How To Set Up Google Analytics In WordPress

google-analytics-for-wordpress-thumbnailGoogle Analytics is just about a standard necessity to have when creating a website, especially for web stats. A lot of new website owners aren’t sure where to implement it, especially with WordPress.

Google has developed their Analytics product to help you track as much of your website, as well as social engagement. Below are two ways on how to set up Google Anaytlics in WordPress.

How To Set Up Google Analytics In WordPress – Without A Plugin

If you are comfortable editing your theme’s template files and prefer to not use a plugin, then this method is for you.

Below is a general generated tracking code from Google Analytics.

Replace the UA with your analytics ID that Google gives you. Note: If you’re having issues finding the tracking code, go log into you Google Analytics account, and then under Admin> Tracking Info> Tracking Code. Copy that as it has your Analytics ID in the code.

However, if you know your Analytics ID for your website, replace the yourdomainname.com with your site’s domain.

Add the code to your header.php file in your theme folder before the ending </head> tag. If you prefer to place it in the footer, find your footer.php file and place it before the ending </html> tag, but after the </body> markup tag.

You could also create a file called googleanalyticstracking.php, paste the above code, and then include the line

Again, this file can be placed in the same areas specified above.

How To Set Up Google Analytics In WordPress – With A Plugin

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If you don’t want to mess with touching any code except copying and pasting your Analytics ID for your website, then Google Analytics or WordPress by Joost de Valk would be a great and easy solution to use.

Once you’ve installed the Google Analytics for WordPress plugin, you can sync your Google Analytics account with it.

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The options for Google Analytics for WordPress are fairly cut and dry. The plugin basically asks you on what you want to track or not to track. All you do is select what you want to track and save. :) If you need to track more, there are some really in depth settings to track things like Internal links, outbound links, authors, logged in users, post types, categories, downloads, and much more.

google-analytics-screenshot-2 google-analytics-screenshot-3

Of course, there are a ton of other Google Analytics related plugins, but this one does a lot to help you track as much of your site as possible. For some, having all of these options at their disposal may be intimidating, but that’s okay. With a little time and learning, anyone can take advantage of all of the features of the Google Analytics for WordPress plugin.

Have you installed Google Analytics on your WordPress powered website? If so, what method did you use? If you used a plugin, did you use the one mentioned above?

eBook: 10 Reason Why Your Site Isn’t Converting and How To Fix It

10reasonswhyyouresiteisntconverting-thumbnailSo, I finally put together an ebook. I’ve done some ranting and raving on Facebook about SEO and such. Not just once, but several times over the past years. In fact, some of them have spurred on posts like Stop Overcomplicating SEO, Stop Over Optimizing SEO, SEO is not Hard, and SEO is not Dying.

Frankly, a lot of people really have no clue what to do for their website. Others just want to skate by with chump change from Adsense. Some profess that they profit from making money from their ads, but never weigh in the actual time spent and if they really walk away with extra money to spare after all the bills and basic necessities are taken care of at the end of the month. That’s great for those who like to live like that, but what about those who want to do more than skate by?

How about, aside from that awesome content, thinking of better ways to organize it and bring it to your visitors’ attention? How about helping your site make more for you, leaving you with a lot more time to spend doing other things like creating awesome posts and engaging with people?

My ebook is not here to guarantee that you will make money immediately. It is to get you thinking about making a more effective plan to convert your website visitors into loyal readers, subscribers, and buyers.

10 Reason Why Your Site Isn’t Converting and How To Fix It

10reasonswhyyouresiteisntconverting

This ebook is 18 pages and in PDF format… and it’s free.

I hope that this ebook will help you understand what website conversion is, and that you use it to improve what strategies you’re using or finally implementing one if you don’t have any plans running at this moment.

Confessions Of A Dyslexic Blogger

Dear Bloggers:

I’m dyslexic. Some people know it and others don’t. It’s one of the reasons why I’m tough on people who choose blogging or writing as a career, or a means to elevate themselves to a leadership position. I don’t expect perfection, but I do expect some care in writing.

