four blossoms with the word jebrawebbed below

Jebrawebbed is the blog written by Debi Lewis, founder and owner of sustainable web site development company Jebraweb.com. Based in Evanston, IL, Debi and her firm are focused on building web sites for organizations with a purpose beyond (but not exclusive of) profit. Debi blogs about open source content management, non-profit and small business web sites, the importance of local community building, and women-owned business. She is the mother of two young daughters, married to a non-geek, prefers her bike to her car, and is the proud owner of a few too many stringed instruments.

You can find Jebraweb on Facebook and Twitter. You can email Debi at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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Website Quickies: 15 Minute Changes For Hassled Times

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Computer_monitor_on_pallet_in_snow.jpgLet's get one thing straight: no one has time to update their web site.

You are not alone in thinking it's just one more thing you really cannot squeeze into your week. After all, you probably spent dozens of hours working on it when you launched it, and you're already overloaded doing social media and answering email and all kinds of other tasks for which you can't bill anyone. Especially at the end of the year, when tax deadlines and holidays and -- depending on where you live -- de-icing your car are all higher priorities, it can feel nearly impossible to carve out time to keep your site updated.

Sadly, the engines of the internet require you to do regular upkeep on your site if you want to maintain their attention. A drop off in traffic can often be traced directly to a lull in updates. This post will give you a list of updates you can make to your site in less than fifteen minutes -- website quickies!

Boxes & Baggage: How to Move Your Site to a New Host

overloaded car on the roadWe all dread moving a web site from one host to another. Even those of us who do this for a living find the task stressful. If you've discovered that it's time to break up with your hosting company, the number of things you need to do to get from one virtual home to another is daunting. Having served as a sherpa through this process many times, I can tell you that the to-do list involves two categories of inconvenience: boxes and baggage.

Boxes are the files, software, and email accounts you have to move. It's pretty easy to tell when these have been moved successfully by comparing lists of items in the control panel and content management systems of each account.

Baggage is subtler -- it's procedures, passwords, and sets of expectations you have that sometimes don't fit into your new host company's setup. We can stubbornly try to make them work anyway, but our baggage often keeps us from making the most out of the new host company.

Today we'll be exploring the very basic steps involved in managing your boxes and your baggage as you haul yourself across the internet from one hosting company to another.

It's Not You; It's Them: How to Break Up With Your Hosting Company

two people in a breakupRemember when you first got that email confirming that you'd purchased space to host your web site? It was so good back then. You could remember all your passwords. After you and your host company got to know each other, you knew your way around that control panel to set up new emails or install new server software as though the two of you had been business partners forever.

Maybe it went on like that for years, but then cracks started forming in the facade of your relationship. There was downtime when you couldn't reach your site for hours, and it affected your business. You miss an email about renewing your domain and have to scramble at the last minute to save your site from disappearing. And then something big happens -- something more serious -- and the time has come to look in the mirror and decide:

Is it time to break up with your host company?

It can be frustrating to stay in a dysfunctional relationship with your web hosting company, but leaving is inevitably painful and disruptive to your business. So how do you know what should push you out the door, and what's worth fighting for?

Should You Holiday-ify Your Web Site?

loadingholidaysAs soon as the Halloween items roll into the clearance section of the store, the winter holiday items roll into place. If you have a brick-and-mortar store, you have to consider whether or not to add any decorations for the winter holidays, but what about your web site? From sales to events to well-wishes, how do you know whether your web site should be included in the holidays?

Should You Build Your Web Site Yourself?

As a firm which focuses on very small businesses and cash-strapped nonprofits, our biggest competition is not some fancy soup-to-nuts internet consulting firm, but our clients themselves. Often the choice they make is between hiring us and doing it on their own. It can be hard to know how to make that decision, so we've provided a handy flow chart below.

builditmyself

If you have the right combination of technical skill, time, and perseverance, you can put together a pretty good site with Wix, Weebly, SquareSpace, or another DIY web builder -- albeit without the advice and expertise of someone who has studied design trends and best practices on the modern web. However, if you find yourself easily frustrated by technology, short on time, and/or likely to give up on a complicated project that drives you crazy, you are probably better off investing in a professional web development firm.

Not sure what you need? Let's have a mocha together, in person or virtually, and we can offer you a quick-start consultation package to help you decide on the best solution for you. Send me an This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , or reach out on Facebook or Twitter.

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