Archive for Widgets

25 Mar 2016

Creating and Using Video Content in EverWeb

No Comments EverWeb, Software, Tips and Tricks, Tutorials, Widgets

EverWeb has a great, updated Video Widget in version 1.9.5 that can be used to easily add video content to your website. Creating your own video content doesn’t have to be expensive or time consuming as apps such as iMove and Keynote are both free and easy to use. There’s also QuickTime Player, which comes with OS X, that lets you screen record video then edit it with some basic editing features.

In this example, we’re going to create a video tutorial about EverWeb’s hyperlinking feature using Quicktime. The video will include an audio track narrative. Once the video and audio have been created, we’ll insert it into a web page in EverWeb. OK, here we go…

Planning and Preparation

  1. Before creating a video tutorial, plan it’s flow from start to finish. Keep in mind what the goal is i.e. what do you want to tell your audience?
  2. Your tutorial should focus on one subject or idea only if at all possible e.g. how to hyperlink a piece of text to take you to another page in your website.
  3. Try a few ‘dry runs’ to make sure the tutorial flows properly before you start recording. Doing this also helps you get used to the steps you’ll be recording. It’s also a good point to double check that the video flow is as simple and straightforward as you had planned. Remove any unnecessary steps or anything not directly related to what your subject is about.
  4. Once you have rehearsed your tutorial, close any open applications on your desktop that are not needed in the recording.
  5. Set your OS X desktop background to a neutral color and clear away any files you have placed on the desktop. This will help keep your audience focused on the video content and not what’s in the background.
  6. When making screen recordings, you may want to increase the size of the mouse pointer so it’s easier to see and follow around the screen. You can change the mouse cursor size in ‘System Preferences’. Select ‘Accessibility’ and then ‘Display’. When recording, remember to move the mouse at a steady, even pace at all times. Avoid jerky mouse movements and don’t go too fast or too slow either!
  7. Once you have set up your recording environment, go to the point where you will begin the recoding. In our example, this is the page in our EverWeb Project file with the text that we want to hyperlink.

Recording Your Quicktime Movie
With all of the preparation done, it’s time to start recording…

  1. Open QuickTime Player. If it’s not in the Dock use Spotlight to search for it.
  2. Select File > New Screen Recording from the menu and follow the instructions that appear in the middle of the screen.
  3. When you have finished recording your video tutorial, press the record button in the menu bar in the top right hand corner of the screen to end the screen recording.
  4. Next, play your recording back to make sure that it’s how you want it. You may need to re-record a couple of times to get things right. Remember that if you need to re-record, you may need to reset things that have changed in the recording e.g. in the example of Hyperlinks, you would deselect ‘Enable as Hyperlink’. If you find that re-recording keeps going wrong, take a break and come back fresh to it later on.
  5. To add a narrative audio track to your video you’ll need a microphone. This is easily solved by using the microphone included with your mobile phone, such as the one on an iPhone. Plug the microphone in to your Mac. Remember to plan and test your audio track in the same manner as you did with your video track.
  6. Before starting the audio recording, make sure the video recording is at the start of playback. Also, moving the audio and video windows close to each other will make starting and stopping recording and playback easier.
  7. Select File > New Audio Recording. Begin the audio recording and then start the video playback immediately afterwards so that your narrative recording syncs up with the actions of the video recording. Once finished, turn off the audio recording and save the audio file.
  8. To combine the audio with the video, drag the audio recording file you have saved on to the window that contains the video recording.
  9. If the video is too long, use Edit > Trim to edit it down.
  10. To edit down the audio track, select Edit > Trim followed by View >  Show Audio Track. This will allow you access and edit the audio.
  11. When you have finished editing, save the video file. It will have a .MOV extension.
EverWeb's Video Widget Settings

Video Inserted into a web page.

