12 Web design tools and blog ideas…

I am working on redesigning my wife’s photography blog the next couple of week’s. I am doing a complete redesign, re-branding and restructuring. I figured I could share some tools I am looking at as well as give some inspiration through two posts I’ve looked at. The first set of tools are ways to evaluate your website for speed, how the user thinks and design. My favorite on the list is Google Website Optimizer because it only takes 5 minutes and works amazingly well! Check out the full list of 12 tools at 1st Web Designer’s site.

The second site is some amazing blog designs that help inspire me when looking at Annie Agarwal Photography. These designs will help you with choosing colors, making a layout and how to the user interacts (and stays) with your blog. Be sure to look at Demain J’arrete (the whole thing is done comic book style!) and Thomas Bishop (simplicity).

What are some of your favorites?

***Edit, Google just released an App Creator for Android devices called the “App Inventor.”

Random Video Thursday

Here is another batch of vids to help your Thursday out!

This video is an amazing presentation of the Gospel through Graffiti:

Justin Bieber must die! Watch until the end to see her emotions change when the phone rings (fast forward if you can’t take the crying):

Sunday’s Coming by North Point Church…be ready for this one:

Amazing effects by Lifechurch.tv:

And finally Photoshop CS5’s amazing “content aware” feature:

Free WordPress Installations

I love WordPress! Yup, that was easy to say.

I love it so much that I am going to start offering free WordPress installations – well up to what I can handle.

I want to start really developing my skills as well as help people who really have no clue about blogs/webpages/Twitter/etc.

Here are some current sites I maintain:

Here is what I will include in the FREE installation:

  • Installation of self-hosted WordPress blog
  • Help with choosing a theme
  • Plugin setup: SEO, Social Networking, Backup, etc.
  • No design is included (that takes some serious time)
  • I’ll do basic CSS editing

What’s the catch? Nothing, seriously, you don’t have to sign up for any hosting services or any credit card offers, just give me your firstborn child (kidding…).

Just contact me through Twitter or Facebook and we’ll get started on a blog or website.

Windows 7?

A couple of weeks ago I received a “Windows 7 party pack” in the mail. This giant box screamed super cheezyness to follow… it was. The box had Windows 7 bags (which make great grocery bags, they are solid!), streamers, coupons, branded logos and playing cards (seriously, I can’t make this up). However, it also had a Windows 7 Signature Ultimate Edition enclosed as well (both 32 and 64 bit)! I’ve been wanting to upgrade since Vista and Photoshop were not working well together for me.

I popped the dvd in and bought a new 1TB hard drive (not because of Windows 7 but because my wife is a photographer, crazy 5MB pictures!). When the loading screen came up, I was so worried that, like previous Windows installations, I would have to do multiple formats and installations due to errors. I clicked through two screens, typed in my key, skipped activation and said start installing. Through other installs I knew I would have to sit there for a little bit until the process finally started. So I went to check on my kids super quick (well, super quick as in 20 minutes to stop fights, bathroom messes, etc.) and sat down at my computer. When I looked up Windows 7 was running. I looked at the clock, yup 23 minutes. I sat there dumbfounded for about 2 minutes trying to figure out if this was a trick.

I started playing around…it worked. I couldn’t believe it, so I went to my device manager expecting to see a bunch of yellow exclamation marks (this means that hardware was having an issue). Only one was there, for my wireless adapter. Got the driver from my laptop and it worked super fast! The stinking thing hasn’t crashed since (even Vista crashed on day one from Dell)…and it is so fast! I know I know, it is a new installation but for real. With installations being faster, file transfers from backups faster, navigating faster, I am happy! I’ll keep you updated but I am very impressed with Windows 7. It helps that I got it for free but as a professor I also get it for $15!

Have any of you played with Windows 7 yet? What are your thoughts?

Is it wrong…

Is it wrong that my goal in life is now to own an iPhone? I mean the $80/month bill, the constant distraction of applications, my kids clamoring to use it for the games and oh ya the possibility of getting overcharged because I text way too much.

When I mentioned this to someone they said “that’s fine, as long as you love Jesus.”

Sold!