Getting Started with PhotoShop

If you want to add great visual content to your website or blog, sooner or later you will probably consider getting to grips with Photoshop. This is by far the most capable graphics programme available, but with all of that power comes a steep learning curve. There are plenty of good videos on YouTube which will get you started. This one is good for the basics, but there are also progressively more advanced tutorials from the same author which will enable you to build on your skills:

Training Courses

If you want to get up to speed quickly with PhotoShop, you might want to consider taking a training course. There are classroom type courses in all the major Cities and a Google search should find one near you. I recently took an advanced course in London with a Company called Paul Brown Training and although not cheap, I learned a lot in just one intensive day. You could also think about taking an online course, an option which often works out a cheaper and many can be taken at times to suit your lifestyle.

How to Install and Configure Word Press Plugins and Themes

Word press Plugins are not hard to use, they just require some time, patience and a little knowledge of Word Press Themes. Word Press Themes are made up of template files. It uses template files like modular building blocks that are used to combine to gather to build a single web page on your blog. Template files consist of a header, sidebar, footer and content areas. Each Word Press template file contains code which collects information from the database and displays it on a generated web page.

Go to “Plugins – “Add New” and enter the name or search term to find the Word Press Plugin you wish to add. TO get the information about the plugin, installation help, applicable word press versions, etc., click “Details” under the Plugin name. Click “Install” under the Plugin name to install the plugin. If the Word Press Plugin is installed successfully, the resulting screen will notify you that the plugin is installed and awaiting activation. If you wish to activate it, click “Activate”. Leave the page if you want to delay it.

If the Word Press Plugin does not install, Word Press will notify you. In this case you may try the manual method of installation. Before proceeding with the manual method, make sure to check if there is an issue with the Plugin, version of Word Press, server access or other compatibility issues. Before getting started always check the “Detail” page and read if others have had the problem with the plugin before.

To install Word Press Plugin manually, follow the below steps:

  1. Download the latest version of Plugin.
  2. Access your site’s server with the help of an ftp program.
  3. Copy the Plugin files or folder to the “/wp-content /plugins folder.
  4. In your Word Press administration panels, click on “Plugins” from the menu at the top.
  5. You will see your new plugin listed here. If the new plugin is not there, use your FTP program to check if the new folder is present. If it is not present, upload the files again. If it is present than delete the files and upload the folder again.
  6. To turn the Word Press Plugin on, Click “Activate” on the far right side of the list. Check your administration panels or word Press blog to see if the plugin is working.

Configuring the Word Press plugin:

Generally, the Word Press plugins are inserted in “Word Press Plugin” tab under “Options”. Most of the users prefer a user friendly method by placing the tab under “Comments”. You can place the plugin anywhere you like. Configuring your Word Press Plugin could mean setting a few options about the visibility of the plugin content and choosing the options that you like enabled. Some plugins require adding or changing default information. Few plugins require you to add files elsewhere in your Word Press set up. Some plugins require you to change file permissions, known as CHMODE, on a file or folder.  To see the changes a Plugin makes on your blog, you have to clear the cache memory first. This is called “Refresh”. Hold down the “Shift” key and “F5” in Internet Explorer to clear the cache.

The following short video should bring all of this together for you:

Tips on Choosing a Web Hosting Company

Choosing a right web hosting company is essential for a good start up. Here are a few points that you may want to consider:

  1. Know your hosting needs.
  2. Investigate on reliability and uptime guarantees.
  3. Study web host upgrading options.
  4. Check all hosting features.
  5. Check prices on sign up and renewal.

Know your hosting needs

Before you can proceed, think carefully on your hosting needs:

  1. What kind of website are you building?
  2. Do you want something common (a blog for example)?
  3. Do you need any applications that are essential for your business?
  4. Any special software required for your hosting site?
  5. How big or small can the web traffic volume go?

Have a clear picture in your mind for at least a year. For a new start up, it is best to start with a share hosting account. A shared hosting account is cheap, easy to maintain and sufficient for most startups. Also, there is an option to upgrade to VPS or dedicated hosting when your site grows.

Server reliability and Uptime:

Check if you can keep your web host operational for 24×7. Ensure that the web host is operating on a powerful server and stable network connections. The uptime score should be above 99.5%. Uptime score below 99% is unacceptable. You can track your webhost with server monitoring tools such as Uptime Robot.

