Author Archives: Allan Whitney

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Flash Active X

Flash Player Update Problems

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Flash Player Update Problems:
With the battle over Adobe’s monopoly with their

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Enigma Theme Customizations

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Greetings from Allan at MindVisionMedia.net, I hope this post finds you all well!

Are you using the Enigma Theme from WebLizar? Are you trying to add additional Social media icons to the

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MVM Web Design

MVM Web Design

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MindVisionMedia.net offers professional Responsive WordPress Web Design Services for personal or small business. We are capable of incorporating all aspects of the design process including installation of the latest WordPress CMS version, front and back-end

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MVM WordPress Installation

MVM WordPress Installation

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MVM WordPress Installation:

Sometimes installing WordPress can be a little tricky, especially if you are a beginner. MindVisionMedia.net can handle all of your WordPress free and paid theme or plugin installations and configuration for you. Let MVM do the dirty work

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MVM Theme Modification

MVM Custom WP Theme Modifications

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MVM Custom WP Theme Modifications:

You found a good WP theme for your site but something just isn’t right. You need colors changed, extra white space removed, the font needs to be bigger, that bar at the bottom needs to be a different color.

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MVM Web Graphics

MVM web Graphics

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MVM web Graphics:

Your site is all done, you have everything in place but it doesn’t pop like you want it to… MindVisionMedia.net can build web graphics for you that will give your site that personal touch. Whether you need a logo, a banner

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MVM Website Editing

MVM Website Editing

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MindVisionMedia.net Website Editing: Building a website is one thing, maintaining it is quite another. Is your website stale, does it need fresh content, revisions or changes? MindVisionMedia.net can create content, edit existing content, edit the layout

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MVM SEO SMM

MVM SEO & SMM

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MindVisionMedia.net SEO & SMM Services: Is your website connected to all of your social media channels? Maximize your outreach and visibility with basic SEO and SMM services from MindVisionMedia.net. Need help setting up social media for your site, no problem.

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Balance

Balanced WordPress Web Design: Video Volume

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Balanced WordPress Web Design:

BalanceGreetings from Allan at MindVisionMedia.net, I hope this post finds you all well. I get a lot of questions about why a particular business website isn’t doing well so I thought I would write this quick post to explain some basics that I feel are very important. Today’s business website needs a combination of design principles incorporated to be effective and compete with the 644,000,000 active websites on the Internet right now.

Three very important aspects you’ll want to utilize besides clear, concise content and effective navigation are, social media marketing, search engine optimization and imagery or visual stimulation. WordPress is the choice for business websites with over 40% of businesses choosing WP for their content management system and combining these principles will help make you competitive and get you the attention you seek.
Social Media Marketing:

Compared to the cost of advertising for a brick and mortar business, a website offers almost unlimited advertising in a variety of ways that are extremely cost-effective if not free all together. Of course you can still apply some of the same print marketing techniques for your site as you do with a regular business, but social media marketing is a powerful and effective approach that doesn’t cost anything except some of your time. Connecting your website to various social media channels and publishing detailed content about your goods and services will generate as much traffic or more than regular advertising. It helps to spread the word about your business and attracts followers and word-of-mouth interest.
Search Engine Optimization:

Search engine optimization is becoming more understandable and accessible to the average site owner thanks to a variety of popular SEO plugins. This allows you to not only automate but also optimize your site for most search engines primarily Google. A knowledge of Google Analytics and Web Master Tools helps to fine tune your site even more for specific target markets and demographics.
Visual Stimulation:

In today’s visually inspired society, visual content is expected by end users. Whether it involves images of your products, graphics that help explain your services, video commercials, training or presentations, the average end-user will be more engaged if your site has visual appeal. Statistics show that our society reads less and gets most of their cues and information from visual aids. the old saying that a picture speaks a thousand words is more true now than in the past with the high use of digital mediums in everyday life. Sites that don’t have a visual advantage are often left out because the information requires more time to analyze and decipher. Using a combination of text and visual stimuli helps the modern brain to process and determine the message quicker. It also helps the user to navigate quickly to information that relates to what they seek.

Effectively combining these elements in a balanced fashion into your site and message will help you drive more traffic and clients to your business. Balance is the key, the right mix of text, imagery, marketing and optimization makes for a good site that is well equipped to compete in today’s high-tech world. If you are not managing or designing your own business site, be sure your designer or webmaster is effective in implementing all of the above aspects into your design process.

