What Christmas is to me

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Christmas time is here again, and up from our world rises all sorts of activity.

This is a day that takes us out of our daily routine and throws most of us in some kind of tizzy and/or celebration. That in itself truly deserves pondering.

Christmas is a day that stirs people up, and for many a time of unmet expectations and additional stress. Emotions can run a-muck from joy to depression, love, hate, peace and animosity.

I find it absolutely fascinating that this single day can evoke so much controversy. To some, the very word "Christmas" is offensive.

As I listen to the debate of which Christmas phrase is most appropriate I almost feel like opting out. People will be offended if I wish them a Merry Christmas. Some find Happy Holidays and Seasons Greetings too impersonal and empty.

Posted in Jen Unplugged

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How to choose a website designer

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Hiring a website designer can be a daunting task.

Either everyone you know calls themselves a website designer, or you don't know of anyone at all! Both have a way of leaving you wondering which way to turn.

Choosing the right Website Designer

Here's a little something I wrote to help clear the path a bit for you…

The challenge…
Because the Internet is relatively new, most people experience variable amounts of uncertainty as they tread into this foreign territory – creating a feeling of vulnerability.

Without previous experience in the website design process, much trust is being placed in the website design company that you've chosen – so you want to be sure they will listen to you, treat you with respect, and deliver a professional product.

Posted in Website Development

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2013 Kids SRC - Up, Up and Away!

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The Kids SRC is designed to get children reading, with the use of a fun theme, posters, stickers, a reading record, bookmarks, completion medals, and novelty items. In addition each year they have a new designed website offering 7 quizzes (1 for each week of the program) word puzzles, and fun games.

Kids Summer Reading Club 2013

This year's Kids Summer Reading Club (SRC) theme is "Up, up and Away!" - we are so pleased to have been brought on board for this annual summer project. This will make it 8 years in a row.

This year's artist is Eliska Liska. Eliska was trained by the league of conceptual artists at the University of Fine Arts in Ostrava. She currently lives in Victoria, BC, but has also been seen in the Czech Republic, England, Mexico and Latin America.

Thank you!

A BIG thanks to BC Library Association for the opportunity, yet again. It's always a great experience working with you and so rewarding to be a part of helping our kids improve their reading skills.

The 2013 Summer Reading Club is sponsored by the British Columbia Library Association and your local public library with the assistance of Libraries and Literacy, Ministry of Education.

Posted in Kids Sites

Website cost and pre-quote questions

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Planning your website development journey

Congratulations! You've decided your company would greatly benefit from a website. You've joined the ranks of those who know that an ad in the local phone book or newspaper just doesn't cut it anymore – on so many levels.

But now what?

You'd think that the next step would be to jump in the saddle, find a website designer and ask how much a website will cost. That's what I would do.

This grab-the-bull-by-the-horns enthusiasm is often good, however, an important step has just been overlooked: asking yourself - and answering - pre-quote questions. Details uncovered by specifically targeted pre-quote questions (below) are essential in determining what your website needs to be, and ultimately the investment required. Without these details, it's difficult to determine your website's requirements and cost.

If you'd like to maximize your initial website development consultation, take some time to prepare yourself by having a real close look at your company and its website marketing needs. I'd recommend grabbing a pen and paper, and jotting your answers down so you may discuss them with your potential designer. Doing this will start your journey off with clear directives.

Posted in Website Development

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Artisteer - automated web designer?

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This week I was contacted by a business owner who wanted me to make their Joomla website template responsive. I took one look at the code to realize that it had been made with Artisteer. What gave it away? Code-bloat... and the fact that the original creator had used his name in the CSS tags.

And then today, a question was raised on Linkedin: Who uses Artisteer to build templates? - the responses have been interesting to say the least, and prompted this post.

Artister: "...Web design automation product blah blah blah..."

The Artisteer website boasts the following:

"With Artisteer YOU immediately become a Web design expert, editing and slicing graphics, coding XHTML and CSS, and creating Web Design Templates, Joomla templates, Drupal themes, WordPress themes, DotNetNuke skins, and Blogger templates all in minutes, without Photoshop or Dreamweaver, and no technical skills."

Posted in Website Development

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Joomla versions 1.5, 1.6, 1.7, 2.5 and beyond

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Have you ever wondered what all those Joomla version numbers mean, and how long each version will be supported?

The image below (by joomlacommunity.eu) effectively outlines the development cycles of current and upcoming Joomla versions.


Thanks to Joomla Community Netherlands for this helpful illustration.

If you are considering upgrading your existing Joomla website and are wondering when is the best time to do so, feel free to contact me for more information.

Posted in Joomla

Evolution of JenTekk Web Solutions

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I was surfing through JenTekk's old site design folders and came upon the original site design - from back in 2001, and several others that followed.

They were experiments in color and style, but mostly reflected the fact that I really was still trying to find my own identity and my own personal website design style.

I will post them from the earliest to the latest, it has been quite the journey. Enjoy!

2001: JenTekk's first website – static

JenTekk - Evolution of JenTekk website

Not bad for a first try, but after a while I felt it was simply too blue.

Posted in Before & After

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