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6 Warning Signs of a Potentially Bad Client

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I was recently racking my brain trying to recall the moment that I knew I was no longer a design newbie. Then in a flash of realization, it came to me: it was when I trusted my gut enough to know when to turn away apotential client for the first time. It can be a scary proposition at first. Particularly for new designers who are hungry for work. We live in a society that drills it into us to take any job we can get and to be thankful for it.

Warning Signs of a Potentially Bad Client

6 Warning Signs of a Potentially Bad Client

While I appreciate the sentiment of having a good work ethic, (and I like to think that I do), there are certain clients out there that I wouldn’t touch with a ten foot pole. The two biggest reasons I have for turning down a client are:

  1. I will never make this client happy
  2. I will have a hard time getting this client to pay me

How do I know this? Well truth be told, I don’t really KNOW. One can never KNOW that for sure, but there are many small behaviors that I have observed over the years that have come to be known by me as “tells.” When I first started observing them, I took note, but I brushed them off because I really wanted the work. Then almost without fail, the clients that I picked out as difficult to deal with quickly became impossible.

Here are some of those tells… Sigue leyendo

Is the Development Community Alive?

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Every now and then we’ll see a new design blog pop up, and for good reason — they become popular fast and can easily stay that way. This industry is definitely over-saturated with design blogs, as they are a great source of inspiration and the community that takes advantage of these blogs is so very alive. We see blogs, communities, forums, membership sites, active social media, and so much more from the design community.

Because of this, it’s so much easier for a designer to get their foot in the door than a web developer. With a much more active community, it can be easier to network, learn and grow. There is a community for nearly every profession available, but it’s merely that some communities are far more alive than others. With the design community so thriving, where is the development community nowadays?

Is the Development Community Alive?

Is the Development Community Alive?

Current Development Blogs and Communities

The development community fortunately does have a small spark. There are some quality communities out there that are for developers, to help them grow and learn new techniques, best practices, and strategies every day. There are communities out there that can unite even us web developers, especially those of us that are only developers and not designers at all.

NetTuts+ is a very active and versatile blog that sticks to web development and web development only. Of course, there are a range of other sites in their network that cover the design industry and beyond, but it’s nice to see a blog like this sticking to only development and consistently provide high quality resources.


Stack Overflow
Stack Overflow is a community set up a lot like Yahoo! Answers or Quora, but specifically targeted at the development community. Any developer has likely landed here several times to find an answer to a coding-related question via Google search or otherwise. This very active community is great for discussing best practices or finding specific answers to a development related problem.

Stack Overflow

Cats Who Code
Cats Who Code is another blog that is focused on development only, with some high quality tutorials and posts. The blog is updated not every day but still regularly, which is a lot more than you can say for the majority of development blogs that have popped up over the years!

Cats Who Code

Build InternetSigue leyendo

5 Tools for Integrating WordPress and Twitter

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What advice did people give you when you first started blogging? I bet I can guess. Newbies attempting to make their mark are told again and again that the key to growth is to write, write, write. ‘Don’t think about it’ web elders bark. ‘Don’t agonise about it. Don’t dream about it. Just click your New Post tab and do it!’

Almost every article you’ll read advises you to kneel at the altar of the Regular Update. Regular updating is the key to more visitors, a lower bounce rate and increased Adsense revenue, we are advised with a scholarly nod.

While this advice is far from all-you-need-to-know (personally, I’d emphasise a few other things first: choose a narrow topic that you know a lot about, get involved in web communities covering similar topics, don’t try to monetize too quickly, choose a powerful platform like WordPress, etc, etc.) it is important.

Integrating WordPress and Twitter

A dead blog is one of the most obvious things to spot. A political homepage post about Hillary’s run for the democratic candidacy? A fashion blog with no mention of colour-blocking? A music site without a single snide remark about Dubstep? You’ve got yourself a deady >>>> Sigue leyendo

Top 10 Ways to Embed Video into a Web Page

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Since digital camcorders and video editing software became accessible to the large audience, it’s no longer a challenge for anybody to make a video. This fact underlies a lot of web trends, namely the sky-rocketing popularity of video sharing portals and widespread use of video content across websites and blogs.

A good piece of video can help you deliver your message more effectively, educate readers, stimulate discussion and get your brand going far beyond your own domain.

Happily, it’s not a problem nowadays to integrate a video into a web page, as there’s a lot of different tools to assist with this task. Some of them are free, others are pricey. Here is a roundup of the most popular means of web video embedment.

Embed Video into a Web Page

10 Ways to Embed Video into a Web Page… Sigue leyendo

Understanding Domain Names: Why and When?

As a web professional, there are things we have to deal with outside the realms of development and design. Sometimes it’s a matter of business, sometimes it’s keeping our finances in order, and every now and again, the subject of branding, re-branding or protecting our brand hits our to-do list.

Understanding Domain Names: Why and When?

When you begin your journey into starting up your first freelance portfolio, this information will play a vital role in how you represent yourself, however, that’s not to say that this subject won’t recur later on.

