Archive for January, 2006

Custom 404 pages

Good Morning
I Have Been Thinking

Seems like all I can think about is design, design, and then more design. There is so much that we can talk about that make esthetic differences in a web site. Are you going to please everyone? Not hardly! Like any other art form, people have differences in what they believe to be esthetic and pleasing. So as far as design is concerned, you may want to design first what is pleasing to you, or if you are working for someone a client. Next you may want to survey the target market, then make changes based on your survey. Does this take some time to do. Obviously it does. Is it w! orth it in the long run? Absolutely! It will mean the success or failure of your site.

I was asked last week to explain how to make a custom 404 page. Isn’t it annoying when you go to a page link and get that “page not found” error page? Well, with a custom page you can make it a pleasing experience for a visitor and maybe not loose them forever.


Ice Breakers

An old man in Phoenix calls his son in New York and says, “I hate to
ruin your day, but I have to tell you that your mother and I are
divorcing; forty-five years of misery is enough.”

“Pop, what are you talking about,” the son screams.

“We can’t stand the sight of each other any longer,” the old man said.
“We’re sick and tired of each other, and I’m sick of talking about
this, so you call your sister in Chicago and tell her.” And he hangs up.

Frantic, the son calls his sister, who explodes on the phone, “Like
heck they’re getting a divorce,” she shouts. “I’ll take care of this.”

She calls Phoenix immediately, and screams at the old man, “You are NOT

getting divorced! Don’t do a single thing until I get there. I’m
calling my brother back and we’ll both be the! re tomorrow. Until then don’t

do a thing, DO YOU HEAR ME?” and she hangs up.

The old man hangs up the phone and turns to his wife. “Okay,” he says,

“They’re coming for Thanksgiving and paying their own way!


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Early in the twentieth century, scientists observed that the bumblebee’s ratio of body weight to wingspan is disproportionate, so, aerodynamically speaking, bumblebees should not be able to fly. Bumblebees pay no attention to scientists. That’s a good thing other wise they might never dare leave the ground again.

Do you listen to those who say you “can not” do this or that. Do you let those who undermined you get to you or do you call yourself a bumblebee and just do it.

What is your bumblebee story…

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If you own your domain, your web host will most likely offer you the possibility of uploading a custom! ‘404 Error’ page, which will be automatically displayed every time somebody tries to access a non existent URL within your domain.

You can design your custom error page using the same editor you normally use to create your regular web pages. There are a few things you can take into account when designing your error page, to provide your visitors with the best possible user experience:

* Brand your error page with your logo and the look and feel of your site.

* Provide your visitors with a link to your main page (homepage).

* Include a link to a site map, or display links to the main sections of your site.

* Include a search box for those visitors who don’t want to take time to navigate your site to find the information they need, so they can just type-in their selected keywords, and immediately get a list of all the relevant pages within your site.

If you want to know exactly how to do this check out the tutorial http://www.iswinning4u.com/easyhtml/html/404pages.html

Become a member and learn something new every day. This is a most important part of the magnificent seven http://www.winassoc.com/Training/Magnificent_7/mag7.html

Read new forum entries on creative ways to
maximize your time and accomplish the Magnificent 7:

Happy designing!


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Good Morning!

I Have Been Thinking

Good Morning, and welcome to all our new subscribers! I hope that you had as great a weekend as we had. I knew it would be good, but good doesn’t do it justice. Not only did I learn a lot, but met many many wonderful women in the process.

Sometimes though I would get all stressed over the work that didn’t get done over the weekend so I decided on Friday that I am just not going to worry about it – there is almost nothing that couldn’t wait until I got back today. I wonder, do you ever do that? Especially when you business is new? Then when you business gets somewhat stable, don’t you feel kind of tied to it? Well isn’t that the whole reason you went into business for your self to get away from that tied down feeling? Well my friend that is the whole reason I tell you, no I actually preach to you – manage time or it will manage you!.


Ice Breakers

I was having trouble with my computer,
so I called the computer guy over to my desk.
He clicked a couple buttons and solved the problem.

As he was walking away, I called after him,
“So, what was wrong?”

He replied, “It was an ID Ten T Error.”

A puzzled expression ran over my face.
“An ID Ten T Error, what’s that, in case I need to fix it again?”

He gave me a grin.
“Haven’t you ever heard of an ID Ten T Error before?”

“No”, I replied.

“Write it down”, he said, “and I think you’ll figure it out.”


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“What would life be if we had no courage to attempt anything?”

– Vincent Van Gogh

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Color or hue is such an important part of design, but the study of color is a whole new study all by itself. As you know color is light or rather reflective light. Look to the rainbow as an example. The word represents! a specific color or wavelength of light found in the color spectrum, ranging from red, to yellow, to green, to blue. There are two special focuses in color, one being “additive”, which is found in lighting (found in television and the computer screen). The other area “subtractive” color found in paintings, prints, and other tangible objects colored with pigments or paints. So now it is easier to see why the color you see on your computer screen is often much different than the color you see in paper.

