The 404 Widget – Helping Blog Visitors Find Their Way

Written by on April 30, 2013 under blogs, Widgets

When we see the 404 or “Not Found” Error message during the course of online browsing and surfing, we are sometimes taken aback in thinking about what it means. It is  actually an HTTP standard response code representing the failure to communicate with the server. Placing the 404 widget on a site or blog will help visitors find their way.

Image: Darksair’s photostream 


What Causes 404?

The appearance of the 404 page means that the server was found but it was not able to retrieve the requested pages. It is possible therefore that the requested page may be available in another time although there is no assurance of this. This often results when a page has been removed or deleted or an url has been wrongly typed.

A 404 page occurs because of broken links. These broken links have to be found and addressed accordingly. Broken links can occur from within the site or another site that links to the site displaying 404.


Making the 404 Page Useful

The 404 Page is probably the most neglected part of a site or a blog. Although no one would be really interested in specifically searching for a 404 page, it makes sense to make the page useful in as much as there will be errors bound to occur somewhere along the line.

Many websites have used their creativity to make use of what would be otherwise an unwelcome page for users to see. Conducting searches and ending up with 404 pages can be very frustrating. A 404 Page that shows the way is a positive way of addressing an undesirable error.

To be more useful , the 404 page may contain more than the usual message that the requested page cannot be found. Site owners should consider including a search box to help visitors find what they are looking for. With a little creativity, 404 pages can contain a simple projection of a site’s unique personality through graphics and witty text.


404 Widget

The additional information found on the 404 page can be put in place through 404 widgets such as links that point to the right direction. A snippet of code can also be added to serve a specific function. In some countries fake 404 errors are actually a form of concealed censorship.

It is a good idea to provide links as well to the site’s most popular contents. This provides an option to readers in the event that they are unable to find their originally chosen content. Installing a 301 redirect in the site can also prove useful.

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The Significance of the Alexa Rank Widget

Written by on March 29, 2013 under Widgets


The presence of the Alexa rank widget is very important in monitoring website traffic.  Although there are other options for traffic monitoring, Alexa is deemed the most reliable in the eyes of those who have interest in its use.  The widget itself can provide more than the numbers.

Traffic widgets provide critical information that is quite useful to blog and site owners.  They can provide a clue as to how visitors behave in relation to their offered content. They are likewise expected to provide data in the number of visits, number of pages visited, the unique hits as determined by the IP used, and many others.

Alexa rank is used  by many to determine the popularity of a blog as it ranks all website and blogs that comes within its radar of detection.  Thus, an NA rank from Alexa would simply mean that the site is either too new to be ranked or has too few contents in it to be considered for ranking.  It has to be understood though that they base their ranking on the data that passes through its system.  It would be necessary therefore to install the Alexa widget on blogs while visitors should have an Alexa Toolbar on the browser they use.

Site and blog owners who wish to obtain a high Alexa ranking are advised to perform some tweaks in the way they handle their sites.  The usual advise of regular updating and writing quality content applies here since these always form the basis of blog success.   These  two are major magnets for traffic and back-links which can provide the key to higher Alexa ranking.


Things to Remember About Alexa

1.  The lower the number, the higher the rank.

2.  Ranking is updated daily and is reflected accordingly.

3.  The amount and quality of traffic affects ranking.

4.  It is important to get links from related sites and blogs.

5.  Participation in social networking affects ranking.

Site and blog owners are advised to claim their sites in Alexa so as to have their website metric certified.  Claiming a website will essentially require owners to update contact information, update site information, and to respond to user reviews.  It is fairly easy to do and can be accomplished by following the provided steps.

It makes sense to maximize the use of any widget if it is being used any way.  The data obtained can be used to guide owners in further site or blog development.  Although there is nothing absolute in the data presented, a high Alexa ranking is still seen as an advantage.

Teresa is a researcher-writer who covers a wide range of topics in search of useful information.

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Inspirational Widgets

Written by on February 27, 2013 under Widgets

Inspirational widgets can provide just that- inspiration and motivation for readers.  These widgets can  make the reader experience more positive and pleasurable.  Widgets with messages related to a site is advised although many inspirational quotes are quite general in nature.

Most site owners endeavor to make a user experience a positive one.  Nothing can reflect positivism more than words and images that touch the heart, make a reader ponder, and create a reaction that makes him or her try to be the best that he or she can be.  When something motivates us to do better, that is what inspiration is all about.

It can be very hard to associate technology with inspiration especially of the spiritual kind.  Moving in a world that is highly technical and informal, inspirational quotes placed on blogs and sites provide a personality that cannot be mistaken for something other than human.  Most of the time, sites and blogs that appeal to human emotions and thinking while providing the required information get more readership than others who seem to be all-business.

