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A lot of people think that websites are easy to build and that they cost nothing to run, but nothing is free. And scale is everything. There is a reason people get paid for doing nothing, but just helping websites to be found on Google. Web design is a vast field and there are new techniques and software coming out everyday.
Many have tried over the years to make making websites easier, but all approaches just shift the difficulty into other areas or severely restrict your capabilities. Web design is the most difficult design ever conceived, as the same design needs to work on everything from a watch to a billboard. And people want access to the entire website on a mobile phone. And people expect everything to be instantaneous.
There is so much competition that customers can demand this. The latest business trend is trying to run a business without paying out any money for services. Many businesses are outright scams and people know this. An established company has a huge advantage when there are a huge number of small undifferentiated companies to compete with. You have to take a risk or you will never achieve anything - the bigger the risk, the bigger the potential pay off.
Web design is the key to business success today, but few running businesses are willing to accept that and so there are few paying jobs in this field. And although content is the key to drawing people to websites, few people or businesses are willing pay much for writing. At the same time, no one wants to read anything and more people are writing then ever before.
People also expect content to be very low priced or free and if it isn't cheap or easy enough to get in their preferred format, they will just steal it. There is no technological way to keep someone from sharing and copying whatever they get a copy of. The real money is in the hardware and that is why Apple doesn't try to make any money on software or media.
This is why I realized early on that I would never make any money with my website. The key to making money in an digital endeavor is to take a risk and get in early on a technology, before the situation becomes crowded. You could make a simple game and make a fortune on it on the Apple App Store, when it first came out, but now it is difficult to even be found. Most people who made money off of You Tube started early on. The most difficult and necessary thing to survive today as a business is to differentiate yourself - that is why Apple hardware sells for so much more than Windows or Android run hardware, even 30 years later.
Most websites are focusing more on video and forget that the big change in the Internet now is that there are a few more billion people getting online in the next few years. It is exciting to see that we will have more influence from the third world, as they make up the majority of everyone living.
So far, the Internet has almost universal presence only in Europe, the United States and East Asia, but Africa and South America are poorly represented. Most tech people do not care, because there is little money to be made there, but I am not trying to make money, but to spread information to people who think like I do or have had similar experiences as I have had.
This is why I put so much information, on each page, that tells about my site and the basic formatting is attached, all to one file. This is done, because, even in the US, many people live in areas or get access to the Internet while traveling where there is inconsistent coverage. Many times in the third world the power is not always on and can go off days at a time.
My site is hard to find, because I do not promote it on social media, so people do not say mean things about me. One someone has found one of my pages, I want them to be able to find me again and learn about me, even when they cannot connect to the Internet. Another point is that although downloading the same thing again and again like this is less efficient, it is not very demanding relatively, because not only does text take up very little space, it compresses very well and I have that setup for my website. This is also why I recommend people to download my books and other free media I am giving away with a few restrictions, depending on whether is is a book, a set of photos, designs, or music.
I got bitten by this recently, when I used a third party hosting, for my files, to make them load faster in other part sof the world, but they locked my account without telling me and I only owed $2, but the credit card number changed, so they decided to disconnect my service. I try to do as much as I can myself, because everybody nowadays, where I live, expect huge amounts of money for little to no service, so much so that I truly believe their greatest fear is doing their job properly. Instead of using the Internet, to improve oneself and learn more, people are depending on the Internet, so that they don't have to bother to learn anything, in the first place.
All Books are Only in E-Book formats (digital files)
On an iPad or iPhone, for PDFs, Double Tap on the Document and choose Open in iBooks, in Upper Right Hand corner. For JPEG or PNG images, on an iPad or iPhone, Touch and Hold for a Second and choose to Save from Pop-up Menu.
On a Desktop or Laptop Computer, the PDFs will Download Automatically after Left Clicking on Link in Web Page, and Right Click on Link in Web Page and choose Save As to save JPEGs or PNGs for Direct Links to Bare Images. On a Desktop or Laptop Computer, for JPEGs or PNGs In a Webpage, Right Click on Image and Choose Save As.
Look in Your Downloads or (My) Documents Folder on Desktop or Laptop Computer and iBooks (for PDFs) or Photos (for Images) on an iPad or iPhone.
