Designer Baby Clothes Can Be Affordable

One of the biggest trends in fashion today is designer clothes for babies. Babies no longer have to dress in just pastel pajamas, or be limited by what is available to the masses at the local mart. Now babies can also wear one-of-a-kind (or nearly so) couture and boutique fashions, just like adults.Some popular adult wear designers have also introduced a line for babies, such as Ralph Lauren, Lily Pulitzer, Tommy Hilfiger and Guess. These designer baby fashions can usually be found in the better departments stores, such as Lord and Taylor, Nordstrom’s and Macy’s. Department stores also feature other top brands of designer baby clothes like Little Me, Flapdoodles, Greendog, Icky Baby, First Impression, Little Bitty and Baby Nay to name just a few.Some designers offer their clothes through their own catalog’s and websites. A leader in this type of designer baby clothes is Hanna Anderson, who comes out with several new lines each season. Each line is available for infant through adult, with the adult and children clothes coordinating in each line. This designer has a certain number of clothing design styles that she is well known for, especially the Play Dresses with tights and leggings, and the organic cotton Jeeper Creepers and Wiggle Pants, with new colors and prints becoming available each season. At the end of each season, many items can be purchased at a great clearance price.Another type of designer baby wear is the brand name clothing found in their own stores in shopping malls, especially Gymboree and The Children’s Place. Prices may range from very inexpensive to quite pricey, depending on the store. Gymboree also comes out with several new lines each season, featuring several pieces and accessories available in each line. Gymboree has inspired a whole community of collectors and resellers who offer websites to keep track of all of the different lines, and people trade in order to get pieces in particular sets. Making purchases at Gymboree earns “Gymbucks” that offer 50% discounts on purchases over $50. The great thing about Gymbucks is that they can even be used on discounted sale merchandise. Some people will give away their Gymbucks if they are close to expiring – so check your local classified ads. There are also several outlets located throughout the U.S.Finally there are the “boutique fashions”. These are the designers who often design nothing but baby clothes, and their fashions may only be found at special baby boutiques. Baby boutique fashions run the gamut from widely available mass-produced fashions to hand-made unique specialty items. Some of the popular boutique brands include MishMish, CachCach, City Threads, Jack and Lily, Devi Baby, Dogwood, and Flowers by Zoe.The great thing about designer baby clothes is their resale value. Baby clothes are sometimes worn just once or twice, but the lower cost brands are so readily available that they don’t have the same resalable quality. You may be able to recoup a couple dollars or fifty cents at a garage sale, but when you purchase certain designer fashions, you are making an investment that you may be able to get your money back on. First, purchase your baby’s designer wear, preferably on sale. After your little one has worn it a few times, you may very well be able to turn around and resell it for a good price, getting some of your money back. That makes the final cost of the item comparable to that of the mainstream brands. This is also a good way for parents who think they can’t afford designer clothes for their babies to get very fashionable items, by buying gently used clothes at designer baby clothing consignment shops, and online at places such as e-Bay.

Pay Attention to Skin Care Products Ingredients

Did you know that some skin care products are actually classified as drugs not cosmetics? Some skin care ingredients can actually change the structure of skin which may be more than you originally bargained for.In order to protect your skin it’s important that you pay attention to ingredient labels. Some skin care products are laced with harmful chemicals that can actually damage your skin The problem is that finding out whether or not a product will harm your skin takes a bit of investigative work.Those skin care products that claim to reduce lines, change wrinkles, or alter your face in any manner may be doing a lot of damage. Various products are actually considered a drug by the government for the sheer fact that they contain lots of harsh chemicals.Even more frightening than the fact that some skin care products may actually ruin your skin is the fact that some products aren’t even considered drugs…even though they have skin altering ingredients. These products are often called “cosmeceutical” products within the skin care world.Cosmeceutical products actually change the biological makeup of the skin In short, these products will do a lot more than change the look of your skin ..they will actually change your skin’s elasticity. If you don’t want to apply products that can damage your skin it is best to purchase on natural skin products.Skin care can be quite complex given the fact that there are so many conflicting points of view out there. Some people will tell you to purchase products that contain chemicals, while other people are against any kind of chemical skin care product. So, what are you supposed to do?You can begin by searching for skin care products that only contain ingredients you can pronounce. This may seem silly, but if you can’t actually say the names of the ingredients inside of a product, you shouldn’t be putting that product on your skin.Next, make sure that you are purchasing only natural skin care products. Then again, natural means many different things within the skin care industry. Stick with those ingredients that you know, or take the time to research ingredients that you aren’t familiar with.Numerous products on the market will claim to change the way that you look. Still, many of these products don’t work…and most of them can actually ruin your skin If a product claims to alter your appearance, make sure that those chemicals won’t actually alter your skin’s structure.Skin’s elasticity is the one thing that keeps your skin from sagging and drooping. If you continuously apply a product that eats away at your skin’s elasticity, you might not be able to enjoy your skin’s natural appearance any longer. Avoid any skin care product that will potentially ruin your skin for good.Once skin loses its elasticity, it is hard to get it back. Using natural skin care products that don’t damage your skin is the best way to ensure that you will have youthful, radiant, skin for years to come. Be careful about what you put on your skin – after all, you only get one chance to treat your skin right.

