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Backyard Inflatable Water Slides

As soon as the weather turns warm, children start to get restless. With school out in many parts of the county, children find themselves with a lot of time on their hands, which leads to boredom. Bored kids tend to badger their parents, tease their siblings, and get into a lot of trouble.

That is why smart parents throughout the country are turning to backyard inflatable water slides to keep their children busy during the hot months of summer. During the very hot hours of the afternoon, many children find the heat too oppressive to allow them to play outdoors. Unless you are fortunate enough to have a swimming pool, you know the feeling of having a house filled with bored and restless kids throughout the summer afternoons.

Inflatable water slides keep children busy for hours upon hours, day after hot day. Kids can play on these blow up slides for three to six hours straight, taking short breaks to come into the house to grab some food. The children get good exercise with these slides, as they have to keep climbing back up to the top once they have slid down the slide, and that allows them to release endorphins and feel good about their summer vacation.

Inflatable water slides are also an ideal venue for carnivals and birthday parties for children aged two to twenty. Having one of these inflatable slides in your yard will also serve to make your child one of the most popular kids in the neighborhood! Kids enjoy hanging out in the pools at the bottom of the slide and spraying each other with the water cannons attached to to the edge of the water slide.

At a recent birthday party for over twenty girls, one of the guests’ parents pulled out his phone in the middle of the party and then ordered the exact same slide for his daughter, when he saw how much fun this water slide can bring a group of children! Parents have calculated that the cost of an inflatable water slide is similar to the cost of visiting a water park two or three times, and the slide should last you for multiple seasons! And of course you have the benefit of having all of the fun taking place right in your backyard, so there is no need to travel far to get to the fun activity!

Most inflatable water slides come with an air pump which will pump air into the contraption for hours on end. The pump does make a little noise, however it is necessary for the stability of the water slide. Once the slide has deflated, the water will automatically drain out and give the grass on your lawn a good watering.

It is essential that you be sure to thoroughly dry off your inflatable water slide before you store it away. Otherwise, if some of the slide is damp, mold will begin to grow on it, which will ultimately destroy it. The best way to be sure that the slide is completely dry is to leave it blown up after the water has drained in the sun for several days. During this process your kids can even jump on the slide while it is dry and continue to have a good time!

For information on inflatable water slides in New Orleans click here.

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What Is SEO and How How Has It Changed Over the Years?

Many business owners will here hear the phrase ‘search engine optimisation’ (or SEO) from friends in the business community or even competitors and may consider it as a route to increasing sales, but what is SEO? Alternatively, a business owner may have tried ‘SEO services’ in the past and found it either didn’t work as well as expected or was working, but no longer as effective – this article explains what SEO is, and why ‘new’ SEO is working better than ever.

I have been working in search engine optimisation and ranking website market, before it was even called SEO. Here are the changes in SEO since the start of the new millennium and what you should be looking for in the SEO services that your SEO Agency offers or provides.

We take a look back at SEO through the years and explain what SEO is today and how best to utilise it for our website.

SEO in 2000

Back at the start of the Millennium the ‘big’ search engines that most people were using were Lycos and Excite. Of course, back then a very small percentage of the UK population had access to the internet and those that did had a slow ‘dial-up’ system.

Websites were one or two pages with basic information to allow them to load quickly (within 20 seconds). SEO practices back then were to ‘hide’ as many keywords on a page as possible, so the website was found for those searches without making the page look to spammy for visitors.

In 2002 Google launched something called ‘AdWords’ and it was predicted to be the death of SEO, as people could pay for prominence, on the now the number 1 website for starting internet searches.

In 2003, Yahoo purchased Inktomi, AltaVista and FAST, which was basically the end of all of the ‘smaller’ search engines. Google started to stamp down on ‘spam’ practices and websites. At the same time Google realised that ‘AdWords’ were not going to kill off SEO and that in fact the ‘natural listings’ encouraged visitors back to their search engine platform. Google started to recognise ‘professional SEO’ experts and promoted good SEO rather than spamming SEO.

2004 saw the first website ‘banned’ from the internet as Google took action against websites that were spamming them. They also took legal action against the “SEO Company” responsible.

To rank a website in 2006 you just needed links back to your website and so buying links / link exchange was all the rage and most websites had a web page where they would list companies and links to their website (I am still amazed how many websites continue this practice).

Between 2004 and 2008 Google, now was the only real “player” in the search engine world, started taking action against poor linking practices and companies and started tightening up on spam and buying links. The ‘Noughties” ended with all “naughty” SEO practices being practically stamped out, as Google concentrated on ranking websites based on their content and it’s relevance to the search being carried out.

SEO in 2010

Between 2010 and 2015 we started to see the search engines take notice of ‘Social Media’ sites and soon the results were filled with Twitter ‘tweets’ in the results. (I can still see the face of one of my customers when searching Google for his business, and the whole first page of the search results were compiled of tweets of a Twitter conversation that two members of staff had been having about how terrible the company was!)

Videos and images were also brought in to the search results with the Google ‘Caffeine’ update.

