The Seven Deadly Sins Of Web Design

The Seven Deadly Sins Of Web Design

Designing a well-built website is more than just pretty colors & fonts. There are do’s and don’ts that you need to be aware of. If you spot these don’ts on your own website I’m hoping you will recognize and fix immediately. It will benefit you, your readers, your pageviews and your followers.

#1 FONTS

Fonts that are too small or too light are a pain. I wear glasses and there are times that I can’t even read a piece of content because I literally can not see the font. Compose great headlines, write interesting content and use headline fonts that can grab attention. Also, line-height is an important factor. Give your text room! Big sections on content can overwhelm. Keep sentences & paragraphs short,

Think about it as an elevator. What do you do when the elevator door opens and it’s packed

#2 MOVING SLIDERS

A year or two moving sliders were all the rage, but as with everything else we began to see the drawbacks immediately. Slower sites, annoying movement or site bloat. Today moving sliders are so 2018 and if you’re still using them stop it!

#3 TOO MANY ADS

Listen, you’re never going to get rich running ads on your website BUT they can cost you big time. Site speed is so important these days and ads slow your site WAY DOWN! Not only that they’re annoying when there are so many you can hardly find the content. I assure you, your readers won’t. They will click off faster than you can say WAIT What?

#4 CONTENT OVERLOAD

I know it’s hard to create compelling content consistently (that’s a lot of c’s), but when you use long sentences and even longer paragraphs I can guarantee nobody is going to be reading it. People skim, they no longer read.

The best way to get more eyes on your content and lower that bounce rate is to write short complete sentences. Small paragraphs (no more than five sentences but even better three). Use your headlines correctly and space out your content so that it is easy to read quickly.

#5 BAD IMAGERY

As a designer, I think that imagery is so underrated. In my opinion, it’s the most important part of your content. Finding the right images isn’t easy but with loads of free stock photo sites, it’s a lot easier than before.

Think about your piece of content and find images that say what you mean. By that I mean if you write a post about blogging don’t use an image of a national park or if you’re a food blogger don’t use images that are money-related. I wrote the Essential Stock Image Guide that will show you what to use and where to find them.

#6 CONFUSING CONTENT

This is a little harder to explain, but what I mean is stay within your niche. If you’re a food blogger don’t suddenly throw in a travel piece. Or if you’re a travel blogger don’t suddenly start writing about crafting. It confuses your readers and a confused reader won’t be engaged.

I get it writing about the same things day after day gets boring and there are ways to incorporate different aspects. Maybe as a food blogger, you could write about the food in a city you just visited. Recreate the recipes or even build on it. If you’re a travel blogger write about the culture and display items of local color.

#7 COLOR & FONT HOARDING

This one is a constant fight. I get bored easily and changing things up keeps your site fresh and interesting BUT you can overdo it. Believe me, I can be the Queen of overdoing it. Using the wrong fonts in the wrong places or using too many different font types. Never use cursive in your main content. I seldom use serifs either just because it’s harder to read. A good crisp sans-serif is a great idea for your main font.

Limit yourself to no more than two different ones. You can always use different weights to help your content stand out. The more fonts the slower your site and the more confusing it can be to your reader. #thestruggleisreal

The same thing with color. Limits people! I never use more than three colors and seldom use that many. A good accent color and another to stand out against the rest. Any more can be confusing and choosing your color combinations is important.

It should be based on research for your niche and of course something that you AND your readers will relate to. Color psychology is real and it’s a very important step in the design process. For more information check out this post.

 

BONUS TIP

You should treat your website like the piece of prime real estate that it is. What I mean about is this;

When Google reads a website it goes from left to right just as you would read a book. So it stands to reason that the top left part of your website will be the most important space on the whole site. I’ve made a little illustration to show you exactly what I mean.

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Lois Alter Mark Women In Biz #9

Lois Alter Mark Women In Biz #9

Welcome to the ninth in our “Women In Biz All Around WordPress” feature that will run the 1st Sunday of every month. It’s a new series where we spotlight amazing women and the ways in which they have used WordPress to spread their message, sell their products, or provide valuable services.

The hope is to inspire other midlife women to build their online businesses and find what we’re all looking for; financial freedom, a lifestyle they love, and excitement they may have been missing! All of these women are current or former clients of mine who have inspired me over the years and I think they will inspire you as well.

