What Google’s SEO Guidelines Mean for 2015

by Lewis Persons

In 2015 Google Search Engine Optimization (SEO) will probably:

    • reward websites that are mobile device responsive.
    • offer websites to website visitors who are physically closer to those particular websites
    • return articles that are more current rather than older ones
    • ignore purchased low quality backlinks
    • start serving up more results to new devices like smart watches – perhaps in an audio format
    • return sites on which users previously stayed for more than a few minutes based on search history and click through rates
    • use social media to factor in search results.*

There are many factors that Google will be using to rate websites. Some of the newer items include rich snippets, responsive mobile friendly designs and more security, such as SSL enabled websites.

“Today roughly 40-50% of searches take place on a GPS enabled mobile device.” **  Therefore GPS information giving the user location as well as context and search history provides parameters for Google in returning search results. Location is ever more important to Google, so a small local company, unknown nationally, may rank higher in rankings because it is closer to the user than a large chain store. This, of course, depends on the type of devices used to search, because GPS enabled mobile devices will and have been recently doing most of the searches.

In addition, personal search results will rank higher those sites on which people stayed for a given amount of time without clicking the back button.

From a designer’s perspective, another technique to make a web site page rank higher is to promote Google rich snippets which index and understand content that is structured.  “Google supports Rich Snippets for the following data types:

  • Product — Information about a product, including price, availability, and review ratings.
  • Recipe — Recipes that can be displayed in web searches and Recipe View.
  • Review — A review of an item such as a restaurant, movie, or store.
  • Event — An organized event, such as musical concerts or art festivals, that people may attend at a particular time and place.
  • Software Application — Information about a software app, including its URL, review ratings, and price.”  (Rich Snippets at https://developers.google.com/structured-data/rich-snippets/?rd=1#2).

But the main result of all this is that “81% of websites will be affected by Google’s responsive design requirement….The way Google views this is almost purely from an end users perspective. They do not want to send their mobile viewers to something that doesn’t display properly on their phone.” (April 14, 2015 – Roger Wehbe at http://www.yooter.com/).
This then means that companies with responsive web sites will get increased search ratings and those without will suffer the results.

For more information and help see: Webmaster Guidelines at https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/35769?hl=en.  “Best practices to help Google find, crawl, and index your site
Other cited sources:
*The 2015 Google SEO Guidelines December 30, 2014 Roger Wehbe at http://www.yooter.com/
**quoted from What SEO means in 2015 December 19, 2014 Roger Wehbe at http://www.yooter.com/g

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Links of Inspiration

by Lewis Persons

Web Design Ledger at http://webdesignledger.com/inspiration/21-inspiring-clean-website-designs 21 Inspiring Clean Website Designs – This site features samples and links for current websites that are innovative and/or have a well-designed concept and execution. In addition, they show ideas for including different kinds of design elements including colors, typography, textures and illustrations.

YIW at http://www.yourinspirationweb.com/en/ – This WordPress site has many articles and blogs with how-to information and inspiring samples, art, websites for those who are involved with website development. This site has something for almost anyone involved in website creation – from basic information to articles showing more advanced techniques and creative content and ideas.

Creativefan at http://creativefan.com/30-fresh-inspirational-web-designs – Similar in function to the YIW website above, this one has a how-to section, tutorials, articles, and wallpapers related to website development. Its website, however, showcases more artistic websites and ones that show more current trends and cutting-edge design.

Inspirational Pixels at http://inspirationalpixels.com/ – This website contains tutorials on creating different web elements or functionalities. It has articles/posts discussing various aspects of web development including 7 WordPress Snippets to Enhance Your Themes, an article discussing a lot of plugins that are really practical and useful for a WordPress site.

Design Instruct at http://designinstruct.com/visual-inspiration/web-design-inspiration/minimalist-website-designs/ – 50 Beautiful Minimalist Website Designs for Inspiration – Many designs are by artists, designers and architects using minimalist design carefully and well, but many of the examples also point out just the good use of design elements to construct pleasing and useful websites.

MyFonts.com at http://www.myfonts.com/ – This is a compendium of new not-free fonts with descriptions by the creators including suggested usages and/or compatible design ideas. In addition the fonts are easily compared to others and the prices are displayed in a prominent place.

Web Crème at http://www.webcreme.com/ – This site has a number of web sites that display some new and fresh designs utilizing the latest technologies. These can easily be used to provide an inspirational idea that can supplement or lead to a new idea for a current problem or client. These sites are considered to be great models by the author of this site.