Become a member and learn something new every day. This is a most important part of the magnificent seven http://www.winassoc.com/Training/Magnificent_7/mag7.html

Read new forum entries on creative ways to
maximize your time and accomplish the Magnificent 7:

Happy designing!

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Good Morning
I Have Been Thinking

I am getting so excited. I am going to a very special design retreat over the weekend. I know when I get back my e-mail boxes are going to be overflowing but whatever the pile up of stuff I am so looking forward to getting away and learning a lot of new things from very excited people.

You can’t imagine if you have never been to a sales convention or a design retreat how exciting it can be and how much one can learn not just from the presenters, but from every single person there – at least as many as you can get around to meeting in 3 days. I should have tons of new tips and ideas for you when I get back. If you have questions I will get to them as quickly as I can upon my return.


Ice Breakers

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scribbled some words of wisdom inside.

He sent me back a note saying, “Thank you for the gift.
Also thank you for the advice. My mom always told me
that you were full of it.”


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“Difficult as it is really to listen to someone in affliction,
it is just as difficult for him to know that compassion is listening to him”.

-Simone Weil

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What is it that makes up a design? The basic of it is line, mass – shape or plane, color or hue, movement, space, value, texture and finally typography. Can you draw anything without lines? When I went to floral design school, the first thing the instructor drilled in was, “first you establish your line, then you can do anything you want within that line.

In a web site, you are working with a single dimension something flat but with color, movement, value and yes texture you can add uniquely you characteristics making the site come alive.

Color can be a definite challenge in web design simply because colors are often viewed completely different than the color you expected. And they can be different on every person’s monitor depending on their own personal settings. So where color is concerned you are not always in full control.

Become a member and learn something new every day. This is a most important part of the magnificent seven http://www.winassoc.co m/Training/Magnificent_7/mag7.html

Read new forum entries on creative ways to
maximize your time and accomplish the Magnificent 7:

Happy designing!

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Good Morning!

I Have Been Thinking

What a difference a day makes. I didn’t get much sleep last night for working all night, thinking about so many things that the mind never stops to rest. But this time unfortunatly it was not creative restlessnes.

When do you get your best ideas? Some people it is in the shower, some in their sleep and some when they are driving. What is the one thing they have in common? They are virtually physically at rest.

Do you write? Do you doodle? Do you create charts? They each have their own part in the thinking process. The thinking process! Did you know there is an actual series of steps that make up this process and every person goes through them whether they realize it or not.


Ice Breakers

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At a morning press conference, Attorney general John
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notorious Al-Gebra movement.

He is being charged by the FBI with carrying weapons
of math instruction.

“Al-gebra is a fearsome cult,” Ashcroft said. “They desire
average solutions by means and extremes, and sometimes
go off on tangents in a search of absolute value. They use
secret code names like ‘x’ and ‘y’ and refer to themselves
as ‘unknowns’, but we have determined they belong to a
common denominator of the axis of medieval with
coordinates in every country. As the Greek philanderer
Isosceles used to say, ‘there are 3 sides to every triangle’.”

When asked to comment on the arrest, President Bush
said, “If God had wanted us to have better weapons of
math instruction, He would have given us more fingers
and toes!!


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“Prayer is not asking for what you think you want, but asking to be changed in ways you can’t imagine”.

– Kathleen Norris

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The thinking process is actually a circle. A circle by definition has no beginning and has not end. First on this never ending circle is to define. Define the problem or situation. Then it is analyzed, you pick it apart you look at it from every aspect. Then an idea is born following the statement — “I wonder if…” A path or way to go is then selected for implementation. Once the solution to a problem or situation is implemented, it can then be further defined, analyzed, ideated and implemented.

A friend of mine said to me today, “the best time to do something is when you think about it even when it is wrong.”

Become a member and learn something new every day. This is a most important part of the magnificent seven http://www.winassoc.co m/Training/Magnificent_7/mag7.html

Read new forum entries on creative ways to
maximize your time and accomplish the Magnificent 7:

Happy designing!

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Essential Elements

Good Morning
I Have Been Thinking

It’s been a rough day yesterday. Have you had days when no matter what you do everything goes to hell in a handbasket? Well that was my day! I probably would have fared better if I had just gone for a long walk or went out and spent some money. but I don’t just go out and buy a new pair of shoes. These technical gadgets sure do cost a whole lot more.

Well, me for one and certainly glad that I don’t have very many of them.

Have you been checking out the new technical gadgets? I think I had better lock up my checkbook and my credit cards, but a tablet input device for drawing, and one of those 23 inch flat panel screens – oh my!! But I guess I am just going to have the put the magazines away for awhile. Let’s see, what have we been talking about? Oh now I remember – design!