Google introduced “personal search results” with the websites shown in the search results based on your previous searches and websites you had visited before. This caused a ‘bit of a stir’ in the SEO world as customers claimed their websites were “top of Google” for any search they did related to their industry, just because they had visited their own website many times before, so Google of course fed them back the website for all relevant searches. This can still be a bit of an issue until you show them the new ‘Google Incognito search’.

The focus on ranking websites was on being found for BIG keywords. A ‘Plumber’ in Bristol would want to rank for that search, and so that was the focus.

Google ‘Panda’ and ‘Penguin’ updates figuratively killed off ‘link exchanges’ with huge penalties for websites who had irrelevant links pointing towards them. At the same time Google introduced “no follow links” to allow websites to provide relevant links to other websites and information without penalising either party. It was the start of “safe linking”. Quality and relevant content was now the key to ranking in the search engines.

A report by the ‘Office For National Statistics’ in 2014 stated:

  • 38 million adults (76%) in Great Britain accessed the Internet every day, 21 million more than in 2006, when directly comparable records began.
  • Access to the Internet using a mobile phone more than doubled between 2010 and 2014, from 24% to 58%.
  • 74% of all adults bought goods or services online, up from 53% in 2008. Clothes (49%) were the most popular online purchase in 2014.
  • Of all adults in Great Britain, 67% are aware of Internet storage space services, but the take up of these services to store data is much lower at 35%.
  • In Great Britain, 22 million households (84%) had Internet access in 2014, up from 57% in 2006.
  • Fixed broadband Internet connections were used by 91% of households.

The UK was now (almost) internet savvy and usage of mobile phones to visit websites was huge.

SEO 2015 and Onwards

The biggest change to the search engines in 2015 was the ‘penalisation’ of websites that were not “mobile friendly” – a mobile friendly website has different information for the smaller screen to make it easier for the user to read and understand. In ensuring that users got the best experience Google started ranking mobile friendly or responsive websites (where the website automatically changes its size and format to fit the screen) higher in the rankings.

The UK population were using their mobile phones for local searches, and local companies could at last gain an advantage over the large corporates or ‘national’ companies on the internet.

The introduction of ‘semantic search’, where Google brings back websites in the results not based on the keywords, but the content on a page, again changed the way SEO agencies looked at working on websites. Ranking for the ‘Big’ keywords, such as ‘Plumber Bristol’ became less important, as internet users became more savvy with their searches. ‘Long tail keywords’, and as many as possible, started to grow website visitors and more importantly, conversions.

What is The SEO Process Today?

It is probably correct to say that the processes or practices associated with search engine optimisation have now out grown the term ‘SEO’

In years gone by working the content and structure of a website was enough. Now, there is so much more to do to not only rank a website in search engines, but to get customer engagement. A better description of the service would be ‘digital marketing’.

Old practices, as mentioned earlier, meant ‘big’ keywords were key to ranking. A focus on a single keyword per page or even for a whole website would rank the business and back then it was all about ‘rankings’.

Old way of doing SEO

Today there are a number of factors to consider in regards to SEO. ‘Semantic search’ is the main driver and conversion the main goal, not rankings.

Semantic search is where Google returns information on the page, not the description the website creator input, back to the searcher. An example of this would be to take the ‘Plumber Bristol’ example. A few years ago you would have concentrated on ranking the business for “Plumber Bristol”, “Plumber in Bristol” and perhaps “Emergency Plumber Bristol” – although this still holds true for businesses that offer a solution for ‘distress purchases’ (where time and a solution outweigh the need for information and advice) better practice throughout a website is to add content that offers advice and guidance and includes ‘long tail keywords’ (3 or 4 word searches) such as “Emergency plumber with free callout in Bristol” or “Reviews for an Emergency Plumber near me”. Google wants the user to have the best experience and find the relevant information quickly, and semantic search achieves this. This is also sensible for a business owner. Would you rather your website was found by a searcher looking for “Plumber Bristol” where they could be after information, looking to get a job, looking for a plumbing service that you may not offer, or for a specific and targeted search such as “best emergency Plumber near BS7″? “Plumber Bristol” will get you a website visitor, being found for “best emergency Plumber near BS7″ will get you a customer.

In terms of keywords this is the largest change Google have made and it is here to stay. SEO or digital marketing is no longer about where you rank, but how many different search terms you can be found for and their conversion in to paying customers.

Website Content

A few years ago (and only 2 or 3 years ago) Google suggested to professional SEO Agencies that 300 words on a page was sufficient content. Last year they stated the MINIMUM should be at least 500 words.

Every day I am asked to review a website by a potential customer – and most of them have between 150 to 250 words on a page. This is common practice. There are two ways to look at this. Either Google has to change it’s expectations as most websites do not meet their grade or another way to look at this is as an easy way to jump the competition by simply adding content to your website. Do you think Google will lower it’s expectations or expect websites to improve to their standard? Google released the ‘mobile friendly’ update knowing that somewhere around 80% of websites would need to be upgraded – and they did it anyway as it benefitted over 50% of there users. Quality content effects 100% of their users.

