Lately I've been seeing a trend for showing passwords on forms. The logic here is – many users mistype because they can't see what they are typing (this is backed by data), and at the same time, on many conditions there is no security advantage. Sure, if there is someone looking at your monitor behind you it will be easier than seeing you type it (unless you are a very slow typer), but that is just one case.
So I think Hide/Show Password is a great idea. If you really want to, you can just hide the password, or show it. It is a JQuery/Zepto plugin and looks easy to use.
One thing that always bothered me about Google Analytics in-page click maps is that you can never tell where a customer clicked if you have several links that go to the same pages.
Now you can easily do it. Took me a couple of minutes to set it up, now I guess I'll have to wait and see if it behaves properly – usually results for these click maps were weird and really different from other services such as CrazyEgg…
I've been setting up a few new sites with WordPress, and the premium themes I bought over time have been a huge source of frustration.
Every single one of them had huge bugs – clipped sections, missing images, and more. On my main blog, I had to edit the code to fix several issues.
So it was a very pleasant surprise when I installed Inspire, from WooThemes. Not only everything worked perfectly, their menu system is particularly good and well organized – instead of the huge pile of unrelated options I've seen on other premium themes.
They have very nice documentation too.
While I was writing this review, I realized Inspire had a new update (looks like they are always getting updated). The site had somehow removed it from my account. I contacted support on a Sunday afternoon, and by Sunday night they had answered and corrected the problem. Awesome!
Very recommended. I will definitely be replacing the theme for this blog when I can.
Dr. Explain is a help authoring tool. It has a major distinguishing feature – it can self document GUIs by grabbing the screenshots, parsing the controls and generating individual graphics and help pages, thus saving any help author a lot of work.
I already use Help & Manual, which is a great tool, but I decided to give Dr. Explain a try.
So how well did it work?
My main computer uses Windows 7 64-bit. On this OS, it seems that sometimes it locks up while looking up controls. I then tried on a XP SP3 VM, where it is works perfectly. Update: The latest version (4.8.659) now works fine on my Windows 7 64-bit machine, too.
It can capture full screens, menu items, toolbars, etc. The capture doesn't always get the right controls, and sometimes it doesn't recognize the control at all.
In these cases, you can still add the control by hand, and it is still a lot better than what I can achieve in Help & Manual.
However, I didn't plan on switching from Help & Manual. I planned on getting the help pages from Dr. Explain and importing them into my existing help. That didn't work as well as I hoped.
One interesting thing to note on the Dr. Explain version is that it has a cool hover effect (both on HTML and CHM formats) on each item – it shows the title, control and description. When importing into H&M, I couldn't figure out a way to retain that. I still liked the overall look, compared to my previous documentation effort.
I believe Dr. Explain is still worth checking out, specially if you are looking for a complete Help Authoring tool. However, I recommend that you download the trial and test how well it works on the programs you intend to document.
PS: Dr. Explain is often featured on Bits Du Jour (a software discount site), so if you sign up and wait you can get a nice discount. As I write this, the deal is for 70% off!
If you want to make a Site Map for Google, Yahoo or Bing, the latest version of WebSite Auditor has a neat new feature that generates a sitemap and even sends it to your site.
If you don't already know, a sitemap is useful in getting search engines to find all the pages in your site – including dynamic pages, forums, blog, etc. You can also suggest a frequency of updates and priorities of page displays.
There are somewhat expensive programs for sitemap generation, but the one in Website Auditor is very simple to use, and a very nice addition to an already very good SEO tool.
SEO PowerSuite includes a range of a tools to help you with daily SEO tasks. So, is SEO Power Suite worth it? I really think so. Read my review of the SEO PowerSuite components for more.
This is my favorite tool in SEO PowerSuite. I use Rank Tracker on a daily basis. The main focus of the program, as the name says, is tracking the rank of any number of keywords.
The main reason you need to track your rankings is because getting on top 10 on the keywords is vital – 99% of clicks go to the first page of results. And it is really hard to focus your SEO efforts if you don't know where you stand, and even more important – what works.
With Rank Tracker it is easy to track your keywords for any number of sites on a large number of local or global search engines. You just set the scheduler and it searches by itself every day, and gives you ranking for those search engines, as well as a graph of your ranking history for each term. It also keeps what was your best ranking for that day – you might be surprised! I've been surprised a couple of times, and for some keywords the page that ranks best actually switches over time.
