Trying the Responsive Web Design friendly Soliloquy slider

A couple things we've been working on are responsiveness, and customer satisfaction. Responsive Web Design (RWD) is the application of building your website(s) with the idea they may be viewed on various devices, be it a cell phone, tablet or desktop computer. For example, if this post is difficult to navigate or read in your current viewer, please let me know. It should resize as your display does. 

Is your WordPress theme responsive? Have you tried to view it on a smart phone or using a text only browser like lynx?

Social driver has posted what they feel are the 20 best responsive websites of 2012.

I was really excited to get rid of the HTML table on the portfolio page, and try a slider, but finding an easy to use responsive slider that doesn't require a third party interaction took a little research. This brought me to the free Soliloquy slider for WordPress. See the slider in action with a rotating dozen of our portfolio examples on our portfolio website examples page.

If you install and activate the plugin, you'll see "Soliloquy" under Settings in your Dashboard. I went to "Add new" and entered a slider called "Featured clients".

Screen Shot of Soliloquy Screen Shot of Soliloquy

In there I added a dozen screen shots of client websites (you can use any pictures you wish), made sure I entered ALT tags for the vision impaired, and finally added URL links in case people click on the image, they can be brought to the actual website. You can then take the shortcode they provide and paste it into any page or post, and that's it. Let me know if you have any issues!

Posted in Wordpress

Even lower prices, and new features; we’re one year old!

To celebrate our one year anniversary, I'm excited to announce some lower prices, as well as some new features. For our first year, we've been offering a single plan, at $399. This is when some of our competitors charge between $2,000 and $5,000 for the same service, and we have you up and running in one day. Instead of moving closer to our competitors, we're making it even easier to choose us; our introductory website package is now only $299!

Thanks to your continued support, we've hired a graphic designer, as well as a copy writer/editor to help you with your content. You can hire either at our standard service rate. We've found that most people using our introductory package want some graphic design and/or copy help, so we're introducing today, two new packages. The Custom Tailored package is the traditional package, as well as 2 hours of graphic design, as well as 2 hours of copy writing or editing, for only $499! We're quite confident no one can compete with us any longer. And just in case you've got a little more budget, for $899 we'll provide you our Business One Day Wesbite which offers yet another 2 hours of graphic design, and 2 hours of copy help, as well as set you up with website analytics! With 8 hours of labour, and the analytics and SEO install, that makes your website setup and hosting effectively free!

For more information, check out our new Compare Plans page. Contact us if you'd like more information. 

 

 

Posted in Announcement

Add Meta Description tags for everything

If you authored websites with HTML in the past you probably remember meta keywords tags; these have effectively been rendered useless, as so many people used keywords that weren't applicable to their site to gain traffic that would have otherwise gone to their competitors. Because of this, Google no longer uses meta keyword tags in web ranking; however, they do still utilize "description" meta tags for results snippets as described in this article.  

It should be obvious by now that you can add a description for every page as well as post in WordPress, and these are really handy as Google will often pick them up to use under your links. One of the often neglected areas in WordPress where site owners forget to add meta description is categories and tags. In your Dashboard, you should be able to find each of them under the Posts sub-heading. Once there, choose edit and use the description field to describe it as best you can. There's a lot of space you can use there, so don't waste it. Some themes don't use this field, so when you save the description for the first time, see if you can find it on the website. Even if you can't see it anywhere, don't feel you've wasted your time; search engine web crawlers will pay attention to every word you use.! From WordPress SEO by Yoast, "The meta description is under 120 characters, however up to 156 characters are available. The available space is shorter than the usual 155 characters because Google will also include the publication date in the snippet."

Spending a little time to add a description to every page, post, category and tag is just one more place you can make it easier for potential customers to find you.

 

Posted in Tech Tip, Wordpress

Making the conversion process less intrusive

Many site content providers have been told they need to make customer conversion a priority, but at what cost? For example, many people are annoyed when they go to a website for the first time and get a popup that prevents them from reading the content on the page. Instead of converting your potential customer, it's a lot more likely they will be inclined to not return again due to the annoyance.

How can this be resolved?  Well, if your goal is to get your visitors to subscribe to a newsletter, with some added programming you could create a subscription prompt when a visitor makes their fifth visit to your site.  This has a higher likelihood of a successful conversation because of the demonstrated interest in your site with repeat visits.  You may also consider something less intrusive than a popup in the middle of your website over the content; perhaps something that noticeably appears in one the widgets along your side columns.

For example, our main conversion goal is for non-techies to sign up for our $399 One Day Website package, so we promote this offer on our front page, as well as on the sidebar of most of our pages. Our secondary goal is to have people sign up for a monthly newsletter, where we offer special services and discounts that we don't publish on the website. There is a subscribe option on the lower sidebar of most of our pages.  It's not intrusive and doesn't take away from the visitors ability to view the content in any way.  

Posted in Tech Tip Tagged with: , , ,

Should you use Twitter to promote your website?

Any self-described social media expert will tell you that you have to be on Twitter, but do you really? That's something you should evaluate. Are your potential customers active on social media, and if they are, are you likely to to convert them via your social media marketing?

