MVM WordPress Installation:
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Balanced WordPress Web Design:
Greetings 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.
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.
Embedded Video Best Practices | Video Volume
Greetings 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.
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!
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.
Social Media Integration
Monetization of existing sites
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Greetings from Allan at MindVisionMedia.net, I hope this post finds you well.
With 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.
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.
Most 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!
Now 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!
Greetings to all of my subscribers, visitors and loyal followers from Allan , may this post find you all well.
Have 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:
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:
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.
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!
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,
Hello from Allan at MindVisionmedia.net and I hope this quick post finds you all well.
Building 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
Hello to all and I hope this post finds you well!
After nearly a year of being live, MindVisionMedia.net has provided over 8,800 hours of FREE Responsive WordPress Training to a global community of WordPress beginners and intermediate users, First-Time Web Designers and those just looking to modify their WordPress Theme. MVM has over 102,000 views on YouTube, over 1,000 subscribers and the numbers keep rising.
While honing in on the needs of aspiring web designers and WordPress users, expansion is on the horizon and I hope to continue with my goal of becoming a valued and trusted resource on the Internet for FREE learning materials that empower those who seek to learn and due for self. The Internet offers a wealth of opportunity, and in a time when there are no jobs and no guarantees, hats off to people who try to create one for themselves. My efforts give me great satisfaction when I hear back from my loyal subscribers, followers, students and clients.
Here’s what some of them had to say:
Join these folks and many others in appreciation for the wealth of information, step-by-step guides, video tutorials and more provided by Allan at MindVisionMedia.net. Help support me and spread the word about my mission. If you need Dynamic Responsive WordPress site design, child theme creation (even after you’ve modified the parent theme), child theme modification, graphics, ads, banners, flash animations or any other aspect of web design, contact me for a free quote and analysis of your project. I’m sure I can beat the other guys prices.
Or you can always just buy me lunch too 🙂