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Qualities That Define Good Door And Window Manufacturers

Doors and windows are an important feature of any home. It is hence important to buy good quality ones. There are many manufacturers that specialize in this field. However, many of them may fail to provide good quality products. It is hence important to consider a few important factors before choosing a manufacturer. Some of them include:

New businesses

It is advisable to look out for new businesses while buying external wooden doors and windows. In the past few years, a number of new businesses have started operating in the field. This can be attributed to the easy finance options available. However, while selecting a manufacturer, it is advisable to select a one who has a minimum experience of 5 years. It is also important to check the guarantees and warranties offered by the company. Small businesses generally have a lower life expectancy as compared to bigger ones. In such a scenario, they may fail to offer guarantees and warranties on their products. It is hence advisable to choose businesses that are well established in the field. The manufacturers that offer warranties ranging between 10 to 20 years may be preferred.

Small and newly established businesses generally find it difficult to compete with bigger and well established names. The big manufacturers generally offer discounts on their products. Buying from such manufacturers can hence help people save a considerable amount of money while selecting wooden front doors and windows.

Most reputed manufacturers provide repair and maintenance services. This proves to be useful for customers who can easily get their doors and windows repaired in case the need may arise. The guarantees and warranties offered prove useful in ensuring the proper maintenance of doors and windows.

Researching about the brand

A number of manufacturers may give false information about the products. It is hence important to conduct a thorough research about the products while buying made to measure front doors and windows. Buyers can search for information available on the internet. This can help them in making an informed decision about chosen product.

It is also important to ensure that the manufacturer possesses the relevant licenses. References may be sought from family and friends regarding the best manufacturers.

Features

Many buyers often have limited knowledge regarding the various kinds of materials used for manufacturing doors and windows. It is hence important to pay special attention to this aspect and gather knowledge about the different types of materials available. Amongst the various types of materials used, the main ones include aluminum, fiber glass, wood and vinyl. While buying timber windows, it is also advisable to consider the type of glass used. While triple and double pane glass is considered the best, single pane glass may fail to be advantageous.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/9575005

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8 Mistakes To Avoid When Developing A Great Mobile Website

The number of users accessing websites and web applications on their mobile devices has been increasing steadily. Likewise, popular search engines like Google also use mobile friendliness as a key metric to rank websites. Hence, enterprises nowadays focus on enhancing the mobile user experience of their websites. They even require developers to build mobile websites that keep visitors engaged and convert them into customers. The developers can make a website mobile-friendly in a number of ways. They can further accelerate mobile website development by implementing several techniques and best practices. However, it is also important for developers to avoid a number of mistakes to make the website deliver optimal mobile user experience.

8 Mobile Website Development Mistakes Each Developer Must Avoid

1) Not Adopting Responsive Web Design

A developer has option to choose from several mobile website development approaches. But the developer must opt for responsive web design to make the website look good on both computers and mobile devices with a single code base. Responsive web design allows developers to build websites using open technologies like HTML5, CSS3, and JavaScript. Also, the single code base makes it easier for programmers to add new functionalities to the website and deliver updated content to users.

2) Not Focusing on Loading Speed

Most users nowadays abandon websites that do not load in 3 seconds. Likewise, Google also uses loading speed a metric while ranking websites. Most users nowadays access websites over mobile internet connections like 2G, 3G and 4G. The mobile internet connections are slower than wired networks and Wi-Fi. No developer can keep the visitors engaged without increasing the website’s performance and speed.

3) Not Optimizing Components for Touch Screen

Responsive web design enables developers to make a website look good on different devices with a single code base. But the developers must enable mobile users to navigate the website seamlessly with a single hand. Also, the users must read and access the website content on smaller screens. That is why; it becomes essential for developers to optimize key elements of a website like buttons, menu navigation, and tap elements for touch screen.

4) Not Optimizing Forms for Mobile Device

The mobile websites also accept user information and feedback through forms. But the developers must optimize the forms for mobile devices to make it easier for users to submit input. Unlike web forms, mobile forms need to be concise. The mobile forms must require users to submit only relevant information. Hence, the developers must remove additional and irrelevant fields from the mobile version of a form. The mobile websites can further accelerate user data submission process by generating information using the built-in hardware features of the mobile devices.

5) Not Including Mobile Icons

Many users nowadays spend more digital media time on mobile apps than mobile web. The modern users even love mobile websites that look, function, and perform just like native mobile apps. While developing a mobile website, the developers must explore ways to make it access the native hardware and software features of individual devices. Also, they can make the website look and function like mobile apps by including commonly used mobile icons and symbols. They must use mobile icons to convey information and instructions, and perform common actions.

6) Still Using Flash Instead of HTML5 Videos

While developing websites, many developers still deliver videos through Adobe Flash. The developers must remember that certain mobile operating systems do not support Flash. Also, most users hate accessing videos with third-party plug-ins and extensions. The developers must use HTML5 videos instead of Flash to deliver videos quickly and seamlessly to various devices. HTML5 further helps developers to embed videos into a web page without affecting its loading speed.

7) Using Too Many Popup Windows

The desktop versions of websites use popup windows to run advertisements, convey special offers, and receive user feedback. While developing a mobile website, many developers still generate popup windows to accomplish various tasks. The developers must remember that the popup windows affect the mobile user experience of the website directly and adversely. They must avoid generating additional popup windows to boost the website’s user experience and engagement.