By
Allan Whitney
Owner/Administrator
MindVisionMedia.net


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Embedded Video Best Practices | Video Volume

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Embedded Video Best Practices | Video Volume

Video VolumeGreetings from Allan at MindVisionMedia.net, I hope this post finds you well. With embedded media, specifically video and advertising being used frequently on websites, it is important to understand some simple rules of courtesy that will make your user’s experience pleasant and enjoyable. How many times this past year have you visited a site or clicked on a video link only to arrive at the page or video that begins playing at live concert sound levels? Or how many advertising videos have you encountered that don’t have controls at all and have volume levels that your neighbors down the street can hear? Embedded video volume best practices seem to have been abandoned when it comes to marketing these days.

I don’t know about you but I have been shocked out of my chair several times by some of these videos and advertisements that start playing at maximum sound volume. It is very annoying and in my opinion, disrespectful. If you have other people in your home or office, this can be quite intrusive and distracting. It happens quite frequently on big sites like Yahoo, YouTube and other sites including news sites too when you click on a news story, article or video. When did the web become so inconsiderate? I’m not sure but I don’t recall it being that extreme prior to the last year or two.

I remember not too long ago there was a campaign to stop TV and Cable stations from blasting loud commercials that were 2-3 times the volume level of the program you were watching but the concept or rather consideration hasn’t been upheld and doesn’t include the web. It is so inconvenient to keep adjusting your speaker volume on every web page you visit or to have an advertisement start playing out of nowhere while you are reading an article, then to have to scroll down the page to find where the embedded video or ad is located which often doesn’t even have any volume or player controls at all.

What is up with that I have to ask? Trickery is not a best practice in web design nor is placing media on your page that the user can’t control or opt-out of listening to. Even with your computer volume set to a low-level, some of these sites, especially the big guys with all of their advertising just explode with loud intrusive volume levels that are mind-boggling and you are forced to listen to or watch before you can see, read or watch what you came there for in the first place.

As a designer who has to build, upload and test a lot, I frequently do a lot of work during off-peak hours while many are sleep and bandwidth is plentiful. There’s nothing like doing  research or visiting a website at 2 in the morning and the website you visit has video or advertising at volume level 1000 that scares everybody including your neighbors out of a deep sleep.

To me it is just common sense, common courtesy to adjust volume at a respectful level or to leave the option to the user to turn volume on or skip your ad altogether. But advertisers especially want you to hear their commercial even if you are down the street from your house at the gas station or walking your dog around the corner, unbelievable!

So this post is to remind designers to be respectful, be considerate and always embed your media with low or no volume. Or at least give your users the option to play the media or not with clear direction. Never, never, never put a video at the bottom of your page that starts automatically with high volume and your visitors must scroll down or look for the source of annoying noise or check other open browser tabs and windows to see where the sound is coming from, that is just plain rude and projects a sneaky methodology and purpose.

I know with YouTube video embeds, you have limited control over the volume as it relates to the end-user but there are options in the YouTube Video API section using JavaScript to control the volume but you must adhere to the API parameters and restrictions for use. It gets a little technical and complicated for some but below is a link to that information.

To be safe in general, I recommend just having the video set to not autoplay and allow your visitors to select the media to play it at their convenience.

YouTube Embedded Player Parameters and API

If you’re tired of advertising and video from websites, especially the big boys and News sites blasting uncontrollable advertising videos with inconsiderate volume levels and no player controls to opt-out, help spread the word on social media, write a post about it and start the conversation in your circles. Maybe the FCC and these sites will get wind of the issue and start to pay attention, thanks!

By
Allan Whitney
Owner/Administrator
MindVisionMedia.net


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Web Design Services

Bakersfield California Web Design Services

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MindVisionMedia.net offers local Static and Dynamic Web Design Services in the Bakersfield California area. Whether you need a personal or small business website, get reliable trust-worthy design services at reasonable prices to suit your needs. Specializing in Dynamic WordPress design, MVM can help establish your web presence and or improve your search engine ranking using the latest best practices and techniques. Contact MVM now for more information and to discuss your needs.

Web Design
SEO
Social Media Integration
E-Commerce
Monetization of existing sites

Contact Allan now! allan@mindvisionmedia.net


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WordPress Security

WordPress Security more important than ever!

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Greetings from Allan at MindVisionmedia.net and I hope this post finds you all well!
WordPress SecurityRecent revelations have disclosed that with WordPress reaching record numbers in popularity, the threat of hackers and those who have nothing better to do than infringe and impose on the hard work of others has increased.

