The relentlessly helpful blog

Plan, produce and promote – practical advice to help you unclog your blog, write better web content and improve your B2B presence on LinkedIn.

Secret Mac toolbar shortcut

Secret toolbar shortcut

Whenever I’m busy working on a project, I often find myself regularly referring to a small group of files. It might be a style guide, a client brief or a general crib sheet. I don’t like to interrupt my stream of thought too much, so it’s important to me that such files are easily accessible. The last thing I want is to try to remember where a particular document is and then go clicking about through folders to open it.
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iPad Pro Smart Keyboard: first impressions

In this post, John Espirian shares his thoughts about the latest accessory for owners of the iPad Pro – the Smart Keyboard.

iPad Pro with Smart Keyboard

iPad Pro with Smart Keyboard

Having recently bought an iPad Pro, I couldn’t resist the temptation of pairing it up with the new Smart Keyboard. Apple took their time to make the unit available for delivery, but now it’s here I thought I’d share some notes about my early experiences with it. Was it worth the money? Read on and see what you think.

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RGB and HEX colours

You’re probably aware that when it comes to computers, colours are represented by a series of numbers. In this post, John Espirian explains two of the most common colour systems used on the web.


RGB and HEX are colour systems used on the web

There are lots of colour systems available, but the two mentioned here use the additive colour system. This means they are based on the combination of light, with the primary colours being red, green and blue. In the additive system, red, green and blue together produce white.

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If you’ve ever had Wi-Fi problems at home with either your desktop or laptop computer, you may well have longed for some other way to get online and stay online. In this post, John Espirian explains a handy alternative to Wi-Fi in the home.


Go faster with Powerline

These days, Wi-Fi is a necessity in many homes – anyone who has a smartphone or tablet knows that.

But what if you’ve got a computer in a room that doesn’t have a stable Wi-Fi signal? You probably won’t want to move the computer to another room just to get online.

So, what to do?

Connection options

We usually have one of two options for getting online with a broadband router:

  • Wi-Fi – convenient but not always stable
  • Ethernet – stable but not always convenient

Both systems have pros and cons, and neither is perfect. My suggested alternative is to use Powerline.
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How to check whether a site is up or down

It’s usually easy to check a site’s online status. But what you see isn’t always the same as what everyone else does. In this post, John Espirian explains a simple way to check whether a site really is up or down.

Update 2 July 2015: The Down For Everyone Or Just Me website has now moved to

We’ve all been there. You try to access a website but find that it’s not responding. Perhaps it’s not important and so you decide to try again later. Or perhaps it is important and you decide to let someone know there’s a problem.

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Setting up a website

You’ve decided to set up your own website. But how should you go about it? Is it really something you can do by yourself? In this series of posts, John Espirian shows you that setting up a website is easier than you might think.

Colleagues of mine in the Society for Editors and Proofreaders often discuss how best to go about setting up a website. Having been asked to talk about this subject at the SfEP’s 25th annual conference, I thought it would be useful to set out my thoughts here.

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