Today we updated the Lifeyo photo uploader with a great way to search for photos on Flickr.
Looking for the perfect stock photo for your website? Just enter a term and we'll find them for you using Flickr's Creative Commons search tool. You can freely use the photos that appear provided that you credit the author - this credit is added automatically to the footer section of your website to make it easy for you.
Today DesignModo, a great resource for designers and web developers just published an article about what to look for in a great website building tool. We're excited that Lifeyo made the cut!
Check out the article to get a better idea of what goes into making website building easy. It's more than just templates - it's things like pixel-level design control and a beautiful visual editing user interface.
That's it folks! Apple has officially discontinued their MobileMe website hosting as of Saturday. This past week we've had a fun time working with MobileMe customers who have contacted us to switch their websites over to Lifeyo.
Fortunately, if you still haven't made the jump for your MobileMe site, Apple is still providing access to your files for a limited time.
Contact us today if you'd like some help migrating your website!
Have you used iWeb and MobileMe to build and host your website? You might know that on Jun 30th, MobileMe is closing down!
For a limited time we're offering a concierge website transfer service for Apple MobileMe customers. For just $99 we will help move your website over to Lifeyo. Get more information and apply at: http://iweb.lifeyo.com
Once you add content to your website and add the finishing touches, you might be wondering what's next. Part of a successful launch checklist is ensuring that you optimize your website for search engines. Lifeyo provides some simple yet very necessary tools you should take advantage of to give your new website the best chance for performing well in search results.
Step 1: Optimize Your Website Title
It goes without saying that your website title explains to visitors what your site is all about. But as we've learned in Part 1 of the SEO Lesson, your website's title is an important tool Google uses to determine relevancy.
To set your title in Lifeyo, click Options ---> Manage Settings and SEO
In the "Search Engine Optimization" tab, make sure to include a title that contains keywords people might use to find your website in Google.
Our example, "Michael's Cleaners & Tuxedos - Solvang Dry Cleaning" has plenty of high value keywords while still including the business name. Be sure to emphasize general keywords people might use to find your business. In this case "Solvang Dry Cleaning" is a proposed term
Step 2: Add a Description
A description is just as important in search results as a good title, but in a slightly different way. When a potential visitor sees a search result, a description is your best chance at convincing that person to click-through. Keep it short and sweet - 150-160 characters is best.
Set your description just below the Title in your Search Engine Optimization panel.
Our example, conveys succinctly what the business does while emphasizing the key points "Family-owned" "Solvang"
Step 3: Add Keywords
In the keywords section, add about 10 words separated by comma that describe your website. Although Google does not use keywords to determine search ranking, other search engines do such as Yahoo and Bing.
How did we do?
Pretty well! Searching for "Solvang Cleaners" in Google shows that our website appears in the third ranking! Notice the words Google puts in bold - these are all targeted keywords the search engine found when determining how to rank our website. A good title, domain name, website content and description.
If you have any questions or would like a quick one-on-one SEO session for your website, please get in touch via our support page! We'd be happy to help.
In this article, we'll give you a whirlwind tour of what you need to know in order to give your website the best chance at getting a great position in search results. Part 1 will be the basics of how search engines work and Part 2 will explain what you need to do in Lifeyo to get results.
What a Search Result Looks Like:
Before we dive into the basics of SEO, let's take a step back and learn how a search engine works. Google, for example, is simply a service that looks for webpages on the Internet and then makes those webpages easy to find by ranking them.
There are two key things that a search engine does:
A) Looks for information.
B) Decides on the quality of the information it finds.
Now lets deconstruct a typical Google result. Here I'm searching for "Surfing Lessons in Los Angeles"
The blue text is called the Title. The orange text is called the "URL" or "Address." Just below is the Description.
Now let's get an understanding of what Google is looking for when someone searches for your website. Notice in the search above that certain words are in bold. In the title for example, "LA - Surf Lessons" is highlighted, "surfla" in the address, and "Surf lessons" in the description.