Ice Breakers

“Biblical Baseball”

Baseball was a well-established sport even in biblical times.:
Genesis 1:1 … “In the big inning”
Genesis 24: … 15,16 “Rebekah went to the well with a pitcher”
Numbers 11:32 … “ten homers”
Second Kings 25:16 … “and the bases which Solomon had made”
Psalms 19:12 … “Who can understand his errors?”
Psalms 26:1 … “1 have trusted, therefore, I shall not slide.”
Jeremiah 15:7 … “And I will fan them”
Ezekiel 36:12 … “Yea, I will cause men to walk”
Luke 17:17 … “but where are the nine?”
Galatians 5:7 … “Ye did run well”


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“A life of reaction is a life of slavery, intellectually and spiritually. One must fight for a life of action, not reaction.”

Rita Mae Brown

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What are the design elements on a web page? First of all there is a banner and more often than not it contains a logo of some kind. A banner can be anywhere from 60 pixels to 650 pixels long and 40 pixels to 100 pixels wide. (BTW a pixel is a unit of measurement I kinda compare them with stitches per inch when sewing)

Next you might consider buttons for navigation, and they come in all kinds of sizes and shapes limited only by the imagination. They can be javascripted, or flash animated but their purpose is to make it easy to find your way around the site.

The next might be a horizontal line that is used to separate parts of a page.

What I want you to look closley at however is they are all geometric shapes. When you think of these elements as squares, circles, and triangles it gets a whole lot easier to see what you are looking at.

Become a member and learn something new every day. This is a most important part of the magnificent seven http://www.winassoc.co m/Training/Magnificent_7/mag7.html

Read new forum entries on creative ways to
maximize your time and accomplish the Magnificent 7:

Happy designing!

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Try Being a Critic

Good Morning!

I Have Been Thinking

Why learn design? I have been thinking about this a lot in the last few weeks when I decided to devote the month of January and February to the various aspects of design. While it is true, you don’t have to be an artist to create a really pleasing and profitable web site, you are working with all of the various design attributes. Yesterday we talked a little bit about thumbnails and roughs. And I could probably bet that you have all used this tool at some time in your life to think through a design process, you just maybe didn’t realize that you were using a design tool.

I have said many times that in web design there are in actuality two elements, graphics and text. But additionally you will be working with all of the elements of design – color, harmony, balance, movement, focus and yes, even texture.


Ice Breakers

Bill was a frequent user of a pay telephone at a popular truck stop, and was greatly inconvenienced when the phone went out of commission.

Repeated requests for repair brought only promises.

After several days, Bill again contacted the phone company and told them there was no longer a rush. The phone was now working fine… except that all money was being returned upon completion of each call.

A repairman arrived within the hour!


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“Success consists of getting up just one more time than you fall.”

– Oliver Goldsmith

Daily Tip
Do join us, Check your daily TIP on line at

I have a little exercise for you in the coming week. Go surfing! Find several sites that are appealing. See if you can identify the elements of design that do make the site appealing to you. What is it that ! attracts your attention? What is there in the page that you would identify as the focal point? How many colors are being used? Look beyond the words being used and only at the design. I will be doing some critiquing of sites and posting them in the forum.

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What Is Formatting

Good Morning

I Have Been Thinking

I do hope that you have had a wonderful weekend! It was beautiful here in the mountains. We are enjoying a very mild winter.

This week’s topic is all about formatting pages. This week I hope to spend some time on design. Since that is my favorite part of Web Design, it is the art of the subject. How does the page look? What are the esthetics? What makes a good site? What makes a poor site?

If you are a member you can read the article in the forum, or wait until about Feb 10 and pick up the monthly e-book.


Ice Breakers

– Old doctors never die, they just lose their patience.

– Old electricians never die, they just lose contact.

– Old farmers never die, they just go to seed.

– Old garage men never die, they just retire.

– Old hackers never die, they just go to bits.

– Old hardware engineers never die, they just cache in their chips.

– Old hippies never die, they just smell that way.

– Old horticulturists never die, they just go to pot.

– Old hypochondriacs never die, they just lose their grippe.

– Old investors never die, they just roll over.

– Old journalists never die, they just get de-pressed.

– Old knights in chain mail never die, they just shuffle off their metal coils.

– Old laser physicists never die, they just become incoherent.

– Old lawyers never die, they just lose their appeal.

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What exactly is formatting? In very simple terms it is the layout of words that make it easier to read and helps to point out importances. Thumbnails and roughs are the designers blueprints. Thumbnails are small layouts or sketches of an idea, usually no larger than the size of a stamp. Mainly they are used to help sort through ideas so the best idea can be further developed.

Most people don’t even realize they are doing something that is considered “technical” when they sketch out their ideas on a napkin, but this is the beginning of the design process. It doesn’t matter how rough it is at this point. Hehehe, maybe that’s why it is called a rough.

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Happy designing!

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