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How to use WordPress visual mode and text mode to write HTML

The WordPress visual mode and text mode can be a great shortcut for producing basic HTML.

This can be useful for adding links and other formatting to plain text widgets, announcement bars, excerpts or other places in WordPress that don’t support rich text formatting.


  • Start a new post (or page)
  • Make sure you are in “Visual” mode
  • Add bold, italic, links or any other formatting
  • Switch to “text” mode to view the HTML – you can then copy and paste this code elsewhere
  • Once you are done remember to delete that post – otherwise you will end up with many messy “drafts”


Here’s a video with a brief demo:

Posted in WordPress | 1 Response

How to remove / deactivate buy button on WooCommerce

WooCommerce is the best eCommerce plugin for WordPress. All workflows are processed smoothly from backend to frontend. My team and I are able to adapt it to match the customized needs of my clients. Users generally find it easy to use.

But sometimes stores want to disable the purchase process (remove the cart and the buy button from the product page) — for a variety of scenarios:

  • I was migrating a site from one server to another and wanted to make sure no orders were “trapped” on the old server once I edited the DNS records to point to the new server.
  • For other kinds of test environments or site copies that might be seen in limited scenarios or edge cases.
  • Some stores  just want to display their products, as a display catalog and not for purchasing.  

You can use this code to remove the buy button from the product page:

remove_action( 'woocommerce_after_shop_loop_item', 'woocommerce_template_loop_add_to_cart' );
remove_action( 'woocommerce_single_product_summary', 'woocommerce_template_single_add_to_cart', 30 );

Place the code above in functions.php of your active theme.

Here’s a screenshot:



This may not work with every theme and every setup. Learn more and see more complex code options at wordpress.stackexchange.com 

Posted in WordPress, WordPress WooCommerce | Leave a comment

A New Law to Protect Negative Yelp Reviews

Interesting development with Yelp — and other sites that allow public review. The “authenticity engine” and the consumer win again!

Last week, Congress passed a law that will make it illegal for companies to retaliate against U.S. consumers who post negative reviews online. Yes, soon you’ll be able to give a bad business one star without having to worry about being bullied or sued.

Source: This New Law Will Protect Your Negative Yelp Reviews

View my other posts about Yelp and negative reviews

Posted in Product Reviews, Web Design | Tagged | Leave a comment

The psychology of search


The psychology of search – And defining the perfect keywords for AdWords

There are countless questions arising each time one starts a new AdWords campaign – “How do I best reach my customers?”, ”What is my target audience looking for?” and many more. Finding answers to these questions is the major challenge when planning a new campaign and often decides its success or failure.

Who uses Search Engines?

In general internet users can be roughly divided in 2 groups:

  • The Consumers (Social Media, Newsletter, Websites etc.)
  • The Searchers (Search Engines)

While the first group just browses the web to consume content, the latter has a question, a problem or an interest in something in particular. They then put it in a question that they hope the search engine will deliver the right answer to.

How do people use Search Engines?

Unfortunately, there is no standard format searchers use for their queries. This is because the human mind works in a totally different way than a search engine’s algorithm. Humans merge everything into concepts and ideas – concepts like flowers, colors, etc. – while search engines still heavily rely on categorization and classification through keywords.

When using a search engine, the user must first transfer his or her own conceptual thinking into a keyword based search query. And there is no way to exactly predict the outcome of that.

Here are some examples of possible queries, or outcomes of the above described process:
–   An actual question: Where do I find a plumber?

  • A description of the problem: Flooded basement
  • A description of problem’s origin/solution: Repair broken plumbing
  • A geo location: Plumber near my location

With each of these queries the user has certain expectations of the results. Is the search engine result page going to deliver?

That’s exactly where an AdWords campaign should be positioned. The ad has to be designed to meet the searcher’s expectations. For help with writing good ad copy, check out The six tips how to write successful AdWords ads.

And the landing page should of course be able to actually answer the searcher’s original question.

