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.


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Archive for Web Tools


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
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NOTE: This post was originally written by me in 2006, but I have updated it with new numbers and tools.

You are getting ready to start a new business or expanding your current one to include an online presence, what is your first step? These days you might want to check what domain name is available for your potential business before you purchase your business cards. According to Domain Tools, there are 125,067,779 ACTIVE domain names, of which 91,264,685 are .com names.

Before you go to purchase your domain name, I recommend brainstorming a bit and start with 5-10 potential names. Once you have this list, you need to go to and let their system help you come up with potential names based on the keywords you want to highlight. Once you think you have a domain name, you need to register it. You can purchase your domain through a company like or my personal choice Network Solutions has long been the standard, trusted source for purchasing domains, but GoDaddy has proven itself as a leader in the industry and has the best prices for domains.

Dot com is still king and if you can get a .com name, you really should. You may need to be a bit creative with your domain name – using a phrase or dashes between words, but there are plenty of names left and Bustaname or GoDaddy will actually suggest alternatives if your first choice is taken. It might take a two or three word combination to get the domain you want and I recommend focusing on the keywords you are going after rather than the “cute” or “cool” factor in a name.

Deals on domains:

Categories : Blogging, Web Tools
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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!!


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