Interview With Kaylee Allen Author Support And Web Developer

The following interview was obtained through conversation through a Skype SMS message conversation with Kaylee Allen.

Kayelle Allen, portrait.Kayelle Allen is a published award winning Science Fiction Romance author. In 2006, she founded Marketing for Romance Writers and MFRW – Marketing for Romance Writers (on Blogspot), a peer-mentoring group open to the entire literary community. The site is now the largest online author group of its kind, and provides no-cost training in book marketing skills as well as promotional services.

In 2009, Kayelle opened her Romance Lives Forever blog (adult content warning) for authors, publishers, and blog tour companies. The blog has an online reach of over one million. Continue reading

WordPress SEO Plugin by Yoast: Harness the Power of the Search Engines

WordPress is already a fantastic platform for search engine optimization, however WordPress SEO by Yoast, a SEO enhancement Plugin, takes the power of the Internet and places it right in your hands. Properly configured websites that take advantage of SEO can reap the potential benefit of some serious traffic for your site.

It not only usefully supplies the titles and descriptions of a site’s pages and posts, but it helps with the site’s design process by designing it from the inside, out.

Create Content that People will See

The snippet preview lets you see what your page will look like in the search results so that adjustments can be made (such as shortening or elongating code or tags) accordingly to make all the meta data and other attributes fit your SEO plan, and assure that the search engines properly process your site.

Being able to see these issues will help you increase its rankings as well as gage the search engine results to your content, further clarifying if your content is delivering quality content to whatever target niche you chose. Continue reading

HHVM: Speed in WordPress Development

HHVM or Hip Hop Virtual Machine has been ported over to the WordPress development crowd down to the core. HHVM was originally developed by Facebook as a way to curb expenses of more hardware for improved speed and reliability of server side php execution though a process know as JIT or Just In Time.

Through Varying Vagrant Vagrants or VVV, HMVM is ported into an Apache web development environment which allows for near production environment on WordPress functionality down to the core. VVV is a replacement sandbox for MAMP/XAMPP development tools and environments. Continue reading

Domain Name Services: Postman of the Internet

Domain Name Services (DNS) is a service which exist to help us humanize the addresses of networked resources. Humans remember words as a whole easier than numbers representing octal based Internet Protocol addresses of those same networked resources be them across the Wide World Web or just an arms length away on our local network.

That was a mouth full. Essentially through DNS you can type in a URL into your favorite web browser and through the process of name resolution your system contacts a server acting in your behalf to find the correct IP address that matches the human oriented address you type in.

Sounds simple but a lot of chatter between various servers near and far may happen just to pull up that favorite site that you wish to view. First your own system will see if it has the particular IP/URL pairing locally in it’s own tables. On your computer this information will be kept in a host.txt file and depending on the operating system the location varies. Continue reading

Protocol Data Unit: A Suitcase for Electrons

The data, conversations, or pictures of your cute pet you send or view across this web of connections all have to be packed up for travel to the various addresses linked through the strands of the web. Where IP addresses are the street addresses and cables of copper, strands of glass, or the air waves themselves are the roadways you still have to get those ideas of yours you so diligently produced on that machine we call a computer into a format ready for travel.

To help understand the process of packing up those electrons Network Admins and Gurus have developed two models illustrating what happens to the data we see on the screen to the point of the 1′s and 0′s being transmitted back and forth across the web or for that matter any network. The two models are called the OSI (Open System Interconnection) model and the TCP/IP model which we touched on in the article Internet Protocol: Street Address of the Internet. Continue reading

WordPress.com’s Transparancy Report

Among the more lovable pieces of web entertainment, one can not deny that watching the NSA and multimillion companies partake in political intrigue is one of those events in which you take up a seat and grab the popcorn.

While most sites are trying to combat the “threat” of government monitoring and takedowns, WordPress decided it clearly had nothing to hide in this game of political intrigue and released their WordPress Transparency Report on Automattic, the commercial company behind WordPress.com. Continue reading

Ozh Tweet Archiver WordPress Plugin

Ozh’ Tweet Archiver is a plugin that was designed to be a powerful plugin tool that will give Twitter users the ability to archive all their tweets to their current or even a new Twitter Themed WordPress site.  The Ozh Tweet Archiver is a very resourceful plugin for active Twitter users who have sent out over 3200 tweets, and are having difficulties tracking down some of those older tweets they sent out days, months, or years ago.

Good luck finding them because Twitter does not keep track of them.

How Ozh’ Tweet Archiver Plugin Works

Ozh’ Tweet Archiver plugin should be installed on a fresh WordPress.com site or a sub-domain of a current WordPress site. This free plugin will archive all of your tweets to your WordPress site, automatically. The Ozh’ Tweet Archive plugin will make life so much easier since searching on WordPress is way more effortless then Twitter.

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Hand holding iPhone with WordPress App

WordPress Mobile iOS Update Available

The WordPress iOS App is designed to let Apple mobile users write, add photos, check spelling, and create links within their WordPress site.

Version 4.0.3

WordPress has just released (May 18th, 2014) an update for iOS mobile devices. If you are an apple user and want to take your WordPress experience to the next level, WordPress for iOS will do just that. With multiple changes made with the new version 4.0.3, WordPress for iOS continues to amuse the Apple community.

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Interview Arlen Nagata: Designer on WordPress

Arlen Nagata, of Hawaii’s Small Business Tech and WordPress Resource recently participated in an interview highlighting his passion and expertise on WordPress design and development.

