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Responsive Web Design
These days, WordPress, an open source, database-driven content-management engine built with PHP and MySQL, is capable of managing entire corporate websites. Many Search experts (SEs) particularly love WordPress because it allows them to selectively mix and customize search optimization plugins specific to their client solutions.
The SE can then set content authors loose on the site, knowing the search tools are automatically churning behind-the-scenes, supporting their search strategies.
The newest version of WordPress, dubbed “Sonny” in honor of jazz saxophonist Sonny Stitt, was just released this week. In addition to slick navigational tools, it now has drag-and-drop image insertion and improved widget handling. Plus, it also now contains the entire jQuery library, opening the way, I’m hoping, for some super-fabulous “Responsive Media” attributes built directly into future versions of WordPress. Hint, hint, hint.
Responsive Media, what’s that all about, you may well ask. That’s where the website is constructed so that it scales automatically to any-size screen you happen to be using, from mobile to tablet, to wall-sized movie screen. Not only does the website scale itself, it does so beautifully and that means your site’s content is readable, breathtakingly gorgeous and, yes, oooohh-lahhh-lahhh awesome, EVERYWHERE!
Under current technology, this means web designers and developers build sites manually using @media queries in their CSS3 — definitely a fun-thing for some, but comes with a learning curve. Another alternative is using Responsive Themes and Responsive Plugins developed specifically for WordPress. More and more of these tools are being offered across the web, providing an attractive solution with many options for design customization and unique branding within WordPress.
Ethan Marcotte, Technical editor at A List apart is said to have coined the term, Responsive Web Design in his May 2010 article.
G-Apps Primary Domain Name Change
Changing a primary domain name on G-Apps can be a nightmare. Here are some tips we discovered when we recently helped one of our arts organization clients do just that. As simple as you would think this should be, it was not. For anyone who has tried it, you know you can’t just click away and, voila, Google-Apps lets you login to your new domain name to get mail.
Although deleting or modifying your primary domain name is not a simple G-Apps option, Google-Apps does provide you with the capability of adding names and aliases that will point to and from your primary name. The draw back is that now your users log into one domain to send and retrieve their email, but use another domain name in their to/from communications. That is often confusing for them and, the alias system sometimes malfunctions.
The only permanent solution involves a series of steps, creating a new G-Apps account using the new primary domain name, reapplying for all of your Business and Education level upgrades, the re-provisioning all accounts. Finally, each copy of email is migrated to the new user account. There are several ways to accomplish this file migration.
One method involves a series of POP/IMAP setting changes to transfer all data from the old G-Apps account to a local computer email client, and then back up to the new G-Apps account. This method deletes any label structure the user had implemented, pours the whole archive of messages into the new inbox, and changes the date on the migrating messages from the original date to the upload time and date. It is a time-consuming process, tying up the local computer for hours and days at a time, and this method is prone to file errors and transfer stalls.
Of all the methods we tested, the quickest and easiest solution was to use a migration service. In this case, we employed MigrationBox.com. They were excellent in every way, responding to our needs immediately and completing the migration overnight. Our client was able to perform all work as usual while the transfer occurred in background on MigrationBox’s equipment. We recommend you talk to them if you are considering a domain name change involving G-Apps.
Rapid Webhosting Consolidation
Endurance International Group has been aggressively acquiring independent hosting companies since it changed its business model in 2001, post-2000 tech-bomb. Recently it scooped up the spunky Los Angeles based Dreamhost, formerly an employee-owned company, increasing EIG’s portfolio to over a hundred thousand customers.
Spry and VPSLink were acquired by EIG in May 2010, after which EIG merged the former Spry/VPSLink Seattle and New York data centers into EIG’s Boston facility. The transition was rocky for many Spry customers, particularly because the VPS (Virtual Private Server) product that Spry offered was attractive to many small and medium sized web-dev businesses who focus on managing many sites and clients under VPS hosting products.
In 2008, EIG was acquired by private equity group, Accel-KKR whose sole focus, according to Crunchbase, is investing in technology businesses with revenues in the $15 to $150 million arena. EIG’s preference is to work with the existing management teams of the businesses they acquire, though they did not keep on the Dreamhost team. Compare the photos from either corporate website to get the gist of the cultural differences between the Dreamhost and EIG.
Dreamhost, on the one hand, is made-up of casually-dressed, hairy males in their late 20s to mid-30s. Accell-KKR and EIG teams are also all-male, but in their mid-thirties to early forties, and definitely SUITed.
Sadly, no women on any of the tech teams, executive management, special advisors or board of directors, pre- or post-merger.
The EIG acquisitions list, according to Dreamhost, includes all of the following and more:
Dreamhost blog entry: http://bit.ly/giFlN3
WordPress Plugin Mania
WordPress plugin mania is catching and testing them can become an ever constant source of entertainment given the huge open source directory of them on WordPress.org; you can occupy yourself for an entire weekend or more. This one is by Joost de Valk, a CrunchBase widget. He’s created a tag abbreviation system to look up company data and post the most current stuff to your blog. Here’s what is does:
Page Speed vs Relevance in Search
Google Webmaster Central says Google is obsessed with website page loading speeds. Increase how fast your site displays and you get a big, sloppy, golden kiss from Google. But, page speed vs relevance in search, what’s more valuable from a searchers point of view?
Suggested ways for increasing site loading time include serving resources from a consistent URL and minimizing references to images housed on other servers. By deduction, this would include YouTube embeds. Especially YouTube embeds. Who hasn’t sat impatiently waiting for s.ytming.com to do whatever it’s supposed to be doing (YouTube thumbnail image domain), wondering where in grandma’s name the internet went. Lunch, coffee, anxiety attack?
Facebook Connect and Social Plugins are another source of huge time hogs, along with many flash movies and flash players. Ironically, Google recently announced it is coming out with the Facebook ‘Like’ equivalent, called the ‘+! button.’ Use it and you will be penalized based on its slowness?
Research with non-purchasing intent and you’re sure to retrieve disappointing SERPs. Who wouldn’t tolerate a little waiting for quality returns containing key bits of critical information? Dreadful is being shuffled off to an unrelevant fast-loader with little to contribute but a whole lot of something else to sell. Dam Google, just gimme what I need.
New Ways to Reach Your Prospects: Volume I
MySpace isnâ€™t just for teenagers any more. Social networking will continue to be a key online activity this year, with 44% of US consumers using social networking at least once a month in 2008. MySpace and Facebook will continue dominating the market but there are changes ahead that will extend social networking activities allowing user profiles to become portable. With this portability, consumers will be able to use their single profile in many different places on the internet. Social networking will also be an enhanced feature offered when shopping online, searching and even sending e-mail.
According to Debra Aho Williamson, Senior Analyst with eMarketer.com, Ad spending on social networks is projected to climb from $ 920 million in 2007 to $1.6 billion in 2008, which represents a 70% growth rate. Targeted advertising will continue to cover the bulk of the $1.6 billion, but other forms of social network marketing like advertising, widgets and e-commerce, will catch marketers attention.
Social networking is just one tool that can be used to reach your target market. On these social networks you can post your company bios, blogs, videos and more, to extend company presence.
Stay tuned for more â€œNew Ways to Reach Your Prospectsâ€.