I recommend to our customer about 800 words per page. This is enough content to be ‘semantic search’ friendly, provide relevant content and not be too word heavy.

Good practice is to have:

  1. Page Title – say what the page is about (‘Big’ Keyword if you must)
  2. Headline – asking a question
  3. First paragraph explains briefly explains the content / solution
  4. Image / or video
  5. Longer description of the solution

Take our Emergency Plumber in Bristol, as an example:

  1. Page Title: Emergency Plumber Bristol
  2. Headline: Are you looking for the best emergency plumber near you in Bristol?
  3. First Paragraph: Smith Plumbing offer a 24 hour emergency plumbing service in Bristol. We do not charge a call out fee and can be with you in 20 minutes. That is why our customer reviews and feedback say we are the best emergency plumbing service in your area. Call now on…
  4. Image of the van or the Plumber looking professional
  5. Longer description: What they can fix, common problems they resolve, some of the quotes from their customers etc.

This has a number of benefits.

Firstly, those people who just want a Plumber will read the first paragraph, see the image of the van (build authority and professionalism) and call the Plumber. Other people will want more information which they can find further down the page. Is this cheating at SEO? Absolutely NOT. You are providing relevant information to the user and Google will love you for it. How content is structured and written on a page is the “new” SEO.

The second benefit is that your website will start to be found for a combination of the words on the page – semantic search – in the example above the Plumber could be found by customers and potential customers looking for “Smith Plumbing”,”emergency Plumber near me”, “Emergency Plumber in Bristol”, “Best24 hour emergency plumbing service in Bristol”, “emergency plumber Bristol reviews” and dozens more search terms. If you were a Plumber would you rather be found for one big keyword or multiple relevant customer converting keywords? I thought so, and so does Google.

Old practices were to create website content for the search engines. Now you must create content to provide value for customers. This is an easier process than you might think.

What were the last 5 customer enquiries to your business? What was the problem they were trying to resolve? Write about the problem and your solution.

Link Building

The historic way of ‘link building’ was to get as many links from as many places as possible. This year we has a very large company contact us about their SEO and they were horrified when we suggested that they needed to remove their 1.4 MILLION links back to their website as they had spent a fortune over the years buying the links. Irrelevant links, and the more you have the more detrimental it is, highlights to Google the irrelevance of your website – regardless of how relevant it might be.

Today, a few, relevant links is far better than a Million links back to your website. Today, links have to be built through engaging relationships. Taking our Plumber once more, a link back from the ‘Gas Safe register’, a local plumbing centre or bathroom showroom, and a few local websites that like his information would be enough.

Social Media

Even though we still get a some companies like this now, a few years ago when we suggested businesses should be on Facebook I was normally told “Facebook – that is for teenagers isn’t it? That is not our market”. If done well, Facebook can drive more traffic and paying customers to your door than your website. Facebook’s largest user group is 25 to 34 year olds, second largest is the 35 to 44 years old age group. The 45 to 54 year olds are using Facebook more than teenagers, and as nearly as much as 18 to 24 year old.

Facebook Users UK age – courtesy of statista

Facebook allows a business to build a brand, engage customers, get customer reviews and instant customer feedback. Unlike reviews on your website which potential customer may see if they visit your website, a review on Facebook is seen immediately by all of the users friends and if their friend ‘likes’ the comment – all of their friends, friends. More and more of our customers are getting leads from Facebook. People are asking their friends for suggestions on businesses to use and getting dozens of suggestions back – if you are on Facebook you are more likely to get a direct link to your contact information.

What is next for ‘Social Media’? Live streaming! Twitter has purchased a company called ‘Periscope’ which allows you to live stream video from your phone. “So what?” I hear our ’emergency plumber’ asking. If I were a Plumber I would be live streaming my work as I fix a problem, with the video going out live to all of my followers and their friends – my own television channel that is free-to-air across the whole world. Next time your business conducts a ‘brain storming session’ – periscope it – your customer will tell you what the solutions are.

Video Marketing

There are no ‘old’ SEO practices for video as it just didn’t exist and when YouTube started out it was for showing funny videos of cats and the like.

Today that has all changed. YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world and is owned by Google. YouTube has over 1 BILLION users worldwide and every minute, 300 hours of videos are uploaded. It would take you about 2 years to watch all of the videos that will be uploaded in the next hour. It would take you the rest of your life to watch all the videos uploaded today. Google’s own statistics say that by 2018 73% of searches put into a search engine will result in the person watching a video. Think of it another way, in a couple of years when 10 people search the internet for your product or service – 7 of them will watch a video, 2 will visit a website. That is why I create videos for our customers as part of our ‘digital marketing service’.

For information on SEO in Columbus, OH click here.

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Renting Bounce Houses for Your Next Party

If you are planning an event, you should consider renting inflatables like bounce houses and waterslides. The set-up is very easy as these inflatables are not difficult to assemble. At the end of the party, they are simply deflated and packed away.

