Essential Keystrokes is…

where I share my favorite tips, tools, reviews and commentary on web design, marketing, blogging, new media and related topics. For more about this site and the voice behind it, check out my About page.


SubscribeFollow me on TwitterLinked In Stumble Upon What I Digg Email me

Archive for Web Design


What Is Web Hosting?

Posted by: Char | Comments (0)

Often times when businesses are just starting out – or even bloggers for that matter – there is a lot of confusion as to the difference between web hosting, domain name hosting, and some of the other terms webmasters tend to throw around. The following infographic sums it up pretty well – if I do say so myself.

Via: The Hosting Awards

So whether you are just starting out or you are ready for a hosting upgrade, hopefully this infographic helps put things in perspective and helps you make the best decision for you web hosting needs.

Categories : Web Design, Web Tools
Comments (0)

13 Stunning Pink for October Web Designs

Posted by: Char | Comments (14)

Its October again and that means websites and twitter profiles around the globe are going pink in support of Breast Cancer awareness (including mine). Its not too late to get involved – and you don’t have to turn your website pink to do it – how about a pink Twitter background or give your avatar a pink sheen. For the past few years I have turned my site pink and highlighted some of my favorite Pink for October sites. Below are 13 fabulous websites that have already gone pink. There is also my list from last year – 13 more beautiful Pink for October site designs to go with my 13 favorite pink themes from 2007. Plenty of inspirational designs and stories, too!

Pink for October

Let’s start by showcasing the primary Pink for October website, designed by the INCREDIBLY talented Natalie Jost. So creative, so clean and easy to navigate, too.


The team at 525creative have created one of my favorite Pink for October designs so far. I love the clean lines, the use of different pink shades and their introductory text showing their support for Breast Cancer Awareness Month.


I love that so many men are showing their support of Breast Cancer Awareness and that they are using their pink so creatively! For Dan Rose, the pink works great for his portfolio site!


Adventures in Motherhood is the personal blog of the very talented Shazia Mistry. She always comes up with something fun for Pink for October and this year is no different. Fabulous.


Totally creative. Totally fun. How could you not want to at least think about hiring that Fred?


Natalie Jost designed this year’s Pink for October site (see top) and has designed some of the most beautiful P4O themes and designs over the years. Her own site went pink for October too – complete with a random header design so you don’t know which piece of pink goodness you might get!


Sometimes less is more. I love the subtle use of pink in the design for Without Words. Just perfect.


Designer Jim Renaud really thought out every detail of his Pink for October transformation. The pink stocking cap is the best! Great work Jim!


Dani launched a new design for Anidan Designs recently and while I doubt it was created specifically for Pink for October, the use of pink is gorgeous in this very bold design. Always good design from Dani – she is another one of my favorite designers.


Kristy’s blog, Good Like a Medicine got a super sweet pink update specifically for Breast Cancer Awareness Month.


Stupifier, a digital design company, went for shocking, bold shades of pink for their October look. Interestingly enough, the entire site is a single page with navigation that takes you to anchors within the code.


Dean Robinson opted for the very low key, keep it simple and easy on the eyes pink transformation this year. Very nice.


Rose colored glasses anyone? Bainbridge Studios did just that with their rosy P4O makeover. Is this a trend – another single paged portfolio site?

Which one is your favorite? If you or someone you know goes Pink for October, leave me a comment! If there are enough new designs I will post a follow up and spotlight even more pink designs.

Categories : Web Design
Comments (14)


Posted by: Char | Comments (6)

My Social Buttons

Social media is hot and its here to stay! One of the biggest trends in web design right now is adding icons or buttons for all the various social media sites you use to your web site to make it one step easier for friends, customers and potential customers to connect with YOU. So where do the designers find all these cool icons? They are all over the web and many are free, but you have to go looking for them.

Fellow designer Randa Clay and I got tired of looking high and low for the best social media icons and decided to create a single hub where you can find the best, free social media icons, buttons and graphics to use at your site. We would like to introduce you to our new website,, a one-stop resource for all the coolest social networking buttons you can use to let the world know where and how to connect with you or your company online.

All of the buttons on the site at the moment are free. Yep, free. You can help yourself. We just ask that you save the buttons you want to your computer first before you add them to your site or your clients’ sites.

msb-mousepadAnd, if you really want to show of your social prowess, check out some of the t-shirts, mugs, mousepads and other goodies we have created to go with the social movement. They make great gifts, awesome conference schwag, and they are perfect for use as doorprizes or ice breakers at corporate training sessions.

Anyhow, the site is still in beta, but we just can’t keep it to ourselves any longer! Please check it out, let us know what you think, bookmark it, share a link with your friends on Facebook, give it a Tweet, or love it anyway you see fit!!


Team Training NE Celiac Family