14 March 2018

what is preview text?

: : for email marketing : :

"Preview text is a snippet of copy pulled in from the body of your email and typically displayed underneath the sender name and subject line in a subscriber’s inbox."

- Lauren Smith, The Ultimate Guide to Preview Text Support

I'm not going to rehash Lauren's excellent article ... go read it yourself!
The article covers:
  • what preview text is
  • how to add it to your email (tip: if you're using Mailchimp, you add Preview Text in the same step as adding your Subject line)
  • which email apps will actually display your preview text along with screenshots of common email programs
  • and some great tips for how to optimise your preview text
Okay, that last bit is worth repeating here (copied verbatim from previously mentioned article by Lauren Smith The Ultimate Guide to Preview Text Support:


Think of preview text as a “second subject line” and use similar strategies to improve your campaigns. Write preview text that is useful, specific, and, if appropriate, has a sense of urgency. This is also an ideal place to experiment with humor, symbols, or other tactics that aren’t quite ready for subject line status.

Keep character limitations in mind, and pack the beginning of your preview text with keywords and phrases that perform. You’ll want the “good stuff” to show up in clients that may cut off characters. But don’t make it too short—you also want your preview text to fill the space displayed in iOS inboxes and Apple Mail. It’s a delicate balance.

It can be tempting to re-use existing subject and headline copy in your preview text. Get creative, using this extra space to play off of the subject line and further encourage your subscribers to open the email. And don’t forget to A/B test!
  • Use personalization: If you’ve had success with using personalization in other parts of your campaigns, try personalizing preview text, too.
  • Sum up the email: If your subject line includes a call-to-action (CTA), use preview text to include more details. For example, if your subject line is “50% off new arrivals,” use preview text to explain what type of merchandise has arrived.
  • Include a CTA, or secondary CTA: Does your email have a few CTAs? If they pair well with the subject line, consider showcasing them in your preview text.
  • Be honest: As always, you should never trick your subscribers into opening your emails. The sender name, subject line, and preview text should work together so subscribers know what to expect when they open the email.
  • Encourage scrolling: If you’re sending a newsletter, highlight a featured article (or two).
  • Don’t forget to update: If you’re using hidden preview text, it’s easy to overlook. As your emails change it’s important to keep your preview text current.

10 June 2017

create a child theme

: : for WordPress : :

Child themes ... it's a thing ... use them!  There are a lot of great articles already out there that explain what a child theme is, why you should use them and how to set one up.  This article on Smashing Magazine By Nick Schäferhoff is my go-to: How To Create And Customize A WordPress Child Theme

NB: Under "When to Use a Child Theme" Nick says "So, should you always build a child theme ... ? No, it really depends." ... I disagree ... I think you should always use a child theme.

As great as Nick's article is though, I thought I'd give you a condensed, step by step process to simplify it even further, for next time.  I do suggest you read up on child themes first so you know what/why you're setting one up, and that article from Smashing Mag is a great place to start.

Once you've got your head around that, here's the cut-down version for quick reference (I'll use the same headings so you can refer back to the original article for more info at any time):

NB: I usually work with offline files, then load them via FTP to the webserver.  Nick has a great suggestion to zip the theme folder then install it like a normal theme via the WordPress Theme menu ... gold!

Set Up A Basic Child Theme

"... a child theme needs three things: its own folder, a style sheet and a functions.php file."

Create a Folder in wp-content/themes

  • It can be called anything, but no spaces - something like "twentyfifteen-child" will work, and so would "myawesomewebsite".

Create a Style Sheet

  • Create a new text file and call it "style.css" (you can use any text editor or you can be fancy and use Dreamweaver ... do not under any circumstances use Word!)
  • Paste the style sheet header as follows:
 Theme Name:   Twenty Fifteen Child Theme
 Description:  A child theme of the Twenty Fifteen default WordPress theme
 Author:       Nick Schäferhoff
 Template:     twentyfifteen
 Version:      1.0.0

Activate Child Theme

  • Skip this step for now!

