Archive for the ‘Tips’ Category

How to make an Artisteer header mask in Photoshop

Artisteer: v4.2.0
Photoshop: CS5

In this tutorial I’m going to show you how I created a grass mask to use as part of an header in Artisteer for a WordPress website.

To create the grass mask I used a Photoshop grass brush set from brusheezy.com, the set was called “Free Grass Brushes Set 1”.

Step 1

Open a new Photoshop about 400 px wide by 190 px high, create a few layers to work on. Make the background layer white.

Using the grass brush I created 4 layers of grass using 4 different grass styles. I did it this way to make it easier to work on the finished look of the grass.

Artisteer header mask in Photoshop

Step 2

Select all the layers you created with the brush (not the background layer), go to Select > All and then Edit > Copy merged. To deselect go to Select > Deselect.

Disable all the brush layers.

Create a new layer, make the background black, then add a layer mask (that is the icon at the bottom of the layer panel, the square with a white circle).

Select the new mask layer and then click on the Channels tab. Enable the mask at the bottom and disable RGB, Red, Green, and Blue.

With the Mask layer selected go to Edit > Paste to paste in the copied brush layers. Move it into position if you need to.

Artisteer header mask in Photoshop

Go back to the Layers tab, select the new mask layer, go to Select > Deselect. You should now have a black background with transparent grass.

Artisteer header mask in Photoshop

Step 3

Save for web, save it as a .png file.

Go to Artisteer and add it to your header, job done!

John Wilkinson
Build Me A Website

Disable/Turn off WordPress comments

If you would like to disable / turn off WordPress comments on your posts and pages here is how you do it.

In wp-admin go to Settings > Discussion and then untick “Allow people to post comments on new articles”, as shown below. This applies to any new posts and pages that you publish from now on.

Allow people to post comments on new articles

To disable / turn off WordPress comments from posts that you have already published:

In wp-admin go to Posts, select all the posts, in the Bulk Actions box select Edit and then click Apply. Select ‘Do not allow’ next to Comments and then click the Update button.

Do not allow comments

If you want to just disable comments on pages and leave them active on posts you will need to keep the “Allow people to post comments on new articles” ticked in the settings and on every page, existing and new untick ‘Allow comments’ in the Discussions section.

John Wilkinson
Build Me A Website

Tagging Your Pictures: You’re Doing It Wrong

You’re a savvy web site proprietor.  When you upload a picture to your blog or business site you always make sure your title or alt tags are keyword optimized.  Heck, you even have a WordPress site and those things practically optimize themselves now with all those skookum plug-ins.

Yup, things are awesome.

Yeah, I was like you once.  Until a couple of weeks ago, when I had my mind blown by Morten Rand-Hendriksen of Pink & Yellow Media.  During his ‘Your Blog Is Boring And Your Photos Suck’ workshop with Syx Langemann at Northern Voice 2011, Morten went over the general musts of optimizing your pictures on your blog, and then he got to the part about title tags, and my inner geek exploded.

Read more …..

Underscores or hyphens in URLs

Twitter for the small business

Whilst surfing Twitter earlier today, can’t remember what I was actually looking for at the time, I stumbled on a tweet from a cleaning company based in London.

It grabbed my attention because it was simple and to the point, it also included some good keywords relevant to their line of business. The tweet was a great example of how a small business can use Twitter to advertise their business to millions of people online and help them find new potential customers who are actually going to be interested in their products.

In the current climate small business are always on the look out for low-cost ways to advertise their business and one of the best ways to promote a business online is Twitter!

I’m not sure which of their tweets I initially came across so I’ve just included a few below so you can see what I mean.

Book domestic cleaning in London to take care of the chores! Call 0800 043 6001 for a quote http://t.co/VRR3RCzk #domesticcleaninglondon
@fastcleaners
Fast Cleaners
Does your hard wood floor need cleaning & polishing? Call 0800 043 6001 for a free quote today! http://t.co/ILDLBZfU #hardfloorcleaning
@fastcleaners
Fast Cleaners
Office cleaners in London can make the workplace nicer for your employees. Call 0800 043 6001 http://t.co/r1547imS #officecleanerslondon
@fastcleaners
Fast Cleaners

Does the position of keywords in the URL affect ranking?

Can the geographic location of a web server affect SEO?