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How to track contact form 7 submissions using Google Analytics

Posted by on August 2nd, 2017

This blog post has been a long time in the making. There are a variety of Contact Form 7 “fixes” to get submissions to show on Google Analytics, but seemingly none of them work. It used to be as simple as dropping a bit of code into the “additional settings” in the contact form, but no longer. It’s taken some time to figure out exactly how this can be done — and actually work — so I’d like to share the various solutions for fixing this. This blog post is dated July 20th, 2017; changes may occur in the future that may make this solution defunct. Please be aware of this. Solution #1: Manual Code Step 1. Make sure that you have Google Analytics code in your header of your site. You can do this by viewing the source code of your page and searching for “GoogleAnalytics” or “UA”. It should look like this:

Step 2. Insert the tracking code listener into the header of your page. Here is the code:

You can add this to footer.php with this code:

Step 3. Give your contact form a test. If it’s working, it should show in Google Analytics under Behavior > Events > Overview as “contact”. It can take 24 hours for this to show. Things to remember: Check and make sure when you’re copy pasting the code that it’s not utilizing smart quotes. HTML, Javascript, etc won’t work properly with smart quotes. Solution #2: WP Google Analytics…

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WordPress Editing and Publishing Basics

Posted by on October 22nd, 2013

Creating and editing website pages may seem like a daunting task for those of us who are a little less tech savvy. Fortunately WordPress makes this task easy. If you can edit a Word document, you can certainly edit a webpage or blog post on a wordpress site. Start by logging in to your website. You can do this by going to www.yoursite.com/wp-admin (replace “yoursite” with your real domain name) and entering your WordPress username and password. You are now on your site’s Dashboard. There is a menu to the left where you will see options like posts, media, links, pages, etc. If you would like to create or edit a page on your website, click “Pages.” If you would like to create/edit a blog post on your website, click “Posts.” To edit an existing page, select that page from the menu by clicking on it. To create a new page click “Add Page” at the top of the screen. However, adding new Pages is probably a task that the beginner WordPress user should get help with, as the new page will need to be placed in a menu. Posts, on the other hand, appear automatically in the Blog and are easily user-added. Post or Page, start editing content by using the Visual editor. The Visual editor works very similar to general word processing software. You can add bullets, numbers, change font color and other formatting options all at the push of a button. It is easy to add pictures to your content…

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Organizing Your Blog Part 4: Creating Great User Experiences

Posted by on January 15th, 2013

Welcome to the slightly-delayed (thanks, holidays) fourth installment of my Organizing Your Blog series. Previously, we covered why you should organize your blog, how to set yourself up for success, and best practices for categories and tags. Today, we’re covering elements that improve the user experience on your site, keeping your readers around for longer and making them happier. Blog Organizational Elements to Improve User Experience Sidebar links: Now that you have good structures in place, make them work for you and your readers! Putting the tag cloud, category list or date archives in a sidebarthat appears on your blog is a great way to encourage browsing of your content. A recent posts or recent comments (if you get lots of comments) list can also be good. This makes your blog easier to browse and more useful, as well as helping to keep readers on the site. Cross-linking: Another option for creating a good user experience and keeping people on site longer is cross-linking your posts. For an example, see the first paragraph of THIS post! Linking posts to each other makes it easy for readers to find related content, which they like, and keeps the reader on your website for longer, which YOU like. Search Box: WordPress has a search box built into it. USE IT! Give your readers the option of searching to find content. It’s the nice thing to do, and again it may keep people on the site for longer. Readability: Readability is an under-valued factor. People simply do…

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Organizing Your Blog Part 3: Categories & Tags

Posted by on December 16th, 2012

Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve been talking about blog organization. I’ve covered why you should bother organizing your blog, the basics of setting up your blog, and today I’m covering the ever misunderstood Categories and Tags. Categories Categories are the filing cabinets of the blog. You should define a reasonable set of categories that do not overlap, are not overly specific, and will cover most if not all of the content you plan to have on the blog. Six to ten is plenty for the majority of blogs, and it’s often good to define only a couple of categories at the start and add more later. Removing categories without creating 404 errors is harder than starting with just a few and building up! Don’t put a post in more than one category if you can help it. If you find yourself wanting to do so a lot, your categories may overlap too much, or your posts might be covering more than one topic (why not make two posts?). Tags If categories are the filing cabinets, posts are the manila folders in the cabinets, and tags are the multicolored sticky notes attached to each folder. Unlike categories, it’s okay to have multiple tags per post. In fact, it’s expected. However, you still should not have overlapping tags. Why? Let’s say you have a wedding blog. A reader comes in and wants to read all your posts about wedding dresses. If you have one tag, ‘wedding dresses’, they can easily…

