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Month: August 2018


Getting Ready for Gutenberg

Gutenberg has been a major talking point for WordPress users for a good part of a year now.  It is will change how we create posts and pages in WordPress for the better. It makes it easier to create rich content with a new visual editor.  Let’s take a closer look at it and see how it will affect your WordPress experience.

What is Gutenberg?

Gutenberg is the name given to the new WordPress editor, which is named after Johannes Gutenberg.  He invented the movable type printing press in the mid 1400s.

The current editor on WordPress looks like a normal text editor and requires a bit of finessing with shortcakes and HTML to change the layout of the page or post.  Gutenberg solves this issue by letting the user create “blocks” that can be easily formatted and arranged on the page by drag and drop.  You can go to Gutenberg’s official WordPress page for a demo and try it out.

Installing Gutenberg

If you want to dive deeper into Gutenberg, it is available to install to WordPress 4.8 and later as a plugin.

  Gutenberg Plugin


Also when you update to WordPress 4.9, it is given as an option on the WordPress dashboard in the WP admin area.

Gutenberg on Dashboard


Keep in mind that Gutenberg is still in the beta testing phase, so functionality may not be limited.  But you will get a good idea of what is to come.  Make sure that you are trying it out on a testing site or setup a staging environment with your hosting.

Getting to Know Gutenberg

Once you have installed and activated Gutenberg, you will see it appear in the WordPress sidebar like any other plugin.  It also takes you to a sample post that is a brief tutorial of some of its features.

Gutenberg Installed


Since Gutenberg is still being tested, it gives you the option to switch between the classic editor and the new editor. You will find this in the top left.  Click on the plus sign and a drop down menu appears. Under the Formatting menu you will find the option to switch back to classic editor if need be.  Also this is where you will find the options for adding custom code into the pages.

Switch to Classic Editor


In this same drop down from the plus icon, you can also see some new cool options.  The Layout Elements menu allows you to insert buttons, columns and some other neat features.

Layout options


And the Embed menu item gives you the option to embed video/music easily from various sources.

Embedding options


On the top right of the post you will find a Gear symbol.  When clicked it brings up the settings both for the document in general and for selected blocks.  The document settings gives you the regular setting of status/visibility, categories, tags, featured image, excerpt, and discussion options.

Document Settings


When you have a block selected, it shows the settings for that particular block.

Block settings


Clicking on the i icon in the left hand side of the menu will give you a quick overview of your post.  It gives you word count, headings count, paragraphs count and a block count.  It also gives you a nice document outline to see what your document looks like.

Information tab


The triple dots, or more icon, on the top right of the menu lets you switch between the visual editor and the code editor.  And a few other extras.


Closing thoughts on Gutenberg

I honestly haven’t gotten to play with Gutenberg as much as I would like yet.  But from what I see so far there will be many cool features that make it easier to create beautifully laid out post and pages.  It is worth the time to try the plugin now before it rolls out permanently on WordPress 5.0.  At that time it will no longer be optional to install.  Though there will be a plugin to disable Gutenberg at that time.  It is still best to try it out now and see if you will want it disabled or not.

Have fun trying Gutenberg on your WordPress site!

If you need help designing, developing or maintaining a WordPress site, I’m ready to help you so you can concentrate on running your business.

*originally posted on http://www.rgodin.com/

5 star review

Increase Business with Customer Reviews

More and more consumers rely on online customer reviews to help make their purchasing decisions.  Actually 85% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.  With 73% of consumers trusting a local business more with positive reviews. ( Source: Brightlocal ).

Make a small change to your website that will have a large impact on your business.  The results will be seen fairly quickly as well.

What is this addition?

Adding 4 and 5 star customer reviews right on the your website.

How to Add Reviews

There are a couple of different ways to get reviews onto your website.  There are plugins and widgets that let you add reviews from social media, or let you collect reviews directly on your website.  There are also outside paid services that let you add reviews to your site with a little bit of coding.

Good vs Bad

Plugins and widgets that bring in reviews from social media are quick and easy.  But they do not provide the ability to take care potential bad reviews before they reach the public.  Plugins and widgets that allow you to collect reviews allow for the ability to handle those bad reviews before they get to your website but they don’t allow you to publish those reviews to outside places, like social media sites.  They both save money but require more time to manage since all your reviews we de in separate places.

Outside paid services allow for both situations- allowing for better control and exposure.  They also make management of all your reviews easier since all the reviews are in one place. But they cost some money and take a longer time for setup. They also make it easier for your customers to leave review since they merely go to your website to leave reviews on multiple platforms.

So which method is better?

On the long run, using an outside paid service is better because it saves time on maintaining your reviews and makes it easier for your customers to leave reviews. And the more amazing reviews on your site the more your business will grow.

Ready to add reviews to your website?

I’m ready to help you so you can concentrate on running your business.



*originally posted on http://www.rgodin.com/

web analytics on a laptop

7 Digital Marketing Tips to Grow your Small Business

How important is digital marketing to growing your small business?

97% of consumers looked online for local businesses in 2017, with 12% looking for a local business online every day. ( Source: Brightlocal )

Having a digital presence for your small business has never been more important. Personally, if a business doesn’t have a website where I can easily get information about them, they have basically lost a client.

We are going to cover seven basic and easy things to do to improve your digital marketing and ultimately help your business grow. Without further ado, let’s get to the list.

#1: Create a digital marketing plan.

It is essential to have a plan of where you want to start and what you want to add as you grow. It is much easier on your time if you start out small with a one or two things and add more/or change as results occur.

#2: Create a well-designed website.

Your website is the most important asset to your digital presence. It is your home base for your business, your story, and brand. Make sure it is professionally done to get maximum exposure.

#3: Get mobile optimized.

This is related to #2. Over half of internet users are on mobile devices now. And it is a statistic that will continue to grow. If your website isn’t setup to be viewed properly on a mobile device you are missing out on that huge number of customers on this devices.

#4: Use social media for extra content and exposure.

Cresting content to promote your business on social media is an extension of your website. It helps to get you more exposure and get more people to your website with links.

#5: Use email marketing.

Email marketing is still one of the biggest ways to get sales. But if you’re not collecting your customers’ emails and creating email marketing campaigns you are losing potential sales and growth.

#6: Get your local business listings.

For small local businesses, it is important to let local customers find you. Getting your business setup on Google business listing, Yelp listing, Apple Maps Connect or Bing Places will help you get more of the local exposure.

#7: Get data!

Starting out with Google Analytics will help tremendously. It is easy to setup you account. It will give you lots of insight of what drives traffic to your website. Without data, you will not know what works for your business to attract the growth you are seeking.

Data is also available on email marketing apps and other campaigns that you setup in other social media marketing places. And it is important to look at all of these as well.

Ready to put these tips to good use for your digital marketing?

I’m ready to help you grow your small business.



*originally posted on http://www.rgodin.com/