Server upgrading options:

A shared hosting account should be sufficient to support a proper optimized Word Press blog with 3000 – 40000 monthly unique visitors. If you manage to limit your concurrent database connections below 20, then you know you are doing well. If you expect your website to grow big in next 2 to 3 years, then you should consider purchasing a web host with space for upgrade. From shared hosting to VPS or Dedicated server. A dedicated server provides you with more processing power. Large memory capacity, increased disk storage capacity and better security features.

Multiple add on Domains:

You may consider owning more than 1 domain names. This is a good strategy for a successful startup. To accommodate more domains, we need extra hosting space. Thus, we need to have a web hosting account that allows adding multiple domains. Most budget shared hosting companies allow at least 25 add on Domains

Hosting Signup and Renewal costs:

For shared hosting, the charge is very low at sign up but much higher on renewals. It is a fair way of attracting more clients. If you are willing to spend for 2 or more web hosts every 2 years, than you can avoid the high pricing of renewal. IT is essential to check the Terms of Service and make sure you are okay with the renewal prices before sign up.

Refund policy:

  1. If you choose to cancel your host within the trial period, does the company provide full money return?
  2. Check the refund policy after the trial period.
  3. Do they charge any cancelling fees?

Cheap Web Hosting

Reliable web hosting doesn’t’ have to be expensive. Here are a few hosting providers which I’ve personally used and found to be fine for small WordPress blogs. Most only charge around $1-$2 a month!

Here’s a short video which will help you to get it right:

Upgrading Your PC to Water Cooling

When doing a lot of intensive design and graphics work, it can help to have a  decent computer to work on. There are lots of ways that you can upgrade your current PC though, sometimes without spending too much money.

Water Cooling

One very worthwhile upgrade is to convert your PC to water cooling. Water can absorb heat much better than air. It is a good element for cooling your computer system.  It works by running water over each of the computer components, transferring heat from every part to the radiator that dissipates the heat and keep the water cool. You can cool your processor, graphics card and other hardware components more effectively. Water cooling is useful for those that perform high resource utilization tasks like video and picture editing, gaming, etc.

Water cooling keeps your hardware components cooler during heavy loads without compromising the power and the output. Water cooling is a bit costly and involves certain amount of risk.

Components of water cooling

  1. A water block: Water block is a block that is mounted on the hardware component you want to cool.  Water blocks are available for several components like graphics card, chipset, processor and hard drives. However, water cooling is much important for processor and graphics card.
  2. Radiator: A radiator keeps the water cool as it flows through the loop. Radiator comes in multiple sizes, usually designed for certain number of fans. The larger and thicker the radiator, the more effectively it will be able to dissipate heat. Our radiator is 240mm fan (meaning you can attach two 120mm fans to it), but you can get small or large fan radiators.
  3. Reservoir: Reservoir holds the liquid in the loop, and helps the bubbles to flow easily. Reservoir can be mounted inside or outside the system case.
  4. Pump: Pump helps in pumping the water in the loop. Pump comes attached with the reservoir and it can be bought externally as well.
  5. Fittings: Each of the cooling components required two fittings. The fittings allow them to connect to each other with the help of tubes. Barb fittings can be used with a spout or compression fittings, that comes with second piece that can be screwed tightly.
  6. Tubing: Tubing connects two components between each other. It allows the flow of water between two components and it comes in multiple shapes and colors. Ensure that the Inner Diameter (ID) of the tubing’s is same as that of Outer Diameter (OD) of the tubing’s.
  7. Coolant: You will need a coolant that comes separately and is added partially to the distilled water. It is very effective and is cheaper than anything else. Apart from coolant there are other additives that you can try:
  8. Biocide keeps algae and other junk from growing in your loop. It helps in saving water.
  9. If you have multiple metal parts in your loop, using an anti corrosive can help preventing these metal parts from corroding.
  10. 2 to 3 drops of dish soap that acts as surfactant and will help you get rid of bubbles in the loop.

There are some drawbacks of using water coolants as well. It is very complicated for installation and a bit expensive. You can always go with a d all-in-one kit in order to avoid compatibility issues later.

It’s Easy to Create Your Own Website!

There has never been an easier time to to setup your own website. There are numerous website design tools that a complete beginner learn in a couple of hours and web hosting can be had for a pound (or dollar!) a month.

I’ve put together a number of articles in this blog to help you get started and I’m assuming that you’re doing most (if not all) of it yourself. You don’t need any particular skills already, if you’re reasonably proficient with a computer you can build a website.

I think it’s fair to say that one of the easiest ways to get started is by creating a blog. You could just go to WordPress.com and set up a few pages, however you will find setting up a blog in a domain of your own will be more rewarding.

Thank you for stopping by and I hope that my blog will help inspire you to create your own website!