Large eye-catching inflatables such as these are great additions to any birthday party or event. Your kids and their guest will love these fun bounce houses and moonwalks. There are a number of reasons why you should consider renting party rental stores offer. Here are some of them:

-They are very easy to assemble
-You can choose from a variety of colors, designs and themes
-They go with any type of party theme (ex. carnival theme, princess theme, pirate theme, etc.)
-These inflatables aren’t just for birthday parties, they can be used for any type of occasion
-Everyone loves them – when was the last time you heard someone say that they hated bounce houses?

Planning a party can be hard work. You need to have all your bases covered to ensure a fun and enjoyable event for everyone. Organizing a kiddie party can be loads of fun if you do it right. This is why you should consider renting a bounce house for your kid’s next birthday party. These fun inflatables will help keep your guests occupied while you take of important things such as the food or the cake.

When looking for bounce houses area for rent, there are a couple of things you should take note of. If you like having your children help you with planning, get them to choose a theme or the style. Before you look for a party needs store, consider these details:

1. How big is your backyard?

Moonwalks can be quite enormous. Find out how much space you have in your yard before you decide which bounce house to rent. You also need to plan the layout of your party. Where will you fit the chairs? Where will the game area be? Will the food be served inside your home?

2. What is your party’s theme?

The theme of the party can play a role in helping you decide what type of bounce house you will have. There are different ones available, depending on the party rental store. You might want a fairy-themed bounce house, or a monster-themed one. There are also character themes available for those who have very specific preferences.

3. What style would your child prefer?

Bounce houses come in all types of shapes and sizes. There are the regular house-shaped ones, obstacle courses, ones with slides, etc. Take a look at your options and see if the style you want is available. If you can’t pick, you might want to get a combination one. There are also inflatable water slides for parties during the summer.

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Car Locksmith Services

Consider a tricky situation. You have gone shopping and stop your precious car on the side of a very busy road to get a quick smoke. When you come back, however, you find that you have been locked out of your car. It might spell immediate disaster if your car is in the midst of a very busy junction. You might even be arrested if you cannot get to a car locksmith’s office and get hold of a car locksmith soon. Yes, it is the humble car locksmith who saves the day in such a situation. Car locksmiths, the world over are regarded to be the best among all locksmiths. Car locksmiths have to handle the most delicate locks of some of the most prized cars. Car locksmiths the world over are regarded to be masters at their tricky and often tiring work. Car locksmiths gather enough bangs for their buck in the recognition they get.

Car locksmiths guarantee you the best treatment to your car and the great freedom of worry of being locked out of it.
Car locksmiths are often also called auto locksmiths. Auto locksmiths, as the fable goes, are so precise in their work that they seem to be doing it almost mechanically, so to say, as a machine works. Hence the term ‘auto’ meaning mechanical is used for them. Auto locksmiths the world over are the best among all locksmiths and are masters at their task. Auto locksmiths often help you to get out of very sticky situations and also save your precious car from the unwanted danger of getting badly damaged. Would you ask for anything more than that? We guess you won’t. We here ask you, would you?

Many of us often lose our car keys. Lost car keys are often very difficult to find once lost. A lost car key often is the cause of worry of many a car owner as losing a car key means having to damage your very precious possession. Automotive locksmiths often come to the aid of car owners in such sticky situations. Automotive locksmiths provide very important emergency car locksmith services. Emergency car locksmith services are often required and are very essential. Emergency car locksmith services are required when we are locked out of cars. The situation in such matters tends to get a bit too scary. Being locked out of your own car is every car owner’s nightmare. Lock outs are more prone to happen at busy intersections. Locksmiths provide great assistance in such matters. Auto locksmiths rely on intuition rather than expertise. The job of an auto locksmith is such that he has to fish in the dark for getting his job done.

Auto locksmiths are more easily prone to getting a great deal of fatigue out of their daily job routines. Auto locksmiths offer a wide range of services apart from locksmith services. Auto locksmiths, many times provide car washing, car painting, car servicing, even car insurance facilities to car owners. Car locksmiths are certainly going to be the next big thing on the automotive scene. Car locksmiths can be touted to be the next big thing to happen to the auto scene worldwide. Or have they already happened? Well, you know the answer.

For information on a local Delray Beach locksmith click here.

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Benefits of Booking Tour Packages

All people need a break to get away from stress at work, home or school. Taking vacations is the best way to relax, unwind and spend time alone or with family in order to keep motivated and get that groove going.

Taking vacations requires planning and planning requires time – time for booking the preferred airline, finding the perfect location, researching for the cheapest hotels and scheduling the activities for the inclusive dates. That alone can also be stressful especially when it’s fast approaching with no preparations been made. As tourists, the experience should have to be stress-free, worry-free and relaxing.

In this regard, consider the benefits of booking tour packages. Not only can it save a lot of time but it’s also popular these days when people can’t seem to find that luxury of organising trips and vacations themselves. Other benefits of availing packaged tours are mentioned below:

• Convenience, completeness and quickness all rolled into one. This is the main reason why people avail of these packages. Searching for tourist attractions is easy over the internet. Then, what comes after is a lot more convenient.

Tour packages usually have detailed information on the trip. From the booking details, itineraries, tour guides, food trips, dinner and hotel accommodations, tour companies will take care of all these for their clients.

