Category Archives: blog

TWIR: IFTTT to WordPress, Heatmaps, Google Publisher Plugin, Typography, What to Blog

IFTTT with WordPress

I loved doing my ‘Best Of’ links posts, but it got very hard to maintain. For one, there weren’t always 5 links in a day that I found worthy (I’m a little picky), so I’ve decided to change my Best Links Of The Day, to TWIR: The Week In Review, and do a list of the best links from the week. This way, I can be really choosy.

So, to start the ball rolling, here is my first post for The Week In Review – January 24, 2013
IFTTT with WordPress
1. Using IFTTT With WordPress
I love IFTTT, I’ve included it in posts before. It’s such a useful tool that not a lot of people are really using, so when I saw this post on using it with WordPress, I knew I had to include it today. It includes tips on using it to automate tasks with Instagram, YouTube & RSS.

2. WordPress Heatmap Options: See Where Your Visitors are Clicking
Have you always wanted to know what people are actually clicking on when they go to your site? What areas are performing & what areas are being ignored? This article has some great services & plugins to help you do that. Most are for a nominal fee.

3. New Google Publisher Plugin for WordPress Lets You Verify Your Site, Manage AdSense
In this early beta release, it includes management for AdSense & Webmaster Tools. A great addition to make it easier for people to input the necessary code as well as manage these two services. It’s still in beta though, so testing it to make sure it won’t conflict with anything on your site is very important!

4. How Typography Affects Conversions
A great article to walk you through how & why the font you choose affects your site performance. The article also describes what typography is, it’s key elements & why it’s so important.

5. 5 Ways to Find Out What People Really Want From Your Blog
Someone (possibly me!) talked you into a blog & how important it is. Great. Now what? This article gives you some great ideas on how to figure out what to blog about so that your posts are useful to your target audience.

How To Change An Image’s Canvas Size Using Pixlr

canvas size

I’m often asked how to do certain things, especially with images. Many clients don’t have graphic programs, so I’ve decided to start a series of posts that will help you do basic edits to images using Pixlr, which is a free, online image editor.

I’m going to start with a very basic edit – Canvas Size. Many times,  you want to maintain certain image sizes on your website, whether it be for a product photo, a blog post, or anywhere. Here I will outline the steps to add extra to your image so that the height & width are the same.

1. Go to the Pixlr Editor site

2. Change the background color to white (or whatever your current background color is)

changecolor

 

2. Select Canvas Size from Image Menu

canvassize

 

3. Change anchor point for current image & choose your final canvas size. Your anchor point is where the current image will be set, and the additional size will be added around that point.

changesize

 

4. Save File: Make sure to save it in a place on your computer that you will know where it is.

Next in this series will be: How To Resize An Image Using Pixlr.

Do you have any questions on editing images? Let me know in the comments & it could be a future post!

Click-to-Tweet Links, Site Search Analytics, Google Hummingbird, Hashtag Tools, Kill Spam

click to tweet

Best Links of the Day: October, 23, 2013

click to tweet

  1. How to Generate Click-to-Tweet Links for Your Content [Quick Tip]
    You have a great link that you want to share, but the link is sooo long & you don’t want to eat up precious tweet space with it. This article shares how to.
    link to article
  2. Site Search Analytics by Measured Search
    I think this is the first time I am including a plugin directly, but I thought this was such a great addition to your overall analytics. It lets you see what your visitors are searching for, which can be quite useful.
    link to plugin
  3. Google Hummingbird: 6 Tips to Keep Your Ranking
    Yup, Google changed their algorithms again, now we have Hummingbird. This article gives some great info. on how to keep your page ranking.
    link to article
  4. 5 Twitter Hashtag Tracking and Analytics Tools
    It’s analytics day here at Curious Light! This article talks about Twitter hashtag tools – still a marketing tool so many aren’t making use of.
    link to article
  5. Top 5 WordPress Plugins to Kill Spam
    You finally got your blog up & you are actually posting, but now you are getting an obscene amount of spam. Take a look at this article that gives the pros of 5 spam plugins.
    link to article

Brand Advocating: Sites & Services I Love That Have Great Customer Service

Services I love

There’s a lot of negative out there on the internet. It’s so easy to anonymously leave comments & people seem to revel in leaving negative feedback. Well, I wanted to go the opposite route today, I going to be advocating for the sites and services I love, the ones that have customer service that goes above and beyond. Some are related to websites, some aren’t…I just felt like spreading a little love today.