When creating a new AdWords ad it helps to answer the following questions up front:

  • What potential queries are there?
  • What expectations does a searcher have?
  • Does my page answer these questions?
    (Or is there another subpage that does a better job at answering a specific question)

Apart from the benefit of being able to answer multiple questions with different ads and landing pages, you also gain insight into what queries to ignore and not to advertise for, as they are likely to mount costs with no profit.

When you follow these steps and make both your ads and landing pages as relevant to the searchers intent as possible, chances are your ad won’t be seen as disturbing advertisement, but as helpful information. When that happens, you’ve won.

Because Advertising Isn’t Advertising When It’s Information!
Brad Geddes, Certified Knowledge

Posted in WordPress | 1 Response

WordPress event plug-ins

Important features to note for WordPress events plugins:

  • Feature: save events to users’ 3rd party event and calendar services
  • Integration with third party calendar tools (iCal, Google)
  • Responsiveness for mobile phones/tablets
  • Registration and ticketing 
  • Appearance customization
  • Layouts, views and filters
  • Recurring events – a wide range of support on this feature
  • Shortcodes and widgets for displaying events in content and sidebars
  • Importing and exporting event data

The best WordPress event plug-in is: The Events Calendar by Modern Tribe

Modern Tribe is a small Santa Cruz-based WordPress company that’s been growing in popularity. With contributions by several WordPress expert developers, including core developer Mark Jaquith). To create an event, go to Events / Add New. Add your copy in the editor, add all relevant info in the detail widget below. You can ignore any of the fields  checkboxes below so don’t be intimidated. Anything you leave blank will not show up.

I have also used All-In-One Events Calendar by Time.ly on many sites including The Roxie. Over the years that plugin has become more bloated and I don’t think it’s as robust as “The Events Calendar” but it offers more features for free out-of-the-box.

See also:


A big list of WordPress event plug-ins is: http://wordpress.org/

One feature I miss is the ability to add ‘event time’ to any blog post. So the blog post becomes the ‘more info’ listing and then can be viewed in various calendar formats. That is a different approach than making a new custom content type and is preferable if you want every event post to be part of the bigger blog feed.


There is one that is focused on the needs of a touring performance group:

Or try this super simple option:
It just builds a widget showing blog entries with a custom field that give a time-out date.

Posted in Web Design, WordPress | 8 Responses

PayPal Here vs Square for “swipes” and “chips”

Lots of options these days for Credit Card processing—you can see their pricing is virtually identical. PayPal used to have per-item fixed fees and that adds alot for small transactions but now they both offer percentage-only fees.

paypal EMV reader

2016 PayPal Here

2.7% Per swipe (or “dip” of an EMV chip card)
3.5% + $0.15 to key in cards
square swipe chip and dip
square appl epay EMV

2016 Square

2.75% Per swipe  (or “dip” of an EMV chip card)
3.5% + 15¢ Per manually entered transaction
Reader Options
  • Both services offer a free or cheap “swipe only” little card reader
  • Stripe has a new (inexpensive) small  reader for “swipes” and “chips”
  • Both services offer a more expensive reader that takes Apple pay
PayPal offers a small “swipe” only reader
and a bigger unit that does all 3: “swipes” “chips” and apple pay
Square has a new small reader for “swipes” and “chips” (their old reader was for swipe only)
and a bigger reader for apple pay only
and also a new “RED” one that raises money for charity
square reader red
So for compactness, price and versatility, Square wins out with their super compact new reader. It doesn’t need batteries either.
Note that using swipe-only is fine for the next few years at least – but at some point new cards won’t have magnetic stripes.
Note also that setting up a Square account might take a while – they might run a credit check or something since it’s a new account and maybe there would be other delays since it is a business account. More people already have a PayPal account so it can be simpler to use that.