Pro tip: Before booking, make sure to discuss what’s included in the package. Sometimes, companies provide minimal package inclusions and require tourists to pay additional fees for all other activities that are advertised on their website.

• Perfect for large groups. Booking packaged trips in groups is more fun than travelling alone. It’s easy to make friends especially with people who also share the same interest – travelling!

Pro tip: Check out attractions where all friends can enjoy their stay. If possible, take a picture of every activity that everyone participated in.

• It offers quality service. Tour companies spent several years in developing business relationships with their suppliers to ensure that tourists receive the kind of service they need.

It’s like a win-win situation for their businesses. Why? It’s because tour companies are constantly able to bring in groups of people via their package tour that’s why, vendors have to take extra care of these tourists. This include front line access, upgrade in services, inclusion of tour guides, ensuring food for breakfast, lunch or dinner, occasional freebies and a lot more. Basically, they treat their guests as stars.

Pro tip: Do research on your preferred tour company before booking them. Read reviews and Facebook comments on their site with regards to the overall quality of service people have experienced starting from how their flight details were booked up to the point of their actual stay.

• It’s fun and educational at the same time. Enjoy the view but listen to tour guides whenever they provide information on every itinerary. Although they may not be residents of that place, they surely have accurate knowledge about the important information based from their study and personal experiences.

Pro tip: Since the tour is definitely fun and educational, it’s recommended to explore and experience everything in groups. Taking pictures of various attractions and eating dinner with friends all result to fond memories.

And those are the benefits of availing tour packages. With the right combination of season and destination, everything is going to be a rewarding experience.

For information on the best Sri Lanka tour operators click here.

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Different Kinds of Garage Door Repair

Eventually you will have need for garage door repair. How extensive the repair needed will vary but every garage door experiences some kind of wear and deterioration, whether it’s the panels or the hardware or springs. Some of it can be done yourself while other work, like replacing torsion springs, requires the work of a professional as deadly injuries can result. It also depends on the style of garage door you have. A manual garage door will be easier to repair than one that has a garage door opener.

One thing is clear: there is only so much that will need repair as there are only so many kinds of garage doors so the final cost will not be but so bad. These door styles include the retractable door, the canopy, side hinged doors and sectional doors which covers most automatic doors. Unless you have a bard, you won’t see many side hinged doors so I won’t go into that. All there is to mention there is that if the door itself is damaged, meaning the wood, you will have to replace the whole door. Otherwise the hardware is self explanatory. Modern garage doors open overhead.

The first kind of overhead garage door repair would be for retractable doors. These lift up and slide back into the garage on an overhead track using springs that are counter balance. This aids in the opening and closing of the otherwise heavy door. The door generally opens straight out and is framed as a single paned door. Canopy doors are retractable doors that can overhang the driveway to provide basic shelter. The kind of repair for these doors usually requires simple hardware replacement.

Sectional doors have their ups and downs. One good thing is it is made up of panels, meaning if one area of the door gets damaged you can disassemble that particular part of the door and replace a single panel. Hardware replacement becomes a little more detailed as each panel has its own hinges and bolts.

The springs on all of these doors are high tension coils that can easily snap or spring off during repair and can result in death. It is highly advised to seek professional help for this kind of garage door repair.

For information on Garage Door Repair Farmers Branch, TX, click here.

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Eight Things to Consider When Buying Reunion T-Shirts

If you’re planning a reunion (or any event) for the coming year, there are a million decisions to make. One important decision is what you will provide for a keepsake item. The goal is to make the reunion a fun, relaxed, carefree time, (with high attendance and participation) enjoyed by all. Making keepsake items as meaningful and personal as possible can be a motivator for participation so it’s important to give attendees something that is stylish, functional and affordable.

Custom printed reunion t-shirts and caps are popular choices for keepsakes because they are all of the above. When ordering for a large group, it’s important to keep costs down while obtaining quality merchandise and planning is the key to success.

It doesn’t take much imagination to think of issues that can occur when ordering custom t-shirts for a large group. Talk to any reunion planner and they will probably agree that ordering shirts for a large group can be a challenge. I’m sure that if you talked to enough planners, you would hear stories about misspelled names printed on shirts, or ones where planners didn’t order enough shirts to go around. You could hear even more about planners who waited until the last minute to order, who pulled their hair out trying to find a “fast” printing service with overnight delivery.

Each group has their own way of selecting and distributing these items to members. The most important message is to plan as early as possible and look at more than one factor (not only price) in selecting shirts for your group. Here are some tips; especially if you’re new to reunion planning, that might save you both money and headaches.

When looking at t-shirts, first consider your group and your budget. What does your group like, in terms of style, quality, colors, etc? How much can you afford to spend per shirt? Check catalogs and online for shirts that you think will fit your needs.

When looking at shirts, consider fabric weight, colors and sizes available, delivery charges, quantity discounts, production costs (which includes artwork costs) and the base price.