 

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Article Marketing Tips – How to Create a Resource Box That Your Readers Are Eager to Click

Resource box is an important component for article marketing. It is much like an elevator pitch for your or your business, but better. The drawback is, of course, the readers can’t see you directly. That’s maybe a plus for some others considering that not all people want to meet others directly and get involved in business conversation.

The benefit is that when using elevator pitch, people don’t know you yet. That is the ice breaker to introduce yourself and proceed into the next step if both are willing to do so. For resource box, the readers already know that you’re an expert in certain topic.

What can you put in the resource box for maximum result? Besides your name, the elevator pitch and call to action, you also put your web site URL. What should you offer in the landing page then? Here are a few ideas.

1. E-course

Offer a short email course with solid information for the next 5 to 7 days. In that course, you should give more information related to the article the readers get. It is time to build stronger relationship and trust.

You can also add the readers — if they subscribe — to your e-newsletter so they also get updates for new articles, news, and other information from you.

2. Free report or white paper

Readers who take on this kind of offer are often very qualified. They want to know more about the topic you’re offering. White paper is effective because the perception that it builds. Only experts can write white paper. Of course, you need to insert research data to make it really good.

Free report, however, offers more insights into particular topic. In some niches, white paper is too technical. Free or special report is more appropriate.

3. Contact information

If you offer some kind of free consultation to your prospect, you can also put your business phone number. I don’t recommend this approach though, although it may work for certain people.

Offer something that the readers more likely to take first, such as free report. You can always give them free consultation later via email if they register to download the report.

4. Keyword-focused anchor text

Anchor text is the text that is turned into blue link on the web page. If it says “baby strollers” the destination page is most likely is about baby strollers. Search engines use this information to determine relevance of the page. If enough people or popular sites link to that page with the same anchor text, the search engines rank it above other pages in the search pages.

That is a simple explanation of it. Because it is that important, you can choose to include the anchor text in the resource box for additional inbound links.

 

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Should Your Child Watch TV News? Surprising Opinions of Top Anchors

KIDS AND THE NEWS

More than ever, children witness innumerable, sometimes traumatizing,
news events on TV. It seems that violent crime and bad news is unabating.
Foreign wars, natural disasters, terrorism, murders, incidents of child abuse,
and medical epidemics flood our newscasts daily. Not to mention the grim
wave of recent school shootings.

All of this intrudes on the innocent world of children. If, as psychologists
say, kids are like sponges and absorb everything that goes on around them,
how profoundly does watching TV news actually affect them? How careful do
parents need to be in monitoring the flow of news into the home, and how can
they find an approach that works?

To answer these questions, we turned to a panel of seasoned anchors, Peter
Jennings, Maria Shriver, Linda Ellerbee, and Jane Pauley–each having faced the
complexities of raising their own vulnerable children in a news-saturated
world.

Picture this: 6:30 p.m. After an exhausting day at the office, Mom is busy
making dinner. She parks her 9-year-old daughter and 5-year-old son in front
of the TV.

“Play Nintendo until dinner’s ready,” she instructs the little ones, who,
instead, start flipping channels.

Tom Brokaw on “NBC News Tonight,” announces that an Atlanta gunman
has killed his wife, daughter and son, all three with a hammer, before going on
a shooting rampage that leaves nine dead.

On “World News Tonight,” Peter Jennings reports that a jumbo jetliner with
more than 300 passengers crashed in a spinning metal fireball at a Hong Kong
airport.

On CNN, there’s a report about the earthquake in Turkey, with 2,000
people killed.

On the Discovery channel, there’s a timely special on hurricanes and the
terror they create in children. Hurricane Dennis has already struck, Floyd is
coming.

Finally, they see a local news report about a roller coaster accident at a New
Jersey amusement park that kills a mother and her eight-year-old daughter.

Nintendo was never this riveting.

“Dinner’s ready!” shouts Mom, unaware that her children may be terrified
by this menacing potpourri of TV news.

What’s wrong with this picture?

“There’s a LOT wrong with it, but it’s not that easily fixable,” notes Linda
Ellerbee, the creator and host of “Nick News,” the award-winning news
program geared for kids ages 8-13, airing on Nickelodeon.

“Watching blood and gore on TV is NOT good for kids and it doesn’t do
much to enhance the lives of adults either,” says the anchor, who strives to
inform children about world events without terrorizing them. “We’re into
stretching kids’ brains and there’s nothing we wouldn’t cover,” including
recent programs on euthanasia, the Kosovo crisis, prayer in schools, book-
banning, the death penalty, and Sudan slaves.

But Ellerbee emphasizes the necessity of parental supervision, shielding
children from unfounded fears. “During the Oklahoma City bombing, there
were terrible images of children being hurt and killed,” Ellerbee recalls. “Kids
wanted to know if they were safe in their beds. In studies conducted by
Nickelodeon, we found out that kids find the news the most frightening thing
on TV.

“Whether it’s the Gulf War, the Clinton scandal, a downed jetliner, or what
happened in Littleton, you have to reassure your children, over and over again,
that they’re going to be OK–that the reason this story is news is that IT
ALMOST NEVER HAPPENS. News is the exception…nobody goes on the air
happily and reports how many planes landed safely!

