Using Sprites in Web Design

Image wall with with icon sprites

Have you seen the term sprite used in web design and ever wondered what it is and what its used for? Or how to use it in your next web project?

Well I have, and today I’m going to write about it as I learn what it is and how I can use it in my next theme build.

How many times have you uploaded all variations of your favicon icon to the root folder, or all the variations of social media icons to the WordPress media library, and found that sometimes a user might accidentally delete one of them, or you change designs and the icon you used doesn’t look fresh and up to-date, you then have to go back through and upload more variations, then you have to remember what you called them and change every line of code, etc. It can become quite time consuming. Well a sprite can be used in this situation to cut down on time spent loading individual images in your website, instead your website loads one image, and uses css to show only a portion of that image a location co-ordinate to the right icon in the right location.

I found this video great for showing how it can be used.

Of course some things can be done with just pure CSS, but for items that can’t like logos or unique images. Sprites can be a good way to accomplish this, also minimising the requests for files from the server.

Here is another video that goes into it.

Now you know this… should you set to work creating them from scratch?

Well you can if you really want too! But for most of the time, the hard work has already been done, you can simply head over to digital photo and graphic sites like Depositphotos, and pick your self up an icon set to use Here is some examples below.



Also, if you’re using WordPress, here’s a good tutorial that points you in the right direction, and some great resources for WordPress support if you get stuck.

April 2017

Setting up a local WordPress environment

Everyone has their own method for building and hosting their WordPress site. One easy solution is building it locally then exporting it to your live server. Chris is going to show you a great solution for both Mac and PC, that lets you work locally and helps get your site up and running quickly and simply.

Here are the slides.

 

How to configure HTTPS on WordPress

How to Configure Https on Wordpress

So you’ve got your new Secure Layer Socket Certificate (SSL) from your trusted provider, like Comodo and your using a self hosted WordPress site. What do you do what steps are needed to implement this properly on your site.

In this article I will go through my setup on how to Implement the https component on WordPress.

Currently this article is not finished but published for a talk on SSL at Melbourne WordPress Meetup. Bookmark the page as I will be updating it in the next couple of days.

To Start here is some great code I’ve used for my htaccess file.

Live Chat

Live Chat

Have you ever wanted to increase conversions, or have a one on one conversation with a potential customer, or offer instant support to a customer, and wondered how it can be implemented into your small business workflow. Well there is a solution. You may have seen them but never thought you could implement them on your site, and for relatively cheap costs too.

This list is compiled over many years of research. I’ve used a handful of them. And when ever I come across a new one, I bookmark it. Well this hard work shouldn’t go to waste. I’m sharing with you my vetted list of live chat tools.

Note that a lot of these can be managed inside your WordPress managed website. Most can be maintained by one of your administration support staff, or front desk or assistant. The instant boost in response to your customers, can either help them signup to your service, complete a sale, prevent a panic attack. Or even worse have them complain about you on social media.
 

In no particular order.

Live Chat /support/ widgets

 

 

Hip Chat

hip chat

https://www.hipchat.com/

 

 

Snap Engage

Snap Engage

https://snapengage.com/

 

 

Box Car

Box Car

http://getboxcar.com/  – Affiliate version https://chrislanauze.com/go/getboxcarnow/

 

 

Kayako

Kayako

https://www.kayako.com/

 

 

Woopra

Woopra

https://www.woopra.com/

 

 

Lead Chat

Lead Chat

http://www.leadchat.com/

 

 

Provide Support

Provide Support

http://www.providesupport.com/

 

 

Hot Jar

HotJar

https://www.hotjar.com/   Affiliate link – https://www.hotjar.com/r/r68c9

 

 

Intercom

Intercom

https://www.intercom.com/

 

 

Ladesk

Ladesk

https://www.ladesk.com/

 

 

Live Chat Inc

Live Chat Inc

https://www.livechatinc.com/

 

 

Live Person

Live Person

http://liveperson.com/

 

 

Olark

OLark

https://www.olark.com/

 
 

Zopim (Zendesk)

Zopim

https://www.zopim.com/

 

 

Live Chat

Wp Live Chat

https://wp-livechat.com/

 

 

Tawk

Tawk To

https://www.tawk.to/

 

 

Codecanyon: PHP Live Support Chat

Php Live Support Chat

php live support chat

 

 

Codecanyon: WordPress Live Chat Plugin

WordPress Live Support Chat

WordPress live chat plugin

 

 

V Tiger

V Tiger

https://www.vtiger.com/helpdesk/

 

 

Vcita

Vcita

https://www.vcita.com   Reseller link https://www.vcita.com?directory_token=51806a230aaa4c92&invite=RESELLER_SUB_ACCOUNT_INVITE
 
 

Fresh Desk

Fresh Desk

https://freshdesk.com/multichannel-support/live-chat

 

I’m sure there is many more. Don’t forget that most if not all CRM’s will include some form of chat widget to help connect potential leads and clients. Also most support desk platforms also include a live chat widget.

