Category Archives: Blogs

Find everything you need to know about starting your own blog or website here! Tips and tricks will be shared here!

wordpress themes

Technopsis is looking for a new WordPress theme

Wordpress themeBekijk in het NederlandsTechnopsis recently moved from a free blogger domain to our custom .com domain. During this move we also switched from using the blogger software to the more versatile WordPress software. This was a huge improvement for us and our website become better looking than ever and way easier to navigate. We still are very happy with our move but are approaching the limits of our free WordPress theme. The theme we use now is not as customizable as we would like it to be, and several things are downright not coded right.

That’s why we are looking for a new (premium) WordPress  theme. We would like it to have the same looks and feel as our current theme. It must incorporate a slider like we have on our main page now, and must have a social media floating slider (or be compatible with a slider plug-in that is also usable on the homepage). But most importantly, it must be flawlessly usable with the polylang plug-in which enables us to host the site in two different languages!

At the moment we are very busy looking around for a new theme, be it free or premium, but we have little luck finding a proper one.

That’s why we are asking you to help us!
Do you know of any WordPress theme that fits the description above?

Please let us know in the comments below!

 

UPDATE: 

I am currently looking at the Volt theme from Themeforest. This theme is highly customizable and has the same basic look and feel of our current theme. In addition it is much more versatile and professionally coded.

The only thing I am not sure about yet is wether it is compatible with polylang, but it does have it’s own multilanguage solution!

If you have worked with a Themeforest theme, please let us know how the experience was in the comments below!

 

 

Increase website speed

Blog – 5 tips to increase website speed

Bekijk in het NederlandsSo you finally got a blog or website up and running and are filling it with content faster than you would have dared to dream. You are doing great, but all these additions are making your site load slower than ever. Viewers are clicking away before the main content has even loaded! Learn how to easily increase website speed with these 5 simple tips!

1: Caching is key!

increase website speedWebsite caching is a simple but very effective tool to reduce load on your webservers and to increase your website speed to get your content to the viewer quicker. What caching does is that it pre-renders a website in a simple HTML format, so that whenever a viewer enters your website it gets serverd this already rendered version of your website instead of your servers pumping out a fresh version. These cashes can be refreshed every few minutes, but it is still faster than making a new version for every visitor. This also greatly reduces the time needed for a visitor to download your site, as it just has to download a simple HTML instead of waiting for your servers to have a fresh version of your site ready.

There are several ways of increasing your website speed using this method, but especially for wordpress users this is really simple. You can just install certain plugins like w3 total cache or WP super cache. W3cache is more powerful but harder to set up and it had problems with other plugins I was using. WP super cache was extremely simple to set up and configure, but it lacks some of the more advanced options W3 total cache has. I would however advise to use the latter one for new users.

2: Load your Javascript libraries from google directly!

Javascript libraryAnother very easy and effective way to increase your website speed incredibly is loading everything you can from Google’s international servers instead of your own localized ones. Websites often use standardized sets of instructions that need to be loaded everytime someone accesses your website. Why not use someone else’s servers to load these instructions then? Google’s servers are set up all around the world and are blazingly fast! Google is nice enough to host those Javascript libraries so that we can load them straight from Google, increasing the speed of your site incredibly – depending of course on the base speed of your own server.

For WordPress users this is once again just installing a plugin. It couldn’t be easier. The plugin checks which libraries are used on your site and then redirects their location to the Javascript libraries on Google’s servers and within seconds your site has become much faster!

3: Combining code to speed up your website

The third way is a method that combines different sets of code into one, reducing the amount of times a user has to access your servers to load your website. For this example we combine your Javascript code with your CSS, making it far easier to load your page.

WordPress users can download the better WordPress minify plugin. It will automatically combine different sets of code into one, increasing the website speed within seconds!

4: Combining pictures to increase website speed

Another powerful tool is combining all static pictures on your website into one big sprite. This again reduces the amount of times someone has to access your servers to download pictures, and can greatly reduce the total size of the pictures since they are compressed into sprites. Don’t worry though, their alt text and title will stay intact if used correctly.

Some guy over at Google made a very nifty tool for just that in his spare time. Over at spriteme.org you can bookmark their tool. After that it is just simply going to the website site you want to optimize for speed and run their tool. It will suggest which pictures to combine and after you approve it will do just that for you. Afterwards it is simply adjusting the location of the pictures in your CSS and upload the sprite to your servers. This can reduce the loading time of your blog or website a lot and increase your overall website speed!

