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Blog Exercises: The Domino Effect

I recently created a domino effect on one of my sites. The Domino Effect is based upon the traditional game of domino pieces stacked standing upright in rows, typically in a straight or curved path carefully spaced close together. Knock over the first one and it falls against the second, and third, knocking down each […]

Blog Exercises: When Your Site Design Owns You

Yesterday a long-time client called me up in tears saying, “I can’t do this any more. My site design owns me, I don’t own it. It’s too confusing. It’s too much work!” Several years ago, she’d chosen a Magazine-style WordPress Theme. The structure was based upon the standard magazine-style, sticky posts for the slider/carousel at […]

Blog Exercises: The Art of List Making

Today’s blog exercise is part two on how to make a list. In “Weekly Link Roundups” and “Making Lists” blog exercises I covered some basics of how to make a list. This blog exercise will take these exercises further to help you create interesting lists in your blog posts that pull the reader through your […]

Blog Exercises: Don’t Let Your Content Compete With Itself

I fear for what I’m about to say. Colored fonts are evil. I’m not talking about colored fonts in the website design, nor colored fonts in headings within your content. I’m talking about colorizing the words you are reading as you read, just because, and the because usually isn’t a good enough reason to make […]

Blog Exercises: Are You a Victim of the Past?

Have you seen the fun video released to promote the then new television show, Portlandia on IFC, recently renewed for another year or two? It’s called “Dream of the 90s” and is part of your homework for this blog exercise. The story is that Jason went on a trip from Los Angles to Portland, Oregon, […]

Blog Exercises: Judging a Book By Its Presence

Right after the Sandy Hook School attack, a detail about the killer’s life came out in the news in the form of the book choices found in the home of the killer and his mother. Among all the books and papers was found a book on autism and another on Aspergers, which the media took, […]

Blog Exercise: When Was the Last Time You Got Personal

I walked into a friend’s home and found the fridge covered with refrigerator art from her seven year old. The traditional home often features such childhood artwork but this was extremely precious as the child has learning disabilities and drawing. The artwork was beautiful. I stood there transfixed at the crude scribbles, trying to find […]

Blog Exercises: Own Your Site and Protect Yourself

I hear it every day. A webmaster, developer, or designer does the site owner wrong and the site owner is victimized, helpless, and frustrated with what to do next. I’ve gotten calls in the middle of the night from people around the world trying to get help recovering their WordPress password because their “web guy” […]

Blog Exercises: The IKEA Effect for Bloggers

The Ikea Effect was coined by researchers who found out what we all know but rarely admit, we put too much ownership into our own brainchild ideas and concepts. In other words, we tend to fall in love with our own ideas and creations. If you have ever been around kids, you’ve probably had that […]

Blog Exercises: How to Add Headings to Your Post Articles

I’ve mentioned using headings in your post articles throughout these Blog Exercises. Let’s look closer at these HTML tags that help you structure and increase the readability of your blog posts. Headings are HTML tags used to set the section or subsection titles within your blog posts. They divide your content into sections, but they […]

Blog Exercises: Does Your Site Look Spammy?

Does your site look spammy? How would you know whether or not your site looks spammy? It’s time for a spam check. Web design is hard, especially if you aren’t an expert. Yet, in many ways you are an expert if you are a fan of the web. You’ve seen enough sites to know the […]

Blog Exercises: Check Your Site Title Tag

Do you know what the title of your site is? Not the name of your site or the title of your post, but the HTML <title> tag for your site buried in the source code. In HTML, every website is required to have the <title> tag in the <head> of the source code HTML structure. […]

Blog Exercises: Know Your Pageviews

In this Blog Exercise, it is time to learn some website jargon, specifically, what are all the web pages of your site called. I teach web publishing with WordPress and web design courses at two colleges, and I’m stunned that students don’t know at the lack of proper names for all the parts of a […]

WordPress Course at PCC-Rock Creek in Beaverton

I will be teaching a WordPress Introduction college course at Portland Community College in Beaverton, just west of Portland, Oregon, starting April 3 – June 12, 2013. The course is a hybrid online course meetings Wednesdays from 6-9PM with a minimum of two hours online per week. Called “CMS Website Creation: WordPress,” this 3 credit […]

Evaluating What Makes a Shopping Cart Work Best

Before you check out your next WordPress shopping cart or ecommerce WordPress Plugin, you need to read this. In April 2011, Smashing Magazine published “Fundamental Guidelines Of E-Commerce Checkout Design” in their UX (User Experience) column exploring what they called the “harsh reality” of e-commerce websites. According to recent e-commerce studies, at least 59.8% of […]


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