Tag Archive: tutorials


Hacker“Aw, Crap”.  You may find yourself using this phrase or something stronger if your website or blog gets popular, and you find yourself hacked. Hacking can take many forms from phishing (spoofing your URL), to redirects where the hacker uses your site to direct traffic to their own, or spamming where the hacker inserts their own keywords on your site to boost their own Google rankings.
Google is aware of these tatics and will flag your site in search results if you are hacked.

DO NOT ignore these flags. Click the instructions and check your site for malware. If there is no malware, you may have one of the hacks mentioned above.

Since most bloggers are not web developers, Techsnoop has a quick and simple fix.
Find out when your site was hacked and restore all files from a date prior to the hack. Then change all passwords. Your blog and web host passwords. Make them completely different and stronger.  It is OK to write down your website passwords as long as you keep them offline and somewhere secure.

Techsnoop was recently hacked with a “Pharma” attack.  This code was placed in my site, invisible, but searchable by Google and making my blog look like spam (links & inappropriate words removed);

One italian study looking at the Levitra Online.. diagnoses of wall street. Representation appellant represented order to give Insight Into The Payday Loan Process .. them major pill viagra. As noted the size locations presence or by Generic Cialis Online .. dewayne weiss psychiatric pill communications. Service connection on and are addressed cash loan .. in treating erectile mechanism. Eja ..medicine of disagreement nod Viagra .. in adu ..problem? Isr med assoc j montorsi giuliana meuleman e ….Unsurprisingly a long ..in place by Cialis .. an ..devices have obesity. Effective medications it can be attributable to Viagra .. change your doctor may change. Thus by tulane university researchers published in july the secondary condition the two matters the arteries.

WTH?  My blog is on technology, design and movies.  But spammers use your search rankings to get their own increased.  Since Google is on to them, it doesn’t work long, but it makes your rankings suffer.

If you catch this right away, you can preserve your standings.  So,

  1. Search your sites every week and check your Google Analytics to make sure your site is not going down in the standings.
  2. Use the “remember your password” function of your browser so you are not typing in your password every time.  This makes them accessible to keylogger viruses.
  3. Scan your computer frequently to clean out any malware or viruses that may be dormant but sending out your information to hackers.

Because Techsnoop checks search rankings and Analytics every week and so only had this for one week.  Imagine if you are hacked and don’t find out for months?  The damage to your rankings would take months to repair.

So, as Techsnoop blogged earlier this week, Security is critical for small business.

(Credit: DKemp Designs)

Are you a web designer who needs to understand how to integrate jQuery into your web designs?

Techsnoop is here with timely tutorials on how to link jQuery files to your sites so they work smoothly.

The first tutorial is a basic one of how to add jQuery to your site so it works properly.  The second is a bit advanced, but it gives you a simple demonstration of how jQuery can jazz up your sites without using Flash.  Since many mobile devices do not support Flash, it is important to be device neutral in your designing.

Whatever your design role is, understanding how jQuery adds dynamic movement to the web is important.  Movement and interaction are key concepts that “sell” your site to customers.  Anything that results in higher conversions is a best practice for future of web development.

Have a great week and get your skills polished.

 

social mediaSo, you have your own business and need to stop playing with social media and leverage it.

Good for you!  Small Business is the grease in the economic cog and social media can help.  What can social media do?  It dramatically expands the exposure of your business.  Managed properly, it can bring you revenue from customers you might otherwise have never met.  It can also cement your brand, establish your credentials and showcase your work.

Where to start?  Get a management tool such as Crowdbooster, TweetDeck or SocialSafe.  These tools allow you to check multiple accounts, messages and schedule tweets or Facebook posts in advance.  The benefit is that you don’t come across as a spammer, don’t forget important posts and can manage your social media presence effectively without it sucking up all your time.

SocialSafe is my new favorite toy because it stores your info from all the social media profiles and allows you to keep up with who unfollowed or unfriended you and review posts and tweets across the major outlets.

Why is it important to track this information?  To protect the integrity of your account and thus, your online reputation.  Status People is a great online app that checks your followers to find out how many may be “fakers”, spammers who follow you briefly to get more followers so they can send out spam messages.  Who needs that?

Next, focus on content.  Great, useful and uplifting content is what brings and keeps followers.  Engagement with followers through retweets and shout outs is also important.  Once you get over 500 followers, you will not be able to mention them all on a regular basis, so set up a core group and add a rotation of others as you can.  Thank them or mention something they have offered recently.

Finally, be polite.  Manners count when no one can see your expression or hear the tone of your voice.  Don’t use all caps except for emphasis of important points.  Be nice even to the negative comments you may get or, just ignore them.  Don’t unfriend or unfollow just because you don’t like a particular comment.  But Do unfriend or unfollow excessive profanity or unprofessional postings.  You don’t want your business to get a negative reputation by assocation.

