What is a WordPress theme?

WordPress themes are the templates you choose to determine the appearance and basic functionality of your website.

A theme modifies the way a site is displayed without modifying the underlying software.

The page layout, stylistic details, colours and fonts can all be designed to suit, giving you the freedom to choose the best way to represent your business.

Themes make a website simple yet professional, allowing you to manage your site quickly and easily using the powerful features that come as standard.

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How to Get More Likes For Your Instagram Photos

With 400 million active monthly accounts, Instagram is the eighth ranking photo-showing app.

But with so many Users, how can you make your photos stand-out from the crowds and gain more followers? Read on for tips on how to take the perfect photo and attract more followers…

  • Use Hashtags

Hashtags increase the chance of your photos being seen and shared. Categorise your shots using keywords and use a variety of hashtags for each photo. For example, if you are launching a health food snack, take a photo of your product and use #food #healthy #happiness.

Using hashtags increases follower count and therefore exposure. Popular hashtags include: #Love, #Happy, #Food, #Fun, #photooftheday, #Instagood, #tbt (throwback Thursday). Use Websta to find which hashtags are currently trending, and to source users with similar interests to yours.

Like anything, hashtags are best used sparingly; too many may make your posts look cluttered and clumsy; so use 2-3 in your post and add more to comments.

  • Post Photos at Appropriate Times

You may have the best shot in the world, but if you post it at 12am on a Sunday morning, the chances are it won’t be seen. Use an app like Iconosquare to help you identify the best time to post for follower engagement. Utilising a service like this (many are free) will provide invaluable insight on how to gain maximum followers and likes and prevent you from wasting the best photos at the worst times.

  • Take Decent Pictures

If possible, stand above your subject and take the shot from at least three feet away (especially important with food). Make sure your picture looks attractive and arrange your surroundings appropriately.

Use natural light wherever you can, or use a flash light to brighten shots.

Blue tones attract more likes, so add them in wherever you can.

When taking selfies, editing tools such as Squaready are excellent for blotting out blemishes, but don’t overdo it – people prefer natural.

Use filters sparingly to make your shot appear as natural as possible – don’t lose sight of what things really look like in the quest for the perfect photo.

Hold your phone upright – this will ensure your picture looks clear.

Use the HDR function in low light.

#NoFilter is a great way to show an honest, accurate photo of your subject. Natural really is best!

Use an app like Diptic to combine multiple shots into one frame.

Avoid clogging up people’s newsfeeds with too many pictures; use a timer to space out your photos.

  • Get Networking and Stay Active

Find other users with similar interests and work with them to cross promote each other. The Internet is one massive social hub, and collaborating with people relevant to your brand will help you all to get extra exposure. Establish friendship groups and get connected; shout-outs from other Instagrammers or websites will help you to gain followers. Acknowledge other user’s photos, and interact with them. Compliment shots and comment. Reciprocate likes to show you’re interest in other people’s content. Think of Instagram as a ‘You scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours’ kind of environment.

  • Link Your Social Media Accounts

Link your Instagram account to your Facebook account for maximum exposure to a wider audience.

  • Know Who You Are

The best way to encourage user engagement is to be yourself and stay consistent. Have a theme, and stick to it by posting regularly; people find comfort in familiarity. Be conscious of your tone and pace. Have a knowledge of current topics and post appropriately to stay interesting and relevant. Know your audience and understand what will appeal to them. Stay natural, honest and original to build up a long term and engaged following.

  • And Finally…

You can buy followers from service such as Instafollow (insta-follow.com). Instafollow promises to not only provide you with real followers (not bots) but also to promote your brand to professionals and comes with a refund guarantee.

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How Effective Is Google Plus?

Google + is Google’s social network, although appears to provide a more ‘serious’ business related platform than other social media sites.

It is thought that around 23% of Internet users utilise the Google+ service, which was made available to everyone after a short test period in 2011.

So, how effective IS Google Plus?