Starting Your Business With Little Cash

As recent as ten years ago starting a business, any business, cost a lot of money. Cash outlay was thousands of dollars and there was no way to get around that. The barrier to entry into the world of small business was set high enough that not everyone could jump in. Times have changed. Now, with just a couple hundred dollars you can start your own business online.Besides business rent and equipment, usually a business owner’s biggest expense is marketing. Traditional marketing by mail or in person is expensive and has been largely replaced by online marketing tactics. Online you can reach hundreds or thousands of people quickly and without breaking the bank. Pay for finding visitors to your website using Pay Per Click (PPC) services, direct email marketing, banner ads, or through commissions to affiliates marketing your products for you. There are many ways to market online, nearly all of them better than traditional marketing practices.Ways to Save Cash as You Start Your Business1. Work at Home – Forget an office building for as long as you can. Online businesses, even the top bloggers in the world like Darren Rowse, still work out of their home offices. Think about the delicious tax deductions for working out of your home too.2. Rent Equipment – If you live in or near a major city you can likely rent out computer equipment you need for your business. Rented equipment is deductible on taxes and you are not responsible for it when it breaks on its own. You can have the latest made electronics at a great rate without spending the entire amount outright as you would buying it in a store.3. Learn the Basics about everything you have to do. Graphics, SEO, marketing, copyrighting, lead generation and growing your business are all things you should get up to speed on as fast as possible. If you are not already competent with the basics of these topics it would pay you over time to do so. Even if you are going to outsource work in these areas you still need to be able to talk intelligently about them. Start reading or watching video tutorials online.4. Work in the Cloud. Google Apps are a suite of applications that mimic Microsoft Office, and yet there is one major distinction. They are free. They are in the internet cloud and accessible from anywhere you can login. There is no need to take files with you on memory stick or send files via email – just login to your Google account and find them from where ever you are.5. Pay Per Click – Search engines, FaceBook, and other companies offer you a chance to pay for each click on an ad you run with the company. When someone clicks your ad they are taken to your website or landing page that talks about your product or service. Cost can be as little as 1 cent per click, or, if competition is high – a couple of dollars per click. Pay Per Click is an area of marketing every business should become educated about.6. Email Leads – Start collecting email addresses from visitors at your website from day one. Using Aweber.com or a similar service, start collecting visitors email addresses with an opt-in form so you can email them in the future with a permission-based email marketing program.7. Partnerships – find parallel businesses that offer something you do not and work with them in partnership to sell some of their products or services as they sell yours. Think about trading services business to business to help you save money. Online you can trade banners with another site so neither of you have to spend cash outright.Starting a business need not involve a lot of expenses that traditional business owners spend for granted. Spend time now to learn as many pieces of the puzzle as possible because it will save you a lot of money long-term. There are things you can do yourself, and things you have to outsource. Better if you do not have to outsource everything and can do some on your own. Educating yourself now will save you considerable cash as your business matures.

