Google and Your Website
Google and Your Website
“Starting April 21, we will be expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact on our search results.”
What does that mean for your website? If your website is not responsive or mobile friendly, your mobile search engine rankings will take a hit. (Say goodbye to your first page rankings)
Why is this happening? Google is putting mobile users first, because mobile traffic is outweighing desktop traffic on the old “inter-web” these days…
Not sure if your site is mobile-friendly or responsive? Test it here
If your website is responsive, pat yourself on the back and go watch videos of cute puppies…
If your site is mobile-only, take a deep breath knowing your site will be safe from Google’s “mobile-pocalypse,” but you might want to continue reading to learn the many benefits of a responsive website.
If your website FAILED you’ve got two options:
– Option 1: Create a mobile-only website that links to your website
– Option 2: Replace your website with a responsive website
Mobile-only design: This is a separate website specifically for mobile devices. (You will end up having two websites, one for desktop users and one for mobile users.)
- Lower upfront cost
- Customizable for mobile users
- Site needs to be maintained frequently for future browsers
- Higher long-term costs to maintain and update multiple websites
- SEO challenges – Google sees two websites vs. “piggy backing” on the sites
- Redirecting from desktop website slows the loading, hurting SEO
Responsive Website: This is an all-inclusive website that aesthetically fits whatever device (desktop, mobile, tablet…) users are browsing on.
- Lower lifetime cost (less day to day maintenance)
- One website covers everything
- Very flexible among different devices
- Provides users with a unified experience no matter the device ~ ideal for branding
- Google recommends responsive – (Google is the BOSS..surrender for your business’ sake)
- Higher upfront cost
The Trend: Google has specified that these changes are specific to mobile search results, however indicators suggest that Google will expand these rankings to desktop searches as well. With mobile devices outweighing desktop users, we recommend that businesses and organizations switch their websites to responsive or mobile-friendly now.
The Reality: So on April 21, 2015 Google’s mobile ranking algorithm will include their new mobile-friendly usability factors, either pushing your site’s mobile SEO rankings up, (if you’re mobile-friendly/responsive) or pulling your mobile rankings down if your website is not.
Contact us at O2 Creative for more information and to find out how this will impact your website. Don’t let your search ranking slip. Let us help you revamp your website and capitalize on Google’s new mobile ranking algorithm.
The WordPress Jetpack
This week’s post is yet another in our series of WordPress tutorials. Our last tutorial post explained all the editing features on your WordPress kitchen sink. This week, we’ll be discussing another powerful feature of your WordPress website: the Jetpack.
To put it plainly, the Jetpack is a plugin that should already appear on the back end of your WordPress website. If you login to your site, you should see a link to your Jetpack on the left side of your Dashboard.
If you click the Jetpack link on the left, it will prompt the Jetpack menu of options.
The Jetpack screen displays a whole list of useful features, all of which can be activated and configured on this screen. These features offer various tools and functions to use on your WordPress website. Many of the features are free, though some of them are available for purchase.
For instance, you can activate a “WordPress.com Stats” feature that will allow you to analyze your site’s statistics (you know, your site’s page views, top posts & pages, clicks, subscribers, referrers, and other such info).
If you click “Configure” you’ll be directed to the administrative side of the Stats feature:
If you click “Learn More,” you’ll prompt a screen that briefly explains the feature, and also provides a link to view your website’s statistics.
Once you click that link to view your stats dashboard, you’ll be provided interactive graphs, stats, and other insightful info about your website.
Of course, the Stats feature is just one of the many useful features on your WordPress Jetpack. For instance, the “Subscriptions” feature allows you to easily install a button that appears on your blog’s sidebar, which easily allows any visitor to subscribe to your blog via email. Another useful Jetpack feature, the “Sharing” feature, allows you to activate buttons on your blog that will allow visitors to easily share your posts on Facebook, Twitter, or other social media platforms of your choice.
