Upgrading Firefox Web Browser? Read This First

There’s a post on the Web Marketing Pro Blog for anyone considering upgrading their Firefox browser from version 1.5 to 2.0. Some of your add-ons, extensions, even passwords, may be lost when you upgrade.

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Great Free Font Tool: Find Fonts Online with Identifont

Identifont is a free online tool you can use to figure out the name of a font when all you have is a sample on a Web page or in print. If you have ever racked your brain trying to purchase or download a font that matches one you have seen somewhere, check out this free Web-based tool at www.identifont.com.

Identifont walks you through a series of questions and lets you choose the characteristics of letters, numbers and symbols until you find the font you are looking for — or one that closely resembles it.

Identifont Web-based font finding tool

The easy-to-use, Web-based interface on Indentifont.com walks you
through a series of questions until you find the font you are looking for.

The tool works best when you have a full set of letters, numbers and symbols to refer to. If you only have a limited number of lower-case letters in a logo or tagline, for instance, you will have a harder time choosing characters that match.

Before buying a font you like, check to see if a free download is available. Click here for several free font resources on fonts.com.

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Free Web Hosting and Blog Services vs. Buying Web Hosting and a Domain Name

Someone asked me yesterday about the state-of-the-art in website development for beginners or for people who don’t want to spend a lot of time learning HTML or CSS. I told him to check out mcbuzz.com for ideas about what’s available, but I realized I don’t have a post addressing this.

Web publishing has changed a lot in the past 4-5 years. You really can have a website or blog up and running in less than a day — without knowing HTML, CSS, PHP or any other code. You don’t even need to know how to use FTP (File Transfer Protocol), which is what you normally use.

The way to do this is by using one of the many free services available.

What’s the difference between a blog and a website in this context? Well, WordPress allows you to use a “static” webpage as your home page. A “static” page is one without any chronological (aka “blog”-style) entries. Blog entries are short “posts” like the one you are reading right now. They always have a date, and they appear in order of most recent to least recent.

A website can be created and maintained using “blogging” software like WordPress without including any chronological entries. In terms of what the reader sees, there is no difference between such a site and a standard website. I don’t think Blogger has this feature.

Google Page Creator uses a more traditional website format: you create a home page, then add other pages like a Contact Us page — or whatever you want. There are no chronological, blog-style entries.

THE BOTTOM LINE: SHOULD YOU USE A FREE SERVICE?
Some small businesses might want to use a free web publishing service to get a site up quickly. Put the domain or URL (the website’s address) on your business cards and other promotional materials and you’re good to go!

Is this a good long-term strategy? For a business, I would say definitely not.

As Rae Hoffman says in this excellent post, “Before You Launch That Small Business Website“, one of the most important — and easiest — things you can do for your small business website is to buy a domain name.

One of the main advantages of doing so is the stability it offers for your site and for your business’s image or “brand”. Search engines like domain names that have been around for a while better than domain names that have not. So buy one now, use it and hang on to it. No matter where you decide to host your site, you will always have the same domain name and people will always be able to find you there. (You can change hosts without changing your domain name. — not true if you use a free service like Blogger.com, Google Page Creator or WordPress.com)

And, with your own domain name, you can create e-mail addresses for you and others that use the same domain. Again, as Rae Hoffman notes, “yourname@yourbusiness.com” looks much more professional and permanent than “yourname@hotmail.com” or “yourname@yahoo.com”.

Can you still use software like WordPress if you don’t use a free web publishing service and you don’t want to learn HTML code, etc.? Absolutely.

Many web hosting providers now offer WordPress installation as part of their hosting services. Ask about it before you sign up. If that’s not available, there is also a group of altruistic voluteers affiliated with WordPress that will install WordPress for free on whatever host you select.

If you need help with any of this, post a comment below!

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