Sharing resources including social media tips, a HTML5 template and more

Here’s a few articles/resources I found online recently that I wanted to share with others.

Epics, stories and sprints in Agile

I recently started working on an Agile team, using the Scrum framework, at my job and I have to say I am enjoying it, as it’s different from the traditional “waterfall” method. What I wanted to go over today in this blog post were a few agile terms: epics, stories and sprints. I will be referring to Atlassian.com‘s blog post: Epics, Stories, Themes, and Initiatives where they go into greater detail about each one.

  • Epics – large bodies of work that can be broken down into a number of smaller tasks (called stories)
  • Stories – also called “user stories,” are short requirements or requests written from the perspective of an end user
  • Sprints – a sprint is one development cycle in Scrum, and are usually 1-2 weeks long

Cool HTML5 tips for form inputs

I wanted to share these cool quick tips that HTML5 provides to basic HTML web forms that will save you time and work in the end. Remember though, these tips only work in web browsers that support HTML5.

Placeholder attribute
You can now easily have “placeholder” text display inside a text field, whereas before you had to use Javascript to add text inside a text field before the user enters their own text.

Code

Input Type: Date
You can have a date field where users can select a date from a visual calendar that appears and you don’t have to code the calendar.

Code

Input Type: Time
You can have a time field where users can select a time.

Code

To see more HTML input types that are supported with web browsers that support HTML5, check out w3schools.com.

A cheat sheet for Google Analytics terms

Ever get confused about the terminology Google Analytics uses? That’s a definite “yes” for me. Well Search Engine Watch put together a good blog post with terms that Google uses and they listed Google’s definition of those terms and also they put in plain English what the terms mean. Below are the terms that are defined in the blog post, make sure to check the link above.

Terms
Bounce Rate
Clicks
Entrances
Events
Exit Page
Exit Rate / % Exit
Hits
Impressions
Landing or Entrance Page
Page Views
Sessions
Time on Page
Users, Visitors, Traffic
Direct Traffic
Organic Traffic
Paid Search Traffic
Referral Traffic

No more CSS conditional comments for IE10+

I was working on an older site this past week and an issue came up where the IE10 web browser was showing different spacing compared to the Google Chrome web browser. My initial thoughts were to use CSS conditional comments to make a specific class have different padding for IE web browsers.

Well I didn’t know that Microsoft deprecated conditional comments for IE10 and above, so I did some searching online and found a blog post, “Targeting IE10 & IE11 Browsers with CSS” on paper-leaf.com, that gave me the solution I needed.

So if you use the below code inside a “style” tag and add your CSS specifically for IE10+ in there, it will solve this problem I ran into.

Testing your web site in different web browsers and mobile devices

When building your web site, at some point you should test how your site looks in different web browsers and mobile devices. To do this all you need is the Google Chrome web browser. Follow the steps below to test your site. The below steps were written while using Chrome version 33.0.1750.154. Future updates of Chrome may have the icons or tabs in different places.

  1. In Chrome, open the “Developer tools” via the button with the horizontal lines in the top right corner of the Google Chrome web browser
  2. Now with “Developer tools” open, in the bottom right corner click the round gears icon (the word “Settings” appears when you mouseover it)
  3. In the “General” tab, check the “Show ‘Emulation’ view in console drawer” checkbox and close that overlay
  4. With the “Developer tools” still open, in the bottom right corner click the icon with a greater than symbol and three lines (the words “Show drawer” appear when you mouseover it) and a new tab appears below the “Developer tools”
  5. Click the “Emulation” tab and now you can see how your web site looks in different mobile devices (in the “Device” tab), different screen sizes (in the “Screen” tab), and different user agents/web browsers (in the “User Agent” tab)

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