Oct 30, 2012

Tip: A grid of post thumbnails for index/listing pages

Our thumbnail and summary script was such a success that people have been asking us for further and further customization based off of it. The most frequent request has been the ability to set just a thumbnail image for the blog post and use it to create a grid of images.

Your wish, our command.

Oct 19, 2012

Hangout on Air: Friday Request Line for 10/19/2012

Less is more, user-centric design, focusing on your user experience, and lots of template manipulation!

Oct 17, 2012

Opinion: Forget about SEO, develop a user-centric content strategy

We don't like talking about Search Engine Optimization, nor do we like focusing on it in any significant way as it's own service. We get calls every week (and perhaps a dozen emails a day!) from "search engine marketers" and "search engine specialists" trying to sell us their services. We've laughed at them, especially when we demonstrate that yes, our websites are being found for most of our major keywords (we're #2 behind Wikipedia for "rfp" and "request for proposal").

That being said, it's troublesome when we see people spending more time worrying about "optimizing their site for search engines" than working on their content, or creating new content. That's why this article based on this interview made us happy.

Oct 15, 2012

Featured Blogger Site: Rebekah Brooks Jewelry

Homepage of Rebekah Brooks

Rebekah Brooks is a small handmade jewelry company based in Massachusetts. Fulfilling a lifelong interest in adornment, Rebekah started the company out of her loft in Brooklyn in 1998. The jewelry has gone on to sell in over 250 boutiques across the US, Europe & Japan. The site is built in Blogger and designed and developed by Confluent Forms LLC.

Oct 12, 2012

Hangout On Air: Friday Request Line for 10/12/2012

Web fonts, social sharing, focusing on your user experience, rel=author and much more more!

Oct 11, 2012

Google+, Hangouts, and the Friday Request Line!

Thank you for being a reader and possibly a subscriber to our site, BlogXpertise. While still very young as far as blogs are concerned, we're thrilled with the responses that our posts have received (over 350 comments on 45 posts!), emails of thanks we've received, and the hundreds (perhaps thousands?) of people who have downloaded our templates and installed them on their sites.

Thank you, you're all amazing, and we're glad that we can help you make your Blogger sites even more spectacular!

Oct 9, 2012

Question: Why is my Blogger blog not displaying correctly in IE 9?

As web developers we learn to live with what we call "cross-browser compatibility" issues. We know that, browser to browser, version to version, your website might display differently, or flat-out wrong. When we develop a new site we develop to the standard, then check on different browsers and versions to make adjustments if needed. Every time a new browser comes out you learn to deal with its occasional idiosyncrasies. One of the worst culprits is IE 9 and compatibility mode.

Oct 8, 2012

Tip: A simple CATCHA for preventing spam through submission forms

Nothing is more annoying than getting spam through your website's submission forms, especially when it looks something like:

Name :: cholrdji
Email :: cholrdji
Location :: cholrdji
Feedback :: maoozbcvtifmpgxibu, http://www.asdaacadsfad.com rlivmvxcza

What's the point, right? Do they think you're actually going to click on that link? But at the same time you want the form there, don't want to make it too hard for users to fill out, but would prefer to limit the garbage that you get. A CAPTCHA is what you need!

Oct 3, 2012

Tip: Making index page images link to the post page

This tip mainly applies to blogs that take advantage of jump breaks in their posts as a way to shorten posts on the front page(s) with links to the full post.

In cases where you use jump breaks to limit your post size on your index pages you're left with a challenge: you want to use images in each post above the jump break, but clicking on the image doesn't take the user to the blog post. Instead, clicking on the image either opens up the Lightbox effect or takes you to a full page of just that image. Neither is the desired user behavior, especially if your only content before the jump break is the image.

This code provides a solution.

Oct 1, 2012

Tip: Make effective use the post title, URL and permalink

You've done it. You've finished a long, thoughtful blog post, spell-checked it a few times, re-read it to make sure your grammar wasn't too awful, and you're ready to publish. You come up with a cutesy title, or maybe even a descriptive one, and you hit publish.

You just missed a big opportunity to give your site an extra boost in traffic.