With more than 2.5 billion registered users, the answer should be ‘very’. However, every Gmail address corresponds with its own Google+ account, meaning that many of these have never even been looked at, which is a shame, because Google+ boasts some pretty awesome features:

  • Circles is used to organise the people you follow and your followers. When you add a contact to your account, you can assign them to one or more circles of your choice – a great way to categorise. Circles are private, meaning that no-one can see how you have organised them.
  • Messages and links can be shared with everyone or just with those in certain circles – you can choose. A notifications section keeps you informed of responses to our comments / shared content; importantly there is an option to ‘mute’ updates.
  • Organising networks into circles allows users to reach people they deem most likely to be interested in their content, and to avoid jamming up the newsfeeds of those that aren’t.
  • Hangouts are basically a video group chat. Ideal for conferences, you can talk via video with up to ten people. There is an option not to be seen or heard, and you are able to share YouTube videos to share with others in your hangout.
  • Real-time Stream means that the stream flows as and when new updates are posted; these are shown at the top of your stream once you’ve logged in.
  • Sharing is caring. Clicking the ‘Share’ link below the post you want to share enables all those in your chosen circles to view it.
  • Your Google+ profile is easy to edit and is the place to go to determine privacy settings, change profile settings and choose which tabs show to which of your circles.
  • Photos can be uploaded and organised using Google Photos, and easily shared straight to Google+. Any photos set as ‘public’ will be visible to all your Google+ circles.
  • It is possible to view authorship stats in Google Webmaster Tools. This will enable you to check how many impressions your marked up content is receiving. When an author is producing lower-quality content, authorship won’t be displayed.
  • Webmaster Tools can also be utilised to see how many clicks your Google+ profile page has received.

Google+ is interest motivated. Finding others with similar interests efficiently allows you to connect quickly, and build relationships effectively. Formatting posts to your chosen audiences allows you to target appropriate followers with updates relevant to them. Every Google+ post  is indexed by Google and available to appear in Search. This means that as people start to add you into circles, your network will evolve, making your content available to a wider field.

Despite the controversy, Google+ is an excellent form of social SEO. With dedicated communities and engaged audiences, it promises to be a successful social media platform for any business.

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How to Get Followers on Facebook

Facebook is used by over 1 billion people worldwide, making it the ideal platform for your business.

But with so many users, how can you make your brand stand out from the crowds?

Read on for tips on how to boost your fan base and build your business…

  • Cover Photo

Your cover photo is basically the billboard of your brand, therefore it should be representative of your business. Choose something professional, eye-catching and creative. Users should be able to tell instantly who you are, and what you have to offer.

  • Profile Picture

Again, this should be professional and appropriate to your brand. Consider linking your profile picture to your cover photo for an effective marketing strategy. For example, if you make bespoke cushions, why not have a sofa as your cover picture and a cushion as your profile, designed to look as if it has been placed onto the sofa?

  • Make your Statuses Worth Reading

Stay interesting and relevant. Overloading people’s newsfeeds is likely to get you unfollowed. A little bit of relevant information is far mouseful than truckloads of daily info-dumping.

  • Share Interesting Articles and Facts

Keep your eye on the news, and share items that are unusual, attention grabbing or just plain fun. Think about articles that you would be interested in; don’t just share something for the sake of updating your page.

  • Engage and Respond

Social media is an excellent way to communicate with people. When people comment on your page, respond. It’s only polite and helps to establish a rapport with your online customer base. It’s worth remembering that having 200 warm followers with an interest in your brand is far more worthwhile than having 2000 followers with little or no interest in your page. Quality definitely over-rides quantity when it comes to Facebook. Always follow your followers.

  • Post Great Content

It sounds kind of obvious, but it really is an integral part of any social media campaign. Know your audience and deliver high-quality, relevant content to them on a regular basis. Make your content shareworthy for maximum exposure. When people share your links and posts, you are potentially reaching thousands of new customers.

  • Staying Professional

Keep your pages clear, concise and accurate with up-to-date information about your product / service and contact details.  Social media is not the place to vent an opinion, rant or rave when you’re seeking recognition as a reputable business.

