Optimize Your WordPress Theme For Human Users

You have just installed a WordPress blog, now what?

There are many free WordPress themes around. A common mistake is to just pick a random theme from the first page of available themes, so that you can quickly move on to developing your products or textual content.

Your blog theme is the most salient part of your website. The theme is what your visitors see first, and what they will continue to see in every post, page, online comment, and indeed every word in your WordPress blog.

Choosing the right theme will enhance your blog content and make visiting your blog an enjoyable experience for your human readers. Choosing the wrong theme will diminish all of your blog content, and may cause readers to leave because of a poor user experience.

We often focus so much of our attention on search engine optimization that we forget about optimizing our blogs for our human readers.

Search engines do not click on our ads or buy our products – it is our human readers who do that. SEO will help to get more visitors to your blog, but if your blog is dilapidated, difficult to navigate, or just boring, your visitors will quickly move on to something else.

If you make a terrible first impression, it does not matter what your content is, because everyone will be gone before reading even one of your carefully crafted words.

Here are some things to look for when choosing a WordPress theme –
1. Easy to read

Font size –

A common mistake is to use a theme with fonts that are too small. Try reading really small text and you will find that your eyes tire more easily. Make things simple and comfortable for your readers. Use a large enough font size so that regular mortals can process your blog content without developing eye-strain and a headache.

Colors –

Do not pick a WordPress theme that has too many colors, or too many clashing colors. This distracts your readers, and makes your content difficult to read.

Pick a background theme that suits the content of your blog. A dark background is good for blogs that contain a lot of videos or pictures. The dark background will bring out the colors in your pictures and make them look more compelling.

However, it is easier to read text on a light background. If you are publishing mostly textual content, it may be best to pick a light WordPress theme, and just put a dark border around your blog images.

Fixed width

There are two general classes of WordPress blog themes – fixed width or variable width.

A variable width theme will expand or contract your blog based on your reader’s browser window. A fixed width theme has a predefined width that will always remain the same size irrespective of the web browser window.

Initially, it may seem that a variable width theme is superior because it can flexibly adapt itself to your reader’s environment. However, a variable theme has two big weaknesses.

a) It is difficult for human readers to process long lines of text.

You can try this yourself. Set your browser window to full screen, then activate the Classic WordPress theme which is variable width. After reading through some content in your blog, switch to the Default theme which is fixed width.

Which provided a better reading experience?

b) It is difficult to properly layout a page with variable width.

Variable width designs do not generally allow for fixed-position elements. A more complex variable width layout may run into deep design issues later on because it must be able to accommodate any browser window size.

On last check, the most popular themes on WordPress.org are all fixed-width.

2. Widget ready

Widgets are a very powerful part of your WordPress blog. Adding widgets will allow you to integrate common functions into your blog without having to write them yourself, from scratch.

For example, on my dog WordPress blog, I have a variety of widgets at the top, right, and bottom of my page. You can even add Google AdSense blocks easily into your blog using the Text widgets that come with your WordPress blog installation.

You really want to pick a WordPress theme that is widget ready, i.e. it contains one or more areas for you to add in the widgets of your choice. WordPress themes that offer a larger number of widget areas (e.g. the Thematic theme) are easier to customize and give your blog a unique look.

Remember not to visually overload your blog design with too many widgets. You do not need to fill all the available theme areas with widgets. However, a more widget-open theme will give you the flexibility to place your chosen widgets in a large number of locations.

WordPress themes that are not widget ready will be a lot more limiting unless you are comfortable creating and adding widget areas into the theme by editing the CSS and PHP template files.

3. Customizable

You want to pick a WordPress theme that will allow you to do some visual customization. At the very least, you want the ability to change the header image to something appropriate for your blog content. If a WordPress theme does not allow for any visual customization, then chances are –

a) You won’t have a very unique blog.
b) Your blog design will not really reflect your blog content.

A bland, non-unique blog, suggests bland non-unique content, and many readers may leave based on that alone.

