Web Dummies: Things Are Getting Pinteresting!

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If you’re not on the social media giant Pinterest, then you’re missing out!

Let’s begin with the basics: I started pinning in what feels like forever ago, but it was probably some time in 2010. The site wasn’t what it is now – granted, the design has stayed pretty much consistent and the user-interface has always been very friendly; yet, the following that Pinterest has now is just enormous. Individuals to major brands are all utilizing Pinterest to share ideas and connect information.


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{ My Pinterest Profile }


With Pinterest’s immense growth comes innovative ideas for sharing and reaching more people. I love the Pinterest App on my cell (available for Android and iPhone) because I love to pin while I’m waiting for anything. It’s a sweet way to pass the time; looking up design inspirations or delicious recipes. But what matters most is what you have for later – Pinterest gives you the satisfaction of knowing that all of that information is stored there, in an organized and conveniently-linked manner.

Now for the goodies – literally. They’ve got a whole page of Pinterest Goodies where they’ve created some fantastic tools for business’ and personal brands:

Buttons + Widgets: Integrate the Pin It Button, Follow Button, Profile Widget, and/or Board Widget to get more engagement from pinners and traffic back your site; Plus, don’t forget to Verify Your Site.

Also, if you’re a WordPress blogger – like me – then you’ll love this plugin that adds a “Pin It” button as you hover over blog images. Recently, I stumbled upon another plugin called Alpine Photo Tile that showcases your most recent pins on a site page.

By simply searching online, you’ll find an endless list of plugins and widgets for Pinterest + WordPress.


Now for some visual fun. Here are a few examples of the Board Widget being integrated into a post. By clicking anywhere on the images below, you’ll be directed to any of the following boards: Design + Typography, Home + Garden, or Delicious Delights; yet the best part is that it’s constantly going to showcase the most recent pins. It’s sheer awesomeness:





It doesn’t seem like the Pinterest trend will subside anytime soon. Which is why I’m recommending you to jump on board, if you haven’t already! There’s lots of help on the Pinterest site to get you started. Plus, it’s truly one of the most user-friendly websites out there. The inspirations are endless and the organization is perfect.

{ Check out Pinterest and be sure to follow me when you get there! }

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Linkspirations: Free WordPress Plugins

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WordPress

If you’re a WordPress blogger, like me, then you know that there are certain plugins you need in your life. For those of you who are not too savvy with plugins: they are little tools which, when installed in your blog, help you showcase things from your social networks to set up’s of custom contact forms and even back-up your files safely. Here are some WordPress plugins that I just can’t live without – and I’m sure they will be very helpful to you too:

SOCIAL

  • Pinterest “Pin It” Button for Images: there are lots of these types of plugins; but after trying a few, this one is truly the best. It places a “Pin It” button over each of your blog images when your readers hover over them. From there, your readers can pin your images to their Pinterest boards in seconds.
  • Alpine PhotoTile for Pinterest: speaking of Pinterest, this plugin retrieves photos from a specific Pinterest board (of your choosing) and displays them in multiple gallery style options. It’s beautiful as well as engaging – since it links from your blog directly to your Pinterest board.
  • Pretty Pinterest Pins: place a widget on your sidebar with your most recent pins. Simple, classic, and linked – ready for repinning!
  • Instagram for WordPress: share your fun-filled-&-filtered Instagram images on your sidebar. It’s quick and easy with this plugin!
  • Shareaholic: at the bottom of every blog post, you can chose which social networks are available to share with. It’s a simple set up with a lot of power.

FUNCTIONALITY

  • Contact Form 7: although it’s one of the older plugins, it still works like a charm. You need to pay attention to the coding a little in the setup, to be sure not to mess anything up; but, overall it’s simple and to the point. Pretty dummy proof actually!
  • Under Construction: working on your blog design but don’t want anyone to see the mess? Then this is the fix for you. This plugin has an easy on/off switch where you can block out your site with a custom under construction message while you’re getting things done. When you’re ready for you live site to show, just turn “off” the plugin and you’re back!
  • Login Logo: this plugin gives the back-end of your blog a custom look and feel. With a simple image drop, you replace the WordPress logo in the login screen and place your logo in. This works especially well when building client blogs, as you give them a final product with a fully customized login page.
  • All In One SEO Pack: with Google analytics and automatically generating META tags, this plugin is vital to getting your blog on the top rankings for search engines. It’s simple to use and has many features to explore within it.
  • WordPress Backup to Dropbox: this plugin may have saved my life already. In the case of WordPress blogs, everything is stored in your FTP space – but let’s say you get hacked or somehow you mess up the code in your theme. There’s nothing to fear if you have a backup set up. I searched for many backup options, but the Dropbox backup was the best choice. I do this for my personal site as well as my client’s sites; I simply set it to automatically back up once a week, and I don’t have to think about it anymore.
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Web Dummies: Blogging? Choose WordPress!

