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Optimizing Images in WordPress to Improve Performance and SEO

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At 11:20am on 4/29/2018, I attended Optimizing Images in WordPress to Improve Performance and SEO, Presented by Steve Mortiboy of Pressable, at the 2018 Raleigh Wordcamp Convention in the Engineering Building I of North Carolina State University in Raleigh, NC.

Optimizing Images in WordPress to Improve Performance and SEO

This session is really aimed at beginners who want to understand how to leverage images to improve their website. I’m hoping we’ll take a hands-on look at things you should do when adding images and common mistakes to avoid that could negatively impact your site, especially with search engines.

Intended Audience:  Beginners

What we’re supposed to cover:

We need to think about performance, image optimazation, SEO, performance, etc.

Embedding Images

We’re doing this without proper sizes, etc. and we don’t really think about how it might affect performance, or adjust the layout.

Considerations

JPG, PNG, GIF. We cover this material, and its good content

File Size

this is the biggest problem. Taking an image from our phone or other device is huge, 10MB or more. High def is even worse. Before uploading into wordpress, we’ll want to adjust it. The smaller the better, with 100KB or smaller as ideal.

Dimensions

A 600px content area will not need 1000px width content. in Settings, Media you can adjust your content sizes. Your media may not convert to those sizes, even if supposed to. WordPresss does not know the content, it just crops the images as it feels the data tells it. Beware oversized images. Editing an image on the page allows you to set custom sizes

Image Resolution

DPI and PPI only apply to printing. It do affect image size in the file however. There is a myth of 72dpi. we don’t need to do that in our websites.

Images per page. The more images appear on a page, the more you need ot consider file sizes and page load times. Remember your mobile device users. Consider using a gallery or slideshow such as:

  • JetPack Tiles Galleries
  • JetPack Carousel

Do not load the image initially. Load only when requested.

Image Linking

Where should we link an image embedded? Should it load the media file. attachment page, custome URL, or nothing? LInking the media file should be reconsidered. That just loads the image in the browser. Google following that link only sees the file, no information, and the user must push the back button.

Consider instead an attachment page. This is an older forgotten page type. An attachment page is a wordpress page. You can add these theme pages with styles, links, back buttons, exit data, etc. It allows information such as MetaData to provide richer content to our customers in ways such as location and date. It allows us to add Meta tags, SEO, anything you’d like. You may not know you’re even on a page only for a photo. Google will index that page.

Custom URL is useful for custom button creators, etc.  Uploading a button linking to a particular page (such as contact us) allows you to create linkable, custom pages which can also be indexed.

An item with no reason to click on an image, you should just select none.

Image ownership

This is a big issue over the years. Big companies are seeking out smaller companies to Quash. Just because you found it doesn’t mean you can use it. There are different types of license. Consider using the Creative Commons Search Tools at: https://search.creativecommons.org

Stock Images

For the love of Pete, don’t do it. They’ve been done to death. Take your own photos, be real and be genuine. It brings nothing to the visitor to be seeing general images.

Optimization

Lossless compression reduces file size without losing quality. Lossy compression reduces file size with possible loss of quality. Your goal is to reduce a web image to 100KB or less. Granted, it always depends on the original image.

  1. Photoshop
  2. GIMP
  3. Imageoptim.com for mac
  4. tinyPNG at tinyPNG.com
  5. jpegmini at jpegmini.com
  6. EWWW image optimizer plugin

RETINA IMAGES

Retina schreens and displays are common.

Consider

  • using plugins, WPRetina 2x
  • using SVG
  • HTML method src=”image-800×600.jpg” width=”400″ height=”300″

Image SEO

1000+ line pages are boring. Images are sticky, they keep us there and easily tell us if we’re in the right place. Keep the visitor on the site, but also keep the visitor finding the site. Make your imagery search-engine friendly.