It should not be forgotten that sites and blog cater to humans and not machines.  Providing relevant information is the main thing but providing a better learning experience  is preferred.  Inspirational quotes are probably the safest and simplest way to personalize a site as they provide words of encouragement and upliftment of the spirit without having to cross the usually complicated area of religious belief.  A reader who comes and leaves a site in positive spirit is one happy visitor indeed.

About the Author:

Teresa is a researcher-writer who covers a wide range of topics in search of useful information.

Image: ascending butterfly

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Related Post Widget

Written by on January 31, 2013 under Widgets

Image: technibits

There is a smart way of leading readers around a blog in relation to finding related content.  This is through the Related-Post Widget which makes it possible to provide visibility to articles that may prove interesting to readers.  It is like providing a ready-made list to readers who may be looking for more information than what a single post can provide.

There is a big benefit in providing this widget in a blog.  Related articles can lengthen the time spent by readers on a blog.  It can also help increase page views as word-of-mouth or word-of-online share gets to more people because of satisfied readers.  Instructions for installing it are found online.

How does a Related-Post Widget help in lengthening the time spent by readers on a blog?  Quite simple really.  When readers continue to see something they like which is usually more relevant information, then bloggers can expect to enjoy lengthier visits from readers.  This is highly beneficial since this connotes a positive action of readers which search engines will categorize as something favorable thereby increasing the value of a site as a relevant source.

How does the same widget help increase page views  It achieves such feat through the simple and natural result of genuine sharing by people who saw something good in the site.  Satisfied readers are like marketing personnel that promotes the site.  The only difference is that they do not need to be paid to do it, just satisfied enough to do the sharing and the recommending on their own volition.  It is important that blogs contain related posts in spite of having several categories to give a semblance of cohesion.

About the Author:

Teresa finds the related post widget very useful for her blogs.

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Social Network Widgets for Bloggers

Written by on January 22, 2013 under Widgets

Image: 1stwebdesigner

Most online readers will be familiar with those small boxes with logos of the so-called proponents of social power over the Internet found on different pages of a blog.  These boxes are the key to effective interaction that can enable blogs to reach the masses.  Why would blogs want to do that?  Because this is where the blog’s potential audience exists and where the audience is, that is where success lies.

These social network widgets are driven by various platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Stumble Upon, Linkedin, and Pinterest, among so many.  These widgets when clicked connects the blog to the advantage of added exposure.  Success at present is all about influence.  When a blog is perceived as an influence by the reaction of the readers, more people will be paying attention to the blog thus further increasing readership.

How is influence determined by the action of readers in relation to social network buttons?  Liking a page through Facebook is tantamount to some sort of approval.  In the process, the information is shared within a reader’s circle of Facebook friends.  Clicking the buttons of other social network platforms will also result to the same scenario – that of sharing information, in this case to blog pages or the blog itself, to a wider circle of friends.

Social networking platforms have been tried and tested in their capacity and ability to make a particular information viral by the sheer number of users.  As the blog page is spread through the simple ripple principle of passing information, more possibilities are opened up for the blog.  Blog owners therefore cannot afford to ignore the power that lies beneath these small buttons.  They can serve as the critical link that encourages the much needed interaction that blogs need to be more visible to their desired audience.

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Nutrition Widgets for Blogs

Written by on December 31, 2012 under Widgets

Image: nourishinteractive

Food and nutrition blogs should consider putting an appropriate nutrition widget on their site.  It does not only make the blog more informative but it also makes it more interactive and friendly to readers.  Primary targets of this type of widget are parents and their children who would like to make learning about nutrition more fun and exciting.

Nutrition widgets can come in the form of games, charts, daily tips, nutrition facts, and healthy recipes.  It is no secret that the road towards proper nutrition can be a tricky one among adults and children alike.  Nutrition widgets just make it a lot more convenient and fun to have access to relevant information.

One interesting nutrition widget is that which offers nutritional analysis for food.  This helps readers in determining what nutritional contents are being offered by the food they eat.  Knowing this simple yet important information can help in making wiser decisions regarding food intake.

Another interesting widget is one that offers meal planners.  This removes the guessing game in determining whether the food combination provided to a family is able to offer sufficient nutrients.  Complete meal planners ensure the family a balanced diet while providing for options if the recommended food is not preferred.

Nutrition widgets are ideal to share with family and friends.  They are useful, practical,   and rarely takes much space in one’s blog.  The animated and interactive games offered by most widgets provide the perfect online nutrition tool that can readily be appreciated by families.

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The Visitor Widget

Written by on December 2, 2012 under Widgets

Image: blogbulk

Blogs and sites are always interested to know how many visitors are paying them a visit.  This is but natural since having access to statistics pertaining to visits can provide a clear basis for performance   Knowing this data can help sites improve their offering through the use of visitor widgets.

