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WordPress has been the most preferred blogging platform for a while now. Over the years, it has also emerged as a preferred content management system for websites and not just blogs. The last version -- WordPress 3.5 -- brought a new media experience and improvements across the dashboard and crossed over 6 million downloads! However all that is old news. What can we expect from newest version of WordPress? Preview to WordPress 3.6 WordPress 3.6 is set for a release sometime in April 2013, with a lot of debate over what can be expected by way of features that improve the publishing workflow. There are strong signs that the release is going to be focused on content editing, revisions, auto-save, workflow and editing modes to enhance potential for the users and make life easier with the dashboard features. In the past, WordPress had great themes that helped in presenting the content in an appealing manner. However, the admin for the feature always seemed to have usability issues and has kept developers reinventing and tweaking for projects. In WordPress 3.6, the UI is expected to be revised to help users understand the post format. One of the other options is likely to be the provision of standard themes that are portable for data availability and display. Besides the above changes, below are a few more features that WordPress 3.6 promises Expected WordPress 3.6 Features WordPress 3.6 Feature 1: Auto-save and Post Locking Since auto save is important to a writer's workflow, the lack of implementation forces many to switch to external editors. This keeps them from writing directly into the WordPress admin. This alone will help with expired cookies, loss of connection, core errors browser crashes, etc., when writing in WordPress. A WP Heartbeat API will send requests to the server every 15 seconds and trigger events on receiving data. This is aimed at auto-save and post locking. Post locking will prevent conflicts and loss of data resulting from editing of a post and auto-save will prevent loss of data between saving post revisions to the database. WordPress 3.6 Feature 2: Editorial Flow and Revisions Multi-author sites and blogs will be improved with the Edit Flow plug-in planned in WordPress 3.6. WordPress 3.6 Feature 3: Menus With UI refinements, the menu management is likely to show the difference between adding items to a menu and adding the menu itself to a theme. There will be a meta-box with a home and log in as the default links, this has in the past shown problems while add these links. WordPress 3.6 Feature 4: Distraction Free Writing This feature has received both positive and negative attention in the past, because of lack of formatting support. WordPress does not support markdown, and the DFW editor relies on keyboard shortcuts. As of now, the talk for improvement will be in the areas of supporting, formatting and behavior during writing. WordPress 3.6 Feature 5: Code Maintenance and Architecture As with any other version, there will be some updates in WordPress 3.6 because of caching and performance. But the two main things that are likely to change are: The mysql_ functions are deprecated in PHP so WordPress 3.6 starts moving towards support of PDO extension for serving database connections. For developers, it primarily means that if for any reason you’re not using the native wpdb class to operate with a database in your plugin, you’d better start right now — apart from benefiting from its robust feature list you’ll also avoid incompatibility with future PHP versions. UNIQUE constraints will be removed for the slug in wp_terms. This small detail is to prepare for future improvements of the taxonomy API, in particular how it handles shared terms. Get ready for WordPress 3.6 Flying Cow Design has been at the forefront of web design and blog design for over two decades. Our evolution as a professional web design company has been a result of our commitment to learn and grow as a design organization. This commitment has helped us provide the latest and most appropriate solutions that help our clients build a strong web presence. When you need a partner for your website design needs, talk to us!
Search engine optimization (SEO) refers to the practice of using specific strategies and techniques to rank a given webpage higher in online search engine results. SEO techniques can be either white hat or black hat. This terminology is easier to understand if you are familiar with vintage western movies; the good guys always wear white hats and the bad guys wear black ones. White hat SEO techniques follow guidelines laid out by the search engine, while black hat SEO uses unethical strategies. Why You Should Use White Hat Strategies There are a number of black hat techniques that can result in your website being banned by search engines: invisible text that matches your webpage background, keyword stuffing, buying links, and link spamming just some of them. Unethical SEO also damages credibility with potential clients who land on your page. Credibility is difficult to reestablish and may require a change of domain or even brand name. Ethical, white hat SEO is in your best interests. Done correctly, SEO can ensure that your website provides clear, relevant content to searchers, connects with your desired client base, and has a streamlined, appealing design. Searchers subconsciously assign more authority to sites that load quickly, are easy to navigate, and provide valuable information. When these elements harmonize, clients are more likely to return to your site for additional information and take advantage of the goods and services you offer. How Search Engines Rank Pages In the early days of search engine optimization, achieving top ranking for your page required keyword stuffing – repeated use of specific keywords and their variants. As technology has evolved, modern search engines have become more sophisticated with the use of machine learning and artificial intelligence. They study what searchers are looking for and algorithmically match queries with the pages that provide the best content for the query. To do this, they develop algorithms that rate websites on a number of factors. Google uses more than 200 ranking factors spanning technical compliance to search engine guidelines, content, authority signals and user behavior after they visit your website. There are many factors that search engines consider when looking for webpages to feature. Some of these include: Clean page layouts, Web page load time, Structured data markup Titles, headings and sub-headings, Metadata - embedded descriptions and tags, Distribution of content on the page Bounce rates - how long people stay on your page, Engagement – how people consume the content, share, like, rate it, and Authority –how popular your content is – who links to it, how they link to it, etc. There are many in-depth articles published on search ranking factors including the Moz search ranking factors and the Search Metrics Ranking Factors. How to ensure your website uses White Hat SEO The ultimate goal of SEO is for the optimized webpage to appear on the first page of results for the search engine being used, ideally as a featured or highlighted answer. To ensure this happens in a sustained, search friendly way, you should take as many of the following steps as possible: Comply with search engine guidelines It is important to study and comply with guidelines published by search engines. Google Webmaster Guidelines is a good starting point. Besides educating you about techniques to avoid, these guidelines also provide useful guides to what you should do including: Best practices like page load time optimization, creation of sitemaps, etc., Integrating emerging technologies like structured data markup, accelerated mobile pages (AMP), Mobile optimization Local and International optimization Handling of images, video, and more Create Quality Content Quality content is top priority. Without it, engagement rates go down and so does your search result ranking. Make sure your content is original and doesn’t infringe on the copyright of other sites. Use correct grammar and spelling. Prove legitimacy to prospective clients by providing authoritative knowledge about the subject being discussed. Use Keywords Sparingly Overuse of keywords can result in your webpage being flagged as spam by search engine web crawlers. Titles and subheadings are great places to use keywords, but avoid repetitive phrases within the text whenever possible. Instead of worrying about keywords, think about themes that your target audience would care about and provide useful content on those themes. Always Consider Your Audience Get to know your target market. In addition to factors like age, income level and interests, also consider what challenges clients face that your goods and services solve for them. The prevalence of social media today means that potential customers are looking for more than a place to shop – they’re looking for personal connection and community. Include both in your web design and content to organically increase engagement and customer loyalty. Use Social Media to Your Advantage Make it easy for searchers to engage with your content by providing direct links for sharing on sites like Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, and Google+. While it isn’t necessary for your company to have a web presence on every social media platform, it is a good idea to pick two or three as your focus. Scheduling apps like HootSuite can help you analyze and organize posts throughout the day or week. Links are useful but… While spamming your webpage with multiple incoming or outgoing links is strictly black hat, a well-crafted link or two can help illuminate challenging concepts or provide potential customers with valuable information. For example, an outdoor sports retailer might include an imbedded YouTube video on tying flies in an article about fishing, as well as a link to a travel article on popular fishing destinations around the country. If you focus on technical compliance, quality content and user engagement, and if your visitors find the content useful, they will share it and link to it and your website will build authority organically over time. Flying Cow Design Can Help In a nutshell, white hat SEO provides searchers with authoritative, readable, and well-designed websites. If you are looking for innovative web solutions that showcase the best your company has to offer, contact Flying Cow Design today and put our team to work for you!
There are plenty of articles about white hat link building tips that will tell you abou the kind of websites you should get links from, the kind of websites to avoid, etc. What most articles fail to do is to actually help you go and find these links. Our article about link building myths will dispell some of the common misconceptions about white hat link building in the post-Penguin era. Reading most articles on link building tips, one begins to wonder -- if I cannot buy links, and if I should not get links from most sites that would link to me, then how do I get these white hat backlinks? This article goes one step further and provides you five specific white hat link building tips that will help you get backlinks. Link Building Tip 1: How to find free backlinks There are many websites that will allow you to submit your website for inclusion in their database. Finding these websites can be a challenge. Intelligent use of search can help you find many of these websites that you can submit your website to. Try this: In Google search type the following exactly as you see it here: allintitle: "add your site" This will restrict the search results to web pages where the title tag has "add your site" in it. You will find a number of websites that will let you submit your website for free this way. You can refine your search by replacing "add your site" with other terms like: add site, submit site, suggest URL, etc. Similarly, instead of allintitle, try allinurl, inurl, and intitle. Link Building Tip 2: Filter and Select Relevant Sites Ok, so now you have thousands of websites that you can submit your site to. Do not submit yet. How do you know that a certain site hasn't been penalized or is safe to submit to? There are some simple things you could do to filter this list: Check the website's Google Page Rank and Alexa Rank Check what other sites are present on that site to see if other high quality sites are present Check whether the site provides a dofollow or nofollow link Make sure the site doesn't ask for payment or reciprocal link Link Building Tip 3: Get published Publishing on other websites is an effective way to get links. There are many article sites out there. You need to be careful while selectig the sites you publish on to make sure the site hasn't been penalized, has good editorial standards and provides a dofollow link. One thing to consider about article publishing is this: If the article is good, publishing it on your website could get you visitors directly from search engines. By publishing on other websites, you could be sending visitors to them in order to get a link. You need to weigh the pros and cons of doing that. Another way to achieve this is to become a guest blogger on other reputed websites. This can take time because high quality websites will be selective about their guest bloggers and you would have to invest the time and effort to build your reputation and relationships with sites you want to be a guest blogger on. Link Building Tip 4: Press Releases Work Press releases are an extremely powerful way to get credible links from high quality news websites. Read our article about press releases and SEO for guidelines on how to write good press releases that will help your SEO efforts. Link Building Tip 5: Social is potent Social signals are increasingly influencing search results. You can see tweets featuring in Google search results within seconds as a result of real time search. Being active in social media is a good way to build a community of followers through blogging, building a social community on relevant social sites, etc. However, it is important to note that social media is an extremely potent channel. It is better NOT to do social media than to do bad social media. If visitors post on your Facebook page and do not get a response it can hurt you. Social media is about building relationships with your target audience and this is an extremely high-touch effort that calls for sustained involvement, care about brand image and messaging, and more. It is advisable to retain the services of a social media consultant or strategist while executing most of the social media work in-house where you can control the messaging. Partner with SEO specialists One way to ensure that your link building is ethical, effective and successful is to partner with an SEO or internet marketing services company like Flying Cow Design either for consulting and strategy or for also executing your link building strategies. With a history of professional web design and online marketing for over 20 years, Flying Cow Design helps clients not just with the link building strategies, but also with execution of the link building strategies for our clients. As a business, we only practice ethical white hat SEO and have helped many business not just by designing great websites, but by building a strong online presence through our search friendly web design services. Talk to us today, not just about your link building needs, but also about your needs for building a strong online presence.
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