Exactly what it sounds like. Just saved me a butt load of time and a mess of annoying phone calls to the hosting server. Easy code editing then moving of the index.php & .htaccess files. Maybe this’ll do the same for any other developers out there in a bind.
Here’s an insight into what to expect for the rest of 2014 in regards to web design and development. An older article and obviously we’re already a 4th into the year but still a good read.
Here’s a link to a code you put in your functions.php page that allows you to automatically clear your cache upon updating or saving a post. No more need to remember to empty it with this handy line 🙂
Handy tool from the guys at daniweb.com
Needed this code this morning and figured I’d share it with you fine people.
Had this issue today where I created a WordPress shortcode and put it in a text widget but when I saw it live it didn’t convert the shortcode.
Below is an article that gives you the code you need to put in your functions.php file to allow you to display them properly in the widgets.
Here’s a snippet of code to add to your functions.php page in order to view your featured image in your posts admin section:
Worked like a charm!
Every wonder how to change the color of text when you select it?
Ever needed to get ONLY the featured image url? Below is an easy WordPress Support forum article I’ve referred to to get it. Easy as pie.
A pesky evil WordPress decided to not supply automatically but here’s a link to a good hack for it:
I particularly like this article because it also provides an extension function that applies first and last classes to nested menus as well!
So I’ve decided to change directions with this blog as I’m now much busier than when I began and do not have much time to write full articles.
I’ll write a random article here or there but what I’ve decided is a much better method to help my web design & development madness.
I CONTINUALLY search the web for tips and articles myself whenever I run into a crunch and tend to always go back to the same damn stuff whenever I’m in a jam. So what I will do is simply have titles for what you will be looking for with a quick link along with an accompanying quick description blog post with the same link in there as well.
I.e. this will turn into a list of helpful web developer / website design links for the masses and also save me some sanity so I don’t have to keep typing in the same stuff into google to find what I need. Much more productive for you and I.
Stop in, find what you’re looking for, leave with a smile.
The web design world could see yet another .com-ish boom after these new Top Level Domains have been implemented.
1And1.com launched a massive TV ad campaign to promote reserving them which can still be done. When I first saw the commercial I jumped right on my comp and began reserving any name I could think of. There’s a counter right next to it that tells you how many names have been registered. When I started it was less than 800,000 and within an hours or so it reached well over 1million.
Definitely excited to see how it will all play out, but I’d imagine someone who owns says restaurant.nyc or longisland.attorney would be an instant millionaire.
The biggest question that I can’t quite find an answer to yet is how google will interpret these… If it in fact becomes readable and marketable new businesses could see a HUGE JUMP in rankings… let’s see.
Paul Morris of redmondpie explains the next update for Apple. Yes.. ANOTHER UPDATE. I hope you didn’t just buy an iphone 🙁
Over the past few days, and only in select Facebook Ad accounts, there have been some interesting and exciting updates to Facebook’s traditional ad unit images.
As production began on new, traditional ad units to a website, we noticed a significant change to the suggested image size as recommended in Facebook’s Create Flow (the web UI for Facebook Ads).
Facebook is now suggesting images of 308×308 pixels to show the traditional ad in the news feed, which is a significantly larger canvas size compared to the previous image dimensions of 100×72 pixels.
What’s Going On Here?!
On the hunt for more information from Facebook on this new change, we encountered some inconsistent info in the SERPs.
The search result below leads right to a Facebook help page, but – oops, looks like they haven’t updated their meta descriptions. Outdated information still populates search result.
Fortunately, the page itself seems to have the right dimensions. Or does it?
Hang on… when we attempted to upload an image that was 100×72 pixels, Facebook alerted us the image should be “at least 120 x 120.”
Here’s what we know:
- Facebook has only rolled out this new feature to select accounts, as not everyone has this new option.
- Facebook has never been great at letting advertisers know when it unfurls new features.
Marketing Implications for the New Ad Images
Facebook advertisers who want to take advantage of the new traditional ad image and placement (and who wouldn’t?) must understand how the ratio and sizing of the image will impact both ad units.
New Image Size & Ratio: 308×308
Bigger image = awesome!
But hold your horses, advertisers. Using the new image dimensions will affect the right column ad image as well:
Notice something? Facebook has simply shrunk the 308×308 image to fit within the dimensions of the traditional ad image specifications of 100×72, resulting in an image that isn’t optimized for a traditional ad for the right column (presumably 72×72).
Another option would be to keep the right column image ratio (100×72), but enlarge it to better fit the News Feed format: 308×221. This holds the integrity of the right column image and allows for a nice, big news feed ad image.