The special font, a lot of the high resolution version of images, and the inline description labeling file formats for the links will also not be visible, with the plainer version, either. The special effects with my logo or my face will not appear on this simplified version, as well.
I just found out yesterday that most my downloads (which I have on a different server/service) have been unavailable for 1-3 months, due to a change in credit cards. Although I only owed $2, they decided to cut off my service and not tell me.
The service is completely restored, but I am moving things over as fast as possible to the main site. Things may not be as fast as otherwise, but things will at least be accessible.
The problem with the other service is that they billed monthly, so I was not able to make sure everything was right and pay the bill ahead of time for a year (like I do with all my other services and websites). I will never again depend on a monthly billed service, so this problem should never happen again.
Sorry for the inconvenience. I know how annoying this is, when I run into it on other websites. The lesson is to depend upon as few people as possible, because everyone seems to screw up the most simple things, no matter how reputable the brand is.
Everything is currently available now, but I am being proactive. Everything is finally moved over to my server hosting and I do not depend on or use this service for anything anymore. This will make downloading things slower in places like China, India, South America, and Africa, but this is still better than not being available at all.
Celebrating No Ads, for at Least the Last 10 years. I only had ads, for the first few years, when I could not afford to pay for a website, when I started out on Tripod, in 1998. I currently use about 10 ad blockers at once, for my web browser, on both my iPad and iMac. None of these ad blockers interferes with my website display or functionality in any way. I encourage you to use them.
I recommend you use ad blockers and do not feel sorry about it at all, as the online advertisers have forced our hand. You cannot even see content, on many websites, because of the ads. Now there is even malware, that comes with ads, even on legitimate websites, like Forbes.com.
I use no cookies, trackers, ads, analytics, or collect any personal information from users, for any reason. None of my downloads have spyware or adware in any of them. I use a Mac and an iPad, so there should be no viruses or worms in them, either.
At one time, I offered people to buy print versions of my books, at cost, but I have removed this capability, because of no interest. There are currently no things to buy from my website. I am not trying to make any money off my website, or even to pay for its creation and hosting costs. I never thought I would and I never plan to, in the future.
Do not trust anything you see online. Expect everything to be a scam, unless proven otherwise and give out as little information as possible, no matter what the reason. Anything can be faked. Just because something looks legitimate doesn't mean it is. The future of malware is likely ransomware. Randsomeware is when someone takes control of your data or device and make you pay money to unlock it.
Remember, there will be a more and more scams and security problems, over time. You will need to do things, to increase your security, over the years, to fix new threats. It is very easy to hack computers and very difficult to secure them. Computer security could be much better, if even basic industry standard security practices were followed. The problem is that people are too cheap.
When your information gets stolen, it is usually not from you, but from someone else, who has your information. If you were a hacker, would you target one person's individual computer, that has, at the most, one person's information, when you can attack a big store like Target and get millions of people's private information, at once?
Do whatever you need to protect yourself. Never buy any software from anywhere, except from a curated app store like Apple's. Avoid free software, as many open source software packages now even include malware in them, as well. Uninstall Flash and Java and never install any plugins or any other software needed, to see a website, for any reason.
Avoid accessing websites from within app store apps, not preinstalled by your OS. Avoid giving personal information to social networks or free services, as the never actually delete anything and have poor security. Do not give apps access to any personal information, including contacts or photos.
More Interesting than a Cute Cat Video
© Ben Huot 1998-Present. Website designs and all content not marked with a specific license copyrighted, from 1998-Present by Ben Huot. I am the webmaster of this network, which includes 6 different, but related websites.
These websites all serve different purposes or audiences, but all share one thing in common: they are all created by me and are about me and my mission/ministry. I am the webmaster, so that I not only create everything on these websites, but also have designed and done all the technical things, to make this site work well, on a wide range of the most popular devices.
I have worked on all this for 18 years now, while understanding that I would never make any money off of it, as my niche is too small.
Confused about the world today? Want a simple, direct, and clear explanation? Read my books. My writing is like poetry meets encyclopedia. You will find nothing like this online or in print. All of this writing is available at no cost. I have a steady income and a lot of time, as well as an unusual perspective. This website network and these books are my way of trying to make the world a better place.
