The other day I went on 4 or 5 toot rant on Twitter about issues I often come across in websites I visit. It was a bit of a letting off of steam and on Twitter, where you’re limited to 140 characters, it’s not that helpful since I just complained and didn’t provide any real solutions to the issues I was complaining about.

The Problem

When you first setup a WordPress website/blog/etc., the pages and posts you create all get a unique URL which is great. Helps computers and people to be able to tell the different pieces of content apart. The problem is that the default setting is for the URL to look something like www.websitename.com/?p=123 and www.websitename.com/?p=124. Not very easy to tell what kind of page you’re getting when you visit that URL, nor is it easy to tell someone later on to just go to www.websitename.com/?p=123 to find the information you need.

The Solution

Video Version

Direct link to Vimeo or YouTube version.

Text Version

Luckily, as with most thing WordPress related, the solution is pretty simple. Here’s the xx step process to make your URLs look nice for everyone.

  • Login to the WordPress admin
  • Go to “Settings” and then “Permalinks” (should be something like http://www.website.com/wp-admin/options-permalink.php)

  • Choose “Month and Name” (My personal preference but “Day and Name” works too)
  • Click “Save Changes

Once you do that, WordPress will automagically change page links from things like www.website.com/?page_id=2 to the more human readable and easier to remember www.website.com/about/ for Pages and www.website.com/2012/01/title-of-post for Posts.

It makes Google happier for search results and makes your users happy because they can navigate and find things on your website much quicker and easier.

Frank Chimero is a designer and writer from Portland, Oregon and he recently gave a talk at the Do Lectures in Wales. His talk was titled “Do Things the Long, Hard, Stupid Way” and is a good talk to listen/watch for a bit of inspiration and motivation to think about giving and how in the digital world giving has changed – we share much more easily but giving isn’t as valuable since everything can be replicated.

[button color=”#F3DF41″ text=”dark” link=”http://dolectures.com/lectures/do-things-the-long-hard-stupid-way/”]Watch the talk – Do Things the Long, Hard, Stupid Way[/button]

While it’s still early days in how everyone is deciding to use Google+ personally and professionally – Google has just published a set of Community Guidelines that can help give you an idea of how or why you might want to use Google+ for your business or startup.

Right now the different groups they talk about are celebrities, media organizations, nonprofit organizations, political groups, sports teams & Universities – but the ideas are similar for all organizations or businesses.

One of the more interesting uses for Google+ that I could see is through the use of what Google is calling Hangouts. Basically it’s video chatting with up to 10 other people. It’s been done before – but with Google+ it’s free and easy to have a conversation with 10 customers or clients about your product or service. Some ideas for how you might use Google+ Hangouts:

  • Hold a quick video chat on a new feature of your product that you just launched.
  • A live Q&A with one of your support staff and some of your customers
  • Get feedback from your clients on how business is going.
  • Or just shoot the breeze with whoever happens to be online for awhile and see how things are going.

Particularly as more and more of our commerce moves online, using tools like Google+ Hangout to maintain a human connection with your customers is one great way to set yourself apart from all the other websites vying for people’s attention and money.

Coudal Partners is a design and advertising studio located in Chicago. One of the products they sell is the popular Field Notes Brand memo and notebooks.

So if you’re trying to market a new version of a notebook you sell, what sort of video would you create to convey the quality that goes into each notebook? I’m pretty sure your first thought wouldn’t be the video they created – but I know it goes a long way to convincing me that Coudal puts the utmost care and effort into the creation of their notebooks if they’re willing to put this much effort into the promotional video.

Maybe the most obvious way to market your product isn’t the best way. How could you present a different aspect of your product to highlight the strength, quality or design of your product?