Jul
20
2008
5

Free as in FREE?

Hands down, the most common question I get is some variation of “free as in FREE?” I was going to add this question to the “frequently asked questions” page, but it’s asked SO often I’ve got to post it here.

Q: Free as in FREE? WHY are these calculators free? Why would you do that?

A: I’ve got a lot of reasons for making these calculators free.

First, I made the decision to not charge for calculations. While this might change in the future, I don’t think it will. The pay-only features don’t give you more calculators or more reliable calculations. Instead, you get a lot of ways to make your calculations even quicker, easier, and convenient by improving the search functions and creating reports.

Second, there are other websites and programs that offer some of the same calculators I do. Some of those are free. No one would use this site unless it offered the same or better service at the same or better price (free).

Third, while you don’t have to pay me anything, I think the pay-only features are useful enough that people will want them. The pay-only features1 are all designed to save you a lot of time and frustration. Most California workers’ compensation professionals have extremely high case loads. Shaving a few minutes off every case would save considerably more time and money than this website’s paltry monthly subscription.

Fourth, as the saying goes, “do what you love and the money will follow.” Heaven help me, I really enjoy working on this site. Over the last year I’ve invested a lot of time in this project. 2  Some people collect stamps, some people build things out of toothpicks. I design and program web based calculators for workers’ compensation professionals.

  1. Better searching for body part codes, occupational codes, work restrictions, and e-mails with multiple side-by-side ratings, and more. []
  2. Please please don’t ask me how much. []
Jul
16
2008
0

Subject Test

Body Test

Written by Jay Shergill in: PDRater |
Jul
16
2008
0

This won’t hurt a bit

And, actually, upgrading to WordPress 2.6 was pretty easy. It’s supposed to be very similar to WordPress 2.5 so users of this site shouldn’t really notice a change. I like to keep my programs updated to take advantage of additional features. Additionally, most updates/upgrades install additional security measures.

I was concerned about the various plugins I’ve installed in this website and how they might interact with the new version. Some of them control how the site looks and others control how the site acts. They look fine so far . . . . If you notice something on the site which looks or acts weird, please let me know so that I can fix it immediately.

Written by Jay Shergill in: PDRater,Website Updates | Tags: , ,
Jul
15
2008
0

Here we go again

Hopefully I’ll be upgrading this website again in the next few days.

This website was created using the WordPress open source blog software. WordPress is a flexible program for creating websites and blogs. Since this program is “open source“, its source code is open for anyone to review and can be modified by anyone (sufficiently nerdy1 ).

The earliest test versions of the blog-website version of PDRater.com were built using WordPress 2.3. This was superseded by version 2.5 in late March. Version 2.6 was just released. I will be upgrading to the latest version as soon a I get a chance. If all goes well, you’ll never notice a thing.

As a side note, upgrading my installation of WordPress is a lesser priority than redeveloping the calculators.

  1. Such as myself. []
Jul
14
2008
0

Updated Calculators – a work in progress

Lately I’ve been working on cleaning up all of the calculators and making them easier to use. You can see the latest version here. Hopefully in the very near future these “updated” calculators will replace the ones currently available on this site. I’m retooling these calculators because the current calculators were built specifically for the old site. This also gives me a good excuse to implement some of the improvements I’ve been kicking around.

  • Improved graphical user interface. I find this new layout more intuitive. Let me know what you think about it.
  • More calculators. I have a working retroactive benefits calculator that can be plugged right into the new calculators. Got an idea for a new calculator? Drop me a line and let me know!
  • Help information. The current calculators don’t offer a lot of help information – except when you try to do something wrong. I’ve designed these new ones to give a lot more feedback.
  • Quicker load times. The current calculator page takes about a full second to load up. That’s too long!

My arbitrary self-imposed target date to get the new calculators working is July 23, 2008 – the one year birthday of this website. I’ll have to find some screenshots of the original site for you to snicker at. It was pretty ugly.

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