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Ten Resume Styles for the Non-Artistic Applicant.

by Lewis Persons

1.    The Classic Style by https://app.resumegenius.com/
This is a standard well-formatted style that places all of the relevant information in an easily understood design that makes fast-scanning possible by busy screeners. Carefully bulleted phrases encapsulate  important information about the applicant.  This design has little embellishment other than varying font sizes.
2.    The Modern Style by https://app.resumegenius.com/
This is a variation of the Classic style that uses fewer bold print left-aligned headings with a colored italic font for emphasis. The heading is more horizontal and the overall design lacks much embellishment for the reading convenience of the person screening resumes.
3.    The Elegant Style by https://app.resumegenius.com/
A somewhat more embellished style than the previous ones, this resume employs some gray instead of black headings in a more stylized font as well as italic position descriptions for a somewhat fancier look that still yields a quickly scanned summary of positions and qualifications.
4.    The Dublin Style by https://app.resumegenius.com/
The first non-standard format described in this article, this style incorporates  a colored font, green, as the name would insinuate, to impart a more customized flavor to the document. Other colors could be easily be substituted to deliver the effect the writer would desire.
5.    The Park Avenue Style by https://app.resumegenius.com/
An augmented version of the Dublin style, this resume employs even more colored fonts and lines to deliver a more personalized style that still stays within the boundaries of the “standard” style that would be easily read but attract some attention as a non-traditional approach to resumes.
6.    The Project-Manager Resume by http://www.technical-resumes.com/
This is a variation of the Modern style that employs some box outlining of selected head-lined titles and uses a special embellished arrow and indentation for the emphasized skill description.
7.    The Manufacturing Sample Resume by Distinctive Documents at www.distinctiveweb.com
Although this style is a professional variant of the classic design, it deviates dramatically with gray boxes employing italicized characteristics in the Profile and Professional Experience sections matched with box-bulleted descriptions of achievements. This special-font-heavy style, easily perused as well, is sophisticated  and well-suited to a more professional/executive person.
8.    The Student Resume by http://jewelfinity.com/student-resumes-4/
A less-formal contemporary style using section shading and colored fonts calls attention to a resume that would be normally lost in a sea of basic-skill-set  qualifications. While attracting notice, it still is a respectful adaption that should not offend even the most traditional HR manager.
9.    The IT Director Resume by http://www.technical-resumes.com/it-engineering-resume-example/
Employing much more formatting techniques like boxes with headings of a dark color background and a white font , box shading, multiple font decorations  and light-gray backgrounds for different sections, this style shows the technical possibilities for a formal resume for at IT applicant.
10.    Style 29 Resume by http://resumizer.com
Finally, for contrast, this style uses a more minimalist look that still retains the overall character of the traditional resume. This one puts a small picture of the applicant at the head of the resume. In addition, the font is sans-serif, there is no text-decoration and font variation in weight is kept to a bare minimum.

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Web Design Trends for 2015 and Beyond

by Lewis Persons

Here is a summary of five recent articles about the near-term future of web design. Since this is a rapidly evolving field, all of them have been written in the last year about current trends that will be used and will evolve in 2015.

1.  The 7 Elements of Modern Web Design by Rachel Sprung, January 6, 2014 at  http://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/elements-of-modern-web-design-list

This article lists seven elements of web design that the author considers important aspects of modern web sites.

  • Unique typography – the family, style, and size of a font to help a company promote a brand and be recognized by customers.
  • Flat design – uses simple illustrations in a “clean”, minimalist style with bright colors and more white space to emphasize the content of the site instead of the visual design.
  • Hover effects – color changes or highlights that occur as the cursor passes over a section of the website to help the user know where they are on a page.
  • Scroll to page section – a feature where a link goes to a different part of a long single page to promote easier usability and a fast return to a previously viewed part of the page.
  • Giant product images – highlight different features or parts of a product to emphasize the benefits of a feature and to help users remember the details of a product.
  • In-depth product videos – explain features of a product and provide in-depth instruction in use of a product
  • Large, responsive images – conform to the full size of whatever device is used to see the site to deliver a satisfying experience to any viewer.

These elements have emerged as important factors to consider in the design of new websites.

2.  5 Predictions of Modern Web Design by Amber Alvi, April 1, 2014 at http://webdesignledger.com/trends-2/5-predictions-of-modern-web-design

“We foresee many trends emerging in the web design realm with more focus being given on creating less complicated and more sophisticated designs” is the overall theme of Amber’s article. She makes the following predictions for web design in 2014 and 2015.