  1. Image Filename: DSC_005612987 doesn’t tell us anything. Rename your images to something which is helpful for search engines. You cannot rename the file once its uploaded because the images is posted in the server. If you’re using the same file on different pages, upload the same file with a different name. It may look the same, but it will be seen as different by search engines and computers which matter.
  2. Title attribute. Set the title and alt text to the content of the page, not the image. rather than describing the image, link it to the page and make it easier to find the page
  3. Alt text. Required for many governmental website.
  4. attachment page. Add the SEO title, the SEO description
  5. include images in your XML sitemap. AllInOneSEO automatically includes these items in the XML sitemap

Images for social media

Cathcing people’s information is really important, and a good high-quality image can really get you that click-through. Use a plugin to set that image. Create a custom image which is properly sized just for social media. Social media images can be shared and cached. It may only be for 7 days (facebook). Twitter and LinkedIn make it difficult to clear that cache.

Image sizes for social media

  • facebook images 1200px x 630px
  • twitter images 900px x 450px
  • pinterest images 236p x scaled height
  • instagram images 1080px x 1080px

Image Caching and CDN

  • JetPack Photon
  • WP Super Cache
  • W3 Total Cache
  • MaxCDN
  • Amazon CloudFront

Test using Google PageSpeed Insights:  https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights

 

 


Steve Mortiboy

Steve Mortiboy is the COO and Service Delivery Manager for Semper Plugins. He leads the team that develops plugins such as All in One SEO Pack. He has been working with WordPress for over 8 years and devotes much of his time to helping people get the most from WordPress. He is also one of the co-organizers of WordCamp Raleigh and the Raleigh WordPress Meetup Group. When not hard at work he’s working on DIY projects at home or off traveling.

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Marketing Your Game in 2018 and Beyond

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At 10:00am on 4/18/2018, I attended the presentation “Marketing Your Game in 2018 and Beyond”, Presented by Logan Williams Founder of Indie Wolverine, at the 2018 East Coast Gaming Conference in At the Raleigh Convention Center in Raleigh, NC.

Marketing Your Game in 2018 and Beyond

Logan Williams of Indie Wolverine is a marketing & PR specialist in the video game industry. Logan has supported over 12 games in the span of 2 and a half years and has helped his clients earn coverage from the largest gaming publications around the world. Notable games Logan has supported are GRAV, Cosmic Trip VR, Heart Forth Alicia, Polygod, Reflex Arena and more.

 

More games are being released at a higher volume than ever before on the largest PC game digital distribution platform (Steam). With the mobile market and now PC games market becoming overcrowded and overly competitive, it’s feast or famine. Marketing isn’t an option and influencer marketing is no longer low-hanging fruit.

In this talk, we broke down marketing & PR in the video game industry to simple terms and begin to expand on more creative ways we can communicate the values of our games to our target market. This included ways to utilize guerilla marketing tactics and how to get the most out of our launch (Early Acess release, full release, major update etc..).

I hope to leave this talk with a new understanding of marketing and PR in the video game industry and the added creative knowledge of how to make the most of existing communication strategies.

This talk was aimed at industry newbies to professionals.

PRESENTATION

Catch the whole slide presentation at: https://www.slideshare.net/LoganWilliams2/ecgc-2018-marketing-your-game-in-2018-and-beyond

Indie Wolverine operates by default using guerilla marketing. Most customers have a few weeks until launch to gain coverage when they walk into the office.

FAILURE IS A LEARNING OPPORTUNITY

Last year, their business had a large-ish failure. They worked with a VR team with Steam Early access title, and they handled the process from early release, and they were picked up by tons of attention-getting youtubers. The attention converted into sales. Sales were great and the alunch with early access went well. rather than small updates, the teams focused on 2-3month update cycles.

Due to the large success in the past, expectations were high. Kotaku noted his game was the favorite VR game to date. They felt they could reach out to positive reviewers. A 3-week pre-release note went out with reviewers and new press. The first round went out with virtually no response. The 2nd-week pre-release note got little or no responses. People were opening the email, but there was no response. The development team was stoked, but red flags were flying all over the place. As this was a first in-studio experience he could see the excitement. On launch, only niche clients responded, and sales did not meet expectations.

On the flight home, he was disgusted, felt sick to his stomach. Mitigating the risk and stress became his mission moving forward. We’ll talk about PR but its really about mitigating stress on launch.

Steam mechanics here show that in 2017, 7,700 games were released- roughly by the numbers that’s 20 new games every single day. As noted repeatedly in podcasts by the Jimquisition, having so many products available there is no way to get your product noted and its very easy to find your materials reshuffled out of sight.