“My job is to put the information into an age-appropriate context and lower
anxieties. Then it’s really up to the parents to monitor what their kids watch
and discuss it with them”

Yet a new study of the role of media in the lives of children conducted by
the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation reveals that 95% of the nation’s children
ages 8-18 are watching TV without their parents present.

How does Ellerbee view the typical scenario of the harried mother above?

“Mom’s taking a beating here. Where’s Dad?” Ellerbee asks.Perhaps at work,
or living separately from Mom, or absent altogether.

“Right. Most Moms and Dads are working as hard as they can because we
live in a society where one income just doesn’t cut it anymore,”

NBC News correspondent Maria Shriver, the mother of four–Katherine,
13, Christina, 12, Patrick, 10, and Christopher, 6–agrees with Ellerbee: “But
Moms
aren’t using the TV as a babysitter because they’re out getting manicures!”
says the 48-year-old anchor.

“Those mothers are struggling to make ends meet and they do it because
they need help. I don’t think kids would be watching [as much TV] if their
parents were home organizing a touch football game.

“When I need the TV as a babysitter,” says Shriver, who leaves detailed TV-
viewing instructions behind when traveling, “I put on a safe video. I don’t mind
that my kids have watched “Pretty Woman” or “My Best Friend’s Wedding”
3,000 times. I’d be more fearful if they watched an hour of local news.That
would scare them. They might feel: ‘Oh, my God, is somebody going to come
in and shoot me in my bedroom?'”

In a move to supervise her own children more closely since her husband,
Arnold Schwarzenegger, became Governor, Shriver
scaled back her workload as Contributing Anchor to Dateline NBC and set up
her office at home: “You can never be vigilant enough with your kids,” she
says, “because watching violence on TV clearly has a huge impact on
children–whether it’s TV news, movies, or cartoons.”

This view is shared by the American Academy of Child and Adolescent
Psychiatry, which states: “”TV is a powerful influence in developing value
systems and shaping behavior…studies find that children may become immune
to the horror of violence; gradually accept violence as a way to solve problems;
and resort to anti-social and aggressive behavior, imitating the violence they
observe.”

Although there are no rules about watching TV in 49% of the nation’s
households, TV-watching at the Schwarzenegger home is almost totally
verboten:

“We have a blanket rule that my kids do not watch any TV at all during the
week,” she notes, “and having a TV in their bedrooms has never been an
option. I have enough trouble getting them to do their homework!” she states
with a laugh. “Plus the half hour of reading they have to do every night.

According to the Kaiser survey, Shriver’s household is a glaring exception to
the rule. “Many kids have their own TV’s, VCR’s and video games in their
bedroom,” the study notes. Moreover, children ages 8-18 actually spend an
average of three hours and 16 minutes watching TV daily; only 44 minutes
reading; 31 minutes using the computer; 27 minutes playing video games;
and a mere 13 minutes using the Internet.

“My kids,” Shriver explains, “get home at 4 p.m., have a 20-minute break,
then go right into homework or after-school sports. Then, I’m a big believer in
having family dinner time. Some of my fondest memories are of sitting at the
dinner table and listening to my parents, four brothers, and my grandmother,
Rose. We didn’t watch the news.

“After dinner nowadays, we play a game, then my kids are in bed, reading
their books. There’s no time in that day for any TV, except on weekends, when
they’re allowed to watch a Disney video, Sesame Street, Barney, The Brady
Bunch, or Pokemon.”

Beyond safe entertainment, Shriver has eliminated entirely the option of her
children watching news events unfolding live on TV: “My kids,” she notes, “do
not watch any TV news, other than Nick News,” instead providing her children
with Time for Kids, [Teen Newsweek is also available], Highlights, and
newspaper clippings discussed over dinner.

“No subject should be off-limits,” Shriver concludes, “but you must filter
the news to your kids.”

ABC’s Peter Jennings, who reigns over “World News Tonight,” the nation’s
most-watched evening newscast, emphatically disagrees with a censored
approach to news-watching: “I have two kids–Elizabeth is now 24 and
Christopher is 21– and they were allowed to watch as much TV news and
information anytime they wanted,” says the anchor. A firm believer in
kids understanding the world around them, he adapted his bestselling book,
The Century, for children ages 10 and older in The Century for Young People.

No downside to kids watching news? “I don’t know of any downside and I’ve
thought about it many times. I used to worry about my kids’ exposure to
violence and overt sex in the movies. Like most parents, I found that although
they were exposed to violence sooner than I would have liked, I don’t feel
they’ve been affected by it. The jury’s still out on the sex.

“I have exposed my kids to the violence of the world–to the bestiality of
man–from the very beginning, at age 6 or 7. I didn’t try to hide it. I never
worried about putting a curtain between them and reality, because I never felt
my children would be damaged by being exposed to violence IF they
understood the context in which it occurred. I would talk to my kids about the
vulnerability of children in wartime–the fact that they are innocent pawns–
and about what we could do as a family to make the world a more peaceful
place.

Jennings firmly believes that coddling children is a mistake: “I’ve never
talked down to my children, or to children period. I always talk UP to them and
my newscast is appropriate for children of any age.”