  • Evolution of flat design using more layered design
  • Responsive will take over mobile (separate mobile-only sites)
  • More scrolling and less clicking – specifically catering to the increased usage of smart phones to view web sites where scrolling is preferred to clicking
  • Incorporation of HTML5 Videos – run in the background of web pages
  • Less is more – minimal and simple site designs

3.  Web Design Trends To Look Out For In 2015 by Nathan Weller, September 17, 2014 at http://www.elegantthemes.com/blog/resources/web-design-trends-to-look-out-for-in-2015

Nathan, writing a blog for the WordPress theme supplier, Elegant Themes, lists several overarching web design trends in 2014 that will probably dominate websites in 2015.

  • Responsive Design – considered to be a norm in modern web sites
  • Ghost buttons – basic, flat shapes – squares, rectangles, circles, diamonds – with no fill and a simple outline
  • Bigger emphasis on typography
  • Large background images and videos
  • Scrolling over clicking – decreases load times and encourages more interaction with the viewer
  • Increased use of card design – to keep things modular and to increase organization on sites
  • Increased use of flat design expanding into material design
  • Microinteractions – small interactive messages calling for user interaction (like password error messages or even positive comments on a good choice or name)
  • Interactive storytelling
  • Personalized UX – using cookies to present choices to users based on their past viewing

Nathan believes that many of these trends will become more used and evident in WordPress themes developed in 2015.

4.  Web Design Trends That Will Rule 2015 by Tomas Laurinavicius, January 6, 2015 at http://designmodo.com/web-design-trends-2015/.

Thomas has reviewed about 500 websites and has been able to draw some conclusions about where web design is now and where it is trending. Below are the trends that he sees.

  • Natural stock photography
  • One-color dominance – “Strong accent on one color puts emphasis and makes it more memorable as well as easily associates that color with the brand”
  • Video backgrounds – “the ultimate experience portraying emotions, intentions and tells way more than any picture”
  • Unique navigation menus – “help create memorable browsing experiences”
  • Cards and tiles
  • Fixed blocks – sharing and navigation bars and sidebars
  • Subtle parallax – including scrolling and animations
  • More scrolling – loved by many users
  • Illustrations – “to represent the brand, tell a story and connect with the visitor.”
  • Big data/graphs – including charts and interactive data projections
  • Product first – using more interactive 3d displays to show more details
  • Flat (design) will keep growing
  • Mobile first – responsive design remains very important
  • Human touch – includes “handwritten” typography to connect with users better
  • Micro UX – small interactive messages to help a user interact better with the site
  • Geometry – geometrical shapes and patterns will grow in usage
  • Big and bold typography
  • Rise of website generators
  • Personal brands – websites are used more to build brand strength and recognition
  • Material design will keep growing – a variant of flat design promoted by Google
  • Interactive journeys – using more techniques to involve user interaction

The main trends listed above will be “flat design, huge typography and high quality imagery”, but the other ones will evolve or devolve as preferences and tastes change.

5.  10 Reasons Why Web Designers Should Quit Coding Now! By Ben Hart, 2014 at http://webdesignfromscratch.com/design-process/web-designers-quit-coding-now/

Ben promotes the idea, even though he is an accomplished and experienced web designer/developer himself that designers should no longer depend on their coding skills to design websites. Instead, there are many programs and platforms which yield superior web sites for the 90% of websites used by small companies and individuals. Only those built for extremely large companies need the kind of hand-coding that was used exclusively in the past by developers. Two of his notable quotes are:

  • “If you’re still designing and building websites for clients by hand, you’re wasting your time and your client’s budget!”
  • “Unless it’s your job to build templates to sell on the market, don’t build them!”

He then lists 10 reasons for his statements above, stating that using already-developed applications and themes produce the following results:

  1. It’s easier
  2. It’s faster
  3. It’s cheaper
  4. It’s less risky
  5. It’s better design
  6. More flexible
  7. More creative
  8. Cross-browser
  9. Mobile-friendly
  10. Accessible

His conclusion? “The bottom line is this: If you love the low-level, detailed, original problem-solving work that goes into designing and producing web assets, you should find a job working for a product developer…But if you like delivering the best work you can do, delighting your clients, making a profit, and building your business, you should quit designing and coding every website from scratch. Today.”

