Engage with Your Customers Using Zopim

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zopimRecently, a client needed to use some sort of  a chat messenger to carry out many to one communication  i.e. many visitors could interact with single business entity ( ask questions and get answers in real time ) .   After researching various chat modules available I decided to use Zopim for this purpose.  What makes Zopim special??

 

  • Zopim offers a full-fledged free trial for 14 days allowing to explore all the bells and whistles of the service and select an appropriate package once trial ends.
  • As of now, Zopim allows to integrate with available IM network like Google Talk, Yahoo Messenger, AOL which means you can use your existing favorite chat client to interact with visitors on website.
  • Zopim can be further customized via its powerful API. You can pass Name, Email Address to zopim, customize chat window and register callback  ( triggers ) events for specific actions.
  • Zopim also has many triggers which you can customize as per your requirements
  • You can event set shortcuts in Zopim for e.g. #xyz will display predefined text to visitor when typed by business entity.
  • All visitor data is available beautifully on dashboard and can be exported for future references.
  • Readily available plugins available for WordPress and various other popular platforms . Installation is as easy as adding few lines of code to your website pages.

 

 

Get Your Content Everywhere With SNAP

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social-media-billboardSocial Network Auto Poster (SNAP)  is an amazing plugin for WordPress which give you ability to post your blog posts on Facebook,  Twitter,  Linkedin, Google+, Livejournal, Youtube, StumbleUpon, Delicious, Blogger, Diigo, Friendfeed and many more social networks.

What does that mean?

A single blog post on your WordPress  blog will be syndicated – automatically posted across all your social accounts. You can get your message across all your social accounts automatically.

 

Setting up accounts in popular social accounts like Facebook, Twitter & LinkedIn requires you to create app and enter api keys, secret keys into  SNAP.  The plugin itself provides a detailed guide with screenshots on how to create your own apps for auto-posting. Anyone can easily make their apps on these social networks with step by step detailed guide provided.  SNAP also provides a PRO plugin which lets you create multiple accounts for each social network account.  For personal users, I don’t think this facility is required as such users would ideally have one social account on each network.

Why use SNAP?

  • Google has stressed the importance of Social Signals for SEO. This tool might just help in that direction by helping you post to all social accounts in one go.
  • For social media marketers who handle social accounts for their clients/companies having a wordpress blog will solve the problem of scheduling/auto posting as it gives a very basic framework to schedule your posts and content. However social media marketing tools like Hootsuite and Sprout Social offer a lot more options to users.
  • For companies just starting out with social media campaigns, a wordpress blog with SNAP will help you spread the word, gather analytics of their social profile etc.

Displaying Portfolio ? Try Isotope jQuery

I know Isotope takes you back to school/college where you learned about Chemistry and Periodic table. But what I am talking about here is totally different. It’s a jQuery plugin which can used to create stunning portfolio’s, layouts. It comes with all bells & whistles of sorting, filtering using jQuery selectors.  I have used this plugin extensively in my last few assignments to display blocks of data in an animated fashion.  To learn more about this amazing jQuery I would recommed you to visit official Isotope jQuery website and see one of the demo in action here.

Next time if you wish to display a portfolio or a catalog of products/photos with filterable option, you can try using this plugin.

Are You Wireframing? Try Balsamiq

Creating mockups and presentations of the layout is given if you wish to pursue the line of web developer/ web designer.  Making prototypes and wireframes have now become easy with tools like Balsamiq. You no longer need to use Adobe illustrator, Photoshop to create wireframes – creating wireframes is easy , fast and beautiful with Balsamiq.

I myself use it extensively for creating sitemaps of client’s website, creating wireframes for website. With loads of UI components & icons available using Balsamiq is awesome.  The software comes at a very reasonable price of $ 79 for desktop app . You can even signup for their online web app which starts at a measly $12 pm allowing you to create upto 3 projects at a time.

Give it a try.

