Everything You Need to Know About Google+, Part 4


      This post is the last part of the four day series on Everything You Need to Know About Google+. To read part one, click here. To read part two, click here. And to read part three, click here.

      Today, I’ll be covering only a few things, including Google+ pages, Google+ settings, huddle, and chat.

      Google+ Pages

      Similar to Facebook pages, Google+ pages are like Google+ profiles for businesses. They’re not much different than Google+ profiles, though, except for a few things. One is that you can like a Google+ page but not a Google+ profile. You can also share a Google+ page.

      Here’s what a Google+ page looks like:


      Again, as you can see, a Google+ page isn’t much different than a profile. Because I haven’t created a Google+ page myself, I wouldn’t be able to tell you so much about creating a Google+ page. But if you do visit the Google+ sidebar, and click on pages, you can create one yourself. This is what you’ll see:

      So there you go! There’s not much more to say about Google+ pages. So, I’ll move on to Google+ settings.

      Google+ Settings

      As I said in one of my previous blog posts on Everything You Need to Know About Google+. Here’s where you’ll determine your privacy settings. You’ll find a lot of flexibility in controlling who sees which posts and more. You might want to change your settings, such as your notifications, for example, if you wanted Google+ notifications going to a different email. You can also block Google from using your +1’s for things like ads.

      This is shown below:


      To change your Google+ settings, visit google.com/settings/plus. That’s all overall easy to understand, so I’ll move on to huddle and Chat.

      Huddle and Chat

      Huddle is a chatting service for Google+. With it, you can chat with another Google+ user, or a group of Google+ users. It’s only available for mobile phones, though, which is very important to know. This is because people can get confused, thinking you’re ignoring their Google+ message, even though you’re not on a phone. You won’t be able to see someone’s huddle message on your desktop. This has happened to me once, when I was not using Google+ on a mobile phone.

      There is, however, a feature to chat with people on Google+ who are on desktops. I don’t think you can chat with someone on Google+ while you’re on a phone, but only if that person is also on a desktop. I think, though, that Google Talk is still available to use so that someone on a phone could chat with someone on a desktop. I also think that you would probably need a Gmail account to do this, but am not completely sure.

      You’re done reading this blog post! If you also read my previous posts in this series, I think you’ve pretty much learned everything you need to know about Google+.

Everything You Need to Know About Google+, Part 2

      Recently, I wrote the post Everything You Need to Know About Google+, Part 1. By reading that post here, you can see an overview of Google+, information about the stream, circles, etc. Today, I’ll be covering even more information about the stream, and information about the explore section, hangouts, and your profile.
      Exploring popular posts, and removing popular posts from your stream
      First, I’m going to explain how to remove popular posts from your stream, by people who aren’t in your circles. This can become really annoying, because you never know what someone’s going to post. You might not even be interested in what they’re going to post. So to do this, you’ll have to go to the explore icon on the sidebar to the left, as shown below:


      Then, on the right top part of the screen, you’ll get the option can determine how many of those posts you want to see. You can drag it to the end, so that you won’t see any of those posts. You can still, however, see popular posts on Google+ anytime by clicking the explore icon.
      Options on a Google+ post
      Now, I’ll talk about options for posts on Google+. When someone posts something to your stream, you’ll get the option to either +1 their post, reshare, or start a hangout about it, as shown below:


      These options are sometimes confusing to people, who are used to Facebook’s terms of words. To +1 a post means to like a post, and to reshare a post simply means to share a post with those in your circles. If you don’t want anyone to share your own post, you’ll get the option to disable sharing, by clicking on the arrow on the right of your post. If you like, you can also disable commenting.

      Hangouts

      To start a hangout about a post means to start a video call. This can also be done by clicking the hangouts icon shown on your sidebar. Google+ hangouts were simple to understand for me, so I won’t write too much about it. With it, you can change your appearance, by adding such things as computerized reindeer antlers, and hats to your image. (Google always tries to have a sense of humor with everything.) You can also chat with people on the sidebar during your hangout, and even share videos with them. After this, Facebook copied Google+, and introduced Skype video calling. Still, most people prefer Google hangouts.

