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It takes a good bit of planning and effort to get a client, or prospect, to land on your website. Congrats! Now, don’t go and blow it by sending them on their merry way.

It’s very common to include links to other websites or resources within the body of your latest and greatest. And that’s fine! However – please be aware of one small detail that can make a big difference: whether your link is in the same, or a new, window.

If your link is within the same window, you’ve just lost ’em. Your visitor, and their online experience, is now managed by someone else. However, you can easily maintain your connection by opening any links in a new window. That way, when they “X out” they’ll be back at your page.

What’s your action step? What do you want a visitor to do at this point? Knowing how to handle question this can make a big difference in the effectiveness of your website.

The example below is a link that takes you to my personal webpage. It’s an example of how to insert a hyperlink using the current WordPress editor. When you click on it, notice your browser opens a new window. And, when you “x out” of that window, you’re back here! Your editor may vary; just look for the option to “open in new window” when creating the link:

Click here for Randy’s personal website.

If you’re comfortable with html coding, and have access to the “raw” or “text” version of your page, here’s how to include a link using html, that opens in a new window, using the qualifier: target =”_blank”:

<p style=”text-align: center;”>Click here for <span style=”color: #0000ff;”><em><span style=”color: #0000ff;”><a style=”color: #0000ff;” href=”http://www.randykenyon.com” target=”_blank”>Randy’s personal website</a></span>.</em></span></p>

How to center your 2014 theme WordPress website
customizing the 2014 theme

by default, 2014 is left-aligned

Do you love the look and feel of the built-in 2014 theme that comes with WordPress?  Yeah, me too; except on any decent-sized screen the left alignment makes the right side look terrible.  That’s the problem…the solution?  Simple, just edit the stylesheet (style.css) that governs the website in question, and add the following code:

But first…if you haven’t already, you should create and activate a child theme.  Otherwise, any customization to the 2014 theme like the ones discussed here, will vanish with the next upgrade or re-install.  For more on child themes in WordPress (they’re really not that difficult), visit this recent post.

Since the theme’s container uses the class site, you can center it by setting the container’s margin to 0 auto. Add the following code to the style.css you just created in your child theme:

.site {
margin: 0 auto;
}

Then apply, visit the site, and refresh your browser.

When Dawn Poe joined Atoka Properties/Middleburg Real Estate, she needed to re-vamp her website and migrate it to the new brokerage.  Piedmont Technology was chosen to handle the migration.  With a live feed from MRIS, a map-based search page, and local sales statistics, the new RiverCreekProperties.com is now online!

River Creek Properties

Click here to visit River Creek Properties

 

In collaboration with Cheryl Phillips of CherylPhillipsDesign.com, just wrapped up a new website for Easton Airport Day.  Working with local businesses and non-profits, this event raises money for worthwhile charities in Maryland.  This year, the Talbot Mentors organization will benefit from funds raised during the event.

EAD cover photo

It’s a real pleasure working with Cheryl; her design experience shows through on every website she creates.  Looking forward to future joint projects!

This is an excellent article from NPR’s website netneutralityabout the issues surrounding “Net Neutrality” that you owe it to yourself  to read.  Unless, of course, you don’t care about continued growth and innovation made possible by the openness of the internet, without heavy handed government regulation.

There are a variety website measurement tools available, with Google’s analytics being the most popular.  If you’re concerned with how much traffic your website receives, and why, consider implementing Google’s Analytics.  Below is just a small sampling of the data you can get for your own site using this free tool.

analytics-devices analytics-channels analytics-source

Whenever I have a tough time deciding which photo to use for a project (especially one that has a lot of pictures to pick from), I usually consider the idea of using several of them in a collage format.  A good example is the banner we made for the Bluemont Fair (www.bluemontfair.org).

This morning, I wanted to do the same for my personal Facebook cover.  The tool of choice?  Google’s Picassa.  (Don’t worry – it will peacefully coexist with your current photo editing software.) Download and install the desktop version (yes, it’s free) and you’ll be creating masterpieces in no time!  This one took less than 5 minutes.

Make a collage for your Facebook cover picture.

Make a collage for your Facebook cover picture.

Once you get used to the navigation, just create a folder and put a copy of the pictures you want to use in it.  Set your dimensions (851 x 315 pixels for a Facebook cover photo), click on “create collage” and Picassa does the rest.  You can manually drag and drop the individual components, or just “shuffling” until you like the result.  It’s easy to create and modify borders, or not, and see the results of various settings as you change them.  When you have one you want, save it as a  .jpeg and you’re done.

The time it takes for your landing page to load when someone visits your website can make all the difference in the world.  If your home page is loaded up with unnecessary extras, or otherwise mis-configured, you could be loosing business.   (And hurting your search engine rankings as well.)

Piedmont’s own home page had some extra bells & whistles which, it turns out, did more harm than good.  Following some clean-up activity, it’s now back to good levels:

piedmont_page_load_speed

Need a tune-up for your site?  It’s surprisingly inexpensive and could significantly boost your results.  Check out the rate sheet on our pricing page  for details about the “Flatlander” package.

WordPress 3.9 just became available.  So far, it looks wp39pretty nice — with some cool photo editing features built in.  And, at least with the few themes I’ve tested it on, there haven’t been any “broken plugins” however each WordPress website can react differently, depending on your theme and plugins.

Which brings to mind: child themes.  They protect your customizations from being lost when upgrading to new versions of WordPress.  If you manage a WordPress site and don’t have a “child theme” in place, you should make that a priority and implement one BEFORE upgrading.  (Which brings to mind another thought: you ARE doing backups aren’t you?)  Email Randy if you need help with these types of issues.

Visit our CONTACT page and scroll down just a little bit, and you’ll ppalbuttonsee the PayPal button.  You can use this to pay an invoice or submit a progress payment. We accept PayPal transfers, as well as VIsa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express cards.   Click here to go there.

A compendium of thoughts, reflections, and suggestions regarding life online.

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