Improve Your Workflow with These Productivity Boosting Apps for macOS (2018 Update)

Rystedt Creative is powered partially by Macs. Whether you like them or hate them, Macs have remained a favorite of creative professionals since Apple and Adobe brought vector graphics to laser printers in 1985. Today you are likely to find at least a couple of Macs in the offices of graphic design freelancers creating logos and business cards out of their homes; print-shops sending items to the presses; and web developers and writers (like us) delivering the creative digital content you need.  I (Joshua) have been a pro-user of multiple platforms and there are pros and cons to every operating system available (don't be surprised if you catch me with a machine that has multiple operating systems installed). Yet macOS has become Gabrielle's and my daily driver. We have spent a lot of time developing productive workflows with powerful apps to get us through our hectic schedules. To help our fellow Mac users, here are Joshua's favorite productivity boosting apps for macOS. On Linux or Windows? Consider my alternative recommendations under each app. Work faster, use more of your screen and keep your fingers on the keyboard using these apps: If you find this article helpful consider giving it a share ? Calcbot Calculator apps are the sort of things that most of us take for granted. But the basic premise can be improved on to make your life a bit more pleasant. Calcbot is a smart calculator app that includes everything from a history tape to scientific functions. If you're running a business or nonprofit you probably find yourself punching numbers into a calculator of some sort more often than you would prefer. Calcbot is for those of us…

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Get Your Time Back and Reduce Your Stress with a Web Maintenance and Support Retainer

Maintaining a website is no easy task. From security to backups and software updates to new content, a website can consume a lot of your time. Worse, if you aren’t a web professional, maintaining your website may become yet another stressor. No wonder so many small businesses and nonprofits leave their websites unattended for months (or even years). Your website isn’t a billboard or a Yellow Pages listing - it doesn’t perform well if it is just created and then left behind. Your website is more like a digital storefront or office. It doesn’t only exist to be seen. As a digital location for your business your website also needs to maintained, secured, visited, and shopped. But are you the guy or girl to do it? If you haven’t been maintaining your website it’s about time to leverage it and get noticed. If you have been maintaining your site but it’s taking too much out of you it’s about time to delegate. A web maintenance and support retainer with a web professional may be just the thing you need to get the most out of both your website and your time. [text_with_frame id="368c1dbfefba91dceb946d322e0e86bc" content="‹¨›p‹˜›‹¨›em‹˜›If you find this article helpful consider giving it a share‹¯›nbsp;‹¨›/em‹˜›?‹¨›/p‹˜›" line_color="rgba(0,0,0,.07)" text_font="body" heading_font="heading" animation="none" animation_speed="2" animation_delay="0" __fw_editor_shortcodes_id="e6852c2dacc162bc8c34ba646905e841" _fw_coder="aggressive"][/text_with_frame] Why Did You Launch Your Website? Perhaps you launched your website to drive more leads to your business. Maybe it was to invite more foot traffic to your storefront. Or maybe it was just so you would be perceived more professionally when people searched for you. (Why did you launch your website? Let us know in the comments below.) Regardless of the reason, you need to get back…

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Should I Let AI Build My Website?

What is AI? “AI” stands for Artificial Intelligence. But what is that, really? What People Think AI Is:   What Developers Want AI to Be:   What AI Actually Is (to date): Alright, humor aside, here’s what AI actually is: Colloquially, the term “artificial intelligence” is applied when a machine mimics “cognitive” functions that humans associate with other human minds, such as “learning” and “problem solving”* True Artificial Intelligence, a machine that can learn and evolve beyond its programming, does not yet exist. When we speak of “AI” today we’re actually referring to machines and applications that mimic human learning and problem solving. Such applications are indeed sophisticated but they only mimic intelligence. They are not, in fact, demonstrating independent learning. [text_with_frame id="368c1dbfefba91dceb946d322e0e86bc" content="‹¨›p‹˜›‹¨›em‹˜›If you find this article helpful consider giving it a share‹¯›nbsp;‹¨›/em‹˜›?‹¨›/p‹˜›" line_color="rgba(0,0,0,.07)" text_font="body" heading_font="heading" animation="none" animation_speed="2" animation_delay="0" __fw_editor_shortcodes_id="e6852c2dacc162bc8c34ba646905e841" _fw_coder="aggressive"][/text_with_frame] Can AI Build Websites? Numerous companies are now boasting website building AI. These web based applications ask users questions, compile data from external sources, and design a website using the criteria and input given. Some website AI builders are more sophisticated than others. The best website building AIs generate a unique site template for each user. The worst, are nothing more than a well crafted skin atop a handful of templates. AI really do build websites. But are such sites ready to publish after the AI is done? After all, you want AI that builds you a website you can launch the day you see it - a cheaper and quicker replacement for web-developers. But does that type of AI exist yet? Which AI Build the Best Websites? Some of the best AI website builders available today include:…

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How to Properly Format Your Blog Posts in an Offline Editor

