How to Add a Red Dot to Sold Art in WordPress

Artbiz receives the odd request asking if there is a way to put a red dot in the description of their images. Unfortunately NextGen Gallery doesn’t have that option and you’ll hard pressed to find a WordPress gallery plugin that does.

By the way, the red dot tells people who the work is sold. 

The reason it’s not a feature is probably because – unless you’re an artist or involved with the fine arts you’ll have no idea what the red dot means. That’s why writing sold or private collection or in the collection of... is standard practice for website image galleries.

But for those of you who really, really want to know how to do this I have this solution.

Using HTML to add a red dot to image descriptions in NextGen Gallery. Here goes…

First we need a dot. The best dot to use is a bullet created by keyboard command “alt + 7″ and gives you a bullet ” • ”

Once we have our ” • ” we need to style it. Make it red and make it bigger. This bit of code does just that, copy it from the screenshot below, highlighted in yellow.

Copy the above and paste it into the image description box inside NextGen Gallery as shown below and you’ll have the red dot.

red-dot-nextcellent-gallery
Screenshot of description box

Here’s a screenshot of the image as it will be seen by your site visitors once the thumbnail is enlarged.

red-dot-nextcellent-gallery-eg

If you feel strongly about knowing how to add a red dot to sold art then this will work. Otherwise writing “sold” or “private collection” is perfectly fine and doesn’t need explanation.

What do You Name Your Homepage

You may or may not know that you really don’t need a home page per se. With WordPress you can set any page or your blog to be the landing page of your site.

But if you want a special page as a home page then don’t name the home page homeWhy? Because home really isn’t a searchable term unless you’re looking for home page icons or pictures of houses.

So what do you name your homepage?

Why not take this opportunity to apply a little SEO (search engine optimization) to your site. It is especially important to do so on your homepage, after all that’s where search engines go first to index your site.

Here’s a  real life example. The Julie Anderson home page is called  Sculptural Ceramic Art of Julie Anderson

TIP: By default WordPress will use the actual name of the page when you add it to the menu. Once it’s in the menu open the menu item for editing and change the label to “Home” but leave the title attribute as the full-page name. NOTE: This will only work if your theme works with WordPress Menus

By putting some thought into what you name your homepage you will also have the start of a meta description unique to that page.

So what do you name your homepage? Provide us a link to see it in the comments below.

Reasons to write blog excerpts

When you write blog excerpts you provide your readers a straight to the point summary and a reason to click-through to read the full post.

1. Write Blog Excerpts So They Appear On Archives

If your WordPress theme is set up to use excerpts you can craft a few sentences that will provide readers a snippet of what the post is about.

The problem with having a theme setup to use excerpts but then not write one, is that all the paragraphs run together when the excerpt is displayed. That’s because WordPress will grab the first 240 characters or so from your blog post and use it as an excerpt if none is available.

  • excerpts appear in category archives and search results
  • write blog excerpts to influence your readers to click-through
  • make searching and scanning easier for readers

Below is an example from this blog where I have used some HTML to format the excerpt and provide a to the point summary on what the post is about.

excerpt
In this example I used HTML in my excerpt to create paragraphs and line breaks

2. A well crafted excerpt can also be your meta description

An excerpt can be longer than a meta description so be careful what you write. The first 140 characters is all that will show in search engine results, making your first sentence the most important.

Where to write blog excerpts

excerpt-dialogue-box

To add an excerpt use the “Excerpt” dialogue box under the editor in WordPress. A sentence or two is fine and you can use HTML in the excerpt to make it readable.

The difference between a Meta Description and an Excerpt

If you write a meta description it will become the excerpt when sharing on Facebook or LinkedIn, not your excerpt. If you don’t write a meta description or an excerpt the first few sentences from the post are used and it all runs together with no styling.

excerpt-applied
Excerpt and meta description from my Open Book series page as it appears when shared on Facebook

The excerpt will appear with a thumbnail image along with the title and a link to the rest of the article.

It is good practice to write blog excerpts, it will help you focus and stay on topic when writing the full post. An excerpt can be used as the basis to write a meta description and will help your readers find what they are looking for faster. For these reasons what you write for your excerpt is important.

Create meaningful hyperlinks

Best practices to create meaningful hyperlinks and links to PDFs

By using appropriate link text you will create meaningful hyperlinks to internal and external web pages. Use these guidelines for linking to non-web documents such as PDF’s and email addresses.