The bad news is that most free WordPress themes only have very limited custom capabilities. Any true customization, will usually require editing of the theme CSS, HTML, and PHP code.

Other options are to purchase a custom designed theme, purchase a premium theme, or use a theme generator. These options can get expensive and do not provide a cheap and easy way to do incremental and ongoing blog customizations.

Last Word on WordPress Themes

WordPress is a great platform to use for your blogs because it is open source and you can pretty much do whatever you want with it. For example, I was able to integrate my WordPress blog with my static web-pages so that I can use WordPress to handle and filter comments for my static website. However, for a serious business with sme startup capital, I would recommend HubSpot’s CMS, as it has many purpose built tools which will give you a great head start over your competitors.

You can also edit an existing WordPress theme and make it look and do whatever you want. I have found that there is great flexibility in the WordPress system and an extremely useful API set.

If you want to start doing some WordPress theme editing, start with learning about CSS (Cascading Style Sheets). With that alone, you can achieve much in personalizing your WordPress blog. Start with a flexible WordPress theme (in addition to Shiba, consider Sandbox, Hybrid, or Thematic), and create a simple child theme with just a style.css file.

5 Powerful Business Growth Tips

Catastrophe and Disorder, a moderate slump or flagrant success? Have you taken a moment to make an appraisal of where your organisation is going as we march right into the new financial year? We talked to some deft business pros to unmask what you could do so you can be sure that you are going in the direction of irrepressible success.

Just the Right Amount of Stress is Positive

Your immediate work environment affects your stress levels immensely. The key to developing a positive and efficient office is to get the balance between eustress and distress. Distress, anxiety fear and depression, is not good for productivity. It works against the development of productive teams, which typically are harmonious, with open and honest communication. Eustress however is about having just the right amount of stress to illicit a positive challenge and a team bonding mentality among your staff. With a positive challenge people are motivated, sharp and focused which leads to greater productivity. The single biggest factor influencing the eustress v stress balance in your organisation is the skill and effectiveness of your leaders.

Be Ready with a Fall-Back Position In Case of Systems Failure

Anytime you need disaster recovery for your business organisation, you can not afford to leave things to chance. Should your business’s computer systems happen to become unworkable, the consequences might be horrendous. That is why you should be sure that you’re ready with a cloud computer system disaster recovery plan in place. Supposing that the worst case transpires and you’ve got a disaster recovery process in position, your firm can be back up and running, virtually uninterrupted, in less than 1 business day!

Try and Network Locally

When your major intention is to make connections with business women within your business sector, then you undoubtedly must join a networking event. Do you have a few old fashioned one-on-one networking gatherings that can assist with your marketing and promotions efforts?

Better Communication Greatly enhances Employee Output

Improving effective intercommunication is never simply about cultivating better processes and procedures. It is about developing trust and motivating staff to offer effective feedback. You establish the tone of how liberal and productive the organisation communicates through your good example. Assuming that you have the capacity to connect with employees, and stimulate constructive criticism, you are actually a whole lot more likely to get the highest endeavour from your people. Better leaders produce better relationships with staff, as well as with them and more often than not, anytime lines of communication are honest and plain, productivity improves.

A Well-kept Workplace is a Key to a Happy Productive Office

An organized office quickly impacts a worker’s frame of mind which then influences their practices. Put simply, a clear and focused work environment is so much more competent.

Finding Experienced London Defence Solicitors

In any complex legal situation, it is highly recommended that you utilise the services of a qualified and skilled lawyer. Apart from dispensing information, a legal professional will offer the much-needed advice to manage all legal problems that will arise. There are various legal firms available in London, but that does not mean all the lawyers at these firms are good at their work. In fact, locating an effective solicitor who can assist with a particular problem can be a complicated task.

Finding an effective lawyer requires more than merely choosing the first legal advisor on the search engine results page. It is important to note that not all legal professionals provide the same services; therefore, it is essential that the service you opt for is specific to your particular problem. For example, specific guidance on finding a criminal lawyer can be found here. This article will provide information on the different considerations to make to ensure the lawyer is not only beneficial but also operates in the necessary area of legislation.

