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To the right, you’ll see the chicken coop that my wife and I built ourselves. We’ve been working on it over the last year or so, making adjustments and enhancements, so I want to write about what we’ve learned. We refused to spend hundreds of dollars on just their coop so we got some free pallets from down the street and scavenged for scrap wood.

First, a bit of clarification because my clients frequently ask this question: what’s the difference between "social icons" and "social sharing icons”?  Social icons are links to your company’s social pages, like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIN.  On these pages, people can directly engage with your organization by posting photos, asking questions, and the like.  

Social SHARING icons are visually similar as well, they will typically include Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIN, Google+, Pinterest… these are used for sharing content from your company’s website on your site visitors’ social media accounts (newsfeeds, or pages).  When your site’s visitors share your content throughout their social circles, it translates into free exposure for your content.  Assuming that you are producing relevant, high-quality content, this should translate into increased revenues, profits, and market share for your organization.

Before we begin, yes, K2 does have its own, built-in comment functionality.  And yes, there are plugins already built and available for this.  The reason I like this solution is twofold:

  1. K2's comment functionality, while has many useful features (Captcha anti-spam, email notifications, admin approval process), people seem to like using Disqus because it supports logins from multiple accounts (Disqus, Facebook, Google, Twitter).  K2's inbuilt commenting feature can be set up to allow comments from anonymous visitors, which opens up your site to comment spam.
  2. I don't like installing an entire plugin just to accomplish one little thing.  While I'm sure the plugin works, you have more customization / control when you handle the actual code.  This is similar to the plugins that allow you to add Google Analytics to your site - maybe it's just a pet peeve of mine - but I'd rather edit a (single, easy) file than install a new extension, which is a potential security risk.

I’ve suffered from seasonal allergies for over 15 years. When I was a teenager, I had prescription-strength nasal spray, eye drops, and pills (Zyrtec, Claritin, Allegra). All of these were somewhat helpful in addressing the symptoms I encountered: sneezing, itchy, puffy, watery eyes. When it got bad, I would rub my eyes so much that they would swell shut.

On Health, Honey:

A few years ago I started paying attention to eating healthy foods (non-GMO, organic, that sort of thing) and one of the topics that came up was that of eating local, raw honey to combat seasonal allergies.

I've been a Photoshop user for almost 10 years now, and it's slightly embarrassing to say that I've finally figured out how to create a keyboard shortcut for "crop."  I've been using keyboard shortcuts the entire time, for things like copy, cut, paste... but I always felt like I was losing valuable time to reach for the mouse, go to the Image menu, then down to Crop.  

Do you have a mobile or responsive site? If not, on April 21 you may find it harder to rank in Google’s mobile search results.

Google announced algorithm updates that will have a “significant impact” on mobile search results worldwide for mobile searchers. The update improves rankings for sites that provide a mobile-friendly experience to searchers on mobile devices, and, by association, demotes sites that do not.

I noticed that the XMap for Joomla plugins are no longer available so I am posting them here.  

Just received a call from "Windows Support Tech" and the guy tried to pull one of these Support Scams referenced here and here.  It's surprising that they are still trying this scam, years later.

This guy called from "Suzan Champagne" - number 1-450-623-7415

Hello again, Nate here… I realized I haven’t sent out an e-newsletter since 2012, so hopefully you’re ready for my next one by now.

Important: USPS Shipping Calculations

You're probably aware that the changes UPS and FedEx introduced to their rates at the end of the year now take into account "dimensional weight" instead of just actual weight. Most merchants will be receiving their first invoices under the new rating in the next few weeks and some will be in for a bit of a shock. At the very least, you’ll want to test your eCommerce checkout process to make sure that USPS shipping rates are still working. As with any software update, things may go wrong, so it’s best to check for yourself.

Important: Sites Not Sending Email

We’ve noticed that some hosting companies are making changes to their servers’ configuration that relates to sending email. Most of our clients have not been affected by this, but occasionally, these server changes prevent a site from sending out email messages. This applies to sites that have contact forms, member/client/employee login systems, and eCommerce stores. Since the server-setting change only affects email, your site will appear to be functioning, but messages will be undelivered. Please check your own site by sending yourself a message through it and confirm that the email notifications are sending (and receiving) properly. Note that submissions are also generally stored in a database, so we can typically recover any data that would have been missed.

We have been using our Royal Berkey Water Filter for 10 months now, and I wanted to post some quick feedback.

Where we live, most of our neighbors have well water.  Our place is one of the "lucky few" to have city water.  So, when people used to come over and drink our tap water, they usually made "that face."  They tasted the chlorine right away.

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