Over 75 million websites now use WordPress, that’s pretty impressive for an open-source development project that started out as a tool for Blogger’s!

In a recent article by Imperva, WordPress sites are attacked almost 25% more than any other CMS. Why is that you may be asking, part of the reason is because it is a free tool accessible to not just fortune 500 companies and high-level entertainers, but also to the everyday Joe and Jane who know nothing about websites and may not be Internet savvy enough to know the dangers of starting a website or Blog.

Of course its safe for the most part, but there are hidden dangers lurking just behind all those cute little pictures, graphics and stories on your website or Blog.

Anybody can copy and paste some images or install a plugin to put up a website. But far too many users don’t research or know what the risks are once you open up your life and the life of your visitors and users to the world. Self-proclaimed webmasters often think they have it all down pat, that they don’t need to know anything other than copy and paste, that they don’t need advice or skills beyond that but many have learned the hard way and continue to do so.

According to research, alerts and articles from companies like Imperva and Wordfence, attacks are on the rise partly because of the relaxed, comfort mentality many feel once they set up a website. I am here to tell you there’s more to a WordPress website than having a pretty site with bells and whistles. Not only do you need to know about other skills like HTML, CSS and PHP as well as server-side functions and settings, but having a broad knowledge of security is a must in today’s Internet driven society. Otherwise it’s not a matter of if, but when you will be compromised.

WP experiences 60% more XSS incidents which is a type of security vulnerability which allows attacker’s to inject external client-side code on a website. 48% of all attacks are against retail-type applications, Blogs with many users and login functionality suffer almost 60% of these attacks and more than 60% suffer an SQL attack. Comment spam remains a major thorn in many a side too these days and it can be a nightmare to get rid of if it infects your database and user tables.

What can you do? For one, I used to create passwords that I could remember, but now with so many accounts for this and that, it has become almost impossible for me to remember all of them. Now with experience in matters of site security and helping others with the same, I create passwords that are impossible for me to remember let alone a hacker to figure out, called “strong passwords“.

This helps a great deal but it doesn’t stop there. Changing that strong password periodically helps as well as having good reputable security plugins and themes installed. Old themes and plugins leave cracks in your security so always update right away if the update won’t break your site or have major conflicts with the normal function of your site that is. If so, search for an alternative but know that occasionally it may be best to eliminate that conflicting plugin altogether.

Always research the update to know before hand if a conflict is expected, check the log files and change log of that plugin or theme to see exactly what they changed. In some cases as with the popular Responsive Theme in recent updates, an update can break your site and cause all types of problems. Also, install an SSL certificate if you do a lot of e-commerce or user registration, this will help protect valuable personal information from you and your customers and registered users.

Your web host should be reliable and accessible 24/7 to address issues with security and also provide updates and notices about current threats. They should provide you with information about their efforts to fight such threats openly and in a timely manner. After all, one site can infect an entire server so it is in their best interest to educate and work with their clients to ensure everyone is protected.

And don’t forget, keeping your personal computer safe is part of maintaining a website too, an often overlooked aspect of site security. if your computer is infected and you are uploading files to and from your site, guess what, you’re spreading the infection! Other than that, always keep a recent backup of your site and database in case of the worst scenario.

By
Allan Whitney
Owner/Administrator
MindVisionMedia.net


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Where's my Webmaster

Where’s my Webmaster?

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Greetings from Allan at MindVisionMedia.net, I hope this post finds you well.

Where's my WebmasterWith technology and all of the do-it-yourself software and resources, many people are designing their own websites, graphics, videos and the like these days. Others rely on professionals to do these tasks because of various reasons. A lack of time is usually the main reason because there is allot to consider, do and maintain, then comes the learning curve and not knowing what or how to accomplish and maintain what is involved with designing a functional website.

There are some things you should watch out for when choosing a webmaster however. I can’t even tell you how many people I have helped with their websites after hiring a webmaster, a site they can’t even access themselves. They have no information on the site, they have no login or password information, they can’t update their site or make changes without contacting the webmaster who often times can’t be found or contacted after they received payment. It sounds crazy but it happens quite a bit to people who aren’t in the know.