      Your profile

      Google+ is great in the sense that you won’t have to worry so much about your information — at least, that’s what they say intentionally because they know many people have not liked how Facebook has handled privacy. So unlike Facebook, Google won’t change settings on you, or automatically set anything public. They make things easy to understand when it comes to deciding who sees what on your profile.

      To see what I mean, click on the profile icon on the sidebar. At the top of your profile, you’ll see two big buttons, one saying “view as….” and another saying, “edit your profile” as seen below:


      When you click on “view as….” you can write a Google+ profile name, and see what your profile look like to them. Shortly after this feature was launched, I find it interesting that Facebook now has that feature, too. (Can you say copycat?) It may be because they’re worried about people leaving them for things like this and going to Google+.

      When you edit your profile, you can change your about page, and write things like a tagline, introduction, bragging rights, and occupation. There’s also an option to change your cover photo, and profile photo. Similar to Facebook, when you change your cover photo, you are choosing a wide, horizontal image that will appear on your profile.

      When editing your profile, you can also see which one of your tabs are visible to people. For example, if you don’t want people to see everything you’re +1 across the web, you can uncheck “show this tab on your profile.” This is shown below:

      So there you go! You’ve learned so much more about Google+! Stay tuned for Everything You Need to Know About Google+, Part 3!

Everything You Need to Know About Google+, Part 1


      Google+ is a social website, similar to Facebook and Twitter. It’s also available as a mobile application for most phones. Google+ was launched by Google about a half a year ago, which makes it fairly new.

      Before, Google+ required you to have an invitation to join, but now anybody ages 13 and up can sign up, without an invitation from Google. Google required this invitation because they wanted to gather insights and thoughts from its first adopters before making it available to everyone.

      Google+ can be confusing to people. It’s different in many ways from Facebook, which has been around for years and is what many people are used to.

      Because Google+ is my favorite social media site, I try to get people to join. (Google does not pay me for my endorsement.) But people don’t usually have time to wait for me to talk on and on about the benefits of joining Google+ so, today, I’ve decided to write a four-part series on how Google+ works.

      Once you’ve signed up at the Google+ homepage here, you’ll see lots of things. A stream of posts, circles, games, local, hangouts, everything. You most likely will be lost at first, but don’t worry. That’s what this series of blog posts is for.
      The first thing I’m going to cover is the stream. Think of the stream as the Facebook newsfeed. Here you’ll see posts of certain people. The stream is the first thing you’ll see when you log into Google+, like Facebook. Here’s what my stream looks like (with certain parts blurred to protect my privacy):



      On the sidebar of your stream are the main things you’ll be able to do with Google+. There you’ll see the icons for your profile, circles, games, photos, explore, local, hangouts, pages, and more. By dragging these icons around the sidebar, you can decide the order of them. For example, if you’d like the game icon to appear at the top of your sidebar instead of the bottom, you would just have to drag and drop it. This, however, along with other features may not be available with the Google+ mobile phone app. Some features, though, are still available for mobile. This is like Facebook’s mobile phone app. Lots of features on Facebook’s website are not available for mobile.

      The posts you see in your stream is determined by the certain people you add to your circles (think of adding to your circles as those who you’ve “friended,” as Facebook would say). You can see those in your circles by clicking on the circle icon on your sidebar. You will see something like this:


      For someone to be in your Google+ circle, you’ll have to select “add a new person.” Then, search for the name of the person you’d like to add, to see if they’re currently on Google+. If they’re not, you can write their email address in that box, and send them a Google+ invitation.
      After that, you’ll have to organize those people the way you want. You can add your family into a “family circle,” and friends to the “friends circle,” and so on. I’m going to explain how this will really help out in my next blog post. So work with your circles, and delete the ones you don’t want, and create the ones you’d like to add.
      And you’re done for today! You’ve learned an overview of Google+, you’ve learned about the stream, about the sidebars, and your circles. Check back soon for part two of Everything You Need to Know About Google+!

