Beginners

Technology

5 Must-Have Metalworking Tools for Beginners

5 Must-Have Metalworking Tools for Beginners


5 Must-Have Metalworking Tools for Beginners

Whether you’re starting a new hobby or a new side-hustle, metalworking is an excellent way to create custom decor or art pieces for your home. Developing your skills to fabricate metal into one-of-a-kind pieces can be a unique way to create conversation pieces for friends, family, or for sale. 

How do you get started? What tools do you need to cut, shape, and finalize metal into furniture or decor? Keep reading to learn about the five must-have metalworking tools for beginners.

1. Marking Tools

Many metal pieces begin as flat pieces of sheet metal. To form these blank sheets into your designs, you must cut and shape the pieces.

You’ll quickly find that marking your measurements or designs on metal with a pencil or pen is ineffective for precision work. Some designs require intricate and exact cutting. When marking metal, use a razor knife or scribe with a sharp point. 

These tools put a subtle indentation in the metal to help you make a better cut.

2. Band Saw

After you’ve marked your design, you need a band saw to cut your metal pieces. These metal fab tools allow you to cut almost any design or shape—including curves—while holding your sheet metal on a flat surface. 

While a band saw can be safer and more effective than using a hand saw for cutting metal, make sure you follow proper safety tips. If you aren’t comfortable cutting sheet metal, consider ordering pieces from a critical laser metal fabrication vendor.

3. Flux Core Welder

When you have the pieces for your design, welding is the best way to connect them. Using glue, screws, or other fasteners won’t hold your pieces together in a way that keeps them together. 

Welding fuses different pieces of sheet metal to form the structure of your final design. A flux core welder is one of the simplest welders for beginners.

4. Press Brake

Flat pieces welded together might not be the final shape you have in mind. You’ll need to bend the sheet metal to create your inspiration.

A press brake is an essential piece of metalworking equipment for bending metal. In many cases, you’ll bend cut pieces before welding. In other cases, your design might call for bending connected pieces after you’ve welded them together. 

5. Angle Grinder

Welded joints and metal edges need polishing to finish your piece. Most welded joints are rough and the cut edges are sharp and uneven. 

Use an angle grinder to smooth joints for a flat finish. Polish sharp edges with the grinder for a finishing touch.

Get Started With Basic Metalworking Tools 

Use these five must-have metalworking tools to begin your new hobby! As you develop your skills, you can expand your arsenal of tools to enhance your craft and final products. 

If you enjoyed learning about metalworking tools, we hope you’ll check out more of our DIY articles! 

Technology

A Beginners Guide for WordPress Web Design

A Beginners Guide for Wordpress Web Design

 

A Beginners Guide for WordPress Web Design

WordPress powers around 34% of the internet. Not only is WordPress powering blogs, but many eCommerce sites are using WordPress as well.

If you’re thinking about starting your own website, you might be considering WordPress but are wondering how hard WordPress web design is. If you aren’t very technically inclined, it can seem daunting to design your own website but we can help. Continue reading this article and learn some simple tips for designing your website on WordPress.

Choose a Theme That Will Work for You

Depending on how good you are with technical matters, you might need to choose a pretty simple theme. WordPress themes are what make your website show up the way they do online. WordPress themes allow you to have certain functions and ways to showcase your content without coding it yourself.

There are literally thousands of themes available online. You will find some themes are paid themes and some are free. You’ll find themes that require a yearly subscription and other themes that you can buy with a one-time investment.

Depending on the type of site you want to make, you’ll find that certain themes work better for you than others. If you’re building a magazine-style website, there are themes that are specifically for this style of website. If you want to build a photography website, you’ll be able to find themes optimized for sharing your photography.

Keep a Tidy Sidebar

The sidebar of your WordPress site is seen on every page on most designs. The sidebar isn’t where you should put everything that you can think of. Recent posts, ads, promotions, about sections and many other sections could confuse or distract your readers.

Be purposeful when you put things into your sidebar. Whether you’re using managed hosting or cpanel hosting, you access your sidebar settings the same way. Go into your dashboard, go to appearance and click on widgets. When you are in the widgets section, you’ll be able to easily change what’s in your sidebar.

Make It Easy to Navigate Your Website

Nothing is more frustrating than going to a website where you can’t find what you’re looking for. Your website navigation should make sense when people come to find information.

Group related topics, create categories, and structure your menu section in a way where people can see your system and thought process. If you have a finance section on your website, you might add subsections like Debt Resolution, Savings, Investing, and anything else related that can be considered a subtopic.

User experience is an important part of web design. Focus on planning out your website navigation before you even create content and it will work much better for you.

