20 Celebrities using WordPress to manage their sites

http://metro.co.uk/ - Medway SEO
Metro UK use WordPress

Celebrities using WordPress?

Are you still wondering if WordPress is right for your business website? Here’s 20 Celebrities using WordPress to manage their sites. If I’m honest, a few surprised me!

We’ve used many systems in the past including Joomla, Drupal and PHPBB forum software. We settled on WordPress about 4 years ago and have never looked back. The flexibility and versatility has allowed us to create beautiful websites that do what we need them to. We’ve saved our clients thousands over the years. Old school web designers are worried about the rise of this system.

In fact, over 66 million websites run using the WordPress platform and with almost 20% of all the websites in the entire world using WordPress, it’s fast becoming a very smart move for business owners wanting control and competitive pricing.

WordPress is a content management system (CMS) that is great for static websites and blogs alike. With literally thousands of themes and plugins, there’s pretty much no limit as to the things you can do with WordPress. This publishing platform is truly dominating the World Wide Web and to emphasise the point, here are a few high profile Celebrities using WordPress that may just surprise you…

  1. http://metro.co.uk/ – Metro UK

  2. http://billcosby.com/ – Bill Cosby

  3. https://www.themillionpounddrop.com/ – Million Pound Drop

  4. http://llcoolj.com/ – LL Cool J

  5. http://snoopdogg.com/ – Snoop D.O.G.G

  6. http://toughmudder.com/ – Tough Mudder

  7. http://usainbolt.com/ – Usain Bolt

  8. http://a-ha.com/ – A-Ha

  9. http://www.tilda.com/ – Tilda Rice (I know, but it’s nice rice!)

  10. http://justintimberlake.com/main – Justin Timberlake

  11. http://www.rollingstones.com/ – The Rolling Stones

  12. http://www.sylvesterstallone.com/ – Sylvester Stallone

  13. http://jasonmraz.com/ – Jason Mraz

  14. http://marketing.dell.com/teamdellracing – Team Lotus

  15. http://digital.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/ – UK Digital Cabinet

  16. http://www.rd.com/ – Readers Digest

  17. http://www.russellbrand.tv/ – Russell Brand

  18. http://ninette.roh.org.uk/ – Royal Ballet

  19. http://www.ryanseacrest.com/ – Ryan Seacrest

  20. http://starwarsblog.starwars.com/ – Star Wars Blog

We’ve cherry picked a few of the best for the sake of bringing you this article, for the full list according to WordPress themselves, click here: http://wordpress.org/showcase/archives/ to see why more celebrities are using WordPress to manage their high profile sites – if it’s good for the Goose eh?

Inspired to work with WordPress?

Talk to us today and see how we can get you set up and started on the road to managing your own website at a fraction of the cost of traditional web design.

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Cookies – are you legal?

Cookies – what they are and what they do.

Firstly, they are not oven baked cookies with chocolate chips inside. I know, it’s hard to take.

The type of cookie we are talking about is a small file (text file) that your web browser (Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, Safari etc) uses to store information about your visit. When you browse to the same website again in the future, the data stored in the cookie can be retrieved by the website to notify the website of the user’s previous behaviour.

The information stored is usually what pages you visited, if you logged in to the site, form preferences, visual preferences and so on. They cannot contain viruses or Malware.

An authentication cookie stores information about your logins so that the website knows if it’s OK to show you your personal content, like a profile page, or to show the content that non logged-in users are supposed to see. Web site owners use them for analytical reasons to help improve their SEO and website ‘conversion rates’ – basically, to see if the site is working as is should.

Originally formed in May 2011 and revised in May 2012, it became a legal requirement for all websites that use cookies to not only have a privacy policy saying what they used and why but also to have a clear link to that policy as soon as you go to your website. Many of you will have seen this on sites you have visited where you need to accept before a pop up disappears.

Our is located on the bottom right hand corner of our site:

Cookie Control-Sunshinewebde

More about cookies

Here’s what WikiPedia says:

cookie, also known as an HTTP cookieweb cookie, or browser cookie, is a small piece of data sent from a website and stored in a user’s web browserwhile a user is browsing a website. When the user browses the same website in the future, the data stored in the cookie can be retrieved by the website to notify the website of the user’s previous activity.[1] Cookies were designed to be a reliable mechanism for websites to remember the state of the website or activity the user had taken in the past. This can include clicking particular buttons, logging in, or a record of which pages were visited by the user even months or years ago.