The next part of this series will be next week and will talk about the pros and cons of Google+ and LinkedIn.  Let us know in the comments if this has been helpful to you.

 

 

Hey, designers.  Ever had a great 2D photo you wished you could make a movie clip with?  Didn’t want to be stuck with a flat, boring slideshow?

Well Techsnoop has the answer to your problem with this great tutorial from JSWoodhams.  Thanks for the great video showing how to achieve this effect with Photoshop and After Effects.

So, break out the Coke or coffee and pay attention!  Oh, and please let us know if you want more of these tutorials to be posted in the comments.  Have a great week.

socia mediaWhy blog?

Many small business owners and freelancers are confused by the multitude of social media options and how it can increase their reach.  Blogging is one way to increase the reach of any business provided the blog offers useful information presented in an engaging way.

Photos and video are one way of engaging readers, but sought after information consolidated in a non-confusing prose also can be useful to your readers.  Adding your social media contact buttons and website links can encourage readers to visit your sites and begin to recommend you.

In the loud, crowded Internet marketplace, recommendations as an expert in your field are like gold.  Recommendations separate you from fly-by-night shysters who only want to skim quick profits as opposed to building customer relationships that last.

How to get started?  Create a list of topics you are interested in and have experience with.  Write a bunch of random thoughts down.  They don’t need to be complete sentences or written nicely.  Just free form write whatever comes to mind.  Put it away for a day.  Come back and select a topic to expand on, then, do your research.  Look up information related to your topics that will be interesting to others.

Write two or three posts before beginning to publish and review them carefully for typos and grammar before publishing.  Choose free pics or graphics or make your own that relate to the topic.  Then link with social media to complete the circle.  All of the resources gather and increase traffic and traffic is the first step to online business success.

Stop by frequently for further blogging tips and let us know if this inspired you to start a blog.

Happy Monday.  Time to crack open the coffee and Coke and get back to the design grind.  If you have no current projects, this is a great time to pre-solve some tricky procedures.

Unless you are a design guru, Techsnoop is sure many aspects of using files in After Effects has you scratching your head with “now what”.  Importing files and transforming them into spectacular works can be different every time.  But this great tutorial from Adobe TV should help clear the fog, at least with files created in Illustrator.

Branding is a complex process that involves a number of people and trial and error.  However if you are a small business start up you likely do not have funds to hire professional branding firms or to undertake extensive market research.

So how do you establish an identity for your business that will stand out in the crowd?  First check out the competition.  See what is working for other companies similar to yours.  Do not copy them, but make notes on things they have in common.  Color is a great place to start, for instance, blue is a highly used color in many logos and websites.  Blue conveys trust and dependability and so is used to create a bond between customer and business.  Black equates with value and sophistication and thus the rise of black websites and business cards.

Use tools like Kuler from Adobe to create and select complimentary colors for logos, text and website graphics.  The site allows you to upload a photo you like and create a color palette as well as creating color mixes on the fly.  Having a firm color choice can make the web design process faster and cheaper.  Colors create the tone and can suggest a theme for your company communications.

Instead of using expensive market research, try out your brand with a small run of business cards, Facebook cover, Twitter background and mailers.  Enlist friends and family as test audience.  As you collect customers, ask for honest feedback on your marketing materials.  Ask what made them come to you or what caught their eye.  Also ask what they feel doesn’t work as this is the critical part that needs changing.

Choose a graphic designer who is comfortable creating a logo and graphics that will evolve over time and will include this in the pricing.  Don’t expect your designer to make changes for free.  Know that designers charge based on time, talent and creativity.  The combination is what causes variation between designers.  If your budget is really low, you need to consider using an intern with the expectation that the project will take longer and quality may be less.

Finally, look at your brand carefully to make sure it feels right for you and your business.  The whole point of your brand is to convey your uniqueness, if this doesn’t come through the brand fails.

Element 3D not only provides effects, it can animate your objects.  This terrific plug-in is actually a program within a program for After Effects.  It even has its own interface that comes up when activated.  Objects can be completely manipulated, duplicated and animated within the scene.

Techsnoop puts this in the top 10 must-have designer tools.

There is no argument that Adobe stepped up their game with CS6 release of design tools.  InDesign, in particular has received some great updates and tweaks.  With Liquid Layout, you can quickly change the size of a current design to fit a new device or layout type.

Adaptive Design helps you link content and create alternate layouts from the start of a design.  It allows the designer to adapt for any contingency up front and save design time later.  Both of these tools can save pain and time when working to meet publishing deadlines in the graphic design world.  And working quickly and painlessly is one of Techsnoop’s favorite things.

Grab a Coke or coffee cup and take a quick look.

Here is a great way to create a 3D space background in Adobe After Effects.  Backgrounds are the glue that holds scenes together when creating videos and effects.  If your background is fantastic, your entire project looks better.

Happy Wednesday