  1. Sprout Social
    Sprout Social offers an amazing service that lets you manage all your social media efforts in one place. You can monitor all your accounts, schedule messages to different social media sites, generate reports & monitor what is and isn’t working for you. All of this while having outstanding customer service both through Twitter & through their site.
    link to site
  2. Services I love

  3. A Small Orange
    I recently discovered A Small Orange Hosting after reading an article about them. In the month or so that I have had sites hosted with them, I have just been so impressed with their response time to support inquiries. But that would only take a hosting company so far, they have to have a great service, and A Small Orange does. The uptime so far has been excellent, as well as the load time for the sites.
    link to site (affiliate link)
  4. Tribulant
    I’ve tried out a lot of shopping carts for WordPress, and something was always lacking for me. I mostly ruled out WooCommerce because by the time you add in all the extensions a site would likely need (that then need to be kept up to date), the cost was starting to get a bit out of hand. Then I tried Tribulant. Although the cart is not free, it has most of the features I’ve needed built in, which means only keeping once license up to date. But the most amazing part is that the customer service is just outstanding. They do whatever they can to help you solve any issue that arise, and that is priceless!
    link to site
  5. Wag.com
    I know, the first 3 were so website centric, you thought I wasn’t getting to anything more general. Well, now I am. Wag has guaranteed FREE two day shipping on all orders over $35. If you’re like me, that is pretty much all orders where my dog is concerned. If you are in certain areas, you might even get your order within 24 hours (I do!). Free shipping is great, but if their prices aren’t, then it doesn’t matter much. Well, Wags prices are competitive with all the ‘best price’ sites, so you get fast, free shipping & great prices. I, of course, have to mention their customer service, which is always quick & friendly. Even if I have had a problem with an order, I have walked away satisfied with the ultimate outcome.
    link to site
  6. Amazon
    Yeah, I know, everybody knows about Amazon, but I wanted to acknowledge those sites/services that have consistently excellent customer service, and Amazon fits that bill. Any time I have had an issue, they have resolved it, and it’s never a frustrating process. To be a site that large & still be able to offer customer service like that is amazing. I also can find almost anything I am looking for here, which makes shopping super easy. They also offer free shipping over $25. Although that can take a while, I do force myself to be patient.
    link to site

Mobile Checkout, Opt Out of Google Using Your Face, Protect Your Business, Marketing Insights, Yoast’s SEO

Opt Out Google

Opt Out Google

  1. 6 Mobile Checkout Usability Considerations
    Talks about the challenges users face when checking out from their mobile phones & what you can do to make it easier for them.
    link to article
  2. How to Opt Out of Google Using Your Name and Face in Ads
    It was the big news last week – Google is going to use your face & name in it’s ads! Well, here’s how to stop that.
    link to article
  3. How To Protect Your Small Business From Cybercrime
    If small businesses are prime targets for cyber criminals, what can you do to protect yourself?
    link to article
  4. 3 Killer Content Marketing Insights for the Holiday Season
    This holiday season, you need to go beyond the 9-5 website hours to keep up. Mobile use & off hours are a big part of the equation.
    link to article
  5. 6 Reasons Yoast’s WordPress Seo Plugin Is Even More Awesome Then You Realize
    If you have a WordPress site & want to hone your SEO, this is the only plugin I use. This article explains how it does even more than you might have thought.
    link to article

Refresh Web Content, Accepting Online Payments, Browser Extensions, Social Media Strategy, Mobile Strategy

refresh site content

Best Links of the Day: October 7, 2013

refresh site content

  1. When And How To Refresh Your Web Content
    A nice article on the importance of reviewing your site content & refreshing where needed.
    link to article
  2. New Website Offers Valuable Information and Tips About Accepting Credit and Debit Payments
    This is often one of the most intimidating aspects for new online stores – that’s where CMUSA comes in. They offer tools & tips to help you.
    link to article
  3. How to See Which Browser Extensions Are Slowing Down Your Browser
    Some extensions you just can’t live without, but some may be creating a lag in your browser. Take a look at this article that explains how to check which ones are slowing you down.
    link to article
  4. Implementing a Social Media Strategy Step-By-Step [DIAGRAM]
    If you own a business, odds are someone has been telling you to harness social media. Sounds great, except you don’t even know where to start. Check out this article & diagram that helps you plan a social media strategy.
    link to article
  5. Mobile Strategy for Small Businesses
    It’s hard to ignore mobile users at this point. More & more potential clients/customers are accessing your site on the go. This article gives you some stats as well as different approaches you can take.
    link to article