Although cookies cannot carry viruses, and cannot install malware on the host computer,[2] tracking cookies and especially third-party tracking cookies are commonly used as ways to compile long-term records of individuals’ browsing histories — a major privacy concern that prompted European and US law makers to take action in 2011.[3][4] Cookies can also store passwords and forms a user has previously entered, such a credit card number or an address. When a user accesses a Web site with a cookie function for the first time, a cookie is sent from server to the browser and stored with the browser in the local computer. Later when that user goes back to the same website, the website will recognize the user because of the stored cookie with the user’s information.[5]

Other kinds of cookies perform essential functions in the modern Web. Perhaps most importantly, authentication cookies are the most common method used by web servers to know whether the user is logged in or not, and which account they are logged in under. Without such a mechanism, the site would not know whether to send a page containing sensitive information, or require the user to authenticate himself by logging in. The security of an authentication cookie generally depends on the security of the issuing website and the user’s web browser, and on whether the cookie data is encrypted. Security vulnerabilities may allow a cookie’s data to be read by a hacker, used to gain access to user data, or used to gain access (with the user’s credentials) to the website to which the cookie belongs (see cross-site scripting and cross-site request forgery for examples).[6]

Law and Compliance Info

ICO guidance – Source: ICO Website

Updated in May 2012, our cookies guidance (pdf) sets out the changes to the cookies law and explains the steps you need to take to ensure you comply. The updated guidance provides additional information around the issue of implied consent:

  • Implied consent is a valid form of consent and can be used in the context of compliance with the revised rules on cookies.
  • If you are relying on implied consent you need to be satisfied that your users understand that their actions will result in cookies being set. Without this understanding you do not have their informed consent.
  • You should not rely on the fact that users might have read a privacy policy that is perhaps hard to find or difficult to understand.
  • In some circumstances, for example where you are collecting sensitive personal data such as health information, you might feel that explicit consent is more appropriate.

Here’s their FAQ video:

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us.

Easy explanation of landing pages and squeeze pages

Do you want a really easy explanation of landing pages and squeeze pages? For the hardened web master or internet marketer, this is kids stuff. For the rest of the normal web users – it’s probably a little bit confusing and you’re probably wondering (if you have a website) ‘do I need a landing page or squeeze page?’ or even ‘what IS a landing page?’.

Forgive my tone from here on in as I’m going to try to explain this in a way that anybody can understand the concept – bear with me!

Web pages, SEO and landing pages – an idiots guide

explanation of landing pages and squeeze pages

A web page is a html document (a bit like a Microsoft Word document) that shows in your web browser when you visit it’s web address or URL (like: http://www.google.com). The page is ‘hosted’ on a web server and the web address or URL, points to that page. When you are on a web page, you can right click and ‘view page source’ – this will show you the ‘html code’ that tell the browser how to display the page to you. I think you’re still with me? OK good.

A web site is made up of a home page (as above) and other pages linked from the home page with different content – the home page being the page that the web address points to – your visitors ‘landing page’, if you like. It’s called this because its the place where visitor land when they type the web address into the browser. (Just in case, your browser is the program you use the view the internet such as Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Safari, Mozilla Firefox etc.)

Most sites also have an ‘about us’ page, a ‘services’ page and a ‘contact us’ page. The contact us page will have a form where you can enter your name, address and a message that sends an email directly to the web site owner. Sometimes you get an automated email back saying ‘thanks for your message’. I think most people have experienced that kind of form on a web site and are familiar with the process. Continue reading “Easy explanation of landing pages and squeeze pages”

What are Landing Pages and Squeeze Pages? In plain English.


Landing Pages and Squeeze Pages Example Page

What are Landing Pages and Squeeze Pages? Let me explain in plain English.

Over the last few weeks my site traffic has trebled and my Google ranking has penetrated the natural search results geographically better than any other system I’ve used in the past – and I’ve not paid Google a single penny.

So, what are Landing Pages and Squeeze Pages?

Firstly, I’ll explain in simple terms and then I’ll show you how it works below. On the right is an image of a typical landing page looks like.

All the content is designed to achieve one thing. The ‘Call To Action’ or ‘CTA’. This can be anything from entering your email address for marketing or asking you to ‘buy now’ or ‘sig up’. You can use ‘Pay Per Click’ or ‘PPC’ campaigns where you pay for traffic to be sent to a page via keywords that you set but I’m more interested in the natural geographical searches and I’m not ready to ‘buy’ traffic at this stage. If your site content is good enough – you shouldn’t need to. Click the image on the right to see my main landing page example. My CTA is requesting the users to ‘buy now’ in 3 different ways. 50, 20 or one landing page or squeeze page. Mine is more of a squeeze page as the content invites the user to keep scrolling down to the last part of the page – the ‘buy now’ button.

Landing pages and squeeze pages are designed to either capture a users details, sell a product or request that the user take action (CTA) such as call you or visit another page or site.