5: Compressing your site for website speed!

gzipThe fifth and final method of increasing your website’s speed is simply zipping it up like you would do any other file on your computer. You can compress the data you send to your user, reducing the time it takes to load your website. There are serveral standards of compressing online data, but gzip is probably accepted the most. Note that a browser needs support for the compression, since it will have to decompress or unzip the data it receives.

For WordPress users this is gain as simple as installing a plugin. Within seconds you are saving bandwith and increasing your website speed!

I personally use or have used most of these tactics on my own website, and the speed with which the site loads has increased tremendously. My site receives a score of 90 in Google’s page-speed test. It’s not a 100 yet, but we are well underway!

What do you think is the best method to increase your website speed? Let us know below!

create a blog

Blog – How to create collapsible posts

Setting up your blogBekijk in het NederlandsSince you have managed to create your blog from scratch, you probably went ahead and made your very first post. If this was done right it appears in its full length on your main page. Congratulations! However, this may be annoying if the post is very long. Learn how to create collapsible posts with a button to ‘Read More’ right here.

Make those posts look smaller!

Once you start adding big posts with multiple pictures you might notice that your main page gets flooded and is not readable any longer. The easiest way to counter this is to make it so that your main page only shows the top paragraph of your post, and readers have to click a read more link in order to read the full post. This also adds to your page views since people will be viewing two pages now instead of one. This is the first post in the series that is going to cover something a bit harder, so we will be diving into the raw HTML code of the blog. Don’t worry, it is really easy.

blogger html templateThe first thing you want to do is backup your current template in case anything goes wrong. Log in to blogger.com, go to the template tab and click on back-up/restore template. Save it somewhere safe. Personally I have a blogbackup folder, which is used every time I make a major change to the HTML of the blog. Once you have done this, we are going to tell blogger how to handle its posts from now on in its template HTML. You need to click edit-HTML on the template page to access this. Always check the ‘expand widget’ button on top so you never miss any code.

You will be looking for a </head> tag. Use CTRL-F to find it quickly.

Once found check if there is a]]></b:skin>  tag. If there is, make sure you copy the following in between the /head and /b skin tag.

If not, you can simply go ahead and copy the following right above the </head> tag:

<style> <b:if cond='data:blog.pageType == "item"'>  span.fullpost {display:inline;} <b:else/> span.fullpost {display:none;}  </b:if> </style>

It is now time to save your template. Check if your blog still shows correctly. On the main page you should not see any difference.

Go back to edit HTML in the template, and click the expand widget button on top of your edit screen. Find the following code: <data:post.body/
Add the following code immediately after the previous line:

 <b:if cond='data:blog.pageType != "item"'> <a expr:href='data:post.url' target='_blank'>Read more!</a> </b:if>

You can of course type whatever you want instead of Read more! It is now time to save your template once again. You are almost done.

The final step is to add a line of code to your posts in order to tell blogger where the post for the main page should stop. You can enter this code into your post template so that it shows up automatically every time you create a new post, but I have found that this usually does not work properly when you create a complex post. Therefore, I decided to just store the following lines on a blank text-page on my desktop or wherever you prefer.

It is time to get back on topic. When you have created your post you will need to go to the edit HTML tab in your post. You must locate the last of the text you want to show on your main page and add <span class=”fullpost”> behind or below that. Make sure you allow the ending tags for the text to finish. For example

<span lang="EN-US">Once you have come up with a good topic to start a blog about, it is time to set up a basic blog. Now you may think you need to create a website from scratch or that you will need to rent server space or something, but luckily there are lots of website who accommodate starting blogger. Learn how to set up your free blog in this post.<o:p></o:p></span></div>
<div class="MsoNormal">

If this is the first part of your post in HTML, you want to add the fullpost tag somewhere under that. You will want to post it as close as the last text for the paragraph as possible, but you don’t want to separate the text from its closing tags. In this case you want to post somewhere after this sentence:

Learn how to set up your free blog in this post. There are some tags behind that however.

<o:p></o:p></span></div>
<div class="MsoNormal">

Every <tag> that starts with a / is considered a closing tag. Therefore, your fullpost tag should come after </div> since that is the last closing tag before the next opening tag. <div class….> is a new opening tag. Your final code should resemble this:

blogger. Learn how to set up your free blog in

this post.<o:p></o:p></span></div>

<span>

<div> 

Now you are really almost there. The only thing that remains is to tell blogger where the fullpost ends. Scroll all the way down to the end of the post in HTML, and add the last line. This line is </span>. That’s it, you are finished.

