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Artisteer 3 Review

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Since a couple of years, Artisteer has been providing us with an excellent tool to create templates for our blogs and web sites. Last month, they released a new version, Artisteer 3. In this review I’ll handle some changes and new features. By the end of this article you’ll also know if it’s worth for you to upgrade to Artisteer 3.

I still can imagine the days before I knew Artisteer. Creating nice looking templates took a lot of time and efforts. Until I saw an advertisement for Artisteer. I was very curious so I downloaded the trial version. When I first used Artisteer I was blown away. It now was possible to create custom, professional looking templates within 1 hour! I remember I gave a demo to some collegues, and they were all also very enthousiastic about this new software. Since that day, I’ve been using Artisteer for a lot of projects.

Today I’m very excited to review Artisteer 3: will it be as user friendly as the previous version? Did they made it better? Are there a lot of interesting new features? You’ll get all the answers in the following review!

Short introduction on Artisteer

Artisteer is software to generate templates for WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, Blogger, DotNetNuke,.. The thing is that it’s really easy to use and that you don’t need any technical knowledge to create stunning templates.

New features

There are a lot of new features in Artisteer 3:

Additional header and background graphics and effects

A lot more color themes

More design layout options

Flash headers are included

Support for fluid layouts (resizable sheet width)

Publish your website direct to Artisteer.net

Online templates

New vertical menu

If you want more information about these new features, read my previous post “The 13 Best New Features In Artisteer 3”.

How Artisteer 3 works

Get inspiration

If you don’t know where to start you can always let Artisteer suggest you a design. This can be the whole design, or specific parts (for example different menus).

Create a design

It’s easy to create a design with Artisteer. At first, the many options can be a bit overwhelming. But the more you use Artisteer, the more useful all those options are going to be. Thanks to all those options it’s possible to create the custom design like you want.

Export your template from Artisteer 3

After you created your theme, you have to export your theme. Just save it as a zip file on your computer.

Import your template into WordPress (or another blog system / CMS)

In WordPress, go to “Appearance” > “Themes” and select the “Install Themes” tab.

Click the “Upload” link, select the zip file on your computer and click the “Install now” button. That’s it!

The result

Cross browser

Let me start with asking you a question; which browser do you use? Internet Explorer? FireFox? Chrome? Safari? Did you know that every browser handles a web site a little bit different? This means, that the same web site will differ a little bit depending the browser. As a developer, this is the part I usually hate because it can really cost you a lot of time before your web site looks and acts the same in all browsers.

Luckily, if you use Artisteer, you don’t have to care about all this! Artisteer generates the needed code so you don’t have to worry about the browser of your visitors.

HTML code

One thing I like about Artisteer is that it generates well coded templates. Maybe you’re wondering why this is so important. Well, it’s not only very important for SEO reasons (see below), but also if you want to do some changes yourself afterwards. Imagine searching for a file on a chaotic desk or a clean desk. Which one do you prefer? Well, that’s the same thing when you want to make some changes at the code of a file. When it’s well coded en the structure is good, it won’t take long before you find the part you need. But when it’s bad coded without structure…

SEO

I already wrote that Artisteer generates well coded templates, and that this is very important for SEO. Well coded files are easier for search engines to read.

But there is also a little negative point, and that’s the fact that Artisteer doesn’t take advantage of using the right header tags on the right place. Artisteer uses the H1 tag for the name of your blog. I don’t like that. And much more important, Google doesn’t like that either . The H1 tag should contain unique information about the page, and no general information. It’s the same problem for the other header tags.

However, there is a very simple solution to solve the Artisteer 3 header issue which you can find here!

Pricing options

If you only want to use it for creating WordPress templates, then the Home version is an excellent choice.

You can only buy Artisteer as a download, it’s not possible to buy it in a regular store. Price is $49 for the Home version and $99 for the Standard version. You can also buy an upgrade. You have to submit the license key of your older version of Artisteer to know the price of the upgrade.

If you want more information about the differences between the Home and the Standard version, then take a look at the comparisation table. If you only want to use it for creating WordPress templates, then the Home version is an excellent choice.

Still not convinced? Download the trial version and see for yourself!

Verdict

As you can see, Artisteer 3 makes life much easier. If you don’t have the skills to develop your own custom template, then Artisteer is the best choice you can make. If you’re a professional web developer, like I am, then you should also give Artisteer a try. It’s a great choice when you need to create a basic but professional looking template. For a lot of web sites, Artisteer 3 will just be fine. There is only 1 major downside: wrong usage of the header tags (but you can read here how easy it is to solve this problem!). But don’t let that spoil all the fun (and if you’re a pro, it’s easy to edit).

Oh yes, and then there is that incredible low price tag. In my opinion, $49 (for the Home version) is a real bargain. I just don’t think there is a better way to create custom templates at this price level.

Do you also want to share your experiences about Artisteer 3? Don’t hesitate to leave a comment, the other visitors will be very thankful!

Are the Online Survey Respondents Excluded by TrueSample “Bad” or Just Different?

