Hello Happy Site Owners! Welcome to the BlogAid Tips Tuesday Podcast for Oct. 16. In this week’s roundup I have a lot of news on what’s up with WordPress themes, a way to get more email conversions, totally top tips for making video marketing work for you, and of course, news on WordPress and plugins. Listen to the podcast now.
Eugen Oprea has a nice post on his site with 5 Shortcuts for Increasing Email Conversion Rate in Record Time. I do most all of them on my sites and they really do work. I’m in the process of switching my RSS to email service from Feedburner to MailChimp and I wished I had done it sooner. I already have a pretty healthy mailing list for the newsletter and I believe bringing my different feeds into the mix and making them available via email will really add to my visibility and help keep my readers informed with the type of information they are most interested in.
The WordPress 3.5 beta version is out and I’ve been testing it. Be sure to see the video posted yesterday on my first look at it and I’ll also have a video coming tomorrow on my first look at the new Twenty Twelve theme.
Speaking of themes, Collis Ta’eed is a co-founder of Envato and one of their sites is Theme Forest. He did a nice editorial post on WPCandy titled The State of WordPress Themes and ThemeForest. With over 2000 themes currently in their library, he has a unique perspective on trends. So if you want to get an idea of what’s now and what’s next, this would be a good post to read. He also covers Theme Forest’s review process and the criteria they use to decide if a theme gets placed in their library.
In other big theme news, David Huber has a nice post on WPMods about WooThemes Website revamp and moving to WooCommerce. This actually makes a lot of sense because WooThemes has practically become the go-to source for setting up an e-commerce site. Almost everything about their site has been reworked. And, they’ve changed their pricing structure, which will affect both new and existing customers. So, if you haven’t been there in a while, or are thinking of setting up an online store, go check it out.
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.
Yoast continues to update his WordPress SEO plugin every few days as he works through the support ticket list since the last major release. This is still one of my favorite plugins, but this is the kind of thing that makes folks lose faith and switch to something else. Kind of hoping that he’ll find a way to combine more fixes and do less incremental releases. Right now there are about 640 active threads on the support forum and only about 50 or so have been addressed. Normally he’s right on top of it. I know he just released his new premium plugin for Video SEO and maybe his primary focus has been on that. But, there’s something to that old adage of “dancing with the one that brung ya.”
The WP Super Cache plugin has also recently been updated. I’ve seen mixed reports on this and the WP Total Cache plugin, which are two most popular ones. Among the reports is that one works fine and the other doesn’t, and some of that may be due to the plugin, settings or how your host service also caches. But, the biggest complaint I hear from users is that they can’t see changes in real time as they are editing their posts. One of the plugins has an option for you to turn if off while editing and I find that most people never turn it back on. That means they are foregoing site load time, which is a Google ranking factor, for their admin convenience. Honestly, site load times being a second or two faster is not a primary concern for most of my clients, even if it should be. Is it a big concern for you? Do you use a caching plugin? Have you had issues with it and given up?
Plugins to Check Out
There is a new WordPress Gallery plugin from Code Canyon. I first heard about from Kim Doyal, aka The WordPress Chick. She says it’s super easy to use and has lots of features. So be sure to check out her video tutorial on it. I will caution you about one thing. Among its many features, it says that you don’t have to crop and resize images to all be the same size. In Kim’s video it looks super. But, when I visited the example on Code Canyon, the thumbnail gallery had all sorts of image sizes scattered all over. now, I was viewing on my iPad and that example said that it was showing me just how truly responsive the gallery was. I didn’t think it looked very professional. So, I would suggest that you watch Kim’s video and see how she has hers set, because it looked much better than the Code Canyon demo.
In case you missed it, yesterday I posted a video with my first look at the Beta 2 version of WordPress 3.5 and in it, I showed a new feature where you make a list of your favorite plugins. Well, now you can show them off on your site easily too with the new Favorite Plugins Widget. It has some super nice features, like allowing you to choose how many plugins to display and then randomly shuffling the order if you have a long list. Plus, it uses the same API as the one for showing your fave plugins in your Dashboard, so it doesn’t affect your page load time, which is very important.
I use WishList Member for controlling access to my WordPress Video Tutorial subscription site. But the TinyPass plugin came up on the recently updated list and it caught my eye as an alternative to monetizing content without the complication of a full membership plugin like WishList. Basically it offers pay-per-view on your posts. Now, this could be text content or videos. That takes care of hiding it from the public. But, if this is something that interests you, you’ll want to dig a little deeper into how your posts will be hidden from search engines.
There’s a post on SEOBook that you should consider reading titled Next Generation SEO because it is about more than SEO. It’s about focusing your message and finding hidden opportunities in your business.
The Creators website, which is the official YouTube blog has several nice articles including what YouTube Analytics includes such as time watched and such.
Plus, there’s a nice video tutorial on using the YouTube editor.
And, they’ve got a video on one of the most promising new features, which is inVideo Programming. This is something I intend to incorporate as I update the BlogAid WordPress Video Tutorial Library http://www.training.blogaid.net with the new WordPress 3.5 features.
There’s a nice guest post by Monica McCarthy on the Designing an MBA site with 4 Ways Writing For Your Videos Is Different Than Writing For Your Blog. I follow many of these principles when making video tutorials for BlogAid and they really do work.
Do you Skype? There’s a good chance there’s a dangerous virus called ransomeware lurking in your contacts. Be sure to read the post by Michael Schultz on WPSecurity Lock about it and get it off your computer.
Those are the tips for this week. I hope you’ve enjoyed having Tips Tuesday delivered as a podcast. You can get all of the links in the show notes on the blog. And feel free to drop me a note in the comments with your thoughts on what’s working for you.