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cloud computing explained.  Illustration by VIAGallery.com.There are clouds gathering on the horizon. The era of the bulky PC sitting on or under your desk is quickly ending. Next up is the era of the Cloud and Thin Client. More and more devices are depending on cloud storage and cloud processing every day. From iCloud to Netflix and enterprise level business applications like SalesForce, the cloud is getting bigger and the hardware interfaces we use on a daily basis are getting smaller. It seems like the only electronic device that keeps getting bigger are our TV's.

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10-common-mistakesYou have a website and you want it to work for you, make you money, attract business, support sales and make your life easier. Well it can, but there are a few common mistakes that you need to be on the lookout for, if you expect your site to live up to its’ potential. Here are ten common mistakes made by website owners:

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independent-contractorsHiring that cheap foreign independent contractor may cost you more than you think.

I am a big believer in buying American. I feel that it helps to support our economy and reduce our dependence of foreign powers. As an independent contractor, I often find myself bidding against foreign contractors on projects. I can understand the draw of using third world labor; it's cheap and there is less paperwork hassle...or is there? As this is tax season, I found myself discussing this issue with my tax preparer and what I found out was that they may cost less, but you could end up paying more.

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Your website may not be as "done" as you think it is and this can spell trouble for you and your customers.  For example, I was recently reviewing a website with one of my clients to see what we could do to improve it over the coming year.  He was a little confused when I asked him why his store was called Washupito's Tiendita.  "It's not," he insisted, but I pointed to the title in his web browser where it plainly stated, "Washupito's Tiendita."  Confused?  Well about 45,700 other website owners are too.  You see, Washupiot's is the default name used by VirtueMart, a popular shopping cart solution.  What it really tells us is that the website may have serious security problems.

Here are 10 things you should do with your website today.

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Choosing Your Next CMS: Joomla, Wordpress or Drupal

The content management world is dominated by three players Joomla, Wordpress and Drupal.  One of them can take your business and website to the next level.  Which one makes the most sense for you?  That is the subject of this blog.

I have been asked on many occasions why I do not build or test sites for Internet Explorer 6.  I have had many clients that were adamant that their site had to be optimized for IE 6.  I try to take the time to find out why this is such an important issue to them.  Inevitably, the answer is the same.  Either they have a large organization and have not taken the time to upgrade all of their PCs or some important person in their company has an older PC and is still using IE 6.

Registered Users...If you want to give your valued clients access to more information such as pricing or if you want to protect your content from competitors, you need a user management system that works with your content management software.  For years this has been troublesome and time consuming.  Then Joomla, Wordpress and Drupal came along and made the entire process much easier. 

If you have a Joomla base website and you want to give more information or content to your registered users, the is the blog post for you. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

php Browser detector - http_user_agentHave you ever wished all browsers would work the same?  Fonts are rendered differently in every browser.  Pings shift color in Internet Explorer.  Then there are all of the little bugs and CSS quirks of each browser to contend with.  It is often difficult or even impossible to match layouts across all browsers and operating systems.  To resolve this problem, web developers often turn to PHP's browser detection capeabilities. 

It is often very useful to provide custom style options for your individual pages or sections without the need for creating multiple Joomla templates.  CSS provides two simple methods for this: the body ID and Class tags.  By default, Joomla allows you to assign the Page Class Suffix in the menu manager.

Joomla page class suffix 

By setting the page class suffix, you can add CSS that targets all pages with that class.  For example, if you wanted paragraphs on blog pages to have a font size of 14pt, you can set the page class suffix to "blog" and add the following to your CSS file:

body.blog p {font-size:14pt;} 

If you have developed your own template, or if your template provider did not setup your template to allow for page class suffixes, you will need to modify the HTML in your template manager to add some code and update the <body> tag:

$menu =& JSite::getMenu();
$active = $menu->getActive();
$params = $menu->getParams( $active->id );
$class = $params->get( 'pageclass_sfx' );

<body <?php if ($class != "") {echo "class=\"$class\"";} ?> >

The first block of code will get the page class suffix from Joomla.  The modified body tag will add a body class tag, if it is set in the menu manager. 

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HTACCESS is a file (.htaccess) that can be placed in any folder on your website to help control how and who can access content within that folder.  There are many things you can do with an HTACCESS file such as adding password protection or block unwanted visitors.  Here are 10 useful tricks that you can use to on your website. 

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There are countless bored teens and hackers looking to impress their friends by defacing your website. Joomla! is designed to make it easy for you to edit your website from anywhere, which also makes it susceptible to hacking. WhileJoomla! has good security, there are vulnerabilities. Here are a few things you can do to make it a little more secure.

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