Member since: Jan 15th, 2007
Oct 30th 2008 11:02AM Haven't yet installed it, Jason. Will do shortly on a non-production machine, but my Mac/Linux/super-geek friend IM'ed with: "it loaded my 80 tabs in less than 10 seconds."
Sep 21st 2008 9:40PM Lee, one of the tricks of some engineers is to remove the "big blue e" and put a FireFox icon on desktops and say yes to the default browser question before the owner can touch the machine. In one worst-case scenario (don't ask!), we mapped the IE icon to FireFox and honestly, the client didn't know but was happy we 'fixed' his computer so he didn't get viruses/trojans anymore. But if you're supporting family & friends and not getting paid but always on call, you do what you "gotta" do.
Aug 22nd 2008 6:02PM Hi Fred,Your ideas are pretty inspired! Given that a lot of the readers (of my small business ideas, anyway) are, well, small business people, they might just not understand a lot of what you wrote. Linux, good as it is (and I have a Linux box, right here, by my right foot, next to a Vista machine and one sporting XP Pro), may just not be a small businesser's solution yet. But when you wrote this: "...uninstall entries in the registry..." I had to giggle. My clients are absolutely not allowed to touch their registry files (typed very patronizingly-sounding, I'm sure) and I doubt many of them know what they are.The "art or human interest" comment? Too funny. But too real.All that said (or typed), one or two of your ideas are pretty good for my needs and I might just use them.
Jun 2nd 2008 11:42AM My company has a business account and pays for it; we were just assessed a monthly "surcharge" that is to pay for gas, among other things, for at-business visits (something we were lured into the contract to receive). I wonder if the ISP will exchange such charges or bandwidth capping for QoS standards to deliver us the download bandwidth promised in our service agreement in a reliable fashion? You think that's a reasonable request for business-level contracts?
May 31st 2008 1:21PM OK, here's my two-item Web Design Wishlist. We need a registrar who allows my company to have an account and manage domains within it BUT assigns sub-accounts for our clients so they can also access the domain without our having to have two logins (ours and theirs) and so they don't have our master login that manages hundreds of domains. It'd be cool if when we register a domain, it's right there in the interface and pre-populated with client data that we can upload.Second wishlist item for Web design firms:Our senior designer said yesterday that he needs client management software/database that doesn't purport to do billing (we have a billing program that we - and our accountant both like and don't want it duplicated). We need Web-designer client management that includes the stuff we do like domain management, different jobs per client, contact name/email/phone for the domain person (who isn't usually the design contact), allows updates and change-order requests and marks them with a status, tells us which stock photos we've purchased for whom, and generally understands the magical what we do scenario (like "jobs," or multiple sites for the same site owner).Anyone know of one? The OS ones we've looked into all want to focus on billing and frankly, we want one that talks to QuickBooks or FreshBooks or any "books" you have.
May 30th 2008 9:59PM There's another consideration for back-end site tools that isn't addressed by the well-respected but geekier responders above and that's what clients want. To almost a client, they hate back-end CMS editors (however GUI they are) because, simply, they cannot see the page while they are editing and as I mentioned in the article, we're a highly visual society. Online editors are forms to fill out, then publish, then preview in a browser, then figure out your image isn't aligned (you see where this going). Site owners think CMS editors are hard to use and generally don't like them. It's that simple.There's a difference between coders who can "see" a bunch of code displaying in their heads and know how to align and add CSS to a tag and then there's civilians who need WYSIWYG. That's probably the biggest reason I prefer Adobe Contribute. And no matter how often you explain it, there will be parts of the page off-limits to CMS users. Initially, they like that (glad to know they can't break it) and as time progresses, they want more control. I think we've all been there.Is there a CMS that real small business owners actually like over the long haul? What is it?
May 30th 2008 9:49PM OK, it ate my URL. Here it is in plainer text.http://www.downloadsquad.com/2007/05/08/scammed-out-of-your-domain/
May 30th 2008 9:47PM Actually, James, I am not going to agree 100% with what you wrote above. The client should make sure that his/her domain is registered to them and they can access it but the designer also needs some control or ability to modify it. Clients don't "get" DNS and trying to talk them through it when you're not familiar with the interface is torture. Godaddy has "assign an account rep" thing which is great but doesn't give the designer DNS ability. Please see this article for more.If our clients could manage Google Apps, I'd be thrilled. Too often, a client doesn't WANT the management but must retain ownership. I wish there were an easy solution so that the client had 100% and the designer could get 90% but not the ability to sell out the domain. OTOH, many of our clients are used to deleting anything that isn't directly in their interest sphere, and that's how domains expire. They want us to renew and bill them but we want them to act like domain owners.Recently, a slew of "is this domain info correct" emails went out and our clients were a trifle upset by them. Not understanding what they meant, they assumed someone was trying to steal their domains. There were lots of phone calls and emails while we tried to make each one understand the value of that annual domain checkup.IMO, the only safe thing is to work with developers you trust and who continue to earn your trust every day. I have no easy solution; domain ownership requires that domain owners grow into their roles and learn and understand domains. It's a process; we work with our clients every day.
May 28th 2008 10:49AM Drupal is a handy CMS and the cost is certainly worth salivating over; however, the audience is small business owners and they are likely not to have the time to invest in learning Drupal's ins-and-outs, which like any CMS, there are many.I encourage small business startups to consider free tools like Microsoft Office Live and Drupal (and the rest). That simply wasn't the audience for this column. No Drupal disrespect; it's a fine tool for the right job and with the right Drupal-smart developer.
Mar 21st 2008 3:15PM James, we may soon have JUST that. Stay tuned.
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