Fabric weight. The weight provides an indication of the number of ounces per yard of material. For example, you may see a 5.4 oz. 100% cotton shirt. That means that the shirt provides 5.4 ounces per yard of fabric and will be a lighter material than a shirt that’s say 6.1 ounces. The 5.4 oz shirt will be a good quality, middle weight shirt that works well in hotter temperatures. The 6.1 ounce shirt is considered a premium weight shirt and will be absorbent, while holding more heat. For a cotton shirt, it’s good to make sure that it’s pre-shrunk so that when it’s washed there is minimal shrinkage.

Colors and sizes are important in terms of price. Shirts in colors are generally more expensive than white shirts. Some shirts have mid level pricing for “heathered” colors, like heather gray, ash etc. So if you’re looking for ways to cut costs without sacrificing quality, look at purchasing white (or heathered/neutral) shirts. In many cases, shirts that are larger in size than an extra large (XL) will cost more per shirt. Tall sizes are also extra in many cases. Also not all shirt styles are available in plus and tall sizes.

If you need to provide shirts for a wide range of sizes there are some shirt lines that carry “companion” shirts for men, women and children that are available in a range from youth to plus and tall. Don’t mix brands if possible, choose shirts in the same brand with a wide range of sizes to keep colors consistent. Look at the available sizes and any additional costs for sizing when choosing your shirt.

Delivery time and charges can add tremendously to the cost. Planning ahead and ordering in plenty of time makes delivery a snap. Most companies provide expedited shipment that includes overnight and 2 or 3 day delivery… for a hefty fee. The shorter the delivery time, the more you pay.

Don’t assume that the minute you hit the send button on your online order, or when you hang up from your phone order, that the delivery clock starts ticking. For example, if a company says the production time is seven days, don’t assume that you can order seven days before your event and have shirts in hand to distribute.

Production time is the time it takes to print the item, and it’s totally separate from delivery time. Production time is in working days and does not usually include weekends, holidays and peak times when the printer has more items to print. Once the item is produced (printed), it then leaves the factory via UPS, US Mail, FedEx, etc. for delivery to your location. Depending on your location and the service you select, it could take up to an additional ten days for your packages to arrive.

Also, it may take time for the printer to make any changes needed to make your art file camera ready. Plan to order t-shirts (and other custom printed items) at least 2-3 months before the date of your event. If in doubt, ask your printer.

Quantity discounts commonly apply for larger orders. The more items you order, the more you save. This is the tricky part of ordering t-shirts for a group that most people don’t think about until they are actually ready to order.

How many size adult small, medium, larges, etc do you order? How many youth small, medium and larges do you order? How many plus and tall sizes do you order? Do you estimate the quantity and sizes and hope for the best or do you survey your group to determine what they want?

A rule of thumb in ordering for a group is to plan (there’s that word again) in plenty of time to obtain information for decision making. It’s important to know as far ahead as possible how many people will want t-shirts, how many and what sizes for each person, including any children (teens, youth and infants) that might be participating in your event.

Sending out surveys or order forms early in the process, will give you hard numbers that make it easier to determine what is needed and allows you to take advantage of quantity discounts. It also keeps you from being left with a large number of shirts after the reunion is over or worse, not having enough for all attendees. You can order a few extras for any unplanned guests that may show up at the last minute. But at least you won’t order 200 shirts and be left with 100 or vice versa.

Production costs include the base price of the item (the shirt), the cost to set up equipment, run charges and art charges.

Set up charges are the costs associated with setting up equipment to print artwork onto your shirts or other items. There is usually a set up charge associated with each color and each location in your imprint. That’s because as part of the printing process, multiple colored designs have to be separated into four colors (CMYK) Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Key (Black). You’re charged for the resources needed to set each of those colors. This process also has to happen for each location in your imprint. In selecting a shirt, look at the set up charge for printing your items, the number of locations you want for your imprint and the number of colors in your imprint (up to four) and start adding. The cost for multiple color, multiple location imprints can add up really fast.

To save on printing production costs, you might consider having a one color imprint or reduce the colors to fewer than four. You might also consider having your imprint in one location.

Artwork can be your own design, as simple as your reunion name and date to a complex graphic design, logo, family crest or emblem. Most printing companies will have stock designs or graphic design services available, from supplying basic lettering to full service design. If you have an artistic person in your group, solicit their services or have a logo contest and select judges from your group to determine which design to use. Another option would be to hire your own graphic designer.

Artwork proofs. It’s best to ask for a proof of your imprint before your artwork is finalized (if using a paid professional) and after it is received by your printer, before your shirts go into printing production. Some companies will provide proofs for free and others will charge a fee. Most firms will fax or email a proof, which shows the layout and wording used in your imprint. In my opinion proofs are worth every penny you spend for them, because you can make sure that everything is spelled correctly and arranged the way you want.

With most printing companies, it is your responsibility to make sure the artwork is correct and they won’t be responsible for any misspellings or layout issues after the fact. Don’t assume that they will offer a proof, but make sure to ask for one. To make sure that your imprint turns out the way you want, have several people from your group to proofread to make sure it’s OK before giving the go ahead for printing the final product.