Travel and Tourism, a Hot Topic in Sierra Leone

Until a few days ago, if you had asked me to tell you about Sierra Leone, I would have had to think long and hard to tell you much about this West African country. I could probably have explained roughly where the country is located. I may have mentioned something about the slave trade being connected to Sierra Leone. I could certainly have told you that they had experienced a brutal civil war. I might even have admitted that I wasn’t entirely sure whether the war was 100% over. And that’s about it.Slavery and war. A pretty negative view of what is in fact an exceptionally positive country. Today, I see Sierra Leone from an entirely different perspective.It is difficult to ignore Sierra Leone’s history and focus purely on the present. Once a fertile area inhabited by dozens of tribes, it was settled by the Portuguese in the 1400′s who built a fort as a trading post for gold, spices, ivory and slaves. A British protectorate in later years, Sierra Leone had the dubious honour of becoming home to more than 40,000 freed slaves who gave Freetown its name. As a protectorate, Sierra Leone was exploited for its mineral and diamond wealth in the 1900′s and Sierra Leonean’s fought against the Germans in Cameroon in the First World War, and alongside the British in the Second World War. In 1961, Sierra Leone achieved independence from Britain and governed itself peacefully for 30 years. The peace was not to last and was followed by a decade of brutal civil war that destroyed the economy, brutalised the people and left a country that is rich in resources as one of the poorest in the world.The conflict was officially declared over in January 2002, and President Kabbah reelected in May 2002. Since then, the people of Sierra Leone have been pulling together to repair, renew and regenerate.Whilst doing research for a new website looking at travel and tourism in Sierra Leone, I came into contact with Sierra Leoneans from all manner of backgrounds living in both Sierra Leone and elsewhere. Their passion for the country was infectious: they clearly wanted to get the message across that Sierra Leone has far more to offer than a sad recent history and that reconstruction is moving ahead at a rapid pace. And indeed, proof of reconstruction is everywhere – new roads are being built, mines are being re-opened, dam projects started before the war are once again underway, markets are once again thriving and humming with life. There is also a great deal of confidence in Sierra Leone’s potential as a tourist destination: a Chinese company has recently invested a reputed US$270 million in the hotel infrastructure; enterprising companies like Kevin McPhillips Travel (based in the UK, USA and the Netherlands) offer exclusive twice weekly flights to Sierra Leone; African Tour specialists are researching viable package holidays in the region. The exciting thing about investment in Sierra Leone is that more is set to follow!They have a right to be confident. The beaches along Sierra Leone’s golden peninsula are said to be one of the world’s best kept secrets. Secluded, clean and stretching for miles on end, beach tourism is one of the top items on the government’s tourism promotion agenda. Beaches with very British names like Kent, Lumley, Sussex and York mix with more African names like Bureh Town, Tokey and Mammah beach, andAlthough many of the forests and much of the wildlife has been disturbed and in some cases, destroyed, by the war, eco-tourism is an important focus of Sierra Leoneans and natural treasures like Outamba-Kilimi National Park, populated by game animals such as elephants, chimpanzees and pigmy hippos, and Mount Bintimani, the highest point in West Africa, are just two of the worthwhile wildlife attractions on offer. Tacugama Chimpanzee Sanctuary rescues orphaned and captured chimps and has been described as one of the most successful Sierra Leonean wildlife endeavours, whilst Tiwai Island is home to over 3000 chimps as well as other game.Lakes, rivers and dams are perfect for picnics and relaxing. The marshlands hide a myriad of colourful birds – indeed, the bird life has been less affected by the war than the animals, and everywhere you go, the air is filled with birdsong. Sierra Leone is a bird-watchers dream! Tiwai Island for one boasts over 135 different bird species!For culture vultures and those with historical interests, the remnants of the slave trade make interesting and though-provoking expeditions. Bunce Island, a slave trading fortress, is a brief boat trip up the river; Freetown is itself a monument to freed slaves and its Cotton Tree, which stands in the heart of what is thought to be an old slave market, is now an impressive national symbol. Graves, monuments and forts are all that remain of British and Portuguese power in Sierra Leone: each has a tale to tell. There are over 16 different ethnic groups in the country, including the Krio, descendents of freed slaves who speak an English-based Creole called Krio, and visiting villages and chatting to people in markets and in the streets is rewarding for all parties!Freetown is probably the most developed of the cities, offering a level of safety that is difficult to match even in Western countries. Hotels, restaurants and nightspots are sprouting like mushrooms, and eating out in Sierra Leone promises a range of traditional and international treats, and seafood that is beyond belief!One has to wonder what attraction will tip the scales in making Sierra Leone the popular destination that it once was before the civil war. Based on my experiences with Sierra Leoneans in recent weeks, I feel that it will be the people who make the difference. Without exception, every Sierra Leonean that I have met or worked with has been proud of their country, proud of its progress and excited about the future. They are unfailingly welcoming, greeting aid-workers and travellers alike with smiles that you can only find in Africa, with an optimism – no, positivity – that other countries would do well to emulate.For travellers in search of a “diamond in the rough”, Sierra Leone offers a holiday like no other – my only advice to you is to visit sooner rather than later, to avoid what is sure to be a stampede once holiday-makes and tour operators latch on to this gem of a destination.

