St Louis web designers tip of the day: Protect your Computer

This week has seen some quite spectacular storm roll through St Louis. I had the misfortune of having my house stuck by lightening Tuesday night. Aside from the ear splitting bang, the strike blew a chunk out of my garage, tripped every fuse in my fuse box, and fried my phones and DSL modem to the land of complete non function. A nearby tree was also stuck and now bears an impressive scar.

After dealing with all this commotion yesterday it got me thinking about the computer “what if’s”. Here is a handy list of three easy tips to help prevent a catastrophic storm induced disaster.

  • If you know a storm is on its way unplug your modem, and not just from the electrical outlet,  unplug the cable providing your signal. If I had done this I would have saved myself the inconvenience and expense of a new modem.
  • Always use a surge protector for your equipment.  I have used surge protectors with a battery back up in the past. They are really useful for sudden power outages but in my experience they have a short lifetime. I  just use a standard protector and obsessively save my work as I go along.
  • If the worse comes to the worse and your computer gets fried during an electrical storm do you have your data backed up? There are plenty of options available these days from online services to stand alone hard drives.

Anyone else have any tips?
stike by lightening

2010 © St Louis Web Designer

St Louis web design blog evolution

When I first started this blog back in 2005 it was an experiment and educational process. I could see their potential and what better way to learn than start one for my own company. Over the last five years my blog has evolved and grown into an invaluable tool for attracting site visitors and generating leads.

Blogger was a nice easy platform to start on and I used one of their templates, modifying it to reflect some very simple Indigo Image brand elements. As you can see (thanks to the way back machine) it was pretty basic stand alone application.

first generation blog design

When I saw the amount of traffic visiting it became imperative to incorporate the main site’s navigation into the template from a usability standpoint . I developed a header which created a seamless transition from blog to the rest of the site and vice versa and had a consistent branded feel. I also introduced subject categories to better organize the ever growing content and give the visitor a different avenue to explore.

2nd generation blog

The momentum for the 3rd generation came from a complete site redesign. I took advantage of this to better position the blog subscription and offered users a number of ways to subscribe. The 3rd generation was originally powered by blogger but has been recently switched to WordPress ( this was due to blogger withdrawing FTP support). The switch to WordPress has made it easier to introduce additional functionality like a blog search (this is such an easy way for me to look up older posts) and better manage things like blog categories.

3rd generation blog

So what’s in store for the 4th generation? I will definitely be taking advantage of the functionality offered by WordPress and some ideas are certainly beginning to formulate but not quite there yet. My main objective still remains the same though, but they are secret so I will keep them to myself!

2010 © St Louis Web Designer