WordPress 4.7 and the further proliferation of video headers

As of Dec 6th, 2016 WordPress 4.7 “Vaughan” is available and in following with WordPress tradition is named for a jazz musician. In this case the team chose vocalist Sarah “Sassy” Vaughan:

There is a video introducing the Update made by the WordPress team as well:

Should you update an existing website to WordPress 4.7?

You will probably want to make this update as it is a pretty major one with a lot of cool features including updates to the REST API content endpoints, Custom CSS, user Admin languages, PDF Thumbnails, changes to the editor, starter content for new sites, and more. You can read more here and here.

As with any WordPress core files update you should be testing your theme on a separate server before going live, if you have customized your theme files. There are a lot of things that change under the hood with these and they can play havoc with layouts and other functions.

Word of Warning on Video Headers!

One of the new features in WP 4.7 is the ability to add video clips to your websites header/top of the page. This is the latest thing for all the cool kids. Please please please use this carefully. Video files are huge and will make your site take longer to load especially for anyone on their cell phone. Yes this looks cool but not if it can’t load or eats up their pricey cell phone bandwidth. If you decide that a video header will be helpful to your users then try to get the file to be under 1MB, please.

The cool thing is that the WordPress team took a lot of things into consideration when implementing this. For small screens the video header does not show up by default so mobile users shouldn’t be as affected. It is also only available on the front page by default. They also suggest you have an image matched with the video so that while the video downloads there is something displayed.

If you want to use video headers please read this page.

Go get WordPress 4.7 and see whats new.

Blogging faster with Alfred

One thing I love about using a Mac is some of the creative software that is only developed for the Mac. One of my favorite apps is called Alfred. It is essentially a keybord launcher which is not exclusive to the Mac platform but Alfred is more than a launcher because it has Workflows. Workflows allow you to download and create all kinds of wild a crazy things to help you work faster and more error free.

One thing I love to do is share links to websites that I think other may find value from. Typically sharing a link like that requires that I click into the address bar and copy the URL. Then in WordPress I have to paste that into a link and write the headline. Not a ton of steps but if I am busy with other things it might be too much to ask. It turns out someone created a Workflow just for this:
Send URL – Share your Workflows – Alfred App Community Forum

Create a great product then sell it

One mentality is that with the right sales pitch and landing page you can sell ice to an eskimo. The problem is that you are selling to make a sale instead of selling to deliver a useful product to your clients. This can breed resentment or even worse allow a competitor to come along with something the client actually needs.
This video of Steve Jobs pontificating about the demise of Monopolistic companies like Xerox and IBM strikes a chord with small businesses as well. While the video discusses issues at very very large companies the thinking is applicable to all size businesses.

Sure Sales and Marketing are important and investing in good training, well designed branding, and a healthy internet presence will help you sell more product. The pitfall that Steve points out in this short video is that at the end of the day what people are buying is the product. If you focus on Sales and Marketing too much there is a possibility that the product will diminish in quality and effectiveness.

Square is selling its NFC payment reader in Apple Stores

Square is selling its NFC payment reader in Apple Stores

If you take Credit Card payments from customers RUN to an apple store and get this now!

Last November, Square finally got on with the times and unveiled an NFC-friendly reader, but it was only available on Square’s website. Now, however, it’s available in Apple retail stores too. This means that anyone can go into an Apple store and buy Square’s appropriately square-shaped wireless reader without having to order it online. As a reminder, the point-of-sale system is compatible with not only chip-enabled debit/credit cards but also NFC payments like Apple Pay, Android Pay and Samsung Pay. […]

12 Content Curation Tools To Make You A Sharing Machine

12 Content Curation Tools To Make You A Sharing Machine

Excellent post on a variety of tools to help you create more and better/relevant content for your customers. Researching content ideas takes time and effort to find things that are relevant to your company and interesting to your customers. Using the tools listed in this article will help you find the right good sources of information that you can share with your customers.

Searching for the right resources, taking notes, organising all of that information, developing a thesis – all of this before I could even begin to write, the only part I actually liked.

When I got into content writing, and specifically content curation, it hit me. All of the old hatred of research papers bubbled up. But things have changed. Content curation tools have done the hard work for me, and there are 12 that have turned me into a “curation machine.” […]