Tag Archives: web design

Boosting Your WordPress Blog Site’s SEO And Traffic Tips

imageIt can take some time before you get a large amount of views on your blog, but there are ways to increase the chances of internet users finding your site. You can’t just rely on referrals and traffic links – your blog needs to be optimized.

This article looks at some of the easy and basic steps you can take to improve your site’s SEO and visibility.

WordPress is by far the best site to host your blog. Even if you have a blog on your own site, you can still boost your own site with another blog on WordPress. All you need to do is create links to your original site and all your work on your WordPress blog will be working for your main business website. In this way, you are creating crucial inbound links for your website – all on your own.

So the question arises, how do you make your WordPress blog rank higher? Luckily, there are a number of plug-ins and tools you can use to boost your blog.

Here’s a look at some simple techniques related to search engine optimization that will greatly improve your blog visitor numbers.

  • Use Your Own Domain Name. Domain names actually can have a lot of influence on the way your blog will come up in a search. Purchasing your own domain name and setting it for your WP blog is very easy. You want to make sure you know how to choose the right name. Do some research before you commit.
  • SEO Tools. There is a range of plug-ins to improve your blog’s onsite search engine optimization. Some plug-ins allow you to track the rank of the keywords you are focusing on, while other sites will improve the way your whole blog is viewed by Google.
  • Video. Videos on Google’s YouTube are a great way to get rapid results and rank high in searches. By posting your videos on YouTube, and linking your blog as a part of your video description, your chances of ranking higher are greatly increased. Always embed your own YouTube videos on your own blog, and make sure you have plenty of content with crucial keywords for Google around your website.
  • Social Media.WP makes it very easy for your blog posting to interact with your social media. Add each of these functions so that you are automatically sharing your posts on your main social media profiles. Adding buttons on each of your blog pages is very simple and will make it very easy for others to share.
  • Commenting On Other Blogs. By commenting on other blogs and leaving your link, you are showing interest in other people’s work, and showing a way for them to see yours. You will find that there will be many comments and links on your own site before too long. Be careful you do not start following the practice of many on WordPress, which essentially equates to spam. Spending the time to create quality relationships is essential.
  • Keep it Regular. Regular posting and interactivity is essential. A new visitor will view the validity of your site by how regular you post. If you have not posted in a while, users may assume you are not there any more. Current content gives validity to your older content. If you don’t have current content, it is easy for users to assume all of your content is no longer valid.
  • Submit to Blog Directories. There is a huge array of blog directories, which allows internet users to see a list of blogs on a particular topic. Constantly keep listing your blog with all and any directories you can find. The more directories you are listed with will mean a higher chance of being found.

Above all, be yourself. Keep your topics fresh. If you are interested in something, your posts will reflect that. Write when something is of interest, and keep those posts for later. Forced writing to keep to a schedule may mean you are not writing good content. Online marketing and SEO is something you build over time. The need for patience and consistency cannot be stressed enough.

Guest article from Sachin.

If you found this article useful, why not subscribe to this Blog via RSS, or email? It’s easy; just click on this link and you’ll never miss another Tech Thoughts article.


Filed under Blogging Tips, Blogging Tools, Free Blogging Platforms, Guest Writers, SEO, Social Blogging, Software, Web Site Design, Website Builders

Free Web Design Software For New Users – Make Your Own Website – Serif WebPlus 6

serif-box-webplus-6_.jpg Frequent readers of this Blog are aware, that over the past several weeks, I have been reviewing the free software offered by SerifSoftware. As I’ve mentioned before on this Blog, SerifSoftware has an unusual way to get you to try, buy, or upgrade, to their latest software offerings. They will give you, free of charge, an older version of any of their software packages. An interesting twist on the usual “try it for free for 30 days” we are all pretty familiar with.

I have used, and tested, Serif’s free editions for 10+ years now, and I have found that even their older software is more than up to the tasks I set.

