It’s your first website and not only are you looking forward to a brand new logo, but also a domain with a professional looking email address such as firstname.lastname@example.org. But, if your site is self hosted on Bluehost, or any other hosting company, getting your POP email to work correctly can be a real headache. Bluehost has no fewer than ten instruction videos depending on which mail software you use.
Here’s why. The easy part is setting up the email account. You go to the c-Panel, and into the email account and add an email address with your domain name. (Providing you already created it when you set up hosting) Create a password that is in the strong range. It should be something you can remember but also with numbers, capitals and symbols. Be sure to ask for Unlimited emails, so your emails don’t suddenly stop coming into your mailbox because you forgot to clean it out every month or so. That’s it. The mail should start flowing! Hold on…Read More
On January 20, Elegant Themes posted a story I submitted to them via an invitation as part of their Customer Spotlight series. I submitted the form online and was delighted that they asked me to write the post. I highly recommend you take advantage of any guest blogging in your field of expertise. With sites such as elegantthemes.com, you can potentially reach many more customers. My google analytics count went from an average of six visits per to day to 605 on January 20th!
Without further ado (minus the imagery):
Let Me Introduce Myself
Some people would say I should retire, after all, I am 62 years old, raised some amazing children (twins), and have a comfortable life. But my inner creative has always led the way and I can’t wait for the next turn in the road.
I went to school for Fine Art, and got a job at a small map making company in Harvard Square, Cambridge. They needed an illustrator and I was happy to be drawing pen and ink sketches for their city maps. This led to designing and making the maps in the old way, with layers of acetate and line tape. Fortunately for me, my experience in the map trade opened up a career at the Boston Globe, Boston’s best newspaper. I became the first female cartographer in its 120 year history. I illustrated news of all kinds with info‐graphics: science diagrams, business charts, event maps. Sometimes I wrote the captions within the graphics.Read More
We recently published a new website for David Hatch, Jr. of Framingham, MA. His company, Hatch Manufacturing Solutions, provides sales leads to companies throughout New England. Over the last 25 years David Hatch Jr. has built a solid reputation working for three established Rep groups as well as running his own Rep business. Hatch Manufacturing Solutions offers rich industry experience and a focused approach to building sales and solutions for customers and principals alike.
Rob Hylen of Stoughton, MA has a new CPA website, Rob Hylen CPA & Associates, from Perugi Design. Rob and his associates provide bookkeeping, accounting and tax services to small businesses like yours in the states of Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island. Look for his testimonial on the home page. He told me he recently went to his high school reunion and received some compliments on the website. It’s all good!Read More
How do you control that unwanted spam that invariably enters your comment area of your web site? One easy way to cut off comments is to Quick Edit each post after it is posted. Un-check the boxes that allow comments and ping backs.
But, What if you want to allow comments so that you can get the few that are legitimate? Then you have to allow all the others that aren’t. Before long, if you are not watching the dashboard, you can have over a thousand spam comments. The worst part of it is — each one has to be checked and removed individually. That can take over an hour of painstakingly going through each comment page. Not fun.Read More
New business owners often have trouble knowing what to write for their websites. I’m not a professional writer, but I am married to one and worked at a newspaper for ten years. The best advice I can give is to read Strunk and White’s The Elements of Style. It will teach you to write succinctly. For more specific advice on content, read this list I recently made for a client. It may be useful when getting ready to hire a web designer. At the bottom of the article I’ve included a pdf link so you can print it out and take notes. Enjoy!Read More
Local videographer Greg Besher of Your Real TV, Inc. takes and edits videos of your business that can be easily added to your website. His video below is of our favorite local dairy, Eastleigh Farm, located in Framingham, Massachusetts. As you will see in the video, the farmer at Eastleigh is proud of her cow’s milk and cheese produced there. Be sure to try their ice cream which is the best anywhere!
But, I digress. Let’s talk about why videos are important for web content…Read More
Check out Prezi, the new and exciting presentation software. Did I mention free? As you can see, the presentation can be embedded right into your blog post. Click on the Black Button to start and then the arrows to read through the slides.Read More
Two days ago I had a day that I have never seen in my 12 years of mastering websites for clients. Two of my client’s sites were down at the same time. Luckily, I’ve had a site crash before, so I didn’t panic. Both sites were working the following day.