Lois Alter Mark is a travel guru and a fantastic adventurer. Her site Midlife At The Oasis is a buffet of locations and events from around the world. You can also find her on USA Today’s Travel Section. She’s a lovely woman with a great sense of humor and I just know you’re going to love her!

Tell us a little bit about you

I’m a New Yorker who has been living in San Diego for more than 20 years. I’ve been married for 38 years and have two kids — a son who recently got married and a daughter who’s getting married next year. I have a master’s degree in public relations and I worked for Liz Claiborne, MGM and WBZ-TV in Boston but journalism was always my first love and I became a freelance writer when we got our first dog — a chow chow named Sophie — and I wanted to stay home with her. I was a contributing writer for Entertainment Weekly for more than a decade and wrote for many women’s magazines. I started my first blog in 2009 and, because of it, was chosen by Oprah Winfrey as one of her Ultimate Viewers. I accompanied her to Australia on the trip of a lifetime, and that whole experience still feels surreal to me.

What made you first decide to build a blog or website? How long have you had your site? 

I started Midlife at the Oasis in 2013 because I wanted to show women that turning 50 could be a new, exciting chapter in their life. I won 3 BlogHer Voices of the Year People’s Choice Awards and was named Humor Writer of the Month by Erma Bombeck Writers Workshop, all after 50 and of which I am so proud. I didn’t start travel writing until my kids were grown and out of the house, and I wanted women to see that age was not a barrier to fulfilling your dreams.

What is your niche?

Somehow, I’ve become a travel writer although you wouldn’t really know that from my blog — which is another reason I’m gearing up to have Rena help redesign my site. I write 7 travel articles a month for Forbes and a few more for USA Today 10Best, so my blog has become more of a place for me to lead readers to my travel writing and also write my book and movie reviews (I’m a member of San Diego Film Critics Society), some personal essays (I love writing those but don’t really have the time anymore) and sponsored lifestyle posts.

Of all of your blog posts or pages on your site which is your favorite?

IHmmm. I guess https://midlifeattheoasis.com/life-as-i-see-it/self/forget-aging-gracefully-im-planning-to-age-gratefully/ and https://midlifeattheoasis.com/travel/meaning-of-family-travel/. One of my all-time favorites, though, is called “Amster-damn.” It helped me win Blogger Idol but it seems to have mysteriously disappeared from my site so you can read it here instead: https://www.huffpost.com/entry/amsterdamn-family-travel_b_5112088

What is your favorite social media platform and why?
I’ve made so many real-life friends on Facebook who I’m lucky to be able to spend time with because of all my traveling. I do wish I could get off Facebook, though, because I am disgusted by Mark Zuckerberg and what he’s doing to this country and the elections, but I really enjoy the interaction and getting to keep up with my friends around the world. If someone makes a new Facebook-like platform, I will change. I use Twitter for news and I enjoy scrolling through Instagram every now and then but, honestly, social media has become exhausting and my personal Facebook page is the place that feels most authentic and, well, social to me.

Do you find WordPress easy to maneuver or do you avoid the back end like the plague?

AVOID! And, thanks to Rena, I can!

Is your site a business that makes money or a passion that makes your heart sing?

It would be great to make money from my blog but that’s never been my priority for it and I refused to clutter up my site with ads. I really just want to write and share the things I love.

If you use your site for business what do you sell or what service do you provide?

I don’t sell anything!

 

What is one thing you’d like people to know about you?

I have stepped out of my comfort zone so many times since turning 50 (I’m now 60!) and done things I never dreamed of, like snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef, riding through Joshua Tree National Park on the back of a motorcycle, caring for elephants in Thailand, talking intimately about marriage and divorce with the Samburu women in Kenya, navigating the trains on a solo trip to Germany. I am grateful for these amazing experiences and want other women to know that if I can do these things, they can , too! I would love for readers to join me at http://midlifeattheoasis.com, https://www.forbes.com/sites/loisaltermark/#5bbe639f72f3 and https://www.10best.com/local-experts/lois-alter-mark/

Would you like a little more of Lois? Find her here:

FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM | PINTEREST | TWITTER | WEBSITE

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Two Google Analytics Filters Everyone Entrepreneur Should Know About

Two Google Analytics Filters Everyone Entrepreneur Should Know About

Every blogger knows just how difficult it is to build a successful blog. There are so many things that you have to learn about that most people don’t even consider. Things like:

  • Creating graphics
  • Understanding email marketing
  • Social media
  • Branding

and that list goes on and on and on. You know the old joke:

How many hats does an entrepreneur where? ANSWER: All of them!

