Posts

"New" Google Sites Update

Since ditching Bluehost and Wordpress.org, I was really happy when I noticed that there was a pretty quiet update to Google Sites (maybe the other day? I'm having trouble finding much in the way of release notes).

You can now map domains to your Google Site! This was a feature that was beloved on "Classic" Google Sites, but it has been missing on "new" Google Sites for about 4 years. Those sites looked a lot like a 2008 website, though. Desktop browsing is not the most popular in 2018. Your site has to be beautiful on any screen size, or "responsive". Long gone are the days of having a mobile only version of a website.

In the interim, my sites were set up pointing the domain to just redirect to the home they were in (https://sites.google.com/view/mcbrown91/home for example).

Now when you go to mcbrown91.com it shows like that in the address bar.

So...

It is now easier than ever to have a simple website. $12 a year gets you a domain and you don't h…

I got rid of Bluehost

I really enjoyed having several Wordpress.org installs on a webhost, but it just got too costly.

I've really liked the creative outlet of creating websites with the Genesis Framework by StudioPress and Divi by Elegant Themes. I went from 5-10 page websites to making one page designs with CSS tags to take you to different parts of the same page with a traditional top navigation.

Bluehost went from costing $4 bucks a month (by paying for 3 years initially) to costing about $55 a quarter and building these websites just weren't my biggest priority these days. The speed was never very good and I found myself gravitating to the ease of a website created with Google Sites (new). I had several of the classic design because you can map the domain (ex: sites.mcbrown91.com). The new Google Sites still doesn't have the ability to do this, but since I use Google Domains (instead of GoDaddy, NameCheap, etc) for my site and Chelsea's, there are some awesome tools to help for a seaml…

Millenial Mitchell

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What's more millennial than bucking the big guys in favor of local restaurants and startups or companies that stand for something? Maybe you'll find one that you haven't heard of or tell me about one I forgot/haven't heard of?



Here are some of my favorites, in no particular order:

Bertucci Watches - I bought a pre-owned A-2TLemonade - renter's insurance (limited to certain states right now)Pay with Privacy - referral linkAspiration - Summit online checking account - referral linkAllbirds - wool (merino) runnersBombas (their merino wool socks pair perfectly with merino wool Allbirds - plus, one pair of socks is donated per pair purchased) - referral linkThe Black Tux - rentalThe Tie Bar - quality ties at affordable pricesTommy John (shameless plug)PatagoniaChacosGlossier (for Chelsea)QALO - referral linkSling TV - referral linkWarby Parker - glasses/sunglassesBrandless - we love their kitchen utensils and dry goodsLyft (we left Uber a year ago and haven't looked …

New York City Tips

I have a post like this on Memphis, but it is time for New York City.

We have only lived in "The City" since September 2016, but I get asked what to do in NYC. Here are some of my thoughts on that.

So you've found yourself in New York City?
You'll want to get a MetroCard for getting around the city. Each swipe is $2.75, but if you are with a group and it is only a day or two, you can save a buck or two by just sharing the same card. If you are going to be here for 3 days or more, I suggest considering a week unlimited pass at $33 ($1 for the card + $32 after that dollar price hike recently) if you are going to hop on and off over a long weekend or for the week. Any unused time on the card could be given to someone on your way out of town. This would be a huge pay-it-forward for any local.Prioritize what you want to see and think about where each location is. You may not be familiar with the geography in Manhattan, but you don't want to be going Uptown (north) and …

Phone Number Switch

I tried to be clever.

Before moving to New York City, I wanted to get a new phone number. I really wanted to take a piece of Memphis with me, so I decided to get a 901 number again. Easy right? Well I had to go and make it more difficult, because I wanted to keep my 682 number. I got that number because my parents moved to Texas and Verizon had a deal for unlimited mobile-mobile minutes that we really needed to utilize. Anyone who knows my dad knows that he talks more on his cell phone than any other human on this planet, so unlimited mobile-mobile minutes were a must!

Update: Google Voice/Google Hangouts allows you to have another phone number for free. I have had another number for several years. This came in handy when I lost my phone for a few days when I was still in college. I was able to come back to my dorm and call my mom from my computer to let her know that I was without my phone. Google Voice also came in handy when I was a recruiter at Bethel because we used Google Apps f…

Safer Passwords

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The traditional online account has a username and a password. This method is much easier to hack, especially when the same password is used for many sites(I still do this). The difference with two-step verification is adding a password that you don't choose, aka a one-time password. It can be sent to you via text message (SMS) or it could be a code that is changing via an application (pictured right).
You might have heard about two-step verification (sometimes called two-factor authentication - 2FA), but chances are you don't know much about it or you haven't taken the time to set it up. Let's change that! I have seen too many Facebook and email accounts get hacked. Don't be next!

There are different ways to have two-step verification on Facebook, Google and others:
Receive a text message or voice call with a one-time password (OTP). This is usually pretty easy to setup. This requires a cell phone that receives texts (SMS).Google Authenticator Application: I use Goo…

Google is a must!

It is 2016. There is so much technology that is FREE to you if you just get a Google account. I have had Gmail for almost nine years! I got it when you had to be invited to join. The picture here is a screenshot of me inviting someone in July of 2007! At first, Gmail was my secondary email; this was the email that I gave to colleges and newsletters that I was interested in, but did not want junking up my Yahoo! inbox. The simplicity that Gmail has offered drew me in and kept me. I love how easy it is to set up filters. Another important feature is "Canned Responses" where I can store common emails without having to type the same information over and over again. It is much easier to insert a "Canned Response" while composing an email than copying and pasting from a document! I have been without my Yahoo! email for a long time now. Google quickly became my go-to for many of their services. There are alternatives for almost everything that you need online!
Instead of …