Review Personal Referrals

While it is tempting to use the first legal service presented online, it is recommended that you speak to a colleague, friend or family member who has experienced the same problem as you. This will be helpful to find the ideal lawyer because they will offer a referral for a skilled solicitor in that particular area. Furthermore, working via a word-of-mouth technique will increase the number of lawyers at hand and allows you to ask questions regarding the lawyer’s skills.

Of course, it is essential that the decision made is not dependent exclusively on other people’s recommendations. A decision to hire a lawyer should not be made until you have consulted with the lawyer and determined whether or not you feel comfortable with the professional.

Review Online Services

It may be possible that you do not have any colleagues who can refer legal firms; therefore, it may be beneficial to use the online services that connect local lawyers in different locations with potential clients. These particular services operate according to a person’s needs and will provide information on a specific type of legal service when required. All you need to do to find the top lawyer for your needs is provide information on the case and then contact the lawyer as per their contact details.

Review Business Referrals

Businesses that offer services to attorneys or legal firms are able to provide good links to legal services for individuals who need lawyers. For example, if an individual is interested in working with a small business lawyer he or she will need to speak with the insurance agent or accountant. The professionals will make contact with the lawyer and can make judgements regarding whether legal services can be provided to the individual.

Online Marketing Hacks

Everyone is heading online to do their marketing. Not everyone is doing well so what is the secret to succeeding in online marketing. Well its all about working smart and knowing the hacks.

1. Create a Google My Business Page

This is a great way to boost your online visibility. This listing will make your business easy to find on Google Search and Google Maps. It will also allow Google+ users to easily review your business. As local business reviews increase, your search engine rankings will also improve. It would also be a good idea to add your business to the Yahoo Local listing.

2. Sign up for Online Reviews

Create a Yelp listing, it’s free and gives you access to their impressive 140 million monthly visitors. Another great review sites is Angie’s List, they charge users a small fee but listing your business is free.

3. Fire Up Social Media Networking

Find relevant LinkedIn and Facebook groups which have active users. Posting on such pages will give you access to all these users. You don’t need to join a ton of these, remain focused on three or four at the most. Offer solid advice and feedback. You will build a reputation of trust and boost brand visibility among like-minded people.

Sourced from: http://www.inc.com/john-rampton/9-low-cost-online-marketing-hacks.html

The other trick that most online marketers employ is growth hacking. You can acquire traffic or employ the use of tweets.

Growth hacking is one of the most talked-about terms in the startup and marketing worlds. Some see it as a revolutionary way of shaping and accelerating startup growth, while others consider it a fancy word for marketing. I used to fall into the latter camp, but Neil Patel’s guide to growth hacking helped me see how a growth hacker’s job differs from a traditional marketer’s job.

Traffic Acquisition

1. Colibri.io

Colibri shows you where your customers are engaging online so that you can insert yourself into relevant conversations.

2. Pay With A Tweet

Pay With A Tweet allows you to give people access to your content or product once they’ve tweeted or posted about it. This is a great way to go viral in the early stages of a product launch, or to make sure your content or product spreads further across the web over time.

Sourced from: https://blog.kissmetrics.com/35-growth-hacking-tools/

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You should try and play mystery shopper and in this case buy your own products. This will help you gain perspective and new insights. You will able to notice what is working and what is not working.

Be Your Customer
Use tactics such as mystery shopping your brand, getting out to talk to customers and using customer advisory boards to derive new innovations from discoverable insights and customer intimacy.

2. Get Tag Management

What if you could test a new tactic (Facebook Retargeting, etc.) within days of market availability instead of weeks? Many marketers struggle with IT delays to implement tags for analytical insights. Speed up implementation of tags with a simple, scalable, self-service marketing solution – your IT team will thank you for it.

Sourced from: http://www.forbes.com/sites/gartnergroup/2015/05/27/ten-digital-marketing-hacks/#3dedbf4f78ff