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The primary question asked of us at conferences or at other forums is “Are TrueSample-excluded survey respondents really “bad” respondents, or are they just different?”

TrueSample excludes online survey respondents that are “not real”, “not unique” and “not engaged”. The first and second have to do with the respondents being verifiable and not being duplicates. The third has to do with their performance in surveys – do they speed through the survey relative to other respondents, or do they straightline their responses? In all three situations, the online survey respondents are different from others in characteristics that are separate from their survey responses. In other words, they are outliers, but they are classified as such not because of how they answer the survey questions, but because of other characteristics that they exhibit.

Therefore, the obvious question that we are asked is why we would assume their data is not of high quality and therefore discard what could potentially be valuable information.

To answer that question, we need to consider the underlying problem: we start with the belief that there are, in fact, respondents who are intent on gaming the system and therefore provide less-than-truthful responses, thereby compromising online research data quality.

Starting with that assumption, the next step is how to identify them. We are definitely in unsupervised modeling land here. There are no tags that we can train a supervised model with, telling us what a “bad” respondent is. Supervised modeling is out of the question for this type of quality control – there is no cost effective way to identify a set of “bad” online survey respondents for model training.

So we do what we feel is the next best thing: we identify a set of undesirable characteristics, such as not providing verifiable information, like name/address (considering that is the only survey-agnostic information asked on a survey that we can verify) or speeding/straight-lining through an interview.

We feel strongly that online survey respondents that exhibit these undesirable characteristics are more likely to give data of poorer quality. And since our research (see the white paper on “What Impact do Bad Respondents Have on Business Results”) consistently shows that they provide data that is biased compared to the data provided by the individuals that do not exhibit these characteristics, we feel that the decision to exclude online survey respondents is the correct one.

There is a very valid argument made that the percentage of respondents that we call “bad” is more than small in some cases and in certain demographics. We agree that there are “good” respondents in the discarded pile that may have been excluded, for example, because their names and addresses are not verifiable for legitimate reasons, or because they think and move so quickly that they are in fastest few percentiles across a surveys and have been identified as “speeders”.

But do these people make up the majority of excluded respondents? If so, wouldn’t the data of the excluded people be closer to the data of the “good” ones? Is there something about these legitimately unverifiable people that causes their data to be in the same cluster as the gamers? We do realize that we are likely removing some respondents that are good – i.e. we are committing Type I errors. Having recognized this likelihood we are, in fact, continuing to conduct research to reduce these errors.

The questions that are asked of us are valid. If you truly believe that all online survey respondents are above-board, then in your view, such quality control measures are unnecessary. However, if you believe that there is a percentage of respondents that game the system and that provide questionable data, then we at TrueSample believe that we have a defensible quality control methodology. We also recognize that there is always room to improve a method and reduce errors. To this end, we are continuing to conduct research in this area and will continue to share our findings as we learn more.

Apple Store refresh to show new Cinema displays, not MacBooks

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The recent rumors you’ve been hearing, the ones about new MacBook Airs, may not be true. Recent intelligence shows another possibility. You remember those leaked part numbers from Apple, don’t you? At first, we thought those were for some new MacBook Airs that were supposed to be refreshed on July 14. After that never happened, those leaked part numbers made no sense. The new rumor is that those part numbers are for Apple Cinema displays. These displays are to be updated with Thunderbolt support. This way, you can ditch standard display connections and use the new Thunderbolt technology to connect your Mac to a display.

This rumor wasn’t just dreamed up like the past MacBook Air rumor. Apple actually leaked this information theirselves. They posted an image on their website showing a cinema display connected to a MacBook Pro via Thunderbolt. What caught our eye on the image is that the displays show the Lion background instead of the Snow Leopard background that is being used on all other images on the website. Furthermore, the letters in the URL that the image was located at corresponded to the previously mentioned leaked part numbers. To add fuel to the fire, the cinema display portion of Apple’s site would not allow purchases for a while. The “Buy Now” link was broken, but this was later fixed. Whatever the case, a near-future refresh to the cinema displays seems very promising. We might also see Lion released with the new displays, since the leaked images show the Lion background instead of Snow Leopard. Lion is, in fact, due to be released sometime in July, per a promise by Apple.

THE DOW JONES REBOUNDS MORE THAN 1,000 POINTS AS TRUMP SEEKS $1 TRILLION IN STIMULUS FOR COVID-19 FIGHT

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 US Stocks surged Tuesday (March 17) — rebounding from their worst day in more than three decades — as Wall Street cheered White House plans that could inject $1 trillion into the U.S. economy to cushion the blow of the coronavirus, CNBC reported.

Ending the session on Tuesday, the Dow Jones soared 1,048.79 points (equivalent to 5.2%) to 21,237.31 points, briefly dipped below  the 20,000 for the first time since February 2017 before rebounding. The S&P 500 was up 6% at 2,529.19 while  Nasdaq Composite gained 6.2% at 7,334.78.

