About Seth

Seth has been a member since December 7th 2012, and has created 7 posts from scratch.

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Hello world!

Welcome to WordPress. This is your first post. Edit or delete it, then start blogging!

WordPress Menus: A Key to Good Navigation

One of the biggest concerns for a good blog is having a compelling navigation for your visitors. There are a lot of good quality Premium WordPress Themes from Woo, Thesis, and Genesis that have decent navigation. And I’ve always thought Socrates, though simple, was good as well.

But I always wanted a big interactive menu on my site. Not this site, but another one I was building. One cool thing about menus is that they can be “dropdown”. In Thesis for instance you build a lot of dropdown menus

 

This is great because it allows your visitors to have many more options than just the 5 or six items you can fit on the top of the page. Of course it can also be a little bit clunky. Which is why it so cool to discover this plugin on CodeCanyon called Ubermenu. This plugin creates a really big menu that looks cool and can even have graphics on it. This screenshot just shows the text:

What I like about this option, particularly if you have a site with a lot of options and pages, is that it provides all the information in one place. One way visitors get turned off is if they have to hunt and search for information. By laying out the info in such a clear and BIG manner it really gives your visitor a direction to go in. Plus it is IMPRESSIVE.

 Bigger is Better! Definitely grabs the attention of your visitor. I will put up a tutorial for this plugin later, but something I discovered later is that you can actually substitute out the menu text for IMAGES. Which means you can create the appearance of a really nice looking graphic driven Flash based menu without having to deal with FLASH (or know how to program that kind of thing).

I’ll talk about that more later. But in the meantime, I suggest you check out Ubermenu at wpmegamenu.com

 

Another Reason Why Godaddy Sucks: Power Outage

Yesterday Goaddy’s hosting serving went down for hours. This may have been the result of hacking by the group “Anonymous”… or not. But either way, if I was hosting a sucky “Website Tonight” site on their servers to begin with, and then had it drop out for that long, I’d probably be shaking my head.

Other hosts like Hostgator, Bluehost, and the hosting of website builders like Wix.Com have never experienced such a long blackout. Shared hosts are tasked with managing multiple servers and millions of websites, so you can expect problems a few minutes every month. But for a system to go down like that is really disturbing. And if you didn’t already have enough reasons to avoid Godaddy’s hosting service, that’s another one.

The reason why Godaddy was targeted? Apparently they supported SOPA, the Stop Online Piracy Act that enraged people across the country and inspired massive political action to stop it. The bill would have given the government sweeping powers to take down websites that posted copyrighted content. That means that if someone put up a blog post on a big site like Youtube or you had a clip from American Idol or something on your site, your entire server could be taken out.

Even Senators who had supported the bill turned on it when the public outcry was so intense. I’m frankly shocked to learn that Godaddy supported SOPA, but now I am considering moving all of my domains to another service, because that is just insane.

In the meantime, consider a less politically charged and more reliable host for your websites, like Hostgator or Bluehost.

 

The Secret to Ranking in Google…

Here’s the secret to ranking your website in Google… there is no secret. Sorry. It’s a lot like the end of the Wizard of Oz. There is no magic wizard you need to get people to your website. No secret formula or code that Google “doesn’t want you to know about”.

There are however a lot of bullshit products and people out there that will happily take your money in exchange from some of these fake magic pills.

The fact is, just like the ruby slippers in the Wizard of Oz, you’ve got the key to ranking in Google in YOU the whole time.

It’s content. It always has been and always will be the main way that Google determines what’s valuable and what isn’t. But you can’t manipulate and trick your way onto google. The old school keyword stuffing strategies from long ago will land you nowhere in the search results. In fact these days, the more you try to trick Google into ranking your site the more likely you are to never see it in the results again.

The key is to focus almost 100% on the user experience. Write compelling, interesting, or at least entertaining articles and don’t worry about keyword density or alt tags or what not. But that takes work and intellectual effort. The reason get rich quick marketers are still making money is because people are lazy, and it’s very tempting to believe that there is some secret system you use to bypass the simple and unsexy reality: creating a lot of good content brings in traffic.

That’s it. No secret linking techniques, and push button automated software. Ya gotta write stuff.

You can also shoot videos and link them to your site from Youtube. But the point is you have to create.

Now keyword research tools and sites like Site Build It and Affiliates Blogger Pro can tell you how to target your content towards your visitors and how to make it profitable. There’s definitely an art to that. Check out my article on making money online for more information on this and scroll to the bottom for some links to reputable courses on how to do that effectively.

Choosing the Right Web Hosting Company

Web hosting has become a big business on the internet. A web host is simply the name for the computer that your website’s files are hosted on. Web hosting companies are setup to be online and connected to the web 24/7 so you don’t have to worry about it.

When choosing the right web hosting company, it’s important not to shop based purely on price. We all love a good deal, but when it comes to web hosting this can be a disaster.

Consider that your website needs to be available on the www all day, every day. Especially if you are making money from your website and have to service customers, you need to make sure that your web hosting is in capable hands.

There are some very low cost and reliable web hosting companies out there, but there are also some that are cheap and unreliable. The most important thing to look for is a web hosting company’s track record and user feedback. If it’s a brand new company chances are they are just trying to draw in customers by offering ridiculously low rates.

It’s like anything: if it seems too good to be true, it probably is. You know what happens when you try to by a cheap appliance, you end up with something that breaks fairly quickly. Same thing with web hosting. You want to approach it as if you are purchasing a major electronic item.

You want to make sure the company you are working with has a long track record of success and many satisfied customers and dedicated customer support. Some cheap web hosting companies outsources their customer support to other countries, which can mean long hold times and bad service.

The other factor is uptime. Uptime simply means the amount of time a web host is “up” or online. It’s normal for shared hosting services to go “down” for a few minutes every month. Many of these companies manage literally millions of websites on thousands of servers. It’s a major power drain and requires as much attention as operating a power grid.

But if a company has more than an hour of downtime per month (which would put it at something below 99% uptime), or if you can’t find the amount of uptime because the company is so new, be wary.

You can avoid this by going with the most popular and trusted web hosting companies, either Hostgator or Bluehost. Once you’ve got the right hosting company, you can feel secure that your website will operate smoothly for you.