Welcome to another edition of Sites Weekly.
In this week’s edition, you will find links to articles about the following:
- Content. How to market through text messaging and chatbots
- Design. 10 beautiful website color palettes that increase engagement
- Technology. Why you shouldn’t crowdsource your hosting decision (plus: an intriguing text-to-speech tool from Amazon)
- Strategy. Is it time to rethink your definition of productivity?
- Bonus. A few quick notes on some changes coming in WordPress 4.9.5
But first …
Last week on Sites
Once you have chosen your WordPress theme, there are some immediate items that need to be placed atop of your to-do list. Two of them have to do with the emotions your site will evoke, and the other has to do with how users will interact with your site.
Rafal Tomal — Creative Director for StudioPress — shares his deep insight on everything you need to know about WordPress design.
And now, on to this week’s links …
Content: How to market through text messaging and chatbots
In case you’ve missed it, the text and chatbot revolution isn’t coming … it’s here. And while email is still the king of conversions, there is no question that marketing through text messages and chatbots has opened new and exciting doors for creating important connections and trust with your audience, and potential customers.
This post outlines some important dos and don’ts for how to market through texts and chatbots.
Design: 10 beautiful website color palettes that increase engagement
The color scheme you choose for your website has a massive influence on the emotional experience your visitors have while they are interacting with your content.
This long, informative post at Crazy Egg walks you through the basics of color theory, provides several compelling reasons for why your color scheme is so important (if you’re not sold on the idea already), and then highlights 10 websites that have particularly striking color palettes. Feel free to ogle, or steal. 😉
Two of the most important decisions you will make about your WordPress website are your theme and your hosting. Wouldn’t it be great if they worked together to make your website more powerful?
Now they can.
Technology: Why you shouldn’t crowdsource your hosting decision (plus: an intriguing text-to-speech tool from Amazon)
I have two reasons for linking to this post.
First, it’s good advice. Where you are going to host your site isn’t a good question for crowdsourcing. Here’s an excerpt that explains why:
“For as many years as I have been in the space, I have seen this happening. It could be at a meetup, a workshop, a Slack channel, or as stated before, on various social platforms. It really never is productive and often turns into a host bashing party that, personally, I find a waste of time and breath.”
This is true. People love to come out and bash hosts that they’ve had negative experiences with … and most people have had at least one bad hosting experience.
The other reason why crowdsourcing your hosting choice isn’t wise is because not all hosting advice is created equal. The best choice for you and your needs may not be the best choice for someone else and their needs.
So someone may have had a great experience with Hosting Company X, but if, for example, you are using a StudioPress theme on your site and they are not, then Hosting Company X won’t be as good of a choice for you as StudioPress Sites — which is optimized to work with StudioPress themes.
Here’s the other reason I’m linking to this post …
Notice the text-to-speech option at the top. It’s from an Amazon service called Polly. This was my first experience with it. I clicked play and listened, and I was impressed with the quality.
It’s obviously not as good as a live human reading it, but considering the pricing (remarkably affordable), it’s a simple way to add a convenient listening option to text-based posts.
Give it a look. It might be worth investigating for your site.
Also, here’s a quick post that will make sure you’re up-to-date on what ads.txt and ads.cert are designed to do.
Strategy: Is it time to rethink your definition of productivity?
This post by Kelton Reid is going to hit home for you — guaranteed. Because all of us are feeling, or have felt, the control that technology wields over our working lives. Kelton provides you with some strategies to combat this.
Want permission to take a nap? He gives it to you.
Want permission to take more time reading and filling your brain with ideas before trying to crank out that next piece of content? He gives it to you.
Kelton’s tips include a can’t-miss section in the end that challenges you to “go analog” for a day. Do it. In my own life, I’ve worked hard to lessen my interaction with technology both when I’m working and when I’m “off the clock,” and it’s done wonders for my mental, emotional, and even physical health.
I’m glad I stumbled upon this post, because it was a most welcome reminder.
Oh, and while we’re on the subject of productivity, here’s a blog post that highlights 10 Gmail plugins you should consider for optimizing the time you spend in your inbox.
Bonus article: A few quick notes on some changes coming in WordPress 4.9.5
The upcoming WordPress update is now available for beta testing and includes 23 bug fixes and improvements. This post describes some notable changes you can expect when the new version is rolled out.
Which of the ideas in these posts will you put to good use immediately?
I’ll be back with a new edition next week.