Hidden features I found in wordpress

I have been putting off adding my social media icons to my nav bar. Today it was on top of my todo list. With some themes this is very easy so I figured it had to be easy to do in Headway 3.0(theme this blog uses) also. I just have never taken the time to do it until now.

Adding the icons was easier than I thought and I even learned a few new features of WordPress in the process.  I wish I would have known about these features when I was developing Blog Made Simple. It sure would have made life easier. Since learning this secret I have already used it on my Non-profits website.

I knew there was advanced features on the post’s page and I have used the screen options button to turn things on and off there many times. However, I never noticed the ‘screen options’ button while in the menu settings portion of WordPress. Clicking the ‘screen options’ button, when viewing the menu settings, yields us some new options.

Screen options button circled in black
Selectable Options available
Click to Enlarge

I wanted to use some custom css so I checked the CSS classes box under screen options.

So what does this have to do with social media icons, you ask? Well to put them on my page I actually made another totally separate nav menu in Headway 3.0 and then created one menu item for each of the icons I wanted to display. I created the menu items using the custom link option. So for Twitter I created a menu item called Twitter and linked to http://twitter.com/thedannymullen. After doing so I then clicked on the menu item and put nav-twitter into the css classes field.

After doing all of this I then created Custom CSS(Live CSS in Headway3.0) with the following:

.nav-twitter a,
{ //hide text for menu item
font-size: 0;
text-indent: -1000px;
}
.nav-twitter { // place icon using css name you created for menu item
margin-left: 7px;
background: url(‘https://dannymullen.com/twitter.png’);
background-repeat: no-repeat;
}

That’s how I added Social media icons to my upper right corner.

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Need more Vanity in your life?

I have created a new vanity url service for Google Plus. The domain is http://Gooplus.us.

Master Vanity

I am thinking this could be a Vanity url more targeted to businesses. I can envision someone saying check us out on GooPlus.us. As usual anything I do online is an adventure, we will see where this one takes me.

Here is a sample link to my profile.

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Email Address or Contact form?

I read a blog post on coachradio.tv about using a contact form versus and email address. It got me thinking about this topic so I did an informal survey of my friends and was shocked with the results. I found myself to be the odd man out that preferred a contact form over an email address. I believe this is because I have been using web based email for over 15 years and therefor don’t have an email client configured on my computers.

Is Email Dead?

The first complaint I heard from people is that a form typically does not allow you to copy yourself. Although I can understand their view, most of the time you are not emailing hundreds of companies unique questions. My solution if this is a concern simply note what you sent in a text file or calendar appointment for follow up.

The second complaint was that they did not know if the information ever got delivered. This one borders electronic ignorance as unless you are on corporate mail servers or you write special html code to verify the email was opened, you simply almost never know if someone really received your message. In fact the person you are contacting is probably more likely to receive an email from the contact form vs regular email.

The third complaint was that they didn’t know who the contact form was sending the information to. I am confused by this one, because unless you are on Danny Mullen.net and you click contact Danny Mullen, typically you don’t know who even your email will be going to. In fact on some sites that have a high volume of traffic even though it says click here to email Danny, you are not really emailing Danny. You are emailing his assistant who passes important messages to Danny.

As a website owner, my concern with using email only was would I miss an email or it would end up in my spam folder. With the contact forms on my site, I receive special notifications when those messages come to me. In addition, I can filter the information easier and I know that I have received all the necessary information to contact a person back.

The general conclusions from today, Put both! This way people who are familiar / comfortable can do it the way they like. In addition I was reminded of a valuable lesson. It is not about what I like or want, it is what my customers want that is important.

Leave me a comment, what do you prefer?

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Starting my information Diet

This past weekend I found a new podcast to listen to it is called the Mason World Late Night Internet Podcast. This guy is truly entertaining and informative. I have been looking for new information and inspiration relating to internet marketing. I think I have found it, in fact I found a little too much of it.

After I had listened to several of the podcast, his tip on how to stay motivated was to go on an information diet. It was at that moment that I realized I was suffering from information overload. This overload was causing me to do nothing instead of making progress.

Overload!

The second hint came while I was at lunch with a friend the other day, we were discussing what I had been up to. They were familiar with my energy monitor site. This friend asked me why I quit maintaining it and then started outlaying numerous good ideas on how to improve the site. I was shocked! It had been some time since I discussed the site as well as brainstormed how to improve it.

It is amazing sometimes you just need a couple suttle hints to give you that swift kick needed and get you back on track. Due to this new found motivation, I have slowed down posting over the last week on all of my sites. I plan on coming back with a firm plan and then I will proceed again. One part of my plan is completion of the book I have been reading by Yanik Silver titled, Moonlighting on the Internet: 5 World-Class Experts Reveal Proven Ways to Make Extra Cash

Leave a comment and let me know about a time when you had to step back and take a deep breath before moving on.