Adding Your Video Content in to EverWeb
With your video tutorial now complete, it’s time to add it in to your web page in EverWeb…

  1. Open your EverWeb Project file and go to the page where you want to add the video.
  2. From the Widgets Inspector, drag and drop the Video Widget on to your page. Position and resize the video placeholder as desired.
  3. In the Video Widget settings tab click the ‘Choose…’ button for ‘MP4 Video’ and select your .MOV video file. You’ll notice that there are two other file format options available: WebM and OGG. Use these options for compatibility purposes with older versions of Firefox and with Opera browsers. If you need to convert from Quicktime’s .MOV file format to WebM or OGG formats look for appropriate conversion programs on the Web.
  4. The updated Video Widget in EverWeb 1.9.5 has a variety of options for video content (see screenshot above.) Generally it’s recommended to go with the defaults most of the time unless you have specific reasons not to. For example, muting the sound is a good idea incase the video is accessed in a public area where you won’t want sound to upset people who may be nearby.
  5. Poster Image in EverWeb

    Example Poster Image in EverWeb which can be used as a Title Card for your video.

  6. It’s recommended to use the Poster Image option as the option places a picture at the front of the video whilst the video itself downloads in the background. It’s useful especially if the video is large and/or download speeds are slow to the device being used. Without a Video Poster Image the video needs to download first to supply an image. The other use of the Poster Image option is that you can easily make a title card for your tutorial, in our example, ‘Hyperlinking with EverWeb.’
  7. Remember that when using Video Poster Image it isn’t supported with Autoplay checked. You may want to advise your visitors that video downloads can be bandwidth hungry, especially from mobile devices before they hit ‘Play’ so they can choose to play the video or not.
  8. To see the results, use Preview in the EverWeb Toolbar before publishing to the Internet. Don’t forget that when you publish to the Internet to test your video content in different browsers to ensure video format compatibility.

Adding video content in to your EverWeb Project is quick easy and hassle free, all it takes are OS X’s native or free apps to get you there!

30 Jan 2016

EverWeb’s Heading Tags Widget Explained!

2 Comments EverWeb, Tips and Tricks, Web Design, Widgets

EverWeb’s Heading Tags Widget was introduced in version 1.7. The Widget helps coders easily insert HTML Heading Tags into a web page. That sentence probably makes sense to those of you who have coding experience, but to non-coders out there it may not make much sense. It’s worthwhile exploring the widget in detail as it may help improve your SEO (Search Engine Optimisation), so bear with me…

What is a Heading Tag?
Before I get to answer that question, let’s put Heading Tags in context. When you develop your web pages in EverWeb, you just drag and drop the objects you want to use on to the page and customize them as you need to. When finished, you ‘Publish’ your website and your web pages are converted in to HTML (HyperText Markup Language) code and uploaded to the server that hosts your website.

The HTML code that’s generated is structured as HTML is a language and has rules and guidelines to follow just as any other language form has. The Heading Tag is an HTML ‘language’ element that can be used to explicitly add structure to the code generated by EverWeb. If you take this article as an example, it has a title at the top (‘EverWeb;s Heading Tags Explained’) and headings to break the content in to smaller more manageable parts (e.g. ‘What is a Heading Tag”). The headings could also have sub headings, or even sub-sub headings. If we want, we can explicitly make the titles and headings on our page in to specific HTML Headings using the Heading Tags Widget.

Six levels of Heading are allowed, ranging from the most important (called ‘H1’) to the least important (called ‘H6’). Following our above example we would use an H1 ‘tag’ for the title of our article ‘The Heading Tags Widget’ as it’s the most important heading on the page. The next level of heading, the section titles for the article (e.g. ‘What is a Heading Tag’) would be an H2 tag. Any subheadings would use an H3 Heading Tag and so on down to H6.

Why Use Heading Tags At All?
There are two good reasons for using Heading Tags: the first is that HTML tags can be useful for SEO as search engines can target the headings in the page using the tags you insert. Without the Heading Tags, search engines will just treat your headings as regular text. The second reason for using Heading Tags is to help structure your web page. This is especially useful for those who code in HTML, but less so for EverWeb users as it generates the code for you automatically at publish time.

How to Use the Heading Tags Widget
Probably the best way to use the Heading Tags Widget is to look at an existing page you’ve created and take the most important piece of text on the page and convert it into a Heading Tag. This will probably be the main heading or title on the page itself. To convert this text to a Heading Tag do the following:

  1. First drag and drop the Heading Tags Widget on to your page.
  2. Enter the text you want to use. In this case cut and paste the text e.g. the page title or most important heading on the page, in to the ‘Heading Text’ box.
  3. Next select the level of Heading Text. As this is the most important heading on the page, use H1.
  4. Align the text as you wish using the ‘Text Alignment’ drop down box.
  5. If you want the heading to use an HTML bold styling attribute tick the ‘Use Header Bold Styling’ box.
  6. Use the Fonts Panel to style the Heading Tags Widget text so that it recreates the look of your original page title, or heading, text.
  7. Once you finished creating the Heading Tags Widget, delete the original text title and replace it with the Widget.

