Category: Advice (page 2 of 3)

Wirenode mobile blogging

I recently came across wirenode.com a service which can take your site and make a mobile friendly version (with a .mobi extension) in minutes. Having a mobile version of your site is becoming more of a necessity, what with the rapid increase in the use of the web on mobile devices.

My experience in using wirenode was incredibly simple, from signing up to having my blog up and running on the service took less than five minutes, and I even had chance to customize the appearance of the page. So it’s very simple and user friendly.

My Wirenode Site

My wirenode mobile site can be found here (http://chrisbrandrick.wirenode.mobi/) , and while it acts as suitable mobile version of my blog I would like to develop something more fuller for the mobile environment down the line, especially for the increasingly popular iPhone platform.

Check out Wirenode here.

The Survey For People Who Make Websites

Whether you code, design or even write, if you are involved in the creation of websites in any way then ‘A List Apart‘ want to hear from you. It’s time to fill in the annual survey as put out by the site to see how the industry we work in is shaping up and how our trade is practised throughout the world.

It’s a fairly straightforward survey and only takes 10 minutes of your time to complete, and no doubt once the results are published it will make for some interesting reading. You can get to the survey by clicking the image below or just following this link, let us know in the comment form below if you filled it in, and what your thoughts are.

A List Apart Survey

WordPress 2.6 is here, oh and a quick holiday update!

WordPress today announced that version 2.6 of the popular blogging platform is now available to download, for free of course. This version comes more than a month earlier than expected and is packed with a fair few new features, including a post word count, new media functions, and the ability to view your blog with a different theme before making it live. Check out the below video for the full details:

Pretty cool additions I’m sure you will agree, and I will be upgrading to the new version as soon as I get back from my holiday.  In other news the holiday is going well, and the weather is lovely, I will be sure to update my Flickr with a lot of pictures upon my return, but in the mean time here is a shot of me enjoying the sun:

Me in Bodrum

YouTube Tip

Just a quick little tip. In my spare time I more often than not find myself on YouTube checking out some videos, and today I figured I would share this handy hint for viewing YouTube content in a higher resolution.

Just find any video on YouTube, and add the following code on to the end of the URL: &fmt=18

So for example,
http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=hQAWYj3cq38,
would become,
http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=hQAWYj3cq38&fmt=18.

Simple! Ofcourse if the video was poor quality regardless then the benefits will be slim, but it sure can boost the quality on certain clips.

How To Be A Rockstar Freelancer

FreelanceSwitch is a blog I have been reading for quite some time, not only does it have some superb well written advice for freelancer’s it also has many an article written by one of my favorite bloggers, Skellie.

FreelanceSwitch have a book published, both in e-book and paperback format which covers how to get going as a freelancer and eventually getting paid. The book, ‘How To Be A Rockstar Freelancer‘ is ideal for me, the younger less experienced blogger who is just starting running a handful of websites. Plenty of handy new tips.

I recommend checking it out, as its definitely an e-book worth your pennies. Failing that be sure to add FreelanceSwitch to your bookmarks, a superb site all round.

Rockstar Freelance

Facebook Advertising

I recently posted about my domain, gtafour.co.uk and the plans to advertise it via Facebook. Due to me having doubts as to the viability of Facebook as an advertising platform and me having read mixed results on other blogs, I approached trying Facebook as more of an experiment, testing the water to see what results can be gained on a small scale.

For those of you unfamiliar with how advertising on Facebook works, you of course need a Facebook account to begin with, from here navigate to Facebook’s advertising section and follow the on screen instructions. Including such obvious data as your destination URL, target audience and so on. You also get the chance to choose between pay per click or pay per view. I chose pay per click. Also within this section you get to set a price on how much each pay per click will set you back, and your daily limit, this enables a control on your spending and is a good way to get the most out of your budget.

GTA Facebook AdDesigning an advert is somewhat limited on Facebook, but keeping in style with the site, this may be deemed positive ornegative, that just depends on your views on advert effectiveness. As can be seen on the left is the advert which I created and ran on Facebook, I included the games boxart as the advert image, along with some relevant text. Once you have completed this advert creating process, the advert must get approved by Facebook staff, mainly to see if the adverts content is suitable for age range I targeted (18 – 30 UK Males). To my surprise the advert got approved very quickly.