Font Awesome is Awesome

Of late, I have been messing around with Bootstrap framework a lot. As Responsive design is foremost important for new web development projects, Bootstrap becomes an ideal choice.  With loads of developers associated with Bootstrap, it becomes fairly easy to accomplish simple to complex tasks.  For visually creating content boxes, I prefer to use Font Awesome.  With loads of icons available and can be easily integrated with Bootstrap, it has become my favorite. If you are also into developing Responsive Websites , make sure you check out Bootstrap and Font Awesome both.

 

4 Steps To Enable Google Analytics Site Search on WordPress Sites

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This is to all my fellow blog marketers who use wordpress to manage their blogs / websites. I have written a small tutorial ( don’t worry there are plenty of screenshots ) to help you get most of your wordpress blog as well as Google Analytics.

The Problem – Issue

Many of the websites have a small search box ( just as one displayed on the right hand homepage sidebar of this blog ) . It’s aimed at helping users to get to the content / item that they really want quicker and easily.  Knowing what the users search in this “Search box” will help us to get more perspective on users and help in understanding what they are looking for in our blog and how we can present them in perhaps a better way to improve our bounce rate.

With loads of Ecommerce Enabled wordpress sites using shopping extensions like woocommerce, wordpress commerce , it becomes much more imperative to integrate your search box neatly and tightly with Google Analytics package.

Solution – Google Analytics Site Search

Google Analytics lets you understand, measure, analyze data of what people are searching on your search box. Doing so, is as simple as following below mentioned 4 Steps To Enable Google Analytics Site Search on WordPress

 

Step 1 : Login To Your Google Analytics account and Select Admin link

Once you have logged into Google Analytics using Google Account and are under Overview tab of Your report, select admin link located on the right hand top corner of the page.

Site Search Google Analytics With WordPress Step 1

Site Search Google Analytics With WordPress Step 1

  Step 2 : Navigate To Your Profiles

Go to appropriate “profile” of your website and select the same in Google Analytics

Site Search Google Analytics With WordPress Step 2

Site Search Google Analytics With WordPress Step 2

Step 3: Select Profile Settings In Your Current Profile

Once you have selected profile – navigate to profile settings tabs.

Site Search Google Analytics WordPress Step 3

Site Search Google Analytics WordPress Step 3

 

Step 4 : Enable Site Search and Add Search Parameter “s”

Navigate to profile setttings under Google Analytics Profile and click to enable site search for your website.  Add query parameter as “s” and click apply.

Site Search Google Analytics WordPress Step 4

Site Search Google Analytics WordPress Step 4

That’s it. Click apply and you are done. You will be able to see and analyze data of your search queries in search box right inside Google Analytics.

*This tutorials assumes you have not modified base WordPress installation and not modified search queries of default WordPress installation.

 

 

How To Visualize Your Hard Disk Space Using SpaceSniffer

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I ran out of disk space in one of my hard drives few days back. As that particular hard disk was of 1TB ( ya you heard it right, it was of 1TB ) – I decided to make some free space by deleting some unwanted files. Now if you are a bit disorganized like me , you can easily understand my predicament of finding stuff that can be deleted.

In such cases, I have found a visual representation of hard disk space showing which folders occupy how much space, helps you to narrow down the files that can be deleted.  I quickly researched about free software that can help me with this task and lo behold found this nifty little app called Space Sniffer.  This software is just 1.5MB. Yes you heard it right – just 1.5MB and is completely freeware.

Don’t underestimate the size of this software as this little piece of software can quickly give you a visual representation of your individual hard drive or a particular folder .  What’s more you can make use of nifty little filters like  < x months, file size > mb etc. to narrow down your search further.

So next time if you run into “space problems” in your software, you know which software to use.

Download Space Sniffer here

Space Sniffer- Find Lost disk space

Space Sniffer- Find Lost disk space

Space Sniffer- Find Lost disk space

Space Sniffer- Find Lost disk space

New Captcha To Combat Spam

key captcha

key captcha

While browing online, I came across new captcha today called as Key Captcha. It is an innovative method to fight spam. The captcha is pictorial and requires assembling of image in correct form as shown in the base image to work. While the traditional captcha like reCaptcha can be easily broken by captcha breaking services like Decaptcher, DeathbyCaptcha it would be interesting to see how person would be able to break these captcha for mass use.