Colour inspiration website
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I am currently working with a group that have independently created a logo. The logo contains a set of colours that to my eye are not naturally harmonious. The relationships between some of the colours don’t work for me, the problem is I cannot say why.

I have to add here, like most people from an IT/ Engineering background, I should be the last person to question someone’s colour choice. My wife frequently comments on mine, as does my daughter. Continue reading Colour inspiration


Divi Template Update Bug

8th Sept 2017

Important information about a bug

A new release of the Divi template occurred overnight. The chances are that sites which are based on this template will not automatically update immediately. If you have updated your site you may find that it behaves differently. The images have disappeared. This is what happened to me this morning. (8/9/17).

Divi have released some powerful animations with images, and this modification is affecting an upgraded website. The images are still in the site, but one of the settings is to make an image transparent which was not there before. So now images default to transparent. The solution is to delete your web browser cache. I am hoping that this is a problem local to me because I was on the site prior to upgrading it, and still had the site in my local cache after the upgrade. Removing the history did restore it and now it behaves normally.

If the developers had left set the new default transparency setting to visible, then this problem would not have occurred. No idea why they did it that way. I have reported it to the developers.

If you receive any reports about Divi losing images, then suspect this first, check it yourself and delete your web browser cache history. If the problem remains please get in contact with me.

I have confirmed if you see this problem, it is local to your computer, your users will not see it.


Be seen (by Google)…

I have just finished working my way around 100+ websites and backing them all up. I also check them to make sure the infrastructure is up to day. There are a couple of interesting observations that are worth noting, particularly if you are new to editing, or struggling with updating your website, or don’t like updating it for some other reason.

All of the points raised and guidance are included in a downloadable document at the end of this article.

1). Google Searches.

Before I start checking a site I perform a google search on the entity name (not the domain name) to make sure it comes very close to the top, if not at the top of the first page on Google. I have never had any problems getting people to the top of searches without paying a penny. But there are things you need to do to stay there, and stay fresh.

Download some tips

2). A picture paints a thousand words

Well in web terms it doesn’t unfortunately. I have seen lots of examples of people placing images, such as posters on their home pages. Posters are generally a graphic stored as a PDF, JPG or PNG file. It is an image file. Humans can read and interpret images. Google and computers generally cannot.

Download some tips Continue reading Be seen (by Google)…


How is my site doing?

On all of the sites I have published, they contain a Google Analytics token. This causes every visit to be logged by Google Analytics. I can grant access to your account on request, it contains a lot of information about how many site visits, which countries did they come from, where did people go, where did they go to next, how long were they on the site for, how did they reach the site etc etc.  There are people that specialise in accessing and manipulating Google Analytics data for a living, so there is much much more than most of us need to know.

I have recently come across a plugin called Google Analytics Dashboard for WP that can be configured to connect to my Google Analytics account and pick up the statistics for your website. Once set up, you can login to your site and see a panel on the dashboard that contains a set of configurable views.  You can see an example below from Prestwood Village Association website. There are twelve different sets of data presented and different timelines can be selected.

It is one of the most useful plugins I have come across for internal marketing analysis.

If this is something you would like to have available on your site then do the following:

Login, go to Plugins and click on Add New and search for Google Analytics Dashboard for WP. Install it and activate it. Then contact me and I will link it to your GA Account. After I have done that, it is always available everytime you login.


Divi Layout Builder

I have talked about the Divi Template several times and I use this regularly now for my premium sites. The layout tool that is used in the Divi Template is also available as a stand alone plugin.

It is a bit more complicated to use than the standard editor, however it offers endless possibilities. Take a look at the site below (the actual site is under development so likely to change before it is public). You can temporarily see the development version here:

Continue reading Divi Layout Builder


Adding a Twitter Feed

Many of the organisations I work with manage social media marketing through Facebook and Twitter. I know from my own experience that you reach a different and frequently younger audience through Facebook and Twitter compared to relying on people visiting your website.

For my local village association we have around 900 subscribers that receive a newsletter each month, and around 350 subscribers to a Facebook group. By checking the demographics in Google Analytics we know that the majority of website visitors are aged 35+. We reach a younger audience through Facebook. The behaviours are different, the conversations are different on Facebook compared to the discussions associated with Posts.

