Tag Archive for: WordPress

5 WordPress Website Themes To Use In 2016

Finding a needle in a haystack might seem easier than choosing from the staggering collection of available WordPress website themes. That job becomes a lot easier with careful consideration of your website’s purpose and priorities. Use this rundown of features in five important WordPress website themes to determine what’s best for your site.

5 important WordPress website themes

While WordPress website themes come in free and premium editions, those listed here are all premium. Due to their price point, there is a glut of websites using free themes, while a premium theme offers more features and customization to set your site apart. Customer support is multifaceted for premium themes, including email, chat and public forums. Premium themes are updated more often, usually periodically, so security issues are identified and patched.

1. Avada

Avada

Avada by Theme Fusion is one of the best-selling WordPress website themes, known for excellent customer support. The visual page builder allows for fast and easy customizing with no coding necessary. Avada offers full responsiveness, optimized speed, auto theme updates and 2D/3D layered sliders. It has five custom headers, a built in SEO plug-in, and is optimized for speed.

2. X Theme

X by Themeco is one of the most customizable WordPress website themes available due to its stacks, which are four exclusive designs in one, rather than a few standard layouts. Drag and drop page builders make everything customizable without coding, including logo, font, color, menus, sidebars and headers. The live previewer ends the need to constantly refresh, granting intuitive front-end editing. Along with SEO readiness, X also brings custom extensions, Responsive Visibility, and optimized speed.

3. Enfold

Enfold

Enfold by Kriesi has been called one of the most user friendly WordPress website themes out there, with 18 predefined skins for non-coders to insert their own information. The drag and drop templates support customizing layouts, typography and color, with options for audio and video. Enfold is optimized for SEO, high resolution, and 2D/3D layers. It is responsive for any size screen and optimized for speed.

4. Jupiter

Jupiter by Artbees is known as a one size fits all WordPress website theme. Now on version 5, Jupiter’s modular composition, reduced file size and total number of files have improved the loading times. Users find numerous drag and drop variations for customizing layouts, headers, post types and content importers as well as a background customiser using color gradients. Features include SEO readiness, Edge Slideshow, adaptable responsiveness, and 50 templates.

5. Salient

Salient

Salient by ThemeNectar is one of the most innovative WordPress website themes, giving websites a creative edge. The visually enhanced features include video backgrounds, sliders, and a custom homepage that lays out all parts of the website in an array. SEO compatible and speed optimized, Salient contains 350 icons and eight page layouts formatted for any size screen.

How to choose?

With so many features available in these WordPress website themes, pinpointing priorities can be difficult. Website speed should be near the top of your list; if your site takes too long to load, viewers will give up and Google will assign a low rating. Sluggish themes are characterized by an overload of features and too many large files. Focus on the features that best characterize your business, whether flashy background videos and sliders or simple customized colors and headers, and choose a theme that specializes in those particular components.

User experience goes hand-in-hand with speed, since the purpose of having a website is to attract users. Ease of use can make or break your site, so limit complicated features. Smashing Magazine suggests experimenting with demos to get a feel for each theme: “Do you get a headache looking at it? Does it excite you?” First impressions are important, and your first impression should be a positive one.

Just like looking at a model home, however, a theme demo can distract you with a beautiful set-up that has nothing to do with your needs. Look for demo features that will fit your purpose and content. Make sure positions and sizing of logos, headers and text blocks fit your requirements. A live preview admin area will allow you to test-drive the demo for a better idea of how it meets your specifications.

All of these WordPress website themes demonstrate SEO compatibility, responsiveness, optimized speed, customizable design and easy-to-use drag and drop options to various degrees. Your priorities and personal impressions will determine the best fit for your website (your needle in the haystack).