Some of the things you should look for in a webmaster are trustworthiness validated by positive references, testimonials or comments, patience and good listening skills which are required to receive and conceive your vision and bring it to fruition. A variety of skills including visual design, web design and or programming, use of the latest tools like WordPress and methods used on the Internet and in graphic element design such as Photoshop, Illustrator, Flash development tools etc.
The title “webmaster” evokes a lot of stereotypes and bad experiences in some people. There are so many crooks and scammer’s out there that it often makes it difficult for people like me to gain the trust of potential clients.

Your webmaster should be social media savvy so they can incorporate the various social channels into your site and allow you to connect them all in a way that maximizes your publishing and creation outreach to your social network. They must have good communication skills and multiple ways to be contacted (they should not be mysterious, hard to find or difficult to contact.)

They should share everything with you as the process unfolds that pertains to your hosting server, your website or blog, your content and the design/development process. They should have allowed you to sign up for and register your own domain name and hosting package offering you help to complete the process. They should be willing to give you copies of anything that pertains to your website and answer questions willingly. Finally they should be capable of implementing some form of SEO for your site to help promote your web presence to Google and other search engines.

Also, there are many places offering free domain names and free web hosting that attract a lot of people but many don’t realize what they are getting in to. As most of us have heard at one time or another, nothing in life is free and this applies to designing websites, domain names and hosting services as well. Predominantly when they say “free”, there are hidden aspects that catch many off guard. Free domain names usually have hidden fees that show up later and are often owned by someone else, you’re basically just renting the domain name.

Free hosting usually comes with the companies obtrusive ads being placed all over your site in exchange for “free” hosting. There are also limitations on storage, bandwidth and customizations. They use your site or web presence to promote products of their choice to generate profits in exchange for your free hosting account.
The problem with this is that you can’t control the ads or choose which ones show up and you get no profit from any sales either.

Even new WordPress users experience some of this when choosing between independent hosting using WordPress.org as opposed to choosing WordPress.com. WordPress.com is free and makes it very simple to get started, but it has many limitations. WordPress.org on the other hand has no limitations and allows you full control and unlimited options but you must pay for your hosting service separately. In the long run and if you are serious about your WordPress site or Blog, this is the preferred option.

These are just some of the main characteristics and skills to look for in a webmaster and just some of the options to consider when choosing a web host or domain name to ensure that your website or blog will be built and hosted properly and with minimal issue or conflict down the line.

By
Allan Whitney
Owner/Administrator
MindVisionMedia.net


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Happy Mothers Day

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Hamburgers and Gas Philosophy

Web Design | My Hamburgers and Gasoline Philosophy

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Hello from Allan at MindVisionMedia.net and I hope this post finds you all well!

I get asked a lot from people who are just starting with web design and wanting to put up a website, “What should my website be about?”. Over time my answer has gotten shorter and shorter because it’s really up to you, skies the limit. Now you do want to have a website that attracts people based on something they need or want or have an interest in but in this vast world and with so many people, you can hardly go wrong these days.

Many people think that if it’s already out there, it can’t be done, or they think that if someone else has already thought of their idea, they have to find something else. So I often give what I like to call, “My Hamburger and Gasoline Philosophy for Web Design” speech. This deals with a fact of society that we often overlook or take for granted. The next time you are at an intersection waiting on a red light, take look at all four corners of the intersection, more often than not, there will be 2-3 fast food places or commonly, hamburger joints, or there will be 2-3 sometimes 4 gas stations at the same intersection.

HamburgerMost fast food restaurants sell hamburgers, yet even if they are all in close proximity to each other, they are all making money selling the same “product”, why? Because not everyone will like hamburger #1 from one place and prefer to buy hamburger #2 from another place right across the street and so on. This is simply called freedom choice or to each his or her own. They are all selling a common product or providing a common service that has much in common but not everything in common. Hamburger #1 might fry theirs while hamburger #2 might grill theirs and use a special spice combination which makes them uniquely different thus appealing to a different demographic of the same market, people who like hamburgers!

This in my opinion applies to everything in life. One person could look at somebody and see the most beautiful person they have ever seen, while another person looks at the same person and see the most hideous person they have ever seen, I think we have all experienced that at one time or another, LOL. And so it is with everything, what you like is not always going to be liked by the next person for whatever reason.

Uniqueness is what sets us apart and this is essential to understand when deciding to create a venture of any kind. How many hamburger joints can you think of right now off of the top of your head? We all know the giants and most popular, but think of all the mom and pop hamburger joints in between who are providing their own unique version of the same product. The common denominator is, they are all making money!