Instant Cash Payday Loans – Why They Make Sense

Most of us at one time or another will encounter a short-term financial situation that needs the injection of some cash to resolve. Maybe you need such a small amount of money that it does not make sense borrowing it over a long period, but the lenders will not allow you to borrow money for such a small amount of time. So what are you to do now, if your car is in need of repair and you have not got the money to repair it? This is where payday loans come in.A payday loan is designed to help people overcome short-term problems; as such they are only available for small amounts up to £750. However some lenders will actually restrict the amount that you can borrow the first time that you apply. Once the loan is repaid in its entirety on your next payday, they will then allow you to borrow more the next time you need any money. The lenders fees are simple and straight forward with a simple percentage added to the amount that you borrow. This means that you know exactly what the loan will cost you to repay, even before you apply, because there are no other hidden costs or admin fees.On successful completion of your loan the money is normally paid into your bank account on the same day that you apply, quite often without the need of any faxes or post. However in some cases where the lender is unable to confirm your details automatically they will request that you fax in some simple documentation to prove you are who you say you are.The lenders do what they can to make sure that they will only lend money to people who they think are able to repay them on their next payday. They do this because if you repay the loan on full at the end of the month then a payday loan is a viable option. However if you roll the loan over to another month or more, then you may as well have taken out a more long-term loan in the first place as that would then become a more cost effective alternative.So why do payday loans get so much bad publicity?The main reason that payday loans get as much bad publicity is because most people only look as far as the advertised APR (Annual Percentage Rate). What they should be doing is looking at what the loan is going to cost them in real terms, by looking at the total interest that is charged.So what is APR?The APR is the interest rate and any other charges expressed as an annual interest rate charge. The use of an APR is a useful way of comparing loans that are alike i.e. paid back over a longer period of time. But when you are comparing products which are miles apart such like payday loans with only one repayment or any other loan type that is repaid over numerous monthly repayments.See the details below which should make it easier for you to understand this;With a personal loan for £500 which has an APR of 19.9% taken out for 36 months will cost a total of £653 to repay; this equates to 31% being added to the cost of the loan in interest charges.If you were to take out the exact same loan but this time for 60 months it would cost a total £766 to repay the loan; this equates to an interest charge or 53% of the loan amount.Yet if you were to take out a payday loan for the same amount it would only cost you £625 to repay at an APR of 1737%; this equates to 25% being added in the way of interest.As you can see from the examples detailed above the APR for the two multiple repayment loans are exactly the same, yet the amount repaid and the actual interest charged expressed as a percentage of the amount borrowed is significantly different. They both also cost much more than a payday loan yet the APR indicates a totally different story.So if you need a small amount of cash to overcome a short-term financial issue ignore the APR and look at what the loan will actually cost you. You will then see that a payday loan is in fact a very competitive option indeed.

How Does Gardening Relieve Stress?

