Less to more, more to less or separate?

When it comes to serving content to users of multiple devices, there isn’t one clear path. Progressive enhancement (less to more) defaults to a simple view and adds enhancements where it can. Graceful degradation (more to less), starts with the most complete experience and takes things away when it has to. And sometimes separate sites / pages or dedicated Apps for tablets and smartphones works best.  Continue reading “Less to more, more to less or separate?”

WordPress Themes: Free, Fee or Custom?

When it comes to modern Content Management Systems (CMS) like WordPress, there are many themes to choose from. Themes are packaged sets of styling and scripting that present your content in various layouts and with various functionality. Some themes, like the ones that comes with WordPress, are free. Others cost money and often come in free and “Pro” versions where more capability is unlocked in the paid version. Or you can pay a lot of time and or money and get a custom developed theme. Continue reading “WordPress Themes: Free, Fee or Custom?”

What Google forgot to tell you about Analytics Setup

Perhaps they don’t consider it much of a problem, perhaps they want you to look at all sources of traffic and decide how to interpret it for yourself, or, perhaps, they want you to think you get more traffic than you really do for some other reason. Whatever the reason, your Google Analytics data is full of non-traffic and non-legitimate traffic sooner or later. There are steps you can take to clean up the data and the views but since you can’t edit the stored data after it is collected, it would be nice to know these steps in the beginning!

There are three major sources of bad traffic data (not all bad traffic data is actually even traffic!):

  • Ghost referrers
  • Bad crawlers and fake referrals
  • Perfectly good crawlers and spiders that, nonetheless, cloud your view

Continue reading “What Google forgot to tell you about Analytics Setup”

Nested WordPress Shortcodes

Have you tried calling a shortcode within another shortcode and discovered it doesn’t work?

WordPress makes nested shortcodes possible but requires each shortcode to actively participate by calling do_shortcode() when exiting.

For a recent client’s needs, I created a simple shortcode in the child theme’s functions.php that allowed to them to display different content to logged-in and non-logged-in users. I needed to wrap that around Events Manager‘s event_list shortcode to display different calendars in the same widget based on the user’s logged-in status.

Because the “outer” shortcode was my own, I could modify it without fear that a plugin update would overwrite the change.

Here’s the modification in the non-logged-in user’s version. Note the use of do_shortcode wrapped around the $content in the return line.
Continue reading “Nested WordPress Shortcodes”

Be genuine or don’t bother

If you are on LinkedIn, you have probably received an email that starts with something like “Hi Scott, I was browsing Linked-in and wanted to reach out to you.”emailfail

Sure, the mistyped “Linked-in” is a signal this is probably not worth reading but it looks good compared to what follows. The email goes on to introduce the seller, their company and what they do. Not bad, but if you’re writing me because of something you saw while browsing LinkedIn, why not open with what about my profile caught your eye while browsing? At least then I might wonder what you offer that has something to do with something about me or my business.

It gets worse. The description of the company and its products or services is fine. Except that it clearly isn’t anything I have any need for at all. I was selected for this message because the sender was browsing on LinkedIn? Really? While browsing, did you read or just look at the pictures?
Continue reading “Be genuine or don’t bother”