Comment on WordPress SEO Theme Developer by Mark Biernat.
Updating to 6.2 with the automatic update has made things a lot easier. I was able to update a score of my websites at light speed. Just be aware that if you have custom landscape folder you have to first save it to your hard drive. Then update, then upload it again as the automatic update will overwrite the custom landscape folder.
The landscapes, headers and art provided in the theme are great as well as the ones for sale. One thing people can do is mix and match. That is, take a few of the ones you like from the landscapes that comes with the theme, and create your own custom folder and even add a few of your own.
CSS, gradients with the translation plugin
On the initial trials it appears that if you use the Google translate plugin with a gradient color theme like the Stallion gradient, it will repeat. That is check the CSS for this. You will see what I mean.
The ‘Submit Comment’ rounded rectangle seems to be off 1 pixel on one of my websites. I am not sure if that was an intentional shadow float or something that is doing that because of a plugin or something. I do like the rounded rectangle by the way and the CSS hover animation you seem to have.
I love the Gravatars. I am a big believer that Facebook took off because of the deeply ingrained evolutionary mechanism in our brains to study faces. The ability for humans to read faces was and is necessary for survival.
Therefore, humans get stuck on looking at faces, we can not ignore them. Faces and body language convey a lot of information. Therefore, the comments with Gravatars are very helpful for catching people’s eyes and staying on site. You could experiment further with formatting of this, that is, the text title and excerpts or have the image of the person could grow if you hover. I know it’s a lot of work.
One idea to develop this further is to replace mystery man with custom Gravatars. I know it comes from another server, but I think there is a way this could be accomplished.
For example, if you have a recipes website, like you do, you could have a series of defaults that are vegetables and fruits anthropomorphic Gravatars, a happy carrot or a grumpy pear. Never underestimate the power of images. Or as you know I have a political economy website, I would replace the Mystery man with the founding fathers of the USA like George Washington and Thomas Jefferson etc. Your wife’s good Karma website could be all kinds of imaginative designs from yogic looking symbols to warm sun or nature Gravatar etc.
I do not know if having a link that does not lose PR juice to Gravatar sign up would encourage people to use it more. I did see a plugin like this but do not know if it would be worth it. I have steered a few people to gravatar.com and they have come back with some interesting icons.
If you wanted to get crazy with all this you could take a little inspiration from the Mingle plugin. But that might be bloating it. However, I believe the more people are interacting on your website the better.
Design and colors
The design keeps improving. I take someone who knows nothing about anything with regards to websites, usually a teenager niece, and ask them, which one do you like the best.
I think I have mentioned this before,if you are searching for more design ideas, many designers get inspiration from and colors and proportions from classical art, as the masters spent a lot of time thinking about colors and how they match 500 years ago, life has a more slower pace and before they used a color, it was really thought out. Just look at the the subtlety of colors used in the Italian renaissance.
One idea to take this theme to the next level, but maybe not appropriate for your type of theme, which is general rather than personal and specific, is 3D look or oversized images like Matt Mullenweg’s ma.tt/ website for example. However, that I know he has professional artists working long and hard to achieve those effects.
Another idea is to offer RSS icons that are a little snazzy. I have blue books with mine. They are found in /wp-includes/images/ some it might not be an easy thing to include in a theme because the folders are different.
There has been a lot of chatter around Matt Cutt’s comments on Ad placement, location and rankings for 2012. I have no idea how this will translate into affecting search. I think I read something like they will consider where it actually is on the page not just the code.
If that is true, who knows what this will mean. My best performing ad is the block in front of the content. Maybe 3 sidebar ads might be one way around it as the code presents these sidebar ads as bellow the fold. However, I am not sure if this would help.
I do not know why but I am behind the curb with monetizing YouTube. However, some people I have personally met only live off of YouTube.
I do not know if it is better to place ads in the videos or simple use the videos to attract visit to you website, but it is something I should try, that is more videos.
smosh.com/videos does a good job with a video page. I wonder if that could be set up easy as a category or a theme option. Maybe it is not worth it as most people who use your theme are brick and mortar bloggers.
One warning is I have noticed that when I embed other people’s videos, they sometimes have Google Ads in them and I am curious that violates the rule of 3 ads a page. I have removed them once I discovered this.
SEO and a positive note on taxes if you purchase the Stallion theme
These are some ideas about the most recent update and some other ideas to consider. How this theme can be developed to best help users and webmasters is something that will change as the web changes. The way I see it is, the web is evolving to be more of a conversation, a steam of consciousness. Webmasters and SEO consultants will adapt to this flow. Your SEO skills are nothing short of brilliant on this WordPress SEO theme. Nothing else like it out there.
By the way, I wonder if people know, if they file a schedule C in the US or as a Sole proprietor in most countries, the price of purchasing the Stallion theme, could come as tax deduction as a business expense. I am not giving tax advice, but if they look into this, I think this is the case. Sure this is something that directly helps your business, so most people would deduct this as a business expense. So the money spent on it really is no money at all as it all nets out.