Since I started using Rank Tracker I've gotten greatly improved ranking on several of my keywords.
Another feature of Rank Tracker is finding you keywords – and showing you what they are worth. It is very easy to pick the wrong keywords, and discover that either the competition for them is extreme, or that they are worthless because no one is looking for them. You can use several tools to find more specific, longer keywords.
Link Assistant is a tool that allows you easily find link partners – which help improve your Google PR. Not only can it look for pages that are relevant to your site, it can also find how good is that partner ranking, generate your reciprocal link directory for you, and (this is important) keep track if your partners are still linking to you!
With bigger directories, that could be very time consuming to do by hand. Link Assistant can look into whole page hierarchies for you, and it also tells you if the link has the Nofollow attribute, which effectively makes the SEO value of the link null.
SEO Spyglass lets you look at a competitor's website and see where their links are coming from. In many cases, you can even get your links from the same place! It also shows you the relative worth (PR and Alexa rankings) of each link.
WebSite Auditor goes through your website, and gives you a report of many things you could be doing better. For example, you might have duplicated titles, pages that don't exist but you link to, HTML errors, your links in several social sharing sites, and much more.
Conclusion of SEO PowerSuite Review
SEO Powersuite tools pack a lot of power. They aren't cheap, but the range of features you get are well worth your initial expense. If you are still not sure, just download their trial version and check it out for yourself – their trials include most of their features.
Just added a new plugin to my main WordPress Install – Analytics360. It allows getting data from both Google Analytics
and MailChimp (where my mail lists are now).
It gives you Analytics data, complete with graphs, referrers and top content. The graphs show when you list campaigns were sent, so you can easily see their effect. It also has filters so you see distinct graphs, such as Total, CPC, Organic, Referral or e-mail list.
Further on the MailChimp side, it also displays subscriber graphs for any of your e-mail lists.
Market Samurai has a bunch of tools for SEO and related fields. Please note that I've used the trial for this review (edit: I later bought the full version).
The tools available are Rank Tracker, Keyword Research, SEO Competition, Domains, Monetization, Find & Publish Content, and Promotion.
The Keyword Research works fine, albeit being limited to Adwords Suggestion Tool (AFAIK). It has several different fields.
Their Rank Tracker is fairly slow. Searching a couple of keywords on Google only takes more time than 50 keywords being searched on Google, Bing and Yahoo on SEO Powersuite's Rank Tracker. It does have interesting, different data on the domain.
SEO Competition shows a view of the competition for a certain keyword, with many important factors available per URL, such as PR, Page Backlinks, etc.
Domains make variations on domain names based on your keywords, and offers options to buy these domain (didn't work when I tried their option to buy on Namecheap). They also use DomainFace to offer aged domains, which could offer existing SEO value such as PR, backlinks, and also Google is supposed to “prefer” older domains.
Monetization finds products to promote from various affiliate programs, and allows generation of Dynamic Ads.
Find Content and Publish Content looks for articles, blog posts, videos and news for your keywords, and allow you to re-publish them.
Promotion searches for opportunities for backlinks. It is similar to the base functionality of Link Assistant. It does have more interesting search options (such as blogs, Yahoo Answers, PhpBB and VBulletin, etc), but seems to lack the tools for automated link requests and reciprocal list generation.
One thing I was quite impressed about Market Samurai is the number of videos (with good transcripts, which I really prefer for most material) they have about the program. There were a number of features I overlooked at first sight, but turned out to be very useful after they were demonstrated.
About the price, Market Samurai (US$149) is cheaper than SEO PowerSuite(US$249), and has free lifetime updates. I think they are both pretty good, and each have different strengths.
In conclusion, I'm using both SEO PowerSuite and Market Samurai. While they have many intersections, they also many different features that makes it worth the price.
If you can only afford one – go with Market Samurai. It is much cheaper and you don't have to pay for continuing updates.
It has a free trial (an unusual 12 days), so you can try it yourself.
Market Samurai 4 out of 5 stars
Update: Right now (12/May/2012) Market Samurai is very much broken, and a lot of the features related to Google won't work anymore. SEO PowerSuite still mostly works fine, but I can't get decent keyword recommendations anymore.
I'm downgrading my number of stars to 1 for the time being.
Update (18/Dec/2012): Rank checking is completely fixed, although limited for the free version.