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Website Wednesday 6-23

A common question for anyone thinking about getting a website is:

When do I buy the domain?

The answer:

Once you’ve settled on a name, buy it. Don’t put it off because you’re not sure if you’ll actually use it.

Here is the number ONE reason why:

Your dream domain is awesome! But suddenly, it’s not available anymore.

This is the biggest heartbreak ever. You go to purchase your domain only to find it’s been taken. Chances are you did a public whois on GoDaddy or some other site and the evil domain harvesting sites saw that someone had searched your domain, and suddenly deemed it as a wanted name. They swoop in and buy it. Just like that it’s gone.

To avoid this issue I recommend the following:

  • NEVER share your ideal domain!
  • DON’T do domain registration site whois searches until you’re ready to purchase.
  • REGISTER your domain as soon as you’ve settled on a name.

If you’re unsure of your domain, by all means, take time and think about it. But be warned that the longer you think about it the more likely your dream domain might be taken.

Always remember that just because you’ve purchased a domain doesn’t mean you have to build a website ASAP. It’s ok to let it sit there while you prepare yourself for the next step. If you have a blog on Blogger or WordPress, point it to that link until you’re ready to do more with it.

And don’t be lured in by the extras.

If you’re not ready to build your site, hold off on the hosting. It’s only an unneeded fee until you actually use it. Most domain registrar places try to push their hosting packages but if you’re not ready, don’t waste the money.

Domain registrar places will also try to sell you multiple domains. Just ask yourself: Do you really need the .info, .me or .org? Probably not. If you have a commonly misspelled name, then perhaps you should buy the misspelled version of your domain in a .com but I’ve never found any reason to buy any of the other extensions. The .com or .net are good enough!

Domain Privacy is the one thing I do recommend adding on if its not part of the package. This feature protects your personal information from the whois records. Not everyone needs to know you live at 324 West Author Lane in Newcommerville.

Good luck on your future purchase!

Design Notes – Ria Ritchey

I’m often asked where I get my ideas from or what inspires me… Honestly, EVERYTHING!

From pictures online to a cloudy afternoon, everything around me gives me inspiration for new designs. But this post is about my new site and how it came to be.

First, I needed something that was more personal. I felt my old site had a more “designers group” vibe than a one woman show, which it’s only me behind these designs. I really needed a new name for myself and after months of nothingness, I gave in and went with MY name. It’s a good enough name *smile*.

Then came the design. I wanted something that spoke of the many elements I design, such as websites, printable graphics and (coming soon) invitations. The new site had to be fun while elegant. Not always an easy thing to mush together.

My first bit of inspiration came from looking at Mother’s Day cards. While strolling down the card isle I saw some general Thank You cards that came in packs of 10. A few of the designs were really great! I snapped a quick photo of the cards and went home with ideas in my head.

A few days later I decided to sit down and get busy. One problem, my image on my cell phone was kinda small and hard to see the details. Frustrated, I went in search of who made these cards. Low and behold, it’s a designer named Terri Conrad. And needless to say, I fell in love with her work.

But, as you can see, I didn’t design my site after the snapshot I took. Nope, I found something that inspired me even more.

I found this image on her website and was instantly hit with TONS of ideas of how I could work these colors. I loved the colors! They gave a contemporary feel and the flourishes could keep the elegance I wanted.

While I really do love Terri’s design, I had to make it my own. And I think I did.

Hope you like it as much as I do!

PS. I’m still adding links and tweaking things, so not everything is in its place. Expect to see more soon!

Coming Soon!

The re-launch of this site has been a long time coming. Building my own design service has been a dream of mine for some time and it’s only now that I’m able to bring it to life with a new look and feel!

Yay! I’m so excited! As you can tell.

I’ve been designing websites for about five years now, professionally, but personally for a lot longer. This site has come a long way from being a graphic overload to what you see today.

Look for more changes to be made in the near future. After all, I’m still adding information and working out the kinks.

Getting Risky with the Riskies

Today is the 3rd Anniversary for Risky Regencies and to celebrate they’ve launched their new look. A look I created!!!

Check it out!

Some cool information behind the scenes information:

The colors are historically correct! Diane Gaston sent me a historical color source image so the colors could be more accurate.

The main image is drawing of “Tom, Jerry, and Logic Making the Most of an Evening in Vauxhall” by Robert and George Cruikshank, from Pierce Egan’s Life in London (1821)

Here is a link to the original image:

Please note the couple toward the center. Some of you may have seen buttons floating about the conference with this dancing couple. In the image from the above link, you’ll note the woman doesn’t have two legs. For the buttons she looked a bit odd like that and so I added a second leg hehe.

Look for the complete story of this project in my portfolio within a week or so.