T-shirt funding. How are you going to pay for your t-shirts and other reunion keepsake items? One option is to take orders and receive payment before the reunion, in time to place your order. Upon arrival to the reunion, everyone gets the shirt (probably along with other goodies) in a nice little package with other reunion information like programs, maps, etc. This option provides the best way to determine the correct number of shirts and sizes needed, and it will allow you to take advantage of quantity discounts.

Another option is to include the shirt pricing in reunion dues for the year. Make the dues enough so that you have enough money about two or three months ahead of the reunion to order shirts. Everyone that pays the reunion fees or dues gets a shirt.

You can always use money from fundraisers held throughout the year to pay for the shirts. As a matter of fact, t-shirts, caps, videos of past reunions, cookbooks, key chains, buttons, and other items are excellent fund raising tools. They can be sold before, during or between reunions to keep cash flowing. Put nostalgic photos from the “good ole days” on items and sell them for a small fee. The key is in finding items that are low enough in price to purchase so that you will make a profit, and an attractive design that will sell.

Sometimes local businesses and even national chains will buy ad space in programs or on t-shirts in exchange for advertising. If your reunion group is large enough, it might be worth it to talk to businesses that cater to tourists. They may place an ad with your group and offset some of the cost of printing your shirts.

These are some ideas for planning and saving money on t-shirts and other custom printed items. We have a number of quality shirts and other items available online right now. Use our site, that’s packed with reunion apparel and other promotional items for every need. It’s never too early to start planning and ordering.

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Play Free Online Games and Save Money

Everybody likes to play games and especially when it is not bound by time, money or space. These games are nowadays available in most of the websites. Some of these websites offer games only when the user subscribe to the sites by paying a certain amount. There are many websites which offer free online games to its users. These websites are high in demand among the users as they can play as many games online as they wish, that too without worrying about their accounts getting depleted.

Another advantage of the free games online is that they do not always require a partner. A user can play games with the computer or choose to play a single player game. It is also more convenient for today’s youngsters who are brought up in a nuclear family with no companion to play along with them. Therefore, these games over net have such popularity among today’s youth. They also serve as a great pastime for those who have leisure time at home or office. Whenever they feel bored, they can just log in to internet and spend an entertaining hour with the games available there.

List of popular free games online

The Attack of the Mutant Artificial Christmas Trees is a popular free online video game which was developed by Dallas-based Internet marketing firm, Kewlbox in 2004. It was released for online play or free download in November 2004. BlogShares is another online stock market game which is unique in its own way. It allows players to trade at any time, create their own blogs and purchase shares. This website was founded by Seyed Razavi, a graduate of the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology in Manchester.

Cabal Online is a game which is also 3D massively-multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG). Other such games include Domain of Heroes (a text-based MMORPG), Urban Terror or UrT (a free online first person shooter created by FrozenSand) and Drift City (a Nonlinear driving RPG game developed by a Korean).

Other popular game online include Emil Chronicle Online, Endless Ages, Heat Project, Human Age, Kutar, (Lil) Green Patch, Little Fighter Online and Pet Society. Phantasy Star Online (PSO) was initially released for Dreamcast in 2000. Due to its increasing fame, Phantasy Star Online Episode I & II were later released with some added content for Nintendo GameCube and Xbox in 2002. Other versions of this online game were released in the year 2003 and 2004.

List of other free online games which gained popularity among users are QQ Sanguo, Regnum Online, Rohan: Blood Feud, Rumble Fighter, Seal Online, Shin Megami Tensei: Imagine, SubSpace (video game), Super Obama World, Syobon action, Teeworlds, Thang Online, Urban Terror, Utopia (online game), A World of My Own and Wurm Online.

One must be wondering why these free online games come for free. Actually, the websites that create these free online games feature many advertisements. They get revenue from these ads.

These online games can be a good way of passing time, but be careful, as they are also addictive.

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How to Find Cheap Cabin Rentals

Finding a cheap cabin rental is not always easy to do. There are a number of different sources online that will allow you to find discounted cabins. I recommend first that you first plan out your trip and then decide where you wish to stay. Finding cheap cabin rentals is easy if you do your planning and then book in advice. Here are a some of the best tips for finding good cabin rentals.

Book Your Cabin In Advance
The best tip for finding Cheap Cabin rentals is to book in advance. Often you will find great deals online where the dealer or broker wants to rent out a cabin. If you find a deal, you will usually have months to wait before your trip actually occurs. The advantage to the cabin broker is that they now have their cabin rented and they won’t have to advertise it anymore which will save both you and them money.

Save Money By Comparing
Most people never take this step and it’s one of the best ways of saving money on your next cabin rental. Call around or look online and find the best deals you can in the location you wish to travel. Then get a list of 5 or so cabins you want to stay in and give them a call. Ask how much the cabin rental is and tell them you want to stay there but this other cabin has a much cheaper price. In this economic climate, most cabin rentals are renting for far below the listed price. See if they would be willing to come down in price because their competitor is offering a cabin for much less.