For example, at One Day Website, our target marget is non-techies who are looking to set up a website fast and cost-effectively. We've determined these potential clients are online, and some on Twitter, but they are not power users and are simply there to check things out. As such, most of our marketing resources are focused on in-person forums and meetings. 

We do recognize that there is some opportunity for conversion through social media, so we do have an active Twitter account where we promote our blog articles and ask our followers what topics they'd like us to write more about. We employ this strategy because the Twitter followers that are most important to us are those who are prospective clients looking to learn more, or existing clients who want to make the most out of time and money they've already put in to their new website.

Things to decide for your business: 

  • Is your target market on Twitter?
  • What is the short and long term goals of your Twitter presence? (are you offering support? promotions?)
  • Is your audience primarily savvy web users who will expect timely Twitter posts and responses?  If so, do you have the resources to manage an active Twitter account?
Posted in Tech Tip Tagged with: , , , ,

Increasing your font selection

Thanks to Janice M for reminding us that we don't have to stay limited with the default fonts provided in WordPress. If you want have ~400 new fonts to select from, give Google Fonts a try. 

In your WordPress Dashboard go to "Plugins -> Add New" and search for "google fonts".  Choose Install Now, and then "Activate plugin". 

Now when you click on Settings on your WordPress Dashboard, you will see a Google Fonts option. 

Posted in Tech Tip Tagged with: , , , ,

Stop comment spam with Akismet

If you've been using WordPress for some time, you've probably noticed comment spam — comments that sound really nice, but have really been setup to link back to their business when/if you accidentally approve the comment. The more popular your blog/website, the more you'll likely receive. One of the best solutions for combating this is Akismet which is provided by Auttomatic, the same people who run WordPress.com. They have setup the service free for personal and non-business blogs. Once activated on your site, whenever someone comments on your site, it will send that comment to their servers to be reviewed. Because Akismet monitors millions of websites, their engines have a pretty good idea if that comment is likely spam or legitimate. If it shows up as spam, they'll do the hard work and delete the comment for you, only leaving up to you to approve or trash the human entered comments.

While there are many ways to use Akismet outside of WordPress, by far the most popular way is the WordPress plugin. You can see if it's installed in your WordPress if you click on Plugins -> Installed Plugins in your WordPress Dashboard. If it is, skip to step 2.

  1. Download and Install the Akismet WordPress Plugin.
  2. Under Plugins -> Installed Plugins, click "Activate" under settings
  3. Under the Akismet plugin settings will be a link to the Akismet signup page, go there and create an account
  4. Once you've verified your account, you will receive an API key
  5. Enter this API key in your Akismet Plugin settings.

If this was successful, you should now see a green bar in the Akismet Plugin settings that says "This key is valid". You're now protected by Akismet! If you have any questions, don't hestiate to ask in the comments section below.

Posted in Tech Tip, Wordpress Tagged with: , , ,

What does your website look like with scripts blocked?

If you're security savvy, or follow a privacy and security blog like PrivaSecTech, you know that the most popular way hackers get into systems these days is through scripts (flash or java usually). As such, there are plugins for most browsers now, like NoScripts for Firefox or NotScripts for Chrome which block all scripts by default, unless you manually authorize them. Using such a plugin in your broswer is arguably more effect than having anti-virus installed these days!

What does your website look like when someone views it using a script blocker? Is it still functional? partially functioning? completely unusable? What about your employer's website? You could be losing a lot of visitors and/or revenue if it's not easy to read or use your website with scripts blocked, it's usually best to remove them if they're not absolutely necessary.

Install a script blocker in your browser and see how your website is affected! 

Posted in Tech Tip

Changing your WordPress editor

The default editor in WordPress is lacking, to say the least. If you're looking to replace the default editor with a more powerful and accessible editor, you should give the CKEditor a try. There's a long list of reasons why this editor is better. If you don't like it, simply remove the CKEditor plugin!

To install it, go to Plugins in your WordPress Dashboard, choose "Add new" at the top and do a search for "CKEditor for Wordpess", choose the one from CKSource and click "Install Now". (click OK to confirm)

Once it's successfully installed, click the "Activate Plugin" link. That's it! Now when you go to "Posts -> Add New" you should notice the new, more powerful editor. Take your time and go through all of these new options you've not had before!

Posted in Tech Tip, Wordpress Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,

Google XML Sitemap

Sitemaps are useful for both people, as well as search engine robots (spiders) in indexing all of your website for their search engines. To make this as easy as possible, especially Google, install the WordPress plugin called Google XML Sitemaps.

Once you've installed and activated the plugin, you can look over the settings by clicking in the WordPress Dashboard under Settings -> XML Sitemap. You should be able to leave the default settings, but go through them just in case. Then notice at the top of the XML Sitemap settings page it says that the sitemap has not been generated yet. Generate it now, and you'll see that not only does it generate it for you, it notifies all of the popular search engines (Google, Bing, Ask.com etc) of your new, clean sitemap!

Whenever you change your website around, create a new page, or add several new posts, create an updated sitemap!

 

Posted in SEO, Uncategorized, Wordpress Tagged with: , , , , , ,

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