Landing pages are essentially the same page in terms of design, but with different elements such as  a town and area that shows in the page title and throughout the content. If there are 50 pages out there, that’s 50 more chances of listing higher in the search engines. 50 more times your content is considered for listing and 50 more chances to covert your hits into sales or information capture. Each page is different as far as Google is aware because there are changes on each page and the content is relevant to the main site. In my case, I’m selling landing pages and I’m a web designer.

Yes, you can learn how to create landing pages or squeeze pages and you can find websites that have landing or squeeze page templates. There are even landing page generators but none of these services can fully optimise your site for success like a personally created page. It takes experience and knowledge to do that.

At Sunshine Web Design we have both – and we’re not afraid to use it.

Correctly coded landing pages and squeeze pages can seriously improve your site rankings in Google – and we can prove it. We are now ranked No1 on Google for 150 separate search terms.

The system we use is not just page creation, it’s every single page fully SEO optimised – meaning the text is formatted correctly, keywords are strategically placed and the content is checked for readability. Google implemented two new algorithms called ‘Panda’ and ‘Farmer’ to stop people taking advantage of listing tricks with shallow content. All our pages have rich content, that is relative to the product or service they are advertising.

This means that Google ranks the pages higher for the right reasons.

We are not ‘tricking’ the system, we are simply conforming to their requirements for higher rankings.

Try it out and see for yourself:

Search these terms in Google

(note that they don’t relate to ‘sunshine web design’ in any way at all)

landing pages Costa del Sol

landing pages Alhaurin

landing pages Cartama

squeeze pages Marbella

squeeze pages Malaga

landing pages Kent

squeeze pages Madrid

WHO’S ON TOP?

 Learn more here:

http://sunshinewebdesign.es/web-design-services/landing-pages-and-squeeze-pages/

Landing Pages and Squeeze Pages SitemapThis is how the pages show up in your ‘sitemap’ – Google likes sitemaps!

How to edit, crop and resize images for the web

I’m often asked how to edit, crop and resize images for the web.  I personally use software called ‘Photoshop‘ but at a hefty $999 for the software licence, it’s not the kind of thing I can recommend to my clients or home users to edit their images.

I felt obliged to find a way for ordinary web users to be able to achieve at least the basics of image editing without having to mess about installing software or learning how to use professional programs with a multitude of functions that most people will never use. I will show you how to do this using a FREE online service later. Let’s get the terminology out of the way first!

The main functions you really need for posting images to the web (Facebook, your blog, emailing family pics etc) are cropping and resizing. What does that mean, I hear you ask? Read on…

Cropping

Cropping an image means ‘cutting’ parts of the borders away to reduce the size of the canvass. You may do this with a landscape image that has something in the background that you don’t want, like a car or random person. Cropping can be explained visually – look at the image below. The one on the left is the original image,  the second image shows how you select the area to be cropped and the third image (on the right) has been ‘cropped’ to remove the people and just leave the subject (in this case the Fahala Tower) in place without the rest of the image. Note: If you plan to resize an image that will also be cropped, always crop first to maximise the quality of the final image. If I were to enlarge the image below back to the original size, it would lose quality and ‘pixelate’ showing little squares over the image.

How to edit, crop and resize images for the web

Resizing images

Resizing is simply ‘optimising’ the image for the web. As modern cameras become more powerful, a raw image taken with a non professional camera can easily be 4000 pixels or more with an image size of 4-6 MB.

Most website images are set at 72DPI (Dots Per Inch) as this is a good size to show good image quality on PC monitors while keeping the file size low. An optimised image that was 4000 pixels can be reduced to 600 pixels and become 100KB or less – much better for displaying on the web. As an example, the image above is 500 pixels wide and a decent size visually, while only being 42KB.

Jpeg images have quality settings that can be set by percentage. Setting you image to 80% will usually compress the file size without compromising your image quality too much. You’ll need to play around to find your optimum setting.

Learn more about image quality here: http://webdesign.about.com/od/optimizingimages/a/aa032700a.htm

100% FREE Online Image Editor: http://pixlr.com/

Once you’re there, select ‘Open Pixlr express (Efficient)‘ for best results. There are other options, but this is best for the things we are discussing in this tutorial.

Select ‘browse’ to choose an image from your computer and then use the tools at the bottom of the screen to edit your image. The first icon at the bottom of the screen on the left is called ‘adjustment’ and will give you the options I have talked about above.

Feel free to have a play around, there are some really cool effects available but don’t forget to choose ‘apply’ when you’ve added an effect. When you are finished editing, choose ‘Save’ at the top of the page. Once you have done that, you will see a ‘quality box’ – this is where you optimise your file size – not the size of the image itself. Choose the quality you want (I recommend 80%) and then hit ‘save’. This will open a dialogue box for you to save the file to your hard drive. That’s it – you’re good to go!

saveyouredits

I hope you enjoyed this short tutorial on how to edit, crop and resize images for the web. If you did, please consider sharing with your social networks.