Q: How do you create traffic for a website?
Traffic is created by creating great content people a) search for, and b) want to share. To target search you have to create content people are curious about and formulate it in the form of questions and answers: Ask the question, then provide the answer. For sharing it’s important to add sharing buttons with a plugin such as AddThis.
Q: What factors effects your websites position on search engines?
The primary factor is how relevant your content is. If it’s not relevant meaning other sites have more relevant content yours will not be listed very high. Relates directly to the answer above about asking and answering questions etc. There are other factors too, like how long a page takes to load, whether or not people share your content on social media, and who you are, but relevance is most important.
Q: How do you create backups or archives of your website?
Use a plugin like BackWPUp or Backup to Dropbox.
Q: How do you add a plugin (for social media – twitter, tumblr, etc) onto your blog?
Go to the Admin panel, click on Plugins -> Add New, and search for AddThis. That’s the easiest and most powerful social media sharing plugin.
Q: How do you create a mailing list or contact form for subscribers of your blog?
If you just want people to subscribe to your blog by email you can install the JetPack plugin and activate the subscriber widget. If you want to do something a bit more advanced you can use a regular form and hook it to a service like MailChimp.
Q: How do you optimize a website for smartphones?
There are several ways of doing this. The recommended method is to create a responsive site with server-side scripting meaning the content reformats to the screen and the server feeds up content to fit that screen. The responsive part of this is easy and in WordPress it can be done simply by installing a responsive theme. The server side scripting part is very challenging.
Another method is to install a mobile-specific plugin like WPTouch that provides a different experience for mobile users. There are pros and cons to this method and personally I’m not a big fan but done right it can be a great solution.
Q: Will plugins or widgets effect the overall appearance of a mobile layout or have to be omitted?
Generally no. Plugins are usually fine on mobile devices unless it’s something very big or poorly coded. The biggest challenge with mobile devices is when you serve up large images or interactive elements like image sliders and some plugins do this very poorly.
Q: Where can I find out who (my audience) has visited my blog from?
Google Analytics has very detailed analytics that tell you where the visitors came from both geographically and by reference (what site they found you on), how they interacted with your site, and how long they stayed.
Q: Is it possible to outsource the contents of your blog onto other websites?
If you mean let other people republish your content then yes, it is. Just keep in mind when content is duplicated across several sites Google penalizes the content publishers for duplicate content.
Q: What is the CSS box in the ‘customize’ section in WordPress for? How do we use that?
This is a WordPress.com or Jetpack (plugin) feature that allows you to inject CSS on top of your active theme to override functions. It’s a poor man’s child theme. I recommend using a child theme instead. Far more control and options.
Q: How to put web safe fonts into WordPress and our theme?
Web safe fonts (Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif or Georgia, Times New Roman, Times, serif etc) are always available. We will be covering fonts and webfonts in detail on February 18.
Q: Is there an option to put a drop shadow behind an image in CSS?
You can use the box-shadow attribute to create drop shadows in CSS. The syntax is pretty straight forward:
-moz-box-shadow: 5px 5px 5px 5px #ccc;
-webkit-box-shadow: 5px 5px 5px 5px #ccc;
box-shadow: 5px 5px 5px 5px #ccc;
The numbers are as follows: horizontal offset, vertical offset, blur radius, spread radius, color. You can play around with the options in one of the many CSS3 Generators like this one available online to see how it works.
Q: How do you put pictures next to each other with proper formating (sizes)?
The image gallery function in WordPress (found under the Add Media button) allows you to lay out images in a standard grid pattern. If you activate the Jetpack plugin you get additional features here that allow you to place the images in galleries laid out in different patterns. Other than that you have to use some basic markup and CSS to make it look the way you want.
Q: How to create a theme on WordPress?
In the last lesson you learned how to make a child theme. Making a theme is pretty much the same except you edit the main theme files instead of the child theme files. The recommended starting point for new themes is the underscores starter theme. There is no point building a theme from scratch and underscores gives you all the core features you need. Technically you can use underscores to just add CSS but you can also reconfigure the whole theme to do your bidding.
Q: Are there any plug-ins can do money transactions on WordPress?(turn wordpress to be a shopping website)?
