Hello Happy Site Owners! There are some not-to-be-missed posts in this week’s tips. Apple’s new Retina display is quickly changing the online landscape and you need to start making plans for your site now. See tips in the new Design Tips section, and in the More Tips section. Also, lots of changes to Google Analytics plugins lately to take advantage of the new API and tracking features. You’ll find them in the SEO Tips section.
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WordPress version 3.5 is slated to be released near the end of the year and now the new Twenty Twelve theme will be released with it. Folks on WordPress.com already have access to the new theme. I really like it’s minimulist design. I’ll keep you posted on any new features and when it will be available to .org users.
Some of the links below are to the plugin developer’s page, but you can find most if not all of these plugins in the WordPress plugins repository.
Plugins to Check
The new LiveBlog plugin has been getting a lot of press about being a great way to to make quick posts of face-paced events. You don’t have to log in to your dashboard and can drag/drop photos directly into the post. Readers who subscribe to this live feed get immediate updates.
Showing your most popular posts in your sidebar is a great way to get even more traffic to them. There are several plugins to help you do that, but there is a setting on the new WordPress Popular Posts plugin that caught my attention. It has a time range of the last day, last week, or last month, besides the all-time setting.
The PanicPress plugin makes me go hmmm. It notifies you via email anytime someone attempts to access your site’s admin area and requires you to authorize it. If you feel your site is being hacked, you can call a special phone number and shut the intruder out. It’s a free plugin, but requires a $19/mo subscription to the service. Is this the new loophole to get a premium service listed in the free plugins repository?
And developers are finding other ways to monetize their free plugins. If you didn’t catch the post earlier this week, see the vid tut on the return of the revamped Google Analyticator plugin.
Since we are becoming a multi-device use society, site design issues have taken on a complexity level that makes it confusing and difficult for site owners to sort through. You absolutely do not want to chase after every shiny thing now just because the so-called experts say you should. You need to use the technology that best suits your site and your audience. For that reason, I’m adding a new section on Design to Tips Tuesday with links to helpful info that will empower you to make better choices for your site.
Now that developers have gotten a handle on responsive design, the new Apple Retina Display throws them a new monkey wrench. But, the best design in the world will not help site owners who insert low resolution graphics in their posts and pages. And, going hi-res has it’s issues too. This guest post on WPLift titled How to Make WordPress Themes Retina Display Ready is a must read for developers, designers, and site owners alike. Be sure to read the whole thing because there are a few warnings about themes that claim to be Retina Ready and really aren’t.
(See more on how to make better images in the More section below.)
Last week I made a video about how to switch from the Google Analyticator plugin to the Google Analytics plugin by Yoast. Guess what? The Google Analyticator plugin has been taken over by new developers and they brought the WordPress Dashboard module back. See the post from yesterday about how to switch back, if you want it.
But, if you’ll be sticking with the Google Analytics plugin, like I am, you’ll want to employ the advanced features and create a custom dashboard in Google Analytics itself that will give you more meaningful stats. Here’s a super how to post on Yoast’s site for how to set up the custom dashboard.
Do you use WooThemes? They are big for e-commerce sites. Yoast announced that they just deprecated their built-in SEO and are suggesting folks switch to the WordPress SEO plugin by Yoast.
This may seem like basic stuff to some, but I even missed doing two of the things listed. Shanna Mallon ensures you cover the fundamentals in her 6 Tips for Better Email Responses post on Straight North.
Do you use .jpg images on your site? Might want to at least step up to .png format with the highest resolution so it will look good on the new Retina Display. This post on Fuel Your Creativity has an example of how fuzzy your regular graphics appear on new Apple devices. It also has some code for making them look better, but you’ll see that it is rather labor intensive and requires uploading multiple formats of the same graphic. I don’t recommend doing that, but think we’ll be hearing more about designing for the Retina Display more and more as time goes.