One of my favorite activities is working in my garden; it is also a vibrant place to meditate, often visited by various winged and four-legged creatures. Being in nature, touching the soil and creating a living landscape is healing in a way that is like nothing else. The very fragrance of the soil, the textures of the barks and foliage of green plants, the aromatic flowers, all are a work of art that is soothing to the spirit.Gardening is a creative work, all in magnificent 3-D. The pallette you have to work with includes textures, colors, shapes, sounds and scents. You can plant for wildlife, or for butterflies. Rain gardens are a beautiful way to deal with runoff from the roof, while recharging the local water table instead of sending rainwater down the city sewer system.Granted, all this may not work for you if you don’t like gardening. Even if you love the idea of gardening, and perhaps have some experience or helped your mother or grandmother in the garden when you were a child, it is important that it not be a chore. The easiest first mistake is to take on too much, and find that instead of being a stress relief you are stressed because the goals you set are unrealistic.Rather than end up with a stressful responsibility that has become overwhelming, it is far better to enjoy a potted plant or a single container garden on the patio, or a hanging planter or two by the walkway to greet you with their cheerful color, than to stress out over a large garden that has run to weeds due to lack of available time.Keep it simple, start small… Or even, start tiny, even indoors with a little terrarium, or a potted group of cactus. One plant that I consider important to keep in the house is an aloe plant. It is hardy, doesn’t mind indoors as long as the humidity doesn’t get too low, and is a wonderful medicinal herb for minor burns, scratches and bruises. Another fun idea, especially if you love to cook, is to keep a small window herb garden. For more information on growing your own kitchen herbs, check out the Organic Gardening website with a great web page on growing herbs indoors.A garden is a way to connect with nature, to slow down and be in the moment, and restore a sense of self in the noise and haste of the modern urban environment. Leave the phone and other noisemakers and distractions inside. Get a break from computer screens, TV screens, hand-held device screens and relax your gaze to take in a wider view. If you’ve ever suffered chastisement in school from indulging in the simple pleasure of looking out the window at beautiful clouds, you know what I mean.My avocation is natural areas restoration; I am a member of a not-for-profit group that is working to set aside natural areas for wildlife habitat. We restore these areas as close as possible to their pre-settlement condition, with native plants and clean waterways. Of course, once the native plant community returns, the wildlife shows up in abundance. You may enjoy creating an ecosystem in your yard that not only features native plants, but will attract wildlife such as endangered butterflies, dragonflies, and birds. The National Wildlife Federation website has great information on how to create wildlife habitat in your yard or community. Again, be realistic and take things in small bites; this is a process. If nothing else, nature encourages us to slow down, take our time to enjoy. Take on too much and we soon fall into stress and anxiety over arbitrary, ultimately unsatisfying goals that we have set for ourselves. You know what Pogo said, “We have met the enemy and he is us”.If you live in an apartment and don’t have garden space, you may want to consider joining in with the local community garden – or start one. The local community or neighborhood garden can also provide, if you wish, an opportunity to enjoy the benefit of social interaction.Gardening provides a sense of accomplishment – that is, if we’ve not overwhelmed ourselves with too much to take care of. Not only that, but there is great satisfaction in growing our own vegetables, fruits and fresh herbs. There is no fruit or vegetable in the supermarket, however much money is paid out, that will compare with your home-grown, lovingly cared for vegetable. No matter that it may be a simple container-grown cherry tomato. For a great article on the best tomatoes for container growing, check out what Colleen Vanderlinden has to say, based on her personal experience.There is even a movement called “geo-sense” gardening coming out of Europe. The idea is to design home gardens to provide stress relief. The tradition has deep roots, according to an article by Dr. Leonard P. Perry, Extension Professor at the University of Vermont. The ancient gardens of great civilizations of Egypt, Persia and China were designed to bring nature into their urban environments. Dr. Perry’s article contains ideas to incorporate into your garden to make it an environment – a mini ecosystem – that is designed for serenity.In traditional Japan, the garden was an expression of Zen philosophy. In an article on the Japanese Garden website, Dr. Koichi Kawana explains the philosophy behind traditional Japanese garden design. The Helpful Gardener website is another great website describes the traditional Japanese Garden, and its underlying Zen philosophy.The garden, whether it is a large plot or a simple miniature ecosystem in a container, embodies many things; spiritual philosophy, connectedness with nature, a living artistic creation, being grounded with our hands literally in the dirt, growing and providing ourselves and loved ones with our own superb food. All these things are the bounty that nature provides – freely given, asking for just a little touch of loving hands.If you enjoy gardening, tell us about your experiences, and whether or not you find gardening to be relaxing. Do you find it a challenge to find the time you want to work in the garden? Have you been challenged by trying to do too much? How do you balance the enjoyment with the work needed to keep your garden in good shape? Are you an “au natural” gardener, or do you prefer a neat and orderly design? Does it seem to bring you closer to nature, or even to a meditative, spiritual experience?If you have found this article to be helpful, please do share it with your friends using the social media buttons below.

How Good Are Free Ransomware Decryptors?