Sure, the applications may be older than the current versions, but in terms of functionality and features, generally you are not missing much. Most software today, tends to be overblown and bloated with features that many users have little or no need of. So, in these older free versions there are not as many tools as one might find with more recent versions of Serif’s products, but those that are there tend to be the ones that are most used by typical users.

Despite the slightly dated appearance of Serif’s WebPlus 6, this is not an ‘old’ program that’s been revived just for give-away. WebPlus 6 is still a very functional and easy-to-use tool that will output a unique custom designed website to promote your club, hobby or business, or to put your favorite family/holiday photos online.

This application doesn’t profess to match Microsoft’s FrontPage or Adobe’s DreamWeaver in functionality; or for that matter, the price you would have to pay to purchase either of these top of the line web development tools. After all Serif WebPlus 6 is FREE!

So what can you expect from an application that’s an older version of a current application. Well surprisingly, for novice users, Serif WebPlus 6’s easy controls, simple step-by-step wizards and colorful templates are a quick and easy route to creating fun and attractive websites.

With its easy to use Desktop Publishing style interface, automated Web Site templates, visual web page creator, wizards, drag ‘n drop functionality, WYSIWYG editing, and comprehensive help, you can create your own home page on the web in minutes. Best of all, you can do this without having to have had previous experience.

Quick facts:

Website Templates

Choose from professionally-designed site schemes, provide some basic information, and then customize to suit your needs. The Layout Checker helps you fine-tune your design for most efficient web use. Then preview your site in your own web browser and publish it to the web.

Easy Editing and Special Effects

With WebPlus, it’s easy to import your own text and graphics to replace the samples in the web site templates. You’ll find integrated word processing tools, plus tools for creating text hyperlinks and hotspot graphics. The Snapping feature and Dot Grid help you achieve a crisp layout. Everything’s wrapped into a friendly desktop publishing environment with onscreen tool tips, hint line, and context-sensitive help!

Logo/Graphic Module

Produce attention-grabbing headlines, unique text effects, and powerful logos instantly using LogoPlus.

Animated Marquee Wizard

Custom-design your own varied and colorful multi-line text messages that scroll across the screen.

Spell-Checking and Thesaurus

Enhance your proofreading potential and ensure your site’s readability with these built-in support tools.

Direct Import of Digital Images

Now you can include images from your digital camera or photos and art work from your scanner, adding sophistication to your pages.

Color Schemes

By using the convenient pre-sets, or by customizing your own intelligent colors, add continuity or dramatically change the appearance of your Web publication with a single mouse click.

Studio Bar

Help your design break out of boring box formats. For a suave designer or fun and funky look take advantage of dozens of new graphic shapes.

Multiple Document Interface

Work on more than one web page at a time, even drag & drop items between them as you work.

Download at: FreeSerifSoftware

For reviews and free downloads of additional web design software on this Blog see:




Filed under Freeware, Multimedia Tools, Productivity Software, Software, Web Development, Windows Tips and Tools

Free – Advanced 3D Modeling and Animation Software – TrueSpace 3-D

Mountain View, California based Caligari is best known for its TrueSpace 3-D modeling software, which has been on the market for more than 20 years. The software lets animators, game designers, and other graphics professionals create three-dimensional renderings and special effects for a range of applications. The most recent version, TrueSpace 7.5, is available for $595.

Last week, (2/07/08) the chief executive of Caligari stated in a Blog post that the company has been acquired by Microsoft. Apparently Caligari’s imaging technology will be used to enhance Microsoft’s Virtual Earth project.

Just as Serif Software has made it a practice to release, free of charge, older editions of its applications, Caligari has made available a free version of one of its applications, trueSpace3 which also retailed at $595 on its release.

TrueSpace3 matched the “high end” 3D software of its time feature by feature and at the same time blazed the trail with the next generation true 3D interface which takes full advantage of 3D acceleration.