This is just a brief overview of the WordPress Jetpack. If you have any questions about the Jetpack, or any other questions about your WordPress website, feel free to contact us!
To contact O2, call us at 970-726-8021 or email [email protected].
Navigating the WordPress Kitchen Sink
In last week’s blog, we discussed how to add and manage media on your WordPress website. This week, we’ll explain every feature and function of the word processor for your WordPress Pages and Posts.
Above is an image of the WordPress word processing interface. This is the screen you use to add and edit pages and posts on your website. In this blog we’ll be focusing on the formatting functions available to you on WordPress.
Some of these functions may already be familiar to you (e.g. Bold, Italics, etc.), and some may be more unique to WordPress (e.g. how to turn text on your site into a live hyperlink to another web page). Each function is displayed within those two rows of buttons, and we’ll include an image of each individual button as we explain each function throughout this blog.
Bold and Italics:
The bold and italics buttons are on the upper left of the WordPress interface. Click the box with a B to make your text Bold, or click the box with the I to italicize your text.
The strikethrough feature can be used to indicate deleted writing, or it can be used to suggest a deliberate change of thought.
Unordered and ordered lists:
The ordered and unordered list buttons allow you to create a list in the content of your WordPress post or page. Your lists can either be unordered bullets, like
- And this
Or, your lists can be ordered by numbers, like
- And this
The Blockquote feature creates a separate indented box of text. This box can be used to feature a quotation or other text within your posts.
Depending on where you’d like your text or other content to display on the pages of your website, these buttons allow you to align your text to the
Insert/edit link, and unlink:
These buttons allow you to turn text on your website into live hyperlinks. To do this, use your mouse to highlight the text you’d like to turn into a link. Once you highlight your text, the Insert/edit link box will illuminate (if you don’t have any text highlighted, the Insert/edit link box will have a faded look to it. You can’t click on this button until you have some text highlighted).
Once you have your text highlighted, click the illuminated Insert/edit link box. This will prompt the Insert/edit link screen.
You can link to another web page by copying and pasting that page’s URL in the specified URL box. The “Title” box allows you to offer a brief title or description of your link, which will display when your mouse hovers over the link in your post or page.
The “Open link in a new window/tab” option lets you choose to open the link in a new window or tab, which will keep your webpage open for visitors. If you don’t choose the option, visitors will leave your website when they click on the link.
The Insert/edit link page also provides the option of linking to another page within your own website. To do this, simply choose from the list of links to other pages of your site, which are listed on the Insert/edit link screen under “Or link to existing content.”
To unlink text that you’ve already linked, select the text and click the Unlink button once it appears illuminated.
Insert More Tag:
This feature allows you to truncate, or shorten, a blog post so that a shorter portion of the post is displayed on the home and archive pages. When you use the Insert More Tag, a “more” link will automatically be included at the bottom of a shortened post, which will link readers to the full post.
Distraction Free Writing Mode:
This feature turns WordPress’s word formatting screen into full screen mode, and also removes all but the most necessary WordPress buttons and features from the screen. In other words, this literally eliminates the distractions so you can focus on what you’re writing.
Show/Hide Kitchen Sink:
The “Kitchen Sink” is the second row of formatting options (which we’re about to get to), in addition to the first row (which we just discussed). If you click the Show/Hide Kitchen Sink button, the second row of formatting options will appear or disappear, depending on your preference.
Paragraph formatting drop-down box:
This box allows you to select from a series of predetermined font formats, such as “paragraph” formatting, “address” formatting, various “heading” formats, etc. These format options are uniform throughout your website, so that each page’s heading, paragraph text, and so own will remain consistent on each page.
This button allows you to underline text within your pages or posts.
This alignment feature allows you to align the text relative to the full width of the page, so that your text will display all the way from one side of the page to the other. This is an alternative alignment option to the left, center, or right alignment options we discussed earlier.