COMMUNITY BUILDING

This is something which is important and will always be important. These are your embassadors. They are ready and available on day 1. So have an incentive- give them a reason to buy your game. Engage that community- let them know and listen as they are an extension of your studio. Leverage that community- build the community and use that to make a following that uses the products, informs developers and community, and entices others to take part.

An incentive might be exclusive access to an exclusive build. Getting them in the door isn’t the last step, but rather the first step to building that community. Have team members amke contests, make them feel safe and valued and engaged. Leverage that community to validate the material you’re producing. Use the community to leverage merchandizing, partnerships, etc.

It can get worse. Self-published book authors might face 100,000 fiction books each year and they’re marketing on amazon. Building the community is the answer. How? Through mailing lists, connections, etc. The connected community are your footsoliders. They aren’t being paid, they’re paying you!

He used discord to build a dream community for our game descenders. WIth numerous options, they built a discord server with an exclusive release. They gave competition through team, protected channels, built community, and used the data to buildi nthe features which were used most by the community. You cannot depend on the game or mechanics. Community you can control

 

From the beginning of game build, you’ll have newsworthy beats for the media. Be organized. Have the ammunition and planned communication. Writers are trying to delight the reader. Give them good amunition. Be clear. Always have a clear call to action. Be clear to the media on what is new, what you’re doing, what they’ll like, where they should go, how you’d like it covered, how to contact you. This is for any communications. Have goals. What is the end goal? Organize your news feeds with a goal in mind. If the announcement gets on IGN, and you didn’t provide next steps for the readers, and the product doesn’t launch in the next month, you’ll disappear. If you have an exclusive beta on discord, include that info.

If you have a moment to shine, don’t step back and say “I’ll be back in 6 months”

EMPATHY

the abilty to understand… Empathy and creativity aligns you for success. This is especially good when dealing with the press. they have an audience. They need great content that the audience wants to know. The bigger audience the author can leverage, the more they can command value and attention. Put yourself in the shoes of the writer. not only that, but the audience of that writer. What does the reader want and how do you get them stoked toplay/buy this. What’s your value to the publisher? what’s your value to them

TARGETED OUTREACH

Google, twitter, and easily voila norbert.

Last night in the AIRBnB, he searched for the google query only in the IGN website AND VR. Here’s the result

Finding writers who like the genre and game type you create can be found this way. Use the tools button to change the date back to certain dates (not more than a year ago). This is a great way to reach out to writers who will likely have well-received reviews. In this example, I might not choose Calum Marsh, as he have only 1.5 stars. Rather than a cold email, a twitter contact might be good- we have their email, but in this example:

You might get immediate feedback. If you want anything, ask immediately. Even if it says they won’t, ask anyway. You won’t get anything if you don’t ask.

I don’t know how it finds these email addresses, but it does! first 50 are free. You can always get another gmail account.

THE IMPORTANCE OF CREATIVITY

Dominic had roughly 2 months to lead his game. he didn’t have a website, online presence, no press kit, nothing. But, after playing the game, they chose to take it on. Barebones wouldn’t work- no press releases, and they needed a spark for the launch- some newsfeeds (3 guarantees). To take it out of the hands of the press, they needed to get creative. S-nce binding of isaac had a hug following, they chose to go for that audience.  Those who played it, and LOVED IT. Since his game was so hard, it was an easy fit.

So what did we use? WordPress website, press kit, press lists, some other tools. The headline of the writer and the audience needed to match. SO what they did was choose that if you could receive a certain achievement on another super-difficult game with a massive following: Binding of Isaac (BOI), then you can have this game for free. It had to be a timed contest. Content creators, press, etc. They earned mass cover on the first day and it snowballed. They earned a ton of attention, but people who followed the influencers found out about this. They tweeted to other game developer and major content creators, and some of them picked it up

 

Mind Mapping For Success

The creative process through mind mapping can be visualized. They worked with a developer after the early access and launch. How could they inject that spark. THey added some materials which raised and lowered the difficulty level based on bitcoin rates. Using the advanced queries in google, they found games in FORBES magazine and website which likes video games and bitcoin. This person was able to take up the idea and really run with it. Once it rolled in FORBES, a few more places immediately picked it up.