There are so many people out there with the same issue, or maybe another, like being legally blind in one or both eyes, or having some other eye issue. I appreciate fair to excellent writing, specifically spelling. Grammar is usually something that is not as emphasized, but it’s also much appreciated.

Bloggers- please have some type of care when you go to other blogs, forums ,or to social network sites, and write out comments. If I can hit the edit, you can too, especially if you’re asking a support question.

While I’m dyslexic, it doesn’t mean I’m dumb. I’m not even perfect, and my first degree was in English. (lol) I went through a lot to learn to get past most of my issue (even learned another language, and studying 2 others), but in those moments of being tired, it’s hard to piece together a sentence that looks like a word find.

It’s also hard to believe that the person communicating so poorly is a blogger. Imagine if it was you who wrote something that people had to ask you to clarify because they couldn’t understand a 7- word question. It might be frustrating, or it might be embarrassing. Imagine what other people are thinking. They probably will answer your question, but they won’t be interested in reading your blog unless it is to verify if you write the same way on your website.

Hey, it doesn’t matter what language you originally write in. The same rules apply in forums, blogs, or social networks using your language. It’s no different in other languages as people are going to ask you to repeat yourself carefully. People like myself aren’t being rude or tough on you to be mean or racist. We’re doing this to help you improve.

The same advice can be said of blogging, so please have a heart and be a little more careful.

Sincerely,
Nile Flores

A Guide to Ghost Blogging

guide-to-ghost-writing-thumbnailGhost blogging is not all that different from the term called ghost writing. No, it’s isn’t a spooky ghost writing blog posts!

It is basically writing blog posts or content for other blogs without getting credit, and usually in exchange for money. A lot of people tend to get guest blogging and ghost blogging confused. This post is a guide to ghost blogging.

A Guide to Ghost Blogging

What’s the difference between ghost blogging and guest blogging?

Ghost blogging is getting paid to write for a blog without getting any credit except money. It is purely writing for someone else, so you can’t drop external links to other places unless the client gives you specific instruction to do so. Guest blogging is writing with the intention of not just sharing great content on another site, but also expanding your own site’s authority and even getting back links and traffic.

Guest blogging doesn’t involve money exchange and shouldn’t. That is called paid posts or sponsored posts if a blog owner is charging money to publish those type of posts.

How can bloggers can take part in ghost blogging?

You can start by offering the service on your own website. Create a special page about your ghost writing services and use your blog or even links to guest blog posts you’ve done to act as your portfolio. You can do a search on good for guest blogging or ghost writing, or getting paid to write. You can also peruse freelancer websites like Freelancer.com or Odesk.com to find blogging jobs.

You can also search Facebook, or even Google Plus for virtual assistant groups to join. There are some actually dedicated to selling content.

How much can a ghost blogger make per article?

How much depends on your experience, what type of blog articles you’re writing, if you’re also providing images or other media to accompany the post, and how many words. You can make anywhere between $20 to $50 for a 500 word blog post.

Most people are willing to pay top dollar if the content is excellent. If you’re writing a 500 word article for $5 to $10, then you’re wasting your time. Warning: Don’t get reeled into earning chump change!

Who can become a ghost blogger?

Anyone can potentially become a ghost blogger. It’s important to note that if you can’t accept not getting credit for your work, that ghost blogging isn’t for you. It’s like working for a company and maintaining their website under a non-disclosure agreement. You usually can’t put it in your portfolio. In very few cases, the client may be nice enough to write a testimonial, but don’t expect one.

Another quality in ghost blogging is seeking to write the most thorough and unique content. Clients aren’t going to pay top dollar for a crappy blog article.

Ideal ghost bloggers are:

  • Extremely flexible in covering a variety of topics
  • Cover unique angles, concepts, and theories of topics
  • Deliver content in more mediums like audio, video, or images
  • Have a strong command over language

Is ghost blogging legal?

