making our websites work

Category: Beginner Basics

things beginners need to know

Cheer On A Fellow Blogger

Last month I received this sweet email that really keeps me motivated to stick to this thing I do on the side.

Hi, Judi!  I just wanted to take a minute to let you know your site is so helpful to me!  I have spent a few hours reading it this last week, and I am just thrilled to have all this information in one, easy to navigate site.  As I am about to get my blog up and running, I figure your site has probably taken a good two months and a few grey hairs out of the process. :)

I married a beef cattleman about 8 years ago and I feel like I’ve been incubating this whole time – learning an industry, learning to laugh instead of cry – and now I’m about ready to hatch.  I have claimed privacy considerations, blogging research and writing an initial body of content as my delays to starting a blog over the past couple of months.  But, I’m just going to have to get over it, because your site and all the other great ag blogs I have found via your site have encouraged me to stop hiding and get started.

Keep up the great work!

Thank You, E.G. for the kind words.cheer on a blogger

I’m sure you are not alone in your suspended animation of blogging. There are other potential posters who just can’t seem to pull the trigger for one reason or another. Mostly I think it is fear. of rejection, or comparison or even success.

I have found just about everything I was so worried about; never turned out to be half as bad as I made it in my mind.

Hopefully, E.G., you will find a way to get past the fear and fire up that blog. You’ll find there will be lots of people to cheer you on. I bet once you get started; you’ll never understand what took you so long.

Come on in the water is fine!

Anyone else have some words of encouragement for E.G.?

Never Run Out of Storage on Blogger

Warning: If you are not using Blogger, do not read this post. It contains information you really don’t want to know. Trust me on this.

After Val asked me what to do about running out of storage on her blogger blog, I made some discoveries while looking into the issue.never run out of storage on blogger

File Size Matters

Blogger gives 1 gigabyte storage on their free blogs. Most people get into trouble using up the allotted space because of the large images they upload. Most bloggers don’t realize that an image size can be rather small and still look good on a computer screen. I show an example of this in an earlier post, Resize Your Photos. As a rule of thumb upload photos that are 150 to 300kb in size or 900×600 pixels. Which one you use depends on which photo editor you have.

Side benefits to resizing is faster uploading of the images for you and quicker site loading for your readers.

Where’s the limit?

Blogger uses Picasa Web Albums to store images. The following is a quote from google support.

Picasa Web Albums offers 1 GB of free storage for photos and videos. However, files under certain size limits don’t count towards this free storage limit. This applies to uploads for other Google product that store photos and videos in Picasa Web Albums, including Blogger, Google+ and Google Maps.

Photos up to 800 x 800 pixels and videos up to 15 minutes won’t count towards your free storage.

What does this mean? That if you upload your images under the above mentioned size, you shouldn’t run out of storage! Isn’t that cool? But is it true? Let’s find out.

Find Your Number

Did you know you can check how much space you have used of the 1gb storage? Go to Picasa Web Albums and log in with your google password. At the bottom of the page you will see something similar to this…

storage amount

This number is my storage amount for all my google images of which there are 1,397. That’s right. I have 1,397 images and have used 0%. This is impressive but there is something else…

The Other Limit

Besides the storage limits there are Account Upload limits.

Maximum number of photos per web album: 1,000

Every time you add a photo to your blog it is assigned to an album with your blog’s name as the album title. Each album’s capacity is 1000 photos.

Once you go over that 1000 limit, Picasa Web should create a new album for your blog to store another 1000 pictures. Here’s a catch: adding that 1001st picture has to be done with your computer NOT your smart phone. (Are you pulling your hair out yet?)

What Have We Learned?

I have spent more time researching this than I care to admit. Once I learned one thing I would click to another page and find out more. Then I would search forums and blogs to know if there were ways around the limits. It is never ending really. So, I’ll break it down into two things to remember:

  1. Reduce the size of your pictures to be uploaded to 800×800 pixels. This will not be counted in your storage limit.
  2. When you come to the album’s 1000 photo limit, upload the next photo with your computer (not your smartphone or tablet just to be safe)


There is this from google support:

When you reach your storage limit, any new photos you upload to Picasa Web larger than the free size limit will be automatically resized to 800 pixels (on their longest edge).

So if you are over the 1gb limit and can’t upload any more photos to blogger, try reducing the size to less than 800 pixels before uploading. From what the support states, you should be able to.

If you’ve done all that I have prescribed above and continue to get the “Photo Limit Reached” box, you will have to use a photo link from a new Picasa Web album or Photobucket. I described this in my previous post.

For those who didn’t heed my warning: In the next post, I’ll cover’s storage limit.

Tell me: Has this helped or confused you Blogger bloggers?

How to Change Your Website’s Theme

Continuing on Building a Website for Your Ag Businesschange websites theme

Previously we discussed why farmers should have a web presence then which setting and pages to start with. Today we’ll see how to

Change Your Website’s


If you want, you can go with the default theme. It will work fine. In the tutorial I choose a theme that doesn’t have a header picture. That is a personal preference. I like my sites to be uncluttered. Also headers can take away precious real estate that appears above the fold. I like all the information possible to show without scrolling. But if you have your heart set on a header, choose a theme with a header. Simple as that.

YouTube Preview Image


Blogging is Like Playing the Guitar

How Blogging is Supposed to Be

A few weeks ago I gave a presentation to an Ag Communications class at Missouri State University. I had a wonderful time talking to the students and viewing Blogging like learning the guitartheir blogs.  One topic came up that has stuck with me. It seems that all their blogs looked alike. At that time we discussed changing the theme to solve the problem. As I have come to think on this further, it’s kinda the way it’s supposed to be.

The Guitar Part

Think of it as learning to play the guitar. Everyone starts the same way. You have to learn the cords first. Every new player starts out sounding the same; making the same mistakes. They begin with the basics, practice. Those who stick with it improve and can sound amazing and impressive even.

Blogging is the same way. New bloggers have to learn the basics, make the mistakes, and practice to improve. Every blogger starts out the same. Those who have stuck with it have unique, impressive blogs.

What’s Important

I know it doesn’t sound sexy but don’t worry about how your blog looks just starting out. Focus on learning how a blog works and finding your voice. These two are so critical in earning your reader’s attention. Sure the aesthetics are important but readers will return for the content not how cute your header is.
Just like you can’t play guitar like Carlos Santana (famous guitar guy) the first time you pick it up; it’s going to take time to get your blog to where you want it to be.

What do you think? What are you focusing on right now?

Stop the Excuses; Start Blogging

Before you can Speed Blog, you have to actually have a blog. Luckily for everyone wishing to start blogging, it is so easy. And if you have an ag business, you really can’t use the excuse that you don’t have enough time. I have considered writing about how to start a blog, but when I saw the following infographic I knew I had to share it. I mean why reinvent the wheel, right? So give your ag business a boost into the 21 century and start a blog/website.

How about this: You go start your farm blog by following these steps. If you run into difficulties, use my Contact Page and I’ll do my best to help you out. I have full confidence that you can do it.

How To Build A Free Business Blog [Infographic]


Who do you know that needs to see this post?