Google Color Picker Tool

So here’s a quick tip that is incredibly useful when trying to pick out a color for your website. Search “color picker tool” on Google, and you’ll get an excellent little tool right there on the browser!

Move the slider left to right and drag the white circle around until you find the exact color you want. This free tool gives you the Hex color code, the RGB values, the CMYK values and more! Easy peasy!!!

3 Easy Design Tips

Whether it’s motivational quotes, funny memes or holiday messages, everyone loves sharing graphics on social media. Here are 3 easy tips to make your graphics look their very best:

1 Limit Fonts

Use only 1 to 2 fonts on your graphic. Too many different fonts styles can create visual chaos and make the design look messy.

2 Align Elements

Alignment keeps things visually organized and creates a professional look.

3 Use White Space

Don’t try to fill up all empty areas. White Space balances out content, gives focus to what’s important and make a design look less cluttered.

2019 Pantone Color of the Year

In case you haven’t heard, the Pantone Color of the Year for 2019 was announced last month, and I’m really loving their pick!!! The color is called PANTONE 16-1546 Living Coral and it’s described by the company as “an animating and life-affirming coral hue with a golden undertone that energizes and enlivens with a softer edge.” It’s a beautiful shade that I’m excited to incorporate in several design pieces this year!

I’m an imposter!

I confess, most of my professional career I’ve felt like a fraud. I get uncomfortable when someone calls me an expert. Anxiety engulfs me whenever I’ve had to prove my professional skills or knowledge to someone because I don’t think I’m good enough — ever. Then a few years ago, while talking to my brother about everyday life and work, he confessed he felt the same way. Talking about it made us realize how silly we both sounded, so we went online to do research and quickly discovered that most people share these feelings about themselves too. It even has a name, the Imposter Syndrome.

It's almost like the better I do, the more my feeling of inadequacy actually increases, because I'm just going, 'Any moment, someone's going to find out I'm a total fraud, and that I don't deserve any of what I've achieved. I can't possibly live up to what everyone thinks I am and what everyone's expectations of me are.'

-Emma Watson

According to Steve Errey (The Muse), the Imposter Syndrome is “that stomach-plunging fear that you’ll be revealed as a fraud who has no idea what they’re doing.” That could not ring any truer for me! I’ve always felt like I’m not as skilled as people think I am. Compliments make me uncomfortable because most times, I don’t feel deserving of them. I am acutely aware that I suffer from imposter syndrome, and I recognize behaviors in myself that are related to it. For example, I tend to over-prepare for meetings, I micromanage projects, and I’m a perfectionist in my design work.

What makes matters worse, we live in a world where technology changes in an instant, so it’s hard to feel that you are an “expert” in anything. Plus, we are all connected through social networks where everyone’s picture perfect profile makes them seem like they’ve got everything figured out, which in turn makes it very easy for us to compare ourselves to anyone we think is more talented or accomplished.

So how do we overcome it? To be honest, I’m still battling with it every day. And although it can be debilitating to live with, it has made me a better designer. I push myself harder, and I constantly try to improve my skills.

For those who suffer from Imposter Syndrome too, I’ve put together a short list of ways that may help you conquer it:

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Realize that you are not alone.

According to John Gravois (The Chronicle of Higher Education), it is estimated “that about 70 percent of people from all walks of life — men and women — have felt like impostors for at least some part of their careers”.

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Try not to focus on your shortcomings or failures.

When you fail, you learn and get better. Instead, focus on your achievements and the value you provide.

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Try not to compare yourself with others.

Everyone has their strengths and abilities. Compete with yourself only!

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Talk about it.

Discussing it with my brother made us both feel better about ourselves. Writing this article has also been cathartic. I feel like I own up to it now, so while I still don’t consider myself an expert in my field, I don’t feel like I’m hiding it anymore.

The Do’s and Don’ts of Domains

An essential step for starting a new website is choosing the right domain. Here are a few do’s and don’ts to help you select and secure yours!

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Do register the domain yourself.

Registering a domain is simple and affordable. It is an important element of your website that you should always have full control over. If you allow someone else to register it for you, you risk them not renewing it, or worst, holding it ransom.
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Don’t forget where it’s registered.

The convenience of auto-renew payments and 5+ year registration bundle pricing make it easy for people not to have to think about their domain for a very long time. So when there is a need to update payment information or make changes to their settings, they struggle with figuring out how to get access to their domain again.
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Do include a location or keyword.

If your business is based in one geographical area, or if you offer a niche service, adding a location or a service related keyword to your domain will most likely help with ranking in online searches. Of course, depending on your business, that isn’t always possible, but if you can, do!
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Don’t use dashes, abbreviations or long words.

You want your domain name to be memorable, easy to pronounce and hard to misspell. Symbols, numbers, and abbreviations can make names more difficult to remember. Long domains usually cause misspellings. Try to keep it relevant, simple, and short!
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Do use .com extension.

No matter how many options are available today, .com is still the most popular and frequently used extension. It may be smart to buy your domain name in other extensions to protect your brand. However, your website should always be under the .com domain, and any other extensions you’ve registered can forward to that one.

Thank you Google! Say goodbye to mobile popups!

Credit: Graphic from Google Webmaster Central Blog

Raise your hand if you hate popups… yeah, I know there’s a bunch of hands going up right now. While they are easy to close on your laptop or desktop, those pesky popup boxes that appear on mobile websites are sometimes hard to get rid of, and most definitely annoying.

Well thanks to Google, we may not have to deal with them as often. Google recently announced that starting on January 2017 mobile websites that have intrusive popups will not rank as highly.

To improve the mobile search experience, after January 10, 2017, pages where content is not easily accessible to a user on the transition from the mobile search results may not rank as highly.

Sadly, not all popups are going away. Those that serve a legal purpose, a login requirement or are a reasonable size are here to stay. However, this a big step towards a better mobile user experience and I for one, am glad to see this change.

Source: https://webmasters.googleblog.com/2016/08/helping-users-easily-access-content-on.html

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