You've been blogging - which is great - but formatting your blog posts is getting you down. Blogging is a time investment. If done well it's a rewarding investment. But you shouldn't spend more time than you need to. Many bloggers spend almost as much time formatting their blog posts as they do writing them. It doesn't have to be that way. This how-to guide is going to show you exactly how to format your blog posts the right way, the first time, offline, on any operating system, and for nearly any blogging platform. There is only one thing you need to learn, it's easy, and we're going to teach you. [text_with_frame id="368c1dbfefba91dceb946d322e0e86bc" content="‹¨›p‹˜›‹¨›em‹˜›If you find this article helpful consider giving it a share‹¯›nbsp;‹¨›/em‹˜›?‹¨›/p‹˜›" line_color="rgba(0,0,0,.07)" text_font="body" heading_font="heading" animation="none" animation_speed="2" animation_delay="0" __fw_editor_shortcodes_id="e6852c2dacc162bc8c34ba646905e841" _fw_coder="aggressive"][/text_with_frame] How You're Probably Drafting Your Blog Posts If you're like most bloggers you're drafting your posts one of two ways. Online in the admin panel of your content management system (CMS - like WordPress) Many bloggers draft their blog posts right in their CMS post editor. Perhaps it's WordPress, Weebly, HubSpot CMS, or something else. The upside: You know your posts are formatted correctly and you can preview them as you draft. The downside: You need to be online to write, you can lose your content if your connection is interrupted or your browser crashes, and your entire archive is located exclusively on that blogging platform. Or offline in a common word processor (like Microsoft Word) Many bloggers avoid the downsides of drafting in their blogging CMS by drafting offline in a word processor - like Microsoft Word. The upside: You can write anytime, you're only going to…

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Should you pay per project or per hour for your web development and design?

If you are in the market for web-development you will eventually be presented with a pricing model for the services you're requesting. One Facebook user recently commented on a request for WordPress support that "eventually developers will slap a price on it". Well if you are in the market for web development services you are already aware that there will be a cost associated with it. What you may not be aware of is the different pricing models used in the market. There are generally two pricing models you could be presented with: per project or per hour. Some web developers and web designers will only follow one pricing model while others will use either one depending on the circumstances (or give you, the client, a choice). You may be wondering... Which pricing model should I prefer? Is one better than another? What are the dangers I should watch for with these pricing models? What benefits do these pricing models have? We at Rystedt Creative think that you should be empowered as much as possible when shopping for creative content. So, to that end, here's our list of pros and cons for paying per project vs paying per hour: [text_with_frame id="368c1dbfefba91dceb946d322e0e86bc" content="‹¨›p‹˜›‹¨›em‹˜›If you find this article helpful consider giving it a share‹¯›nbsp;‹¨›/em‹˜›?‹¨›/p‹˜›" line_color="rgba(0,0,0,.07)" text_font="body" heading_font="heading" animation="none" animation_speed="2" animation_delay="0" __fw_editor_shortcodes_id="e6852c2dacc162bc8c34ba646905e841" _fw_coder="aggressive"][/text_with_frame] Paying Per Project for Web Development Per project pricing is the most common pricing model among established web-developers, web-designers, and web firms. Consequently, if you have been shopping for web services you have probably already received some proposals with per project pricing. Con of paying per project: Despite being the most common pricing model amongst established professionals, per project pricing…

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Why Reliable Web Hosting Matters for Your Business

Your business needs reliable web hosting so that you (and your visitors) can depend on your website today (and tomorrow). Every website is hosted somewhere. Hosting is the service that gives your website a location in the Web. Every website has hosting - including yours. Minimal web hosting provides your business with server space for your website's files. Yet hosting can also include additional features and services that increases available memory to handle spikes in traffic, protects your website from possible security breaches, backs up your website when changes are made, and more. It is these additional features and services that can make some web hosting services more reliable than others. Your business needs reliable web hosting so that your contact information, listed services, menu, or e-commerce portal is always available to your visitors. So what makes web hosting reliable? Look for these factors when shopping for web hosting and if you have had a poor web hosting experience so far, consider moving to a more reliable host. [text_with_frame id="368c1dbfefba91dceb946d322e0e86bc" content="‹¨›p‹˜›‹¨›em‹˜›If you find this article helpful consider giving it a share‹¯›nbsp;‹¨›/em‹˜›?‹¨›/p‹˜›" line_color="rgba(0,0,0,.07)" text_font="body" heading_font="heading" animation="none" animation_speed="2" animation_delay="0" __fw_editor_shortcodes_id="e6852c2dacc162bc8c34ba646905e841" _fw_coder="aggressive"][/text_with_frame] Reliable web hosting is... Dependable Nearly every web host today reports "100% uptime" - meaning that the websites they host are never down unexpectedly. Yet such claims do not mean that your website will always be online. These claims do not include "scheduled downtime" that may occur due to server maintenance. They also do not include downtime that may be accidentally caused by your developer or yourself. Sometimes... web hosts just lie. One of our WordPress maintenance and support clients host their website through a small upstart hosting company. They claim…