I ran the advert for two days with a tiny budget of $5 per day. The advert gained 34,462 impressions and out of all those impressions a mere 21 clicks. That’s (a rough) average of 1 click every 1,600 impressions. Personally I think that’s pretty poor, but I expected the results to be far from great, as I go on Facebook to catch up on what my friends are up to….

I doubt I would use Facebook again for advertising, but I think this advertising model sure could work for other types of sites. Do any you have any experiences with Facebook advertising? If so just drop us a comment.

Internet Explorer Issues At A Glance

Back in December I posted about browser compatibility issues and how they render, and more importantly how to take a look at your site in a number of sites really easily. Now the importance of having your site display properly across all major browsers is of the utmost importance, but getting it correct for the most commonly used browser, Internet Explorer, is imperative to the success of your website.

Internet Explorer 7 Logo

Today I came across this handy website which will let you type in any URL and quickly see how your page will appear in Internet Explorer 7 through to 5.5. The IE NetRenderer can be found here, and is well worth bookmarking if you find yourself having troubles with Internet Explorer.

Finding Fonts Online

Typography

When designing choosing the right font can be crucially important, it can help obtain the right look and solidify your brand (if that’s the case); so it’s defiantly worth taking the time out to find the right font for your work. Wikipedia defines typography as: Typography is the art and techniques of type design, modifying type glyphs, and arranging type; read more about it, and it’s history at the above link.

Finding various typography sites that offer up quality (and in most cases free) fonts, and are regularly updated is no easy task, but below I have listed a handful of sites which offer quality free typography. Be sure to check them out, and if you have any further recommendations just drop me a comment using the comment form, no registration required!

  • FawntEasy to navigate website, offering a clean view of stylish fonts.
  • DaFontVery wide selection, some great, some not so great. Categories make finding something specific easier.
  • DeviantArtMore oddball and random font styles can be found here, but with so many to choose from something weird is bound to attract.
  • SmashingMagazineThis superb website has a good small section dedicated to fonts, which features some really great stuff.

I may be making some obvious omissions here as to whats good for fonts on the web, but I personally recommend the above few sites, if you have any to recommend, just comment and I will add it to the list! Don’t forget the importance of type when it comes to designing!

Photo by Janvi Agulto

Installing Gravatar support on your blog

Last month I posted about how you should have a gravatar, a gravatar is an avatar system which will display a chosen avatar whenever you post a comment on a blog with gravatar support. So if you are a blog owner and would like to add support for these avatars then just follow this simple advice.

To begin with you will need to find your ‘comments’ template, open that up and then search for the following line of code:
<li class="<?php echo $oddcomment; ?>" id="comment-<?php comment_ID() ?>">

Once found add the following code after the line:
<?php if(!empty($comment -> comment_author_email)) {
$md5 = md5($comment -> comment_author_email);
$default = urlencode('DEFAULT PATH');
echo "<img src='http://www.gravatar.com/avatar.php?gravatar_id=$md5&size=20&default=$default' alt='' />";
}
?>

Finally, change the DEFAULT PATH in the code above to the location of a default avatar that will be used if the commenter has not defined (signed up for) a gravatar. Save your file, and now you should have gravatar support without the need of any plugin.

Promote your RSS feed for free!

RSS LaptopAs a blogger or website owner no doubt you will have an RSS feed (like mine) which you want to promote. If so you may want to continue reading, as in this post below is a list of 10 websites that will help promote your RSS feed for free, and all you have to do (in most cases) is simply insert your feed address! Promoting your feed like this is a simple quick and easy way to spread the word about your blog or website. So start adding your address to the below sites, and benefit from the potential of more visitors and subscribers:

It wont take long to add your feed to the above sites, and within minutes your feed will be in several blog directories ready for others to find.

Did you like this blog post? If so subscribe to my RSS Feed to get updated when I post next!