Guerilla marketing is low cost, high risk, high reward. More often than not, that brings some nice feedback

when should you present? as soon as you’re presentable. Should niche games be the next big thing? Do what you’re passionate about. if its indy, if its the best new chess game, go for it. What if you have no specifc launch date, still show? yes, not a problem. What if lauch is approaching and you have no community? put yourself in the audinece shoes and give them what they need. get creative and think outside the box. use a simple demo. It may not be a high conversion, but it may bring coverage. Organize what you have, use it, and then extend into guerrilla tactics and target the people you genuinely believe will like it. It only takes a single reviewer to see things snowball. be thorough, find the best people and make it happen.

Social Media & Learning Engagement in Online Education

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At 9:00am On 11/8/16 I attended Social Media & Learning Engagement in Online Education presented by Laura McNeill at the 2016 USCA NDLW Virtual Conference.

Social Media & Learning Engagement in Online Education

This was a really echoey conversation, and the online venue made this very difficult to follow. I had to turn off sound for several portions of the training, but was able to follow the bulk of the conversation. I added the links provided to some of the most echoey portions of the presentation.

As colleges and universities continue to expand online learning opportunities, student engagement, interaction, and participation, as well as the prevention of attrition, will be crucial to the success and growth of such programs. Researchers have observed that the most well planned online and explicitly laid out instructional environment is not enough to sustain learner interest or support engagement. Some studies have suggested increasing student collaboration through a variety of technology tools that simulate to face to face interaction. Social media is one option that shows much potential for positively impacting online learning.

Social Media Explained in Donuts (https://vimeo.com/76290266)
YouTube Video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cMLAEv2dcVE)
Blogging/Podcasting: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pVu9a1IMh1Q)
Twitter: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bgH-XhsUEuU)

As the BYOD (bring your own device) classroom becomes a more prevalent ideation, it will be interesting to see this approach continue.

Attrition in online classes tends to be a major, ongoing issue. Often this can be seen as an issue with the unreadiness of students for online classes. Again, this is a nod to our ELI and EPIC training on campus – well done team!

<h2>Reasons for attrition</h2>Low motivation and poor study habits, combined with confusion about course activities and deadlines, isolation from classmates and instructions, and slow internet connections often cause problems.

<h2>Crucial Collaboration</h2>Students can be less anxious and more connected when a variety of tools allow them to have the F2F interactions they desire. Student who collaborate and share: use more technology, have a better e-learning experience, and practice self-directed learning. In many cases, social media tools are the answer, but how can you integrate this in the classroom?

<h2>Social Media in the classroom</h2><ul><li>Facilitate informal discussion and collaboration<li>reflect on learning<li>enhance instruction with enrichment<li>Keep students engaged in a non-time-sensitive context.

All-in-all I thought this was pretty good, and pointed once again into what we can do for the classroom, but not a lot of good examples shown here.

GDA Lecture: Dreamweaver, SEO and Social Media

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Tyler Dockery Talks on Dreamweaver, SEO & Social Media

Tyler Dockery speaks social media

Tyler Dockery came this month to talk with the GDA about the changing role of graphic and web designers.

Highlighting the workplace’s desire to understand each worker through their actions and feelings, we discussed how current employers can ask to have access to your facebook / twitter social media sites. While in many cases, this is under the guise of looking for gang-related materials or drug/alcohol use– it can also be used to monitor the language you use, the places you frequent, and what you say or have said about previous employers. Best bets: The internet will be around for a long, long time. Keep your social life clean, and ditch or remove any questionable material prior to any interviews.

We discussed seeking out followers and who to follow, as well as what to comment on in social media.

When discussing social media, we also noted that you should set some goals for yourself. Keep active with the big three: Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Use those channels for your business as well as your networking. Pinterest is making a big wave right now, but how much should a designer really take part in? Tyler states that you can’t spend all your time chasing down the newest social media site on the net and trying to get traction.

Pick a few sites and feel the vibe. Use those items to bolster your work and talk about your business. Social media and SEO go hand in hand, so use those keywords!

We also discussed blogging, and why blogs are so beloved by search engines. We discussed the top places SEO keywords can be used, the importance of link juice, and the real reason that content is truly king on the internet.

We also watched an educational video found below on the importance of twitter:

http://www.dockerydesign.com/video/twittersphere.html

Please watch at your own risk, and watch out for the Fail Whale!