Yet the 65-year-old anchor often gets letters from irate parents: “They’ll
say: ‘How dare you put that on at 6:30 when my children are watching?’ My
answer is: ‘Madam, that’s not my problem. That’s YOUR problem. It’s
absolutely up to the parent to monitor the flow of news into the home.”

Part of directing this flow is turning it off altogether at meal-time, says
Jennings, who believes family dinners are sacrosanct. He is appalled that the
TV is turned on during meals in 58% of the nation’s households, this according
to the Kaiser study.

“Watching TV during dinner is unforgivable,” he exclaims, explaining that
he always insisted that his family wait until he arrived home from anchoring
the news. “You’re darn right they waited…even when my kids were tiny, they
never ate until 7:30 or 8 pm. Then we would sit with no music, no TV. Why
waste such a golden opportunity? Watching TV at mealtime robs the family of
the essence of the dinner, which is communion and exchange of ideas. I mean,
God, if the dinner table is anything, it’s a place to learn manners and
appreciation for two of the greatest things in life–food and drink.”

Jennings is likewise unequivocal in his view of junk TV and believes parking
kids at the tube creates dull minds: “I think using TV as a babysitter is a
terrible idea because the damn television is very narcotic, drug-like. Mindless
TV makes for passive human beings–and it’s a distraction from homework!

“My two children were allowed to watch only a half an hour of entertainment
TV per night–and they never had TV’s in their bedrooms.It’s a conscious
choice I made as a parent not to tempt them…too seductive…”

Adds Ellerbee: “TV is seductive and is meant to be. The hard, clear fact is
that when kids are watching TV, they’re not doing anything else!”

Indeed, according to the National Institute on Out-of-School Time and the
Office of Research Education Consumer Guide, TV plays a bigger role in
children’s lives now than ever before. Kids watch TV an average of14 to 22
hours per week, which accounts for at least 25 percent of their free time.

“Dateline NBC” Anchor Jane Pauley, intensely private, declined an interview
to discuss how she and her husband, cartoonist Garry Trudeau (“Doonesbury”)
handle TV-watching with their three teens, two of whom are fraternal twins.
But in a written response, she agreed that kids need to be better protected
from the onslaught of violence: “I was a visitor at a public elementary school
not long ago, and was invited to peek in on a fourth-grade class on ‘current
events.’ The assignment had been to watch the news and write about one of
the stories. Two kids picked the fatal attack on a child by a pit bull and the
other wrote about a child who’d hanged herself with a belt! They’d all watched
the worst blood and gore ‘News at 11’ station in town. The teacher gave no
hint that she was as appalled as I was. My response was to help the school get
subscriptions to “Time for Kids” and “My Weekly Reader.” People need to be
better news consumers. And tabloid TV is very unhealthy for kids.”

On this point, Ellerbee readily agrees:”I really do believe the first
amendment STOPS at your front door. You are the boss at home and parents
have every right to monitor what their kids watch. What’s even better is
watching with them and initiating conversations about what they see.If your
child is watching something terribly violent, sit down and DEFUSE it. Talking
makes the ghosts run…and kids can break through their scared feelings.”

Adds Pauly:

“Kids,” she maintains, “know about bad news–they’re the ones trying to
spare us the bad news sometimes. But kids should be able to see that their
parents are both human enough to be deeply affected by a tragedy like
Columbine, but also sturdy enough to get through it…and on with life. That is
the underpinning of their security.”

“I’m no expert on the nation’s children,” adds Jennings, ” but I’d have to say
no, it wasn’t traumatic. Troubling, shocking, even devastating to some,
confusing to others, but traumatizing in that great sense, no.

“Would I explain to my kids that there are young, upset, angry, depressed
kids in the world? Yes. I hear the most horrendous stories about what’s going
on in high schools from my kids. And because of the shootings, parents are
now on edge–pressuring educators to ‘do something.’ They have to be
reminded that the vast majority of all schools in America are overwhelmingly
safe,” a fact borne out by The National School Safety Center, which reports that
in l998 there were just 25 violent deaths in schools compared to an average of
50 in the early 90’s.

Ellerbee adds that a parent’s ability to listen is more important than
lobbying school principals for more metal detectors and armed guards: “If
there was ever a case where grown-ups weren’t listening to kids, it was
Littleton. First, don’t interrupt your child…let them get the whole thought out.
Next, if you sit silently for a couple of seconds after they’re finished, they’ll
start talking again, getting to a second level of honesty. Third, try to be honest
with your kid. To very small children, it’s proper to say: ‘This is never going to
happen to you…’ But you don’t say that to a 10-year-old.”

Moreover, Ellerbee believes that media literacy begins the day parents stop
pretending that if you ignore TV, it will go away. “Let your kid know from the
very beginning that he or she is SMARTER than TV: ‘I am in control of this box,
it is not in control of me. I will use this box as a useful, powerful TOOL, but will
not be used by it.’ Kids know the difference.

“Watching TV,” Ellerbee maintains, “can makes kids more civilized. I grew
up in the south of Texas in a family of bigoted people. Watching TV made me
question my own family’s beliefs in the natural inferiority of people of color.
For me, TV was a real window that broadened my world.”

