Interview: WeaselPants Productions, The Twitch Streamer

I’ve decided to do lots more interviews of my customers, other people in various (related) parts of my industry, and more. You may have seen the interview with Cyndi Premzon of Tempest Mystic Products, a customer we made an e-commerce site for fairly recently. Today, we’ll talk to my oldest customer, dearest to my heart: my husband. (A running joke is our house is: “get in the kitchen and make me a website, woman”.) Some people may know him from his Skippy’s List fame: The 213 things Skippy is no longer allowed to do in the U.S Army. Others know him from his company, WeaselPants Productions, LLC that made the run-away indie tabletop game, Redshirts. He’s been making games his whole life, and during our marriage, even went to college to learn to make video games and spent time in the video game industry. Currently, he’s working on a Kickstarter campaign for second and third editions of Redshirts. Here is Jonathan Schwarz, aka Skippy’s story.

Tell me about your gaming background. From childhood to professional.

Well, when I was in first grade we had this big board game about monkeys on boats. It was horrible, so I started making new rules to fix …

Sample Contract for Web Design, upvote on Reddit to Support

A contract template refers to a template used for writing a contract. There are many different types of contracts, including employment contract, construction contract, photography contract, and service contract. A legally binding agreement, a contract makes two or more parties liable to one another. The process of document creation is boring but it’s an essential part of running and growing your business. Contracts are a vital component of any business and they should be treated such.

Upvote the Contracts on Reddit

We have shared the contracts on Reddit in the web design subreddit. If you find the contracts helpful, please help to upvote our post on Reddit. Since we don’t like to buy Reddit upvotes, we rely on your support to upvote the post so that more people can benefit from the sample contracts. Designers and developers feel free to use or share this contract, however, use at your own risk. I can not guarantee how will this contract will work for your situation or location’s business laws. Also, note: this is a WORK FOR HIRE contract. We do not license our work; we transfer ownership to the client. Do also note how our billing works. We don’t do …

Website Redesigns – Part 1: Why You Need One

So you’ve had your site for a few years, and not much has changed. Maybe you’re getting a lot of traffic. Maybe you get little to none.

Time for a website redesign.

And you ask: “Why? Why do I need to spend time and money on a website redesign, when mine is just fine. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”.

Well, that’s the thing: YOU think it’s not broke. But odds are good, if it’s sat there with the same look and code for a few years, it’s broke.

1. SEO Changes Constantly

What were best practices for coding your site for SEO a year ago, or 3 or 5 years ago, no longer apply. SEO is a moving target. If you want to keep up with page rankings, a redesign is a good way to go. Additionally, if you have a WordPress site, there are new and improved plugins for SEO. My favorite, for all sites, is WordPress SEO by Yoast. This plugin developer is constantly updating his plugin to keep up with search engine algorithm changes. He also provides lots of excellent features for SEO. It’s also very easy to use.

2. Your Site Looks Dated

If …

Website Redesigns – Part 2: How To Make an Effective One

And now…

Time for a website redesign.

The site you’re seeing now is a complete redesign and rebranding, that launched December 2014.  A LOT of time and planning went into this.

With a website redesign, you don’t just sit there and start throwing out ideas, or haphazardly adding or removing content or site features. There are specific steps to take for your website redesign to truly accomplish what you desire.

Which brings me to my first point.

1. What are Your Goals for this Site?

Drive traffic to a contact form? Sales through the site (e-commerce/online sales)? Other? Think this through, and build a site strategy around that. Write it down so you always have this in mind as you work with your web designer or make the site yourself with a website builder. Create a flowchart and/or outline to help you figure out to get visitors from point A to B. And remember: not all visitors arrive via your home page.

2. What do Your Visitors Want From Your Site?

Do you know your target demographic? (Age, sex, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, shopping habits, B2B or B2C styles, goals, etc?)

Has anyone given you feedback as to what …

What To Do When You’re Bored With Your Niche, & How I Became a Web Designer

This month’s Word Carnivals topic: “Every once in a while, you look around you and nothing seems to be in its place. That’s when it’s time to burn everything down and start from scratch. This month’s Word Carnival topic covers the sticky business of getting bored with your niche and what to do with yourself once that happens.”

I have plenty of advice on that. I’ll begin, by telling you the story of how I became a web designer.

My first introduction to the Internet, was an old boyfriend in the ’90s, using a computer to talk to people on BBS boards about the actor Bruce Campbell. As much as I LOVE Bruce, I didn’t get the point of talking to random strangers about him. Otherwise, I had no clue what the Internet was.

Now, I always wanted to go to college. But we didn’t have the money for it (and the government said my parents made too much money…holy crap were we broke…I bought my own stuff…so that was hilarious in a sad sort of way). We did not know that I was supposed to apply to colleges before my senior year, or if my parents were turned down …

It’s Still YOUR website! Or Is It?

