Update Your WordPress Blogsite Permalinks and You Will Be Found

September 29, 2009

Lately, I’ve noticed quite a few established blogsites still using the standard WordPress permalink structure. By naming your permalinks well, you may find some of your posts successfully listed at number 1 in the search engines (Google loves blogs). What is a permalink, you ask? A permalink, aka permanent link, is a URL that points to a specific blog post. This looks like jibberish by default: http://example.com/?p=123. The ‘&p=123′ text is called the post slug (isn’t that an awful way to refer to it). The post slug will appear in your URL in place of the full title of your post. By incorporating keywords and shortening your post title, you will absolutely be found and can attract new visitors to your site.

From the WordPress dashboard, select Settings, then Permalinks. From the WordPress Common Settings, choose something like Month and Name or create your own. Personally, I customize the settings and use the year and the post name, like http://www.example.com/2009/sample-post.

Not only will you be found by the search bots, but humans will find the address more visual pleasing and informative, as well. Don’t let this wonderful SEO opportunity pass by. It is such an exciting moment to see a post brought up as number 1 following a Google search. Why not change your permalink structure now and remember to leave a comment after you see your name in Google lights!

I’m Excited About The Way WordPress v2.8 Handles Widgets

June 12, 2009

How exciting! WordPress version 2.8 is now available with many cool new features to simplify and improve our user experience. Notably, it is now possible to browse the theme directory like you can the plug-ins directory, all widgets are multi-instance widgets which allow use more than once, and screen options appear on every page to adjust for varying monitor sizes.

My favorite new feature is the ability to drop widgets into any one of your theme’s sidebars in a single screen, inactivate them, and save their settings. I know this would have come in handy when my blog page crashed this week because I used a one-time only widget that was suddenly invisible.

Watch this video for a nice overview of the new WordPress version 2.8.

I know it’s enticing to see that dashboard message “WordPress 2.8 is available! Please update now.” but do not select that link until you back up your database, widgets, your pages and posts and any customization you’ve done. Then, by all means, click away!

Mozilla Firefox MeasureIt & LinkChecker Plugins

March 10, 2009

I found some wonderful tools recently to help me with my new WordPress site design. I exclusively use Mozilla Firefox for internet browsing, and I bumped into these 2 great plugins, both written by Keith Freitas.

MeasureIt – Draws out a ruler to get the pixel width and height of any elements on a webpage.  This is extremely helpful, if for example, you are customizing your Twitter background or your site’s shopping cart.

LinkChecker – Checks the validity of links on any webpage. This runs through all the outgoing links on your webpages.

Now it’s your turn! I’d love to hear about some of your favorite browser plugins.

The Power of Social Networking For A Cause

January 7, 2009

Daniela's Family

If you ever doubted that one person can make a difference in our world, I’d like to show you how David Armano did just that last night. I was working late with my trusty Twitter companion by my side (my favorite social network), when the following post came out from an Australian fellow I follow:

@problogger: I love when social media makes an impact like this and this on people’s lives

David Armano, VP of Experience Design with Critical Mass, wrote a compelling post on his personal blog entitled “Please Help Us Help Daniela’s Family.” The purpose of which was to enlist us ALL to help a very brave woman, Daniela and her 3 precious children, move forward from domestic abuse.

It really does take that one person to stand up for the cause, someone to take the lead for us. And then we feel empowered to stand with the cause and together we become a village. Many of us gave last night, far exceeding the original contribution goal, bonded to our cause. I’ve never been to David Armano’s  blog before and am truly amazed at the power Twitter has to virally spread the word. I am even more amazed at the compassionate responses from our community to help a stranger in need. We are living in difficult times and each one of us has our stories to tell, but we gave what we had to be part of a solution that is so much bigger than ourselves. It was extremely moving to visit David’s blog and refresh the screen to watch the ChipIn! counter grow. Thank you for letting me be part of this important cause. Twitter Power!

You can still make a difference for this courageous family … go now and give what you can!

Help Eliminate Poverty with World Vision

October 15, 2008

Today is Blog Action Day and thousands of bloggers are uniting to discuss the issue of poverty. We are so blessed in this country and there is definitely something we can do to help fight poverty in our world. An organization that has been making such an important difference since 1950, is World Vision. I encourage you to visit their site and look at the Gift Catalog Giving items. You will certainly be amazed. In our society of excess, we wouldn’t dream of giving these kinds of gifts that are available for donation: a goat, chickens, share of a deep well to ensure safe drinking water, seeds, food, blankets, and the list goes on. It is even possible to help the millions of American children experiencing poverty today.

Who They Are: World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization dedicated to working with children, families, and their communities worldwide to reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice.

Let’s be part of the solution. Won’t you help break the cycle of poverty for those in need in our world?

Do-it-yourself Web Design

September 19, 2008

I really should pay somebody to design my website but the temptation for my right-sided brain to do it myself is too overpowering. I have these great ideas floating around in my head just waiting to pour out. I bought a few books and highly recommend Paul McFedries, The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Creating a Web Page & Blog. In fact, his new book, The Idiot’s Guide to Creating a Website, comes out October 7 and I’ve already pre-ordered. As an author, he is witty with a dry sarcasm that I find charming and I retained so much more with a smile on my face.

Paul really simplifies the process and I was pleasantly surprised to discover that I could actually read HTML code. I find that I look at websites in a whole new way, literally, as I view the Page Source in my browser. I feel as if I’m reading a secret code. It’s great! I’m sure it goes without saying that it’s not for everyone. Who knows, if I actually “get it” and design my new site and blog, I could open up a whole new avenue of business for me. What fun!

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