One thing that isn’t often talked about but is definitely a necessity is analytics. If you do affiliate marketing, sponsored posts or make money off of your site in any way you need to know the stats behind it.

Things like pageviews, unique visitors, bounce rates. Terms like this usually invoke either 1. Your eyes glaze over and you skim the rest of the article or 2. Confusion about what it all means.

Today, I’m going to show you two Google Analytic filters that every blogger should be using as well.

Filters are a way of weeding out the events that you don’t want in your final counts. The first of which is the IP filter. What does this mean? You need to be filtering out your own IP address so that you are not counted along with your other stats. Why you ask? Because without this particular filter you won’t get an accurate picture of how your site is doing.

So, together we’re going to set up an IP filter. It’s really simple so don’t panic!

The next filter we’re going to set up is to keep your analytics from being hijacked. In the video below I show you exactly how to set up both filters.

How can someone hijack your analytics? Well, there’s a little known way of finding out anyone’s GA code. It’s very simple.

  1. Go to your website.
  2. Right-click your mouse.
  3. Choose “Page Source”.
  4. Hit CTRL + F for the find command and type in GA.
  5. Scroll down and you’ll see your own GA code.

There isn’t a way to hide them from this view so the only thing you can do is to add a filter that will keep your GA code safe from hijacking.

Go into your GA account, click on ADMIN>>Filters. Add a new filter and then choose “CREATE NEW FILTER” and give it a name that you will remember.

Scroll down and hit “CUSTOM” and then check the “Include” button. In the dropdown choose HOSTNAME and in the box below type in YOURDOMAINNAME.COM & click save! It’s that easy.

Need a little more help? Try this video I made to show you how to quickly filter out your IP address and including only your own hostname.

Have questions? Let me know in the comments below!

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We’re Celebrating The Holidays With A Massive Blogging Giveaway

We’re Celebrating The Holidays With A Massive Blogging Giveaway

That’s right! We’re celebrating the holidays a little early this year by having a massive giveaway! Enter for your chance to win a

  1. 1 Year of Web Hosting provided by A2 Hosting & WP Beginner valued at $40.00.
  2. 1 Basic Annual Maintenance Package valued at $149.99
  3. 1 Blog Post Inspiration Deck w/ Ebook.
Enter The @blogging911 holiday giveaway! Three great prizes awarded Dec 1st, 2019 (1) 1 Yr of web hosting (2) Basic Annual Maintenance Plan (3) The Blog Post Inspiration Deck w/ ebook! Click To Tweet

Prizes will be awarded on Dec 1st, 2019

GOOD LUCK!

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Women In Biz #7 Doreen McGettigan

Women In Biz #7 Doreen McGettigan

 

Welcome to the sixth in our “Women In Biz All Around WordPress” feature that will run the 1st Sunday of every month. It’s a new series where we spotlight amazing women and the ways in which they have used WordPress to spread their message, sell their products, or provide valuable services.

The hope is to inspire other midlife women to build their online businesses and find what we’re all looking for; financial freedom, a lifestyle they love, and excitement they may have been missing! All of these women are clients of mine who have inspired me over the years and I think they will inspire you as well.

This month I want to introduce you to Doreen McGettigan from DoreenMcGettigan.com. Doreen is an Author, a Writing Coach & a Writing Consultant. If you’ve ever thought about writing & publishing a book then Doreen is someone who you absolutely need to know!

For years, she has been a blogger who has lent a helping hand to other women who dream of becoming an Author. Offering advice & support to anyone who takes the time to listen. These days, though, she’s taken that a step further and by opening her own consulting business she can work with clients one on one giving them useful advice, important tips, and ideas that you may not have even considered!

Just like with anything in life when you put yourself in the hot seat you look for advice from the pros that have come before you and that’s exactly what Doreen is. A consummate professional, an encouraging consultant & also a pretty amazing friend. We’ve been blogging buddies for a long time, meeting at a Blogging Conference years ago, but after winning a contest in 2016 she became a client and has been ever since.