Creating A Custom Error 404 Page

      What happens when someone types your website’s URL? What happens if they were to write something like this: yourwebsite.com/abou when they’re supposed to write this: yourwebsite.com/about? What happens when they type in a page that doesn’t exist on your domain? They would see a error 404 page, which tells them that what they wrote is incorrect. You most likely have seen one yourself, if you’ve mistyped a URL.

      Your website builder sometimes might automatically create an error 404 page for you, like this:


      Here’s another example:

      In Google’s case, there’s a robot who is sad because he’s broken into several pieces. The point is clear: Something’s wrong. You should create a custom error 404 page so that your website’s logo appears like Google.
      And here’s another website’s custom error 404 page:


      “So how do you create a custom error 404 page?” You might ask. Read on, to find out how to do so! Note, though, that these instructions may only work with 000webhost.
      First, login to your account at 000webhost. Once logged in, visit your website’s control panel. As shown in How Kids Can Build A Website For Free | Part 2 of 4 enter your file manager. In your public_html folder, create a new file. Name it .htaccess. Then, write this in the html box:

ErrorDocument 404 http://yourwebistedomainnamehere.com/error.html

      Obviously, replace “yourwebsitedomainnamehere” with your own website’s domain. Then, when you’re done, save your work, like this:


      After that, press the arrow next to the save button. Now create a new file. Call it error.html. Below is an example of code I created which you can copy and paste in the html box:

<html>
<body>
<style type=”text/css”>
body {
font-family: Arial;
}
</style>
<center>
<img src=”http://www.yourwebsitehere.files.wordpress.com/2011/11/downtown
.jpg” width=”800px”>
<br>
<h1>Whoops! 404! That’s an error. </h1><br>
That page you’re looking for might’ve been deleted, moved, or perhaps you mistyped it. Why don’t you go back to the <a href=”http://www.yourwebsitehere.wordpress.com”>homepage?</a><br&gt;
</center><br>
</body>
</html>

      Be sure to edit that code, using the help of Lissa Explains It All. You want your own logo, and a link to your own website, right? When you’re done, save your work.

      It’s that easy! You’re done creating your custom error 404 page!

      If you’re still confused, the 000webhost forum might be able to help you.

The Landing Page Is The Most Important

      When visitors visit your website, they determine whether it’s worthwhile or not in a matter of seconds. That’s why your website’s landing page (home page) is so important. If it isn’t eye-catching and useful, hardly anyone will spend their time looking at the rest of your site. Because of this, I’ve written this post, The Landing Page Is The Most Important, to share with you what I learned building a homepage.

      I have found that the most important thing you’ll need to do is get the purpose of your website across in a clear manner. You need something to summarize what your website’s content is. For example, if you’re a graphic design company, you might want to add a eye-catching image that says “graphic design” on your homepage:

      When doing this, visitors will also know right away if your site is or isn’t what they’re looking for. Images might also be best on your homepage, especially if your site is a photography website. A huge slideshow might also be a good idea, depending on the site and your audience.
      I also noticed that about three columns on your site, with a header on each, and a paragraph might also make a for a simple, clean design (see below):


      Don’t clutter your website with too many menu items. Include an “About” tab where you explain the purpose of your website.
      Also, include social media buttons on your homepage. With this, for example, readers can see how many people liked your site, whether it be via Facebook, or maybe Twitter. A “Contact” header lets visitors easily know how to contact you.
      Colors, of course, also impact your homepage and the whole rest of your site a great deal. Here’s what I mean:


      Green obviously makes sense for a landscaping site. This, plus the stone photo, and the obviously noticed headers lets the audience know without a doubt what they’re looking at. Color is indeed a major impact on what your visitors think your site is about. Sites like Pinterest and The Logo Company have great sources for color information.

      Some more homepage layout ideas can be found here:
http://www.w3schools.com/html/html_layout.asp

A Review Of Blogger

      Today I’ve decided to write a review of Blogger, after having used it for two years. That gives me plenty of experience to talk about it.

An Overview

      Blogger is a free blog builder built by Google. Lots of people use it, and it’s been around for years.

      With Blogger, you can do more than just start a blog. With it, people can follow your blog, you can create your own blog theme, view your statistics, etc. .And it’s free, which makes Blogger very awesome.