In the light of recent months, with the cases continuously climbing high during the current pandemic, many companies and their customers have been facing numerous ransomware and hijacking attempts – from robotext messages, robocalls, and virus injections. Hackers are really leaning hard on ransomware because it gives them an edge over the customers – lock their data, and if you pay the ransom, we’ll give you a solution, and you can decrypt your files! One such ransomware virus that took the world by storm was the ThiefQuest (a.k.a. EvilQuest) ransomware virus. But one company decided to break that cycle by offering a way that people can decrypt their data for free: the one and only SentinelOne.

Recommended article: SentinelOne is #1 at Crushing Viruses and Keeping You Safe

Mac Users Are the Targets
Unlike the other numerous viruses that target Windows users, the specific EvilQuest ransomware targets Mac operators. However, the downside to this is that many businesses are the primary users of Mac computers, laptops, and products. As a matter of fact, there are more iPhone users in the world that use the MacOS on their mobile platforms and office computers than Windows users. Either way, the virus is meant to decrypt files, and it does not tell infected users how to contact the company. It does provide a Bitcoin wallet and where to deposit your ransom to. And they only give you 72 hours to get your ransom to them.

The Free Decryptor
There are many other ransomware programs out there, and SentinelOne is one of those companies who have been able to say they’re coming to the call. Most users who get infected with ransomware don’t get their files restored with this virus, and they are permanently locked out of them. The decryption process that SentinelOne provides is that their researchers basically recreated the virus and then reverse-engineered it. They were able to analyze the code pattern and decipher the malicious code that’s injected into the files so they can remove it. Fortunately, it’s because the ransomware itself is rather new (meaning that it was very recently created – so it has some bugs). Other ransomware viruses are a bit harder to crack. But does it work?

Recommended article: How Quickly a Ransomware Attack Can Happen In 2020

According to SentinelOne, it does. And so, do many others. Of course, they do have disclaimers in case they can’t decrypt literally every single file. That’s because there is no guarantee that every virus is different. One virus, though, that’s being used a lot is the WannaCry ransomware on PC’s ranging from small businesses all the way up to government officials (and one of the most common during these times). Having a good product such as SentinelOne, or even getting the Trend Micro tool can help. There is a good chance that you may not actually need to pay the fee to get your files unlocked. However, some of the more advanced viruses may have numerous variants in code, so it may not be easy to pinpoint which one it is and the code (which may sometimes be randomly inserted into a file) itself. Therefore, you need to have a good protection plan in place.

What Should I Do?
If you get ahold of your local IT support team, they’ll be able to help you get some of the best security tools and can even provide local and cloud-based backups of your precious data in case of a ransomware attack. Many companies have been able to say that their ransomware hiccups have cost them, but most of them are paying their hackers not to leak their customers’ data. Don’t be that person, and keep your data safe, and you’ll be much better off in the long run!

Bridging the Gap Between Search Engine Spiders and Humans

Search engine spiders are – in a way – the lifeblood of the internet. Without them, we wouldn’t have search engines. Without search engines, nobody could find your website, nor could you locate 99%+ of the internet either.

And yet, these little spiders – however necessary they are – don’t by any means paint the full picture of the business behind the website it’s spidering. All a spider can do is read the content of your site via the HTML you provide it. Therefore, we’re told to develop “search engine friendly” websites – ones with a good structure of headline tags, and using keywords that explicitly state what our website is about.

Of course, links play a part too. Authoritative links pointing to your site act as “votes” that search engines count in your favor. This helps them build a reasonable picture of the quality of your content. However, it’s often the case that there’s a massive gap between how search engines see your website, and the quality of service or product you provide. Let’s look at this gap a little closer, and see how it can be filled.

The Gap
Let’s imagine a business that established itself 25 years ago, and has provided a consistently high quality of drainage services in all of that time. They have repeat customers who don’t think twice about booking their services every year. To all intents and purposes, they are highly trusted, successful business. And yet, they are ranked very low in Google for all their main keywords. What’s gone wrong here? This “gap” in perception is because the website this business owns has very few (or even zero) authoritative links, poor on-page optimization, and poor content. Search engine spiders can’t see past these metrics. No business has a “right” to ranking well just because they provide an excellent “in real life” product or service.

How to Bridge This Gap?
There is a symbiotic relationship between website owners and search engines. Both need each other. This is why Google Search Console exists. It’s a means to allow the website owner to help Google better understand their website, and help bridge this gap.

