Doing the rounds on the interwebs lately is a lot of talk about the new feature Gmail is launching in their interface – tabs. It’s going to make life harder for those of us that send out email newsletters and for those of us who have signed up and like to receive email newsletters. So yeah, just about everyone ;)
Basically Gmail has decided to divide up your inbox into tabs – one of which will be called “Promotions” – this is where a lot of email newsletters – not spam, but ones you have actually signed up for – will end up. This means it’ll be harder for you to find the stuff you want to read, and if you publish emails, it could definitely impact your readership.
As a receiver or sender of email – make sure you read up and find out what Gmail has in store….
UPDATE: A great blog post from MailChimp about the very real impact this change is having.
If you’ve used WordPress even just a little bit, you’ve probably come up against the fact that it’s really hard to add extra space into the editor. You can only hit “return” a couple of times before it starts eating those extra line spaces you’re trying to create. So if you want to create extra empty space in your page or post – anything beyond a paragraph break or two, you’ve probably pulled your hair out. There’s several workarounds you can use if you happen to know HTML but that horrifies many non-techie WordPress users. Well the best way I have now found is an awesomely simple and to-the-point plugin called Spacer. Read the rest of this entry »
The Google Keyword tool which is an essential tool for researching keywords – finding search volume and related phrases etc is shutting down and is going to be replaced with their new tool called Keyword Planner. It will still be free, although you will need to be logged into an AdWords account to access it. This SearchEngineLand article explains how to use it. It’s not too much different and if you use the current keyword tool you’ll be able to figure it out. But one of the great improvements is for people interested in local SEO. The current tool only gives you info broken down by Global results and US results, but the new tool lets you target local areas much more easily. This SEOmoz article explains exactly how to use the local features. This could actually be an example of Google shutting something down that doesn’t incite the people’s fury!
I recently had the honor of presenting at WordCamp Orange County 2013. I was asked to give a “WordPress 101″ talk which may sound simple, but is deceptively so! It’s actually quite a challenge. I teach WordPress every day so the material is second nature, but in a presentation you only have about 30 minutes, so it’s impossible to convey all the information that WordPress 101 could potentially encompass.
My approach was not to go the mechanical nuts n’ bolts route of “this is how you install WordPress, here’s how you make a post” etc. Instead I focused on the understanding of basic concepts in WordPress which are absolutely necessary – differences between posts and pages, understanding what menus are and how they work, how themes work, the difference between a plugin and a widget etc. These are all areas that I see beginners grapple with understanding at first. If you don’t get these core concepts down, you’ll have problems with WordPress. Read the rest of this entry »
You may have noticed your Twitter feed stopped showing up on your WordPress site just recently. This is because Twitter changed their API. An API is something that various web services like Twitter provide in order to allow developers to tap into the service and work with information from it. So a WordPress plugin that pulls information from Twitter needs to utilize their API. When Twitter changes their API as they did recently, that will affect the plugin.
Hopefully the Twitter plugin you have been using has a developer that stays on top of such changes and provides an update to the plugin. With this recent Twitter update however there’s some steps that you as the site owner need to take to make sure the plugin will work. You basically have to create your own Twitter app – but don’t worry, it’s not as scary as it sounds.
Here are my current favorite Twitter plugins that have been updated to work with the new Twitter API. Read the rest of this entry »
WordPress shortcodes are a powerful feature that theme and plugin developers use to give users advanced tools at their disposal, but they continually confuse people. They are infinitely easier than writing actual HTML and CSS but can still freak out the typical user.
Using only the WordPress editor, one’s options for laying out a page or post would be limited to one block of text, perhaps interspersed with an image, video or maybe a photo gallery. What if you want to create a more visually interesting layout? Such as splitting your content area into columns, for example? Or including buttons, highlights and other fancy visual styles?
To write that kind of HTML and CSS would be quite tedious and beyond the abilities of most users. It would also create a lot of messy code in your WordPress editor, muddying the lines between content (which is primarily what you should be editing in WordPress) and code. Read the rest of this entry »
Hi! I'm Lucy Beer. I know that WordPress is liberating when you know how to use it, and bewildering when you don’t. I help individuals and businesses learn WordPress for their specific needs. I will accelerate your knowledge and cut your learning curve in half (at least!). Generic tutorials and videos only go so far - when you need specialized knowledge, or a real person to answer your questions, that's where I come in. I help non-techies understand and use the web to empower their personal or business mission.