Find me on twitter #dannymullen

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Brand Yourself Experiment

I am doing an experiment of a service called brand yourself. I read about it in this Mashable Article. I am chronicling my efforts on my technology blog site.

In short the process works by creating a BrandYourself Profile and then placing links on it back to your sites. In addition you place links on your sites back to your brandyourself profile. The premise is that these links will help you Google ranking. We will see! If it does help, I will tackle Danny Mullen next.

Currently I am not a full believer, but only time will tell. You can read the full review here Brand Yourself Review on Blog Made Simple. If you have any experience with this or other services like this, drop me a line.

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Wish there was an easy way to archive Gmail?

While viewing the Labs in the Gmail settings. I found one I had never noticed prior. This feature will help you get those messages cleared out of your inbox. I have found this feature saves at least one click per email replied to.

For me, this feature comes in handy because, the bulk of email transactions I do require me to reply to the sender with some type of information or link. Upon sending I would consistently forget to archive the email, thus leading to a cluttered inbox. I usually thought if only there was an easy way to archive those types of communication, it would aid in my clutter free inbox.

There is good news, the team at Gmail Labs has such a feature. It is called ‘Send and Archive’. Once installed, I found myself using it quite frequently. No more do I need to send the email, then click archive after the fact. This feature installs a new send button, so you can click either ‘Send’ or ‘Send and Archive’. I love it!

To install this feature you must do the following:

  • Click on the gear icon in the Gmail inbox
  • Click Settings
  • Click the Labs Menu
  • Scroll down until you see the ‘Send and Archive’
  • Click Enable
  • Do you have any features you would like to see in Gmail? Leave a comment let me know.

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Inbox zero One Week Status

I just wanted to make a quick post, it has been a full week and I am still at zero. I think the one thing I have noticed is that I still find myself going and checking my box scanning the emails. Once I realize there are none there, I usually sit for a few minutes thinking what do I do now? It is amazing, I think having the emails there although they have been read still consume large amounts of time just re-scanning. It is almost like you think you missed something. Phase two of this exercise, figure out how to be productive during this new found time.

All in all, I am very impressed with myself for maintaining the discipline to keep my inbox at this state. Have you ever tried to form a new habit or behavior? Were you able to sustain your new behavior, leave a comment and let me know.

Inbox Management Resources:  Andy Traub  is working on an inbox management product. Follow this link to take his become a gmail ninja survey. Also by Andy Traub  is this gmail tutorial. I thought I was a gmail expert, until I watched this video. Andy uncovers and shows you tips that most people don’t know exist.

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I love Ebay, and Inexpensive Ipods!

I just bought an Apple Ipod Nano Gen 3 that was “broken”.  Prior to purchase I researched the symptoms online and was 80% confident I could fix it.  I won the auction for 10 dollars including the shipping.  I just unpacked the Ipod and Voila a working Ipod!

The issue was that the Ipod was frozen and needed a reset.  In my reading online I found numerous people who were able to fix this condition by running the battery to zero and then doing a factory restore.  The beauty was that since it took 4 days to arrive the battery was already at zero, all I had to do was plug in and restore!  Now my daughter can be upgraded from her 4GB nano with a bent back and scratched screen to an 8GB nano with unscratched screen and in near mint condition. 

How did I do this you ask?  Well, I have alerts on Ebay when auctions for Ipods are about to end and the bid is under 5 dollars.  I get very few alerts as usually there is some fool out there who bids these up, but in this case persistence and patience paid off!

What is your best Ebay buy?  Leave me a comment and let me know!

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Well I finally did it, now I feel naked.

After a few months of internal debate, I finally brought my inbox at home and work to zero. It was a tough decision to break the mold and venture out into territory outside of normality. Over the last couple months since I made my original post, I made many attempts to try the new methods. The problem with my lack of commitment was that I found myself easily slipping back into the old methods. I soon learned I had to dive in head first or forget trying to change, so I did!

As of ten minutes ago I am on this journey, lets see where it takes me!

Lastly I wanted to share one person who has inspired me to make some of these changes is Michael Hyatt, he has a new book coming out. The link in this post will allow you to purchase the book during his promotional week which entitles you to $375.98 worth of free bonus content. The promotional week starts 5/21/2012.

Leave a comment, let me know a time in your life where you had to dive in!

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C# not Dull at all

I have been programming in C# the last few days. I found that I quite prefer it over VB now. It has the flexibility of VB while having the power of C. The current project I am working on is call “DNS switcher”. I plan on releasing this one as a freebee also.

I was inspired to write this because I am tired of having to manually modify my windows hosts file for website debug. With the application, I will be able to switch local and internet debug automatically without having to manually edit the hosts file. In addition, I am adding controls to start/stop xampp.

As stated in my previous post, I resurrected my cash register application. A conversion of this to C# will be on my radar also.

What applications have you written to learn programming languages? Leave a comment, let me know.

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