Remember your first computer? Or when you realized your smart phone is a computer? The technology tips shared are about today's technology but I wrote my very first program in 1970! A friend first mentioned the word computer after she took a class. So when I transferred to SUNY Oswego my junior year, I found time to take my first programming class … and the rest is history:
- BS Education/Math, SUNY Oswego – IBM 1130 computer (photo credit: Wikimedia) and 2 courses shy of computer science degree.
- MS Computer Science, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute – IBM 360 computer with 500KB slow storage, 500KB fast memory
- IBM for 29 years, working around the world – leading edge development of operating systems, middleware and solutions like video-on-demand in partnership with HongKong Telecom … before the Internet!
That's why my friends ask me questions. Time permitting, I'm happy to answer them and know if one person has a question, others do too. So here are technical tips to help you navigate the wacky and wild, worldwide web.
Debra asked “How do redirects differ from pretty links?”
This question needs two answers, so let's start with … when do you want to use each of these web content options.
- Redirection – should be used anytime you change the address of a web page or blog post. It's similar to filing a change of address card with the post office when you move, so you don't lose any mail. In this case you don't want to disappoint visitors to your website who try to visit the old address. There are two WordPress plugins I've used to setup redirects:
- Redirection – is a free WordPress plugin that I've used for years. All you need to do is put in the old url, the new url and click “Add Redirect” button.
- Yoast Premium SEO – is a WordPress plugin with more options than it's free version. It costs less than $100 and when you check it out, you'll see it's a bargain. The magic is redirection happens automagically. Yoast identifies when you're changing a url and sets up the redirect for you. Your only option is to undo (delete) the redirect.
- PrettyLink Lite – is a different WordPress plugin, focused on solving different problems. Think of pretty link as a nickname tool, where you assign easy to remember names to urls on your website. There are many ways to use it and probably more that I haven't yet discovered.
- Shorten urls so they're easy to remember. It's perfect for freebies as you only have to update your pretty link when migrating it from your website to Dropbox or changing the freebie … new logo, new products to promote, etc.
- Tracks the number of clicks on each pretty link so you can monitor where your visitors are coming from with different links from social media or your newsletter.
- Mask affiliate links to various websites like Amazon, which are long and ugly. It also personalizes these links so people know they're yours and don't get confused.
- Photos, photos & more photos – to tell your stories visually, is very important. In an ideal world, we would all take our own photos but that isn't realistic. So even though I have thousands of my own photos, I still use the following websites on a fairly regular basis.
- BigStock.com – is my go to resource but only when I'm able to buy one of their credit packages on sale.
- DepositPhotos.com – is my backup stock photo website when I run out of credits at BigStock. I generally use this site for two to three months until I get another offer from BigStock.
- Pixabay.com – is a free photo site that I was introduced to by one of my clients.
- unsplash.com – is another free photo site used by one of my clients, with more casual photography.