Enhance SEO for your WordPress blog

WordPress by itself does a good job with SEO (search engine optimization) but you can make improvements to help your site with SEO as there are some nice free WordPress plugins to do this for you. I’ll go over the two plugins I use to help with SEO and getting indexed by search engines.

The first plugin I use is All In One SEO Pack by Michael Torbert. This plugin helps optimize your site for search engines. The main features this plugin has (as of when this was posted) are:

  • Edit your home page title, description and keywords
  • Change the title format for posts and pages
  • Add webmaster verification codes for Google Webmaster and Bing Webmaster
  • Add Google Analytics ID for tracking
  • Add noindex tags for category pages, archive pages, tag pages, etc
  • Add additional code into the header of posts and pages

To get and install the All In One SEO Pack plugin on your blog, follow these steps:

  • Go to your “Admin” area of your site
  • Click the “Plugins” link in the left side nav
  • Click the “Add New” link at the top of the page
  • In the search field, type “All In One SEO Pack” and click search
  • The plugin you want should be the first one listed, but find the one named “All In One SEO Pack” by Michael Torbert, and click the “Install Now” link for it and you should be all done

The latest versions of All In One SEO Pack now includes an XML Sitemaps feature so if you use that feature as well, you won’t need the next plugin I’ve been using, Google XML Sitemaps by Arne Brachhold. The main features this plugin has (as of when this was posted) are:

  • Create an XML sitemap that can be indexed by search engines such as Google and Bing
  • Choose which pages (category pages, tag pages, archive pages, etc) to include from being included in the XML sitemap
  • Choose exactly which category pages to exclude from being included in the XML sitemap
  • Change the frequency of how often your homepage, blog posts, categpry pages, etc are crawled

To get and install the Google XML Sitemaps plugin on your blog, follow these steps:

  • Go to your “Admin” area of your site
  • Click the “Plugins” link in the left side nav
  • Click the “Add New” link at the top of the page
  • In the search field, type “Google XML Sitemaps” and click search
  • The plugin you want should be the first one listed, but find the one named “Google XML Sitemaps” by Arne Brachhold, and click the “Install Now” link for it and you should be all done

I hope this helps you improve SEO for your WordPress blog. If you have any questions concerning these plugins check out their official sites or feel free to leave a comment and I can try to answer them.

Helpful resources including free icons, useful Google Analytics tips and email stats

I meant to post this sooner but here are links to articles I found interesting and they can most likely help you with your web sites.

Mobile email compatibility chart

The Litmus blog had a good blog post earlier this month about mobile email and compatibility with a few things like image blocking, ALT text and more.

The chart below covers some popular email apps for mobile, and mobile email compatibility basics like support for media queries/responsive design, image blocking, preview text, alt text, and more. Inconsistencies are still bound to pop up, so be sure to test your email before you send.
Source: litmus.com

Litmus mobile email compatibility chart
Litmus mobile email compatibility chart

Google Reader is shutting down in July

No! Say it isn’t so, Google. Google will be shutting down Google Reader on July 1st. You can read Google’s official announcement post here. I’m saddened by this news as I’ve been using Google Reader for a while now and it is my main source to keep all of the sites I want to stay up-to-date with in one place and now I will have to find another RSS reader.

Luckily there’s a good article I found that lists out web and desktop alternative RSS readers. Make sure to check out LifeHacker’s Google Reader Is Shutting Down; Here Are the Best Alternatives.

I’ve signed up for NetVibes and I’m liking it so far. If you’re a Google Reader user and will be switching to another RSS reader, what service are you switching to?

Select all checkboxes with jQuery

So you have a form on your web site and you want to add a way for a user to select all checkboxes for one of your questions in the form. Here’s an easy way to do just that using jQuery. Use the Javascript and HTML code below.

HTML and Javascript code with the function that will make this work:

Remember that the checkbox’s “class” have to all be the same for those checkboxes that you want to check with the function. In this example the class is “checkboxClass”.

Few free good resources

This is a quick post where I just wanted to make others aware of these cool free tools and resources available.

  • Smashing Magazine blog post about using Opera’s Mobile Emulator to test how web sites look on mobile. The article has a link to where you can download the emulator.
  • Mobilizer, a free Adobe Air tool in beta, where you can test how web sites look on mobile.
  • Onextrapixel.com with a free downloadable e-commerce icon set.
  • DeveloperDrive.com with a post with their list of 10 Best Open Source Tools for Web Developers

Here are some more good freebies and resources to check out that I didn’t have a chance to post earlier.

Legal documents and resources for web work

I posted previously about adding terms and privacy legal notices on your web site, with information from Smashing Magazine‘s email newsletter. Today, I’m posting about a good blog post by none other than Smashing Magazine, where they broke out a list of legal documents/contracts that web designers (and just about anyone who works with anything web-related) should be using and made the documents downloadable for free. Make sure you check out the Useful Legal Documents For Designers (PDF/DOC) blog post right now and download those documents.

Online payment services for your business

Over at WebDesignerDepot.com they have a good blog post with a list of the major online payment services. Make sure to check out and read the entire blog post.

Here’s the list of online payment services, but read the original blog post to hear about the pros and cons of each.