant relationship problems arise because there isn’t enough communication between both parties. So, the way to get the most out of your client/designer relationship is to be sure that you communicate sufficiently with your designer. Do not be overbearing, but ask them if you can get them anything else to help them with the project. Create systems to follow up with requests, status of the work, information needed, anything.

In this age, it’s never been easier to stay connected. Phone, text messages, Facebook Messenger, etc., all make it very easy to keep in touch. You can even use online tools like Slack, Nozbe, Trello, etc to keep in sync with each other. Find what works for you and insist that your designer use the same tool.

Be Patient With Your Designer

It’s every designer’s goal to provide their clients with the best in service, design, and development. Most creatives, if not all, thrive on doing a great job for their client. But, sometimes a client can be over bearing, demanding, and micro-managing. Don’t be that client.  Seek to be patient with them over the course of the project. Obviously, whatever milestones or deadlines there are, keep those enforced, but be flexible. Understand that sometimes the things you expect from your designer will take time to produce and may take more time than expected.


Your relationship with your web designer can be a great thing and mutually beneficial for both, if you get a contract, over communicate with your designer, provide your assets as quickly as you can, and be patient with them as they serve you.

So, if you’ve ever worked with a web designer, what has been some of the things you’ve done to start off on the right foot and stay that way? Leave a comment below!

Five Reasons You Need Your Own Website

Five Reasons You Need A Website

[dropcap background=”” color=”” circle=”0″ size=”3″]A[/dropcap]business, brand, or cause has the option of getting online in many different forms. A business could start using LinkedIn to develop it’s business-to-business leads. A brand could use a Twitter account to start growing their audience.  A cause could choose to take out a Facebook page to start communicating with their customers or audience.   While all those options are a good choice, this post will share with you five reasons why you need your own website.

While yes, you may start your business on any of these social media accounts while you’re just starting out there will be a time when you will want to move up to a fully functional web presence. I believe you’ll want to do this sooner than later.

But, what exactly do I mean by a web presence? What I mean by a web presence is a fully functional website that is hosted on a web server.

Your Website is a Property You Control

First, by creating your own web presence  you’ll be establishing a fixed piece of “property” that you’ll have complete control over. When Facebook changes it’s algorithm your web presence will stay the same. When Twitter changes their timeline your tweets may not show up, but your web presence will still be seen by anyone who types in your address.  Think of it as real estate or owning your own home.

Your Website is a Platform You Create

Second, creating your own web presence will give you as much flexibility as you wish to create your own platform on the web. You’re only limited by your imagination and your budget. With Facebook or Twitter you are at the whim of their design teams and can only be as useful and functional as they allow. However, when you own your own property you can do whatever you want to do with it. There are no limitations.

Your Website is a Personality You Curate

Third, when you have your own web presence you can fully control your brand and how people perceive you. When personal branding is of utmost importance, your web presence is the chief tool to use. You can define yourself on your website using your own colors, fonts, design, and content. You are able to curate the very best of yourself and publish this to the web.

Your Website is a Possibility for Commerce

Fourth, you’ll want to have your own website to sell your own products of services online.  Lots of social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, etc. do allow you to publish content to the web whether in the form of Text, Photos, Videos, or Audio, many social media sites do not allow you to sell your products or services to your audience. I do know that Facebook recently has allowed you to sell on Facebook, and Pinterest has the Buy Now button. However, Pinterest’s buy now button is in beta and not yet available to everyone.

As a business or brand, you probably have products to sell or a service to provide. Therefore, you need to have your own website to sell products or services.

Your Website is the Power to Communicate

Fifth, and most importantly, your web presence is the best way you can communicate to your audience. You aren’t constrained by whatever social media accounts you have have available to you. Some only allow you the ability to communicate one way, the way they create their platform to used. You are able to combine all forms of media, print, video, audio, into one package. Using your website you can store your files so that no matter what happens, your content is always available to you and your audience.


There you have it, five reasons to have your own website. A property you control, a platform you create, your personality you curate, the possibility for commerce, and the power to communicate.

What other reasons are there? Do you agree with this post? If yes, why? If not, why not?

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If you’re ready to get started with your own website, contact me for more information.

Three Tips to Keep Your iPhone Productive


Did you know that there are over 1.5 million iPhone apps in Apple’s App Store? And did you know that the average iPhone owner has over 30 apps installed on their smartphone? From Social Media, Finance, Sports, and Entertainment, there is no shortage of applications you could have on your phone.

