How to add Title tags to links

In the edit window, type in the text that you want to show as your link text, such as “More information.” Select it and click on “link” if you are using the HTML editor or the link icon if you are using the visual editor. (Note: the link icon won’t be active until you select the text you want to link.)

Location of Link button on HTML edit window

Location of Link button on visualedit window

A lightbox window will pop up where you can either enter the URL to want to link to, or choose a page or post from your previously-published material.

Where to add your title link text

Click on the Add Link button, and you’re done!

Note: Are you wondering why it’s a good idea to add title tags to links? The answer is coming tomorrow on 2FishWeb.com.

Curly quotes and inch marks

When you type a paragraph into WordPress, the software automatically converts your straight quotes into angled or curly quotes, like so:

"Good morning, world!"

becomes

“Good morning, world!”

But what if you are writing something that requires straight quotes, such as measurements? Then your dimensions will be displayed this way:

Artwork is 12″ wide by 18″ high

To use the straight quotes for inch marks, you’ll need to tweak the HTML just a tiny bit. Finish your post and save the draft. Then switch to HTML mode. Wherever you need an inch mark instead of an angled or curly quote, change the " to " . Save your draft in HTML mode and preview. You should now see your dimensions displayed properly, like so:

Artwork is 12" wide by 18" high

WP Writers: please date your posts

A number of high-profile bloggers (mostly the ones who blog about how to blog) recommend that you turn off date stamps on your posts and in the site URLs. Write “evergreen” material, they argue, and your posts will show up high in Google search pages even if the searcher asks for recent results.

If you are writing about WordPress — or indeed, any software program or system — this is bad advice. WordPress is constantly being updated and improved. Old code is deprecated and new function hooks and features are added with every release.

The WordPress code hack or snippet that you feature today may not work in future versions. The plugin you recommend now may conflict with the next release — and will the plugin’s author maintain and update it for compatibility?

Please, WordPress bloggers: put dates on your posts so that future searches will indicate whether it might be relevant to solving their problem at that time. (There’s nothing worse than finding the exact solution you need — written for WordPress 2.2 and never updated.) If you want to be really helpful, tag your post with the WordPress version current at the time you write it. Yes, your time- and version-sensitive posts will drop from future search results (as obsolete information should), leaving opportunity for you to write new material.

WordPress users and developers will bless your name and come back to your site for continuing authoritative and useful information.

Practicing what I preach: WordPress all versions; current version 3.3.1.

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Frugal Spending is In. What now?

Pinching penniesEverybody loves to save money, especially when times are lean, and many people choose to put off buying nonessential items or shop strictly on price. But you don’t have to be “the low-price leader” to benefit from frugal shoppers. A great opportunity to build customer loyalty, even in difficult times, is to offer discounts or special deals to your repeat customers.

If you send out regular newsletters (and if you don’t, why not?), your email list is one of your greatest assets. Let your subscribers know that they are special by offering “secret discounts” once or twice a year only to newsletter recipients. Your shopping cart software can be used to offer percent off coupons or special prices on a particular item or category of products. If you sell services, you can offer discount coupons through PayPal or your payment provider. We can help you set it up.

On your website, your newsletter signup form should include a teaser: “Want to be the first to hear about special deals and discounts? Sign up for our insiders’ newsletter and get advance notice of sales!”

Can you offer a small product or service at a specially-discounted price? Think of it as one bite-size taste of a product or service that might be seen as expensive enough to make a buyer pause. A bakery that normally sells cupcakes by the dozen or half-dozen might consider offering one especially luscious flavor at a discounted price. Coaches and service providers who charge by the hour could look at a half-hour session for an introductory price. Writers — put a short story on Kindle or the Apple bookstore at $0.99 to whet a reader’s appetite for your longer works. Even in frugal times, people feel the need to treat themselves, and if you give them a small way to do that, you’ve made sales you may not have gotten otherwise.

Make your customers feel special. They’ll love you for it… and your bottom line will show it!

Need help setting up your marketing plans to take advantage of these opportunities? Give me a call at 205-924-5146 or shoot me an email. I’m here and ready to help make 2012 your best year ever — despite challenges.

Watermarking images

It’s impossible to completely prevent someone from downloading and saving any image that you post on the Internet. As a matter of fact, every time someone opens your web page in a browser, a copy of each image is temporarily downloaded to the viewer’s hard drive.

But artists and those who make their living from images often want to announce that a particular image belongs to them and make it more difficult for someone else to use the image without permission or attribution. One way to do this is to add a watermark — a notice of copyright or ownership — directly to the image in such a way that the image can’t be reproduced without the notice.

You could do this, of course, in your photo editing program. But there is an easier way.
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Lightbox effect for your images

Problem:

You don’t like WordPress’ default behavior of linking small images to a separate page showing the larger image. You’d rather have the larger image open right on the page while the background darkens, like this:

Go ahead and click on the image above to see the effect in action.

Solution:

Auto Thickbox Plus plugin.

NOTE: The plugin page says that it is compatible up to WordPress version 3.2.1. My tests show that it works on version 3.3.1 as well.

Dashboard settings are simple.

You can choose whether to automatically use the effect on single images (as I have) or on WordPress galleries. You can also choose whether to use it on text links, as in the example below which opens the linked page in a popup box right here:

2FishWeb Designs

Simple, easy, elegant.

Recommended.

Fix the HTML Editor font in WordPress 3.3

This is a much more technical post than usual for WPbonbons, but I’ve spent a good bit of time figuring it out and wanted to share.

In version 3.2.1, the HTML editor font was changed from Verdana to Consolas, a monospaced font that (to my eyes and those of many others) is ugly and hard to read.

Ok, it’s a small thing. But it’s an annoyance.

To fix it in WordPress 3.2.1, you could add a few lines to your theme’s functions.php file, or you could install a simple plugin. WordPress 3.3 moved things around in the core code, which meant that neither of those methods worked any more. We woke up this morning after upgrading our WordPresses to find the Return of Dreaded Consolas.

After dinking around a bit, I found that the editor div class had been changed. I could change the stylesheet in /wp-includes/css/editor-buttons.css and make it work, but that would mean I’d have to remember to change it again with every subsequent upgrade of WordPress.

Here are two ways to fix it for WordPress 3.3.

Add lines to functions file

If you want to use Justin Tadlock’s method of adding lines to your theme’s function file, use this:

/* Set HTML edit screen font to Verdana*/

add_action( 'admin_head-post.php', 'devpress_fix_html_editor_font' );
add_action( 'admin_head-post-new.php', 'devpress_fix_html_editor_font' );

function devpress_fix_html_editor_font() { ?>

This works well if you are using a custom theme or a child theme. If you put these lines directly into a non-custom theme functions file, remember to add them again whenever the theme is updated.

Add a plugin

In your /wp-content/ folder, create a new folder called /mu-plugins/ . Create a new plain text document with the following code. Name it something like fix-editor.php, and upload into the /wp-content/mu-plugins/ directory.


Your HTML editor area will look like its old self again.

US Postal Rate increase – is your shopping cart ready?

On January 22, 2012, US Postal Service will raise rates on First Class and most package service classes. First-class mail rates are rising from 44 cents to 45 cents, so this might be a good time to stock up on Forever stamps. Buy them now and use them later, no matter what the rates are at the time you use them.

Review all the new rates on the USPS site and download a full description of the increases.

If your site has a shopping cart associated with it, you’ll want to be sure that it’s ready for the change as well.
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