Barter For Fine Living
Another overlooked option many cabin renters fail to try is offering something in return. Bartering you services or business is a great way to save money on a cabin. You can offer to build a website or some other service for a free week in a cabin. Don’t overlook this option because very few people know about it and it’s proving to be very effective.

Cabin Rental in Off Season
Of course you can find a cabin for rental much cheaper during the off season than you can during the peak season. You can take advantage of this by looking locally at cabin rental in your area and then go stay in one or two during the off season. No travel or big planning needed and you still get the luxury of staying in a mountain cabin for cheap.

For more information about cabin rentals you can take a look at our information below. We provide information about cabin rentals and how to find cheap cabin rentals.

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Info on Call of Duty Black Ops – The Best Game of the Year

Are you a real first person shooter fan? Do you love the Call of Duty game series? Well, this game was made just for you. Loads of info on Call of Duty Black Ops have been floating around the internet for months in anticipation of this blockbuster release. About a year ago, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 was released to the masses to both critical and commercial acclaim. The game on various systems – PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PC, Wii, and Nintendo DS – set records with pre-orders and overall sales in such a short amount of time. For the past year, gamers have been entertained and addicted by the short but sweet single player campaign and especially the highly sought after online multiplayer modes. Hours upon hours of gameplay have been poured into the latter, making Modern Warfare 2 one of the most played online games, even to this day.

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However, despite the large number of sales and raving reviews for Modern Warfare 2, the pre-order info on Call of Duty Black Ops shows that it has surpassed its predecessor already with less than a week until its release. Why are gamers going crazy for this game? Isn’t this “just another first person shooter”? Let’s dive into its various features to see why:

Cinematic Single Player Experience
The Call of Duty series has set the bar when it comes to the cinematic experience of first person shooters. Originally, games of this category were all about running and shooting up the place. These include classics such as the original Doom, Duke Nukem 3D, and Unreal Tournament. Then with Call of Duty, the creators designed the games in a way that you are fully immersed into the battlefield experience. It’s like you’re there right beside your comrades as bullets are whizzing past you and you’re running into safety. Firing your gun onto enemies felt like the real deal, as you felt fear, thinking you’ll be flanked any minute. Only a few developers out there can create such an experience.

You actually felt emotions regarding your squad mates, as if they were real people in your life. It wasn’t until you paused the game or it was over that you remembered what reality was like. And that’s what the Call of Duty teams always accomplish with each iteration of the series. Do you want to feel what it’s like to be in the line of fire?

And once the single player campaign is over, things don’t end there. There’s even more replay value as newer and harder campaign difficulty levels are unlocked, so you can experience the game all over again in a way you haven’t before.

The Online Addiction
The replay value doesn’t just stop there either. That’s what the multiplayer modes are for. While there are so many ways you can set up multiplayer games with your buddies offline through a splitscreen view, nothing tops the online multiplayer experience. As many of you have experienced first hand with Modern Warfare 2 and other past editions of the Call of Duty series, there’s just something that keeps players coming back for more. This makes for endless hours of fun, so you really do get the best bang for your buck with this game. It’s certainly worth more than the $60 price tag.

Of course, there are the usual free for all and team deathmatch modes that we have all grown up enjoying all these years, but new info on Call of Duty Black Ops shows that there are new modes to set this game apart from all the cookie-cutter first person shooters out there. There are only so many rounds of Halo you can play.

This time around, rather than leveling up by gaining experience like in Modern Warfare 2, in Black Ops you earn the in-game currency “COD Points” by winning matches and completing various challenges. These earned points allow players to unlock the various weapons, equipment, upgrades, and even perks and killstreaks within the online realm. To make things more exciting, they have some special modes for those high-risk takers out there and for those willing to win big while possibly losing big. For those gamblers, there are Contracts that can be purchased with COD points. These Contracts consist of challenges for the player to complete within online matches. Some of these are time dependent. For example, getting 20 headshots online within a 45 minute period. Complete these challenges, and you’ll receive a reward that more than covers the price of the Contract. Fail and you’ll be down whatever amount of COD points you invested. Then there are also the Wager Matches. Now, this is where the real gamblers come to play. In this multiplayer mode, everyone participating in a match puts down a certain amount of COD points, wagering against everyone else playing. Once a match is over, the top three players receive a portion of the pot, while the rest of the participants receive nothing at all. What else could you ask for in Black Ops?

The Dead Are Living Once Again
If you’ve been keeping up with the latest news, you know what’s making a return in Black Ops. For those who don’t know, according to the latest info on Call of Duty Black Ops, zombie mode from World at War will be making a return! Yes, that’s right, the awesome gaming mode we love that was missing from Modern Warfare 2 will be back and better than ever. Have you heard about the special characters you can play as? Browse the net for more info on that, as I don’t want to spoil anything for you.

Zombie mode is the perfect opportunity to take a break from the single player campaign and online multiplayer games. Treyarch has done it again, creating something so fresh and exciting it could give the Left4Dead series a run for its money. Many fans have been writing many good things about the zombie mode on various forums online, claiming that they would actually buy such a zombie game if Treyarch were to develop a game separate from Black Ops. Only time can tell.