That's because my original search for "Surfing lessons in Los Angeles" asked Google to find the best results for webpages that contain what I'm looking for. When Google responded back, they kindly showed what words triggered their interest, in bold.
Knowing this, it's important that you think about what keywords people will use when searching for your website. It goes without saying that making sure your desired keywords are prominent in the title, url, and description is very important. In Part 2 we’ll go into detail about how to craft the perfect Title and Description.
How Google ranks pages:
Now that we know how Google (and other search engines) list results, we know how important it is to make sure that our Title, URL, and Description contain content that is relevant to what keywords you think people will use when searching for your website. Fortunately you have direct control over this information within your Lifeyo Dashboard (more on that in Part 2 of this post).
You might be asking, “If I am in a competitive industry, why is it not enough for me to just title my page “Los Angeles Real Estate” and expect to be in the top five results?
The answer is that having the right text in your search engine listing is often enough to rank well, but for more competitive keywords, Google must use other factors when deciding if your website is valuable enough to have a top listing since there are so many similar websites to choose from.
That’s where the content on your website is very important. You want to make sure that the keywords you want people to use to find your website are prominently displayed in pages, text, blog posts, etc.
But what’s even more important is having other websites link to you. Google judges how popular your website is largely based on how many incoming links you have. An example of a quality incoming link is a story a local newspaper did about how great your surfing lessons are. If that article contains a link to your website then Google sees that a popular site linked to you. Generally speaking, incoming links are the most important thing you can do to improve your search engine positioning.
OK, thanks for reading. Look forward to Part 2, where we’ll go into detail about using Lifeyo to optimize your website for search engine results!
We're revamping the Lifeyo text editor and are about to release the update next week. Thanks to all your feedback, we decided that managing text on your website should be an easier/more intuitive process. So we've made the editor "in-line" meaning that you can modify text directly on the page without the need for a separate window.
Expect more custom fonts, the ability to modify styles across all pages, and a more beautiful user interface!
When I first started Lifeyo less than two years ago, I envisioned an easy way to build a website. Looking back at those early days, I never could have imagined the sense of pride and excitement we would get from watching Lifeyo grow from a site used by just a handful of friends to a product used by thousands of people all over the world.
It's humbling to be building a company that people from all kinds of backgrounds can get excited about - from small business owners who are building their first-ever website to seasoned web nerds like myself. Our focus on ease and simplicity is what carries us forward, and we're excited more than ever for the developments to come in 2012. Here's what to expect in the coming months:
* More High Quality Themes
* More Pro Features
* Significant Editor Improvements
* Drop-Down Navigation Menus
- Mike and the Lifeyo Team
We're excited to have just launched a new Showcase page that highlights some of the great websites you guys have made with Lifeyo. Hat's off to how diverse and interesting your businesses, projects, and lives are!
If you'd like to be featured in the Showcase, just drop me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org
Last month I was invited to participate in a panel discussion on tech entrepreneurship at the University of Southern California Annenberg Innovation Lab. It was exciting to join other local startup founders to discuss the challenges of building a company. I'm usually pretty reserved when it comes to offering advice to would-be entrepreneurs, but I was impressed with the level of insight and honesty that came from the discussion.
There was a diverse mix of startups, from the travel website Triptrotting to the hilarious viral video creators at Denizen. One of the requirements for each panelist was to create a 1-minute video about a major setback we encountered. While I don't have access to all the videos that were presented, I offer you my humble and hilarious submission:
We're hard at work developing a handful of new themes that we think you'll really enjoy. Our focus with this set is to allow for left-hand navigation and to keep things as simple as possible in a sleek, modern design.
As a bonus, we are creating a new signature theme for our friends at the Pipeline Fellowship. The Pipeline Fellowship is an incredible organization that trains women philanthropists to become angel investors through education, mentoring, and practice. The group invests in women-led for-profit social ventures.
There was a time not too long ago where million-dollar film budgets came with slick Interactive Websites featured on the World Wide Web. Funny enough, many classic movies from the 90's still proudly host these technological marvels.
