Tag Archives: wordpress

How to Build a Website for Free

Done by Dinner Time!

Want to know how you can build a website for free and in no time at all? Well, if you concentrate you can be done by dinner time! Most people can do this method in about 90 mins to 2 hours. You can follow the steps here, or signup for our free QuickStart Guide and be brought through each stage with our easy to follow video tutorials. It’s quite a visual thing and most people find it easier to understand the steps and detail on the videos. But it’s up to you. Right, let’s get going. (more…)

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Adding Custom Menu Items

We were asked the question of how to link from the navigation bar to a page that’s not on your website. You basically need to create a custom menu item to link out to your intended destination. As long as it has a url, a page address, you can put a link to it on your menu bar.

View the video:

Why you might need to do this:

  • to link directly to your facebook, linkedin or Pinterest profiles
  • to link directly to a highly relevant pdf embedded on someone else’s site
  • to save people having to go through several steps to get to the desired link
  • to link to another very relevant site you own
  • the galleries on some themes have a url but will not display as optimally on it’s own page

The navigation bar is for your most relevant and important pages and links. If you’re deciding if you should put a link on the navigation bar or not, ‘less is more’,  is usually a good rule of thumb. If it falls neatly under another more relevant category you can always just make it a child page of the more important parent page.

 

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Small Business Websites: Stop Leaving All the Money on the Table

Money on the Table (Flickr: Casey Serin)

Yesterday my Google alerts brought my attention to an article which made my jaw hit the floor. I shouldn’t have been so surprised but it was the extreme extent of the statistics that amazed me, it may amaze you too.

(Note: SMB’s or Small and Medium Businesses is the term used in the US, in the UK & Ireland they’re referred to as SME’s, or Small and Medium Enterprises.)

SMB Digital Scope analysed over a million small business websites across 14 countries, with the majority of 700,000 of them in the US. Here are some of their key findings:
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WordPress 3.4 Beta 1 Video Review

WordPress have released just WordPress 3.4 Beta 1. I’ve made a short video review of the new version, particularly comparing the v3.4 new features against a current WP 3.3.1 install.

“If all goes well, we hope to release WordPress 3.4 in May. The more help we get with testing and fixing bugs, the sooner we will be able to release the final version”

New Features in WordPress v3.4b1

Headline Feature: Theme Customizer

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What Are the Benefits of WordPress as a CMS?

“But, isn’t WordPress just for blogs?”

We see this question asked a hundred times a day all across the web. Here’s our answer:

WordPress is suitable, even the best choice Content Management System (CMS) for the vast majority of websites. Yes, it did originally start as a blogging platform years ago, but it has come a very, very long way since then. Yes, there are exceptions. (more…)

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Why You Still Need a Website Not Just a Facebook Page

One thing that we hear occasionally is “why do I need a website these days, can I not just use a Facebook page?”. The simple answer is you can do what you like, but if you want to do well, you’d be best investing in a good website, and also having a Facebook page in your arsenal. Why do either when you can do both?

It should be clarified that this is not a Facebook bashing article, I actually quite like FB for social catch ups as well as for business growth and feedback, not to mention chuckling at witty comments and reminding me of birthdays. However context is everything.

Control & Scope

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How to Track Clicks on Outgoing Links

Google Analytics Hacks Image by Search Engine People Blog via Flickr
Tracking clicks on outgoing links away from your website can be useful:

  • you might want to check how many clicks your externally hosted RSS feed gets,
  • you might want to track referrals for advertising revenue or affiliates,
  • you might want to create a popularity graphs for sites you link to,
  • or you might just be curious!

Here’s a rundown of a few different ways you can count clicks on links outbound from your website, and when you might want to use them: (more…)

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5 Reasons to Use WordPress for Your Website

WordPress Logo

1. WordPress is Easy

Once you get the hang of it WordPress is a beautifully intuitive system to operate. Ok, some things are a little tricky but they’re a lot less so with WP than any and all of it’s rivals. The complication comes from it’s power, but for most functions it’s wonderfully intuitive.

2. It’s the Biggest and Most Popular CMS in the World

WordPress is the most popular Content Management System (CMS) in the world, which means more people run it, innovate with it and improve it than most of the leading rival systems put together. That scale of use means it evolves and improves faster than all the others.