Gas CanNow lets look at gas stations, they all sell gasoline for our vehicles right? Yet there are gas stations everywhere, commonly at intersections and you will see cars getting gas at each one. Not everybody will buy gas station A and prefer to use gas station B instead. I think we all have our favorites or preference that we try to adhere to and sometimes, if you are poor like me, you’ll get gas whenever or wherever you can based on price, which is a “unique” characteristic that appeals to me and those frugal like me. Some gas has a better reputation than others when it comes to performance or additives that help your vehicle run better, some high-end cars are even required to use only a certain type of gas or you will end up with poor performance, etc.

I use this Hamburger and Gasoline Theory for web design lecture if you will, to encourage people not to worry if someone has already thought of your idea. Don’t worry that there are hundreds, sometimes thousands of other sites doing what you wan to do or selling what you want to sell or providing the service you want to provide, none of them will do it the way you do it. Your individual uniqueness will set you apart and appeal to a portion of the same market.

So when you are discouraged because you find out that there are other sites doing what you wanted to do with your site, push forward and use your God-given uniqueness to do it your way, not theirs. Look inside your creative self and make a way for your site to be unique in some way that will set you apart. It doesn’t matter with 7 billion people on the planet and websites capable of reaching an international market that is not restricted to using just one product or service. Of course if your site is geographically specific, the global market isn’t a factor but still, you can set yourself apart from the guy down the street and even across the street, this is capitalism and why it can work for each of us.

So dig that idea you just threw away out of the trash and un-wrinkle that piece of paper or draft and look at it from a now different perspective. Build it and they will come. Concentrate on how you are different from the other guy or gal, know that someone will like your site and not like the others because there is room for everybody on the world-wide web, that’s the beauty I think, on a brick and mortar job, the competition is or can be fierce, but on the Internet, skies the limit! Good luck and do your best to be the best at whatever you decide and forget about the competition.

Just remember, My Hamburgers and Gasoline Philosophy for Web Design and you’ll do fine!

By
Allan Whitney
Owner/Administrator
MindVisionMedia.net


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Jimmy Smith

Latest WordPress News from MindVisionMedia.net

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Greetings to all of my subscribers, visitors and loyal followers from Allan , may this post find you all well.

WordPress 3.9 Update:

Jimmy SmithHave you ever gone to see a movie when it first premieres for the first time (opening night) only to find out it was a dud or not what you thought based on the excitement generated by the advertising? I have and I tend to wait a few days or maybe longer to get some response or feedback before I waste my time and my dime these days.

I tend to have this same approach when other things first come out as well. Haste makes waste as most of us older folks know from experience.

The new WordPress 3.9 update is no exception. Not that it is a dud, a waste of time or the reviews are horribly bad but with major changes to the core, many are reporting broken sites, themes and or plugins as soon as they update. According to various WP open source developers and forum reports, these issues in over 90% of the cases are due to themes and or plugins not being up to date and there are a lot of these floating around, especially when it comes to the free stuff. For me, there is a lot of risks involved so I just think it’s a good idea to let some of the wrinkles get ironed out before taking the chance of experiencing down-time on my site or others I manage, especially if it is a business site.

Premium theme and plugin developers tend to keep their products updated and in accordance with each update in WordPress. But there are free themes and plugins that are behind in this process and they need time to get with the program or risk being left out of the market as more and more WP users become very intimately familiarized with the development and update process involved with the worlds most popular CMS in recent weeks and months. users are not just going to go “willy nilly” on downloading themes, plugins and updates without considering the risks now a days. The web WP community is being given a crash course in how complicated the open source project is and the relentless efforts developers take to ensure we all have a dependable experience.

Since I have and manage large sites that would require extensive updates, patches and fixes being applied and the replacement of potentially incompatible plugins that are not compliant with the new update, I’m using caution when approaching such major updates and overhauls to the CMS core. This not to say I won’t update, it only means I will wait and give plugins especially, time to catch up and address these conflicts before I just click update.

You may want to exercise the same caution when it comes to the latest releases to avoid major overhauls of your site especially as mentioned if it is a large site or blog that relies heavily on plugins (which is kind of hard to avoid since everything in WP is handled by plugins) and sites or blogs with 20+ pages of heavily modified content. I have heard of some pretty scary nightmares happening out there and there is even a request from WP on their forums to please not make your forum posts personal and hostile.