Who knows how long these cultural artifacts will last? With Nickelodeon recently announcing they're bringing back '90s shows like Rugrats...maybe forever?
So fire up that 56k modem and tell mom not to use the telephone, because you're going back in time, friend!
90's Nostalgia: SpaceJam grossed $27million on opening weekend, and grossed $230million worldwide. Charles Barkley appears in this film and in the NBA Jam video game franchise…"You're On Fire!!!"
Jurassic Park - The Lost World
The Sequel: The Dinos are back! This time on a deserted island, and not nearly as cool as the original. Despite RottenTomatoes 51% approval, the film earns $618 million worldwide. Franchise, baby!
You've Got Mail
(Ding) "You've Got Mail." Remember AOL? A/S/L please. This film hijacked the original Facebook, but made no sense to today's average 90's nostalgia 25 year old. There was, like, kissing involved in this movie. Not T-Rex.
Wild Wild West
This movie was no Men in Black. The whole Steampunk premise didn't make sense in the 90's - I mean we wanted the future, not some weird re-hashing of what we didn't have yet. Plus Cory Doctorow and the crew at BoingBoing.net didn't even exist yet!
Sometimes all you need is a jumpstart. We created a series of tutorial videos that show the website editor in action.
We'll be adding more videos in the future so please feel free to send us suggestions on what tutorials you'd like to see next!
To check out the tutorial, head over to the support center by clicking here.
Over the past month, I have been working on a short film that shows how people use LIFEYO to build their websites. Today, I'm excited to let the video out into the wild!
What makes LIFEYO special is the people who use it.
A big thank you to Jerry Ashcroff, Ben Fong-Torres, and Sarah Woo for allowing me to tell their story. Thanks Jerry for letting me hang out at Lola Gaspar, Ben for inviting me into your San Francisco studio, and Sarah for having me follow along at the famous Ferry Building Farmers Market!
Please Enjoy the Video:
Jerry Ashcroff, owner of Lola Gaspar restaurant in Santa Ana, CA
Ben Fong-Torres, rock journalist and former editor of Rolling Stone Magazine
Sarah Woo, a law student with a food blog called Winner Celebration Party.
Video: Shot, edited and narrated by Mike Kai.
This week's featured website hails from Los Angeles: Home of gridlock traffic, Hollywood, and miles of sun-soaked beaches.
With summer winding down, I've been trying my best to get out and catch some waves. But since we're glued to the screen working hard on Lifeyo, the second best thing is writing about our surf-loving users!
Meet Dave Osborn, proprieter of Fin Surf Shop, a mobile operation based out of Silverlake. Fin is all about curating new and vintage boards as well as spreading surf stoke to LA's seasoned and newbie surfers. On his site you'll find a blog ("Blagher"), an online store with Fin-origina shirts by artists Michael Hsiung and Michael Stilkey, and more.
Dave was gracious enough to be our featured site and answer a few questions for the Lifeyo blog. Enjoy!
Find Fin Surf Shop online at: www.FinSurfShop.com
How did you come up with the idea for Fin Surf Shop?
The idea for fin started as soon as I moved back to LA from the midwest. I had been in Chicago for about eight years and was only able to surf on trips back to the west coast. I missed surfing so much that I was surfing everyday I could when I returned. Immediately I noticed that there was no place for me to pick up a bar of wax in my neighborhood. I've spent most of my life working in the surf / skate industry so opening a shop out here on the east side seemed like a logical step. I have also been inspired by the creative turn that the surfing world has taken over the last 10 years. I love the exploration of board design that is going on and the DIY nature that the sport has taken. Surfing really needed it and I want to provide a venue for shapers and artists that are embracing the current creative climate of surfing.
Tell me a little about surfing in LA. What's the best way to start for someone who's never surfed before?
Surfing in LA is great! People love to hate LA for numerous reasons like traffic, smog, all the "fake" people but I say thats all bullshit. LA is rad and I love it completely. There are tons of great spots in LA from the South Bay all the way up to County Line. So many different types of breaks to chose from: beach breaks to the greatest point break on the planet, Malibu. Yeah its crowded and often insane but with such an amazing wave in one of the biggest cities in the country what do you expect? I am so stoked to be back in LA and surfing.