Online Brand Availability

If you ever want to launch that start-up idea you have, or if you want to build a new business, a basic knowledge of domain names is critically important. After all, it represents your office’s address.

Website Address
Figure 1: The website address is critically important, thought should go into its branding.

Within this article, we’re going to explore your options, once you’ve got yourself an idea for what (if anything) your new project should be called, and critically, what your project actually does. Because it’s not a sexy chore, and somewhat frustrating to find that perfect domain (with lots being sucked up and left unused), it’s one of the hardest challenges you’ll likely encounter.

With the advice below, you’ll at least have an idea of which domain types matter, and thereby, which you should focus on attaining (and if you can’t get it, when you should reconsider your brand due to unavailability).

Prioritize: The Trendy Three

Domain names in truth are a little biased to whether the audience can remember the extension. It might seem ideal to snag yourself a free .TK domain in preference to buying a more easily recognised extension, but that will work against you when your visitors begin trying to locate you for the first time. While increasing numbers of TLD’s are becoming available on the Web, the truth is that visitors will automatically assume your site uses one of three extensions: dot COM, NET or ORG.

Perhaps this feels a bit unfair due to the lack of good available names in the system, but if you can get one of the top three (or all three if the brand is named really creatively), you’ll put yourself in an ideal position.

Most widely recognised extensions
Figure 2: Dot COM, NET and ORG and the most widely recognised extensions. Get them if you can!

When you’re working with the top three domains, the great thing is that they’re often among the cheapest to register, and even more critically, all domain and hosting providers will likely support them (in terms of offering the ability to register and renew ownership). While I would say it’s not as essential to own one of the big three as it used to be (due to more people becoming web aware), there are still a huge number of people who don’t understand the web, and won’t likely realize that extensions exists outside of .com, .net and .org exist, so they do still hold sway over consumers. Sigue leyendo

A Dozen Tricks Used By Clients To Manipulate Freelancers

Since the dawn of time, mankind has tried to find ways to get people to do what they want. Sometimes they employ strong-arm tactics and sometimes they use deceit, but most of the time they use manipulation to bend people to their will.

They have used tried and tested forms of manipulation for thousands of years and for the most part these techniques have worked pretty well. But they only reason they are so successful is that most of the intended victims don’t even realize that they are being manipulated.

A Dozen Tricks Used By Clients To Manipulate Freelancers

12 Most Used Manipulative Tricks Employed by Clients

If they did recognize these techniques for what they really are, then they would lose all of their effectiveness. Just glancing over the list below could save people from being manipulated in most circumstances.

1. Using Common Misconceptions

This is one of the most common manipulations in the entire world and most of the time not even the person using it understands they are being manipulative.

Using Common Misconceptions

This manipulation involves taking a common misconception and stating it as if it were a fact just to win an argument or force the other person to do what you want. It is a tactic that is frequently used by parents in order to keep their children in line.

Here is an example:

Freelancers don’t do the same kind of quality work that a large corporation does and they don’t have as many overheads either, so I can cut down their salary base by 20% and still get the type of work that I want.”

2. Taking Advantage of Divided Attention

This is another very classic manipulation. Instead of asking a person for something while they are giving their full attention to them; the master manipulator will ask for something while that person is preoccupied. This is a common practice among women who are looking to get their husband to do something while they are watching the game. It is also used frequently by people to control their co-workers.

Client:”I need this report done by Thursday”
Freelancer:”I have quite a bit of work on my desk today, but I should be able to get to it.”
Client:”Oh, can you also do one little assignment for me by say, Saturday?”
Freelancer:”I am really strapped at the moment.”
Client:”It’s just a little assignment. Won’t take much time.”
Freelancer:”Ok, send it on over.

The client then sends over an assignment that consists of three parts and would take at least a week to complete.

3. Taking Advantage of a Superior Position

This is a manipulation that is often used by people in positions of power. People such as police officers, doctors and politicians are the most common perpetrators, but it can be used by almost anyone in an authoritative position.

Taking Advantage of a Superior Position

They use their authoritative positions to convince their intended targets to forgo their own common sense in lieu of theirs.

Here is an example:

“I spend millions of dollars on freelancers every year, and every single one of them works for the salary I just offered you. If you don’t won’t to do the assignment for what I am willing to pay, then you are missing out on quite a bit of work.”

4. Topic Dialing

Topic dialing is when a person wins an argument by quickly changing the subject to a completely unrelated topic that is only distantly related to the original subject. The effectiveness of this technique is usually dependent on how fast they can change the topic. They faster they can change the topic, the more successful it is likely to be.

Here is an example:

“I heard that Stephen King worked as a freelance writer before he became a novelist. During that time he was able to write five or six reports at a time and have them done within a week or so. He could really crank them out. By the way, do you think that you could finish this assignment in the next day or so?”

5. Assumption of Guilt

This is when the manipulator assumes that a person is guilty of something by observing only the smallest amount of evidence.

Assumption of Guilt

Here is an example…. Sigue leyendo

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