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Almost 1,500 people can’t be wrong!
Wordpress.org is where you should open, create,
and customize your new and soon-to-be-amazing blog.

It’s an open source blogging platform with extensive customization capabilities. You can install themes into the program and customize everything from layout, to fonts, to colors, and much more. It’s also notorious for its plugins and widgets servicing pretty much everything you need on your blog. From newsletter sign-ups to running SEO keywords for individual blog posts, WordPress plugins do it all. It also incorporates spam protection in your comments, has a mobile-app where you can quickly update and respond to comments from, and is always easy to upgrade. This blogging platform just gets better with every update. So don’t wait any longer, start blogging about whatever you want!

Ready to learn more about blogging and WordPress.org? Join me for a one-on-one consulting session. We’ll go step-by-step and in-depth as to how to start your WordPress blog site – plus tricks to make the site more user friendly and attention grabbing. Not sure exactly what you need help with? Contact me and I’ll help point you to the right starting-location.

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Branding 101: Portfolio Update

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Hello Digital Darlings! I’d like to introduce META, Miami Elite Tennis Academy, who launched they’re official website this week. I was fortunate to work with META by designing and creating their website and social media outlets.

The overall layout of the site is minimalist; throughout all of the pages, you will enjoy the clean-cut yet exciting style. What really stands out, in the design aspect, is the highlight color of lime green which is also META’s identity color. Plus, the vibrancy of the images really “pop!” against the darker background, and the information is simply detailed in order for the viewer to know what they need to know and go!

The META project was actually a collaboration with my design partner and friend, Arlene, who did all the fun stuff like designing the brand identity for the company; of course, this is all while I stayed up late-nights, drinking coffee, and coding the back end of the website! But all kidding aside, I am so happy with the end result and to have had the opportunity to work with META on their website.

META is all about having fun and improving your tennis game. They have a special pyramid-system for their Juniors program, where the children go up in levels to become the best athletes they can in the appropriate amount of time and practice. They offer a 2-Week Free Trial when you register online, and are currently enrolling for Summer Camp! Check META out on Facebook too, or visit them as they are conveniently located in Kendall, Miami. Plus, I think you’ll really love what they have to offer.

[ www.metennis.com ]


Like what you see?
Need help setting up your Website?

Have no fear! I’m here to help
Contact me & let’s get started


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Web Dummies: WordCamp Miami

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Oh friends, the things I have learned today! So many wonderful things! I just attended WordCamp Miami 2011 – a designer/marketer/developer WordPress Conference – and got some amazing tips and tricks for WordPress plugins and online-goodies in general. I would love to share the knowledge I gained today with you all; check out the sites listed below for a little bit of everything you can utilize in your business:

Let’s start simple here, with Card Munch – compatible software for your iPhone which literally snaps a photo of your business cards and auto-adds the contact to your phones address book. We all know how hard it is to keep track of all the business cards we get while networking, so use this program and get organized!

Want to make money online? Who doesn’t! There are multiple platforms to set up ads on your blog/website, and the conference speakers today kept recommending BuySellAds. I’m going to give them a try by simply signing up, placing ads on my site, and then gain the possibility to get paid every time a consumer clicks; I suggest you do to!

New to WordPress? Don’t fret, WPBeginner is there for you. They offer guides, free themes, plugins, tutorials, consulting, and more – you name it! Easy to navigate and helpful for newbies, I highly recommend this site for all your WordPress questions.

Vanilla Forums is open source forum software that is used to power discussions. There you can sign up and have a discussion forum created for you instantly; the discussion forum can be used for any purpose, so take advantage and us it for your school work, business or just personal blog and get others opinions in a free-flow of ideas forum.

Last but certainly not least, Video User Manuals for web developers is the final piece to the puzzle. It is a plugin for WordPress that gives the end user both a video and online manual explaining the functionality available to Editors in WordPress. Instead of trying to explain WordPress in a nutshell to your client before you hand-over the site, let the tutorials do the talking. Clients can refer back to them anytime they want and web developers can sleep-well knowing that the site automatically updates the tutorials as things upgrade in WordPress. It’s definitely worth the price of $24 a month for web developers and clients to finally understand each other!

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