For just collecting money there are tons. Go to Plugins -> Add New and search for PayPal and you’ll see a long list. For ecommerce there are two recommended options: Easy Digital Downloads if you just want to sell downloads or services, and WooCommerce if you want more advanced funcitons. Both require intricate knowledge of tax rates and laws and I wouldn’t recommend either unless you are planning on spending a lot of time managing finances. If you want to just sell stuff online you should use an existing service like Shopify.
Q: How to introduce a website to the client?
This is a topic that could take up an entire class. I’m not exactly sure what you’re asking for here, how to discuss designs or how to discuss prices or how to discuss what the site should need or what? If you can narrow it down I’ll be able to answer in more detail.
Q: How to organize a usability test?
In the simplest form a usability test is where you get someone to perform tasks on the site or a site mockup (can be paper copies) while you watch in silence. Ask them to do something without giving them leading questions or hints, then watch them do it, and finally ask them why they did what they did. You have to do this with a lot of people, and it is better if they are people you don’t know. I’ve done this with paid participants and even used a tablet or my computer and just asked random people at the mall to do it.
Q: How well is a web designer get paid?
Extremely complex question with a simple answer: If you work in an agency you are paid a regular rate depending on your level. If you work as a freelancer you are paid whatever you choose to set your rate at. The biggest challenge for new designers and developers is that they tend to charge too little and undervalue themselves.
Q: What is a cache?
Cache is a snapshot of a file or a page stored somewhere for quick retrieval. Your browser has cached copies of websites and elements (images, video, audio) so when you revisit a site it loads much faster. Your ISP caches popular websites. So does CDNs and even your server.
Q: Why does a website slow down when many people are using it?
The speed of a website is actually measured by the volume of data that is transferred. Large volume means high speed. Low volume means low speed.
Imagine your server as a bottle of water: When you’re the only person accessing the server you use the entire bottle opening to get the water out. It’s fast. Then six other people access the bottle at the same time and suddenly you are getting water at one sixth the rate. Then 100 people access the bottle at the same time and you get one one hundredth the rate etc. The more people try to access the site at once, the less data each individual can receive due to the limitation in the network capacity of the server
Q: Should we backup our websites? Should I use the backup feature offered in my siteground cPanel?
Yes, and yes.
Q: What is the Apache server/ Apache handler?
Apache is the web server software that runs on most web servers. The handler is the monitoring software that handles the server. You generally don’t need to worry about either.
Q: How do you get multiple images to show up in a single row in a WordPress post?
To list images next to one another horizontally you have to use some markup and CSS or the Jetpack plugin as mentioned above. For CSS the easiest method is to place each image in a list item and then display the list items inline.
Q: How does plugin system work?
When you install a theme or a plugin WordPress places the new theme or plugin under the themes or plugins folders under the wp-content folder in your WordPress installation. Once the theme or plugin is in that folder WordPress automatically recognizes it as such and allows you to activate/deactivate it. This also means if something goes horribly wrong and the theme or plugin kills your site all you have to do is access the folder and remove the theme or plugin and everything goes back to normal.
Q: What’s the difference between hyperlink and URL?
A hyperlink is a HTML element consisting of an anchor tag (<a>) with an href attribute pointing to a URL that wraps the element that when clicked activates the link. A URL is a permanent address reference to a specific file on the web.
Q: How does RSS work? What can I do with RSS?
RSS provides a standardized text format version of the contents of a page or a number of pages. This text format, referred to as an “RSS Feed” can be read by RSS readers or parsed by other websites. You can use RSS to syndicate your content, send out your content in email form, or import content from old sites to new ones. Every WordPress page has an automatic RSS feed you can access simply by putting “/feed” after the current URL.
Q: What’s the difference between tags and hashtags?
Tags are contextual hyperlinks used within a website to relate content with other content. Hashtags are social media elements used by sites like Twitter, Facbook, and Google+ to relate content with other content. They do the same thing, but on different platforms.
Q: What is considered an interactive website?
Any website is by definition interactive. I guess an interactive website in a broader sense is a website with lots of interactive elements like buttons and animations and such.
Q: What does a server look like?
A server is just a computer and can look like any computer. Commonly though servers are specialized computers housed in server racks and they have lots of cables coming out of them.
Q: Is it possible for 1.5 million people to use the app at the same time?
