CATEGORY: Websites

How to Create a Custom .US URL Shortener

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The shorter a web address is, the easier it is to remember and share. That’s why a lot of sites that have long URLs are turning to link shorteners. By now, you’ve probably noticed on Twitter that there are tons of short URLs such as bit.ly, ow.ly, and t.co. Sure, you can use one of these services, but what if you want to have your own branded URL? It’s easy to create your own custom URL shortener, and .US is a perfect domain extension to do it with, because it’s only two characters and it’s easy to remember.

Say for example you have a WordPress blog. The URL for a blog post might be http://blog.name.com/2013/marketing-tips/5-reasons-to-use-a-us-as-a-url-shortner/… that’s a really long name and doesn’t look too nice if it’s getting shared. If you set up a custom URL shortener, you could use something like na.me/k251b. That looks way better, right?!

How to Create Your Custom .US URL Shortener

  1. Register a short version of your blog’s URL as a .US. You can do that easily here.
  2. Choose a service that can create custom URLs using your new domain. Some of these services include bit.ly and ow.ly. A quick heads up though—some of these services may require you to pay a small fee to enable custom URL shortening.
  3. That’s it—you’re done it! It’s THAT easy. You can now start using your brand new shortened URL when sending people to your blog or website on social media.

Do you have a .US that is a custom shortened URL? Tell us what it is in the comments!

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WordPress now powers 18.9% of the Internet

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Ready for an absolutely mind-boggling statistic about WordPress? The blogging and website platform now powers 18.9 percent of the Internet, according to WordPress creator Matt Mullenberg.

“We’re now up to 18.9 percent of the web running WordPress,” Mullenberg said. “… We’re going to see the number of people who have WordPress as part of their daily habits grow exponentially.”

Mullenberg shared this staggering statistic at the annual San Francisco WordCamp conference. In the talk he also chatted about the next two versions of WordPress in the pipeline, including some insight about how the company envisions its own growth.

Most of the sites and blogs that use WordPress are in English—about 66 percent of them. Monthly pageviews for WordPress-powered sites is now massive, with 4 billion projected pageviews for all WordPress sites combined in 2013.

How to protect your Name.com account with an extra password

Passwords can be pretty tricky to guess as long as you’re not lazy when creating them. By keeping a few best practices in mind, you can create a password that will be extremely tough to crack.

But it’s a big bad internet world, and there’s still a chance your username and password combo could be compromised. That’s why we provide a 100 percent absolutely free way to add an extra layer of protection to your account. It’s called Two-Step Verification.

5 Big Websites that Use WordPress (Part 1)

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It’s a common misconception that WordPress is strictly a platform for personal and small business blogs. This is a misconception because a lot of big businesses and media outlets pick WordPress as their content management system, not just blogging platform. If you’ve been on fence about using Name.com’s one-click WordPress installation tool, RapidPress, this list of 5 big websites that use WordPress could give you the final piece of mind to go with WordPress for your business or personal website.

How to add Google Analytics to your WordPress website

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This post is part of an ongoing series about building a WordPress website using name.com’s products and account management features.

Analyzing your website’s traffic is crucial if you want to improve its usability and performance, and the easiest way to access all the data you need is with Google Analytics.

But much like installing WordPress yourself can be confusing if you’re not that tech-savvy (that’s why  name.com created RapidPress!), getting Google Analytics up and running can be a little intimidating if you’re hot familiar with HTML. You need to fill out a form at the Google Analytics website (the easy part) and then add a Tracking ID to the code in your site header (the not-so-easy part).

But since we’re working with WordPress, there’s a plugin that’ll automate the installation process: Google Analytics for WordPress. Today I’ll install the plugin on bearglecorn.com and get Google Analytics up and running.

Three plugins that will greatly improve your WordPress website

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This post is part of an ongoing series about building a WordPress website using name.com’s products and account management features.

When you first create a WordPress website, it’s bare bones. You get a basic theme and the ability to start blogging right away, but not much else. Once you start adding custom themes and installing plugins your site can improve by leaps and bounds. Today I’ll add three simple plugins to the bearglecorn.com WordPress site.

What’s a plugin?

Plugins are like apps that you can install on your WordPress site to improve its functionality. Some plugins affect the appearance and usability of your site on the user side, while others are great for managing the back end of your site. There are a ton of plugins out there—nearly 26,000—and you can search, download, rate, and comment on plugins at the WordPress plugin directory.

5 great plugins to add to your WordPress blog

A WordPress blog is a pretty awesome thing on its own, and a getting one set up is incredibly easy thanks to name.com’s RapidPress install.* But what if you want to add a few bells and whistles to your already-awesome blog?

One of the biggest advantages of a hosted WordPress blog–as opposed to setting one up through WordPress.com–is that you can add plug-ins. Plug-ins enhance your blog with all sorts of cool features, from SEO tools to widgets that enhance your photos and social media presence. Here are a few that should come in handy:

*One-click WordPress installation, unlimited hosting, and name.com’s legendary support, all for $30? Yeah, it’s pretty badass.