That’s only the first step though. Having your site audited by an on-page optimization expert can help you fine-tune your website page structure, your URLs, your navigation, your titles, your content.

Where search engine spiders fail to see signals of trust like how well established your business is (even if the website is 6 months old), a human reviewer CAN. Third party services like human-review directories and customer review services can REALLY help close the gap.

Human-review directories
A high-quality human-review niche directory will look for signals of trust found on your website. These are often too subtle for a search engine spider to “join the dots” – but a discerning human can. For example, if a website claims to be a member of a particular association, it’s possible to search for the company name on the association’s website. The same can be done for company registration numbers too. If a company has been established for many years, and they show this on a company history page, a human reviewer can build up a picture of the company’s progress through the years. Moreover, it’s the aggregation of all of these things that help a human reviewer build a solid picture of the business. A search engine spider will not be able to see the nuances a human can.

Suggested article: Human-reviewed, Established Niche Directories

Review services
Your customer base is your ultimate cheerleaders (or perhaps, whistle-blowers!). They trusted your product or service, and they can write about their experiences via review services like Trustpilot. These help people get some idea of the quality of product or service you provide.

Suggested article: The Purpose of b2blistings.org

Online Reputation
Both human-review directories and review services can be used to give some proof as to the reputation you deserve online. When someone does a search for your brand name, and you’re listed in human-review directories and under review services, these signals of trust can be found in the search – helping prospective new customers gain some trust in your business. Search engines will also be visiting these directories and review services too, so it helps them get a better picture of your business as well.

Suggested article: Other Website Review Services We Run

Conclusion
It doesn’t matter how good your product or service is in “the real world”. Online, you start from zero and work your way up. It doesn’t mean that having a great product or service doesn’t help you. It does – very much. It’s just you have to jump through the same hoops as every other website owner to get yourself established. Once you are established and easily found, you’ll find your old friend (word-of-mouth marketing) was online this whole time. You’ll discover that your online presence will take on a life of its own as people start recommending you on social media and their own websites. It just takes time and effort to get to that point.

Optimal Web Design: a Delicate Balance Between Aesthetics, Usability, and Accessibility

Having designed and developed websites for over 25 years, I must confess the biggest gripe I have when it comes to dealing with clients: their obsession with aesthetics. Hold on – what’s wrong with that? Surely I’m forgetting the “design” part of web design by complaining that clients focus too intently on how the site actually…looks? No, I’ve not forgotten – it’s just that aesthetics need to be balanced with usability and accessibility considerations too, and that if a client becomes too focused on aesthetics, their site can concede too many usability and accessibility features in the process.

The advantage aesthetics have over usability and accessibility is that it’s visual, whereas the latter two are often “invisible”: they’re not obvious, yet they can severely affect the level of success a website can hope to achieve.

Before we go too far, let’s get definitions of two words that are already popping up a lot in this article.

Usability
This term is fairly self-explanatory: usability concerns itself with how easy a website is to use. A website with strong usability is easy to navigate while making it easy for the visitor to do stuff (e.g. buy something, find out certain key information).

Accessibility
This term has two chief aspects to it: 1) how accessible a site is to people, particularly people with disabilities. 2) how accessible a site is to all devices.

On point 1), a site might be inaccessible if you can only navigate it by mouse, or if images do not have alt text, so blind people can’t have the images described to them via a screen reader.

On point 2), a website might be considered inaccessible if it doesn’t provide small-screen devices with a single column layout (therefore the text is very small, and you have to pinch-and-zoom to read it).

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So what kind of problems can too much focus on aesthetics cause?
Some common problems that come to mind:-

custom fonts that are hard to read
imagery in the header area that pushes the actual content of the page way below the fold (“below the fold” is the part of the page you have to scroll to see).
“mystery meat navigation” – navigation that’s hidden away, and you only know something is a link when you hover over it with your finger or mouse (usually these are images)
layouts that require horizontal scrolling
These are just some examples. They are usually part of a concept that the client has in their head. For example, a client might say “I’m imagining my site where each page looks like lined paper, and all the text will be displayed as a handwritten font”. There’s nothing wrong with such an idea per se, but problems can arise when the content of the site doesn’t match the design. For example, text as scrawled hand-writing can work very well with short-form content, but people will struggle to read it if it’s long-form.