The first four articles all emphasize typography, flat design, one-page scrolling, large images and responsive design as trends in websites that are popular now and will be widely used and evolve even more in 2015. Card design, microinteractions, videos and material design are all developing trends that will augment the fine points of web design in the near future. But the last article by Ben Hart is also a wake-up call to designers to watch these trends and embrace the technology that is making them easier to implement not only for web designers but also for non-trained users. While complicated or very large applications and websites will still require higher level attention from coders, small website creation will become more competitive and less profitable unless coders adopt the new, fast, easily implemented and well-designed element design programs that can be used by many levels of website originators.

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Review of CSS-Tricks Website

by Lewis Persons

One of the resources I have used to learn and understand some fine points of design using Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) is CSS-Tricks at https://css-tricks.com/ . Not only is this a site created, like many others, using WordPress, it is a user’s bible for not only understanding the basics of current CSS, but also for applying those style statements to create variations in website style. Some of these ‘tricks’ just point out the obvious uses, while others really extend and exploit the full potential of the language. The basic format that is used is to define the usage of a statement verbally and then to show an example using an exact screen extract of it. Following that is a discussion of the ramifications of changing the attributes of the statement to produce a variety of different styles with accompanying screen extracts of the code and visual results.

One of the ironies of this website is that while it carefully explains and expands on the visual possibilities using CSS, it uses very subtle CSS to create a content-heavy, but light-visual-impact appearance. As you explore the site, close attention reveals the many CSS devices used in this site employing a basic color palette of shades and tints of gray with small punches of color in the menu and in blog posts. This produces an effect of minimal visual ‘tricks’ even though the stylesheet is quite lengthy; the total effect is an elegant use of CSS.

On another note, the website itself reveals the potential of WordPress as a vehicle to create an interactive website with a large searchable collection of coding articles/blogs. Organized using blogs to provide a large amount of free information about web design with CSS, code Snippets and videos, it also includes an easily-used search “almanac” and a subscription-based tutorial module for those desiring more in-depth audio and visual instruction. Even with all that content, the site freely links to other websites and authors who expand on other aspects of website design.

Overall, this site deserves exploration by those who are involved in developing websites. Whether you are a beginner or a long-time developer, the articles and forums should provide a source for expanding your understanding of CSS devices and for keeping your knowledge current.

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Scalable CSS Units of Measure for Websites

by Lewis Persons

As coding for web pages has developed, one of the more complicated issues has become writing for different size monitors and devices. One technique that has developed using CSS is the idea of using scalable units of measurement. This developed originally for users who wanted to view pages at different sizes to be able to read better and has evolved into a way to help accommodate the myriad of devices accessing web pages today.

The first of these described here is the rem which functions almost as a CSS variable and is based on the typographical em unit. Since most browsers use a default “medium-size” text font of 16px, the first step used to establish a usable base unit of measurement is to set the browser font base unit of measure to 10px by using the CSS code: body {font-size: 62.5%;}. That delivers a one em size equal to 10px. Any multiplier of this base unit of 10px can easily be converted to a standard px size; eg. 1.4em equals 14px, 2.4em equals 24px. Therefore, this em becomes a rem or “root-em” size by using the body font-size as the base size. If the body font-size percentage increases or decreases, then by using rems, the whole page scales accordingly without changing non-rem-based measurements on the page. If only the font-size needs to change, then the body font-size can be adjusted. Because em’s rely on their parent’s attributes and thus create multiplier complications when using nested em’s, the recommended procedure now is to use rems for measurements on the page. This eliminates the parent attributes issue since the measurements all rely on the root measurement. Developers also have to allow for older browsers that would not recognize rems for a tag’s styling. An example of the original ‘old-browser’ CSS would be “p {font-size: 24px}”. Then, to add flexibility for new browsers while allowing for older browsers, the CSS becomes “p{font-size: 24px; font-size: 2.4rem;}”. This then solves both the scalability and the browser-compatibility issues.

CSS3 has introduced some new units as well: vw, vh, and vmin. These are based on the viewport size; eg. 1vw is 1% of the viewport width, 1vh is 1% of the viewport height, and 1vmin is the smallest of 1vw and 1vh. These are best used to scale font sizes and allow line lengths to freely change as the browser width varies. One main reason for these is the idea that a column has a maximum width for comfortable text readability. Therefore, the maximum width can be set and then smaller devices are able to display the freely scalable text in narrower columns. So with a 1080 x 960 pixel viewport, 1vw = 10.8px, 1vh=9.6px and the vmin would be 9.6px. These also need older browser accommodations for the CSS; using the example from the previous paragraph with a 1000 x 1200px viewport, use “p{font-size: 24px; font-size: .24vmin;}.