Accounting for Taxes

For either service, if you make $20,000 in payments AND at least 200 transactions then you will receive a 1099K form. This is a fairly new kind of 1099 and it means these services are reporting your income to the IRS.  For many this will be a convenient way to track and confirm their yearly income but for others it will cause issues since some small businesses will get the 1099k and also a 1099 “misc” from clients who are not clear that they should no longer issue 1099 “misc” since they are paying via a third party service. Also, if you use PayPal for non-income transactions – like someone paying you back for a purchase – then you need to be aware the IRS will think all you incoming money is taxable income.

Other kinds of fees

for sending invoices:
2016 PayPal Here: 2.9% + $0.30 to invoice
1% for cross-border transfers
you can enter checks into the mobile app also

2016 Square: 2.75% Per swipe (or paid Square Invoice)

Card readers for Stripe: If you use Stripe or other payment gateways

Posted in Product Reviews | Leave a comment

How to set up Zoho Mail

Zoho provides a combination of clean, ad-free, minimalist interface and power features geared for business and professional use. Zoho also offers several free services, including 25 free mailboxes. But if you want more there are three other plans available:



If you are interested in creating a free account, here it is what you need to do:

  1. Go to www.zoho.com/mail and click on “GET STARTED NOW”
  2. You’ll see the Pricing table from the picture above, choose your plan and click on “SIGN UP”
  3. You’ll go to this page:
    (this tutorial is about the free services)
    I’ll assume that you already have a domain, so you will just type your domain in the first field and click on “Add Domain”
  4. Next you’ll be asked to enter your personal information
  5. Now your account is set up and you’ll see the page below and receive an email with more instructions:
  6. The email will guide you through the following steps:
    • Step 1: Verify your domain
    • Step 2: Add/ Import users to the organization
    • Step 3: Start receiving emails – Change MX Records
    • Step 4: Email Migration to Zoho Mail

After following all those steps, you’ll be ready to go.


You can see all the features Zoho offers by clicking here: www.zoho.com/mail/features.html

Posted in Web Design | 2 Responses

Mac Sign software for plotters

I wanted to share my research about inexpensive sign cutting software for plotter for the Mac since it was not easy to find online. I’ve had a few plotters over the years (including USCutter and Summagraphics) and the software was always painful to use – never as sophisticated as Illustrator. Recently I was looking to update my software and came across these options – I really wanted a simple – even free – “driver” to just export my file from Illustrator but could not find one.


Sure Cuts A Lot 4 by CraftEdge

  • Intel Macintosh OSX (10.6 – 10.11)
  • $59.99 (one time fee – not a subscription)
  • Pro version available also
  • iPad version (gets bad reviews however)
  • Interface is not great but much better than most sign making software I have seen. Why can’t these companies just copy Adobe and come up with something clean?
  • Includes  so you can have a useful level of control over your output

WYSIWYG cut mode


  • Takes exports via Illustrator plug which is great but does a strange rename on the open illustrator file
  • Bad UI
  • Expensive – subscriptions start at $8/week
  • $149 for 2 years
  • Have to keep subscribing so not a good value over time – especially if you don’t use it much



MacSign by softeamweb

  • softeamV10 Lite, Win and Mac
  • Well, the website is funky and it wont even tell you the price without registering
  • MACSIGN LITE 490,00€
  • MACSIGN FULL 990,00€


Let me know what you find for:

  • cheap sign cutting plotter software
  • plotter illustrator plugins mac
  • SignBlazer experiences?
  • cheap signcut software
  • alternative to signcut software
Posted in Product Reviews | 2 Responses

The importance of keywords for on-page SEO


  • How often should I repeat my main keyword on a page?
  • Should the keyword only appear on one page, or on every page of my website?
  • What is the importance of keywords in the URL?
  • What about close variants, plural and singular?

Fortunately, the over-emphasis on keywords is a thing of the past. But a lot of people still think about where to place their keywords in order to get the biggest SEO benefit.

My first impulse would be to answer:

Forget about the keywords. Just focus on writing good content with your target audience in mind.

However, keywords are still very important when it comes to SEO. Search is primarily keyword-based and search engines have to use keywords in order to understand, evaluate and rank documents.