It's all what you make it, and out here we have all kinds of people that are surfers that I think that should be recognized and appreciated. As far as starting surfing there are a few places that are full of beginners, Sunset is the main one. There is so much etiquette that goes along with surfing that every surfer should know. Simple rules that make surfing more pleasant for everyone. I feel that a lot of that etiquette has been lost over the years and I would suggest to anyone starting out to do your research and lean what not to do so you don't hurt yourself or anyone else in the water.
What inspired you to use Lifeyo? What do you like about it and what's your goal for the Fin Surf Shop website?
When I started Fin my biggest fear was building the website. I know nothing of web design and HTML is terrifying to me. We have a friend that does web design and helped us get the site going with Wordpress. I though it would be fine but every time i wanted to do something it would take forever to get anything done and we'd have to contact our friend for help. I really just wanted to be able to get things done when I needed.
My other friend, Mike Hsiung, told me about Lifeyo. He knew I was having tons of problems with Wordpress so showed me Lifeyo and I haven't looked back. I got done with setting up the entire site in just a few sittings, where I had been working on tying to fix blurry images on the Wordpress site for weeks! Lifeyo works great for Fin, it's so easy for me to do what I want easily and hassle free. Its so intuitive, like a mac program, where you think about how you want to do something and you just do it and it works. If i want to put up some photos for the blog or add new products to the store it all works first try! I highly recommend it to any one trying to build a site.
Thanks to some great user feedback, we're happy to announce the addition of a new feature that allows you to make copies of pages in your website. Works great for product pages, or anything you would like to duplicate!
If you are alive and breathing in the year 2011, there's a good chance that you have a Facebook profile, a LinkedIn account, and maybe even some Twitter followers.
As you probably know already, having a website is a great way to create a dedicated online place for your business, family, or creative pursuits. One way to make your website even better is by making it a part of your social media ecosystem.
Here are some ways LIFEYO lets you integrate social media into your website
Social Icons are simple graphics that link to your profiles. Just enter the web address of your profile and choose the icon style (there's lots to choose from!)
Facebook Like Buttons
A like button is a simple way to drive more awareness about your website. When a visitor clicks "Like," your website appears in his/her Facebook News Feed.
Facebook Fan/Like Box
If you have a Fan page for your business, you can add a box that contains the latest posts, profile pictures of members, and of course, the ability for a visitor to "Become a Fan"
Now this is where it gets fun. With LIFEYO you can add a comment box to any page in your website. Treat it like a guestbook or as a way for people to chat with each other. Visitors have the ability to post comments to their Facebook news feed -- this in turn can help drive awareness to your website.
In the next few months we'll be rolling out expanded integration with social media. We're drinking the Kool-Aid and want to make website-building a truly social experience. So stay tuned!
Today's featured Lifeyo site is from LA-based blogger, I Heart Woo
The blog is curated by Jenny Woo, a camera assistant by trade who has a penchant for art, design, film, and food trucks. The cool thing about I Heart Woo is how each post is a mini-adventure: The search for the perfect espresso in NYC, or a personal interview between
Super 8 filmmaker, JJ Abrams, and composer, Michael Giacchino.
Checkout I Heart Woo at http://iheartwoo.lifeyo.com
One of the great things about working as a small team here at LIFEYO is being able to iterate constantly on our product. As the person behind all the user experience and graphic design, I love doing user testing and listening to people's feedback.
Although hard to swallow at times, the best feedback comes from people who say your product is hard to use. Often the same person that can't figure out how to use your web application may generally feel intimidated by technology, but, it's those moments when the user is frantically moving their mouse that I find most valuable.
Which brings me to the toolbar. In our previous version, we conserved vertical space in an effort to emphasize the visual experience of editing your website. From time to time, we'd do a test and the user would log into the editor, and then have no idea what to do next. After some digging, we found that the toolbar was just not visible enough.