Visitor widgets does not only reveal the number of visits that happened.  The data they provide can also reveal the number of unique visitors,  the keyword used to find the site, the approximate physical location of the visitor and the number of pages visited in a site.  Co-relating these data makes it easier for site owners to determine their points of improvement in attracting visitors.

It is important to determine the uniqueness of visits so as not to inflate the actual number that may lead a site to falsely believe that it is getting such a number of visitors when the truth is that only one visitor has been making multiple visits. This is detected by the use of cookies which can detect if a visit is coming from the same IP address.  Although there are IP addresses that are dynamic and can change every time the user connects to the Internet, this is not as common as the permanent ones.

Site owners will just have to determine  what kind of widget will work best for them.  Would they want their visitor data displayed on public?  How much traffic tracking do they need?  The choice will actually depend on how a site would like to project the visitor data that it is getting.


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Finding the Best Android Widget

Written by on November 14, 2012 under Widgets

The wide availability of widgets is one of the advantages of Android over IOS.  Users find these convenient and interesting because they allow a more interactive approach to communication, viewing and living in general.  Some can even be availed of for free.

There are widgets that provide attractive Android home screens.  With the great interest of people in beautiful and flashy gadgets, it is just expected that they would want widgets to personalize their home screens as well.  There are also either widgets that not only provide accurate information about temperature, precipitation, and sunrise or sunset times but are also presented in such pretty graphics.

Various widgets can transform a home screen into a virtual work of art with the vast range of design options.  Aside from beauty however, added functionality is always an attractive option for gadget users.  From convenient listening to music, more built-in controls, audio management, and taking down notes by picture or voice memo.

Information is another key feature of widgets for Android gadgets.  These would include sports, video, and scoring information, worldwide news, and dictionary access.  Communication is an obvious concern in relation to Android gadgets so there are many that answer to this.  These includes Twitter widgets, messenger widgets that get messages coming from different sources such as email, texts, Twitter, Facebook, and Gmail.  Widgets that allow users to avail of cheap international calls and free text messages such as those offered by Google Voice come in quite handy.  There is also a widget that allows users to monitor the data amount uses and what apps are causing such usage.

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The Importance of Widgets

Written by on October 25, 2012 under Widgets

Image: journaldugeek

Question:  Can a site survive without using any widget?

Answer:  Probably, but something will obviously be missing.

Widgets were not as numerous or as active before.  Sites and blogs of today use so many that it is sometimes distracting to the readers.  When site owners do not fall into the trap of overdoing it, widget use is one of the most effective ways of maximizing the potentials of a site or blog.

Widgets make sites and blogs more interesting, interactive, and functional.  In fact, they can be so entertaining that is is very easy to get carried away and place every available widget offered for use.  Site owners have to understand that every widget has a specific purpose and not every purpose will fit the purpose of a site.  Putting widgets that do not go with the basic direction of the site just shows the lack of care a site owner has for the readers.  Sites which respect their readers do not place anything that will not be useful since doing so only works to make the reading experience unpleasant.

Too many widgets can distract the attention of readers especially those that block a part of the content, move around or is just plain disturbing to the eye.  It is always best to determine what the site needs in terms of widgets and then choose only the ones that are most applicable.  Site owners should heed the advice of many to err in the side of caution which is to start with a few instead of a single drop of various unrelated widgets since adding as the need arises is very easy to do.



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Why WordPress Widgets Plugins are Popular

Written by on October 1, 2012 under blogs, Widgets

Widgets are usually placed in websites through coding.  While it is not exactly difficult to do, users will of course prefer to take advantage of more convenient options.  Many WordPress widget plugins have been readily provided without the necessity of coding and this has allowed users to have more freedom in experimenting with their own site.

The reason why WordPress widget plugins are popular is because of the absence of the need to have specific coding skills.  Default conditions are typically provided coupled with a good number of application possibilities.  Unlimited customization opportunities are likewise available.

Many website owners are under the impression that a custom-made lay-out is the way to go if uniqueness is to be achieved at all.  While true to a certain extent, it is of special note that a unique lay-out and functionality can be obtained using pre-designed templates with the proper use of widgets that are widely available.  Website developers can easily manipulate their content visibility in any which way that will best support their purposes to promote their site.

It is no secret that web developers regularly update their sites not only with relevant contents but also with other features that could make the total experience of visiting a site a positive one.  Relevant widgets help make this happen.  Online users are always on the lookout for sites that does not only give them the information they need but also a better reason for them to appreciate the site and come back wanting for more.  Widgets provide an image of activity and concern on the part of a website to enhance a user’s visit.  The recent posts feature, for example, has been made to be more informative by the display of title, author, date, comment count, and excerpts depending on the provided control.


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