On my iPhone, I currently have over 70 applications installed. I’m an over achiever when it comes to the statistic. So when I read Michael Hyatt’s post How I Optimize My iPhone For Maximum Productivity I took note of how disorganized and cluttered my iPhone had gotten. I needed a tuneup. In this post, I’ll share with you the three things that I did to tame my iPhone. These things will help you too.

Right now on my phone’s home screen I have the following apps:

  • Settings – I want to have the settings of my phone readily available
  • 1Password – A new app I’m trying to manage all my passwords. What I like about it is the ability to share passwords with others if I need to.
  • App Store – I have this app readily available should I need to update any other apps or hunt for new ones.
  • Wallet – While in my area there aren’t a lot of retailers that take Apple Pay, I still like to have this app easily accessible to pay for things.
  • Authy – I’ve never been hacked before, but with Authy I am able to engage two-factor authentication when using any of my accounts. This is a new app that I’m trying out.
  • Drive – I have lots of documents for work, my personal life, and with church, so this app gets the home screen advantage.
  • Dropbox – Since I also have many documents stored in Dropbox, this is also an app I have on my home screen.
  • Calendar – My wife and I share a lot of calendars of our work schedules, appointments, and events, so it’s a no brainer to have on the home screen.
  • Evernote – Evernote is my digital brain. From emails, shopping lists, to parts for stuff around the house, if it’s important I put it there.
  • Workflowy – This is a new app that I’m trying out. So to make sure I’m keeping it top of mind, it’s on the home screen. It allows me to create outlines for projects I’m working on, or other things I need to manage.
  • Safari – Web browsing is still important.
  • Way of Life – This is also a new app that I’m trying out.
  • Calculator – because I’m terrible at math, but great at using a calculator
  • Weather – knowing what the weather is or will be is nice when planning wardrobe, activities, etc.
  • Photos –
  • Camera
  • Maps – to navigate where I need to go
  • Spotify – I have a premium membership and love Spotify. I love finding new music to listen to.
  • Music –
  • Podcasts – I’m an avid podcast listener, so I want to always make sure I’m current with the shows I listen to.
  • Phone – for phone calls
  • Google Voice – I have a Google Voice phone number which I use for business calls. So, I keep it on my home screen to keep it accessible.
  • Social Media Folder – Contains Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, Periscope, Blab, Anchor, Messenger, and Pages
  • Business Folder – Contains Hours, Freshbooks, Google Calendar, Square Register, Contacts, Hootsuite, Facetime, and Paypal.

Here’s what I have on my home row:

  • Slack – I am a member of a couple teams that use Slack as their primary communications tool. So it makes sense to have this on my home row, always accessible.
  • Messenger – I probably send more text messages to people than phone calls.
  • Mail – I still get email from people, businesses, and potential clients, so I keep Mail on my home row.
  • Omnifocus – Omnifocus is my task manager app that I use

So, how did I tame my iPhone and restore sanity to my device? I performed three simple actions on my phone. You can too!

1. I deleted the iPhone apps I no longer use.

Before I cleaned up my iPhone I had around six pages of apps. With my iPhone 6+ that means that I had around 144 apps on my phone. So I started in earnest deleting the apps that I no longer used or were interested in.

Frankly, it was really cathartic to delete things from my phone I never used.

2. I organized my iPhone’s home screen and home row.

The idea behind productivity is to be able to access things quickly, do what you need to do, and move on to the next task. You don’t want to waste time hunting for the app that you need to enter in information or accomplish the task. So, moving the most used apps to the home screen is a must.

For you, find out what you use the most, what you need quick access to, and put those apps on your home page. That way you’ll be the most productive, knowing that all your most used apps are quickly accessed.

3. Use folders to organize your similar iPhone apps

If you don’t mind scrolling through pages of apps on your phone, then don’t bother with this step. But, if you want to keep your iPhone trim, you’ll want to use folders to organize your apps.

You can create a folder on your iPhone by simply touching an app icon, waiting for it to wiggle, and drag it on top of another app. The phone will present you with a field to name the folder.

You might use folders to organize your social media account apps like I did, business tools, games, etc. Using folders is a good way to consolidate pages of apps to one page.


If you’re a smartphone user like me, you’ve probably let your phone get out of control a time or two.  To regain control of your phone you’ll need to delete unused apps, organize your home screen and home row with your most used apps, and use folders to consolidate pages into fewer pages, organizing similar apps.


What apps do you love? What apps do you hate? How do you have your smartphone organized?

Share in the comments below.