The big news story from April was the discovery of the OpenSSL Heartbleed bug. If you’re a Nexcess client, we got you covered on our end, but if you haven’t updated your passwords around the internet yet, it is time to get that done. Moving on to happier thoughts, May brings the Imagine Conference in Las Vegas. We hope to see many of you there and don’t forget to stop by to see our CEO Chris Wells speak. Getting to our roundup, we’ve gathered together the best ExpressionEngine, WordPress, and Magento posts from the last month. If you’d like more great content on a day-to-day basis, follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+. Enjoy and let us know what you think in the comment section! Read more
Podcasting is undergoing something of a renaissance. It’s always been popular among a certain demographic, but in the last couple of years, podcasting has gained mainstream acceptance. The number of high-quality podcasts has grown. Traditional media outlets have jumped on the podcasting bandwagon. Skype and Google Hangouts have made creating video and audio podcasts with multiple guests relatively straightforward.
Advertisers now recognize the value of podcast audiences. They are usually smaller than those of traditional media outlets, but they are highly targeted. If you listen to Mac Power Users, advertisers can be confident of the products and services that will appeal to you. MPU doesn’t generate a big enough audience to justify a show on a national radio network, but it can generate a loyal international niche audience that advertisers will pay good money for access to.
Podcasting is also an effective content marketing channel. Unlike text, podcasts are a passive medium that don’t soak up all of a listener’s attention. If a business is capable of creating a podcast that offers valuable information presented by charismatic personalities, it’s likely to be greeted more enthusiastically than yet another white paper or ebook. Read more
You may have noticed that the 25th anniversary of the web just came and went in March. Looking back at some of the old news reports and videos, it is amazing how far eCommerce, web design, and blogging have advanced since those early days. And as far as we’ve come, the next twenty-years will take us even further. That’s why it’s important to stay up on the latest news and make sure you don’t fall behind in a quickly changing world. To help you out, we gather together the best ExpressionEngine, WordPress, and Magento posts each month. These are the best from March, and if you’d like more great content on a day-to-day basis, follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+. Enjoy and let us know what you think in the comment section! Read more
As the weeks and months pass, it seems like the amount of information out there just keeps increasing and increasing. In just twenty-eight days, February generated an incredible amount of new content, some worthy of sharing and some not so much. With that in mind, we try to work through the clutter and find only the most relevant articles to share with you. These are the best ExpressionEngine, WordPress, and Magento posts from our shortest month. If you’d like more great content on a day-to-day basis, follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+. Enjoy and let us know what you think in the comment section! Read more
I’m beginning to think that WordPress developers have a case of Medium envy. Every other new theme seems to take significant design cues from the blogging platform.
In many ways, that a good thing. As I’ve argued before, using a platform like Medium for publishing takes control away from the writer and puts it in the hands of the platform owner. But Medium is beautiful and offers a compelling experience for readers and writers alike. Creating a Medium-like experience on self-hosted WordPress gives writers the best of both worlds: ownership of the platform and content along with a publishing environment that includes the best of modern design. Read more
Sentinote is a WordPress plugin that allows Evernote users to write and publish their posts and pages from within Evernote.
If your writing workflows are anything like mine, you make extensive use of Evernote. It’s by far the best tool I’ve found for collecting and organizing my notes, images, links, web pages, and other research materials. If I want to remember something for later, it goes straight into Evernote — which makes it available from my phone, my iPad, my laptop, and via the Evernote web interface if I’m not using my own devices. One of Evernote’s killer features is its powerful search, which even works with the text in images if you have a premium account. It also offers a reasonably good interface for writing.
Evernote’s place in my writing workflows is second in importance only to WordPress, which is where almost all of my work is published. As much as I love WordPress, I’m not a big fan of writing directly into TinyMCE — it’s a serviceable text editor, but it’s far from the optimal choice for someone who spends all day writing. There’s nothing more frustrating than to have a random glitch or page refresh cause the loss of a paragraph of work. Read more
Once upon a time, the email newsletter was an essential part of any blog. Now we have many different ways of being notified of new content, particularly social networks like Twitter. But, some still prefer to have content delivered to their inbox rather than trawling through social media and RSS feeds — a surprising number have no idea what an RSS feed is for and fewer still actually use them.
Email subscribers tend to be a blog’s most loyal audience members, with a significantly higher rate of interaction and sharing than those who just happen to catch sight of an article on Twitter. Additionally, email subscriptions open up a direct line of communication between an audience member and a site which is always useful — although you should never breach a user’s trust by using their email to spam them.
All-in-all, an email newsletter that notifies your audience of new content is a good thing and the effort involved in creating one is fairly minimal. I’m going to show you how to create a barebones newsletter using WordPress’ RSS feeds and MailChimp, an email marketing service that’s free if your site is generating fewer than 12,000 emails per month with less than 2,000 subscribers. Read more
2014 is going to be a big year. eCommerce keeps getting more important, WordPress continues to expand its user base, and web design has become an integral part of every business’s online presence. With that in mind, we’ve been busy gathering up the best ExpressionEngine, WordPress, and Magento articles from January for your convenience. If you’d like more great content throughout the month, follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+. Enjoy and let us know what you think in the comment section! Read more
What is your website for?
There are various ways to construe that question and various possible answers. Many businesses and bloggers see their site as a central digital presence from which they can establish their brand, attract referrals from search and social, promote their services, publish content, and provide support to customers.
A website can do all of these and more, but regarding any as the central purpose of a site misses a crucial point. The primary purpose of a website should be to convert visitors from passive consumers of content into leads and from there to clients, customers, or subscribers. If site owners adopt this point of view, it follows that everything else that a site does should be focused on the goal of making conversions. What constitutes a conversion will differ depending on the type of site, but by making conversions the pivot around which other aspects of the site rotate, we can shape the information architecture, content mix, product promotion, and user interaction in such a way as to maximize conversions. Read more
The Ghost blogging platform was one of 2013’s major success stories. John O’Nolan set out to create a platform designed purely for blogging. Early in the year he published a mockup of what he thought the software would look like, and when, that generated substantial interest, he created a KickStarter campaign that proved to be enormously successful.
There was clearly a powerful appetite among bloggers for an application that dispensed with much of the unnecessary clutter that accompanies a full-blown content management system so that they could concentrate on writing and publishing. Read more