My client wanted to have extra forms on their user registration page on their WordPress site so they could capture more information about the visitors who signed up for their website.
In the past I had used a plugin called Register Plus Redux, but unfortunately it’s not supported any more. Because of the popularity of WordPress there’s usually a similar plugin available. That was true and easily found with a quick search called Cimy User Extra Fields.
The next problem that I had was that my client was not happy at all with the look of the standard WordPress registration form. It’s pretty easy to change the look of the standard registration page, but there are many people who want it to have the same look and feel as the rest of their pages and posts. A custom registration page for WordPress, not an unreasonable request.
Unfortunately this was no easy chore, but after many hours of searching I came across a plugin called Theme My Login. What a find! It is simple to install and worked great. It’s very simple and can be used in it’s default format, but is also highly customizable.
I can see where I’m going to use this for many clients.
One of the things I try to constantly pay attention is security. Especially website security.
it’s very important that you keep the programs running on your site up to date. Ones like WordPress and their plugins are constantly updating and they make it really easy to install the upgrades. usually with one click.
What about some of the other forms and scripts you have on your site. Have an email contact form? Perhaps a script that lets your visitors print your page or recommend your site to someone else?
It’s not unusual for a website owner have these forms installed, maybe by a website designer and then forget about them. Let me assure you that while your site may have stayed the same, hackers never rest and they are always looking for their next target.
There’s plenty of help for webmasters out there and some of the best if direct from Google and it’s free. if you are not subscribed to their Webmaster Central Blog yet you should be. They had a really good post on security yesterday and i recommend it.
Matt Cutts who is one of the faces of Google recently gave a great interview to The WordPress Podcast with lots of good tips on how to properly promote your site.
This is about an hour long, but well worth a listen. The beginning is a bit tech-ish, but hang in there it gets good.
There’s a WordPress slideshow program that I use, like and recommend. It’s called ShowTime Slideshow.
You can just plug it in and it works great, but you can also change almost any setting for your show.
First you post your text and then put your images at the end of the post, in thumbnails one right after the other.
Use the thumbnail mode and press the “link to image” button. So if your visitor clicks one they will see the larger image.
Then anywhere that you want the slideshow to appear you add
(post continues past slideshow)
If the visitor’s browser can’t see the slideshow, it degrades nicely.
You get a row of clickable thumbnails.
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Wade Richards is my customer. Have a look at his site.
He’s a musician using wordpress tools to promote his business and doing a good job of it.
When I make a website, I like to keep the actual content as plain text and css. Especially in the header section.
There are things that you always want to be found for, like your name and contact information.
Sometimes fancy effects can make the important stuff harder to see and that’s not good.
There are lots of cool toys, and widgets, but I like to keep them mostly in the sidebars, out of the content.
WordPress has a feature that you might like.
On any of your posts click the Preview Changes “Status: Published Edit” link and there is a checkbox which will make the post the first one to show in the listings (sticky).
You can use this for your featured listings.
This feature is also available on the “edit” –> “quick edit” menu
When first starting or adding to a website one of the first things that you want to do is to decide on which keywords to target. These words should be action words to get your visitors to do whatever it is that you want them to do when they land on one of your pages.
Usually a new client will ask me which keywords should I pick and how do I use them? I usually first explain that keywords can be and usually are more than one word. How it can be very hard to get to the top of a search results page for a one or two word keyword that is very competitive (like “web design”). It can be much easier to get to the top spot for a more narrow keyword (“web design Pittsburgh”, “web designer western PA” or “WordPress expert Pittsburgh”), but because the action inferred from that keyword is more specific to what you do, the traffic from a search term like that may also convert to sales better if you pick the right one.
Another great advantage in more targeted keywords is if you are buying keyword ads you can save quite a bit of money not getting clicks that aren’t really interested in what you have to offer.
It’s always best to have one unique page per keyword and to use your keyword once in the main headline, maybe once more in the sub-headline and a couple of times in the body text. It’s a good idea to read the page out loud before it’s published to see if it sounds spammy. If you have overused your keyword it may be considered spam by the search engines or worse by your human visitors.
To help my clients pick good keywords I have been sending them to a older post where I suggested some free keyword research tools (two of the three still work). I’m writing this post today because I found a new free keyword tool from WordStream and I thinks it works really well so I’m now recommending it to everyone.
The other day I wrote about how I sometimes find myself trying to talk a client out of doing something one way or another. Some of those times my client will decide to do things their way. I will then do what the customer wants because they are the customer and they know their customers better than I do.
Sometimes it works out well and sometimes not so well. Yesterday I read a post on the Wilson Ellis Consulting blog called Are Your Personal Preferences Costing You Money? They wrote about almost the same thing. It’s really impossible to know what will work for a site and what won’t, unless you try everything and thoroughly test your results.
I wrote the other day how much I like using WordPress for other things beside this blog. WordPress Can Do Anything
Today I found another great post with all kind of more things that you can do with the new WordPress 2.8 on the 1stwebdesigner site. They have great resources and tools.