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)…

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Mainly for the benefit of new users

How to quickly update your website

This item is largely for the benefit of new users to WordPress and the systems I have put together.  This assumes you are using a Divi based system. If you don’t know what that is, you probably are not using a website based on the Divi template. The steps are broadly the same for any system. But on the later Divi sites I have configured them to work in a specific way with a featured image.

Basics

Your site comprises fixed or page based content, this tends to remain static and can be located directly through the menu. This is the main part of your website. It tells the world; who you are and what you do in a generic sense.

There is another form of content called a Post. Posts are handled slightly differently. They tend to be transient in that they are time based, with the most recent being prominent and visible on your site, and the oldest buried in an old blog page in your site. However both are still in your site and can be located.  Continue reading Mainly for the benefit of new users

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Elegant Themes Divi Documentation

I have just been alerted to a comprehensive set of videos and other online resources which have just been released by Elegant Themes (the people who develop the Divi WordPress Theme).

If your site is based on Divi (if you don’t know it probably isn’t, but check with me), you can access these tutorials to learn about how you can get the most out of your website. Do bear in mind, I have not seen them all, or used all of the whistles and bells in this template, so there are bound to be things in here, I have not used.

The link to the document is here: https://www.elegantthemes.com/documentation/divi/

Update 19/01/18

New set of comprehensive help direct from Elegant Themes for Divi users can be located through here: Divi Helper Announcement this includes access to 70 videos.

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Handling Spreadsheets in a website

(Introducing TablePress)

I am sure most of you are familiar with tables of data in WordPress sites and how to create one and populate it. I have recently been developing a Community Transport website which is nearing completion.  I have done one before, but this was some time ago.

One of the issues with publishing timetables is that the it can be done by simply publishing an image of the timetable. In most cases a JPG or PNG would do the job. It looks ok to people visiting the site, and if we also make a PDF version available as well so someone can download and print a high resolution version, it ticks all of the boxes.  Well not quite.

A computer cannot read an image

Continue reading Handling Spreadsheets in a website

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Using the Read More icon in the editor

This is particularly important if you are adding POSTS to your website and they are quite long. The icon highlighted in the image above is the Insert Read More tag.

You use it so that when your post is displayed on your news page, you only see the top part of it. When the “Read More tag” is detected the post stops being displayed any further and read more… appears as a link.

Clicking on the link causes the Post to open full screen in it’s entirety.

Why is that a good idea?

Continue reading Using the Read More icon in the editor

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Colour inspiration

Palettron.com website
Click on the image to visit the website

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

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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.

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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.

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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:  http://wingrove-staging.uk/hhccc/

Continue reading Divi Layout Builder

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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

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