      Once you create a blog at www.blogger.com the first thing you’ll see is the dashboard. I really like the Blogger dashboard, which is shown below:

      I like the fact that you can see all your blogs, followers, pageviews, amount of posts, etc. right in the dashboard. This makes things easier for new bloggers, and for those who don’t have a lot of time to really learn anything. Navigation is easy, and I don’t find the dashboard too busy. I actually find the WordPress dashboard more confusing to navigate, and somewhat busy.

      One of the coolest features of Blogger to me is the reading list in the dashboard. With the reading list, you can add blogs you like to visit, and those blogs’ posts will show up the moment they’re posted right there in your dashboard. This is really cool. If you have a lot of blogs to keep up with, you won’t have to visit each individually anymore all the time to check for updates. Blogger doesn’t force you to choose from other blogs built with Blogger; you can get updates of blogs built even with WordPress, or almost anything else.

      I give the Blogger dashboard 5 out of 5 stars.

Posting

      I also like all the abilities you have when posting a post. You can customize your text nearly anyway you’d like. There’s different fonts to choose from, you can change the size of your text, you can also change the text color, and add something like a strikethrough or underline your text. You can also uploads photos, and even videos. There’s also an option to create a list, and add links. There’s even a spell check. All these features are shown below:


      Besides this, you can still do many other things such as scheduling a post. When you schedule a post, you choose the date and time for it to appear on your blog. This is good, if, for example, you know you’re going to be busy tomorrow, but still want your viewers to see something on your blog. You can write a blog post today, and your blog viewers will see it tomorrow.

      However, not everything is perfect when you’re posting something to Blogger. Sometimes, there are weird formatting issues, although most of these issues can be easily fixed in the “html” section if you know some code. I’ve also noticed problems sometimes when scheduling posts. Sometimes, when I schedule something, for example, tomorrow, it’ll post today. I don’t know why this happens, although I don’t see how it can be a huge problem, because it rarely happens, and is usually fixed within a few hours.

      Overall, I give posting with Blogger 4 ½ out of 5 stars.

      Tomorrow I’ll continue my review with a look at Blogger statistics and templates.

How to Install A Blogger Theme


      It’s very important to have a nice theme for your blog. You can have the greatest content in the world, but this is still important. Who wants to see a horrible-looking blog? I know I wouldn’t.

      This is why I’ve written this post: How to Install A Blogger Theme. These instructions are for Google’s Blogger, and will not work for installing a theme on other website builders, such as WordPress.

      Although Google has a selection of free, pre-made themes to choose from for your blog hosted by Blogger, these instructions will not teach how to install those. I don’t think it’s the greatest idea to use one of those themes. SO many people across the web have already used them for their blog hosted on Blogger. These instructions will only work for certain websites that provide Blogger themes.

    Log in to your blog
    Make sure you’re viewing your dashboard using the new Blogger interface. If you’re using the old interface, you might be confused about installing your theme. So switch to the new one. You can always go back to the old Blogger interface when you’re done installing your theme.
    Select Template, as shown below:

    In the top right corner of your computer screen, you should see a button that says
    backup/restore. Click on it, as shown below:

    Select Download full template, as circled in red below:


You’re downloading your template, because if anything should go wrong with installing your new theme, you would never be able to get your old one back again. You don’t want that, now do you? That’s why it’s important to have a backup of your current template (template is another word for saying theme, both have the same meanings).
Now that you’ve downloaded your template, close that box. Now select Edit HTML, as shown below:


You’re going to get this message:

Because the code you’re going to put was written by someone who’s an advanced user, select Proceed. Besides, you already have a backup of your current template, so what’s the big deal if something should go wrong?

    Highlight all that code, and then delete it. Now highlight, copy, and paste the code from your provider in that box. If your provider is using old code, it will not work with the new Blogger interface. The old Blogger interface isn’t going to be available starting sometime in May, however, so it’s important to make sure your theme provider is using the new code.
    Now you’re done! Here’s an example of a theme with a pre-made blog theme made by Google on the left, and then with a unique blog theme on the right. It’s a major difference!