In the 14 years I’ve been designing websites, I’ve seen good, bad, and ugly situations when it comes to website ownership. Today, we’re going to talk about the ugly.

When I take on a new web design client, one of the first pieces of information I ask for are the logins to the client’s web host. The responses I frequently get range from “OK, here they are” to “I don’t have those, my last web designer/employee/my cousin has them and I don’t know what they are or how to reach them” to “what’s a web host?”.

Many of my clients do not have the basic information they need as a website owner. It does not matter who you hire to handle your website affairs, if you signed up for and pay for the hosting and domain, then it is still your hosting and domain. All account logins are yours and you should have a copy of them stored somewhere. If you have a website made for you, you should have your own copy of the website too. A copy stored on YOUR computer and/or a CD, DVD, or portable hard drive. You don’t want your only copy of your website …

Part 2 of WordPress Plugins: 14 Awesome WordPress Plugins

Long overdue, as promised: my favorite WordPress plugins! (Suddenly, I hear Julie Andrews singing My Favorite Things.) If you haven’t seen it yet, you’ll also want to read Part 1 of WordPress Plugins: Do’s and Don’ts for WordPress Plugins.

But wait, there’s more!

This is by no means all of the plugins I like and use, just some of those I use more frequently, or found when I needed something and nothing else worked as well. Also, this list is so long, I’m putting spam-related plugins in their own post, and I might do a 4th post on social networking and blog post improvement.


I’m sure we have readers that are tired of reading about WordPress. So next post, we’ll take a break from WordPress and then I’ll post Part 3 after that one. We’ll rotate these out so everyone is not WordPressed Out.

I’m going to be linking to each plugin’s page in the WordPress Plugin Directory. I’ll also have links to the website creator’s site for your reference as well (plus, I want to give them all some SEO link love because frankly, they deserve it). Plugin devs, if you run across this post and want …

How to Get Your Small Business, MORE BUSINESS, During the Holidays

This post is for online stores, local shops, and all the small businesses out there…

First, Kabbage has an excellent page: 30 Creative Ideas to Promote Your Business for the Holiday Season. Make sure you check it out. That said, I’ve got more to add.

“Kabbage puts the power of business growth back in your hands by giving you instant access to funds. Enjoy ongoing access to your line, and take the funds you need day or night. Pay only for what you take and draw against your line as often as once a day.”

Kabbage has a variety of options to get cash for your business. I have not worked with them personally, but after some investigation, the results look good. I also called their sales office and asked questions: lots of good answers with ZERO PRESSURE sales. They are quite passionate about helping small business owners. You can find them at Frankly, when I’m in a position to take out a loan, I intend to work with them. I like what I see.

Now then:

The problem for most small business owners: we’re doing almost EVERYTHING. We can’t afford to outsource or hire people, especially if …

Tips, Do’s, Don’ts, Best Practices, and Useful Information for Your Facebook Timeline & FaceBook Likes

Facebook Timeline is Here: Set Yours Up Right!

Got the new Facebook timeline and have no clue what to do with it? Frustrated with it? You don’t have to be. Personally, I love it. You will too, once you discover all of the awesome things you can do with Facebook timeline. I’ve got what you need to know to get started. While this post is primarily aimed at business, non-profit, and other pages, there are still plenty of how-to’s that apply to personal timelines. Optimising FaceBook timeline is free marketing, unlike buying AppSally FaceBook likes, which can cost quite a bit.

1. Don’t panic!

Take a deep breath. And look at all the goodies. They give us a lot more room to really personalize our walls and you have to like Facebook for that. This is a good thing. From a marketing standpoint, it’s an excellent thing. Open your mind and get ready to make use of it. Businesses that survive, adapt. You can do it!

2. Update all Facebook page likes information

Keep it up-to-date. Fill in any blanks. Get it all in there: contact info, about the business, and all that useful stuff. You do that by looking …

Part 3 of WordPress Plugins: 8 Awesome Anti-Spam WordPress Plugins

If you didn’t read the prior posts, definitely check out the 2 prior posts in the WordPress series:

  • Part 1 of WordPress Plugins: Do’s and Don’ts for WordPress Plugins
  • Part 2 of WordPress Plugins: 14 Awesome WordPress Plugins

To keep this post short, from a security standpoint, for now I’m going to focus on spam and blocking various IPs from your WordPress site. I’ll address other security issues in a future post.

As before, I’m going to give you 2 links: one for the WordPress plugin repository, one for the plugin author’s site. You can get the plugin at plugin repository, or via your installation of WordPress by going to Plugins > Add New and putting the name of one of these plugins in the search box.

I link the author’s site for those who want to do further research for the plugin, and as a bit of SEO love for these WordPress plugin developers.

This is not a comprehensive list of all plugins. This is just a list of those I have the most experience with or people I know have recommended. Feel free to join in the comment section with any WordPress anti-spam plugins you have found.…