The golden rule – applicable to 95% of all websites:

The keyword should appear:

1 x in the title tag:

The keyword that a page is supposed to rank for must appear in the title tag. One time. Not twice, and not in variations.

It’s also recommended to put the brand name at the end of the title tag. This will improve the trustworthiness of the page (for Google) as well as enhance the snippet in the search engine results (for users).

1 x in the headline (h1):

The keyword must appear in the headline to immediately show the searcher, that the page is exactly what they were looking for. Ideally, the main headline is defined as <h1>. If that is not possible, for whatever reason, it’s ok to define it as something else, as long it’s the big headline on top of the page.

2-3 x in the content:

The keyword must be mentioned in the copy. If it doesn’t, the content is most probably not very relevant to the search query. Additionally, it’s good to use words that are topically related to the main keyword. Google will understand that your text is not only focusing on a keyword, but also covering a topic from many angles, which will give you an advantage.

2-3 times is enough. Now, it’s not terrible if your keyword appears more often than that, if the text requires it. But it’s counterproductive to use it unnaturally or to use close variants of your keyword. Google uses only the word-stem, so any grammatical variations that you may try to target by using them as often as possible will just look like keyword-stuffing to Google.

1 x in the meta description:

You don’t do this for better rankings (the meta description is not a ranking factor), but to achieve a higher CTR on the search results pages. Do this only if it makes sense.

That’s it! With this, you’ve covered most of it. Anything else you do after that will be fine-tuning and has only small effect. However, since we want to get as much out of on-page SEO as possible, here are 3 more points:

1 x in image alt-attributes and file names:

This helps to rank in image search. For websites that rely very heavily on images and have little text, the alt-attribute is a good place to get some additional content on the page.

1 x in the URL:

I’m not talking about the homepage! But on sub-pages, it is absolutely reasonable to use the keyword in the URL – for usability, for better understanding of the URL and for good rankings.

Domain.com/category/keyword : great.

Domain.com/keyword1-keyword2/keyword1-keyword3 : no! Just don’t do that.

1-2 x in sub-headings:

Use the keyword in sub-headings (h2, h3, …). This is useful and helps users and search engines to better understand what your page is about.

And once you’ve covered these points, it’s time to stop thinking about keywords on a page and move on to other more important things.


Author: Thomas Kloos is head of an SEO agency in Vienna. He’s been in the business for 15 years, speaks at conferences, gives workshops on SEO, AdWords and online reputation management and consults clients worldwide.

Posted in WordPress | Tagged | 1 Response

Comparing WordPress Video User Manuals


  Monthly plan price # of WordPress core videos of WordPress plugin videos # of other videos

Video User Manuals

Video User Manuals

 $24.00 41 18  26
vseo4  $49.50  42  0  0
vseo3 $24.00  25  8  2
vseo2  $24.75 43  16  42

Video User Manuals

The team at Video User Manuals have been around since early 2008. They are the original and first plugin to put video tutorials in the WordPress dashboard for clients. All the videos use a non-technical language and clear graphics, making them quite easy to understand. The videos can be watched in English (American, British and Australian accents available) or Spanish and they are categorized into the following sections:

Section # of Videos Section # of Videos
Dashboard 2 Widgets 1
Editor 11 Menus 3
Images 10 Yoast SEO (a free plugin) 4
Pages 3 WooCommerce (a free plugin) 7
Media 2 WooCommerce Products 7
Posts 7 Google Analytics Setup (not a WordPress feature) 11
Comments 1 Google Analytics Reports 10
Profile 1 Gravity Forms (a paid plugin) 5

The plugin is fully brandable and customizable. It is possible to turn off individual videos or entire sections of videos and add your own videos.


The videos are always opened in a new tab and the user has to come back to the previous tab to have access to the other videos—not very efficient.

It is also provides a Word and PDF document with every subscription that you can customize and rebrand as your own—but it’s not part of the WordPress plugin. And also there is the option to hide the settings from Admins.