Mr. Nagata’s love for web design and WordPress is reflected in a quote below:

I love websites that look great and function well. I have been designing websites these past few years, and I’ve seen things move from traditional static websites, to dynamic websites. I’ve seen the shift from traditional web design to WordPress.

- Arlen Nagata

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Plugins: The Fancy Gallery Light

When you want to add a gallery to your page or post, the Fancy Gallery Light Plugin will help you to create a gallery where the images stand out.

Fancy Gallery Light

This Plugin will add all the pictures you want together, and create the correct HTML short code for the gallery to be added in the Text editor. All you will have to do is choose your images, size them, add alt text, and add the short code to the text editor, the plugin does the rest.
Continue reading

Archive Your Tweets With WordPress

For those of us who love using Twitter, yet hate the fact that it is so hard to find tweets or used hashtags, from not too long ago but that by now are long gone into the Twitter universe.

Fortunately for those brands, businesses, or people that are dependent on Twitter, and face the battle of trying to backup your tweets, there is a free WordPress plugin created for this.

Continue reading

WordPress on the Road: Be a Road Warrior

According to the Oxford Dictionary, a person who travels, often as part of their job and does work at the same time, is considered a road warrior.

roadwarriorWordPress users are able to successfully work and travel at the same time while experiencing cloud computing made easy.

This article will address the issues of taking WordPress on the road and covers: supported mobile devices, post by email, writing offline, and shortcodes.  Continue reading

Creating a Static Front Page

Creating a Static Front Page isn’t just fun and innovative it also makes your blog look more like a professional website and less like a “blog”. Static front pages give all your readers and visitors the same welcome. Be it an announcement, how to get around or what your site offers, one thing is for sure, it is informative and it is direct. You can have your site be purely static or you can make it a hybrid blog and also include a “blog” page. Both have their own pros and cons. Continue reading

Reverbnation Master Plugin

Our guest speaker for our WordPress class,  Mr Dan Portis-Cathers is not just a Musician, he also designs WordPress webpages for music industry clients. He pointed out that a blogger with a music page needs a plugin that plays music.

Many of the Artists that I feature on my student site are found on the website known as Reverbnation . This website began as a way for local musicians to harness the power of social networking to get the word out that their band is the next big thing or to communicate/ collaborate on music related projects

Reverbnation now boasts that it is home to over 3.5 million bands, venues and music professionals. It is a great site to meet new bands, maybe get some cds to review, and network with others in the industry.

Naturally, the Reverbnation Master Plugin became a plugin of choice for my DISTROTECH student site as my blog deals primarily with Progressive Rock music, and Linux.

Reverbnation Master
Reverbnation Master

After downloading, the Reverbnation Master Player Plugin was very easy to install.

  • Use the WordPress Installer/Updater
  • Activate from the “Plugins”administration panel,
  • Click over to the Widget Page>Reverbnation Master Widgets.
  • Configure the settings.

That’s it! Once installed the Plugin allows plenty of customization. Show maps of listeners, feature album art, lyrics, announcements. In short all of the Widgets that are on the Reverbnation site are included in this Plugin. HTML5 Player, HTML5 Fan Collector, Tune Widget, Merchandise, Mail, and so much more.

Have a look at this demo at wordpress.techgasp.com . If you have a music site and want to promote it, this Plugin is one that you can’t live without.

 

Never Set Links to Open in a New Tab

In our contemporary tab centric browsing experience —where tabs have become all but common place for navigating the web, it might appear helpful to provide your user a new tab for opening external content, thus saving them the task of pressing the back button to return to your site, but this is not always the case.

 POUR Guidelines and Accessibility

The POUR guidelines were defined under the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 specification which was drafted by the W3C in 2008. POUR stands for Percieveable, Operable, Understandable, and Robust.  Opening links in new tabs infringes on the second principal of Understandability, which states that websites should operate in easy to understand and predictable ways.

Imagine for a moment that you are a blind user using a screen reader to navigate content when you arrive at a link midway down the page, as soon as you click on the link a new tab appears beside your current window without you knowing and you are left wondering where your content is. As you can imagine this can be a very disorienting experience for blind clients using your site. This particular point is specifically addressed by the W3C Content accessibility guidelines.

UX Considerations

Opening links in news tabs also takes away control from the users by eliminating their ability to choose how links open. In the Smashing Magazine article “Should links open in new windows?” Vitaly Friedman states that:

Users need to be able to rely on consistency of the user interface and know that they won’t be distracted or disrupted during the interaction. Users must know, understand and anticipate what is going on and what will happen once user interface elements are used. Any deviations from this convention result in a more design-oriented and less user-oriented design.

By dictating to users how their browsers ought to behave you rob them of the freedom to decide how they want to navigate the web.

Setting  Link Behavior in WordPress

Now that we’ve discussed why you shouldn’t open links in new tabs, lets discuss how to set link behavior so that we can avoid this problem altogether. In WordPress you set link behavior on a post by post basis and must set the behavior for each link included in your post. To set link behavior we must first create a new link:

1. First highlight the text you would like to link to.

Step one.

2. Then press the link icon on the visual editor.

Step two.

3. In order to set link behavior look for the check-box under the title text field. By default this should be unchecked. Unchecked means that the link will open in the current tab, this is the behavior that we want.

Screenshot of what you should do.

 

4. Make sure that the check-box remains unchecked.

Screen Shot of what not to do.

5. Click update at the bottom of the window when you are done.

Screen Shot 2014-06-06 at 4.59.21 PM

Please note that this tutorial is specific for WordPress, other web publishing platforms will require different steps.

For further discussion on the practice of opening new links in tabs please visit:

Students Serving Up WordPress Tips and Techniques for Clark College Students and the World

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