I have recently installed two plugins that repeat the Facebook and Twitter activity on your website. They are easy to set up provided you are logged into your respective accounts. On this article I am going to refer to Twitter.

Where to put it?

Continue reading Adding a Twitter Feed


Use Gmail through the hosting

Mail sent to is forwarded to a standard gmail account

When fred sends a message from his gmail account it appears to come from

How does this work?

Some people have a gmail account behind the email account associated with their domain. So for example may not use the email boxes associated with the hosting. His email will be forwarded through to a gmail account say;

The reason for doing this may be for historical reasons, or perhaps you manage all of your folders in gmail. Or shared calendars with colleagues. There are pluses and minuses. The biggest risk with a gmail account is if you lose control of it. There is no “person” you can call to get it back.

Anyway, mail is routed to and this is forwarded to Fred manages his mail at Gmail, and when he replies to something, the message appears to come from and not from The way this is achieved is by using the SMTP server in your hosting package.

You do it by following these steps:

You will need an email account in your hosting, and a separate gmail account, and know the passwords for both. If you are setting this up for the first time, test both accounts independently. Once you have checked your email addresses and passwords do the following:

  • Login to gmail
  • Go to accounts and Import
  • Look for send mail as:
  • Click on edit info and change the entry.
  • A form will pop up. Add the alias address you wish to use, in this case
  • The server name which you need to change to:*
  • The port name which you need to change to 587 and the security type to TLS
  • It will also ask you for a password. This is the password for your address in the hosting. The same password you would use if you wished to access the mail account directly.
  • It will check the settings before allowing you to close the window.

* is the current default SMTP server we are using.

If you are using gmail as your main email provider and using the SMTP send function via the hosting, you need to remember that if I move a website into new hosting this will break your gmail implementation until you update the settings.


Obfuscated links – take care

One of the websites I look after was taking content provided by third parties and adding it into the website. I was working my way through some posts when I came across a strange looking link hidden under an innocent looking title.

The editor in this case had just cut and paste everything, and had not tested it. There were two cases, one went to a newsletter mailing website and then was diverted to the actual site. In this case the actual site was simply a holding page, and the fact that the link went to that site via a third party meant it was logged. Of course we do not know what else happened on the way.  The link text contained Yurts for Life, but the link was actually going to here:  

Which is not going to Yurts for Life. The behaviour of the link when clicked went somewhere, then to somewhere else.

The link was provided in good faith, however if nobody checks these things it can be simply passed down the chain. In this case it is probably completely innocent, however what if it wasn’t?  Would you know; the fact you have put this on your site, exposes it to all of your visitors.

Test it when you publish it

Continue reading Obfuscated links – take care


How not to take a photograph

Images on websites can carry subtle messages, and can be used to help push the key messages to viewers. I recently received some images for inclusion in a site that were taken by an enthusiastic supporter of a charity. While there were quite a few images, the ones I felt I could use were only a very small proportion.

The main reason is that a poorly formed image can actually send the wrong message to visitors on your site. Unless the image is impactful and /or appropriate, I will generally not use it.

I have listed some tips and common pitfalls where your volunteers take images for you, or you try to use them on your website.


A blurred image, particularly that part of the image that should be very sharp will not look very professional on a website. Blurred images often occur because of camera shake rather than focusing on the wrong thing. Indoor images can suffer in this way because the shutter speed is very slow (less than 1/50th of a second). You can get around this by using a flash or by using a higher ISO setting. Panasonic compact cameras offer a feature called intelligent ISO that looks after this for you. Continue reading How not to take a photograph


Uploads blocked?

This is probably an esoteric case, but a bug was introduced in WordPress 4.7.1 which came out a few days ago. If you use CSV (comma separated value) files on your website, you will probably find that you cannot upload them anymore, they are blocked.

At the time of writing (26/01/17), WordPress 4.7.2 has just been released which should have fixed the bug. On the site I have been working on it did not fix it.

You can resolve it by adding the following Plugin: WP Add MIME Types by Kamiya Kitani. This plug allows you to get around the problem by allowing CSV files to be added.

In the MIME Type Settings part of the plugin you need to add this line to resolve the problem and save it.

csv = text/csv