Note there is no button to watch the video in full screen mode but if you increase the width of the popup window

There are three plans available:

  • Single: $70.00 (flat rate)
  • Developer: $24.00 per month (First month only $1)
  • Saver: $240.00 per year (First two month free)

VUM-all-videosComplete list of videos:

  1. Dashboard Videos
    1. The Dashboard
    2. The Admin Bar
  2. Editor Videos
    1. Hyperlinks
    2. Lists
    3. Embed Video
    4. Distraction-Free Writing
    5. The Toolbar
    6. Paste From Word
    7. Add A Heading
    8. Add A Paragraph
    9. Edit Text
    10. Revisions
    11. Audio Video Playlists
  3. Images Videos
    1. Add Media From Media Library
    2. Add Image From Computer
    3. Add Image From URL
    4. Delete Image
    5. Edit Image
    6. Image Editor
    7. Rotate and Flip Images
    8. Crop and Scale Images
    9. Featured Image
    10. Image Galleries
  4. Pages Videos
    1. Add New Page
    2. Trash A Page
    3. Restore A Page
  5. Media Videos
    1. Media Library
    2. Add Media
  6. Posts Videos
    1. Add New Post
    2. Trash A Post
    3. Restore A Post
    4. Categories
    5. Tags
    6. Quick Draft
    7. The Excerpt
  7. Comments Videos
  8. Profile Videos
    1. Change Your Password
  9. Widgets Videos
    1. Widgets
  10. Menus Videos
    1. Add A Page To A Menu
    2. Moving Menu Items
    3. Add Custom Links
  11. SEO Videos
    1. General
    2. Page Analysis
    3. Social
    4. Profile
  12. WooCommerce Videos
    1. Categories
    2. Tags
    3. Shipping Classes
    4. Attributes
    5. Orders
    6. Reports
    7. Coupons
  13. WooCommerce Products Videos
    1. Add a Product
    2. Simple Product
    3. Grouped Product
    4. External Product
    5. Variable Product
    6. Downloadable Product
    7. Product Overview
  14. Google Analytics Setup Videos
    1. Importance Of Digital Analytics
    2. Core Analysis Techniques
    3. Conversions And Marketing Attribution
    4. Creating A Measurement Plan
    5. How Google Analytics works
    6. Key Metrics And Dimensions
    7. Creating An Account
    8. Understanding Account Structure
    9. Setting Up Basic Filters
    10. Setting Up Goals
    11. Collecting Campaign Data
  15. Google Analytics Reports Videos
    1. Reporting Overview
    2. Audience Reports
    3. Acquisition Reports
    4. AdWords Reports
    5. Behavior Reports
    6. Custom Reports And Dashboards
    7. Goal Flow Report
    8. Ecommerce Reports
    9. Multi-Channel Funnels Reports
    10. Attribution Reports
  16. Gravity Forms Videos
    1. Add A New Form
    2. Form Editor
    3. Form Settings
    4. Form Entries
    5. Form Preview



Founded in 2005, WPMU DEV offers more than 350 WordPress plugins, themes and unlimited support. The WordPress tutorial videos are very detailed and straightforward, with a clean and clear interface, making them suitable for entry level users. The videos available are categorized into the following sections:

Section # of Videos
The Dashboard 4 Media Library 3
Posts 4 Appearance 4
Pages 4 Organizing Content 2
The Visual Editor 9 Managing Comments 1
Working with Images 8 Users, Tools and Settings 3

This is basically the only page of this plugin. Its interface is more efficient, the list of videos are always displayed below the video that is currently playing and the tutorials are not opened in a new tab.

The only language available is English and there is no written documentation available. All the videos will always be displayed to the admin and they can be watched in full screen mode. Even though the videos do not cover all the content covered by Video User Manuals, they covered most of the content in fewer and more dynamic videos.