Create meaningful hyperlinks

create-meaningful-hyperlinks
This is NOT a meaningful hyperlink
  • Links should describe what users can expect to find when they click on the link.
  • Use short, concise link titles. Links should not exceed 60 characters.
  • Avoid using “click here.” Visually impaired visitors often use auditory browsers, which will read the text aloud rather than display it visually so the link should have meaning when read out of context.
  • Do not use URLs as link text. Not only can URL’s from other sites be long, they can be difficult to read.

Text you can use to create a link title:

  • The name of the site the link leads to (if different from the current site).
  • Details about the information on the linked page and how it relates to the context of the current page. For example: to view the tutorial on creating links, see Artbiz’s WordPress tutorials.
  • A specific action, such as “Sign up for my newsletter”

Internal and external links

An internal link is any page that exists on your website.

An external link is any web page that exists outside of your website.

Open web pages in the same browser window. Most people rely on their Back button to go back to where they were, they can become confused when it appears grayed out, so they close the browser entirely. For this reason, open web pages in same browser window.

PDFs and non-web documents – open in a new window

pdf
Visitors can become confused when links to non-web documents offer a different user experience than that of standard web pages.

Usability studies find that when people are finished viewing PDF files or other non-web documents, they clicked the window’s close box instead of the Back button. If the document wasn’t launched in a new window, they have left the site completely.

Guidelines for linking to non-web documents:

  • Open non-web documents in a new browser window.
  • Warn users in advance that a new window will appear.
  • Use the following format, only linking the document title to the file:
    • Sample Guideline Document (PDF – 16 kB) opens in new window
    • Application Form (DOC – 3 MB) opens in new window
  • To open files in a new window, select the ‘Open in new window’ option in the WordPress hyperlink dialogue box.
  • Keep file names under 20 characters

Email links

Outlook-Email-SetupEmail addresses should be spelled out and hyperlinked when they are to open an email client. Clicking an email link and having a new page open with a form is misleading. Make it clear the link is an email link. For example:

If you want to direct people to your contact information contained on a contact page, tell them so. For example:

In conclusion:
By using the appropriate text to create meaningful hyperlinks visitors will understand what information the hyperlink may contain. Links that do what visitors expect them to do will increase the usability of your website.

This is the fourth of 4 articles dedicated to writing good content. To read the others follow these links:
Web Page Writing Tips
Scanning Web Pages
Using Web Page Heading Titles and Headlines

Using Web Page Heading Titles and Headlines

Draw in visitors using web page titles and headings

Titles and headings are important; they provide users a glimpse of your content and organize your content into readable “chunks.”

Your WordPress theme has styling tags that can be applied to your web page heading titles and headlines in the visual editor.

Page titles

  • Clearly describe what information a visitor can expect to find on the page
  • The H1- style tag is used for page title and is automatically applied by WordPress when the page is published
  • Capitalize the first letter of each word in the page title
  • Fit titles on one line. Avoid titles flowing over to a second line

Headlines

  • Headlines should be brief and informative
  • The H2 – style tag is used for the headline and is typically at the top of the page
  • Make sure your headline is understandable out of context. Headlines are often the only line people see in an RSS feed or in a mobile phone browser so avoid using creative puns or clever headlines.

Headings

  • Clearly label each section with a heading. Headings organize your content into readable “chunks.”
  • Tip: Scan your page by reading only the headings. If you can understand the flow and content, your headings are well-constructed. If it’s confusing, try rewriting your headlines and adjusting the order of your paragraphs.
  • The H3 style tags are used for headings in the body of the content
  • Capitalize only the first word without a period at the end

Subheadings

  • Subheadings provide an extra level of organization within a section. For example, if your heading is “Workshops,” you may need subheadings to group the various workshops by interest.
  • Use the H4 to H6 style tag for subheadings
  • Capitalize only the first word without a period at the end

Following these tips on formatting website titles and headings will organized your content allowing readers to understand what you are writing about.

To view what headings would look like with your Artbiz theme please view the style sheet.

This is the third of 4 articles dedicated to writing good content. To read the others follow these links:
Web Page Writing Tips
Scanning Web Pages
Create meaningful hyperlinks

Scanning Web Pages

People are scanning web pages in an F pattern.

Eye tracking studies show people read the first full paragraph of the page but their attention wanes as they continue down the page. It is therefore important to tell your readers what the article is about by putting the summary at the top of the page.

Scanning Web Pages
Reading and scanning behaviors when reading web pages

Attention span is short on the internet, we want to complete tasks fast. Breaking up large blocks of text as you go down the page with meaningful subheadings, bold or italics text and bullet lists makes the page scannable.

Below is an example of making my artist biography scannable. Continue reading “Scanning Web Pages”