The Trump administration is weighing a fiscal stimulus package of more than $1 trillion that includes direct payments to Americans, according to a source familiar with the matter. Earlier, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told reporters the government is considering directly sending checks to Americans in the next two weeks. “Americans need cash now,” he said.

Mnuchin added corporations will be able to defer tax payments of up to $10 million while individuals could defer up to $1 million in payments to the Internal Revenue Service. Mnuchin also said President Donald Trump authorized the deferral of $300 billion in IRS payments.

Treasury yields jumped, with the 10-year U.S. rate breaking back above 1% on news of the big stimulus plan. Yields move inversely to prices. The iShares 20+Year Treasury Bond ETF (TLT) dropped more than 6% as investors fled bonds for stocks.

The Federal Reserve announced measures to help companies struggling to get short-term funding amid the outbreak. The market has been hampered by a lack of demand for paper issued, and Wall Street has been looking for central bank intervention along the lines of what happened during the financial crisis.

Amazon shares jumped 7% after an analyst at Bank of America noted the e-commerce giant will benefit from the global “in-home shift” due to the coronavirus. Netflix climbed 7% as well while Apple closed 4.3% higher.

Biotech giant Regeneron, meanwhile, said Tuesday morning that it’s aiming to have doses of a potential drug for COVID-19 ready to start human clinical trials by early summer. The announcement, which represents a marked acceleration in the company’s drug timeline, sparked a 11.5% rally in the company’s equity.

More than 5,700 cases have been confirmed in the U.S. along with more than 90 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. President Donald Trump also said the crisis could stretch into August, adding the administration may look at locking down “certain areas.”

The Cboe Volatility Index (VIX) — Wall Street’s preferred fear gauge — posted its highest-ever close at 82.69. That tops the financial crisis’ peak of 80.74. On Tuesday, the VIX traded down 9.2 points at 73.2.

 

This is the new chairman of Foxconn

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FILE PHOTO: The logo of Foxconn, the trading name of Hon Hai Precision Industry, is seen on top of the company's building in Taipei, Taiwan March 30, 2018. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu/File Photo

Liu Young-way, head of the semiconductor division at Foxconn will replace Terry Gou as chairman of the group.

FILE PHOTO: The logo of Foxconn, the trading name of Hon Hai Precision Industry, is seen on top of the company’s building in Taipei, Taiwan March 30, 2018. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu/File Photo

The SCMP site reported that since July, Mr. Liu Young-way – born in 1956, once head of the semiconductor division – will replace Terry Gou’s position as the chairman of the electronics assembly group, Foxconn.

With this change, many analysts predict that in addition to electronics outsourcing business, Foxconn will expand its investment in many new directions in the future such as AI, robotics or self-operated vehicles.

“Liu has worked at Foxconn for many years. He is a leading expert in Taiwan’s electronics industry,” Gou said in Foxconn’s annual meeting.

Before working at Foxconn as Gou’s special assistant in 2007, Liu founded a chip design company and a printed circuit board factory and ran a subsidiary of United Microelectronics, Taiwan’s second largest chip manufacturer. He also holds a degree in physics from the National University of Transportation and an electrical engineering degree from the University of Southern California.

In 2016, he became a member of Sharp’s board after the Japanese electronics giant was bought by Foxconn. In 2017, Liu was appointed head of the semiconductor department.

According to SCMP, this is a relatively difficult time for Liu because the US-China tension is increasing. In addition to finding more customers in new areas to offset the slowdown in the smartphone industry, Foxconn must also support large customers like Apple, avoiding being affected by trade stress.

Currently, Liu and a group of 9 members will run the company. Gou is still Foxconn’s largest shareholder with a 10% stake and holds an important position in the board. Liu said he will continue to discuss business with Gou once a week.

Buy gold ‘right here and now’

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 “When I think about what would I buy in the right here and now, I would be buying gold, prices would appreciate over three to six months,” told Bloomberg from the expert of financial – Wayne Gordon

Wayne Gordon is the executive director for commodities and foreign exchange at UBS Group AG’s wealth-management unit.

Bullion is set for back-to-back weekly losses for the first time since September after the dollar hit a record. Because of deep losses in risk assets, some investors have been forced to sell gold to raise cash.

According to Bloomberg, a similar pattern loss at times of extreme market stress was seen in bullion at the onset of the global financial crisis in late 2008, before it went on to peak in 2011.

“Gold provided what it should during times of crisis. It is a form of insurance to cash in when liquidity was required. It’s one of the first assets to be cashed in when leverage is reduced. Long-term investors not subject to margin pressures will be rewarded owning gold at this time” he said.

Gold traded 1.6% higher at $1.484,86 an ounce at 6:32 a.m. in London as the Dollar Spot Index fell after an eight-day rally. The bullion is down 2.3% this week after an 8.6% fall last week, the most since 1983. Earlier this month, it topped $1,700 an ounce to hit the highest level since 2012

“Given additional quantitative easing from central banks, you should see a weaker dollar over the next 12 months, it will be a potent power for gold,” he said, adding.