This is the full working version; nothing removed, and no time limits, although registration for an unlock code and a PDF manual is required. The code can be obtained at the following URL: caligari.com

Features include: Powerful point editing, smoothing, sweeping, and deformation tools; metaballs and plastiform tools to create organic shapes; multiple spot, local, and infinite lights; full physics simulation engine; bones, skinning, and inverse kinematics for character animation as well as a full physics simulation engine and inverse kinematics for jointed articulation .

A large number of file import and export formats add to the flexibility and compatibility with other programs. Output formats include rendered stills, animation, or VRML. A very active community provides support and interaction. Large selections of 3rd party plug-ins provide extra capabilities.

Feature set from the developer’s site:


· Collision Detection
trueSpace3 uses accurate real time collision detection to position objects easily and precisely, even in perspective space. Use the Magnetic tool to combine objects just by colliding and sliding along surfaces. Or simply roll an object along any surface without losing contact. That’s total control.

· Live Skin
Organic modeling is taken to an all time high. Real time metaballs allow you to see the skin of an organic animal deform in real time as you move any metaball particle around. With Live Skin you get realistic natural objects faster than ever before.

· PlastiForm
Until now, particles have been for animation only. PlastiForm gives you a ‘hot’ engraving tool to generate new surface particles. This tool pushes surfaces and forces them to expand and deform, conforming to the tool’s shape. This is modeling taken to the next level.


Animation is more interactive then ever before with seamlessly integrated Key-Framing, Collision Detection, Dynamics, Inverse Kinematics, and Metaballs. Animation to the limits of your imagination. And beyond.

· Physics
Give objects properties of real materials like wood or rubber with weight, elasticity, torque and velocity. Apply gravity, wind and other forces. Then just click ‘Play’ to see objects fall with gravity, slow down from atmospheric density and collide with each other. You can animate a leaf dancing in the wind simply by dropping it.

· Inverse Kinematics
Manipulate a figure simply by shaking its hand. Or animate walking by key-framing the figure’s footsteps. Inverse Kinematics is integrated with Dynamics—including degrees of stiffness for each joint. Animate complex behavior with global actions, so you don’t have to manually manipulate each individual object. Create and edit joints with direct manipulation – without opening one dialog box!


· 3D Paint
Paint textures or bumps directly on objects in 3D. You won’t have to spend hundreds on a separate 3D paint package, and you won’t have the hassle of switching between two separate programs – it’s all in the same workspace with trueSpace3!

· Direct 3D Support
Manipulate solid objects including lights and textures using software or hardware acceleration. All in real time. The direct manipulation design of trueSpace3 accelerates all aspects of your work.

trueSpace3 works like you work

· Constant Frame Rate
Constant Frame Rate maintains smooth motion in editing or navigation, regardless of the scene’s complexity. Your interaction with your work never gets interrupted.

· 3D Plug-Ins
trueSpace3 can grow according to your needs. trueSpace3 uses 32bit Adobe compatible plug-ins and includes free 3D eXtensions like Particle Fountain, Primitives Plus, and TrueView. And new trueSpace3 plug-ins are on their way for even more specialized effects.

· 3D Guides
Tool Guides explain each trueSpace3 tool just by clicking. You’ll get a full 3D simulation tutorial. Task oriented tutorials teach you how to build a building, spaceship or realistic animal. So you’ll be productive. Right now.

· Universal Authoring
Output to any medium, including Paper, Film, Video, AVI, HTML, or VRML without the need for translation filters. You won’t need to use external applications. You get an abundance of tools and the ability to publish in multiple media, all in the same workspace.

· 3D Sound
Attach audio to any 3D object with true positional 3D sound, attenuation and Doppler effect. trueSpace3 creates more realistic environments with navigation by sound, making your world a more sensory experience.

The Web

trueSpace3 seamlessly integrates Web functionality. You avoid programming, using friendly modeling and animation tools to create complex 3D Graphics, VRML objects and fully animated worlds.

· Integrated VRML 1.0 Browser with Publishing
Navigate to any VRML site, 1.0 edit, and save the changes with one button push using the Publish feature. All without leaving trueSpace3.