Ironically, for Shriver, watching TV news is incredibly painful when the
broadcast is about you. Being a Kennedy, Shriver has lived a lifetime in the
glare of rumors and
televised speculation about her own family. Presenting the news to her children
has therefore included explaining the tragedies and controversies the
Kennedys have endured. She was just eight years old when her uncle, President
John F. Kennedy, was assassinated: “I grew up in a very big shadow…and I
couldn’t avoid it,” she admits. “It wasn’t a choker, but it was a big
responsibility that I don’t want my own children to feel.” Yet doesn’t her 15-
year marriage to megastar Schwarzenegger add yet another layer of public
curiosity close to home? “My kids are not watching Entertainment Tonight–no,
no, never! And I don’t bring them to movie openings or Planet Hollywood. I
think it’s fine for them to be proud of their father, but not show off about him.”

How does she emotionally handle news when her family’s in it? “That’s a line
I’ve been walking since my own childhood, and it’s certainly effected the kind
of reporter I’ve become. It’s made me less aggressive. I’m not [in the news
business] to glorify myself at someone else’s expense, but rather to report a
story without destroying someone in the process. A producer might say: ‘Call
this person who’s in a disastrous situation and book them right way.’ And I’m
like: ‘Ahhhh. I can’t even bring myself to do it,’ because I’ve been on the
other side and know the family is in such pain.”

A few years ago, of course, the Kennedys experienced profound pain, yet
again, when Shriver’s beloved cousin, John F. Kennedy, Jr., was killed in a plane
crash, with his wife, Carolyn, and sister-in-law, Lauren Bessette. A blizzard of
news coverage ensued, unremitting for weeks. “I didn’t watch any of it…I was
busy, ” Shriver says quietly. “And my children didn’t watch any of it either.”

Shriver was, however, somewhat prepared to discuss the tragedy with her
children. She is the author of the best-selling “What’s Heaven?” [Golden Books],
a book geared for children ages 4-8, which explains death and the loss of a
loved one. “My children knew John well because he spent Christmases with us. I
explained what happened to John as the news unfolded…walked them through
it as best I could. I reminded them that Mommy wrote the book and said:
‘We’re not going to see John anymore. He has gone to God…to heaven…and we
have to pray for him and for his sister [Caroline] and her children.”

Like Shriver, Jennings is personally uncomfortable in the role of covering
private tragedies in a public forum: “In my shop, I’m regarded as one of those
people who drags their feet a lot at the notion of covering those things,” he
explains. “During the O.J. Simpson trial, I decided not to go crazy in our
coverage–and we took quite a smack and dropped from first to second in the
ratings. TV is a business, so when a real corker of a story like Princess Diana’s
death comes along, we cover it. I think we’re afraid not to do it. We’re guilty of
overkill, and with Diana, we ended up celebrating something that was largely
ephemeral, making Diana more than she was. But audiences leap up!

“I was totally opposed to covering John F. Kennedy, Jr.’s funeral, because I
saw no need to do it. He wasn’t a public figure, though others would say I was
wrong. On-air, I said: ‘I don’t think the young Mr. Kennedy would approve of
all this excess…’ But we did three hours on the funeral and it turned out to be
a wonderful long history lesson about American politics and the Kennedy
dynasty’s place in our national life.

“Sometimes,” Jennings muses, “TV is like a chapel in which we, as a nation,
can gather to have a communal experience of loss.We did it with the
Challenger, more recently with JFK Jr.’s death and we will do it shortly, I
suspect, though I hope not, with Ronald Reagan. It’s not much different than
what people did when they went West in covered wagons in the last century.
When tragedy struck, they gathered the wagons around, lit the fire, and talked
about their losses of the day. And then went on. Television can be very
comforting.”

In closing, Ellerbee contends that you can’t blame TV news producers for
the human appetite for sensational news coverage that often drags on for days
at a time:

“As a reporter,” she muses, “I have never been to a war, traffic accident, or
murder site that didn’t draw a crowd. There is a little trash in all of us. But the
same people who stop to gawk at a traffic accident, may also climb down a well
to save a child’s life, or cry at a sunset, or grin and tap their feet when the
parade goes by.

“We are NOT just one thing. Kids can understand these grays…just as
there’s more than one answer to a question, there is certainly more than one
part to you!”

 

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How to Access Travel Documents in an Emergency

Recently there has been increasing fear surrounding international travel. Sadly, some people panic, and end up avoiding international travel altogether. Of course, emergency travel situations do come up, and these can only be made easier by having an emergency response plan. In these cases it is important to have access to emergency travel information. Here are some simple steps to make accessing your travel information a smooth process in an emergency.

Collect Documents

Before embarking on international travel, you should prepare all the documents you might need. Gather all items that could be useful in a foreign country. Of course you will carry the physical copies of many of these items with you, such as your passport and credit cards. However, due to threats like theft and natural disaster, you should also have an emergency action plan.

Store Documents on an Online Account

Get an online document storage account. This functions as an online travel wallet and provides a secure, convenient and accessible place to store all travel documents and information you might need. You can choose to scan your documents and upload them to the website or you can simply type in relevant numbers and information into your secure account. Once you input all this information in your account, you are ready to travel.

