Category Archives: Featured Websites or Online Tools

Easy and Free Website Builder

Being a website designer, I know how complicated it can be to build your own site from scratch. If you’re like most people who are not as keen when it comes to programming or you prefer a more visual process when building your website, the level of difficulty can be overwhelming.

Over a decade ago, I learned how to make my own website through free website builders that were available then to anyone with a decent internet connection. Since the capabilities of those tools were limited compared to what we have today, I had to force myself to learn HTML the hard way.

Fast forward over 10 years, the amount of tools available to everyone has greatly increased. Almost anyone can now create and use a free website builder to put up their own space on the web.

Take for instance IM creator. If you’re into minimalistic designs (something I’m getting more attracted to nowadays) – simply yet elegant – then, you should give this site builder a try. Here’s a 60-second video on how you can create your own website with the tools they have to offer:

See? Very user-friendly, chic, simple and, best of all, it’s FREE!

If you don’t have the budget to hire a web designer and you have limited knowledge of coding, then, you should most definitely try IM creator. I highly recommend this site builder for artists or photographers who want a simple way to display their works online.

Why I Love / Hate Facebook Timeline PLUS Free Cover Photo Resources

I consider myself a very visual person. And I believe a lot of people would agree that images can grab our attention more than text. As the saying goes, “A picture is worth a thousand words” as a single image can deliver a message without the need for actual words or text. This is exactly why I LOVE Facebook Timeline.

Facebook Timeline Cover Photo

By the end of March 2012, all Facebook pages were automatically switched over to Timeline. Like it or not, you have to deal with it and be creative. And in my honest opinion, businesses can reap the most benefits from this switch because visuals or images can grab people’s attention better than writing a whole block of sales pitch. It forces everyone to be more visual on their presentations, and I think it is most effective.



Things that I LOVE About Facebook Timeline


I LOVE the cover photo and I know my fellow bloggers would agree with me on this. Our Facebook page can now look like an extension of our blog since we can use our blog’s header as the cover photo.

The Timeline or page’s wall also gives us a way to present photos better. What I do now is upload photos and then add the link to my blog post on the caption. So far, I’m seeing better responses from people who are following my pages. I now prepare a different photo for posting on my page to ensure it fits the 404 x 404 dimension required so the whole image is seen from the wall.

More visual Facebook Timeline

I also love that I can highlight posts to make them stand out among all the rest of the other posts. The image below isn’t a good example because I didn’t follow the 843 x 404 recommended dimensions for highlighted images. So, make sure you follow it if you want to maximize this. 🙂

Highlighted photo occupies 2 columns

I love that I can pin or sticky any post that I want so anyone who goes to my Facebook page will see that right away. Very useful when I have giveaways or important announcements. Any business, whether online or you’re selling tangible products like motorcycle parts and accessories, computers, gadgets, etc., you can benefit from this feature, for sure.

I love that I can customize and rearrange the tabs or buttons you can see on the top of the page. You can feature your favorite apps, or the most important sections of your page that you want your followers to see first. You can be all sorts of creative with it. I hope this week, I’d have more time to work on the designs of the tabs (dimension is 111×74) for all my pages since they all look so fricking simple now.

Facebook Timeline Apps and Tabs

Again, my tabs aren’t the best examples, but I will update this when I get more time to work on them 🙂

And I’m glad they added the feature for followers to send a message to the admins of the Facebook page. This is very useful since most people I know prefer to send messages through Facebook now than email, though I still prefer to receive emails for formality.

Facebook Timeline allows anyone to send page admins a message

Other things I love are the tab page and the ability to add Milestones (share your business or website’s history, when it was launched/established, you hit a certain # of fans, etc).

Facebook Timeline Milestone


Check the bottom of this post for links to different resources like dimensions you need to know, new guidelines on Facebook Timeline for pages, etc.




My Love / Hate Relationship with Facebook Timeline

Just like in any relationship, my love for Facebook Timeline is not perfect. There are things I hate about it that I wish they can work on in the coming days or weeks. See if you agree with me:

#1: I hate the Friends feed on the right side.

