Kevin R. Wilson

Web Services for Powell River

I offer these web-based services, focusing on small and micro businesses, non-profit groups, artists and crafters:

  • Web site design and development – a basic site or more sophisticated, you choose! Can include ways to sell your products and services.
  • Facebook business page – a great publicity channel – I find Powell River is very Facebook-aware.
  • Blog – Standalone or an add-on to your website: if you like to post often, you can build quite a following this way.
  • WordPress – a great basis for a site or blog, lets you add content yourself as often as you like, no waiting for your “webmaster” to do it for you!
  • Web Hosting – I can host your site for a very affordable price.
  • Social Media – blog, Facebook page, twitter, Pinterest, and more. The more places your content appears, the more the word gets out. Link things together to get more use from your content!

I accept PR$ at 40% of your before-tax bill for all these services.

Marian Wright Edelman quote

“I was taught that the world had a lot of problems; that I could struggle and change them; that intellectual and material gifts brought the privilege and responsibility of sharing with others less fortunate; and that service is the rent each of us pays for living — the very purpose of life and not something you do in your spare time or after you have reached your personal goals.”

― Marian Wright Edelman

First, if you’re not sure what kind of a wordpress site you have, check this post to find out:

How to Tell if Your WordPress Site is Self-Hosted or Hosted at WordPress.com

Then follow these instructions:

If you have 1) a free wordpress site hosted on wordpress.com, or 2) a site hosted on wordpress.com with its own domain attached:

  • Go to your Dashboard (also referred to as “Blog Admin”)
  • In the left side menu, choose Settings, then Sharing
  • The top part of the Sharing page has the settings for automatically sending your blog posts to social media sites, which is a topic for another day. Lower down the page is a section called “Sharing Buttons”.

You have 2 options for adding sharing buttons for the many different social media services. You can either add each one individually, or add a lot of them and group them behind a singe “Share” button on your web page. Which you choose depends on how many you plan to add: for up to three, it’s reasonable to have a dedicated button for each service (and makes it easier and more obvious for your readers), but for more than that, the page gets very cluttered and you might want to group them together. You can also mix and match: have a dedicated button for your top social media sites, and add all the rest to a Share button.

  • To add a dedicated button, click on the button in the “Available Services” section and drag it down to the “Enabled Services” section.
  • To add a service to a catchall Share button, click on the button in the “Available Services” section and drag it down to the shaded are on the right side of the “Enabled Services” section.

You’ll see a live preview of the results of your actions below the “Enabled Services” section. Once you’re happy with your choices, scroll down and take a look at the rest of the settings.

  • Button style: choose just an icon, an icon plus text, test only (just the name of the service), or “official buttons” which shows an icon plus the number of shares to that service. Feel free to try out different options and see what they look like in the Live Preview section.
  • Sharing label: This text appears to the left of the row of sharing buttons. You can write whatever you like.
  • Open links in: controls whether the sharing service opens in the same window as your site, or opens a new one. I recommend using New Window so that even if your readers get sucked into exploring the social media site, they can still easily get back to your site.
  • Show buttons on: Front Page, Archive Pages, and Search Results / Posts / Pages / Media

Posts and Pages are the basic choices here. If you choose Front Page etc, these pages contain multiple posts and each post will have its own set of sharing buttons, creating a great deal of clutter. Try out different choices and see what you prefer.

  • WordPress.com Likes are: on for all posts / turned on per post

This applies only to visitors to your site who are wordpress.com members themselves. It doesn’t hurt to leave it on, unless you prefer to reduce the clutter factor.

Now click the Save Changes button at the bottom of the page.

When you go back to look at your site, you should see the sharing buttons appear where you specified them.

If you have 3) a “self hosted” wordpress site.

Things are a little more complicated if you have a self hosted site. The basic process is to install a “plugin” that will handle the social media buttons for you, activate it, then choose the buttons you want.

For many years I’ve used the AddtoAny/Lockerz buttons plugin, and found it simple and reliable. There are many other special purpose social media plugins available on the WordPress plugins page.

However, many newer self-hosted wordpress installations automatically include the Jetpack plugin from WordPress.com, which gives you many functions that wordpress.com sites have, including social media buttons. If you use Jetpack, the method for setting up the buttons will be very similar to that above for free wordpress.com sites.