Do these scalable factors make building websites more complicated? Well, yes for the initial CSS styling, because the compatibility issues require a double statement using both pixels and the new unit for those non-CSS3 and non-HTML5 browsers as well as the newer browsers. However, as time passes and fewer of these older browsers remain in use, the CSS coding will become simpler and the scalability advantages in coding should outweigh any potential downside.


  • Viewport Sized Typography Published April 30, 2012 by Chris Coyier @ https://css-tricks.com/viewport-sized-typography/
  • Font sizing with rem by Snook.ca @ http://snook.ca/archives/html_and_css/font-size-with-rem
  • REM and EM in CSS  February 28, 2014 by Joby Tom @ http://css-stars.com/rem-and-em-in-css/
  • The New CSS3 Relative Font Sizing Units Published January 14, 2013 by Craig Buckler @ http://www.sitepoint.com/new-css3-relative-font-size/
  • There’s more to the CSS rem unit than font sizing Published March 22, 2013 by Roman Rudenko @ https://css-tricks.com/theres-more-to-the-css-rem-unit-than-font-sizing/

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Review: “Front-end Style Guides” by Anna Debenham

by Lewis Persons

Producing a CMS-based website gives a client a way to update content – both within a page and with a new page itself. However, a client who is not familiar with the design theory or patterns of the website may not be able to maintain the stylistic elements of the site. For instance, changing the font on a page may remove an important element of the overall design. While the CSS style page may prevent a massive change of the page, it is not foolproof. In addition, on a traditionally-made site, a new designer or developer may make adjustments to an older site that don’t fit in because of time restraints or lack of concern about the style. The implications of this would be particularly serious for a corporate website that promotes its branding style on the site itself. One full discussion of this problem is “Front-end Style Guides” by Anna Debenham at http://24ways.org/2011/front-end-style-guides/.

Even though it was written a few years ago, this article addresses some different ways to confront this problem at the beginning of a site’s life through pro-active documentation by the site’s designers and/or developers. Most of these involve setting up a styling guide for the website that is much more detailed than the comments on the CSS style sheet. In addition, the guide is also more understandable for those not intimately familiar with HTML and CSS code. Some of these style guides can be very detailed for those sites concerned about branding.

After a brief discussion outlining the premise supporting these style guides, Ms. Debenham lists some examples of different kinds of “front-end developer’s style guide(s)”.

One of these uses an image of one of the pages on a site with notations made on the page showing the specific HTML markups and CSS styling used for different elements on the page. This allows those same markups and styles to be referenced and used for subsequent pages to produce a cohesive look for the whole site.

Another example includes the above features but is even more detailed showing when certain elements of the style are “appropriate” for different kinds of content – even to delineating the types of lists that should be used for


    Still another relies more heavily on the comment features available both in HTML and CSS. This approach is perhaps more intuitive and less time-consuming for the original developer, but it relies on subsequent developers/designers to carefully analyze the code before adding more content or pages. This is a ‘bare-minimum’ approach that should be augmented with a more formal style guide that is easily and quickly understandable.

    The advantages of a unified style guide are:

  •  It is easier to spot where the design parameters have broken and why.
  •  It forces a better workflow by demanding more thought about how the new content relates to the rest of the site.
  •  It produces a commonality of terms and lingo referencing different components of the site.
  •  It can be easily used to help future developers to understand how all of the elements in the site relate to reduce conflicts produced by not understanding how different action-producing elements or errors work.

Anna then produces her own recommendations for a style guide to accomplish these goals in an easily understood way.

This is definitely a good article to enhance a developer/designer’s perception of an integral part of web site development that tends to be forgotten, the reproducibility of style for added content by future authors.

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Top Ten IT Job Demand Trends Based on Salary

by Lewis Persons

This began as an attempt to show the trends in IT job demand for the last few years using salary levels as an indicator of that demand. Below I have compiled information from five different sources which purport to show the top IT jobs in the last six years. Some of these are simple listings of IT jobs while others are actual rankings of those jobs based on average or median salaries. After studying these tables, it is interesting to note that most of the same job titles appear in all the tables, while the salary figures vary based on the year and (probably) the source of the information. One of the sources (January 13, 2015 – U.S. News and World Reports) also showed the differences in salary based on region.
One of the more confusing and disappointing features of these articles was the apparent lack of or inability to find current salary information with the December, 2013 article actually citing 2008 data. This disparity and lack of information then reveals little correlation over time between job demand and salary levels. A more in-depth analysis would be required to reveal clear results.
In spite of the inability to see trends from this data, it is still interesting to note the continuation of many of these positions in the list of top IT jobs.