This is my view as an admin of the page. I don’t like seeing the box showing my friends activity related to my FB page. I hope I can turn this off next time. I only prefer to see MY own contents there or at least give me an option to disable these boxes.

Facebook Page Friends feed on the side

FYI: The screenshot was taken from my brother’s account that’s why you’re seeing my name there.

The said friends feed box also appears on followers of the page. The main reason why I hate it is because it shows even the oldest post. If they’d have this available forever, at least only show the latest updates.


#2: The quality of the cover photo images sucks.

I tried uploading images in different formats and it looks the same. And I made sure to follow the required dimensions (851×315). Using text on there makes the whole image worse. I’m still working on making them look nicer. Again, I need more time! 😀

So far, those are the only 2 I hate about Facebook Timeline. I’ll keep this updated as I encounter any more issues with it.

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Discover DuckDuckGo Search Engine Now

I was browsing earlier for the topics I have lined up for my upcoming posts here and on my other blogs, and I was amazed by how much resources are there available to us, right at our fingertips. I mean, it’s like every little thing you want to find more about, you can easily find through search engines. But, because i wanted less user-specific search results, I am thankful I found DuckDuckGo.

DuckDuckGo - a must try alternative search engine

DuckDuckGo is a search engine much like Google. The difference when using this search engine is they get their information from crowd-sourced sites like Wikipedia and Yahoo! Search BOSS, making the results more relative to what you were looking for. The search engine has been in existence since 2006.

DuckDuckGo promotes that their priority is the privacy of their users. WIth all the changes that’s been happening on Google, like how they now use your online behavior to give you the results they think you would prefer, DuckDuckGo is a breath of fresh air. I do enjoy Google’s user-specific results most of the time, but there are just days I’d rather see a less personal search result.

From my months of using DuckDuckGo, I can say that it’s pretty useful when I want sites like eHow, Squidoo and others like them to be filtered out of the results. Though articles on their sites may be useful most of the time, there are just times I’d rather get information from sites that were not forced-written by people, if you know what I mean. I’ve had work as a ghost writer and virtual assistant too, so I know a thing or two about how those sites work.



DuckDuckGo also doesn’t store personal information such as IP address or user agents, which makes us users safer when browsing the web. Also, it doesn’t suggest results based on your search history, saved data, or things you liked from different social networking sites. You also get less spam – in short, better search engine results, according to those who have personally used it, including me.



The best thing about DuckDuckGo, aside from privacy, is it’s open-sourced, just like Mozilla Firefox. That means users can actually help develop or improve this search engine.



Last, but definitely not least, is my favorite DuckDuckGo feature: the ability to setup !bang commands and search websites directly from DuckDuckGo’s interface.

bang commands for DuckDuckGo

What are !bangs? Well, they’re not the hair in front of your face, but they are DuckDuckGo shortcuts users have made to make our lives easier. I sometimes search using keywords like, “ buffalo recipe” to find a certain article from that website I mentioned. This time, you can use !bang commands or even submit your own to make it faster to search for something, may it be a pool heat pump from a pool store, or a very old article from a certain site. Makes searching more efficient, really. Click here for the complete list of !bang commands you can use.

Other features of DuckDuckGo’s search engine is you can customize it to your liking. Change the colors or fonts so it’ll be more readable to you. There are numerous other features you can find on their about page.

By the way, DuckDuckGo were already featured on numerous important tech websites. They were picked as one of the Top 50 Best Websites of 2011 by TIME Magazine. All this information, you can also find on their about page.

Though I still have been using Google as my primary search engine, I see myself clicking on my DuckDuckGo bookmark more frequently now because of my work. When it comes to my search results, I prefer it short and less personal. I want to go in and out in a jiffy. 😀

Have you tried using DuckDuckGo, the pro-privacy search engine as others call it, before? If yes, how’s your experience?