Hostnine Review – It’s time to give these guys some credit!

Hostnine shared hosting review

It’s time to give a healthy dose of credit where it is due! With so many places to buy shared hosting, reseller hosting, and various VPS services, and with wildly-crazy levels of service and value among the myriad choices, I know it’s helpful to read reviews about web hosting companies from trusted sources. BonFX has been around long enough and has been hosted long enough with the same hosting company to offer a very qualified review. To say the least, Hostnine has been a partner for us and I want to tell you a little about them, and I want you to sign up for them if you need a new web host, reseller or shared, or a cloud VPS.

… [Read More]

Where to buy expired domains

Where to buy expired domains

Simple: at our new sister site Oxbow Domains – the expired domain specialist!

If you need high-quality, no-spam expired domains for your PBN, SEO work, or affiliate sites, please check out Oxbow.

Logo, Branding, and Design

We had a blast working on the logo and branding for the site. The logo is a stylized ox bow, and references our crawler software, Ox.

The website is designed at and hosted by Squarespace, and uses their Pacific template. This is the first time we’ve used Squarespace Commerce and it is really an excellent product. Highly recommended.

Even if you aren’t on the market for expired domains (yes, it’s a niche market to say the least), do stop by and see how GREAT the design is, and how flexible Squarespace can be.

Explain in a few words, what are expired domains for?

Links from quality sites to your main website are the main factor in how Google ranks the quality of your site. If you can’t easily get natural, organic links back to your site, you can create a “network” of websites using domains from sites that themselves had a naturally strong set of links  pointing to them. If you acquire these domains, add new content, and generally make them look like “real” sites again, Google will allow the “link juice” from those reconstituted sites to flow down to your main site. So, if you collect a little set of these “expired domains” and fluff them back up, you can reap the benefit of the hard work of the previous owners, and Google’s ranking method is glad to help your main site that these “network” sites now point to! It’s a simple yet powerful concept that takes advantage of how Google works.


A book of free wedding font combinations?

Free Wedding Font Combinations

We get a lot of traffic about font combinations because of our typography book, font app, font articles, etc. One of the most popular searches that we don’t have any posts or books on is for “free wedding font combinations”. So this is a shout out to anyone searching for some help on how to put together typography for wedding invitations, professional or otherwise, using only freely-available typefaces. Would you be interested in a book dedicated to this topic? From what we can tell there is a lot of interest, but we aren’t sure if it’s enough to justify a dedicated book. Take a look at The Big Book of Font Combinations to get an idea of what a wedding invitation focused book might look like.

… [Read More]

Re-redesign of gets it right, sort of

The widely-panned website redesign from February 2014 is getting a facelift—after a really bad facelift!

You read it here first. In my previous article highlighting the flop redesign of, I excoriated the horrible design misfire and left it at that. In private conversation, I told friends how such a bad user experience was going to impact their reader stats negatively. Well, the numbers are in: redesign

The website was already declining when the silly redesign was launched in February. They had a functional site, but the hyper-partisan cheerleading, I mean news reporting, was the real issue behind their decline in the first place. The overly-picturesque giant-comic-book redesign effort, which was an attempt at a branding turnaround, simply hastened the continued decline in visitors because it was simply unreadable as a source of news. Apparently, some Very Smart People™ at thought mixing partisan news, coloring books, and Flickr, would equal a turnaround in the decline of their viewership. It did not work.

So how does the new design look, which is available for the moment in a preview opt-in section of the site? In a word, improved:


There are now 17+ story links above the fold, and a full suite of site navigation tools to quickly get you some place else. And if you flip to a mobile device, you get a very-workable no-nonsense sans-comic-book layout and typographic treatment (hidden pun in there, for sharp-readers only).

The mobile view looks good too:


Overall, we can see it’s very much a work in progress, but progress in the right direction.

What about Search? Let’s quote my previous post on this:


You clicked “Search”, didn’t you. You were warned.”

Hopefully they’ll fix that search box before the real site goes live :).

In the meantime, if you want a ton of news in a legible format, try Real Clear Politics (for desktop) or the Real Clear Politics app (for mobile). You’ll get a cross-section of headlines from all major news outlet in a cohesive, news-focused UI that knows what it is trying to do.


Redesign of gives “mobile-first” strategy a black eye

Visit now. The “news” site has 5 headlines. I’m on a Mac with a 1080p display. This is what 5 headlines on a 1080p display looks like:


This is what happens when someone doesn’t get mobile-first.

Mobile-first should mean optimizing the content and design starting with mobile, not starting and ending with mobile. I’m looking at a formerly desktop-friendly news site that is 100% unusable on a desktop device.

This is such a goofy misapplication of mobile-first methodology that it’s goofy.

Let me just say that I wrote a little piece called 52 Question Checklist for Responsive Web Design Projects that was written to prevent goofy misapplications of mobile-first, or responsive web design, exactly like what we see at It annoyed a few people. I wonder if any of those people are on the design team at

Ok, so the world should design websites mobile-first. We get it. It’s right. It’s “how to build websites” now. But someone in charge of only read the table of contents to “Mobile-First Web Design for Dummies” (is that a real book?), stopped there, not realizing they didn’t get it. This is Windows 8 all over again. Truly mobile paradigms are….mobile! They don’t translate to desktops! Hasn’t anyone on the design team at been paying attention…to anything?

Oh well, another day, another deleted bookmark to a formerly relevant or usable site.


You clicked “Search”, didn’t you. You were warned.