Facebook Privacy, Google Chrome ‘Search By Image’, Fun Content, 7 Facebook Changes, iPad Tips

fun content

Best Links of the Day: Oct. 2, 2013

  1. How to Lock Down Facebook Privacy Now That Old Posts Are Searchable
    Now that Facebook Graph Search is open to anything you’ve ever posted on Facebook, it’s time to update your settings. Here’s how.
    link to article
  2. fun content

  3. How To Use Google Chrome’s New ‘Search By Image’ Feature
    In Chrome’s latest update, the search by image is baked in. Here’s a step by step on how to use this new feature.
    link to article
  4. 10 Ways to Make Your Content More Fun to Read
    It’s not only important to keep you blog current & active, but to engage your users. Fun content is one of the best ways to do that. Here are some tips.
    link to article
  5. 7 Big Facebook Changes You Should Know About for a Better Facebook Strategy
    Geez, it’s practically a full time job trying to keep up with the number of times Facebook makes changes. Some you may know about, some you may not.
    link to article
  6. Your Guide to iPad Tips and Tricks
    If you have an iPad (and so many of you do!), check out this infographic that offers some great tips!
    link to graphic

Common Tech Questions, iOS7 Battery Life, SEO Optimized Images, Best Posting Times

tech questions

tech questions

  1. 10 Common Tech Questions (and Their High Tech Explanations)
    Covers such topics as healthy laptop battery life, viruses & your online privacy. Take a look & hopefully the answers to some of your common questions are there.
    link to article
  2. 11 Tips to Keep iOS 7 From Destroying Your Battery Life
    Disclaimer: I have not yet updated to iOS 7, but from what I understand this has been a big problem for many that have. Hopefully these tips can help.
    link to article
  3. How to Add SEO Optimized Images to WordPress 3.6.1 Blog Posts and Pages
    You’ve spent time on your page SEO, but what about your images? This tutorial will help you get those optimized as well.
    link to article
  4. The Best [And Worst] Times To Post On Social Media
    It’s probably one of the most common questions in regard to social media – when should I post? It’s all about what’s right for you, but it doesn’t hurt to get some stats to get you started.
    link to article
  5. Why You Should Avoid Using a Gmail Address for Your Website
    So good info. on why you should avoid this. It doesn’t mean you can’t use Gmail to get all your email, just not to use it as the address in the WordPress admin.
    link to article

Create Your Navigation Menus in WordPress, Guide to Developing Apps, WordPress Tips And Tricks

create app guide

Best Links of the Day: Sept. 26, 2013

It’s going to be a short list today because I got caught up in spreadsheet import issues for an e-commerce site. Hopefully, I will get the full 5 in tomorrow!

  1. How To Create Your Navigation Menus in WordPress
    WordPress has an amazing menu feature that lets you easily create menus that can be used throughout your site. This tutorial walks you through how to set them up & different ways you can use them.
    link to article
  2. create app guide

  3. A Complete Beginner’s Guide to Developing Apps (iPhone, Android, and Windows)
    We’ve all heard the stories about the kids that have created apps & made small fortunes. Well, maybe you’ve harbored a secret desire to create one yourself. This article will get you started!
    link to article
  4. Powerful WordPress Tips And Tricks
    Maybe you are feeling like getting your hands dirty & learning how to play with functions in WordPress, well this is a collection of useful snippets you might want to try.
    link to article

Cloud Convert, Facebook Image Posts, Learn Photoshop, Mobile E-commerce Conversion, Cart Abandonment

cloud convert

Best Links of the Day: Sept. 25, 2013

Some days the links lean toward social media, some days toward WordPress, but today they seemed to be about E-commerce (well, 2 at least).
cloud convert

  1. Cloud Convert
    As their tagline says, convert anything to anything – how’s that for a handy tool! According to the site, it works for mobile phones as well. I love that you can send it right to your Dropbox as well.
    link to site
  2. How I Increased Facebook Reach and Engagement by 200-300% This Week
    A really nice walk through of some of the image posts he did to engage his Facebook fans, complete with the actual stats on how they performed.
    link to article
  3. 8 Websites That Will Turn You into a Photoshop Guru
    A nice list of sites for beginners & intermediates that offer tutorials to help you learn different things in Photoshop.
    link to article
  4. 12 Surefire Ways To Increase Conversions On Mobile Devices
    E-commerce sites face a lot of stumbling blocks in their conversion to mobile. This article gives you ways to improve the user experience & increase conversions.
    link to article
  5. Nine Case Studies And Infographics On Cart Abandonment And Email Retargeting
    Shopping cart abandonment is huge on e-commerce sites. This article discusses some stats on cart abandonment as well as some techniques that have been used to get those shoppers back.
    link to article
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