Choose a Clean Permalink Structure

Permalink structure is your website link structure. For instance, if your website is yourwebsite.com, your permalink might be yourwebsite.com/post1 or yourwebsite.com/posttitle. You can choose what your permalink structure is in the settings section near the bottom of the dashboard sidebar.

Use Images to Drive Your Point Home

Images help your readers stay engaged. We all remember loving to read picture books and getting excited to see what was on the next page. Now as adults, images still help drive points home so we are able to understand the information.

Not only do images make your page look better and engage your readers but they can also help with search engine optimization (SEO). You have the ability to put “alt text” with the keyword when you upload it to your WordPress page or post for better SEO results.

You can use stock images or you can take your own images and use them on your site. Stock images are inexpensive these days or you can even find some online for free.

Select an Appealing Font

If you don’t want to look like every other website online and use the Arial font, you might want to look into other fonts. You are going to find that there are a lot of options available but you need to find fonts that go along with your brand’s look.

You don’t necessarily have to use a different font throughout your website but you might want to use a fancy font on your headers. While you want your website to be attractive to your visitors, you don’t want to visually overload them or make your website difficult for them to read.

There are even places where you can create your own font, download it and use it on your site to make it uniquely yours. This is a little bit of a pro-tip but it might be something you want to consider later down the road when you’re working on your branding.

Don’t Forget the Footer

While the footer might seem a little boring, it is prime real estate. People scroll to the bottom of your page to get an idea of how long the content is. Make sure you have important information there so they can see it and possibly decide to stay on your page longer.

Depending on the theme you choose for your website, you may even be able to pull images from your Instagram feed, show excerpts from your About page and more.

WordPress Web Design for the Win

Now that you know more about WordPress web design, a whole new world is open to you. Why not keep learning? We have many other articles on our site that can open up more worlds and exciting opportunities.

Browse our website, find your favorite section, drop a bookmark and come back soon for more great reads.

Technology

Learning WordPress: The Ultimate Guide for Beginners

Learning WordPress: The Ultimate Guide for Beginners


Learning WordPress: The Ultimate Guide for Beginners

If you’re making a website, WordPress is the way to go.

WordPress is one of the best free website builders in the world. There’s a pretty good chance that about half of the websites that you visit were built using WordPress. Why is that, you might ask?

Well, because learning WordPress is really easy. You don’t need to have any coding background whatsoever to set up a professional looking and functional website. When you log on, it might look a little daunting, but after a short trial and error period, you’ll be dragging and dropping fun elements into your new site.

In this post, we’re going to give you a sort of beginner’s guide to using WordPress. When you’re done reading this, you’ll have all of the tools to get started with making your site. As with anything, you’ll become more proficient with WordPress as you practice, but let’s start out with the basics.

The Beginner’s Guide to Learning WordPress

Why do so many people and businesses use WordPress? Yes, it’s easy to learn, but WordPress users are offered incredible flexibility and state of the art functionality for their web pages. There are now side industries based around WordPress care and upkeep, as roughly 1.1 million WordPress domains go up every six months.

The customizability is staggering, but for now, we’re going to assume that you know nothing about page building and start from the very beginning. Fear not, however, it won’t take long to get you off the ground.

Web Hosting

In a sense, web hosting is like a storage container for your website. It provides a server for all of the contents and data of your website to live in, leaving you to focus on putting your great content out into the world.

Choosing a web host can be a little daunting on the surface, but it’s actually pretty easy. When you’re choosing your host, there are a few things you should keep in mind, however.

Since you’re operating a content management website on WordPress, you’re going to need a lot of storage to keep your images and archives. It’s also important that your page is fast. SEO is partly dependent on page speed, so if you want to appear higher on search rankings, you should make sure that your host is fast.

Installation

Once you’ve got your web host chosen, you’re ready to install WordPress. Some web hosting sites will take care of this for you, but in the event that they don’t, we’ve got you covered.

All that you need to do is go to your cPanel and search for the WordPress installer. It’s a one-click installer, so all you have to do is find it, click it, and you’ll be good to go. It’s extremely unlikely that you’d ever have to manually install WordPress, but there are plenty of guides online showing you how to do that, as well.

Themes

One of the beautiful things about WordPress is its simplicity. When you start it up for the first time, a default theme will be loaded on to your site. Assuming that you want to use something a little more “you”, then you can change it up. 

There are hundreds of free themes available directly on WordPress, but if you don’t see anything you like, you can purchase something from a third party. We have a hard time believing that you won’t find something that you’ll love on WordPress, though. 

Our advice would be to keep it fairly simple, especially with your first WordPress site. It’s easy to get wrapped up in complicated themes and putting tons of add-ons on your site, but it’s going to slow you down and make the website building aspect of it harder on you in the long run. 