If you know of more please share in the comments below.

Melbourne SEO November Meetup 2016

This months, Meetup is in full swing, nice to see some beautiful weather, the start of Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival, and a good turn up for the November Meetup. This month, we moved it to the Thursday. Last year we had to cancel, (realising that the meetup which is usually the first tuesday of each month), fell on Melbourne Cup.

Beginner’s Session:

Chris Burgess, took us through a great presentation covering SEO, if your new to SEO, then this is the session to attend. Even if your a veteran its worth visiting a session, to brush up and make sure your up to speed with the Local melbourne SEO scene. Chris’s sessions can be found here [Link to come]

Some Resources listed here and some key points and images about the basics of SEO.

1) SEO News by Saijo George

SEO Strategy Director – Supple

Saijo George will run you through all the monthly changes impacting SEO, SEM and Social. This talk is ideal for current or aspiring Digital Marketers, SEOs, SEMs, Social Media Managers, etc. It will give you a quick refresher on all the changes impacting digital marketing.

5 Things To Do To Boost Revenue Using Instagram – Craig Annand

Owner – Social Club Media

You will learn 5 essential things to do that will grow your audience and boost revenue.

About Craig Annand: Craig is the owner of Social Club Media, a digital media agency. Fresh from a redundancy he took $2k, a laptop and iPhone and turned it into an agency of 10. specialising in creative social media content that drive business for brands.

Instagram expert, Make sure you’ve setup a Instagram personal account and a business account https://business.instagram.com/

Linking facebook ads account and can then post ads from facebook on the Instagram platform.

Influencers in Instagram, can be paid to promote your brand for you. Direct message as well, samples and post content.

Like for like, thanks for following. Communication. Big brands are missing the mark with this.
connect straight away, use emoji’s. It’s not hard, but worth it if you do.

User generated content. Example https://www.instagram.com/frank_bod/?hl=en http://au.frankbody.com/

Business hack,

when you post an image post an image, then post your hashtags in the comments, leave in the comments in for 2-3 hours, and then deletes them to find the best hashtags.

https://www.instagram.com/socialclbmedia/

latergram for social posting.

tribe.com

Content Stratergy is key.

Hash tags, images, best time of day, content, post research and repeat. 3.15pm posting time.

provide value, and hashtags.

buffer,
sproatsocial
instagram analytics.

https://minter.io/

2) How I sold the MCG, then resold it again – Pete Williams

Pete will talk about 1. the original project back in 2003 where he sold the MCG. 2. How he resold the MCG again last year with an online launch. 3. How he is now selling it in an evergreen fashion using Digital Marketing.

About Pete Williams: Pete owns Preneurmarketing.com and is an award-winning entrepreneur, author, international speaker, and marketer from Melbourne. At the young age of 21, Pete sold the Melbourne Cricket Ground for under $500! Since then, he’s made the pages of numerous media publications and referred to as “Australia’s Richard Branson”. His awards include being honored as the Global Runner-Up in the JCI Creative Young Entrepreneur Awards for 2009, Southern Region Finalist in the Ernst & Young 2010 Entrepreneur of the Year, and a member of Smart Company’s Top 30 Under 30.

Peter uses a great frame interrupt and creates a story as an Icebreaker to break up his presentation, using an analogy about two children.

The MCG storey, is the optiosite version of David Jenny’s cut up of the mcg. Tbe brookly bridge. Pete 2003 cut up the mcc carpet for $500 framed up see photo and made a press release.

Own a part of the G
targeted adv 10 day sequence 10 day evergreen sequence using a jeff walker stratergy

$116.27 cps and 4.45 conv cold traffic, Net 180.48% ROI and 10 day campaign Predominately via Facebook search.

$488 actual cost.

(E hero’s headset for cycling.) Other businesses.

Ponford stand. MCC exclusive club

Influence Robert Chaldeni

ImageWizz custom images per email http://www.imagewizz.com/

http://saijogeorge.com/
————-Meetup grab ———

3) 5 Things To Do To Boost Revenue Using Instagram – Craig Annand

Owner – Social Club Media

You will learn 5 essential things to do that will grow your audience and boost revenue.

About Craig Annand: Craig is the owner of Social Club Media, a digital media agency. Fresh from a redundancy he took $2k, a laptop and iPhone and turned it into an agency of 10. specialising in creative social media content that drive business for brands.