There are a lot of other (non-fiction) things I write about, as well, like what it is like to have Schizophrenia, secrets to my website design, and a completely different political and religious point of view. My point of view is partially based on my experience enlisted in the military and later living with Schizophrenia for over 15 years. It is also heavily influenced by my decades long (and continuing) study of world religions and world history (after ancient history and before modern times).
I follow my theories with practical advice and do what I recommend others do. You can make the world a better place. Just remember to think for yourself (this is what studying philosophy should teach you). Learn from my writings and experience, but come to your own conclusions. I am likely wrong on a lot of things, as are even the greatest thinkers, throughout history. I write what I believe, but you need to make your own choices, based on your own experience and your own understanding of yourself and the world.
I teach the exact opposite of the medieval philosophy of Thomas Aquinas. Instead of understanding God, to the limits of reason and then using faith, to reach beyond that, I believe that faith is the primary means with which we should understand God and the use of reason, to explain the Bible and God, is a secondary and subordinate pursuit. It is dangerous, to base your faith on reason, because someone could then change your mind, just because they are better at arguing.
One of the things people often assume is that arguments are all based on reason, and to understand how I explain things, it is important to understand that I am not trying to be rational. I do not believe that you will change your views, even if I was able to form a superior reasonable argument for it. The basis for my faith is not rational either. If you think pursuing truth without using reason is nonsense, then you probably won't agree with what I have to say. Yes, I actually believe that and yes I do see some humor in that as well.
☞ I aim to make my websites and writing beautiful, but also easy to read, and responsive to the user, in a fast and fluid manner, at the same time. I try to work with the technology and not against it. I try to avoid design techniques and capabilities that web browsers don't seem to want to enable.
☞ I fight against complexity both for me and for the computer. I have simplified my code, by getting rid of ancient techniques, used to supporting ancient browsers. I avoid most slower rendering design capabilities, that only offer a little design improvement, with an exponential increase in memory usage. I now code my website, rather than designing it visually, to make us of the latest capabilities built into the web browsers and make my designs work, with the least amount of computing resources.
☞ I often think of new ideas by reading about what the new capabilities added to the latest web browsers. I have a fall back design that is simpler, for my mobile website or the main sites if you do not have the latest browser. I make the website design desktop, laptop, and tablet agnostic, so that everything, for the full advanced design, work well, on all three.
☞ I use bright colors, as those cheer me up, as I get depressed easily, and cannot wear bright colors, because they attract insects. I also color code many of my website elements, to make them easier to understand. I have decided upon rainbow colors, because I could not make up my mind what colors I should use on my website (so I used them all).
☞ The pseudo random rotating colors helps differentiate paragraphs and heading, lists, and links and are purposely pseudo-randomly spaced and sized. I made these specific elements change pseudo-randomly, because I wanted to reflect the unpredictability and absurdity of the topics I am writing about, while being clear and easy to read and efficient memory (and battery) wise. I like to design styles, that look like real world objects, that load very fast and are efficiently designed. I like elaborate designs, but have made simplified designs for my content.
☞ I use very easy to read fonts and use very large font sizes, for clarity in design. I have now set up my designs, to let people font choose sizes, and margins, as well as other aspects of page formatting. I usually avoid animations, because they tend to be memory intensive, unnecessary, and seldom improve the interface. My overall goal in design is to re-enforce the messages in my writing. (more on design)
☞ The websites are based on bright colors and relaxing themes, that remind me of positive things in my childhood and are designed to be as realistic, as possible looking, while still making the website load as fast as possible (because I don't like waiting for it to load either).
☞ I use an eclectic mix of real world look-alike designs (skeuomorphism), simple minimalistic styles (flat design), and extreme photoshop effect looking textures (brutalism). For a long time, the web was dominated by websites trying to emulate an approximation of real world textures and objects with faux 3d and shadows, like the iPhone iOS 6 and before.
☞ Then there was a reaction against this, because of cheap mobile devices, that could not handle the special effects and had poor quality screens, so that it was hard to read, with special effects. So people started using minimalistic designs, with bright colors, with white text, and no shadows or faux 3d.
