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CitrusKiwi's Web Design, Internet & Marketing blog

Get hints and tips about web design, SEO, and things internet. We also discuss online security issues, showcase new client websites and offer hints on marketing and networking.

Braveheart on life

In the classic, but alas, factually incorrect film "Braveheart", on the eve of his execution William Wallace utters a very stirring line, "Every man dies. Not every man really lives." And Mark Twain s...
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Credit card processing woes

When we began CitrusKiwi 9 years ago, no merchant processor would touch us. No surprise really. Brand new company, owner brand new to the USA, no credit history. We had a lot going against us. So we w...
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3 free & easy Windows productivity tweaks for 2018

Over the New Year I added a new SSD drive to my computer. Nope, THAT wasn't free, but it was pretty easy, AND it is FAST! In case anyone's interested, I bought a 1Tb Samsung 850 PRO III SSD. Note, get...
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5 steps to getting testimonials

We all used to do our pre-purchase "research" using the Yellow Pages, but no more.  Well over 1/2 of all pre-purchase research is now done online, with as high as 83% when it relates to books, music, movies, computers & electronics according to a PriceWaterhouseCoopers study in March 2012.  In today's buying world, people are looking at specs, at prices and at recommendations.  Recommendations can be from authority sites - Cnet, PC World, etc - or in the form of testimonials.   And that's why testimonials are so very important to your website. I always tell clients, "We need a testimonials page" when I'm talking about their new site.  A sadly overwhelming number fail to see why or have even considered it.  I figure the only reason this is so common is because 20-30 years ago you could trust almost anyone in business.  Everyone knew about the bad ones because they...
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Backup or die!

This week I got a very timely reminder about the value of backups, and being on top of your internet security.  Despite the best efforts and intentions, if you don't know, don't assume!  When one buys space of a reputable, respectable and established host, it's reasonable, but very dangerous, to assume they would have put into place all the necessary security measures, right?  Wrong! This week - well it came to a head this week; the actual damage had been done around Valentines Day - our server got hacked.  Not as badly as it could have been, but enough to be more headaches than a mild irritation.  Obviously I've seriously tightened up security - things which I foolishly assumed would have automatically been put in place already.  That was my mistake, and I am grateful only 1 client suffered anything (2 days without a site) due to my mistake. The great...
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A lesson from crashing your plane

I've recently gotten back into Radio Control modeling after a 35+ year absence. My home club is AMOS RC and you can see their site (which we designed and maintain) here . It's a really fun hobby, cheaper than golf, but it  teaches some hard lessons - like New Years day this year. Being a novice (I was never terribly proficient in the 70s), it's easy to get confused about your plane's attitude in the air and what appropriate control responses are required.  Such was Wednesday... confused pilot, plane too close to the ground - the inevitable happened!  So it's now waiting for the arrival of some new parts so we can get airborne again! The point of the story is this.  We all go through various circumstances in life and we have the ability to choose to grow from them or to wither because of them.  Don't let anyone try...
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5 reasons you don't need a backup

I had the misfortune of having Windows grind to a complete halt on me this week necessitating a total reinstall. To lighten the mood, read this amusing piece - thanks to annoyances.org. Now back to the gloomy stuff. After spending hours trying to fix it by applying numerous "fixes" off the net, I gave up and resigned myself to the reinstall which ended up taking a day to complete. Happily, I had the disks to reinstall, and backups of my important data. Oh, but, of course, backups aren't needed right? REASON 1 - Computers are reliable now. Yeah right! The fact that computers run at all, given the permutations of hardware sometimes astounds me. And while they are more reliable than before, they certainly aren't infallible - especially netbooks and laptops which suffer from "heat exhaustion"! Then throw in a whole bunch of software and there's a good recipe for an...
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All over bar the shouting!

Well, it's late on a Thursday night - a little bit late on this entry, but I figure I have a semi-decent excuse... I had a wonderful day seeing my youngest daughter getting married here in Auckland, New Zealand. Despite some threatening weather on Friday, and a less-than-encouraging forecast, the weather behaved well and about 1 minutes drizzle was all the inclemency we got. Whilst the ceremony went off without a hitch and everyone had a great time, building a good marriage is a lot like doing a good job on SEO. You don't say, "I do!" and then do nothing more. Both partners need to work weekly or daily at building love and care into their relationship. Do nothing for a year and, oh boy!, things just don't run well! Yet so many website owners believe SEO is a one time fix - and that's like leaving a marriage at...
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How to fail in business

Those who fail to plan... ...plan to fail. I've heard that ever since I started school...errr... a number of years ago! And, I suspect, it's even older than that. I couldn't find out the bibliography for it, but it's actually irrelevant. The fact is if you don't have a destination (a plan) any road will get you there. Men have a justifiably bad reputation of refusing to ask for directions when driving (I have been there so many times!), but so many business owners approach growing their businesses in the same haphazard way (ummm, you DO want your business to grow, right?) That's your first goal - decide the ultimate end for your business. The Ray Kroc's, Bill Gates's and Steve Jobs's of the business world didn't wake up one morning and decide to build a one shop, small business. The visionaries were just that - visionaries where the end result...
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Is 2012 the year of the turn around?

Obviously, the hopeful among us (and probably a bunch of the pessimists too!!) will answer, "YES!!".  One thing for sure, we'd all like it to be... in fact we'd all have preferred 2011 or 2010 to have been that year. So are there really any economic indicators that are showing the economy is recovering?  There was a rise in IT salaries this year, though not huge, however the whole IT sector is pretty healthy, despite the fact that so many companies are abandoning the USA and sending jobs to India, Asia and Latin America.  Whilst this cheap labor seems a boon to the bottom line, consumers are likely to vote with their feet when an American alternative appears.  This is why we don't outsource. Overall, most hiring managers appear to have a similar mindset to last year.  Approximately 1/4 (23%) of employers plan new hires for 2010, down 1% from 2011. ...
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Why we use Advanced Web Rankings software

Just over a year ago, we got our hands on 2 great pieces of software - Advanced Web Ranking and Advanced Link Manager .  At that time we wrote quite a substantial review on what we found as initial reactions to this software.  We have now been using AWR for just over a year and we are still as happy with the help it gives us as we were when we first reviewed this wonderful piece of SEO software .  AWR automates the incredibly important, but time consuming task of checking the rankings of the website we administer.  If we had to break it down to some bullet point of "Why we love AWR", it would go like this. 1. Time management. AWR frees up valuable time to be able to move onto cash producing tasks such as marketing, client meetings and actual design work.  A huge part of any SEO...
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A life saving tip for computer users

I've just flown back in from New Zealand yesterday, after a successful pleasure and business trip there.  Because the Internet knows no borders, it's very simple for me to work for clients in any country, and that was part of the reason for the trip to NZ - to visit existing, and cultivate new, clients.  To this end, I had my trusty WD passport HD with me, so I could still access important documents.  There ends the good news! The passwords document I had lovingly created many months ago had not been updated, due to my own failure to do so.  So I couldn't access the backends of many of my clients sites, nor get to them via FTP either!  Fortunately I didn't really need to, so there was no real drama, but there could have been. So my "life saving tip for computer users" is to back up, back up,...
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