  • Blog!

If you have the time to write a decent blog, with great content you can pretty much guarantee to generate traffic to your Facebook page by placing a widget on your blog. Using a point of action such as a graphic or enhanced text will show people what you want them to do.

  • Don’t Oversell

Social media is a fantastic way to communicate and engage with people. However, it’s not the place to give a hard sell. Use your page to advertise a few choice items or highlight glowing reviews from satisfied customers, but don’t turn people off by making your entire page a sales pitch.

  • Run A Contest

Increase your brand attention by running a contest. People love prizes! Programs like Promotion Builder are available to help you. Check Facebook’s rules first.

  • Manage Your Wall-Posting Preferences

It may be worth setting your page’s Posting Ability Tab to allow only page admin to post:

  1. Choose Edit Page from your Admin Panel
  2. Choose Edit Settings
  3. Edit the Posting Ability Tab to decide who can post on your page.

Effective admin will help you to maintain a professional page, and prevent  keyboard warriors from posting obscene or offensive content onto your page.

  • Add a Facebook Like Box To Your Website

If a user is already scouring your webpages, the chances are that they are  interested in your brand. Give them the opportunity to read your Facebook page with a gentle push in the right direction.

  • Advertising on Facebook

Facebook offers a variety of ads. Marketplace ads are generally the most affordable and therefore popular type of advertising. These include ads to external pages, sponsored stories and Facebook objects.

Running several combinations of ads can help you to decide which type will work best for you. You are able to use a number of ad formats in your campaign.

Know your competitors, and use this information to develop your unique selling points and make your brand stand out. What can your product offer that your competitor’s can’t? Exploit this and use it to your advantage to help  develop your ads.

  • Remember, Quality not Quantity

Stick to one Facebook page. It not only looks more professional and reputable, but saves you a whole lot of stress! The same goes for buying fans – just don’t. You need genuinely interested, engaged fans, not a load of fake followers with no intention of ever commenting on your posts or sharing your content.

  • And Finally…

Write like a human, for humans! If you know your target audience (as you should) finding decent content, relevant to them should come naturally. Test yourself – check recent posts; do you really find them engaging? Have you posted anything shareworthy? Aim to enhance your page and entrance your audience with educational, entertaining or interesting content.

Organic growth is the key to success – so persevere and concentrate on attracting quality fans.

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Why use WordPress?

WordPress is a highly configurable Content Management System that combines simplicity for users and publishers with hidden complexities for developers.

Originally designed to meet the needs of Bloggers, WordPress has evolved and is now able to accommodate plugins and design widgets, making it not only functional but aesthetically pleasing.

Everything from basic websites to applications are built using the adaptability and flexibility of WordPress.

Benefits of WordPress

  • User Friendly – Learning to edit content, add photos and post new pages is simple, even for those with little or no experience of programming or design.
  • Money Saving – You will be able to make your own edits, manage your own text, photos and videos for your website.
  • Easily Accessible – Add content or make changes from anywhere in the world.
  • Great Communication– By being able to make your own changes, you are able to communicate the most current information to your website users immediately-without waiting for a designer to update content.
  • Increased Functionality – Plugins are pre-written programmes that can increase the functionality of your software. There are thousands of WordPress plugins available.
  • Free Upgrades – Upgrades to WordPress blog software are free.
  • Mobile Readiness – WordPress automatically recognises how a site is being viewed and automatically configures the content to be viewed through a mobile device or web browser.
  • Design Consistency– WordPress offers a themed approach to website design and layout – and ensures that this theme is saved and used throughout your site. However WordPress also provides…
  • Design Flexibility – Enabling you to have a different design theme for every page of your website, should you wish to.
  • Improved Security – Your designer or developer uses a process called ‘hardening’ to secure your WordPress website and protect it against hackers.
  • Easy to Print – Many websites are too wide to print. Using a simple plugin, all of your WordPress site content can be printed in an easy to read format, without sacrificing the screen view design.
  • Staying Fresh – Themes can be easily swapped, allowing you to change the appearance of your website to reflect holidays, seasons or celebrations.
  • Automatic Saving – Even of your work hasn’t yet been published, it is automatically saved as you type, reducing loss to work and saving time.