Select Text Color:
This button allows you to select the color you’d like for the text on your page or post. Clicking the drop-down menu will prompt a list of color options to choose from.
Paste as Plain Text/Paste from Word:
These features allow you to easily paste text you’ve copied from somewhere else. (If you’re copying from Word, use Paste from Word. If you’re copying from elsewhere, use Paste as Plain Text). This function will remove any formatting that the copied text may have, so that you may now format the text to be consistent with the rest of your site.
This button allows you to remove italicizing, underlining, or any other sort of formatting on text. Just use your mouse to highlight the text you’d like to remove the formatting from, and click the “Remove formatting” button.
Insert custom character:
Clicking this button will prompt a menu of custom characters you can include – anything from an accented vowel to a Greek symbol to a mathematical Pi sign, as you can see below:
This button allows you to indent the beginning of a paragraph or other text on your page. Just make sure your cursor is blinking at the beginning of the text you’d like to indent, and click the Indent button. Once you’ve indented a particular text, the “Remove Indent” button will appear bright instead of faded. This gives you the option of removing indentations on text you would no longer like indented.
These buttons allow you to undo whatever formatting or other work you’ve just completed. Once you Undo something, the Redo button will appear bright, which gives you the option of redoing what you’ve just undone.
This button prompts a whole menu of help resources that can help you better understand WordPress along the way. If you’re working on the back end of WordPress and have a question, the “help” feature isn’t a bad place to start.
This is just a quick overview of all the formatting options available on the WordPress word processing interface. If you have any other questions or issues, feel free to contact us at O2!
To contact O2, give us a call at 970-726-8021 or email [email protected].
Adding and managing media on WordPress
This week’s blog is yet another installment in our series of WordPress website tutorials. Our last blog discussed how to add and edit posts on your WordPress site. This week we’ll be discussing how to upload, insert, and manage media on WordPress.
To begin, you’ll need to login to your WordPress website and access your Dashboard. (WordPress has updated some of their designs lately, so your Dashboard may have a slightly new look to it, though it should still be functionally the same.) You should notice a “Media” tab on the left hand side of your Dashboard.
If you hover your mouse over the Media tab, you’ll prompt two options: “Library” and “Add New.”
If you click “Add New” then you’ll be directed to the Upload New Media screen, which should look something like this:
The Upload New Media screen makes it simple to add media files to your WordPress website. Just drag and drop the file you’d like to add, or click the Select Files button in the middle of the screen to choose a file from your computer.
Once you add files, you can then view and manage the files in your Media Library. The Library allows you to sort media by images, audio, video, and other files, and also sort media by the date it was uploaded.
If you hover your mouse over each file, you’ll prompt several management options that allow you to edit, permanently delete, or view each file.
The “Attached to” column on the Media Library lets you know which page or post on your website each particular media file is attached to. If a file has been uploaded to your library but not yet attached to a particular post or page, it is listed as “Unattached,” and gives you the option of attaching the file to a post or page.
You can also add media files to a page or post by selecting the “Add Media” button in the upper left corner of the Add New Page or Add New Post screen (to get to those screens, click on the Pages or Posts tab on the left hand side of your Dashboard. Click here to reference our blog on Pages, or here for our blog on Posts).
Clicking the Add Media button will direct you to your Media Library, from which you can add files onto the particular page you’re working on. The Add Media button again gives you the option to Upload Files directly from your computer, in case you haven’t uploaded a particular file to your library yet.
Once you insert a media file into a particular page, you can then resize or edit it within the content of the rest of the page. To do this, click on the image once it appears in the page- or post-editing screen. This will prompt two boxes to appear in the upper left corner of the image.
The square with the red circle allows you to delete the image. The square with the little blue image in it is your Edit Image button. If you click on this, you’ll be prompted with the Edit Image screen.
The Edit Image screen allows you to align, resize, title, and/or caption your media, as needed.