It’s not possible for me to give the exact steps for every different social media plugin. Here’s the general process,
though:

  • From your dashboard, hover over “Plugins” on the left side menu and choose Add New from the menu that slides out.
  • In the Search box on the Install Plugins page, type addtoany and click the Search Plugin button
  • You’ll get a list of available plugins. The first one is probably “Share Buttons by Lockerz / AddToAny”, which is the one I use. Click on Install Now under the plugin name, and say Yes to the Are You Sure box.
  • On the next “Installing plugin” page, wait for the Successfully Installed line to appear, and click the Activate Plugin link below it.

You’ll now see your list of installed plugins. You can use this method to install any plugin where you know the name, or you can use more general search terms in the search box and read the resulting descriptions to choose an appropriate plugin.

To change the settings for AddtoAny:

  • Hover over the Setting choice in the left menu, and click on AddtoAny in the slide out menu OR simply click on the Settings link under AddtoAny in the Plugins menu.
  • On the AddtoAny page, there’s a button at the top where you can add or remove standalone services – that means a separate button for each social media service. Print and Email are also useful options. Below are some catchall sharing buttons which let you use just that one button to access lots of social media services.

The choices are very similar to those for the wordpress.com sites detailed above, so there’s not much point me going into a lot of detail here. Just experiment with different settings until you get the look you want on your pages.

If you’ve inherited a site to look after that was set up by someone else, it’s quite possible that you don’t know exactly what you’re dealing with.

There are three ways to have a WordPress website or blog.

  1. a free wordpress site hosted on wordpress.com,
  2. a site hosted on wordpress.com with its own domain attached
  3. a “self hosted” wordpress site.

If your web site address looks like this: “yoursitename.wordpress.com” then you have (1)

If your web site address looks like this: “yoursitename.com” (or .org, .biz, .net etc) and when you log in to your
dashboard, you have a “Plugins” option in the left side menu, then you have (3)

Otherwise, you have (2)

 

How do you pick the “best” home business idea for you? You need to find the idea which fits your needs and personality best.

That means you have to define your needs as well as researching ideas, and make sure you come up with LOTS of ideas to pick from. This article will show you ways of defining your needs and comparing them to home business ideas.

First, before you can pick the best business idea, you need to define what “BEST” means for you. You’ll need to consider what you need to get out of the business, how you want to work, and what kind of a person you are – because the best business idea will fit your personality. The answers to these questions will help you sort out what matters most for you:

  • How much income do you need? (pocket change, pay the mortgage, support the family, live like a millionaire)
  • How much time do you want to spend working in and on your business? (a few hours, evenings all week, part time, full time, overtime, workaholic)
  • How many people will be involved? (just you, a few partners, a dozen employees)
  • How big a future growth potential do you want? (stay at home, small office, a few branches, national reach, international franchising)
  • Are you an extrovert or an introvert? (gains energy or loses it from being around people)
  • Are you a morning or night person? (will you need to co-ordinate times with others, or can you work whenever you like at any hour?)
  • Are you more logical-rational or more emotional-intuitive, more detail oriented or big-picture? If you are firmly one way or another, you’ll need a business idea that fits, or maybe a partner that complements your strengths with theirs.

Is the best home business online or out in the “real world”?

Most “home business” information on the internet is about making money online. But most people who have home businesses are “offline” – making products or providing “real world” services, not doing internet marketing or filling out surveys for pennies.

Research The Business Idea

You need to know how your proposed business idea stacks up against the needs you’ve identified. The most direct way to find out is to find someone doing what you want to do, and ask them! You might think that they would be reluctant to talk to potential competition, but that’s not necessarily true – if you’re in a different geographic or demographic market you may not really be competition at all.

You can also choose people to talk to who are in your business area of interest, but not using the same business model and thus not direct competition. And people just like to talk about their businesses. To find someone to talk to, look for forums or discussion groups in the business area, industry associations, magazines and newsletters etc, and make personal contact with people who interest or inspire you. Especially if you tell them what interests or inspires you about them, they will often be happy to chat.

Actual facts and figures are often available from government or industry organizations who publish statistics. You should be able to find these for your country and industry of interest online, or via your library.

I now have my own web hosting service available for web design and development clients or others. If you are a Powell River non-profit I can give you very affordable rates, and I take 40% PR$ on web hosting, too!

As one of the founding organisers of the PR$ project, it only makes sense that I accept PR$ for my web design and development services. I will accept up to 40% of the labour cost of your project in PR$ – a particularly good deal for non-profits who are looking to spend the PR$ which have been donated to them.

I’ve been building websites since 1999. Most of them I have built for myself, but I’m now offering my web design and development services to local businesses and non-profit groups. If you’re looking to get a site built for a very reasonable price, now’s your chance. For more details on what I can offer, check out the Web Design page.