Yes, ghost blogging is legal. Ghost writing is legal too. There are oodles of published books that were ghost written. So if ghost writing is legal, ghost blogging is as well. The only thing illegal is if plagiarism is involved.

Will ghost blogging hurt a site’s rankings?

Well, that depends on the content written. If the content is mediocre, then yes, it can be a problem. However, if you are getting paid, you probably should be putting your best foot forward on ALL of your blog articles.

Can I make a client give me credit on posts I ghost blogged?

It is strongly discouraged that you do. Ghost blogging is understood to be like a non-disclosure agreement. In fact, you probably might want to put together a short contract agreeing not to disclose your blog posts to anyone.

Example:

Date:
Client’s Name: CLIENT’S NAME
Client’s Email Address: CLIENT’S EMAIL

Service Provider’s Name: YOUR NAME
Service Provider’s Email: YOUR EMAIL

Objective:
Ghost blogging for CLIENT’S NAME HERE.

Project Details:
SERVICE PROVIDER will ghost write blog posts and content for CLIENT.

Project Terms:
SERVICE PROVIDER will not disclose blog posts or any work for CLIENT to anyone. This is a non-disclosure agreement. If SERVICE PROVIDER fails to comply with non-disclosure agreement, LIST CONSEQUENCES OF FAILING TO UPHOLD AGREEMENT HERE. (Usually a refund or accepting responsibility for damages incurred.)

SERVICE PROVIDER will provide unique and quality content to CLIENT. SERVICE PROVIDER will make sure that work is not re-written or duplicate content. If SERVICE PROVIDER fails to comply with providing unique and quality content, LIST CONSEQUENCES OF FAILING TO UPHOLD AGREEMENT HERE. (Usually a refund or accepting responsibility for damages incurred.)

CLIENT will pay the SERVICE PROVIDER as per the terms set under the Project Fee and Payment Details section. If CLIENT fails to comply Project Fee and Payment Details, LIST CONSEQUENCES OF FAILING TO UPHOLD AGREEMENT HERE.

Signing this short contract means that both the SERVICE PROVIDER and CLIENT will uphold their responsibilities for the project.

Project Fee and Payment Details: AMOUNT

STATE TERMS OF ACCEPTING PAYMENT HERE (whether money order, PayPal, or another method, as well as due date.)

Signatures:

SERVICE PROVIDER –

CLIENT -

Ghost blogging really isn’t a new concept. However, if you enjoy writing and want to try to make money online, it doesn’t hurt to try. It’s important to know that it’s not always a gratifying job as the client will be the only one thanking you for your work. It is a job that requires accepting that you have to secretly take pride in your work.

Have you heard of ghost blogging? Do you ghost blog?

(Note: Please be smart and don’t list where you ghost blog at.)

WordPress Web Design: What Happened To Being Creative?

goodwebdesignpracticesTrends come and trends go. This is true even in the world of web design, even WordPress web design. The fact of the matter is there are more WordPress designers using pre-built frameworks to customize their work. This is quite fine and often a way to help streamline work. However, the work is different from 2 years ago, 5 years ago, and even 10 years ago. Late 2013 and early 2014 have ventured into what I call a lull in creative design.

In a lot of ways, web design and development has improved. Technology has improved too. Technology is a wonderful thing The brightest people out there have brought speedy Internet, mobile browsing, responsive design, great graphic editors, and much more!

So, why has web design at this point taken a turn for being less creative? Good design relies on a balanced use of color, images, text, placement of website elements for effective conversion, texture, and attention to web accessibility. The most notable types are design trends in 2014 that are being used are:

  • Flat design
  • Lots of white space

Flat design is where the only design elements involved is color without an embellishments like transparency, drop shadows, gradients, or textures. It is solely flat color. White space is the empty areas around elements. Sometimes you can use white space to your advantage in drawing together a site. However, too much white space gives a floating type feel.