Causes and fixes for 406 Error – Not acceptable

The response “ 406 Error –  Not acceptable ” is not as common as a “404-Page not found” but does happen occasionally and should be fixed.

solve 406 Error

What causes a 406 Error

When you click a page link or access a website, your browser sends a request to the host server. In other words Chrome (for example) requests information (access) from example.com. When sending this request, the browser also informs the server what formats it accepts in return by including an “Accept Header”.

If we were writing in plain language, it would be something like: “Hello, my name is browser. I would like to know more about your page. Please send info in return. I accept such and such formats”.
If the returned response is “406 Error– Not acceptable”, it means the browser does not support a format sent by the server or the request is in violation of some settings.

Accept Headers commonly behind 406 Error

Accept-Charset and Accept-Language

Character set is the method by which tables convert code into readable characters. It mainly covers languages and symbols.

At the beginnings of time, the commonly used table was ASCII. However, ASCII doesn’t include characters used in many countries. The need to decode such characters required the switch to a broader table. Standard is now ISO-8859 to support international symbols and alphabets, though the list includes many more.

406 Error

Accept-Encoding

The Accept-Encoding header lists the HTTP compression methods the user agent accepts. A 406 Error – Not Acceptable will return if the file format is not supported by the server. Accept encoding headers commonly used include gzip, deflate, compress..

HTTP compression is necessary to compact files so they travel between server and browser without drastic loss of speed.

Accept-Ranges

A request can specify that only data within a certain range of bytes be included in the response. In that case only a portion of what is available will be delivered back.
It can also happen that a server has set security parameters that a request violates, Mod_security, a firewall program running on Apache server.

Fixing 406 Error – Not Acceptable

When a 406 Error occurs, the first sources to investigate are the Accept-Headers by either accessing the source code or requesting the developer to check them.

With the web being truly worldwide and giving access to the most obscure information (while still interesting and needed by the searcher), you need to make sure you are set to be visible. If you think the headers are responsible for such error, scan your coding and make sure you are set for acceptable mimes.
In case the response violates security settings, they can be disabled (though they may have been implemented for a reason). It is recommended to check with the provider to avoid conflicts.

If the response 406 Error- Not Acceptable occurred while working on WordPress, you can get information on fixes through this support forum.

406 Error – Not Acceptable doesn’t happen often, mostly because any type of character or data is accepted by browsers nowadays. However, it can pop up, in which case the query is left unsatisfied and you count one less visitor that day.

How to Identify ‘Not Provided’ Keywords in Google Analytics

In the SEO world where keywords play an important role, not being able to identify ‘not provided’ keywords in Google Analytics (the search terms that brought visitors to a site) is comparable to sailing through heavy fog. The imposed blindness weakens our performance and productivity. In the absence of actionable data, what can we do to gain some insight on what works? There are a handful of methods that help us get the information we need.

What are ‘Not Set’ Keywords in Google Analytics

not provided Google Analytics

Back in 2011, Google implemented a way to hide search terms issued from a secure connection linked to a Google account (Gmail, YouTube, Analytics, and a few more) in its Analytics reports. The move was officially motivated by privacy concerns: any query keyed in using the secure protocol “https://” would not reveal the keywords in Google Analytics Reports. In other words, it became impossible to identify true organic traffic to a website. (Since then, some browsers have defaulted to this standard).

keywords Google Analytics

The exception to the rule is that keywords associated with paid Google ads are exempt from the lockdown.

Between a secure search connection and a website Google filters the search terms: PPC associated keywords pass through and show up in your data; independent search terms do not.

As a result, you are getting traffic on your pages (and possibly conversions and sales), but you don’t know what visitors searched for to land there, making it difficult to know your audience and implement action plans and targeting campaigns or improve your SEO.

Methods to Identify ‘Not Provided’ Keywords in Google Analytics

Create a Custom Report for Landing Pages
Creating a report that filters ‘not provided’ keywords per URL can help weed through the unknown, at least for new visits.

• From a profile in Google Analytics account, select Filters
• Select ‘+ New Filter’
• Add (advanced) Filter to Profile

Google Analytics optimization

The output will list all pages that were visited while the search terms are unavailable.