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The Mobile Trend

Online browsing habits have changed greatly over the last decade. No longer are users relying on their PCs for opening your emails, searching for your services, or purchasing your products. The majority of hours spent, search queries made, and emails opened are now from mobile devices. The smartphone trend has changed and will continue to change the Web. A slew of new smartphones are expected in 2018 including new iPhones (likely a total of three new handsets), new Google Pixels, and the LG G7. Innovation in mobile has slowed but not stopped with manufacturers now releasing handsets with always listening voice assistants, multiple cameras to detect depth, facial recognition, and processors faster than most office PCs. Thankfully your website can look beautiful on these mobile devices. You may not even need to completely rebuild your website to accomplish this. There are multiple solutions to mobile optimize your website including separate mobile URLs, adaptive design, and responsive design. Regardless of which method you choose to optimize your site the statistics show that your website must be mobile optimized to continue to generate traffic and convert visitors. An outstanding website is mobile optimized. [text_with_frame id="368c1dbfefba91dceb946d322e0e86bc" content="‹¨›p‹˜›‹¨›em‹˜›If you find this article helpful consider giving it a share‹¯›nbsp;‹¨›/em‹˜›?‹¨›/p‹˜›" line_color="rgba(0,0,0,.07)" text_font="body" heading_font="heading" animation="none" animation_speed="2" animation_delay="0" __fw_editor_shortcodes_id="e6852c2dacc162bc8c34ba646905e841" _fw_coder="aggressive"][/text_with_frame] Sales In 2016 the CEO of Intel, Brian Krzanich, stated that the upgrade cycle for PCs was slowing from an average of four years to an average of five to six years. He stated that "Right now, it's easier to move your phone to a new phone than your PC to a new PC". This comparison is telling. Buyers are using their phones to replace some of what…

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How to Create a Search Engine Optimized Company Timeline Using HTML and CSS

In this post we are going to demo how to create a search engine optimized company timeline using HTML and CSS. Company timelines are a common feature of business website about pages. Some visitors want to know where your organization has come from (and where it is going). And, let's be honest, most businesses like to show their growth over the years. Some companies design their timelines as a simple list - like Starbucks: Other companies design interactive timelines with accompanying media - like Ford: In this post you will learn how to create a company timeline using HTML and CSS that looks beautiful but stays simple. This method also maintains proper HTML heading structure so that search engines can easily index your timeline. You can use this method yourself on nearly any website. Our timeline will be stylized but simple. When we are finished we will have something that looks like this: [text_with_frame id="368c1dbfefba91dceb946d322e0e86bc" content="‹¨›p‹˜›‹¨›em‹˜›If you find this article helpful consider giving it a share‹¯›nbsp;‹¨›/em‹˜›?‹¨›/p‹˜›" line_color="rgba(0,0,0,.07)" text_font="body" heading_font="heading" animation="none" animation_speed="2" animation_delay="0" __fw_editor_shortcodes_id="e6852c2dacc162bc8c34ba646905e841" _fw_coder="aggressive"][/text_with_frame] Step 1: Write Your Timeline's Content Before you get to any HTML or CSS go ahead and write up your timeline. Here's ours: Rystedt Creative Origins Timeline 1994 - Gabrielle picks up a blue crayon and writes her name - a writer is born. 2002 - Joshua builds a PC and checks out some books on HTML from the library. 2005 - Joshua begins regular web maintenance for a display product retailer. 2007 - Joshua begins offering web-development consultation to organizations as a young word of mouth freelancer. 2013 - Gabrielle graduates college with a BS in business administration. Joshua and Gabrielle get married but don't…

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Introduction to Structured Metadata

Your website should help search engines and social networks understand it. Your content is designed and written for your visitors. Typically website owners expect Google, Facebook, Twitter, and others to just understand that content and display it logically. That usually works. Search engine crawlers have become quite advanced and social networks can often just pull an image and a text snippet. But what if you could ensure which title, description, and image show on Google, Facebook, Twitter, and beyond? Well you can with structured metadata! Help search engines understand your website Structured metadata is important content but it isn't visible to your visitors. Metadata is content written specifically for search engines and social networks. Structured metadata can be used to inform search engines what title and description to use for a page, what your hours are, what your logo is, who wrote an article, what a recipe's content is, and more. Structured metadata can also be used to tell Facebook and Twitter what titles, descriptions, and images to use. With different metadata styles you can even force your pages to appear differently on different platforms. Metadata doesn't directly improve your search rankings. However, it does eliminate the element of chance in how your links display. Usually if you can define how your links appear you can increase your click through rate. You know, perhaps better than anyone else, what your audience is looking for. Make sure that Google, Facebook, Twitter, and others are displaying your site the way you want them to. Structured metadata is quickly transcending its once exclusive purpose as a search engine tool. If you send a link to an iPhone user they now see a preview…

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