Yes, and it happens all the time. Social media services have more than 1.5 million people using them at once. Same with Google and Bing etc. For this to work you need a very big server array and a lot of power.
Q: Is there an easy way to get images to resize with a responsive layout in your posts?
Yes, and I will touch on this in the Feb. 4 class.
Q: Why does PHP have such a bad rap?
There are many reasons for this, most notably that many supporters of proprietary code languages think that PHP is sloppy (true) and that it is bad for the industry (false). PHP doesn’t really have a bad wrap any more. It was more so a couple of years ago.
Q: Is net neutrality good or bad?
Net neutrality is not just good, it’s a requirement for an open web. What is happening now in the US with net neutrality potentially going away is very very very bad.
Q: How can I determine what posts appear in my home page?
Your home page displays your most recent posts or your most recent Sticky posts. You can switch this so the home page displays a single page if you want. Or you can change the code on the front page to display another set of fonts using some code.
Q: Can I create two or more different blogs inside the same WordPress site?
Depends what you mean by “blog”. If you just mean have two different sections you can do so simply by categorizing your content and providing links to each category in your main menu. If you want to have two completely separate sites with no direct relationships between them you can set up either two WordPress sites or you can set up a WordPress Network (advanced). The last option is not recommended.
Q: How can I modify the design of the theme I have chosen?
In addition to the built in theme customization options (found under Appearance -> Customize and Appearance -> Header, Menus, etc) you can create a child theme and reconfigure the templates on your site.
Q: What are the risks of embedding content or linking to content that might be infringing copyright laws? Example: many jazz albums are fully available on Youtube, would it be wrong to use the link on my website? Not so sure if it’s more a question about laws or ethics.
If you are embedding content from a site like YouTube you are fine because the content is clearly not hosted on your site and you have no control over it. If you are copying content from one site and placing it on your own or if you upload content to YouTube that you do not have the rights to, then you are breaking the law.
Q: How can I edit the content that goes, for instance, on Twitter posts that are shared?
The WordPress SEO by Yoast plugin allows you detailed control over the sharing content for Facebook and Google+. The AddThis plugin allows you to customize the message shared on Twitter to an extent.
Q: After installing a new theme, it keeps saying “Your theme contains a meta description, which blocks WordPress SEO from working properly”. What does it mean? How can I fix it?
Your theme is poorly coded. I think the plugin can try to force fix it or has suggestions on how to alter the theme code to fix it. Show me in class and I’ll help you.
Q: How can I create a small icon (or upload my logo) on the website tab so that it won’t be a doc icon?
What you are looking for is a favicon. You can create one for yourself using X-Icon Editor. Once you have the favicon you place the favicon.ico file in your child theme and then place the following code in your header file (will be demoed on Feb. 4):
<link rel="icon" type="image/x-icon" href="http://example.com/favicon.ico" />
Q: Does it matter what kind of image format I use?
The general rule is to use JPEG for photos and images of real things, PNG for computer generated images, and GIF for small things and GIF animations.
Q: How can I change font family that is not common like Helvetica or Roman? Can I upload my font files to folder so that I can link it to my website?
We are dedicating an entire class to fonts on Feb. 18
Q: How can I export the logo from Illustrator with transparent background?
Will be covered on Feb. 18
Q: How should I handle a website that could potentially have multiple authors? Would everyone need to create accounts and login? What if they didn’t?
Yes, create an account for each contributor and give them “Author” privileges. That way they can submit and edit their own stuff and comment on their own articles but you are in charge of what gets published.
Q: How do websites use other accounts (like Facebok or Google) to login? How is that different from traditional sign in?
It’s called “oAuth” and stands for “Open Authorization”. It’s tricky and prone to error. I would not recommend it.
Q: I’m still a little fuzzy on how the database, server, host, and actual website relate to each other?
The database holds the data. The server is where the database and your files sit. The host is the company that owns the servers. The actual website is the result of the server combining your database and files. It only exists in the visiting browser.
Q: How do images in websites resize without getting blurry?
Proper markup and CSS. Basically upload the image at the largest size expected and then use CSS containers to scale it down proportionately.
https://layervault.com This one looks like videos that play automatically. Are there other ways to add animation?
The video in the site in question is set to autoplay. Generally animations are either video, Java, or Flash.