March, 2009 – Inside Tech by Eric Dahl at http://insidetech.monster.com/careers/articles/4322-10-recession-proof-it-careers
Rank Job Salary
1 System Architect / IT Manager $        79,000.00
2 Unified Communications Engineer          73,000.00
3 SAP Consultant          94,000.00
4 Ruby/Rails Engineer          91,000.00
5 Network Security Specialist          67,000.00
6 VoIP Support Specialist          61,000.00
7 Mac or Linux Support          52,000.00
8 Wireless Network Manager          72,000.00
9 PHP Developer          76,000.00
10 Database Administrator          79,000.00


2012 – Top IT Jobs by David Weedmark with About.com at http://jobsearchtech.about.com/od/careertypes/a/Top-It-Jobs.htm
Rank Job Ave. Salary
1 Software Engineers and Developers $        88,000.00
2 IT Project Managers          91,000.00
3 Business and Systems Analysts          78,000.00
4 Web Developers          76,000.00
5 Computer Programmers          71,178.00
6 Technical Writers          61,500.00
7 Computer Science Technicians          37,000.00


July 23, 2013 – Experience.com – Top 10 Jobs in Information Technology by Veronica C. at http://www.experience.com/entry-level-jobs/news/top-10-jobs-in-information-technology/
Rank Job Salary
1 IT Consultant $       96,400.00
2 Cloud Archtect        112,000.00
3 Computer Forensic Investigator          64,000.00
4 Health IT Specialist          45,000.00
5 Mobile Application Developer         90,000.00
6 Web Developer          90,000.00
7 Software Engineer          89,000.00
8 Information Technology Vendor Manager          88,000.00
9 Geospatial Professionals          84,000.00
10 Data Modeler    103,000.00


December, 2013 – ComputerMajors http://www.computermajors.com/it-articles/10-hot-it careers.aspx
Rank Job Salary Data Year
1 Computer Support Specialist $      43,450.00 2008
2 Game Designer or Developer 42,400-85,430 2008
3 Database Administrator        69,740.00 2008
4 Web Developer or Designer        42,400.00 2008
5 Network Systems & Data Communication Analyst 66,310 – 71,100 2008
6 Computer Systems Analyst        75,500.00 2008
7 Software Engineer 85,430 – 92,430 2008
8 Hardware Engineer        98,810.00 2008
9 Computer Scientist        97,970.00 2008
10 Computer & Information systems Manager      112,210.00 2008


January 13, 2015 – U.S. News and World Reports http://money.usnews.com/careers/best-jobs/rankings/best-technology-jobs?page=2
Rank Job Salary
1 Software Developer $      96,260.00
2 Computer Systems Analyst        85,320.00
3 Information Security Analyst        91,210.00
4 Web Developer        67,540.00
5 Mechanical Engineer        82,100.00
6 IT Manager      132,570.00
7 Civil Engineer        85,640.00
8 Computer Systems Administrator        77,910.00
9 Database Administrator        80,740.00
10 Computer Programmer        80,930.00


For anyone considering a career in or career change within the IT field, this information should be used carefully, so that a decision about which area to pursue is not based solely on current salaries. Other critical factors would obviously include an individual evaluation of natural or innate abilities and should entail a thoughtful consideration of the probable future of a selected field as both hardware and software technologies continue to rapidly change. Further study of these fields would probably also reveal varying job satisfaction ratings.

In addition, anyone in this field should realize that constant education will be a given requirement because of the changes mentioned above.

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Ten WordPress Themes I Like

by Lewis Persons

Here are ten WordPress themes in no particular order or ranking that I thought looked attractive, were rated well and deserve consideration for personal and commercial use.

Zeyn – Multipurpose WordPress Theme at themeforest

A glossy modern multi-purpose theme with plenty of special effects, Zeyn is loaded with enough features to keep a modern developer busy and happy. A five-star rated theme, it comes with templated landing, product launch and apps pages. It includes a visual page builder, advertises full customization, slider Revolution, WooCommerce integration and header style customization. $58.00

Zephyr | Material Design Theme at themeforest

This is a multi-purpose theme that can be used for businesses or specific interest sites like CV’s with or without blogs. It appears to be fully customizable with a full complement of modern functions and options. It features a fully responsive design, a drag-and-drop page builder, easy typography options, a custom CSS editor, slider Revolution and supports WooCommerce. Five stars rating for $58.00.