· In-lining, LOD and Polygon Reduction
Download only visible portions of VRML sites, and display objects with detail based on the distance from the viewer. Create several levels of detail for any object with the touch o f a button. So even large worlds will navigate smoothly.

Download at: caligari.com


Filed under 3D Tools, DeskTop Publishing, Drawing Software, Free Full Versions, Freeware, Graphic Software, Multimedia Tools, Productivity Software, Software, Web Development, Windows Tips and Tools

Great Introduction to Drawing and Graphic Software – DrawPlus 4 for Free!

serifdrawplus-2.jpgIf you’re looking to get into drawing and graphic software to test your creative skills, then DrawPlus 4 will fill the bill admirably. With this free drawing and graphic package from Serif Software, you can produce vector graphics, high-impact graphics, and even web animations with tools usually only available in high end applications.

DrawPlus 4 is a vector drawing program, like the very expensive CorelDraw, which means the drawing is in editable layers. On top of that, DrawPlus is also a graphics design program that allows you to create logos, high quality print graphics, artwork, drawings, animations, labels and more.

The straightforward and intuitive interface is powerful yet simple, so that first time users, (like me – with no graphic skills), will get the professional quality results they want – fast! I’m told by friends that are users, that this program is great for making avatars; although I haven’t tried this myself.

If you like special effects, DrawPlus 4 is loaded with them, so it’s easy to create high impact text for headlines, logos, banners, Web pages, or wherever your imagination takes you. You can add bitmap, conical, ellipse, plasma, radial and linear fills to your creations to produce spectacular results.

DrawPlus supports industry standard bitmap and vector formats including: JPEG, BMP, EMF, WMF and PNG for the Web.

This application was previously a commercial program (released in 2002, I believe) but it still contains much of the functionality of pricey, newer releases. Serif’s objective in releasing older versions of their current programs is to hopefully have at least some users upgrade to current versions of their software.

Serif describes the features of DrawPlus 4 as follows:

Drawing & Sketching

  • Say goodbye to complicated tools and ‘shaky hand’ drawings. DrawPlus makes drawing simple with easy to use QuickShapes, Natural Curve Editing and Curve Smoothing.


Backdrop Wizard

  • Easily add abstract or themed backgrounds to your designs. From dazzling presentation backgrounds to outer-space style backdrops, start your drawings on a ready-made designer canvas.


Studio Resources

  • Choose from hundreds of pre-set lines, fills, transparencies, fonts and Wizard elements from the Studio tabs to save you time and still achieve amazing results.


Color Selection

  • Apply color fills to backgrounds, shapes and your own drawings from the simple on-screen studio palette.


Animation Mode

  • Bring your designs to life with the fun animation tools, which include easy-to-use, yet advanced features like onion skinning, backgrounds, overlays and frame management.



  • Use the blend tool to automatically ‘morph’ two images into one another. You choose the number of steps and let DrawPlus do the rest – easy!



  • Easily create sparkling photo-like realism and quality in seconds with no experience required.


Watermark Wizard

  • A notoriously difficult effect to create is now a total breeze, with a wide range of customizable watermark designs on hand.


Border Wizard

  • Choose borders from the extensive library for your objects and pages or let the Border Wizard help you.


Color Schemes

  • Define new color sets as shades of a base color, and then simply apply your color scheme to your design instantly by editing the original base color.


Editable Envelopes

  • Stretch and squeeze objects or text into whatever shape you choose. Select from the range of special outline shapes or customize your own!



  • Create high-impact text for headlines, logos, banners, web pages and more. Convert your text to curves to bring fonts to life.


File Size: 19 MB

License: Free

System Requirements: Windows 95/98/Me/NT/2000/XP

Download DrawPlus 4 for Free at: FreeSerifSoftware


Filed under DeskTop Publishing, Drawing Software, Freeware, Graphic Software, Multimedia Tools, Productivity Software, Software, Web Development, Windows Tips and Tools