Unfortunately, advertisers can’t move or adjust the view of the news feed image like you can with the thumbnail images of your profile.
News Feed Traditional Ad + Social Actions
Facebook advertisers can also opt to connect the ad to their Facebook Page to be seen in the news feed. Adding the Facebook Page will display the profile image, which is great for additional branding, and it seems to provide options for users to take actions on the ad: Like, Comment, and Share.
It’s also important for marketers and ad writers to note that the ad in the news feed places the body copy above the headline. Therefore, advertisers using this ad placement should take into consideration that 1) Users can take social actions and 2) The orientation of text is flipped. This could potentially turn your ad writing strategy on its head, and should.
Potential Blowback from New Ad Placement
Recently, Facebook has been testing many different ad units in the news feed, much to the displeasure of certain Facebook users.
We’ve seen it, our clients have seen it, heck – there’s a whole community on Facebook rallying against Suggested Posts and ads in the News Feed.
While Facebook is trying to make marketers’ ads more engaging by placing them in the News Feed, many users (who *cough* don’t understand how or why Facebook is free for them…) reallyhate sponsored anything in their feed.
Word to the wise, Facebook advertisers: If you’re running ads or sponsored stories in the news feed, keep a close eye on those comments and take control by hiding or deleting angry comments about “spamming their news feed,” and understand that if a significant number of users “hide” or x-out of ads the quality score of your ad, and potentially your account, will take a hit.
New Facebook Ad Strategy
If there are concerns regarding blowback from targeted audiences, advertisers have the power toremove either of these traditional ad units.
For best practice, create modifications of the same ad, keeping in mind the different displays and text placement.
There you have it, Facebook advertisers! Something new to look forward to from the Facebook Ads team. Play around, have fun, sell smart!
3 Good-to-Know Twitter Tips for Beginners
The best way to learn about Twitter is to dive right in and start using it. These quick tips will help you make sense of the Twitterverse from the get go:
1. Create Lists
Lists are curated groups of Twitter followers. You can create your own lists or subscribe to lists created by other people on Twitter. Creating lists is a great way to categorize people and organizations based on their similarities. For example, you might have a list called “social media” or “medical news” or “technology media.” Every time you add a new follower, put him/her/it into a “list,” by clicking on the shadow icon and then from the drop down menu choosing “add or remove from lists.” You can also create lists by going to your “Lists” page, found by going to the gear icon and then on the drop down menu choosing “Lists.” From there you’ll have the option to “Create list.”
Why use lists? The more people you follow the more “cluttered” your Twitter stream becomes. But if you have lists, you can go to a specific list and see If you keep lists, every morning, when you log into Twitter you can go to a specific list and look for content to read and retweet from within a specific category. You can also check to see what some of the people you follow have created by going to their profile pages and clicking on “listed.”
Here’s a screen shot of one of ShortStack’s lists (feel free to subscribe to our lists if you like what you see — most of them are public):
2. Use Twitter’s Advanced Search
Using keywords about a subject you’re interested in, i.e. “green energy” or “gluten free eating” within Twitter’s advanced search can connect you with people who are interested in the subject you’re writing about. You can filter by subject, keywords, specific people, and by location. If you’re a journalist who covers a beat, this can be a really easy way to find sources for your stories. If you want to learn more, check out writer Hartley Brody’s “How to become a Twitter Search Ninja” where you’ll find lots of helpful tips.
In the example below, a search for social media pulls up a variety of news and Tweets related to the term:
3. Block followers who bother you or post offensive content
Unless you have decided to protect your Tweets — meaning that you must approve anyone who wants to read your Tweets or follow you — anyone can follow you on Twitter. Unfortunately, some people will send you annoying messages or spam (or worse). To block an unwanted follower, click on the person’s name and then on the shadow icon. From there you are given the option to block. You can always unblock someone you’ve blocked later.
Do you have any Twitter tips or tricks you’d like to share? Or have any questions for us? Let us know. And if you like what you’ve read here, Subscribe to Socially Stacked!
Looking for a new updated way to play music on your website?
The developers at tympanus.net always manage to blow my mind with the web plugins they come up with. And alot of it for free!
One thing i’ve noticed as a trend in web design lately is a return of audio players thanks to jQuery and HTML5. This plugin is a very cool vintage way to play audio on your site.
And the best part? All those buttons actually work! Volume, Fast Forward, Rewind, and obviously Play and Stop. What I like the most is the “click” when you hit play and the spindles moving. Friggin’ brilliant what these guys accomplished!