☞ A lot of animation was later added, because it was hard to tell where to click with no other way to show something stood out. These designs often had poor contrast, which made them even harder to read. This was started with the Microsoft Zune, Phone, and Windows 8 and Apple did a remix with iOS 7, and Google create its own similar aesthetic called Material Design you see now with most Google products.
☞ Now there is a third design wave, that is a reaction agains the blandness and unoriginality of these minimalistic designs. Many people are now designing websites, that take the aesthetic of the early web. Their designs look experimental and expressive, but sometimes they are too intense, or too busy, to focus on the text.
☞ Unlike most web designers, my web sites have too much content, so that it became hard to navigate, and so the simple answer was to add search, as the primary discovery mechanism, but there were technical problems to this (relying on unreliable third parties, basically). Search also requires you to know what you are looking for, in an area of research (my specific academic domains) foreign to many of my visitors (world philosophy, religion, history, and literature). So I took more time to build an ultimately more effective discovery process.
☞ One of the re-occurring issues I have, when using other people's services is that I either get classified as "Evangelical" (because of my faith) or "New Age," (because of my interest in major world religions, philosophy, literature, and world history), both of which are fundamentally inconsistent with my worldview and I go to great lengths, to avoid learning about or working with either.
This cross comes from the ancient Iranian and Iraqi (Persian Empire) based Church of the East started in Late Antiquity. This church might have had members that were from the lost 10 tribes of Israel. The church was actually based out of Seleucia on the Tigris, which is between ancient Babylon and medieval/modern Baghdad, and was the capitol of the Persian Empire, at that time.
The church sent missionaries and established small churches, near Jewish communities, in ancient India and China, because they were not legally allowed to evangelize (they also had other legal restrictions like a large tax and they would automatically lose any legal argument) within the Persian Empire, once the country was taken over by the Arabs.
These people were the linguistic, ethnic, and religious group descended from the ancient Assyrians - the dominant culture of the ancient Middle East. They, along with most people in Middle East, converted to Christianity about 500 years before the Arabs came out of what is now known as Saudi Arabia. The Western Assyrians out of Antioch and the Coptic Christians of Egypt were so persecuted by what is now called the Eastern Orthodox Church out of Constantinople (now Istanbul) which was then controlled by the Byzantine Empire, that they helped the Arabs take over the Middle East.
Rome was never meant to be the center of the Church. There were 5 original equal churches that were set up throughout major cities in the Roman Empire and one added for the Persian Empire, later. Major issues throughout the entire church were meant to be settled by conferences consisting of all the churches. The first centers for the Churches were: Alexandria, Egypt, for the Coptic and all African churches; Antioch, Turkey, for the Middle East west of Iraq, for what is now called the Syrian Orthodox Church; Constantinople (modern Istanbul), for what is now the Balkans (South Eastern Europe), for what was later called the Eastern Orthodox Church; Rome, Italy for Western Europe, that was later called the Roman Catholic Church; and Jerusalem was a symbolic church center.
The canon of the church was decided at one conference, but the books of the bible we currently have were already in use and are very similar, across all these ancient churches, even the ones not in at that conference, like the Persian Church. The Gnostic "gospels" were written a few centuries later on and are not consistent, with either the Old or New Testament, and were an attempt, to make Christianity pagan, after it was already established. The Church of the East purposely promoted a supposed heresy, in order to make a clean break, with the churches of the Roman Empire, because of intense persecution, once the Roman Empire legalized Christianity.
It is very significant for this church, that Alexander the Great took over Persia, at the time he did. This was because it was a tradition within the Middle East (at that time) to not allow anyone to convert to any religion other than the national one, which in Persia, at the time, was Zoroastrianism. But because the Empire, that succeeded Alexander the Great's empire in Persia, was a foreign Greek dynasty, the government did not interfere with religion, within their Empire. This allowed people within the Persian Empire, to legally convert to Christianity, in Iraq and Iran, until the Arab invasion of the Persian Empire.
Not much has been told about this, because 2/3s of the Assyrian people, who survived intense persecution, for hundreds of years, were massacred, between World War 1 and World War 2. The remains of the Church of the East, the Syrian Orthodox Church, and Coptic Orthodox Church are now officially part of the Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Church eastern churches, but retain their own liturgies.
For website information found in each of my webpages's footer, on separate webpages, you can go to my Wearables Section