Both of the above trends, especially for a long time web designer, are fairly drab and have a disconnect with many people.

In an age where branding is important, flat design doesn’t carry that pop. It doesn’t work in all niche. There are some well executed flat design sites, but there aren’t many that are impressive. And having too much white space can be detrimental too.

As for white space, the same can be said. There are site that have a brilliant balance, but there aren’t that many. There’s no need to have 40 pixels of padding around elements. In smaller resolutions, this is a pain as it makes the area that much smaller. In some cases it could look clunky. Even the best themes out there, I have to tweak the theme in order to take away unnecessary and excessive padding.

Some designers believe that if they get creative, it will hurt the load time of the site. Well, you’ve got 5 seconds to work with on load time and even so, remember a lot of people have some really fast Internet. Yes, there still is dial-up, but even that number is shrinking. Then, there’s mobile browsing, so you can create a site or use a plugin for that!

Don’t be afraid of design. Your website is not like the old gaudy MySpace or GeoCities days unless you make it so. There are far more sophisticated tools and graphics to use. There are really talented graphic designer and web designers too!

I’m challenging web designers, specifically WordPress web designers to get rid of the box, and get more creative. Encourage clients to get excited about branding their site to be something memorable for everyone, not just another bland and disconnected site.

What other trends do you see in web design or specifically WordPress web design that you don’t like?

Infographic: 5 Most Common Website Navigation Design Setups

5-most-common-navigation-infographic-thumbnailThe menu of your site if extremely important. It’s available to help direct your website’s visitors to the areas of your site that are most important. Each website has its own unique structure in terms of the content, but the general placement of the navigation menu is the quite similar to many other sites. Throughout the years, this has stayed somewhat the same, even with fad themes that were common with website owners in the blogosphere.

In fact, the navigation menu is sometimes a hard area for a lot of web page owners to put together. And sometimes even a professional web designer doesn’t always understand the importance of how a navigation should be set up.It might be because of the right order, or trying to decide what pages should be first and foremost, especially if they have a website that has a lot of static pages or blog posts.

Throughout the years, I’ve taken the time to see thousands of websites, both small and large, popular, and just starting, have a lot of common design in regards to just navigation design, at least in its placement on the web page.

Of course, there are sites that don’t march to the same tune, but they are also not part of the majority. That is quite alright too, as some menus work better for some types of websites, but don’t always work well on others.

Below is an infographics on the most common placement of website navigation menus.

Infographic: 5 Most Common Website Navigation Design Setups

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Cute Personalized Blinkie Signatures

freebiesI’ve actually had blinkies on my site for years. A lot of people like to have their signatures at the end of their post. This is the reason why I created them before. They are your normal signature, or for some of us, we call them siggies. I just didn’t realize that since my site revamp in 2013, I forgot to put the blinkies page back in the resource section of Blondish.net.

In fact, a lot of things are being put back up slowly, and because of the changes, some of the organization has been changed. Recently, I was approached by a long time reader, one I’ve known since 2003 that asked where my blinkie signatures were located. I was embarrassed to find out that I had forgotten to put them back up. So now they are back up. :)

All of the personalized blinkie signtures are cute, and cater to females. Sorry guys, when I first created them, most of the people I visited were women. And frankly, I see signatures mostly on women’s sites or their profiles in forums.

Here are some examples:

Nelly blinkie signature Sarah blinkie signature Bridget blinkie signature Amanda blinkie signature

Right now, there are over 600 of them available. If you use any, please save them to your computer. No direct linking. Some people have violated this and got a rude image to replace what they direct linked. I wouldn’t recommend putting a whole bunch of these together for your signature. I’ve seen people do that and it kind of gets gaudy and might mess with someone’s eyes. In fact, that’s a big reason why at one point that it wasn’t acceptable… people were overusing them.

I haven’t added to the Blondish.net resource section in some time and I couldn’t find any posts mentioning that they were available, so I think it’s high time to tell the world. I do plan to add in the future, as time allows.