“But what if my website has multiple pages? The audio will have to reload everytime!” True if you have the audio player embedded within your site but a simple workaround for this is to have a “Listen To Music” or “Audio On” call button that will open up the player in a separate window. BAZINGA!
The only issue you may have with this option is on the mobile/tablet version of your website. Since you don’t have the option of a mouse to move windows around the player will open in a new window but will usually not play the audio unless you’re actually on the page on your device. So in that instance I would recommend you deactivate the player on your mobile version of the website. Feel free to comment or email me if you need to know how to do this…
How you decide to implement it I’ll leave up to you but either way I love this player. I haven’t tested it in IE though so be sure to keep that in mind if you attempt to use this.
Noupe.com Article Excerpt
In an article written by Vladimir Gendelman of Noupe.com. They give excellent tips on the web marketing process in comparison to print techniques. I find myself constantly looking at tons of magazines and print media in general old and new for ideas, colors, layouts, etc.
This article kind of helped me get a little more perspective on this process so I figured I’d share this as it may help someone else as well.
This is unrelated but we also should not forget “New Media” meaning your phones. I continually get inspired by what people manage to capture on instagram and facebook posts in general. Whether it’s a landscapes, events, or just the human experience Everyone can be an artist now… whether you’re good or bad is up for interpretation :). I’ll write more on this in the future.
Although the knowledge in effective web marketing has increased over the last decade or two, there is still a great deal that web designers can learn from print designers. After all, print marketing has been around since the invention of the printing press and roughly five-hundred years of successful designs can’t be wrong.
It doesn’t matter if it’s print media or digital media; as a designer, it’s your duty to help your clients show off their brand and connect with potential customers. Here are just a few techniques that print designers use to carry out that duty—and that won’t mislead you even in web design..
1. Less is more
When designing for print, you have to constantly be aware of how much space you have to fit your work into, because adding more space means increasing the size (and cost) of the media itself. On the other hand, web designers have an almost unlimited amount of space to use because the audience can always keep scrolling down to continue viewing the page.
However, you also run the risk of losing the audience’s attention when you bombard them with too much information at once. Consider the efficiency of a business card or direct mailer—in a small amount of space, print designers are able to grab the audience’s attention and deliver an effective message. Your digital designs should strive for economy instead of over-expansion, conveying a strong central message without trying to stuff your design with as many elements as possible.
Use fewer words instead of pages of dense text. Focus on a few strong images instead of a cluttered collage. Simplify your designs to improve your design efficiency – when you’re worried about a bunch of details, you tend to lose focus on the big picture. In fact, it’s that big picture that your clients are most looking for in their web designs.
Photo Credit: Hovard Design
2. Make Scanning Easy
When people view a piece of print media, they expect to find the information they’re looking for without having to read the entire thing. Think of the way a postcard or brochure compartmentalizes information into easy-to-read sections. A website is no exception – people don’t want to spend too much time finding whatever they’re looking for, they want it to jump out at them.
Use headlines and sub-headings to guide your audience’s eyes to the most vital information. Add bold and italic typesetting or bright colors such as red to highlight important segments of text. Keep paragraphs short and use repetition to drive home the most important points.
Photo Credit: BASIC
There are several visual cues you can also add to increase the readability. Include pictures that tie into the information you’re presenting so that people can quickly find the sections they’re looking for. You can even borrow visual design elements commonly found in print media, such as starbursts, arrows and other simple shapes that draw attention.
3. Make Your Call to Action Powerful and Upfront
A call to action is one of the most important elements of a successful marketing campaign because it tells the audience what to do with the information they just received. At the end of the day, print marketing collateral is just a piece of paper – it can’t convert customers all on its own. The call to action is what propels the customer into taking that next step towards a conversion.
Photo Credit: Veronica Varesta
The benefit of a web campaign is that a website can directly lead a potential customer onto the next step of the process through hyperlinks and other interactive elements. However, you can’t assume the audience is going to know where to click or for what reason unless it’s been clearly defined. And they won’t be able to locate these points of interaction unless your design draws attention to them through use of creative typography, imagery or other eye-catching techniques.
Repetition is the key to driving home your call to action. Print collateral with multiple pages will feature the call to action on every page so that the reader is never too far from the information he needs to carry forward with a sale or conversion. Your web design should also feature a clear call to action on every page – probably multiple times per page, depending on the task your design is supposed to perform.
