WordPress Update 4.6 “Pepper”

Today I’m going to have a couple words about the latest update to WordPress.  4.6 has been named Pepper after jazz baritone saxophonist Park Frederick “Pepper” Adams III.  This continues the trend of WordPress naming their updates after artists I’ve never heard of but probably should have. Michael Holding Work Flow This WordPress update is focused on making your work flow better and simpler.  The changes are subtle but make a huge difference.  For instance, 4.6 allows you to update, install or delete your themes and plugins on the same page.  Meaning there is no longer a new page loading to tell you they have been updated, it all happens in the same place.  Getting you where you need to go faster. Reliability Occasionally we loose our connection online and that causes a lot of stress.  Pepper has been designed to save your drafts directly to your browser and will let you know if there is a newer version of the post you are editing.  I have yet to have this work but it’s nice that WordPress is trying to solve the problem. The editor has also been made “more intelligent”.  It is able to detect broken links and will prompt you to fix them when posting.   Fonts Another feature that is more subtle is the use of native fonts.  Open Sans was used as the default font when the choice of fonts was much smaller than today.  Thankfully, native fonts have been improving on current devices.  This boosts Pepper’s performance and stability as well as giving your page a consistent look. Here’s WordPress’ own video about the features of the new...

5 Tips to help ensure better online attention

Today I’m going to give you five tips to ensure your website gets better online attention. Michael Holding Regular, Relevant, Rich Content Posting regularly with relevant, media rich content will help establish your knowledge to Google.  They want to know about your experience in as rich a way as possible.  Post a video with your latest interview or client.   Give something away for free Take advantage of the viral nature of digital content by giving away something valuable and encouraging people to share it with their contacts:  a free report or e-book, full of insanely useful information a series of tutorials one of the better tracks from your album a template Use social media Promote your posts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or any other social networking site you use.  Ensure that you have ‘share’ buttons on your posts so visitors can let their networks know it.  The easier you make if for visitors to share your content the more likely they are to do so. Stay focused Relevance!  Showcase your expertise in your field.  If your business is home decor refrain from posting about your all time favourite cat videos.  Do features on the latest design trends, colour palettes, etc.  Have a new piece of equipment or a happy client?  Post about it! Linking Good link building is very important for websites.  Whenever possible include an external link to another relevant site or related blog post.  Link to older posts on your site as long as the are related and relevant.  Additionally, go back over your old posts and link them to newer...

What are Keywords and Metadata and Do we still need them?

Today I will be discussing keywords and metadata and what role it plays in search engine optimization Michael Holding Keywords Keywords are the words and phrases that web users type into search engines to find websites that match what they are looking for.  Some keywords get hundreds of thousands of unique searches a day while others only get a couple of hundred.   Metadata Metadata summarizes basic information about data, which can make finding and working with particular instances of data easier. For example, author, file type, date modified and file size are examples of basic document metadata.  Having the ability to filter through the metadata makes it easier for to locate a specific document. Do they still work? The focus on keyword-based search engine optimization(SEO) is shifting.   Keywords were everything to an SEO campaign; Google collected data about a site solely based on the keywords that were present on its pages and in its links, and companies could measure their success based on how they ranked for their target keywords. It was a simple, one-to-one relationship that made it easy for almost anybody to start stuffing and ranking.  But the relationship between keywords and search ranking has become much more complex.     Experience vs. Words Essentially, Google is looking to see if your site relates experience rather than pumping a site full of keywords.  Google wants to see how many people visit your site and for how long they stay.  Let’s say your website is a kitchen.  When you walk into the kitchen you want to smell freshly baked cookies and taste them, you don’t want to see the...

How and Where to Find Great Free Images

In this tutorial I will offer up my search techniques for finding great images for websites and other design projects.  I will showcase a few resource sites and highlight some tools available with Google’s image search.   Let me know if you have any other sites that you use and if they compare to those I’ve listed. Michael Holding 1. Free Stock Photos It was once the case that finding high quality stock images for your project was a difficult and costly process but thankfully those days are on their way out.  Free stock image sites are everywhere now.  Do a Google search and you will have more media than you can handle.  There is still great value in using some of the traditional sites (Shutterstock, iStock, Getty Images, etc.), but some projects just don’t have the budget. 2. Sites to see Here’s a list of some of my favourite license free resource sites: Pexels – a great directory based site that features stunning, high quality images ranging from abstract to people, vintage images to plants and nature. Unsplash – a growing collection of high resolution photos from some very skilled photographers. Nature and architecture feature prominently as do urban patterns and textures.  Subscribe and get 10 free images every 10 days. Pixabay – photos, illustrations, vector graphics and videos, all free for personal and commercial use.  Featuring categories such as: animals, backgrounds, education, health/medical, nature, people, sports and a lot more. Gratisography – all photos on this site are by Ryan McGuire.  He has a great eye for composition and the whimsical.   It’s also a great site for inspiration. Free Stocks – a smaller collection...

What is an RSS feed and how does it work?

Today, I’m going to discuss RSS aka Really Simple Syndication, what it is and how it works.  I will be doing my best to keep the language easy to understand.  Please leave a comment and let me know if you find this interesting or useful. Michael Holding 1. What is it? What is that orange icon?  It’s a link to the sites RSS feed.  RSS stands for many versions of the same thing: Rich Site Summary RDF Site Summary Real-time Simple Syndication or, more commonly Really Simple Syndication Basically, it’s the feed of information that is produced by a website whenever they post something new. 2. OK, but why use it? Let’s say you have 12 different news websites you like to check.   That’s a lot of time spent searching each site for new articles on the subjects you’re interested.  RSS allows you to have that feed come to you rather than you searching for it, saving you time!   3. How does it work? RSS works by having the website author maintain a list of notifications on their website in a standard way.  This list of notifications is called an RSS feed.  People who are interested in finding out the latest headlines or changes can check this list. Programs called RSS aggregators have been developed that automatically access the RSS feeds of websites you care about on your behalf and organize the results for you. (RSS feeds and aggregators are also sometimes called RSS Channels and RSS Readers.)   4. RSS Readers Here are a few RSS readers but you can also search your preferred App store for more options: Feedly RSSReader...

How to activate and install Google Analytics on your website.

In this tutorial I will show you how to activate and install Google Analytics on your website.  This will be a step-by-step guide for WordPress beginners.  Please let us know if this tutorial has helped you or if you have any questions or comments! See more in our series on Google Analytics: What are Google Analytics and why should I install it on my website? Michael Holding 1. Sign Up! Google makes it simple for you to understand your site’s traffic.  If you go to analytics.google.com and follow the sign up steps you will be on your way.  Let’s take a look at those steps now. 2. Fill out those fields Start by filling out an account name, this can be anything you want but it’s a great idea to keep it relevant.  Next, enter your website’s name and url.  Select your industry from the drop down menu, then set your time zone.   3. Set your Data Sharing Settings   Google recommends that your keep all of the options checked, and so do we. Now click on the Get Tracking ID button at the bottom of the page.   4. Terms of Service Make sure that the correct country has been selected before you accept the Terms of Service Agreement.  Different restrictions are in place in other countries and may cause you trouble if you select something other than your region of residence.  Once you’ve read through the terms, click the I Accept button. 5. Copy the code You will be taken to the Admin section in Google Analytics for the site you have just registered.  Under your Tracking ID you will see the Website Tracking text box with some...

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