There’s certainly a time and a place for conceptual ideas to be developed as web pages, but the typical client of mine is a small business that needs their site to perform specific tasks: to make it as easy as possible for someone to buy something, sign up to a service, sign up to a newsletter. Achieving these goals means balancing aesthetics with usability and accessibility so that they can create an optimum experience for the visitor.

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Established websites focus a lot on usability and accessibility
You only have to look at the big platforms like Google, eBay, and Amazon to know how much time and money Big Tech throw at making their own websites as accessible and usable as possible. These sites aren’t using conceptual designs or trying to “wow” the visitor with eye candy. I often cite these examples to prospective new clients.

Hold on – most sites use templates now – isn’t usability and accessibility baked in?
For sure, there’s a lot of issues that are ironed out by the underlying website template. For example, HTML structure (headline tags et al), and responsive design are included in most templates these days. However, the content itself can cause issues. A client adding large images to the top of the page can push text down the page – even the title of the page can end up below the fold. Their navigation titles are vague or outright misleading. Moreover, not all design templates practice good usability and accessibility. Many layouts flagrantly ignore good web design practices. This is the issue where clients say “I really love the look and feel of this design template…”, and you know you’d have to turn it inside out to make it a useable and accessible website. I’ve put many a design template through an ahrefs.com audit only to see it get a very low score, and realize the amount of work I’d need to get a score of 95%+ isn’t worth the trouble. In summary, not all templates are the same. Some are very considerate toward usability and accessibility, others don’t even know these concepts exist.

Making it clear to clients
Of course, I don’t get in a war of words with clients. I explain what I can do for them, and what they need to look out for when it comes to maximizing their website’s potential. Actually, it’s more often the case that as soon as their website goes live, they then start to focus heavily on site performance – which is like the lightbulb moment for them: they’re reeling off their basket abandonment stats, their page bounce percentages, their conversion rates. And thus, often without knowing it, they start to optimize their site’s content to further help their visitors achieve the aims they are trying to achieve.

S&P 500 Rallies As U.S. Dollar Pulls Back Towards Weekly Lows

Key Insights
The strong pullback in the U.S. dollar provided significant support to stocks.
Treasury yields have pulled back after touching new highs, which served as an additional positive catalyst for S&P 500.
A move above 3730 will push S&P 500 towards the resistance level at 3760.
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Pfizer Rallies After Announcing A Huge Price Hike For Its COVID-19 Vaccines
S&P 500 is currently trying to settle above 3730 as traders’ appetite for risk is growing. The U.S. dollar has recently gained strong downside momentum as the BoJ intervened to stop the rally in USD/JPY. Weaker U.S. dollar is bullish for stocks as it increases profits of multinational companies and makes U.S. equities cheaper for foreign investors.

The leading oil services company Schlumberger is up by 9% after beating analyst estimates on both earnings and revenue. Schlumberger’s peers Baker Hughes and Halliburton have also enjoyed strong support today.

Vaccine makers Pfizer and Moderna gained strong upside momentum after Pfizer announced that it will raise the price of its coronavirus vaccine to $110 – $130 per shot.

Biggest losers today include Verizon and Twitter. Verizon is down by 5% despite beating analyst estimates on both earnings and revenue. Subscriber numbers missed estimates, and traders pushed the stock to multi-year lows.

Twitter stock moved towards the $50 level as the U.S. may conduct a security review of Musk’s purchase of the company.

From a big picture point of view, today’s rebound is broad, and most market segments are moving higher. Treasury yields have started to move lower after testing new highs, providing additional support to S&P 500. It looks that some traders are ready to bet that Fed will be less hawkish than previously expected.

S&P 500 Tests Resistance At 3730

S&P 500 has recently managed to get above the 20 EMA and is trying to settle above the resistance at 3730. RSI is in the moderate territory, and there is plenty of room to gain additional upside momentum in case the right catalysts emerge.

If S&P 500 manages to settle above 3730, it will head towards the next resistance level at 3760. A successful test of this level will push S&P 500 towards the next resistance at October highs at 3805. The 50 EMA is located in the nearby, so S&P 500 will likely face strong resistance above the 3800 level.

On the support side, the previous resistance at 3700 will likely serve as the first support level for S&P 500. In case S&P 500 declines below this level, it will move towards the next support level at 3675. A move below 3675 will push S&P 500 towards the support at 3640.