Again, SEO is affected by what you put on your site. You’re going to slow the page speed down when you fill it with huge image files, regardless of the web hosting package that you paid for. Choose a simple theme and move on to your plugins.

Plugins

WordPress is one of the leaders in site building because you can add pretty well anything that you want on to your page. The plugins are probably the most fun and interesting part of building a WordPress site.

You can build forms, add forums, and add quick landing pages with plugins. There’ll be some plugins automatically added to your page when you first hop on WordPress, but you can get rid of them and add your own.

It’s super simple. Go to “plugins” on the sidebar, then select “add new” From there, you’ll be shown all of the available plugins, with the most popular sitting at the top. Find what you want, click “install,” wait for it to load and then click “activate.” From there, you can configure each plugin to do what you want.

Pages & Posting

Once you’ve got your themes, plugins, and menus set up, you can begin creating pages and posts. The difference between the two is at the heart of understanding WordPress and will keep your site concise and nice to use/look at.

Pages are usually set up at the beginning of your WordPress experience and kind of left alone. You use them to add to your menus and build on certain areas of your website, ie. your homepage, contact page, about us page, etc. Many people create new pages every time they want to post something, but that would be incorrect.

Go to “pages” in the sidebar, then “add new” to start on a new page. Your theme will most likely provide you with page building tools, but you can customize it however you like.

With posts, you’re posting your ongoing content, giving it a tag to categorize it, and putting it out into the world. To create a post, you simply click “posts” in the sidebar and “add new.” The post screen will come up and you start typing, add whatever media you want when you’re done, then give it a category.

You’re Ready to Make Your Site

Learning WordPress comes with practice. Your first site probably won’t be amazing, but as you get more comfortable with the WordPress platform, you’ll be able to make more streamlined and nice looking pages.

We’ve given you enough here to get a good start on your first website, so come up with a great domain name and get creating. We can’t wait to see what informative and creative content you’ve got up your sleeve.

Technology

A Beginner’s Guide to Using Reddit

A Beginner's Guide to Using Reddit


A Beginner’s Guide to Using Reddit

It’s been referred to as ‘the front page of the internet’, so wanting to get involved with the Reddit community is completely understandable.

But when you land on the homepage for the very first time, it’s hard not to feel overwhelmed. Reddit is a site with its own rules, structure, and even its own language.

If you’re keen to get in on the Reddit action, read this quick guide and learn the ropes before you plunge in.

So what is Reddit?

Reddit is a content democracy based on a system of voting. It’s a place to learn the latest news and find a sense of community.

Once you start using it, you’ll find that Reddit is a culture more than a site, which means it’ll be difficult to grasp on day one. Like turning up on the first day of school and expecting to be accepted into the clique right off the bat.

There are lots of in-jokes and community references, and although these might feel a little alienating at first, they’re the very same things that’ll make you feel like part of the family further down the line.

How does Reddit work?

Subreddits
These are the channels on Reddit. If you’re new, you’ll automatically be subscribed to the top subreddits, like Technology, Music, and Gaming. As you continue using Reddit, you’ll find more subreddits to subscribe to.

Multireddits
These are customizable groups that you can put your subreddits in. They’ll sit neatly in your side nagivation bar so you can easily get to where you want to be.

Upvoting
Help improve the rank of items by upvoting them. If they get enough upvotes, they’ll appear on the Reddit homepage.

Downvoting
If something wasn’t helpful or interesting, you can give it a downvote.

Score
The number of upvotes and downvotes on an item will affect its overall score. The score sits between the up arrows and down arrows. The number of upvotes minus the number of downvotes gives you that item’s score.

Karma
Karma is earned as you continue to use Reddit. It’s based on how many upvotes and downvotes your posts and comments have gathered since you opened your account.

Learn the Reddit Lingo

We weren’t kidding when we said that the Redditor’s have their own language. Here’s how to crack the code:

TL;DR – Too long, didn’t read
If someone has posted a wall of text, it’s not uncommon to see this in response.

HIFW – How I feel when…
Use this in tandem with a GIF that expresses your extreme emotional reaction to any given subject.

FTFY – Fixed that for you
Typically used when someone bests or outdoes a claim made by another Redditor.

OP – Original poster
This is used when referring to the person that originally started the thread or post in question.

ITT – In this thread
Use this when you want to generalize about the community within one specific thread.

Before you post…

Don’t forget to brush up on your Reddiquette. Don’t spam and never resort to asking others to upvote your content. Each subreddit has its own rules that must be followed, so don’t forget to check these out before you post.

Feeling Reddit ready? Head on over to the site and get involved with the global discussion.