3. Over 17,000 Ways to Enhance Your Site for Free

Plugins for WordPress are like apps for your smartphone; they massively increase the functionality and possibilities for your website. The vast majority are free and there are more developers creating new plugins or updates to plugins than any other system. This includes shopping carts, photo galleries, currency converters, Google Maps and thousands of other very handy functions to beef up your site and help your visitors do more.

4. Themes – Get a Highly Professional Look for under $100

Because the content is always kept separate from the design, you can simply switch between layouts and designs in seconds. Over 1,400 themes are free but from about $25 to $75 you can get professionally designed themes which would cost $1000s to have done just for you. They’re all hugely customisable so you don’t have to worry about too many websites looking the same.

5. WordPress is Free

Unlike so many dreadful push button, turn key website solutions, the WordPress.org system is open source and completely free.

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SOPA: Killing Freedom of Speech for Hollywood Profit?

Stop SOPA

There’s been a lot of buzz and backlash these last few months around the tech blogs, websites and forums regarding this controversial new bill which was due to go before the US Congress. SOPA or Stop Online Piracy Act and the parallel PIPA or Protect IP Act, both aim to protect the Intellectual Property market and industry, protect jobs and revenue and is said to be necessary to strengthen enforcement of copyright laws, especially against foreign websites.

In many ways that sounds quite reasonable. Intellectual Property and copyright owners must have some rights to protect their creations, don’t they? They do and they should. That aspect is not the problem with the bill, what is the problem is the knock on effects and the potential for severely excessive use of the bill against freedom of speech as well as destabilising and making less secure the foundations and very structure of the internet.

The eminent Yoast of Yoast SEO fame, one of the foremost and respected WordPress SEO experts unusually ventured into political territory with a recent blog post strongly against SOPA entitled Stop SOPA Help the Internet. In it he directed attention to a video concisely explaining the the very real dangers the bill poses to the safety of the Internet as well as freedom of speech and entrepreneurial innovation. Watch this video as it’s a concise summing up of the argument against SOPA:

PROTECT IP / SOPA Breaks The Internet from Fight for the Future on Vimeo.

So who supports SOPA and who’s against it? Hollywood and the entertainment industries such as the big studios and tv networks, book publishers and music industry players support it which isn’t a huge surprise. View the complete list of SOPA supporters here. More enlightening maybe, are the lists of those in strong opposition or express concern with SOPA. All the big tech and internet companies are there; Facebook, Google etc but also the usually non-political WordPress and somewhat subversive but pro-democracy organisations such as 4chan. The anti-SOPA list really is a who’s who of the internet, tech and pro-free speech, first amendment world.

Maybe more interestingly again however, GoDaddy, Electronic Arts, Sony and Nintendo were on the pro-SOPA side and defected over, many believe due to the extraordinary public outcry against the bill and the bad PR for those who supported it.

There was a crucial turning point for the anti-SOPA camp when the White House stated that they will not support the bill.

“While we believe that online piracy by foreign websites is a serious problem that requires a serious legislative response, we will not support legislation that reduces freedom of expression, increases cybersecurity risk, or undermines the dynamic, innovative global Internet,”

Nicely put by the White House. Artists need to get paid otherwise they will struggle to make more art. But we’re not really talking that much about ‘artists’ here, we’re talking about cases being brought by large Hollywood studios, tv companies, and giant corporations, many that churn out repetitive low grade schlock. These are the companies that could afford to take advantage of the SOPA bill, even banning personal youtube videos and accounts that have their song in the background.

Still, they have a right to protect that schlock or indeed quality work, as any author does. Almost everyone, supporters and detractors of the SOPA bill, agree that it is well meaning in what it’s trying to do in protecting Intellectual Property rights and the jobs of those who create works, it’s just how it plans to do that and on the devastating tertiary impact it will have that people massively disagree.

A few hours following the White House opposition to the bill, Congress shelved SOPA putting off action on the it indefinitely. It’s quite refreshing when democracy and the voice of the people is listened to, but it’s equally terrifying how close we came to this madness becoming reality. Obama may have been the final nail in SOPA’s coffin, in this guise. But how long before it’s back with a different name but a similar danger to freedom of speech?

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