An aside: if you've ever looked at your parent's computer and wondered why there are so many random toolbars loaded up in the browser, it's either A) They just happen to love having five different ways to search the Internet and want to make sure every site is "virus free" or B) They never saw the toolbars (that take up half browser) in the first place -- they just happened to install them inadvertently, and in the process, made a spam company a few dollars.
So you'll notice our new toolbar is a bit bigger, a bit sleeker, and lets you check out all the things you can do without clicking a drop-down menu. For people with small monitors, you can minimize the tool bar if you'd like. Enjoy!
LIFEYO just got a new suit! We've been hard at work optimizing the site creation process and we're excited to show the results. Now when you create a website, you get an experience that does the creative inspiration for you. At the same time, you still have incredible control over everything.
We've updated the editor, too. It's getting more stable and streamlined each day.
As always, thanks for using our product and for all the great feedback. If you ever have questions/comments feel free to email me at email@example.com
In the music and journalism biz, Ben Fong-Torres needs no introduction. He was an editor of Rolling Stone magazine when it was still a fledgling underground mag, and he'd go on to introduce America to the likes of Michael Jackson, Ray Charles, and Bob Dylan. Today he is a prolific writer and broadcaster.
We're honored that Ben chose LIFEYO to get his website up and running.
Big news from the land of a thousand smiles! Many months in the making, we have set up shop here in Bangkok where the people are friendly and the food is spicy.
Just about twelve months ago I traveled here with my girlfriend for the first time, and as is the case with many visitors, made it a point to come back as soon as possible.
When Wiwat finished his Ph.D. in computer science at the University of California Irvine recently, we jumped at the opportunity to open an office in his home country.
What this means for LIFEYO is bigger and better things. We are hiring more developers and planning to internationalize the service. For users, this means more frequent improvements, better customer service, and an even easier-to-use product. For me, this means lots of plane trips back and forth between continents, and epic rides in "Tuk-Tuks"
Expect to see more momentum in the upcoming weeks, and as always keep sending us your valuable feedback!
p.s. If you are a developer in Bangkok and want to join the team, we would love to hear from you!
More photos from the new office:
At Lifeyo, we fall head over heels for good design and typography.
Just released is an update that gives you a ton of control over your blog post appearance. You can now choose from custom fonts, or turn on/off specific elements. Want to go for a minimalist theme? Then hide everything but the post title. Give it a shot and let us know what you think!
Hey Lifeyo fans, sorry for the lack of blog posts! We've been hard at work here at the Lifeyo HQ, fixing bugs, working on new features, and taking in all your helpful feedback. Some of you have asked whether it's possible to have multiple users editing one website. Today's your day!
We're excited to take the wraps off the new Multiple Editors feature. With Multiple Editors, you now have the ability to grant multiple people access to a Lifeyo website.
This is a great feature for, say, an organization that wants multiple authors for their blog, or anyone who wants to build and maintain a website with the help of their friends.
Adding an editor to your Lifeyo website is easy. Just click the "Share" button in the Dashboard or Editor to send an email invitation to your new collaborator. Once that person accepts your invitation, he or she will be able to access your website the same way you can.
Give it a shot and let me know what you think! Feel free to send me a message at firstname.lastname@example.org
There is a very cool film project going on at k2d7movie.com
Through the story of two best friends, the film's mission is to raise awareness for the campaign against cancer. If you like independent film, you'll enjoy following along with the production of KNIGHT TO D7.
With their website, the filmmakers have done an amazing job using Lifeyo integrate social media, video, and even a way to help fund the film through Kickstarter.
A big thank you to the educators that have written in lately about your experiences using Lifeyo in the classroom! It's great to get the unsolicited feedback, and we're happy to hear that our tools are easy to use and easy to teach.
Lately, we've seen a number of Lifeyo-built websites that showcase student work or serve as an information resource for an entire school.
A great example that was created recently is the website for the School at St. George Place in Houston, TX.
The creator has done an excellent job integrating rich content such as classroom videos and a calendar of events using Google calendar. Sure looks like a great resource for parents and teachers!