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Organizing Your Blog Part 2: Setting Up Your Blog

Posted by on November 23rd, 2012

Last week I discussed why you should spend time organizing your blog. This week I’ll start telling you how to go about organizing your blog, starting from launch. Is a Blog/Has a Blog If you’re launching a new website, think about the overall structure at the beginning to save yourself time and hassle later. Do you want the home page to be a static page, or do you want it to have your most recent blog posts? Is this a blog site, or a site with a blog? The answers to these questions will determine the information architecture of your blog; in other words, how the information is organized and how users will encounter it. Pages vs Posts Typically, blog posts are for timely information and pages (with the associated ‘present in the navigation’ privilege) are for permanent information. News about your business? Blog post. History of your business? Page. If your site IS a blog, you won’t have to think much about this. If your site HAS a blog, you might think about this a lot. Particularly if you’re blogging for business, it may be worthwhile to you to consult a marketing professional to ensure you are setting your site up for search engine and user experience success. At a minimum, have a conversation with your web developer or content manager about how your content will be structured. URL Structures & You By default, blog software like WordPress often uses a ID number to form the URL for a post….

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Organizing Your Blog Part 1: Why Bother?

Posted by on November 19th, 2012

There are many, many reasons that people write blogs. A few of the most common are personal blogs, blogs for the purpose of drawing in traffic to a site,  informational blogs and photo blogs. While personal blogs may have the luxury of not paying attention to organization, the majority of blogs do not. Why is Organizing Your Blog Important? You certainly can choose to not make use of categories, tags, date archives and URL structure to organize your blog. You have that option. However, even for a personal blog I wouldn’t recommend it. You might want to be able to find something again, and good organization will be a big help. Other reasons to make use of the structures available: Ease of use for visitors. This is the user experience element. If you want people to enjoy and make use of your blog, you have to make it easy to use, and for a blog ‘use’ means ‘find things’. Making use of organizational structures groups related posts together even if you do not crosslink, making it easy for a reader to browse topics. Ease of use for search engines. Search engines need a good user experience, too. If you want your blog posts appearing in a Google search, you want to make it easy for Google to read your site. Organizing your blog well makes it easier for search engines to index your content. Ease of use for you, the writer. If you want to reference a past post and…

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WordPress 3.4.1

Posted by on July 3rd, 2012

WordPress 3.4.1 appeared on most of the WordPress sites I work with over the last couple of weeks (this site included!). It brings with it a number of great new features, including: Live Preview for themes. This is going to make theme changes SO much less painful–you’ll be able to customize the new theme via the CMS before you launch it, reducing the ‘growing pains’ awkwardness of not having your theme look perfect on launch. Flexible headers: one annoyance I run into pretty often when working on a lightly customized theme is that the header size has to be changed in a part of the theme code that the typical user can’t access, and even for the experienced user it’s not very user-friendly. Now themes that support it will have flexible sizing for headers built into the CMS! This is one of those features that if you don’t need it, you are thinking ‘who cares?’, but if this is a frustration you’ve had a few times….you care! Twitter integration. I’m not a big Twitterer myself, but it’s a great tool for many businesses, and integrating it into WordPress will be a great feature for many people. SECURITY. I (and all good developers/site managers) recommend that you update your WordPress install whenever a new version comes out, because they typically include bug fixes that will improve the security of your site. It’s easy to forget about site security until you get hacked or virused…but no site is so small as to…

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Be Careful with WordPress Plugins!

Posted by on March 5th, 2012

WordPress is a wonderful, open source, flexible, user-friendly, mobile-friendly, SEO-friendly way to build a website. It’s what this site is running on, and it’s one of the most popular platforms on the web. However, this very user-friendliness comes with a price. The downfall of many things which are user-modifiable is that they are also readily user-breakable. Many people like to fault Apple for being a very closed system–and they are right, to a point. However, it is this closed system that lets Apple provide a highly functional and dependable computer with excellent customer service should you have problems. When building a website, it’s actually a pretty different animal–the least-user-modifiable systems are really pretty poor even for the totally new-to-the-web user (see GoDaddy’s awful Website Tonight product). However, they do provide one significant advantage: it’s hard for the uninformed user to break them. WordPress is a great entry-level platform for sites. In its default state, it allows users to quickly build an attractive, usable site with as much content as they want. If the user never touches anything but the default adjustments, their site will probably work perfectly for the foreseeable future. But the fact is, people like to fiddle, and my generation of internet users has high expectations for websites. WordPress provides access to thousands of plugins which extend the interface, add functionality, let you alter additional settings, and so forth. Many are excellent. There are about 3-4 that I install on every site I work on, because they provide…

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