To read about some of the issues and conflicts being experienced by users, go to the WordPress Codex site and other forums to see what is going on and what people have to do to fix these issues. Nobody wants downtime on their site if they depend on it for income as many do these days with a bad economy still looming and fluctuating and not enough jobs still impacting millions in America and the Internet becoming a source of much-needed income more and more. report bugs here: https://core.trac.wordpress.org/newticket

I can’t wait to take my first test run with all of the great new features. Thank you WordPress Developers for all of your HARD work!!!

Check out these links here to get an idea of what is going on and being done to get everything running smooth again:

https://wordpress.org/support/topic/wordpress-39-master-list

http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2014/04/17/what-you-need-to-know-about-wordpress-3-9/

Want really cool fonts for your WP site or blog?

I’ve added a new Plugin to my favorites list, it’s called Easy Google Fonts and I just did a video on how to use it here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mmDCr49JZjg

It is one of the easiest plugins to set up and use and you will love the choice of available fonts it provides. WP is known for its clean easy to read look but sometimes you just want a different font other than the default used in most themes and this plugin will grant you the option without hassle.

Want a Tutorial Video about something in WordPress from MVM?

Email me at my website with your request and when I get enough requests, I’ll produce a tutorial video on that topic, theme or customization method!

Click here to Contact me

Need WordPress or Web Design Services?

Check out my MVM Products Page for NEW details and pricing. Get private One-on-One training or support, Site Editing or Full Design Services at reasonable prices that beat the competition!

Thanks for reading the Latest WordPress News from MindVisionMedia.net. Until next time

Peace and blessings,

By
Allan Whitney
Owner/Administrator
MindVisionMedia.net

 


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Black Studio TinyMCE

Black Studio TinyMCE Changes

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Hello all from Allan at MindVisionMedia.net, I hope this post finds you well.

Black Studio TinyMCEThis is probably going to be the shortest post yet but I just have to clear up some confusion on one of the most powerful plugins for WordPress, The Black Studio TinyMCE plugin. The plugin works in conjunction with the standard TinyMCE visual editor plugin and adds awesome versatility and control over how you present your content.

It places a useful WYSIWYG widget to your existing widgets area that you can drag to your sidebar or even inside another widget and use instead of the regular Arbitrary Text and HTML widget allowing for images and video to be added to your sidebars or page. It has the same editing capabilities as the post and page editor so you can fine tune and enhance your widgets, sidebars, pages and posts far beyond the standard WP editor and standard widgets.

In recent updates the name has changed from Black Studio TinyMCE Widget to the Visual Editor Widget. So many have contacted me regarding some of my tutorials that showcase the plugin asking where is it or what happened to it after they updated, I can’t find it in my Widget area? Well you’re not crazy, the name changed and apparently this has caused a bit of confusion and you know me, I’m always trying to make things simple and clear in WordPress especially for beginners. Go to your widget area and look for the “visual editor” widget and use it as you would any other widget.

If you’re not taking advantage of this powerful tool that will enhance your editing capabilities, then you should. It’s simple to use and once you try it, you’ll never stop using it regardless of the theme you choose. Hope this helps…

By
Allan Whitney
Owner/Administrator
MindVisionMedia.net


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Outlook Duplicates

Removing Duplicate Items in Outlook 2000- 2010 | Simple and Easy

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Hello from Allan at MindVisionMedia.net and I hope this post finds you well.

Outlook DuplicatesOwning or managing a website means managing extra email accounts and if you use Microsoft Outlook to control and access these added email accounts you will undoubtedly encounter duplicates. Outlook is so easy to use and will download all of your email from all of your clients with the click of one button and I couldn’t imagine managing my many email accounts without it. Going to the Internet and logging in to several separate ISP’s to check mail is one of the most tedious tasks for computer and Internet users, yet millions still do it that way. Outlook is still intimidating for a lot of people who may think that it’s primarily for businesses or large companies and not the average user. Admittedly Microsoft products are expensive to say the least and many just don’t want to spend the money or already have an Office Suite that does not include the Outlook program and I understand the need to balance cost and need in making a decision to purchase it, that’s a different story.

But for those who have Outlook and never touch it for whatever reason, I am here to tell you that it will save you a lot of time and hassle checking your email and that you should reconsider all the great options it provides.However the focus of this post is to inform those who do use it about a way to remove duplicate emails from Outlook quickly and easily with a simple free tool that is available to you, that’s right FREE!

