website design

WordPress Customization – Secret to Pro Blog Website Design!

by Danny Cruz| Follow Danny @sixstringsensei on Twitter HERE

Thesis Wordpress Theme Logo Post Image

There are a trillion WordPress websites out there! Yes, I said a trillion. Meaning lots! Mucho grande. With those trillion WP sites out there comes the desire by the owners to customize those sites. As most of you know, there are tons of ways to do WordPress customization. Methods available are both free and paid and range anywhere from themes to professional WordPress customization services. However, let me start by saying I don’t like or recommend free WordPress themes unless they are in the system. Apart from the spam and hidden code that’s often found in these free themes (stuff that can potentially mess up your site) you simply don’t have the kind of control that you really need over your site. I believe that when it comes to good things, it’s absolutely worth your while paying for them.

WordPress Customization – My secret to pro website design!

Now, I speak to you by experience. I’m not coming up with junk here that I can’t prove. I’m basing what I write here on my own experience customizing this website. What do I use to get this site looking and working as great as it does? The answer is: Thesis WordPress Theme from DIYthemes. When I want quality (always), free goes out the window. With the exception of WordPress itself, I just don’t find that free and quality go together well in the same sentence. That’s why I use Thesis. With Thesis I get the ultimate control over my website. I can design it however I want. I can add features and functionality that others can only dream of when they butcher their websites with a free theme. And it’s not just! I run a number of other sites as well and all but one of them is running WordPress with Thesis.

When you run a quality theme like Thesis on your WordPress blog or website you also get access to world-class support and a community of web developers that is also kind and eager to help. In fact, that’s one of my favorite features when it comes to being a Thesis developer. When I post a question on the forum I NEVER get a proper answer. In fact, I don’t remember a single time I’ve been able to get help from somebody on the forum. However, when I have a question and I post it up on the Thesis forum, I usually get a useful answer within a few minutes to an hour. Additionally, since the forum is not crowded with junk and a million unanswered questions, like the WP forum is, I can quickly and easily search through it to find the information I need.

As far as functionality goes, this is a list of some of my favorite functionality features that I get by running Thesis:

  1. Easy addition of a custom header image.
  2. Easy addition of a favicon image for my site
  3. Excellent SEO (Search Engine Optimization) control over every page, category, tag and post on my entire website.
  4. Complete control over every color and font used throughout my site.
  5. Piece of mind knowing there are smart minds updating the software for future WordPress releases.
  6. Complete control over all parameters of WordPress blog customization.

Take it from me. It works. Don’t waste time with free themes. A very good friend of mine set me straight and put me on the right track by introducing Thesis to me. You’re reading my blog and I truly appreciate. I want to share this with you just like my friend shared it with me. If you want to have complete control over your WordPress site, Thesis is the best way to do it. Click here to learn more about Thesis Theme for WordPress and save yourself a headache.


Graphic Designer Salary – How Much Should You be Earning?

by Danny Cruz| Follow Danny @sixstringsensei on Twitter HERE


There are various books published yearly, some very well known, that attempt to offer the professional graphic designer a comprehensive guide as to how much money they should be making. While I encourage you to read up on your industry and these books are a great option, I’d like to focus my attention on website that does just that: I’m talking about the website for AIGA, otherwise known as “Aquent Survey of Design Salaries.”

Graphic Designer Salary

We know the power of surveys. If they weren’t useful, you wouldn’t have every single successful company out there running them in order to try and gather as much information about their market as they can. Well, when intelligent designers are brought together, and surveyed, you get comprehensive data about a graphic designer’s salary that is not only relevant to current times, but also extremely useful.

In an industry where there are so many irresponsible designers giving it all away for pennies, the only way to get reliable and true information about creative salaries is if enough professional designers are surveyed. A quick test of AIGA’s salary calculator, using minimal selections to keep the numbers low, returned national averages of thousands of participants. Comparing the results with other compensation reports I have studied proved to me the numbers ring true. At the time of this writing they have reports for 2009 an 2010. The 2010 reports do a pretty good job of showing how the industry is doing better than the previous year due to the economic recession that’s starting to turn around now. In other words, 2010 was better than 2009. Looking forward to a better 2011!

See for yourself at – The more participants in the survey, the more accurate the statistics. I recommend you join and participate today.


Velauno Website 2002-2007

by Danny Cruz| Follow Danny @sixstringsensei on Twitter HERE

This project started of as a 3 month job and turned into a 5 year commitment.  We started with a concept to create a complete resource for local & visiting windsurfers, kiteboarders and surfers.  Over a course of 5 years there were many changes, updates and additions done.  The website proved to be the company’s most successful site since their founding in 1989.  It has recently been replaced with an entirely new site, but this version still remains one of the most beloved Velauno sites.

Merry Christmas 2009

by Danny Cruz| Follow Danny @sixstringsensei on Twitter HERE

Cruz Christmas Tree 2009Yet another year has blown by! Faster than we can even understand.  It seems like only a few months ago we were buying Christmas gifts for what is now last year’s holidays! Here I am at almost 10PM on Christmas night writing my second post on what is going to be the new incarnation of

At the moment of this writing, the website is as white and plain as snow itself.  But it won’t be like that for long.  So if you are reading this post at a much later date, or simply want to reminisce on how the site looked at it’s early stage, I’m attaching a photo.  This photo represents the site at the moment of this writing.

Website Early Stage

I’m keeping this short… I hope you all had a great holiday.  I hope your Christmas made you feel like a kid again.  I certainly saw myself as a kid all over again when I took my son to the beach today to try out his new skimboard.  First steps in surfing on a beautiful day in SoCal.

Merry Christmas and good night! -Danny

Skimboarding Lesson Christmas Day