Here’s what happened. As you may know, WordPress came out with a new update, 3.6, as mentioned in the previous post. It quickly got replaced by 3.6.1. No problem. But, the themes and software plugins have to follow suit. My first client had a small request. Some images that were importing into a gallery were coming in too small. While I was waiting for the client to find their reset password, I looked around the site. Hmm, I thought, might as well update the theme. Usually, Elegant Themes does a superb job of maintaining their software. For whatever reason, the import brought down the site. Could it be the plug-in Back Up Buddy? Could be. Note to self: Turn off all plugins when you update the WP software or the Theme. Never thought that recommendation was so important!Read More
I’d like to share with you this post by Matt Mullenweg (and edited by me) to keep you up-to-date on the goings on at the WordPress shop. See his post below:
It’s time to upgrade to the latest and greatest WordPress, version 3.6. (Do this in your Plug-ins section of the Dash.) It includes a beautiful new blog-centric theme, bullet-proof autosave and post locking, a revamped revision browser, native support for audio and video embeds, and improved integrations with Spotify, Rdio, and SoundCloud. Here’s a video that shows off some of the features using our cast of professional actors:
We’re calling this release “Oscar” in honor of the great jazz pianist Oscar Peterson. Here’s a bit more about some of the new features, which you can also find on the about page in your dashboard after you upgrade.Read More
I have been using Bluehost for hosting websites for years because they are always there when you need them most. I can talk to a technician 24/7/365 who knows the servers and the software. It makes the WordPress install easy. In one minute, you are ready to blog. See Bluehost’s promotional video below to learn their secret. What I especially like is the Backup program that is automatically run in the background. If anything should happen to corrupt your site, we can restore the site as it was a day or a week previous to the problem. You can order Bluehost on my Home Page side bar. Be sure to order the Backup services that allow you to backup your database or entire site to your desktop.
Authors note: Friday, August 2, was an exception to the rule of Bluehost sites being impervious to problems. A major hub located in Provost, Utah experienced some switch failure and at least five large hosting companies affecting well over a million sites went down for most of the day, including Bluehost. I kept track of the problem via Twitter, and a page they published that posted reports live. If you have a POP email set up with Bluehost, then your email will be down as well. Exciting, right?Read More
How to make art boxes in Photoshop to show correctly in a WordPress Website slider
Some of my creative clients (photographers, painters, artists) like to use the horizontal slider on their portfolio themes, but they don’t like the theme cropping their images to fit the space. The paintings or photographs in their portfolio are unique and not conducive to cropping. So, I’ve come up with a way to add a background area to let the image show full size in the slider. You basically have to add background (In a color that matches the theme) behind the image to force it to fit the wider frame. Here you go.
1. Determine the size of your theme’s slider image area.
For instance: 655 x 355 pixels.
Open your image in Adobe Photoshop. Set the background color to a web color. For instance: #003366 (Dark Blue).
Perugi Design recently launched Flow Organizing Solutions for Rossi Kane of Framingham. Rossi is an expert at organizing for residential, small Business and real estate. Her approach utilizes a combination of consulting, coaching and hands-on organizing. Who doesn’t have clutter or need paper and document management? Flow will help you in all areas of your home or business: Offices, Supply areas, Living areas, Closets, Kitchens, Bathrooms and Children’s areas. If you have an event such as a yard sale or if you are selling your house, Rossi will come in and assist you.
Rossi and Deb searched together for the right theme. She liked the idea of something professional and calming. Blues and greens being a favorite color combination as seen in her logo. We even looked through Big Stock photo agency to find the right images to complete her message. Rossi hired Perugi Design at an hourly rate and got the job done fin less than 10 hours. All along, Rossi learned how to use WordPress and worked along side Deb, while Deb worked behind the scenes to format the theme. Now, Flow has to add more posts and WordPress will pull in new clients off the search engines.
Another site for a local professional photographer in Waltham is about to be published. John Swisher first had to reconcile the two business names he was using: J Ray Photographics and John Swisher Photography. He decided to use John Swisher Photography, then altered his logo to reflect that change. Deb helped John simplify his current logo which now graces the top of the website. John also picked out a theme designed for photographers. Glisseo is an elite theme with a lot of bells and whistles. As we have mentioned in an previous post, Not All Themes are Created Equal, this one was not as straight forward as we like. But, despite the difficulties, see for yourself how this theme beautifully renders John’s photographs. We can’t wait to see what John has to say about his images via captions and posts!Read More
Matt Mullenweg, founder of the free software WordPress, is interviewed in this informative video. The WP open source philosophy is insured by his refusal of an offer to sell it for $200,000,000.Read More
WordPress is here, offering you an easy way to beat your competitors for that lucrative first page on Google. All you have to do is use relevant text in your website and write blog posts on a regular basis on topics that relate to your business or service. If you write with authority about something you know well, then you become the expert. How many other [insert your line of work here] do you know that write with competency about what you do and know well?
Writing can be chore or even frightening to some business owners. All it takes is a little practice and perhaps reading a book on how to write well. I recommend you buy and read E.B. White’s Elements of Style. It is a small book that packs a lot of valuable information. The Seventeenth Rule states “Omit Needless Words”. You must be concise. Take out everything that is not useful. It is especially important in writing for the web.Read More
There are so many topics to write about when it comes to WordPress, that sometimes, my head spins. But, today, after receiving the latest email from Woo Themes, I decided it was time to discuss Functionality.
Woo Themes just introduced Sensei, which is a new plugin that will allow you to teach and sell online courses from within WordPress. Imagine being able to create courses, write lessons and add quizzes. Set lesson and course pre-requisites, allow user registration and even charge for your course content using WooCommerce if you want. In their words: “Sensei aims to capture the core features of a learning management plugin, while not bloating it with features other existing plugins can handle. Sensei integrates perfectly with any well coded theme, as well as WooCommerce allowing you to charge for your courses!” Watch the Sensei overview video to find out more.Read More