How To Generate New Web 2.0 Domain Names

makewords.comWould you like to find new web 2.0 style domain names really easily?

If you’d like a name like Google, or perhaps Squidoo.

Here’s a web site that locates domains based on your selection cirteria and then tells you which ones are still available. If you’d like to find a weird word that no-ones uses, but that you can pronounce to uses as your domain name, this is a great tool.

How To Do It

Go to makewords.com. To find an available domain name, put letters like “gle” (Google), or “doo”, (Squidoo), into the “Suffix to end with” box.

Using endings of “oogle” and “doo”, “ango”, “ooso” and “odo” I came up with the following domain names that were all available at the time of writing. There are other ways to generate names – I just like the idea of using pronouncable endings as a convenient way of forming new words,but you can choose to specify beginnings as well.

  • iozoogle.com
  • pundoo.com
  • pacando.com
  • wagando.com
  • verosso.com
  • superodo.com

You could of course use this tool to generate names for brandable names, startup companies or for new products. Probably a good idea to check they don’t mean something unsavoury in foreign languages though.

How To Cheat At Web Page Design (and almost get away with it)

For The Artistically Challenged

Not being a graphic designer but trying to be a one man band web developer used to be limiting.  Today there are lots of tools to help plug any lack of artistic ability. Of course you’ll never be as convincing as a good graphic designer,  but you’ll get by.

Look Around the Web For a Site That Fits

I am in the middle of a new web development project for a long standing client. We are re-branding his website to fit in with the new company colours he’s chosen. And, taking the opportunity while we are at it, to add in all the functionality he has ever wanted on the site.

I have a lot of database backend stuff to write, work-flow to develop and so on. The graphic design element of my task is not my favourite.  Here is what I do.  I look around the web for someone else’s site that has vaguely the right layout for my needs.  Then I attempt to do my own version of it. Because I am so bad at copying someone else’s site, there is no chance that the new site will be much like the one I used for inspiration.

Here is the home page of the site I have designed for my client, as it currently stands.

And here is the site design that I used for inspiration. As you can see, they are quite different, but I used the ideas in one to help me create the other. I have not finished this task yet so the home page will change, but you get the idea.

Graphics Tools and Sites Used

Contact Form Problems With Gmail and Hotmail

OK, this isn’t really a problem, it is just that I was being stupid and didn’t realise what I had coded was stupid. In the hope that I can save someone from the same fate I am documenting it here.

I Coded A Contact Form

I wrote a very simple web site – a temporary holding site as it happens, for a friend, who is just starting out with a new consultancy business.  The idea was that she would at least have a web presence of sorts, until she could learn how to run a WordPress site for herself. So all it is, is a home page, contact page and a services page.

I put the contact form together, and wrote the code to send the resulting enquiry to her Gmail address. This was a BIG mistake.

My friend (her name is Davina by the way), has a Gmail account, and she also has an account on her domain name. I could have specified that the contact form sent the email to her domain name email address, but no. Thanks to my blind love affair with Gmail , I sepcified that the contact form should send to her Gmail . In the email send code I put :

  1. to : Davina’s Gmail address
  2. from : visitor’s email address

Don’t Use Gmail In Contact Forms

In fact don’t use any web based service in contact forms as the send-to address. Why? Well, the email won’t get delivered if the visitor to your site, using the contact form ALSO has a Gmail or Hotmail address. This was not obvious to me. So I’ll explain in case it is not obvious to you either.

When you code your own contact form, you generally put the visitor’s email address in as the “from” address. It really isn’t the “from” address – you are just saying it is.  The email really is just coming from your server, pretending to be from the visitor’s email address. The reason you do this is so that the the enquiry can be answered just by hitting the “reply” button when you answer a query from your web site.

But when the visitor’s email address is also a Gmail address, Gmail knows that the IP address of the “from” email is not one of it’s own IP addresses, and refuses to receive it at your Gmail end. It just filters it out and the Gmail never arrives.

Use Your Domain Email Address

I fixed this problem by sending to Davina’s domain address, which I had auto-forwarded to gmail. Now all her enquiries get through and she is still able to use her Gmail account to monitor all her incoming email.

Davina’s Site is here.

Visit My New Blog – Daily Web Tools

I started a new blog at the beginning of July – where I focus on a web site, tip or tool which I think would benefit the online web marketer, web designer or internet entrepreneur.

Here is an up to date feed from the site which you can find at dailywebtools.com

Current RSS Feed From DailyWebTools


Easy Image Resizing and Cropping

A Smaller Image – an Easy and Free Way To Resize Images

Programs are bits of software that do a job. Some programs are very big and complicated – like for example, Adobe Photoshop. Others are small and much less complicated (because they don’t do much).

An example of a program like the latter is A Smaller Image by Trivista. It only does one or two jobs – it resizes and crops images, and not much else. If you are a beginner, this is a program for you. Later you’ll want something more sophisticated of course . . .

You can download the trial version (which will expire after a set number of days) of A Smaller Image from the Trivista Web Site, OR you can download a special free version from me here. The free version doesn’t expire, it’s not a trial, but it is an older version. However it does the job – it makes images smaller, and/or crops them. Please leave a comment if you take a copy of the free download. Thanks.

How To Use A Smaller Image – Free Download Version

As this is a very simple program, there isn’t much to learn. Simply install it, then, when you run the program, it looks like this. It shows a demonstration image of a balloon. Click the open button as indicated below to go open your own image that you want to resize and/or crop.

Here you can see I’ve gone to get a photo of one of my dogs (he’s called Rio by the way) and below you can see the slider you move to change the size of the image. In the case below, you can see the image started out at 886×791 pixels, and is reduced now to 443×395 pixels. Alter the slider to be the size you want and the click on save. The program will then allow you to save the re-sized image to another name (so you don’t over-write the orginal one).

Or, if you want to resize the image and crop it, or just crop it, do as follows. Use the slider indicated to change the area of the photo that is selected. You can also use the cursor to move the selected area around so that you can select the portion of the photo you want. As you can see, Rio’s photo has been cropped to show only his handsome face, without the shadowy background.