Let’s hear from Doreen:

Tell us a little bit about you

I live just south of Philadelphia, am married to a man I met on Match.com 13 years ago. (Its never too late) Together we have 5 kids and 13 grandkids. I’m a bestselling author, award-winning blogger, speaker and teacher. I help people write, publish and market books. I’m on the board of Family Promise (homeless organization) and I volunteer at the shelter and drive the van.

What made you first decide to build a blog or website? How long have you had your site?

I started my blog 8 years ago to connect with other writers while I was writing my first book.

What is your niche?

Writing/Publishing and Marketing. I also do some influencing, caregiving, travel and family stuff.

Of all of your blog posts or pages on your site which is your favorite?

Any that include my grandchildren.

What is your favorite social media platform and why?

Instagram because it’s so easy and Twitter second because I get most of my clients there and media requests.

Do you find WordPress easy to maneuver or do you avoid the back end like the plague?

I avoid it like the plague. There’s so much I wish I had time to learn.

Is your site a business that makes money or a passion that makes your heart sing?

Both for sure.

If you use your site for business what do you sell or what service do you provide?

I consult on all things writing, publishing and marketing. If you’ve ever said I could write a book, we should talk.

What is one thing you’d like people to know about you?

My motto is to spend more connecting with all types of people and zero time competing.
As a published author and consultant Doreen is giving a huge helping hand up to all of those future-writers out there who want to get advice from someone who’s been there and done that!

FIND DOREEN HERE:

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One Month With EngageBay & Here Is How It’s Going + A Big Bonus For You!

One Month With EngageBay & Here Is How It’s Going + A Big Bonus For You!

A little over a month ago I cut the cord from MailChimp and turned to a new email service provider called EngageBay. Let me tell you how it’s going!

I am going to say that there is a learning curve but once it’s figured out I see it upping my email game extensively. It’s a totally different experience than what you’ve gotten used to in MailChimp, but with that being said it’s more intuitive, it’s more professional & it’s definitely more creative.

It’s the whole ball of wax in a single platform. Here is a list of packages & the included features. Just look at this list:

$0/month

Marketing
  • 1000 Contacts
  • 1,000 Branded Emails
  • Lists
  • Segmentation
  • Predictive Lead Score
  • Web Forms
  • Web Pop ups
  • Email Templates
  • Email Template Builder
  • Auto Responders
  • Tag Management
  • Social Suite
  • Integrations
  • Reporting Dashboard
  • Custom Fields
  • Live Chat 
  • Video Marketing
  • Facebook Ads
  • Conversational Inbox
  • Notifications
  • Landing Pages
  • Landing Page Builder
  • SSL Enabled for Landing Pages
  • Send Newsletters
  • Email Broadcast
  • Email Sequences
  • API
  • 500 MB File Storage
  • Marketing Automation
  • Site Messaging
  • Email Broadcast A/B Testing
  • Automations/Workflows
  • Nodes (Automation/Workflow)
  • Code your own Landing Page
  • Landing Page A/B Testing
  • Custom Domain for Landing Pages
  • Timezone based email delivery
  • Push Notifications
  • Web Analytics
  • Custom Reporting
  • SSO
  • Role Management
CRM & Sales
  • Contacts & Companies
  • 360 degree contact view
  • Tag Management
  • Deals
  • Tasks
  • Deals pipeline
  • Appointment scheduling
  • User activity
  • File repository
  • Email tracking
  • Email scheduling
  • Email templates
  • Landing pages
  • Gmail integration
  • Outlook integration
  • Office 365 integration
  • Social suite (Twitter, Facebook, & Instagram)
  • Leaderboard
  • Reports Dashboard
  • Predictive Lead Score
  • Multi Deal Tracks
  • Multiple Deal pipelines
  • Calling minutes
  • Call Reports
  • Custom Fields
  • Email scheduling
  • Email Sequences
  • Automations/Workflows
  • Nodes (Automation/Workflow)
  • Timezone Based Delivery
  • Proposals
  • Proposal Analytics
  • Role Management
  • Call Transcripts
  • Call Scripts
  • Custom Reports
  • Goals
  • Account Based Marketing
Service Bay
  • Contact Management
  • Ticketing Management
  • Ticket Views
  • Ticket Macros
  • Groups
  • Group Management
  • Canned Responses
  • Personal Note
  • Customer 360 Degree View
  • Notifications
  • Teams
  • Push Notification
  • Automations/Workflows
  • Nodes (Automation/Workflow)
  • SSO
  • Role Management
Support
  • Email & Chat Support
  • Free Onboarding Sessions
  • Dedicated Account Manager
  • Phone Support