This is just a quick overview of how to add, edit, and manage media files on your WordPress website. If you have any other questions about WordPress, contact O2 today!
To contact O2 Creative, call us at 970-726-8021 or email [email protected].
Adding and managing WordPress posts
This week’s post will be the third installment in our WordPress tutorial blogs. Last week we discussed how to add or edit pages on your WordPress website (you know, the “Home” page, the “About” page, the “Contact” page, etc.).
This week, we’ll be discussing the “Posts” feature on your WordPress website. While Pages are essentially the static pages of your website, posts are more time-sensitive, and are displayed in reverse chronological order. The post feature allows you to curate a blog on your website, and also allows you to make timely announcements on your website, such as news, events, promotions, or other updates you’d like to share.
To access the Posts feature, first login to the back end of your WordPress website. Once you’ve accessed your WordPress dashboard, you should notice the Posts tab on the left (if you aren’t yet familiar with the dashboard, click here for our intro to WordPress).
If you hover your mouse over the “Posts” tab, you should have a drop-down menu of options appear: All Posts, Add New, Categories, and Tags.
Clicking on the “All Posts” tab will direct you to a list of every post on your website.
Clicking “Add New” will direct you to the Add New Post interface, which looks basically the same as the interface you use to add pages (which we discussed in last week’s post – click here to read that post).
With this interface you can add and edit each post on your website, using the WordPress kitchen sink and other editing tools to format each post. You’ll notice the publishing options on the right of the screen, which allows you to save a post as a draft and to preview the post before publishing. Clicking the big blue “Publish” button will publish your post, which then makes it a viewable post entry on your website.
WordPress also allows you to organize posts using Categories and Tags. The Categories and Tags features enable visitors who read a post to search your website for other posts about similar topics. You can add and assign Categories and Tags using the appropriate menus, which you should find on the right side of the Add New Post screen, right underneath the Publish button.
Categories allow for broad grouping of topics among your posts, and tags allow for more detailed organizing of topics. Each post must be assigned to at least one specific category (even if it’s the default “uncategorized”), though the use of tags is entirely optional.
For instance, say you wanted to write a post about a favorite stir-fry recipe. You could organize the post using broad categories like “food” or “cooking,” and more specific tags like “broccoli” or “onions” or “soy sauce.” Then, if a reader clicks on the “cooking” category, he or she will be directed to every post on your website that is also grouped in the “cooking” category.
You’ll also notice the “Featured Image” option, below the Categories and Tags menu. The Featured Image allows you to select an image that will represent the post when it’s displayed within a list of all posts on your website.
Also, WordPress allows for readers to comment on your posts. You can manage each comment by clicking on the “Comments” tab on the WordPress Dashboard, which allows you to approve or unapprove a comment, mark a comment as spam, or move a comment to your trash, as appropriate.
Marking a comment as spam allows WordPress to recognize such comments as spam, which can help to prevent future spammers from posting unwanted comments on your website.
This is just a quick overview of how to add and edit the Posts feature of your WordPress website. Of course, if you ever have any other questions, or would like to discuss WordPress more in-depth, contact us today!
To contact O2 Creative, call 970-726-8021 or email [email protected].
Click here for last week’s post – WordPress Pages
Adding and editing pages on WordPress
Adding and Editing Pages on WordPress
This week’s blog is the second post in our series of WordPress tutorials. Last week, we introduced the back end of a WordPress website, the “dashboard.” This week, we’d like to explain one of the most important features on your dashboard, the “pages” tab.
Simply put, the Pages tab gives you access to add to or edit the various pages on your website – you know, your website’s Home page, the About page, the Contact page, etc.
To add to or edit a page on your website, begin by – you guessed it – clicking on the “Pages” tab on the left side of your dashboard (where the red arrow is pointing below).
If you hover over the “pages” tab, both an “all pages” and an “add new” link will appear. These links are also more or less self-explanatory. Clicking “all pages” will allow you to view a list of every page on your site. Clicking “add new” will link you directly to WordPress’s Add New Page screen.