If you are confident the pages carry relevant keywords, you will have a better idea of their performance based on number of visits.

If you are running PPC campaign, you can correlate the ranking with ‘not provided’ keyword analyze the trends.

Use Google Webmaster Tools Reports

Another way to identify ‘not provided’ keywords is to use the queries report from Webmaster Tools. It displays the Google search queries that generated the most impressions for your URLs. All you need is to set up Webmaster Tools data sharing.
Analyze the traffic sources to understand where the searches are coming from. The queries report allows you to identify the most popular keywords and provide new keywords to consider. With this data, you can isolate the pages that have a good position but low click-through, and focus on improving content.
The inconvenient of this method is it works for one website at a time. If you manage several sites, you have to manually change the association between Webmaster and Google Analytics each time.

Google Analytics keyword analyze

Use Adwords reports to identify ‘not provided’ keywords

Paid search is not subject to the privacy filter, so this is a good place to go fish.

The Adwords keyword report gives the whole data of traffic sources  in “Matched Search Queries”.

If Adwords is part of your campaigns, comparing page data between paid and organic searches is useful.
Where it gets interesting is to analyze your competitors’ performance in the Google Adwords Auction Insights Report.

This reveals great information on keywords that hit, along with a glimpse of your competition’s strategies: if a keyword consistently makes it to the top, it could mean they are focusing on it…for a (good) reason.

When Google pulled the plug and created the ‘not provided’ keywords creature, they sparked a fierce controversy. Solutions to identify organic search or circumvent the absence of data exist but are far from providing satisfactory results (not to mention the amount of work it represents to get information that was available before). Third party developers are working around the clock to bring back sanity to the SEO world.

Merrit-Mental-Health-Zen-Den-Web-Design

New WordPress Website Launch: Merritt Mental Health

By: Mae Demdam

Whew, another one down! We’ve just finished the launch of a new medical website for our client, Merritt Mental Health. This was an exciting and seamless project thanks to the integration of Basecamp and our client’s constant communication.

What is Merritt Mental Health?
Dr. Eli Merritt, a psychiatrist in the San Francisco Bay Area developed the concept for a mental health referral and consultation program. Medical providers within the network can assess their clients’ specific needs and provide guidance, while referring them to specialists if necessary.

Needs and Solution:
Dr. Merritt came to Zen Den with a need for a website to introduce his company, solidify his brand and create an informative online resource for his patients and their families. We created a clean, simplistic, yet professional WordPress website design. We chose WordPress because of its easy to use CMS and plugin integrations. With WordPress we added the Bookeo Integration to allow patients to schedule phone or videoconference appointments for immediate counseling. We also included marketing tools through MailChimp integration to keep in contact with potential and current patients.

Challenges:
Although Bookeo allows for easy installation and integration there was a challenged to get the plugin’s appearance to match our design seamlessly. We wanted the widget to have the same look and feel of site, but Bookeo’s out-of-the-box product wasn’t design friendly. It took quite a bit of CSS trickery to bring it in line with the rest of the site’s visuals, as well as ensuring it maintained the same responsiveness from desktop to mobile.

Unique Aspects of the Project:
Our team worked closely with Merritt Mental Health’s staff photographer to integrate tasteful and genre appropriate imagery into the site. This was an exciting creative process as opposed to using Stock Imagery and allowed their team to work closely with our developers and designers.

For more information on WordPress web design and development contact the team at Zen Den Web Design for a consultation and to request a quote.

Alttox-Humane-Society-Zen-Den-Web-Design

We’ve Teamed Up with AltTox and the Humane Society of the U.S.

By: Mae Demdam
Our innovators, designers, creative thinkers, strategists AND most importantly animal lovers, are so proud to have been chosen to redesign AltTox.org’s (in partnership with The Humane Society of the United States) website.