This is a clean theme for WP.org that would be good for artistic content with its de-emphasis on menu and navigation bars. It uses the art work as the main feature on a page. With the roll-up single-page-like widget, it is a contemporary design that should appeal to non-business or single product sites. It has an icon-based navigation panel and large, customizable search bar also available. Rated 4.9 stars. Free


This theme appears to have plenty of latitude to provide a good platform for many different kinds of websites. It advertises that it “incorporates latest web standards such as HTML5 and CSS3 and is SEO friendly …(and)… has dozens of Theme Options to change theme layout, colors, fonts, slider settings and much more.” It has 1 and 2 column as well as right and left sidebar options. Rated 4.9 stars. Free

Template Express

This is a collection of 7 different themes with a variety of uses including blogs, cake shops, restaurants, weddings, florists, crafts, sports clubs, etc. They are responsive with support instructions and forums. Themes have multiple templates for some customization. Unlimited color options and social media links are also included. Some have free versions – basically for non-developers – while the “pro” versions allow extended customization. The ‘pro’-collection is $39.00 with individual “pro”-themes for $19.00.

Divi Builder

By elegant themes at http://www.elegantthemes.com/gallery/divi/.
Also has Drag & Drop Builder with Buttons, List Styles, Sliders, Lightbox Images, Large Quotes, Testimonials, Paper Callouts, Video Embedding, Toggled Content, Tabbed Content, Content Sliders and Box Styles. These modules all let the designer use the visual editor to customize the theme with no code writing. This company has 87 different themes with 5 plugins: Monarch Social Sharing Plugin, HandHeld Mobile Plugin, Drag and Drop Builder Plugin, and Anticipate (a maintenance mode plugin that allows you to serve your visitors an alternate “coming soon” page while you work on building your website in the background. Once activated, all visitors will be sent to the Anticipate landing page. When logged in as a WordPress Admin, however, the normal theme appears, allowing you to build your website seamlessly in the background) and Shortcodes. These themes and plugins are for sale for a total of $89 and can be used on WP.com. For customization, it needs to be installed on WP.org.

 Puzzle – Responsive WordPress Theme 

at https://creativemarket.com/BinaryMoon/108641-Puzzle-Responsive-WordPress-Theme . This is a minimalist masonry theme made for photographs and other art. It has a background with multiple blocks in which text or pictures can be inserted. Click on the blocks to link to a blog post (with the original picture) or blog directly into the blocks. It includes custom page templates and supports Jetpack and Styleguide plugins and can be used on either WordPress.org or WordPress .com – $99.00.

Baby Kids – Education Primary School For Children

at themeforest.
This theme – designed primarily as a multipurpose and multipage site for elementary-age children’s events, schools and stores – has a fresh look using a monochrome or single picture background with bright colors. It features different menu types as well as masonry, standard, left or right sidebar and full width post formats. Google maps and tabbed subsections are included in pages incorporating simple colored shapes for a kid-friendly look. Incorporates responsive design, a high degree of flexibility, slider revolution and visual page builder. $48.00.

Business In Our Town–Business List, Deals, Jobs

at themeforest
This is a simple but colorful theme designed specifically for a municipality or other government entity. It uses two customized posts for other purposes like lists of jobs available or special deals. It also has user sign-ups available with additional content available for those users. Although it is not listed as responsive, the theme developer recommends using WPTouch for mobile applications and/or using media queries with CSS. The theme developer, using the alias virtuti, has other lavishly embellished and richly-featured WP themes, several for small niches, as well. $43.00.

Promotion – Animated CV Resume Theme

at themeforest.
A modern and clean design with animated elements, this theme has several options for creating impressive resumes and CV’s. It gives several creative types of presentation formats with a fly-out button for printing the resume. A full background photo slider as well as a full background video player are integrated into this fully responsive theme advertising over 600 Google and icon fonts. It has unlimited color themes and costs $43.00.

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Five Essential WP Plugins

by Lewis Persons

I have listed below five popular plugins for WordPress that should be helpful for any website developer.

  1. Woocommerce ( http://www.woothemes.com/woocommerce/ ).

This is an on-line eCommerce plugin that will integrate into a WordPress website. Included features are:

  1. Payments using PayPal for credit cards and PayPal accounts, direct debits and payments using BACS and COD payments.
  2. A shipping module for options like free shipping or flat rate shipping. Also includes other shipping and rate calculation options using additional (mostly not-free) plugin interfaces.
  3. Scalable inventory management of either digital or physical products which allows the assignment of store managers to handle the daily management.
  4. A reporting function for sales and reviews, stock levels and overall performance
  5. Marketing using coupon campaigns with discount options, usage limits and product and/or user restrictions. Also includes a free shipping function.
  6. Sales and other tax calculation settings using tax classes and local tax rates.