TIP: Make sure you add the fullpost tags as the last text edit. So first you get to make your text look the way you want it to, then you add the fullpost tag, and lastly you add any pictures etc. You do this to prevent the code from scrambling.

Good luck!

create a blog

Blog – Setting up your blog easily in blogger

Setting up your blogBekijk in het NederlandsIn a previous post we discussed how to find a proper topic for your blog. Once you have come up with a good topic to start a blog about, it is time to set up a basic blog. Now you may think you need to create a website from scratch or that you will need to rent server space or something, but luckily there are lots of website who accommodate starting blogger. Learn how to set up your free blog in this post.

Setting up your blog

For every starting blogger I would definitely advice blogger.com. This is a free website that enables you to start blogs with a powerful editing tool, but also a very clear and easy to use user interface. The first thing you need to do is either log in to your Google account on blogger.com, or create a new account. When done, you simply log in and click the create new blog button. You get to choose the name for the blog, and the web address. In addition you can choose from various templates to customize the looks of your blog. Are the templates not your thing? No worries, you can fully adjust whatever template you chose later on.

blogger dashboardOnce a blog has been created you will get to see the main page for editing your blog. In the overview you will see a graph of page views with some extra information surrounding it. You will find all the sections needed to customize your blog here.

On the messages section, you will get to write, edit and publish your actual blog posts. This is probably the most important part of your blog.

On pages you can add extra pages to your blog, but these pages are purely static. You may add some information about the author of the blog, or some contact information, but that’s about it.

In the reactions tab you can review reactions on your blog. You can also filter spam and moderate reactions here.

The statistics page is a powerful tool to view who has been viewing your blog from time to time.

The income page enables you to easily post AdSense ads on your blog. The only thing you need to do is to link your AdSense account to your blog by login in or creating an account. After that you can choose what types of ads you want your blog to show. This is a very important part of your blog if you want to make money. You will receive a certain amount of money for every 1000 page views and for every click on an ad. Make sure the ads don’t scare away any viewers, but keep them subtle instead.

The layout page is where you can drag all your modules of the blog around. You can set where you want your sidebar, what should be in it, and in what order. Especially placing your AdSense campaign on the right position can be crucial, so make sure you check this page out.

blogger html templateThe template page is probably the most important for the actual look and feel of your blog. Here you can adjust every detail of your blog through the very easy to use template-editor. Just click edit and you can edit all aspects of your blog really easily. Underneath you can choose from a wide variety of templates. More interesting perhaps is the edit HTML button. This will allow you to edit your blog underneath the hood. Here you get to add lines of code to enable anything you want basically. For example, this is the place where you edit code to add a ‘read more’ link to your blog posts instead of posting the entire thing on the main page. You can read more on that later.

This page also enables you to set options for mobile use of the blog.

The last page is the settings section. This page lets you edit the basic settings, like the name of the blog and the address, all the way down to who can see it and how it sends out a feed. Make sure you run through all these settings at least once. It takes about two minutes.

Once you have set up your blog, it is time to start blogging. Congratulations on creating your very own blog! You may consider tweaking it just a little bit more. Creating collapsible posts for example. For now, why not start of your blog with its very first blog post?

create a blog

Blog – Finding a proper topic

start a blogBekijk in het NederlandsWhat do you need to start a successful blog you ask? Well, obviously, the first thing you need is a topic to write about. What topic you choose is completely up to you, but there are some tools out there that can help you make a choice.

Blog topic

One of the most important things for writing a successful blog is to have a solid topic. Another thing that really helps is to have as little competition as possible. This is one of the first steps in Search Engine Optimization, or SEO. Now you may think: how can I know if there are a lot of people out there writing about the same topic, or how should I find out if my topic is hot or not. Well, Google has an amazing tool for that. It is the keyword tool for Google adwords.

google adwordsWhat Google’s adwords does, is tell you how much people use a specific search term, and provide you with detailed information about whether there is a lot of competition or not. You can rephrase your search words however you like to find the optimal conditions, and once found you can keep those terms in mind for setting up your blog.

You can find the adwords tool right here and begin optimizing your blog for search engines.

Just type in the topic you would like to start a blog about and see whether it has any chance of succeeding. Do note though that finding a positive surrounding for your blog does not mean you will get loads of traffic straight away, you will have to work for that. More on that on my coming posts. In the meantime, start finding a good topic to write about. The more you like the topic your blog yourself, the better, because in the end, you will have to write all the information yourself!