Sean Doran's collaborative music outlet based in Cleveland, Ohio. Best way to describe the sound-- it knows no specific genre but elicits many unique and familiar thoughts. Great stuff!
Check out his site for live recording samples and leave a comment!
Wow, I had no idea that this story would become such an overnight sensation...
People love Fiddler! As a result, our startup Lifeyo.com has gotten some cool coverage-- if only I can thank the little guy! It feels good to know that he's doing OK at the Pacific Marine Mammal Center in Laguna Beach, where he's got a buffet of tasty fish in order to gain weight and get back into the wild.
If you'd like to stay updated on Fiddler's progress, I've setup a Facebook Fan Page for him. I'll be updating this page over the next 2-3 months and hopefully I can visit Fiddler to document his progress.
Join here: Fiddler's Facebook Fan Page
Also Fiddler was on the news today:
ABC 7 News Video below
UPDATE: Join Fiddler's Facebook Fan Page
The sound of someone shuffling around on the roofdeck of my apartment this morning woke me up at 6:30am. Groggy, I threw on some clothes to see what was going on.
Just as I crest the top stair, to my surprise I see a baby seal hanging out! At this point I can't tell if I'm still dreaming or not, so I go downstairs and grab my camera. Take a photo- yes, check, baby seal on camera.
So I call Newport Beach animal control. Our conversation went something like this:
Police: "Hello, Newport Beach police."
Me: "Hi, um, there is a sea lion on my roof."
Police: "Sir, there is a what on your roof?"
Me: "A sea lion. Can you come and help him out?"
Police: "OK Sir." Pause....laughter "We'll send someone over right away." (incredulously)
Meanwhile, I snap some more photos of the little guy. My roommate is up and our neighbor comes to check it out too. I think, maybe this guy can be my friend? Maybe he can live in my bathtub like the 1994 classic movie "Andre?" We'd hang out all the time and people would respect us. If they didn't we would escape on a wild adventure...
That didn't happen, rather, a guy in an animal control truck rolls up. Before he goes up the stairs, Andre, I mean the seal, climbs up on the railing and looks like he's gonna jump!
We try to talk him down but he looks like he's just showing off. Moments later, Andre gets put in a box. Andre looks bummed. Andre gets taken to the Marine Mammal Center in Laguna Beach, to get checked out before being released.
Goodbye Andre. Next time you visit I promise I won't call animal control on you again...
Update 4PM PST April 23rd:
Wow, people are loving this story around the world! I'm humbled by all this coverage:
KABC-TV Los Angeles
WATCH: Sea Lion Found On Newport Beach Rooftop
Sky News (UK)
How Did Sea Lion Get On The Flipping Roof?
Herald Sun (Australia)
Sea lion pup found on rooftop deck in California
NBC Los Angeles
Flipper on the Roof
Video shows baby sea lion on Newport roof
UPDATE: Join Fiddler's Facebook Fan Page
Documentary filmmaker Amy Montalvo is on a mission to tell important stories.
Amy's travelled around the world in order to profile humanitarian organizations-- groups that are large, small, and everything in between.
The goal of her work is simple: give these groups the recognition they deserve and hopefully give them better access to funding sources so they can continue to provide much-needed help.
We're proud of the fact that she's using Lifeyo as a platform to share her work with the world. Keep up the great work Amy!
From our home to yours, stay updated on the latest ideas, features, and surf reports from LIFEYO HQ.
- Lifeyo now supports Flickr Photo Search
- Lifeyo gets some DesignModo love
- Apple's Mobile Me is Over But It's Not Too Late!
- Save Your iWeb Website!
- How to Get Listed Well in Google: Part 2
- How to Get Listed Well in Google: Part 1
- Sneak Preview: Updated Text Editor
- Thanks from the Lifeyo Team
- We Love Our Users!
- Panel Discussion at the University of Southern California
- New Themes Preview
- 7 Incredible Film Websites From the 90's that Are Still Online!
- New Tutorial Videos
- Telling The Story Of Our Users (Video)
- Featured Website: Fin Surf Shop