Tips on Using the Heading Tags Widget

  1. Use Heading Tags sparingly. If you overuse them, search engines will notice and demote rather than promote your page!
  2. Have one H1 Heading Tag only on the page and some H2 level tags for your main headings. Use H3 tags for any subheadings. You really do not need much more tags than these.
  3. You can have more than one Level of tag on the page e.g. there is more than one heading in this article so I could use multiple H2 tags, one for each heading.
  4. Only use Heading Tags on pages that are important. You won’t need to use Heading Tags on pages such as Contact and About pages. Focus on the pages that are most important to put in front of your visitors.
  5. Don’t compromise your content for the sake of SEO. As with SEO it’s important to balance your visitor’s experience of your website against trying to improve your SEO page ranking result. And that’s especially true when using Heading Tags.

Heading Tags can be a useful addition to your SEO arsenal. If you want to know more on SEO itself, check out our previous post All You Need to Know About SEO in EverWeb.

08 Jul 2015

EverWeb’s Image Slider Widget Is Even More Powerful!

No Comments EverWeb, Tips and Tricks, Widgets

With the release of EverWeb 1.8, the Image Slider widget received an update that included the ability to add captions to each slide, as well as adding a link to each slide. These new features allow users to make an even more professional looking image slider for their website.

Image sliders on websites became popular several years ago, and allow webmaster’s to display several photos showcasing their products/services with minimal effort from the website visitor. Image sliders can often be seen on photographer’s websites, as well as other sites such as online newspapers, and retailers like Amazon.

With the responsive design features released in EverWeb 1.8, we can now make our image sliders fill the entire width of the browser, and respond to changes made to the size of the browser.

The video tutorial below will illustrate how to use the Image Slider widget, as well as how to make the slider span the entire width of the browser. Enjoy!

20 Jun 2014

Header Tags – EverWeb Widget

1 Comment EverWeb, Widgets

headerA header tag is similar to a headline in a newspaper or magazine article. The headline gives a ‘big picture’ idea of what the scope of an article is about. For a website, a header tag does the same. Header tags have 6 levels, with 1 being the highest and 6 being the lowest. Header tags are highly considered in search engine optimization (SEO) so for those users who are looking for more traffic to their website (who isn’t these days?) header tags can certainly be helpful.

This free widget allows you to easily add a header tag to your website in EverWeb. You can choose from all 6 levels of a header tag.

You can also modify the font, font size, and font color of your header tag like you normally would modify any font in EverWeb.

Tip: As mentioned earlier, the h1 header tag is the most important header tag, but you should make sure to only place one h1 header per page on your website. If you are targeting specific keywords on your site, make sure to include the most important one in your h1 tag. If you have other keywords to target, use an h2, and/or h3 header tag for those.

16 Jun 2014

Facebook Link Preview – EverWeb Widget

17 Comments EverWeb, Freebies, Widgets

image
UPDATE: The ability to add a Facebook link preview image has now been added to EverWeb 1.8 and higher. You no longer need to use this widget. You can specify the image for each page by going to the Site Settings tab, and choosing an image next to the option that says Social Media Image.

Ever notice that when you post a link to a website on Facebook, there might be a particular image and title/description that appears? These can actually be set by the webmaster so that they can control what people see whenever someone posts their link on Facebook. This widget will allow you to set the title, description and the image(s) to be displayed when a user posts your link on Facebook.

The widget uses EverWeb’s built-in Image Gallery widget to allow you to more easily setup your Facebook link preview.

Make sure to follow the instructions on the widget for setting up the preview. There are 4 steps in the process so be sure to read each one carefully, and follow them accordingly.

This widget can be downloaded free of charge. Remember to install the widget by double clicking on the .ewwdgt file.

Update: Version 2.0 of this widget allows you to access your FB preview image directly from your assets list.