1. All-In-One SEO pack

All In One SEO Pack

If you’re new to blogging, chances are you’re new to Search Engine Optimization. SEO helps your blog get noticed in the big churning sea of internet blogdom. The All-In-One SEO pack helps optimize your posts’ titles and meta tags, making it a great tool for newbies. Learn more …

2. NextGEN Gallery

WordPress’s default image options can leave a lot to be desired. NextGEN Gallery gives you a bunch of photo management options (watermarks, image editing, advanced thumbnail features, centralized gallery control) and creates beautiful photo galleries. Learn more …

3. Share Buttons By Lockersz / AddToAny

If you’re going to be publishing all these awesome blog posts, you want people to spread the word, right? Share buttons make it easier for your readers to post about your blog on social media sites, share links via their preferred email clients, and bookmark their favorite content. This plug-in even prioritizes sharing options based on each user’s browsing history. So if a user prefers Hotmail and Google+ (in other words, if a user is a bit of an oddball), those sharing options will appear first. Learn more …

4. Google XML Sitemap for Videos

Is your blog heavy on original video content? This plug-in creates a search engine-friendly map of your videos, making it easier for Google, Bing, and the rest of the search engine crowd to index your content. Any video you add to your posts gets inserted into the video site map. Aside from the SEO benefits, it’s a great way for users to find all of your videos in one place without having to leave your blog entirely. Learn more …

By the way, if you’re posting a lot of videos, a .TV domain might be right up your alley.

5. Broken Link Checker

Blog maintenance can be a pain. As your blog grows, it gets pretty tough to keep track of all the links you’ve included in various posts. Inevitably someone will find an old post and click on a link that has gone bad. Link Checker parses your site for links, then tests to see if those links are still working. An especially cool feature is that you don’t have to return to the original post to fix a broken link. You can update (or remove, or ignore…) the link from a “broken links” tab that is added to your WordPress admin panel when the plug-in is installed. Learn more …

Got some suggestions for WordPress plug-ins? Let us now in the comments section!

How to Easily Import Your Tumblr into a WordPress Blog

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Tumblr is a micro-blogging platform that makes it easy to post and share content with your friends. Today Yahoo announced that they have acquired Tumblr for $1.1 billion in stock and cash. Tumblr users have expressed concern about whether Yahoo can successfully keep the easy-going attitude of the Tumblr community alive. A press release from Yahoo that began with, “We promise not to screw it up.” seems to have just increased skepticism regarding the preservation of the creative vibe of Tumblr when Yahoo takes the reigns.

If you’re one of the many people who don’t want to wait to see how this acquisition plays out and are ready to switch to WordPress, we outline how to easily import your Tumblr to a WordPress blog below. WordPress is a fantastic alternative to Tumblr because it is a blogging service that offers a wider range of customization and features than Tumblr.

How to Get Started:

Before you get started, you’re going to need to setup a WordPress blog. I recommend using our RapidPress tool so that you can get your own domain (yourname.com), web hosting, and your new WordPress blog up right away.

Once Your WordPress Blog is Installed and Ready to Go:

Now that you have your WordPress blog installed, you need to go to the WordPress admin dashboard (yourdomain.com/wp-admin) and click on Tools > Import.

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On the import page, you’re going to see a list of importing tools for various blog services. You’re going to want to click on Tumblr and install the Tumblr importer.

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RapidPress as an Alternative to Tumblr

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Now that Yahoo has announced their acquisition of blogging service Tumblr, it may very well be the perfect time for you to jump on the WordPress blogging train. You can easily make the switch by using the Name.com RapidPress tool and then importing all of your Tumblr posts over. If you’re unsure of what RapidPress is, it is a one-click WordPress installation tool that includes both a domain and web hosting.

There have been some early signs that a lot of people may be making the switch away from Tumblr. WordPress CEO Matt Mullenweg publically stated that on Sunday night, an unusually high number of people imported there posts from Tumblr to WordPress. This is perhaps an early sign that a fair amount of people are looking to flee Tumblr now that it is part of Yahoo.

Yahoo knows that people are going to be saying some fierce things regarding the acquisition around the Internet, so they issued a rather odd press release saying, “We promise not to screw it up.” The release continued by saying, “Tumblr is incredibly special and has a great thing going. We will operate Tumblr independently. David Karp will remain CEO. The product roadmap, their team, their wit and irreverence will all remain the same as will their mission to empower creators to make their best work and get it in front of the audience they deserve. Yahoo! will help Tumblr get even better, faster.”

It’ll be interesting to see how the acquisition plays out over time, but if you’re one of the many people looking to leave Tumblr, using RapidPress to setup a new blog is a fantastic solution. In addition to having a WordPress blog setup with zero effort, you also get web hosting and a domain name (e.g. YourName.com… no more YourName.tumblr.com).

Ready to learn more about RapidPress? Just click here!

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Ready to learn more about RapidPress? Just click here!