The goal of this collaboration is to bring their current website up to date, make it responsive, and create an inviting atmosphere focused around education and information. As an international resource and platform focused on non animal toxicology testing, AltTox presented a need to maintain credible within their industry yet enhance their online presence and user experience with a clean, organized, and modern look. Partnerships with large organizations such as The Humane Society of the US and Procter & Gamble, create the need to re-identify the brand, increase traffic and user interactions and contributions to the website, and create a stronger position as the top information provider in their industry.

“It’s great to have the opportunity to work with an organization such as AltTox and to improve their current website. Unfortunately educational and informational websites haven’t always been known for their innovations in web design. We’re looking forward to updating the AltTox website, redesigning their logo and creating a more youthful online identity that is geared to reach a broader audience,”

says Chad Bell, President at Zen Den Web Design.

About Zen Den Web Design:
Zen Den is an a creative web design and development agency that aims to “Bring Zen to the Web”. Our goal is to create innovative and forward-thinking websites and eCommerce solutions that are powerful, clutter free, and easy to navigate. Our client focused solutions employ top open source platforms and technology in the industry. Request a Quote Now!

About AltTox:
AltTox is an informational online platform with an international audience focused on promoting the regulatory use of non-animal methods by providing the most up-to-date information about these methods and the policies affecting their use. They also provide an outlet for discussions of ideas and thoughts about the developments and use of non-animal methods. “AltTox.org is a website dedicated to advancing non-animal methods of toxicity testing through online discussion and information exchange.” To learn more, please visit AltTox.org.

Image Credit: Cesarsway.com

Buffalo-Bills-Brewery-Zen-Den-Web-Design

Web Redesign for Buffalo Bill’s Brewery in Hayward CA

By: Mae Demdam
We’re proud to announce that we’ve partnered with Buffalo Bill’s Brewery to create a responsive website to strengthen their online presence and assist with their re-branding and marketing.

Buffalo Bill’s Brewery was founded in the 1980s by beer enthusiast and famed photojournalist Bill Owens. He envisioned opening an authentic brewpub that would serve homemade, hearty libations with character and integrity. Due to legal constrictions his dream didn’t officially become a reality until 1983 where he opened one of the first brewpubs in America in Hayward, California. With continuing success Owens sold Buffalo Bill’s to Geoff Harries, a brewer at the time, who has been running the brewery and restaurant and epitomizing the homespun culture of the craft brewing movement.
Buffalo Bills Brewery Zen Den Web Design
In an effort to merge modern elements with a traditional and rustic feel the new website will embody the true sense of Buffalo Bill’s Brewery; artfully made, handcrafted and inspired by the seasons.

“We are excited to have the opportunity to work with such a fun brand and concept like Buffalo Bill’s Brewery. It’s always humbling to tackle new challenges, like re-designing a brew pub’s website. When we work with different industries it keeps things interesting and encourages us to learn and ask questions”,

says Chad Bell, President at Zen Den Web Design.

About Zen Den Web Design:
Zen Den is an a creative web design and development agency that aims to “Bring Zen to the Web”. Our goal is to create innovative and forward-thinking websites and eCommerce solutions that are powerful, clutter free, and easy to navigate. Our client focused solutions employ top open source platforms and technology in the industry. To learn more, please visit our Responsive Web Design Service Page.

About Buffalo Bill’s Brewery:
Buffalo Bill’s Brewery is located in Hayward, CA and was founded by Bill Owens in 1983 as one of the first brew pubs in America. Now owned and operated by Geoff Harries the brewery sells seasonal craft beers to independent store and large retailers nationwide. The product line includes Orange Blossom Ale®, Strawberry Blonde Ale®, Blueberry Oatmeal Stout®, Tasmanian Devil Ale® and Alimony IPA®. For more information about their products, brewery or restaurant, please visit BuffaloBillsBrewery.com.

Tag Archive for: WordPress