There are three plans available:

  • Monthly: $49.50
  • Quarterly: $34.50 per month
  • Yearly: $24.50 per month



WP101 was launched back in 2008 by Shawn Hesketh, a freelance designer and WordPress consultant who has been creating websites since 1994. Over at Shawn’s website, he gives advice and shares his experience of running a membership site with 20,000 members, as well as offering his custom WordPress video service.



This is how the videos are displayed.

Some characteristics of this tool are:

  • Male voice-over
  • Video length: 5-6 mins
  • Outlines under each video help user pay more attention to the objectives of the videoIt compares different functions at a theoretical level, reinforces the content to help user memorize (E.g., post VS page)
  • A brief summary and an intro of the next session is included at the end of each video
  • Contains a specific tutorial about SEO in WordPress
  • Keep updating content according to customer needs, the upcoming videos include “intro to gravity forms” “Jetpack Series”

The tutorial available are:

  1. What Is WordPress?
  2. WordPress.Com Or WordPress.Org?
  3. How To Install WordPress
  4. The WordPress Dashboard
  5. Posts Vs Pages
  6. The WordPress Editor
  7. Creating A New Post
  8. Post Formats
  9. Edit An Existing Post
  10. Using Categories And Tags
  11. Creating And Editing Pages
  12. Adding Photos And Images
  13. How To Embed Video And Audio
  14. Using The Media Library
  15. Managing Comments
  16. How To Create A Link
  17. Changing The Theme
  18. Adding Widgets
  19. Building Custom Menus
  20. Installing Plugins
  21. Adding New Users
  22. WordPress Tools
  23. WordPress Settings
  24. Undoing Mistakes With Post Revisions Understanding Permalinks
  25. Introduction To Custom Fields
  26. What Is RSs?
  27. Updating WordPress
  28. WordPress Seo Plugin: General Tab
  29. WordPress Seo Plugin: Page Analysis Tab WordPress Seo Plugin: Advanced Tab
  30. WordPress Seo Plugin: General Settings WordPress Seo Plugin: Titles & Metas Settings WordPress Seo Plugin: Social Settings
  31. WordPress Seo Plugin: Xml Sitemaps
  32. WordPress Seo Plugin: Breadcrumbs
  33. WordPress Seo Plugin: Permalink Settings WordPress Seo Plugin: Rss Settings
  34. WordPress Seo Plugin: Tools
  35. WordPress Seo Premium: Redirect Manager WordPress Seo Premium: Google Webmaster Tools

The plans available are:

  • Monthly: $24/month
  • Annual: $ 39 /year
  • Lifetime access: $159



WPSessions was launched in 2013 and provides high quality content to help train the greater WordPress community.

WPSessions is specialized in training WordPress developers and business owners in a simple way and the content is created and supported by WordPress experts, so the tutorials are always updated.

The videos available are categorized into the following sections:

 Section # of Videos
Your First WordPress Plugin 43 Lessons
Mastering Sass: From Beginner to Expert 17 Lessons
Using the WordPress Plugin Boilerplate 16 Lessons
How to Optimize WordPress Performance 25 Lessons
How to Build a Membership Site In Production!
Bashing Your Way with WP-CLI In Production!
BuddyPress Mastery: For Users and Developers In Production!
Up and Running with Unit Tests  In Production!

The plans available are:

  • Pay by Sessions: $30 per session
  • VIP membership: $24.75 per month



On WordPress TV you can access screencasts, video presentations and WordCamp videos, and you can post your own videos as well. Their number one objective is to share quality content and show the users how to use WordPress and do awesome things with it.

The website is a moderated community and the videos they publish are for the benefit of all users of WordPress. As such, their content is meant to be a reflection of the values of the WordPress project.

They also have a blog, so the users can keep it up with all the WordPress news and events.


Finally, to choose which is best for your customers, you should know how much they know about WordPress and what are the features they use, because even though Video User Manuals covers extra content like Gravity Forms, WooCommerce and SEO, the videos explain the content more slowly compared to WPMU DEV, but it still explains the content thoroughly.

Visit the official websites:

Posted in WordPress | Tagged , | 1 Response
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