By now you have read what got me here. I was inspired to start a webdesign business to help small business owners and those who need websites and other print materials.

Step 1: Choose a name

I needed a name for my business and website. It had to be something new, but easy for people to remember. I used Instant Domain Name Search to see if names were available. It took my wife and I about 3 weeks to come up with a name that worked. She suggested designking, or designmaster. I added the plus at the end because I can design websites as well as business cards, banners, invitations, brochures, just about anything a business would need. I thought the name was good, she though it was good, so Design Masters Plus was born.

Step 2:  Secure a host

This step was easy. I chose to use siteground. I had used them in the past and I know how they work. Since I use the Joomla platform, Siteground is the best choice. The way they set up their data bases is favorable for a Joomla install. I took advantage of a deal they had and paid 24.95 for a full year of hosting. That price is just right for me.

Step 3:  Joomla Templates

From building dozens of websites locally on my personal computer and for others, I have found that Rockettheme has the best templates. They are full of features, easy to understand, and easier to customize.On top of that they are not that expensive( only about 50 dollars).  Now I have to choose the best one. When looking at these templates, don’t let the first look fool you. They are shown with dummy content. What you want may be different than the content shown. Instead look at the set up of the demo site and the built in features.

I haven’t the foggiest clue about which template I will use.


I have decided to start a new endeavor; Web Design. I’ll spare you much of the history and make this brief.

It all began about 2 years ago. My wife and I started a small jewelry business. We would buy “costume jewelry” wholesale, then sell it for a small profit. As time went on, we began to print a catalog for our customers. Then we started a booth at our local flea market. We were doing well,  then we started to expand. We decided we wanted a website. Like I said we were doing well, but not well enough to pay 2,000 dollars or more for a web designer to build us a site.  Since money does not grow on trees, and if it did, I didn’t know where it was. So that is when I undertook the task of learning web design.

By occupation, I am an elementary school teacher. This means I had an entire summer to devote to learning web design. I did lots of research, really LOTS of research. Some of the thing I studied was : How to build websites, What is the process for building websites, How to write code for a website, How do websites work. Every answer I found, only led to more questions. I researched day and night, sometimes for 12 or more hours at a time. I know it is unbelievable, but I remember nights when I would do to bed when the sun came up. After all that I was ready; time to put that research into action. I found a host( because you need a host to keep your website files), paid them a fee and I was off.

I discovered ZenCart and how to customize it. I learned to use image editing software. I learned how look at a section of CSS code and change it to what I needed. I learned how to run an online store. I learned how to internet worked. I became a nerd.

Our first site was not all that great. Looking at it now, it was garbage. Colors did not have a flow, The basic design was a mess, It was incredibly amateurish. On the other hand it was my treasure, it started me on my way. Thanks to that site, I am able to build better ones. I am able to help people who were like my wife and I. It won’t be a decision wether to spend hundreds of hours doing research or spend thousands of dollars trying to get a good website.

In the following year I tried my hand again at web site building. My wife began to plan and coordinate weddings. I decided to build her a site for that. After more research I rediscovered the Joomla platform. I purchased a template from Rockettheme and I created her website. After that success, I got a few more clients( friends) who needed websites. The more I did it the easier it got.  I was becoming pretty good.

My wife then pushed me to form Design Masters Plus. I will provide a  service to help those who desire a good website, but  don’t have the time to research and do it themselves, or thousands of dollars for a web presence. People should not have to invest the hundreds of hours and years of time I did. I have already done that.

Now that I shown you how I got here, come with me so that I can show you where I am going. I will take you through my design process. This is what I am doing to build designmastersplus . com

We’ve already talked about the screen, the build quality and the camera. Now here is everything else.

Eye Candy/ HTC Sense

The HD2 has a lot of eye candy. This is thanks to HTC Sense. It covers Windows Mobile and makes it easier to use. Sense turns the HD2 into a phone that you will want to show off to your friends. The animations are smooth and eye-catching.  You have the option of having an animated wallpaper or have the current weather displayed on top of you menus. for example when we had a thunderstorm here, there were lots of cloud drifting across the screen and flashes of lightning everywhere.

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Another cool thing is the picture and video gallery. When you view it, it is like you are looking at a stack of pictures. You flip through them one at a time, with the pictures you have already viewed flying off the screen. Emails are handled the same way.

Even viewing text messages is an experience unto itself. The animation is smooth and elegant. The music interface is similar to the iPod cover flow system.


Since this phone is running Windows Mobile, it is ready for productivity. Included is the full version of Microsoft mobile office. It includes Microsoft word,excel, Powerpoint, and one note. It also comes with Adobe reader software for reading Pdf files.

The email app is robust and easy to use. You have the ability to have up to 5 different email addresses linked to the phone. It can handle corporate email as well as gmail, hotmail, and yahoo.

It also comes bundled with google maps and GPS.


This phone has a ton of extras and options to choose from. For example, you can set the ringer to be louder in you pocket and then decrease when the phone is moved. It also has voice dialing so you can do other things. When a bluetooth headset is attached, it will give a verbal reminder of any upcoming appointments. The ambient light sensor helps to conserve battery. When you are talking it automatically turns off the screen.

One of the nicest things that I have seen is Swype. It allows you to type by just drawing a line to connect the letters. It is very exact and most every time it get your words correct

The Battery Life

This is an issue with most smart phones. This phone is no different. Given the huge bright screen and media abilities this phone would be a battery hog.  If you are a heavy user, meaning you surf the net all day, watch movies a lot, use GPS for long periods of time then you will need a charge at mid day. Good thing is that the phone charges quickly. With moderate use it can last all day. Turn down the screen brightness and turn of WiFi and GPS until you need them and you will get the most out of you battery.

Windows Mobile

One of the downfalls of this phone is Windows Mobile. While it is powerful, it is not as user-friendly as the iPhone or android phones. It has a steep learning curve, but it is not impossible to learn. It is set up in a program-folder-file system like a computer. Windows Mobile gives the user a load of option to choose from, it is worth learning it.

If you want to see HTC Sense in action be sure to take the time to view the official HTC introduction video for the HD2

Ipad for your car.

The folks at Scosche have devised a way to mount your ipad in your car. It’s like a Tv in your car but better.

Most anti-apple folks out there can give you a million reasons why Apple and it’s iPad is evil. Here is a heart warming story that can make them think otherwise.

Ms. Virgina Campbell bought here first computer, an iPad. Because she has glucoma she finds it hard to read books. With her new iPad she can read once again.

You know those days when you have absolutely nothing to do. You have just looked at every website you usually visit. There is hope.

Stumble upon

Stumble upon is a service that aids in curing boredom. You select your interests from an extensive list of choices. Press the stumble button and you are off. It randomly chooses sites that you are interested in and sends you to them. Most of these are sites you would have never known about. Most of all they are safe, so you don’t have to worry about viruses.

Stumbleupon has a small toolbar that sits atop of your browser. From here you can mark sites that you like even write your own review about the site. By doing this stumbleupon learns you and fetches more of the same. It is so easy to get lost with this. I know from experience.

Visit stumbleupon.com, sign up for a free account and start stumbling.