This is the screen where you can add and edit text and images on your WordPress website.
The toolbar of buttons contains editing functions, many of which you’re hopefully already familiar with – e.g. bold, italics, page alignment, underlining, etc. If you hover your mouse over each button, an explanation for each button will appear.
The “Kitchen Sink” button (the button on the upper right side of the toolbar) allows you to show or hide a second row of editing buttons. The Kitchen Sink is already selected in the image above, so the second row of buttons is currently displayed.
You can add photos and images to each page by clicking the “Add Media” button in the upper left corner of your screen. Clicking this will give you the option of uploading a new media file or selecting one from your existing library of files, as seen in the image below.
The drop-down menu on the bottom left of the toolbar (in the image below) allows you to change the format of each line of text on your page. This allows for each page’s headers, paragraphs, and other text to be uniform throughout your website.
WordPress also allows you to include links right within the text of your pages. To do this, type the text that you’d like to display as a link and select it so it’s highlighted. Once you highlight your text, go to the “insert/edit link” button – it’s roughly in the top middle of the toolbar, and looks like a gold chain link.
Once you click on the insert/edit link button, the insert/edit link screen will display. This screen allows you to enter the destination of the website to which you’d like to link, or to select a link to another page of your website. You can also give the link a title, which will display when the mouse hovers over the link on a page. You can also select a box to choose whether to open the link in the same window/tab, or a new one.
To unlink a link, simply click the button to the right of the link button (the one that looks like a broken chain link). If you highlight your link and click on this, the link will be turned back into non-linked text.
Once you’ve added text, photos, and content, you can then publish your page. On the right hand side of your screen, you’ll see a big blue “publish” button. Click this to publish; to make your page live on your website. You’ll also notice a “Preview” button, which allows you to preview what the page will look like before you actually publish. You’ll also notice a “Save Draft” page, which allows you to save your page as a draft on the back end of your website if you aren’t yet ready to publish.
These are just a few of the page editing and formatting capabilities of your WordPress website. Take some time to get familiar with the Pages screen. After a little practice, it’ll hopefully become second nature for you. Of course, if you ever have any questions about your WordPress site, contact O2 today!
An introduction to WordPress
An Introduction to WordPress
At O2 Creative, we design many different websites using WordPress. Many of our clients and contacts often have questions regarding WordPress usage and features. That’s why we’d like to introduce a new series of posts on our blog. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be publishing a series of tutorials meant to help everyone better understand how to use their WordPress websites.
This initial post will be an introduction to the “dashboard” of your WordPress website. This dashboard is the administrative back end of your website; where you’ll go to update, add to, or edit content on your site.
First off, you’ll need to login to the back end of your WordPress website. Doing this is simple: just type your website’s domain into your browser and add “/wp-admin” to the address (e.g. www.yourwebsite.com/wp-admin). This will prompt the login page for your website.
Once you get to the login page, enter your username and password for access to your website’s “dashboard.”
This dashboard gives you an overview of all the activity and content on your website, and is designed to allow you to easily navigate and make changes to your website. The dashboard will let you know how many posts, pages, comments, and other activities are displayed on your website.
You’ll see a list of tabs down the left side of your website’s dashboard. These tabs allow you to access specific areas of your website to change or add content.
For instance, the “pages” tab lets you add and add to each individual page on your website – the home page, contact page, about page, etc. The “posts” page allows you to quickly post blogs, articles, events, or other updates and announcements on your website. The “media” tab allows you to upload and publish photos, graphics, and other images onto your website’s posts and pages.
This is just a quick introduction to the back end of a WordPress website. We’ll be going into more detail about pages, posts, and other features in future blogs. Of course, if you have any questions about WordPress, or if you’d like to learn more about how a website can benefit your business in general, contact us today!
To contact O2 Creative, give us a call at 970-726-8021 or email [email protected].