Tips to connect with family online

There are a list of options available to connect with family online.

  1. WhatsApp – has a maximum group call of 4 people. They recently updated their app to make it easier to start a group call. Requires an internet connection.
  2. Apple’s FaceTime – Anyone with an iPhone 6 or newer, iPad or most MacBooks, can make video calls with up to 32 people. It is easy to use.
  3. Zoom – the tool that is taking the world by storm at the moment, allows for 40min group calls (3+ people) on the free account. Requiring an internet connection, and with a limit of up to 100 people, it is easy to see why so many families around the world are using Zoom to connect online. Be aware of sharing your meetingID only with your friends or family, avoid posting the MeetingID on public or social media sites to avoid unwanted guests on your family chat. Some Zoom security tips here.
  4. Facebook Messenger – the free phone, web or tablet app allows for calls with up to 50 people. Internet connection is needed.
  5. Skype -allowing up to 50 users to connect online. It is free to download via the app or online at https://www.skype.com/en/get-skype/

A survival guide to starting your first blog

Ready to get blogging? Wait! Before you put pen to paper (or finger to keyboard) lets go through the steps to get your name in lights on your very own WordPress blog.

  • Choosing a name

To get started, sign up for a WordPress account. But which one should you choose? Did you know that there are two types of WordPress accounts?

What is the difference between wordpress.com and wordpress.org ?

WordPress.com
In a nutshell, wordpress.com is the free-to-use site. WordPress does all the techy stuff for you. Installation is a breeze. WordPress host your site (meaning the files are all stored on the WordPress server at no cost to you) and any automatic updates that come through can be set to automatically update on your site.

Hundreds of themes are free for you to use – you can change the look and feel of your site easily and for free or choose from a selection of premium themes for a small fee.

The downside is that you have less control – if you are not bothered about the techy stuff and just want a handy and quick way to set up a site – this is for you. Once you are set up on http://www.wordpress.com you will have your own URL with your username in the below format:

https://yourusername.wordpress.com/

Choose a username that you are happy to share with people that wish to visit your site.

You can also get a bit fancy and register your own domain at a domain registry and redirect it to this wordpress URL for your customers or blog followers. I use NetRegistry which is a local Australian domain registrar. Domains can cost anywhere from $12 a year.

ie http://www.yourURL.com which redirects to https://yourusername.wordpress.com/

Sign up to wordpress.com

WordPress.org
https://wordpress.org/ gives you control over your site.

There are tens of thousands of plugins that you can add to your site providing extra functionality. You will need to set up and install all the files yourself. Also, you will need to find a web host provider to store the files for your site. This can cost you from $5 a month to anywhere upwards of $40 a month depending on who you choose.

Find out about the full list of differences between wordpress.org and wordpress.com 

For the purposes of this example, we will assume you are using wordpress.com

Step 1 WordPress.com

Step 2 WordPress.com

  • You have a WordPress.com username, now what?

Once you are logged in head to the dashboard of your site.

The first thing you will need to do is change the title and theme of your site.

Click on Appearance then Themes in the left toolbar.

Choose a theme and click Preview to see a preview of what your site will look like with that theme. You can change the title, navigation or header image. Once you are happy with a theme, hit Activate.

Your site or blog is now ready for you to add content to!

  • Adding content.
    Head over to the Pages section in your dashboard to Add a New Page. Before you get to this stage you should already have a plan for your site or blog. At a minimum you should have the below pages:

    • About Us
    • Contact
    • Homepage which is a given as this is the main page visitors will come to when they go to your sites URL.
    • Blog page – if your site will have a blog, this page will contain all your posts or articles. Click on Posts then Add New. This is where you can start entering in your blog content. When you are ready to publish, his the Publish button. You can even automatically set up social sharing so that your posts are automatically shared on your social networks.

 

 

5 DONTS of travelling with gadgets

1. Your ipad is NOTĀ for taking photos on your holiday.

Yes, we know it has a camera on it – but that doesn’t mean it is for taking shots standing in front of the Leaning tower of Pisa or the Eiffel Tower, blocking the shots of everyone standing behind you. Plus, you are basically alerting any pickpocket within 50metres of you that you are:

a) a tourist

b) well-off enough to have an ipad, thereforeĀ have money.

c) not that tech savvy.

All making yourself a target for theft, or worse.

The only exception to this are the elderly or mature-aged travellers who may need the iPad to see attractions more clearly.

This must stop.

2. Hogging the powerpoints at the airport.

I get it. You forgot to charge your phone or laptop before you left the hotel. But that doesn’t mean you get to hog the powerpoint for hours while you wait for your plane to board – a 40% charge is enough, then move on so someone else can have a turn. Or better yet – buy a portable charger.

3. Say no to bum bags. To quote the TV Show ‘IT Crowd’, “Are you from the past?”

4. Don’t spend too much time taking selfies. Remember to put down the phone or camera, take a deep breath and soak in all the stimuli around you.

5. Up your Travel Insurance so it includes cover for your gadgets. There is nothing better than peace of mind when the unexpected happens.