Create functions.php

  • Same as the Style Sheet, just create a text file and call it "functions.php" (these files are of course created in the theme folder we created earlier "wp-content/themes/myawesomewebsite/functions.php"
  • Copy the following code into the file (yep, that's PHP ... don't worry, you don't need to fully understand PHP to get this going, trust me!):
//* Code goes here

Inherit Parent Styles

  •  DON'T use the @import method ... (this is the one thing I don't like about the article, this is the old way of doing things so in my humble opinion, why mention it at all?!)
  • DO use the wp_enqueue_style() method ... copy this code into your functions.php file (underneath the other bits we just pasted):
add_action( 'wp_enqueue_scripts', 'enqueue_parent_styles' );

function enqueue_parent_styles() {
   wp_enqueue_style( 'parent-style', get_template_directory_uri().'/style.css' );

Upload Theme

  • NB: This is a variation of Nick's "Activate Your Theme" step
  • Zip your Theme folder, eg, "myawesomewebsite"
  • Login to WordPress
  • Click on Themes
  • Click on Add New and upload your zip file
  • NB: The parent theme must already be installed
  • Activate your child theme
Congratulations you've created and installed your child theme ... easy right?!

24 May 2017

two-factor authentication (2FA)

: : for wordpress security using ithemes : :

What is WordPress Two-Factor Authentication?

WordPress two-factor authentication (or WordPress 2-step verification) adds an important extra layer of protection to your WordPress site’s login and admin area by requiring 1) a password and 2) a secondary time-sensitive code to login.

More about WordPress 2FA »

The time-sensitive code is generated via a two-factor authentication app, usually installed on your smartphone. We use Authy, but you can use any 2FA app.

How to setup and use Authy »
(NB: If you are a client of Accurate Expressions, 2FA is most likely already enabled on your site so you can skip that bit at Step 2 of these instructions!)

31 January 2017

URL Redirects

: : for domains registered with Crazy Domains : :

If you have your domains registered with Crazy Domains, you will need to upgrade to Premium DNS to allow URL Redirects to be set up.  You can do this via the Account Manager.  I believe the cost is $19.95 per domain.

More about Crazy Domain's DNS Hosting here »

Once you're logged into Account Manager:
  1. Click on Domains
  2. Locate the relevant domain name in the Domains List
  3. Click on the double circular arrow icon (Premium DNS) under Addons
  4. Click Add to Cart
  5. Repeat steps 2-4 for second domain name
  6. Checkout
If accurate expressions is setting up URL Redirects on your behalf, please notify us once your DNS Hosting has been upgraded.

19 December 2016

stock image libraries

: : for stock images : :

There are lots of online stock image libraries out there, here are a few of my favourites:
pexels.com (FREE)
unsplash.com (also FREE)
pixabay.com (yep, FREE)
imcreator.com/free (the name says it all FREE)
freeimages.com (you get the idea!)

This guy allows you to search 47 websites from one place: librestock.com

These guys aren't free, but their libraries are usually easier to search and generally larger which of course means more variety ... so if you have the money and specific needs, you'll most likely find what you're looking for here (and no, I don't get any kind of commission if you buy from them):

If you want to go down the rabbit hole ... take care ... and we will see you on the other side ...

Here's a list of free stock libraries from Entrepreneur Magazine ... with a bonus "Attribution and licenses explained" section: entrepreneur.com/article/238646

And another list from them: entrepreneur.com/article/237094

And here is the most overwhelming list of royalty free stock image libraries I've ever seen ... knock yourself out! web-tools.club/royalty-free-images/

UPDATE AUGUST 2017: Here's a new list from Typeform, some old favourites along with some new: typeform.com/blog/ask-awesomely/free-pics/

01 October 2016

20 Hidden WordPress Features You Might Not Know About

 : : for WordPress : :

from the Elegant Themes Blog, written by Shaun Quarton ...

20 Hidden WordPress Features You Might Not Know About

If you use WordPress regularly, you probably have a good handle on how everything works.

However, a little digging is required to access WordPress’ functionalities in full. You might not realize there are plenty of “hidden” WordPress features – some more hidden than others.

In today’s post, I’m going to uncover 20 of these hidden WordPress features, so that you can get the maximum from the world’s most popular CMS.

This post is primarily targeted at WordPress beginners. If, however, you consider yourself to be a WordPress dab hand, you might still learn something new or at least refresh your memory of commonly underutilized features.

Read the full article here ...

08 June 2016

replace a media file

: : for WordPress : :

This method uses the plugin Enable Media Replace
  • From your WordPress Dashboard, click on Media in left sidebar
  • Search for the file you want to replace
  • Click to select the file
  • In the right column you'll see a bunch of fields, look for the button "Upload a new file" next to Replace media
  • Click to display the Replace Media Upload screen:

  • Click on Choose File to select the new file (ensure new file is the same file type, ie, .pdf, .jpg, .png etc)
  • Ensure "Just replace the file" is selected
  • Click Upload

Once you've replaced your media file, double check your site to ensure the new media is visible/downloadable.