SIGN UP NOW

Basic

$8.99/userper month

Marketing
  • 15,000 Contacts
  • 10,000 Branded Emails
  • Lists
  • Segmentation
  • Lead Score
  • Embed Forms
  • Web Pop ups
  • Email Templates
  • Email Template Builder
  • Auto Responders
  • Tag Management
  • Social Suite
  • Integrations
  • Reporting Dashboard
  • Custom Fields
  • Live Chat 
  • Video Marketing
  • Facebook Ads
  • Conversational Inbox
  • Notifications
  • Landing Pages
  • Landing Page Builder
  • SSL Enabled for Landing Pages
  • Send Newsletters
  • Email Broadcast
  • Email Sequences
  • API
  • 2 GB File Storage
  • Marketing Automation
  • Site Messaging
  • Email Broadcast A/B Testing
  • Automations/Workflows
  • Nodes (Automation/Workflow)
  • Code your own Landing Page
  • Landing Page A/B Testing
  • Custom Domain for Landing Pages
  • Timezone based email delivery
  • Push Notifications
  • Web Analytics
  • Custom Reporting
  • SSO
  • Role Management
CRM & Sales
  • Contacts & Companies
  • 360 degree contact view
  • Tag Management
  • Deals
  • Tasks
  • Deals pipeline
  • Appointment scheduling
  • User activity
  • File repository
  • Email tracking
  • Email scheduling
  • Email templates
  • Landing pages
  • Gmail integration
  • Outlook integration
  • Office 365 integration
  • Social suite (Twitter, Facebook, & Instagram)
  • Leaderboard
  • Reports Dashboard
  • Predictive Lead Score
  • Multiple Deal Tracks
  • Multiple Deal pipelines
  • Calling minutes
  • Call Reports
  • Custom Fields
  • Multi Currency
  • Email Sequences
  • Automations/Workflows
  • Nodes (Automation/Workflow)
  • Timezone Based Delivery
  • Proposals
  • Proposal Analytics
  • Role Management
  • Call Transcripts
  • Call Scripts
  • Custom Reports
  • Goals
  • Account Based Marketing
Service Bay
  • Contact Management
  • Ticketing Management
  • Ticket Views
  • Ticket Macros
  • Groups
  • Group Management
  • Canned Responses
  • Personal Note
  • Customer 360 Degree View
  • Notifications
  • Teams
  • Push Notification
  • Automations/Workflows
  • Nodes (Automation/Workflow)
  • SSO
  • Role Management
Support
  • Email & Chat Support
  • Free Onboarding Sessions
  • Dedicated Account Manager
  • Phone Support

SIGN UP NOW

They have even bigger plans if you need it!

If you’re on my subscriber list you have probably been a couple of crazy newsletters, but once I figured it out I’ve been creating sequences, automation, and creating interest tags. Whether you sign up here ⇒ & if you haven’t you absolutely should or you’re a do it yourself kind of girl and sign up over at Wandering Web Designer it all goes to the same place but different lists and different sequences.

I have three websites and being able to keep all of my lists together in one spot has helped me keep focused and it’s also inspired me to do more with my subscribers.

I know that some of you are ready to break up with MailChimp & I hope this gives you that push!

Not only is Engagebay offering you (my readers) a 10% discount but for a very limited time, I am going to offer to set up your account COMPLETELY FREE if you sign up for a paid account. NOT VALID FOR THE FREE ACCOUNT. USE COUPON CODE: IZ9mC83u

YOU’RE PROBABLY SAYING ARE YOU CRAZY???!!!???

Yes, I am!

WHAT IT INCLUDES:

  1. I will export your subscribers from your current email service provider.
  2. I will import that list into your brand new Engagebay account.
  3. I will set up one RSS campaign (create the blog newsletter).

THIS DEAL WILL NOT BE OFFERED AGAIN SO IF YOU’RE ON THE FENCE SEND ME AN EMAIL (Rena (@)theblogging911.com)WITH ANY QUESTIONS YOU MAY HAVE. Or just fill out the form to the side that says ‘Let’s Talk’!

*This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase a subscription I will earn a small commission that will in no way affect your cost.

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