Access your Information

If you do find yourself in a travel emergency, and need access to your online document storage account, there are a few different ways to do this.

o Simply log into your online account from any computer with internet access. From here you can view all your travel documents and print out a Wallet Report, Medical Report or copy of your passport.

o If you have an iPhone, ensure that your service provider allows you to download the application to have access to your travel documents and travel information any time you need it. As long as you have your iPhone, this is a very convenient way to access travel documents.

o If you were to encounter a health-related problem, the In Case of Emergency or I.C.E. card, which comes with some of these services, is helpful. The card should be stored in your wallet and includes basic identification and a code for medical personnel to access your vital health information.

 

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Web Design Prices and Costs – How to Get A Fair Web Design Quote

If you’re looking at commissioning a web designer to build you a website, one of the first things that you will need to know, is the monetary cost. This article will explain to you why there is such a huge variance between web designers and their quotes and will give you some advice as to how much you can expect to pay to contract a competent web designer in the UK.

First of all you have to have a rough idea of what it is that you want from your website. You have to have thought of what you want to achieve with the website. What are its objectives? You will then need to have thought of a basic structure for your website. There are many website examples out there for you to have a look at; the important thing is to have an idea about what structure you want for the site – meaning a rough outline of the numbers of pages and the content (text and images) that will make up each page.

Once you have your project objectives in mind and a rough idea of your websites structure you are in a position to start contacting suppliers. There are multitudes of web design companies everywhere and in our particular area of the UK – Doncaster there are lots of web design companies to choose from. The key thing to remember is that everyone wants your business. The web design marketplace is completely saturated so you as the buyer have the upper hand!

As in all other industries there are people who provide excellent service, there are people who provide an average service and there are also cowboys (people who sell web design services without the necessary knowledge and experience to do so).

What you have to think to yourself is this: If a person promises me the earth for £1 does that mean to say that they can deliver it? The best advice I can give is to be realistic. There are lots of really good city based web design companies throughout the UK that provide excellent services. They are always there to take your calls and you even get your own personal account manager to handle your requests and hold your hand through the entire web design process. The services of such companies are wonderful but this obviously comes at a price. City based offices, account managers and admin staff are large overheads and the prices charged by large city based web design companies reflect this. If you have a modestly sized website, which needs to be under content management system control, don’t be surprised if the web design quote runs into tens of thousands of pounds from a major city based web design company. If you are looking for a top quality 100% inclusive, comprehensive service and your company can afford this kind of bill then I would suggest using a big city company every time.

Then there are the smaller companies that are made up of just a few individuals. These types of companies have much lower overheads and frequently have very knowledgeable and capable staff. The service level can be much lower than that of major city based web design companies but you can get some excellent work done by such companies at a fraction of cost of the large city based companies.

A much overlooked group of web designers that can produce some excellent web designs are the wide community of freelance web designers. Freelance web designers are private, self employed individuals who work from small offices (they frequently work from home). Freelancers have very low (mostly non existent) overheads. As such they can provide quality web design work for much lower costs than larger web design companies. If you are looking for good quality web design for less money then it definitely work looking at using a quality freelance web designer.

The people that you really need to avoid are the web design cowboys. As stated above cowboys are people who sell web design services without the necessary knowledge and experience to do so. If you are unfortunate enough to have contracted someone like this in the past you will be aware of the low quality work that they produce and the lack of significant results that they achieve. Cowboys invariable promise you the earth for a £1. Use your common sense and if someone is quoting you £100 for something that 5 other companies are charging around £4000 for, you know that something is not quite right. Remember the old adage – buy cheap, buy twice!

Conclusion:

You will find a great deal of variance between web design quotes depending on what level of web designer you choose to contract and what level of service you require. Always make sure to get as many quotes and talk to as many people as you can so a) see what’s available on the market and b) get an unbiased idea of the likely costs involved. There are lots of good web designers out there but there are also a lot of lesser skilled web designers and even some of the proverbial cowboys. Make sure to use good common sense and get a feel for the web designer’s skills and experience when you meet them. No matter how charming a person is, experience is very hard to fake. Ask to see examples of their work and where they have done similar work to your proposed project. Remember – you have the upper hand!

 

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4 Influencer Marketing Best Practices to Reap High Returns

Influencer marketing works like a charm and the whole world vouches for it. But without a solid marketing strategy, even the best influencer marketing software fails to yield high returns. You need to have an insight into the best practices to shoot two birds with one stone. Whether it’s about choosing the right influencer or delivering user-centric content, everything has to be done with perfection.

Check out a few best practices for influencer marketing to help you earn high return on investments that involve:

1. Use Top and Micro-Influencers

Most brands prefer top influencers over micro-influencers. This is where they miss out on a big chunk of return on investments. Several studies have suggested that micro-influencers engage audiences better than top influencers.

In other words, they actively contribute to your campaign’s performance while costing you a fraction of the price. You shouldn’t completely ignore them. Using a mix of top bloggers and micro-influencers for your marketing campaign is the best practice that yields great results.

2. Produce User-Centric Content

Generating any content in haste often backfires. To make your investment count, learn about the content that your audiences usually interact with. Spend quite a time figuring out the nature of the content they appreciate. Keep it authentic and engaging to get their attention. Create user-centric content that softly encourages your prospects to engage with you. It’s the best practice for driving more profits on your way.