Two Factor Authentication – Meetup November 2016

Photo of Chris La Nauze doing a live presentation on two factor authentication

Chris La Nauze – Two Step Authentication with WordPress

How safe is your site from a hack attempt? With the increase in WordPress’ popularity worldwide, the risks increase that your site might become a target of a botnet exploit, a malicious competitor, a hacker, a rogue customer or some other attacker.

What are you doing to stop the most basic and easiest ways to get into your site? The front door (so to speak) of a WordPress site, is by attacking the login page. What steps do you have in place to add extra layers of security to your site to reduce the risk, and thwart an attack on your online asset. There are many ways to harden your site, Chris is covering Two Step Authentication. It’s not the only way to protect your site, but it’s one of the ways, in fact there are some vulnerabilities with this method that you should be aware of.

Chris La Nauze, is no stranger to the Melbourne WordPress Meetup, he’s been contributing to the group for the last couple of years. Chris loves learning about security and hardening his own sites. Chris runs a Web Design business in the Northern suburbs of Melbourne Lanauze Designs.

Photo of Chris La Nauze doing a live presentation on 2FA
Chris La Nauze Presenting at WordPress Melbourne Users Group on the topic of two factor authentication

Here are the slides from the night.

Authority Content – David Jenyns

Authority Content

In July 2016, I attended a Book launch for a good friend and mentor David Jenyns.

David is a successful businessman, entrepreneur, Father, Speaker, Author. Well know as been a head of the game, David has just launched his brand new book on Amazon, Its available for a few days for free in Kindle, If your lucky enough to be reading this in August 2016, you should check to see if its still available for download for free. Other wise its very low cost for a piece of David’s success formula.

This is David’s first book, and it documents his love of systems, his blueprint for success in the online world, David has successfully grown four businesses into multi-million dollar companies, and it is all to do with his skills in building systems, for systems. 

If you don’t know David, I got to know him, back in the 2012 when I started my online businesses, and started researching about SEO. David is the founder of successful Search Engine Optimisation company here in Melbourne Australia, called “Melbourne SEO Services”.

At the time, I was drawn to Davids, authority in the space, he became everywhere for me, I kept seeing him in different areas that I was researching about SEO, and I knew that he was someone I wanted to work with, If I had the budget.

In 2013 I got to meet David, when I attended a course he did on Authority Content, which he broke down several of the steps, that he know includes in this book, on ways to make your self, your brand become the authority in your space. He introduced me to a concept or a way of structuring my Authority.

The 3 P’s, is what he called it. The framework as he calls it, consists of a simple 3 step system of Present, Product, and Promote.  This is not a new structure to some, but its been redefined to match the teaching Dave goes about in the book, it’s his blueprint, that has consistently produced results, and has been repeatable for him across many businesses.

Since the success of David’s SEO company, I’ve personally seen the birth of two other businesses from David, that have scaled to include many staff, and bring in substantial profits for him, and his partners.  Around 2014 I saw the birth of his Melbourne Video Services business, and in 2015 the birth of a SAAS software business called System Hub.

As far as I can see, David, is creating individual assets, that work together as a whole to produce extremely well executed Authority Content.

To really deep dive into the processes, Its my personal recommendation to go get your self a copy of David’s Book, It’s free right now on Amazon (for a limited time, in kindle).

 

BONUSES FOR PURCHASING A COPY.
Yep David is giving away bonuses, if you and your team get a few copies together you will qualify for better bonuses. To check out the great bonuses visit his bonus page.

I’m Getting old – turning 36 where to from here

It just dawned on me that next week is my birthday, 2nd August. I’ll be turning 36. If you feel like rewarding me, you can buy me a gift from my Amazon wish list. Its amazing how time has flown, its been 10 years since I started dating my wife. And We’ve been through a lot. 

Right now I’ve been working on my own business for 3 years, it hasn’t gone too good, and a letter from the Australian Business Register that they were cancelling my ABN, because I failed to provide evidence of running a business, just adding to the coffin.

Not really I’m totally still in business, I simple phone call cleared that up, but who said going into business was going to be easy, clearly I spoke to the wrong people. It’s been tough, sleepless nights, virtually no income, strict budgets, and more and more things you need to be across. 

Of late its been extra stressful, as my wife quit her job in order to work part-time, in what? I don’t know exactly she hasn’t secured anything solid. Its a real problem because she was basically floating us month to month. 

So I don’t think I’ll see a present from her this year. I don’t expect much at any rate, last year was a 6 pack of beer. So if your feeling generous, you can buy me a present.