Love WordPress For Images — It’s Easier For You!

love wordpress for imagesUsing images online is easier than ever… you should love WordPress for images.

Q. What size image do I need for my WordPress blog?

A. The Internet displays photos and images at a lower resolution than you would need for printing.  Back in the days before WordPress an image would have to be resized  from 300 dpi to 72 dpi before it could be displayed on a website. This meant that Photoshop or another program was needed to alter an image. Today with WordPress you won’t need to resize your photos. Simply upload images from your computer desktop, a thumb-drive, and even your your smart phone!

Downside of Mobile Friendly WordPress Plugin

I’ve been asked again about adding a Mobile Friendly WordPress Plugin is a good solution for the new Google requirements. It’s likely that if you have a customized WordPress theme, a responsive plugin will not produce satisfactory results. This post will show some examples.

Using a Mobile Friendly WordPress Plugin

I took some screen shots of a live website on an iphone (I’ve wiped out the identifying features). Although Google doesn’t recognize this as a “mobile friendly” site, it’s still attractive on a smart phone, and attractive is what most website owners want.

before Mobile Friendly WordPress Plugin

Adding a Mobile Friendly WordPress Plugin will make a site compliant with Google’s guidelines for responsive website design. HOWEVER, it’s likely you won’t be happy with the results. The plugin itself needs styling, other plugins in use may not be responsive and will have to be deleted and new ones installed that aren’t in conflict with the mobile friendly plugin, and then reconfigured.

using a Mobile Friendly WordPress Plugin

You’ll notice too that some of the things you’d expect to see on your site have disappeared. Little things? Well, how about your logo?

More Plugin Problems

Another site shows how dramatically your custom formatting and some pretty important stuff can disappear. Let’s start with a “before” plugin screen shot. I’ve added a big orange arrow to show placement of a Google ad under the site logo and menu.

mobile-friendly

And now for the “after” plugin screen shot. Ugh! No more logo. The mobile friendly plugin adds some of it’s own design elements that need to be reconfigured… mint green bar, gray background that makes images with white backgrounds look like a cheap paste job. Remember the big orange arrow? Yup, the Google ad drops off the site! If your site earns revenue from ads this can be a disaster.

photo 2

I know the idea of a web redesign can be a big fat pain. However, I’m recommending to clients with highly customized WordPress websites that they consider moving to a truly responsive them rather than adding a plugin. With WordPress, your content is already created and stored in the database so you aren’t having to re-write and start from scratch. Contact me at Design to Spec for customized mobile friendly, responsive website design themes that can look a lot like your current WordPress site.

Responsive Web Design Caters to Aging Baby Boomers

responsive websites for seniorsWebsite owners can no longer sit back on the laurels of their older websites. The Baby Boomer generation is unlike the WWII generation—this generation has converted to technology and are using smart phones, tablets, and other handheld devices into their 50’s and beyond. This means that if you website can’t accommodate the 50 plus generation, you may be missing the boat.

The stats say that a Baby Boomer turns 50 every 7 seconds! That’s huge because simple math says that’s 4,000,000 50th birthdays in 2015. That means there’s no end to the laxative and cholesterol drug commercials on TV. It also means that if you’re website isn’t friendly to the aging population… you may be missing a large segment of clients or customers.

What makes responsive websites so usable by the aging Baby Boomers?

btn-1Responsive Web Design Caters to Dexterity

No matter what age having a larger menu means the user can “surf” a site easier that trying to click on smaller links on a small screen, like on a phone or tablet. For some reason as users age the word “fumbling” comes into play and larger, defined links mean less fumbling on a smart phone screen.

btn-2Responsive Web Design Gives Senior Web Users Visual Clues.

You may have noticed that older folks are more prone to wearing glasses. Small text and small links are lost on users who need to struggle to see them. I’ve actually seen users take out a magnifying glass to ready a menu! Having a large easy to see menu will lead to more clicks.

btn-3A Word About Patience

You may think that age brings patience. Well, maybe for somethings, however do you think Baby Boomers who can’t find what they want right away on your website will have the patience to stick around? NOPE! If your web visitors can’t find your phone number at the top of screen or the link to what they want—they’re gone!

The day has come to convert to a responsive, mobile ready website. It’ll grab the 4 million who turn 50 this year, users who’ve already turned 50 and younger users who are accustomed to mobile ready sites.

Short Blog Post Titles Help SEO and Help the Reader

I’m often astonished by WordPress blog post titles that have grown to mammoth lengths. I was motivated write about blog titles when a client sent me a new post with a title that had a whopping 210 characters. I think at some time bloggers have developed the idea that long titles stuffed with key words are good for SEO. I’ll share some insights into why you should shorten blog post titles using some examples from a made-up square-dancing blog (all fantasy… I haven’t even square danced since a rainy day gym class in high school).

long blog titles

1. Google isn’t going to show your whole title. 

Say you write a title:
Sharon Nelson Shares 30 Square Dancing Steps from Her 2014 Trip to Kanawha County, WV Festival with a stop at the Clogging Exhibition at the State Fair

Web searchers will only see a truncated part of the tile when they come upon the post in a Google search:
Sharon Nelson Shares 30 Square Dancing Steps from Her 2014 Trip to 

For someone who finds the post through a Google search, the chopped title may not give enough information to pique their interest. My recommended title would be something like…

30 Square Dancing Steps from Kanawha County, WV Festival

2. Snooze Factor. The new adage is “People don’t read.” It’s true!

People scan web pages and look for a fast answer or a clue that they want to read more. A huge problem with long post titles is that people lose interest after the first 3 or 4 words. So practice putting the words you want to excite people at the front of a title

3. Long titles can make your design look like a nightmare.

Look carefully at how your titles look before you venture into the the world of run-on titles. The design of your blog usually dictates how the title will appear on every post. If your design calls for the title in all caps you may be inviting a block  of text that will be very hard on the eyes and hard for most readers to read and interpret.

SHARON NELSON SHARES 30 SQUARE DANCING STEPS FROM HER 2014 TRIP TO KANAWHA COUNTY, WV FESTIVAL WITH A STOP AT THE CLOGGING EXPEDITION AT THE STATE FARE

4. There are no blocks on WordPress.

It’s up to the writer or webmaster to practice restraint. WordPress doesn’t block the user from creating extremely long titles, in fact, you can go as long as you want.

In a nutshell, grab the reader at the front of the title and keep it short.