The program is called ODIR (Outlook Duplicate Items Remover 1.4.4) and is available for download from VAitA or other sites like CNET (just a quick note: always be careful with sites such as CNET that offer free downloads, read everything as you go through the download process as you may inadvertently download unwanted programs and marketing software along with the program you want). Once downloaded and set up the program is easy to use and offers a simple solution to rid your Outlook installation of bottle-necking duplicates that bog down your Outlook PST file.

Once installed it ad’s a tab to your Outlook menu, select it and then select the folder in the navigation pane for which you want ODIR to check for duplicates, it scans the selected folder and locates all duplicates based on a number of criteria, it then creates a folder within the folder it searches called ODIR_Duplicate_Items, you can browse this folder to make sure you don’t want any of these emails and if not, select all and say bye-bye by selecting delete, that’s it.

I have removed thousands of duplicate emails from my installation of Outlook over the last year and it has helped my install run smooth and efficient and kept me from the tedious, time-consuming, laborious job of using the search and find tool built-in to Outlook and trying to determine if an email is an exact duplicate or not. It works with versions of Outlook from 2000 to 2010 so it covers the most common versions in use today. It has been around for a while but there are new users of Outlook born each and everyday so I wanted to share this valuable tool with those looking for a manageable solution and those who may not be aware such a tool exist.

The reason for duplicates can be varied, ranging from using POP 3 from your mail client, you had to import mail or data from an earlier version or program, to the way Outlook downloads email, regardless it can become a problem and this is the best solution I have found and can even be used on Outlook Express as well.

Check out VAitA at http://www.vaita.com/odir.asp to find out more and start your Outlook spring cleaning now!

By
Allan Whitney
Owner/Administrator
MindVisionMedia.net


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WordPress

Responsive Theme Free Time Saving Tips

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Hello from Allan at MindVisionMedia.net and I hope this post finds you all well.

Responsive ThemeIf you are using the CyberChimps Responsive Theme free version, there are a few things you need to know that will save you a lot of headache. I get so many users rejected from the forums asking for really simple instruction on where to locate files and perform simple tasks such as changing a font or title size and many other changes that I thought I would write this quickly to help clear up some of the confusion and clarify a few things.

Many around the world are using earlier versions of this great theme and are not familiar with many of the changes that have taken place just in the last few weeks and months. This short post includes some valuable tips for old and new versions.

The 2 major changes that will affect users of older versions who update are,

1. The old home.php file is now called the front-page.php file

2. The style.css file is no longer visible in the dashboard under theme editor, it is now located and accessible on your server at the following path: wp-content>themes>responsive>core>css>style.css.

When it comes to modifying the theme there is more than one method and or option available to you as follows,

1. You can use the built-in custom css panel under Theme Options>CSS Styles to add css code snippets that will over-ride the themes parent style

2. You can set up a child theme and add those modified css codes to the child theme which will over-ride the parent css style

3. Or you can activate Jetpack in your WordPress dashboard and use the Custom CSS feature (can be used for any WordPress Theme modifications, not just the Responsive Theme)

As more Responsive Free users seek help, these simple tips will help make your Responsive Theme journey a little less cumbersome. To know more about how to identify and find the css code snippets you will need to make these style modifications you can watch my video tutorials on How to Edit WordPress with Firefox part #1 and #2, these WordPress video tutorials will give you the power and confidence to make changes without the wasted time and rejection found in the free forums.

As always, use a child theme (watch my video tutorial on Child Themes Update for 2014 on YouTube) or at the very least, make a copy of the files you plan to edit using a text editor such as Notepad or Notepad ++ (not Microsoft Word) so you can always fall back if you break the code or experience a problem.

By
Allan Whitney
Owner/Administrator
MindVisionMedia.net


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Dollar Photo Club

Best Stock Photo Solution for 2014

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Hello from Allan at MindVisionmedia.net and I hope this quick post finds you all well.

Dollar Photo ClubBuilding a Dynamic WordPress or a Static HTML website is a visual venture that requires images one way or another, especially if you are producing content , ads, etc. In this post I will reveal The Best Stock Photo Solution for 2014. As you probably have already found out, the price of stock photos to use on your website can sometimes cost just as much or more than your site cost to set up which is a deterrent as well as a mystery for many. Well do I have a solution for you that will not only blow the high-end competition completely out of the water but save you BIG bucks in the process while offering you the same quality of images you would expect from the big expensive guys who change and arm, two legs and a spleen to purchase as few as 2 images.