4. Test marketing before implementation is vital
A major benefit of web design is that mistakes can be easily fixed or tweaked if a problem should arise – but this benefit can also be a backlash. With a print marketing design, you have to be certain that everything is correct before you finalize the print job, or else you run the risk of having to reprint and waste materials. Even famous, well-established companies such as Trader Joe’s can fall prey to simple spelling errors. To avoid this, print designs are often given an extra level of testing under a higher level of scrutiny than web designs.
Photo Credit: Flickr user “jesman”
Implementing the same standards in your web designs can save you time by helping you avoid future fine-tuning. Doing so extends past simply doing testing to make sure that the design is usable—it also means testing to see if the design will be effective in attracting new business.
Talk to your target audience and find out what they value before you even begin to brainstorm ideas for your design. Ask a loyal contingent of existing customers if they would like to participate in test marketing to get a better understanding of how people respond to your design. As the saying goes—the customer is always right.
5. Activate All Senses
When people experience something for the first time, their brains create a sense memory associated with that moment. The more senses that the brain can use to understand the experience, the stronger the memory becomes. Print marketing collateral has the benefit of being a physical object, which affects both sight and touch.
Photo Credit: Ken Lo
Print designs often incorporate embossing, textured coatings, textured stocks and other special options to make a better connection to a person’s sense of touch. Although a web design cannot be touched, it also has the ability to affect more than one sense – sight and hearing. By adding audio to your web designs you cannot only ensure a stronger sense memory but a greater degree of accessibility.
Audio could be in the form of music or ambient noise, such as the sound of a cheering crowd for a stadium web page. Audio could also come as part of a video, which allows the brand to literally speak to the audience. Just keep in mind that audio can also have a negative effect on your design if the audio is too loud, poor quality or jarring.
6. Don’t Sacrifice Functionality for Style
Even the most creative print designs still have to have some level of practicality in order to be successful. After all, a folder has to be able to open and close, not to mention securely store documents. Web designs are no different – creativity is key, but functionality is equally or even more important.
Photo Credit: Beth Sicheneder
You don’t want your audience to become frustrated and navigate away from the page because your design confused them or they couldn’t find what they were looking for. The function of your design is to convey a message, so you won’t want to create a distraction that draws attention away from that message either.
Functionality doesn’t just mean creating a user-friendly interface, but being aware of the different ways people view websites. Adding a plethora of interactive elements to your design is fun for people with newer model computers, but can be a nightmare for those on older machines or mobile devices. Think of your design as a fishing net instead of a fishing lure – the net may not be as pretty as the lure, but it’s a more practical way to catch a large amount of fish at once.
7. Design with Other Media in Mind
It takes both digital media and print media to successfully market a brand, but many designers make the mistake of thinking their web designs are print ready. More often than not, the design elements created for a web marketing campaign will look distorted when printed, unless certain changes are made. For example, designs saved in RGB mode for the web will be converted to CMYK when printed using 4-color process, which can lead to discoloration.
In a print design, it’s crucial that the logo is able to print as one solid color. But many logos designed for the web use complex gradation, which cannot be reproduced when printing with only one color. Design your logos so that it will still be recognizable and effective with only one color—or use multiple logos, one for the web and one exclusively for print.
Photo Credit: Emir Ayouni
When creating designs for the web, you have no limit to the amount of colors you can use. However, when printing using PMS ink, you have to correctly match the Pantone color of the ink. Brand colors should always match a Pantone color swatch to ensure that the marketing collateral is accurate and consistent, both on the web and in print.
Digital media is here to stay, but print doesn’t seem to be going anywhere either. Having the versatility to work effectively in both worlds makes you much more desirable to potential clients, who often want to have someone who can do it all. By focusing on these tenets of print marketing and design, you can ensure that you’ll always be ready to get a brand’s message out to the people no matter what tools you use to do so.
These are just a few of the lessons that can be learned from print media design. What lessons have you learned from designing for print and how have you applied them to your web marketing designs? What about in reverse – what are some lessons that print designers can learn from web design? Share your responses in the comments.
HD vs SD on itunes – What’s the Difference?
I was literally just looking at iTunes to rent a movie and came across these options and figured someone else out in the internet world may not know… especially since there’s a decent price difference.
So drum roll….
HD – “High Definition”
SD – “Standard Definition”
That’s it…in other words HD is more money because it’s meant for a more detailed colorful picture. Think DVD vs Bluray.
So if you’re watching something like say Avatar you’d probably want the HD. But also make sure it’s compatiable with your comp or ipad
but let’s face it… SD is still fine; and cheaper.