3. Give Them Full Control Over Creative Content

Though you know your brand better than influencers, still, it’s not a good idea to put a tab on your influencer’s creativity. If you are indulged in it, then you are doing nothing but hurting your foot. It’s because the influencers know the type of content your audiences like to see online. You should set them free to create content they want. It’s the best marketing practice if you want to experience high returns on investments without any hit and trial.

4. Evaluate Your Performance Metrics

Tracking your campaign’s performance is as important as setting it up. Probably, it is the best practice around to evaluate the return on investments of your influencer-focused marketing campaign. You just have to provide the tracking codes to your influencers to effectively track every performance metric without losing sight. This way you would be able to analyze if you are really getting returns on investments that you had planned at the start of the campaign.

Conclusion

Influencer-based marketing works only for those brands that follow the best practices. If your influencer marketing campaigns aren’t yielding the results you expect, then it’s time to revamp your strategy. Without sticking to the best practices, even the best influencer marketing software doesn’t offer the return on investments. If you want to get most returns with minimal efforts, it’s crucial to follow the industry’s best practices and the prominent ones have been mentioned here for you.

 

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Changing Pointe Shoes – Not Only A Matter Of Esthetics

You have bought your new pointe shoes only a few weeks ago, love them and would love to wear them forever, they are so comfortable !

They probably are not as clean as when you received them the first time. They have taken your feet morphology and are less and less supportive with weeks.

This is absolutely normal ! Do you know that :

 

  • During a ballet lesson, shoes support a 5 Tons – not far from 5 cars’ weight !
  • 80 % of Those 5000 kilograms are mainly supported by the end of the shoe, something like 4 square centimeters !
  • Those 4 square cm are the only contact area between the dancer and the floor !
  • Your beloved shoes “drink” about 2 moisture liters during a ballet lesson !
  • You pull a strength of about 100 kilograms each time you do a relevé to go from flat to en pointe !
  • The average life duration for a pair of pointe shoes (based on a weekly 1 to 3 hours ballet training) – ie. the time during which pointe shoes can be worn and used with the highest level of safety – is only 3 to 6 months.
  • Not enough supportive pointe shoes will bring :
    • Burns : The foot will rub more and more to the inside of the shoes, the skin will become burnt.
    • Tendinits : ankle and knees muscles will need to work twice more to counter-balance the low arch support
    • Muscular distorsions : Shoes can loose their shape – or worst, collapse- while en pointe.
    • Micro bones breakage : Those are microscopic parts of bone reduced to calcium powder, mainly due to the direct contact of the toe withe floor, without any protection.
    • Incarnated Nail : Probably the most painful, this is when a nail grows to the bottom instead of straight forward, because nails are in direct contact with the floor.

You can “simulate” all this pain (well, do you really need to ??? No, Do not do that !), just try to go en pointe without wearing pointe shoes (off course, hold to a chair / a barre / whatever). All those traumas – although they can be repaired – may highly impact your overall health and considerably shorten (or definitely end) your Ballet Dancing Life ! 

Aware of this all, probably those little dirts that have appeared on your shoes (yes, you will never keep them as clean as the first day if you use them) are far from beeing important, aren’t they ??

Isn’t your safety more important than those small details ? It is, certainly !!

Anyway, here come a few tips to give a few more life to your pointe shoes :

 

  • After your pointe lesson, never put shoes in a plastic bag. Hang them somewhere – away from any heath source – for at least 3 days.
  • Put talcum powder in your shoes before you wear them and once they are dry. Remove the excess before wearing them also ! Not only this will make them dry a little more, they will also have a good perfume, like babies 😉
  • Pointe shoes are yours and only yours. Never let an other girl wear or use them. They are your pointe shoes !
  • To avoid mould in not used for a long time shoes, you can use moisture absorbing pouch you can find in most electronic appliances. Just put a pouch in each shoe.
  • You can divide by 3 the traction strength on your shoes by just adding rubber bands over the “cou de pied” on your shoes.
  • Whenever possible, buy 2 pairs of shoes, and use each one lesson out of two .
  • Avoid as much as possible wearing pointe shoes outside and, if you really have to, wear a pair of socks over. You also can use those sort of rubber / latex socks used around pools, and wear them over your shoes.
  • Do the same in your ballet school when you leave the dance mat, place those socks over your shoes.
  • Last, always keep a spare pair of pointe shoes, they can sometimes be very long to get 🙂

If your shoes already seem a bit too old, you can try the following tips (this will not avoid buying new ones, just give you a few more time to :

  • Put your shoes in the fridge for a few hours.
  • Apply a thin layer of colourless wood varnish on the toe of your shoes
  • Put a few nail varnish on the most broken parts of the shoes.

All those tips and informations will help you feel better in your dancing, and dance better ! Feel free to contact me for any comment / question or whatever !!

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Free Traffic To Your Auction Listing With eBay Blogs!

eBay has recently jumped on the blog bandwagon. They have opened a new section of the website called eBay blogs. This allows a registered eBay user to sign up for and maintain a blog. This is a wonderful new feature and if you are serious about growing your eBay business then you should definitely consider signing up for an eBay blog. It is a very simple process that almost anyone can navigate through and easily set up your own blog. You do not have to have any special html knowledge. Just go to the following url and click on the large button that says “Start Blogging”

What Are Blogs

Blogs are basically an online journal. They provide a place where you can easily write news and information about yourself and your auction sales on a daily basis. The word blog is a combination of web and log smashed together to make a new word called blogs. They are one of the latest crazes on the internet because they allow anyone to easily publish their own thoughts and content on the internet.