  1. Google Maps (available as the free “Lite Version” – summarized here).

( https://wordpress.org/plugins/wp-google-maps/ )

This free version, which can also be upgraded for a fee for more features, can be used by many websites which are used for actual physical store-front or office businesses to give directions to potential customers and clients.
Features include:

  1. Type in addresses to create unlimited map markers which can later be edited and dragged to an exact location if desired
  2. Responsive maps in four types: roadmap, terrain, satellite and hybrid
  3. Supports Google Maps Streetview
  4. UTF-8 character support
  5. Dimensional and zoom level definition
  6. Map markers can be animated
  7. Rapid (less than 30 seconds) map creation
  8. No advertising or links
  9. Includes Weather, Clouds, and Transport layers


  1. Jetpack ( https://wordpress.org/plugins/jetpack/ )

A feature-packed plugin that any developer would find useful to create function-rich sites. It includes:

  1. Custom CSS, Carousels, spam-free Contact Forms, Sidebar Widgets, Infinite Scroll, and Tiled Galleries
  2. Instant and customizable mobile responsive theme designed for phones and tablets
  3. Tools for content creation and publishing using Post by Email, Shortcode Embeds, Markdown, Beautiful Math, Spelling, and VideoPress
  4. Interaction with visitors using Enhanced Distribution, spam-free Comments, Shortlinks, Likes, Notifications, Related Posts, Publicize, Social Sharing, Subscriptions, and Site Verification Tools
  5. Faster image delivery with Photon DCN
  6. Access to visitor profiling using Stats
  7. Security enhancements including Single Sign On, Jetpack Monitor, and Akismet anti-spam
  8. Other listed features include:
    • Simple, concise stats with no additional load on your server.
    • Email subscriptions for your blog’s posts and your post’s comments.
    • Social networking enabled comment system.
    • Likes, allowing your readers to show their appreciation of your posts.
    • Monitor and manage your site’s activity with Notifications.
    • Simple, Akismet-backed contact forms.
    • The WP.me URL shortener.
    • Hovercard popups for your commenters via Gravatar.
    • Easily embedded media from popular sites like YouTube, Digg, and Vimeo.
    • The ability to post to your blog from any email client.
    • Integration with social networks including Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Path, and LinkedIn.
    • For the Math geeks, a simple way to include beautiful mathematical expressions.
    • A widget for displaying recent tweets.
    • Your readers can easily share your posts via email or their favorite social networks.
    • Improved writing thanks to an AI-based spell, style, and grammar checker.
    • Turn WordPress galleries into a gorgeous full-screen photo browsing experience.
    • A CSS editor that lets you customize your site design without modifying your theme.
    • A mobile theme that automatically streamlines your site for visitors on mobile devices.
    • Mobile push notifications for new comments via WordPress mobile apps.
    • Allowing applications to securely authenticate and access your site with your permission.
    • Creative formats for your image galleries: mosaic, circles, squares, and a slideshow view.
    • Add post sliders and other highlights to your theme with Featured Content.
    • Omnisearch: Search posts, pages, comments, media, and plugins from one search box.
    • Configure widgets to appear only on certain pages.
    • Upload and insert videos into your posts thanks to VideoPress.
    • Link WordPress and your Google+ Profile to add multiple Google features to your site.
    • Sign in to your self-hosted WordPress site using your WordPress.com account.
    • Receive alerts the moment that site downtime is detected.


  1. S2Member ( http://www.s2member.com/ ).

This is a free management plugin for sites needing subscriptions or memberships.
Features include:

  1. Integrates with PayPal Standard for businesses
  2. Supports recurring billing, and associated recurring commissions
  3. Supports custom registration pages, account access, etc.
  4. Can be upgraded for a fee to include Stripe®, PayPal Pro®, Authorize.Net®, Google® Checkout and ClickBank® gateway integration.
  5. The upgrade also includes advanced User Import/Export tools, Coupon Codes and a Pro Login Widget
  6. Upgrade one-site usage: 1 time $69.00 fee


  1. Real Favicon Generator (http://realfavicongenerator.net/ )
  1.  Generates the icons and HTML needed for desktop browsers, iOS home
    screens, Android home screens, Windows 8 tiles and Windows task bar
  2. Works on:
    • PC and Mac
    • iPhone and iPad
    • Android phones and tablets
    • Windows 8 tablets

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