Dear WordPress: Please Remember The User’s Choice in Upgrading

wordpress-cat-thumbI don’t normally do columns or letter-like responses, but I find myself writing one today. And if this is seen, great. If nothing is done, well, at least my thoughts have been shared on the matter. This is in regards to the automatic upgrade feature in WordPress.

For those really new to WordPress, the older version gave you a notice and allowed you to click the button to upgrade. This was a one-click upgrade, and somewhat of a semi-upgrade feature due to the fact it allowed users to upgrade directly from their WordPress backend, rather than via FTP or another means.

WordPress 3.8.1 came up as a true automatic upgrade for some. We were told this was going to happen.

This true automatic upgrade is against the original core values and intentions of WordPress and I can’t believe this was done. This takes the choice out of the user-end side.

Yes, for some, it might be intimidating or confusing when WordPress updates… but for them to assume that 20% of the Internet wants this feature, is presumptuous.

I’m very angry and as a developer who supports both open source and web accessibility (for more than 12 years now), especially giving the user the choice, it’s really important to me. And it’s really important to other developers and users as well.

Getting a lecture from in a shotgun post via Make.WordPress.org was not enough after I posted to the Alpha/Beta forum back in December 2013… correction… November 2013. It really was a response that wasn’t adequate. This was a plan that should not have been considered at all.

WordPress has been tested a lot, but doesn’t always work the same and has been known to glitch on updates. Many of you who’ve been using WordPress and have been around the community, have seen this happen. And I’ve seen countless times when minor update has gone wrong (even on my own server)… so saying it doesn’t is incorrect. It doesn’t matter if you have hundreds of thousands of successful upgrades, you still have to think about the others too. To not think about the people who had problems updating is to cut off those users. I spend a lot of time helping some of those users via All About WordPress, a group I opened on Facebook for users who need support and Facebook is their venue of choice.

The other thing is backups. Not all WordPress users keep their ear to the wall when a new update is about to be released. So, if they aren’t aware, then they get a message saying that their site is updated and they never got a chance to do a back up. And if the site didn’t get a back up, and it actually failed on the upgrade, they have to troubleshoot the problem.

And yes, you can apply a snippet to the wp-config.php file to turn automatic upgrades off, but the majority of WordPress users are NOT developers and a large percentage of them don’t want to touch code because they are intimidated by it.

On the other hand, there are people who will enjoy this feature as they don’t have to fool with it. They will have to rely on making sure they’ve got scheduled backups and hope that the automatic upgrade didn’t mess up if a backup was schedule 2 days before, making them have to roll back to that and lose comments or even posts… depending on how often the site publishes, and how much engagement is done on the site.

I don’t want an automatic update in the middle of the night, and find out my website’s been down because of this. I have put the code snippet in place to prevent the true auto update. I just believe this is one step too far. Why was this thought of? How many other CMS are using this feature?

I’m not against updating and upgrading WordPress. That is not what this column is about. It is about the user’s choice in upgrading. It is making sure they get to choose when it happens. I think even a placing check box field option in the settings to turn this off might be a better solution, giving the choice to any user, and not having to make people who aren’t code savvy have to deal with the code snippet solution. I think this would be a great compromise that I could find myself calmed down about. The definitive guide is great, but taking the initiative in going a step forward will make even the web accessibility fanatics happy.

Whether this is included or not (it would make more sense to offer this in the WordPress backend settings), the plugin Update Control should help you disable automatic updates. Please make sure that if you do disable them, that you keep on top of your upgrades as it will keep your site secure. In most cases, minor updates usually don’t cause problems, but as mentioned, there are those rare cases that they do. AND, aside from updates, make sure you have a WordPress backup plan.

Note: This isn’t a post to attack specific people. This is to address an issue I’ve been trying to make for months because I see it from both the developer and user sides. It’s great if you read this and disagree, as that is what makes the WordPress community great. However, please make sure to know I’m entitled to my opinion as well.