Blogs are also wonderful for creating a ton of extra traffic and visitors to your auction listings. If you frequently post great content to your blog it will quickly be picked up by the search engines which will create more visitors to your blog and your auction listings for free.

What To Blog About

Many sellers will instantly see the benefit of having a blog. It provides an easy way to interact with your customers. You can provide updated information about your auctions, the products you sell and general info about your business. It might take a little while tog et used to blogging but typically it is very addictive and once you start writing a blog it can easily become a fun daily activity. To get the most from your blog you want to think about writing content that is useful to your customers. For example a eBay sellers that typically sells in one category or one type of product can provide more information about what thy sell. For example a seller who specializes in model cars might take some time to write a few articles or posts about building model car tips. Another seller who sells wedding related goods might write blog posts about wedding planning. The point is you want to make the content useful to your customers so they will come back often. The more you write good quality content and inform your customers the more they will want to purchase products from you. In this way you can quickly establish yourself as an authority on the subject.

One thing you will want to stay away from is having a blog with very little useful content and a lot of sales ads for your auctions. Sure you can occasionally write a blog post to plug a new item you have up for auction but if that is all you do no one will visit your blog. eBay is a very community oriented platform and the more community friendly information you provide the more potential and past customers will come to your blog and possible visit your auction listings.

Promoting Your Blog

Like any other site on the web your blog will have its own unique url or website address. You will want to make sure that you keep this hand and start promoting your blog. There are a variety of ways that you can promote a blog. Some of these would include submitting your website to major search engines, and blog/website directories. You can easily further promote your blog by taking the content or articles that you write on the blog and submitting them to some of the major article directories like this one.

Blog Comments

Another great way to promote your blog and build traffic to it is to comment on other people’s blog. You want to be a little careful about this and only post to other related blogs and post meaningful comments. If you start leaving a bunch of random comments that have nothing to do with the blog or the post in general then people will see this as blog spam also known as splog content.

Blog Tags

Another useful feature that eBay has added is blog tags. When you first set up the blog there are some options to leave details about it. You can also select tags that people will use to find your blog. These tags are basically keywords that people might use to search for your blog. Using the example from above of the seller that sells wedding related items the seller would want to use common wedding keywords in their tags section. They could include tags like wedding, invitations, cake toppers, and wedding planning. Then when another eBay user searches for wedding related blog this blog will show up in the listing and again bring some free traffic to the blog and potential to the seller’s listings.

 

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How To Choose Baby Shoes That Are Appropriate For Your Baby

You’ve seen all of those adorable shoes in the department store. Teeny tiny tennis shoes to sweet little sandals fill the shelves of the footwear department in the infants’ aisle. Does your baby really need shoes, or are they just for looks?

Baby will need shoes during his first years of life, but what types of shoes are appropriate? Is there anything wrong with booties and bare feet for little ones? Newborns do not necessarily require shoes. Booties or socks are an excellent idea for infants to keep feet and toes warm and cozy. In hot summer months, bare feet may be most comfortable for your baby.

As your child grows, you may want to introduce him or her to a pair of soft-soled shoes. Such shoes are a great way to introduce your child to the feeling of shoes on their feet. Frequently, soft-soled baby shoes are made of thick cloth. This type of shoe provides an extra layer of warmth and protection for little piggies and is the first stepping stone to formal footwear.

Going barefoot is easy and healthy for baby when learning to walk or crawl on smooth, safe surfaces. Soft-soled shoes provide a layer of protection for baby’s feet when learning to stand or crawl on less optimal surfaces without hindering your child’s feeling. It is important to provide baby with leather soft-soled shoes as opposed to hard shoes. Your child is learning to move the feet to master their movements. Hard soles on shoes only hinder this process for your child.

As your child begins to walk, you will need to switch over to shoes with a hard, sturdy sole. This will provide the protection your child
Requires for safety from dirt, glass, and other dangers in the environment.

With continued growth and mastery of the new walking skill, your child’s footwear requirements will again change. At this time, it is important to give your child a shoe that will support the foot completely. The shoe needs to evolve from thick material to sturdier components.

When selecting your child’s shoes, it is important to consider your baby’s growth. A child’s foot grows more rapidly from birth to age three than at any other time in their life. Each shoe is different. Shoe sizes vary from different shoe manufacturers. For this reason, it is best to try the shoes on your baby whenever possible to find the right fit. Make sure you allow room to grow. You do not want a shoe on your child that will smash toes or hinder movement, but avoid the thought to purchase shoes that are too loose. Young children in large shoes can not only be dangerous, but inconvenient.

Leather baby shoes may seem eloquent for your infant or toddler, but it can provide numerous benefits and advantages. Leather creates a comfortable shoe for your child. This durable material can withstand the beating from any rough and tumble child. Also, leather allows adequate air flow. This keeps your baby’s feet cool and dry.

The type of footwear your baby needs depends on your child’s age and mobility. Socks or soft-soled shoes are just right for newborns, but a supportive shoe is best for toddlers. Consider the size and style of baby’s shoes for safety and comfort. Style and look of those cute shoes are an adorable added bonus.