Its called the Dollar Photo Club and they are revolutionizing the Stock Image industry with an emphasis on making these images available to users at a tremendous savings while still offering the quality we all want.

The big boy’s as mentioned, can charge as much as $50-$100 dollars for a single image and that can add up when you have a site that needs more than a few images to convey your message, create banners and ad’s etc. This photo resource site has become my favorite and I will never, and I repeat never go back to the big guys like iStock Photo, ShutterStock or Getty Images. When I think of the money my clients and I have spent using these services over the years, it makes me kinda sad, that money could have been used for other aspects of the design process, marketing campaigns or many other options and add-ons involved in the site implementation process.

Now, I get nothing but praise from the Internet community I expose this information to, they are elated to save big money and still get the images they want for their project without committing to lengthy terms, memberships and high over-priced images.

And no, I am not getting paid by Dollar Photo Club, I just love their approach and want to help rid the Internet of over-priced stock images all together. Do yourself a favor and go on over to Dollar Photo Club at http://www.dollarphotoclub.com/ and see for yourself, and do tell a friend, you’ll be a hero in your own circles, I guarantee it! Enjoy

by
Allan Whitney
Owner/Administrator
MindVisionMedia.net


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Online Shopping

Four Good WordPress E-Commerce Plugins

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Hello from Allan at MindVisionmedia.net again, I hope this post finds you well.

I get a lot of inquiries about which plugin or program to use for WP e-commerce. I have used several myself and installed and set up several for clients as well and there are 4 that really stick out for user friendliness and cost to get started. I would consider all of these to be from simple to moderate in technical detail and ability. Almost anybody can set one of these up in no time depending on how many products you have and the specifics you need for each.

Be sure to check with your hosting company to make sure they have enough WP support to run your e-commerce option. These are all free and offer other features, options and add-ons that you can purchase to enhance your online store and the control features you have.

ecwid-logoThe first is Ecwid, this free plugin offers a handy e-commerce widget that is easy to implement on any page or post through the use of a shortcode.. The set up at Ecwid.com is friendly and easy as well providing more options than one would expect from a free service. Once you have your products created and all of the settings configured, it is just a matter of dragging the Ecwid e-commerce Plugin widget into the sidebar of your choice or add the store to a page of your choice using the provided “shortcodes”.

The free plan includes all standard e-commerce features, and paid plans start at $15 per month and grant you more advanced features such as discount settings and inventory control. Check it out and see if it’s the right e-commerce solution for your WordPress site or Blog.


Online ShoppingNext we have Shopify, get your online retail plan going with this stylish and versatile e-commerce solution. What I like about this one is the ability to customize the look and feel pretty much however you want. I have worked on and seen some pretty nice “looking” online stores using this one.

They offer over 100 templates and even have an iPad Point-of-Sale feature that syncs all of your online and brick and mortar products, inventory, orders etc making it easier for business owners to manage their business.


WooCommerceProbably one of the most known free e-commerce plugins for WordPress  is WooCommerce. This is another option for your online store that offers great themes ($) to help you customize the look and feel of your business.

You get all the basic features including order management, shipping and tax adjustments, customer account area, sales reports, inventory management options, coupon options and a whole lot more. If you are looking for a plugin that is popular, this is it. A quick note to consider though is that not all hosting companies offer full WordPress support which can impact whether or not you can run WooCommerce on your server. Check with your hosting company to see if they support WooCommerce before you get all exited, I have had personal experience getting one all setup and the hosting company couldn’t run it properly.


 

WP ECommerceThe last one is WP e-Commerce. A bit of a trend setter, this e-commerce option was one of the few solutions for WordPress years ago before a lot of the others were developed. Of course this one has everything you need as do most, control over inventory, shipping, discounts, orders, multiple language and currency options, Google Checkout and a lot more, free.

You can buy other features and add-ons to enhance the product but you can definitely get started and go a long way with the free version. These guys were around before all of the options available today so they have had the advantage of finding out what works and what features to provide for those who choose to use this e-commerce option, tried and tested.

So if you are trying to configure an online store or shopping cart, set up an e-commerce site, sell stuff on your blog etc, these 4 WordPress e-commerce options provide enough versatility and comparison to help you make a good decision for your needs. Again just a reminder to check with your hosting company to make sure your choice will work on your current server configuration. Enjoy and happy selling!

by
Allan Whitney
Owner/Administrator
MindVisionMedia.net


August 2017
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