As technology continues to develop, so does WordPress. By providing increased functionality and flexibility to suit your needs WordPress gives you the freedom to have control over your own website.

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MySQL IF statement example

While writing a select statement in MySQL it is possible to use an IF statement, an example would be apply a tax cost to a product price or converting a 1 to Yes and 0 to No.

The syntax for the statement is

IF(expression ,true, false);

So if we wanted to convert a boolean (either on or off) from a number to Yes or No we would use

IF(fieldactive = 1,"Yes", "No");

It is possible to use the if statement in conjunction with calculations another good example would be to apply a tax charge (VAT @ 20%) if the product value needs VAT applied to it.

IF(fieldvat =1,fieldvalue * 1.2, fieldvalue) as fieldincvat

When the “fieldvat” equals 1 we then take the value of fieldvalue and multiply it by 1.2 (which is the same as adding 20% to the orginal value), else we just show the fieldvalue

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What is Google’s disavow tool?

One of the main goals of SEO is to increase the number of relevant sites to link to you, because that can help improve your rankings. What happens though when a site that isn’t relevant or from a gambling or adult site links to you?

These links could be decreasing your own rankings!

To address this Google released their Disavow Tool as a method of informing Google to not count these backlinks

The Disavow Tool allows you to specify to Google which backlink URLs to remove as a ranking factor. This is achieved by creating a defined .txt file which lists these domains

When you first access the tool, you will be presented with a fairly strongly worded warning before you progress!

This is an advanced feature and should only be used with caution. If used incorrectly, this feature can potentially harm your site’s performance in Google’s search results. We recommend that you only disavow backlinks if you believe that there are a considerable number of spammy, artificial, or low-quality links pointing to your site, and if you are confident that the links are causing issues for you.

You should consider using the disavow tool once you have used the usual routes of trying to get links removed off your website.

Disavow is also perfectly suited if you are suspicious that someone is undertaking negative SEO and you are receiving a number of suspicious or low-quality backlinks that may hurt your rankings.

If you have received a manual penalty from Google then you must use the Disavow tool to assist in the removal

To use the disavow tool, first you need to download links to your site (for more information please read https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/2648487?hl=en)

Download links to your site

  1. On the Webmaster Tools home page, click the site you want.
  2. On the Dashboard, click Search Traffic, and then click Links to Your Site.
  3. Under Who links the most, click More.
  4. Click Download more sample links. If you click Download latest links, you’ll see dates as well.

From this file you then should create a txt files that contains ONLY the link you wish to disavow, one link per line. For example the file would look like:

# strangesite.com removed all bar 2 links


# Contacted owner of imhurtingyourseo.com on 7/1/2016 to

# ask for link removal but got no response


Then as per Googles instruction you would then

Upload a list of links to disavow

  1. Go to the disavow links tool page.
  2. Select your website.
  3. Click Disavow links.
  4. Click Choose file.

This file would then replace all previously uploaded files, it can take some time for this information to be processed.

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Resetting WordPress password via MySQL


So if you are reading this i am sure it is because you too have had an issue with not being able to access your wordpress admin area on a local dev machine.  This could be due to forgetting your WordPress admin password or because the password has become corrupted.

When this occurs it does mean you are unable to use the standard reset password email.  The good news is this very simple to fix as long as you have access to the database either directly or through a service such as phpmyadmin.

A standard WordPress install uses the wp_users table to store information about users and applies an MD5 encryption to the password field. If you run the query on your wordpress database such as :

UPDATE `wp_users` SET `user_pass`= MD5(‘newpassword’) WHERE `user_login`=’yourusername’;

This will then update your userlogin with your new password (in the example above it would set it to “newpassword”). We hope this helps sort your forgotten WordPress admin login password issue!



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