How to use CSS to format your tickets in WordPress

We can use additional CSS styles to make attractive looking buttons in delegator. The delegator shortcode output in the DOM looks like this:

delegator_tickets

delegator_ticket

delegator_ticket_title

delegator_ticket_description

delegator_ticket_price

So it can be styled in the Additional CSS section of WordPress:

Easy!

Got questions? Leave them in the comments and we’ll answer as soon as we can.

Editing images for use online with GIMP

How to get an image into the right ‘aspect ratio’ and image size in GIMP. The aspect ratio of an image describes the relationship between its width and its height.

We choose an example that starts out portrait, but that we get a landscape graphic.

We also show how to upsize the image.

 

Resizing

A word on the options for resizing:

  • Linear: Can be used with very small text but cubic is a better choice in most cases.
  • Cubic: The default choice. Unless the image is very small or detailed, cubic and bicubic interpolation helps keep edges smooth.
  • Lanczos: Similar to cubic except that instead of blurring, uses a “ringing” pattern. Use for detailed graphics without blurring.

Saving for the web

Now we have to save the file for the web.

  • JPEG. Used most of the time. Works for nearly everything except logos
  • PNG Used for icons and where you need transparencies.

Now you’re able to do basic image resizing!

Testing out the delegator’s WordPress plugin

Here you see some tickets from a demo site of ours on delegator. Register with any stripe testing cards to try it out.

Delegator works by segmenting your market…this means there are many ticket variations. We make those easy to display in the right place in WordPress.

Use :

session_id
speaker_id
ticket_name

to display specific titles.

Say you have a bio page for a prestigious speaker. Big draw. Huuge. Here we show tickets that include access to a speaker using this shortcode:

delegator_tickets speaker_id=”4″

Exhibition and DEVOPS Lecture
Keeping it all running
€10.00
Full Lecture Access
Attend any lecture. Registration online. Blacktie dinner.
€15.00

So we see all tickets that give access to another speaker

delegator_tickets speaker_id=”3″

Exhibition and UX Lecture
Access to exhibition floor and admission to the UX Lecture.
€10.00
Full Lecture Access
Attend any lecture. Registration online. Blacktie dinner.
€15.00

The above are great for putting on your speaker pages. But we’ll have pages that give session information, we need to sell tickets that include access to that session.

Think of the use case where we’ve got a blacktie dinner for people that come to see both speakers. We want to talk about this on a page that really sells the great food we’re going to serve.

delegator_tickets session_id=”6″

Full Lecture Access
Attend any lecture. Registration online. Blacktie dinner.
€15.00

And of course we can just display a ticket based on a ticket name by selecting its ‘slug’.

delegator_tickets ticket_name=”uxticket”

Exhibition and UX Lecture
Access to exhibition floor and admission to the UX Lecture.
€10.00

We can now offer subsets of tickets in different contexts, making putting the right ticket choices in context and improving conversion.

Don’t get tagged as spam – make an SPF record

BookServe, the online reservation software, does a great job of keeping you in touch with your customers.

But to do that you need to make sure your guests’ email systems know to expect mail from YOUR domain (info@PropertyDomainName.com) from the BookServe server.

Wanwaiting for responset to make sure your emails are getting through from BookServe to your guests?

First make sure you have control of your domain’s DNS settings. If this sounds difficult, don’t worry, your Web Developer can help.

Horse unseats rider.
DNS Changes. Need careful handling.

Then you need to edit the SPF record. The SPF is a type of DNS record. You can read about SPF here,

If it’s your first time at the DNS rodeo don’t try this without your Web Developer. An incorrect change can bring your site and email down, and it can take hours to fully recover.

An SPF record is a particular type of TXT record This is an example Register365 mail record for a BookServe customer.

The part ip4:109.74.198.82 refers to a BookServe server.

It tells the Internet ‘Hey, all these servers can send mail for @PropertyDomainName.com

v=spf1 mx a:smtp.reg365.net a:outgoing-smtp.reg365.net a:smtp.hosts.co.uk a:athena.hosts.co.uk a:hermes.hosts.co.uk a:outgoing-smtp.namesco.net ip4:109.74.198.82 ?all

Screenshot of Kitterman record Testing
SPF Records. Test them.

Once you’ve setup the SPF, it should be tested. The good people at  Kitterman Technical Services, Inc. have an excellent tool for this. Don’t get caught out. Test.

http://www.kitterman.com/spf/validate.html

gombeensguidelogoGot a question about SPF? Let us know in the comments below and we’ll do what we can to help.

8 Tips for selling your accommodation online.

Things are picking up and it’s back to business: selling hotel rooms to visitors. But margins are tight, and 20% booking fees are a luxury no one can afford. Competitors are all offering online booking and they’re undercutting you. And then there’s AirBnB to compete with. What to do?

Easy: Take control of your own web presence!

You can easily run your own online presence, and you’ll be surprised how quickly the bookings start coming in. Read on to find out how.

1. Get yourself a Local Website Designer

Gone are the days when you needed to go to Silicon Valley to get one of those website thingys made.

Two figures in front of local shop from BBC Archives
It’s best to use local content for local websites.

Get a local web developer to create a modern, responsive (that means mobile friendly) website. Big agencies can be expensive and lack the local content imagery and linkages that make for engaging content and Organic Search Success.

Go local. You can have a website for a few hundred euro with local support. Perfect.

2. Take Really Good Pictures

Generic Inn Photo
Exterior Photo of Property should feature on homepage of site.

Gombeens naturally assume that their customers are telepathic and because they know what their premises looks like, so will their customers.

So don’t get caught: make sure you have really good pictures of your property. You’re going to need them again and again.

Get good photography of all the room types you have. Show off the features. Good imagery sells.

3. Right image, right place.

A 14mm lens on a full frame camera will show off a small room to its best.
A 14mm lens on a full frame camera will show off a small room to its best. Don’t forget to use a tripod.

You want more bookings through your website, right? Your customers need to see what they are booking.

A Gombeen that expects to be able to use a picture of their bar, car park, or grandmother to sell a room. This is a sure recipe for disappointment.

Show wide-angle images of whole rooms in the online booking room descriptions. These ‘set the scene’ and help convert lookers to bookers.

Be accurate with the room contents when you take the pictures. Don’t sell features that aren’t there.

4. Offer online booking.

Waiting for a reply
Enquiry Forms – Unpopular and slow..

If you don’t sell online, you’re losing out to rivals that do. No-one waits for you to come back to an enquiry form.

Be wary of commission heavy services. The cost has to be passed on somewhere, usually in room pricing. This has a tendency  to divert bookings into traditional channels, taking up precious staff time.

We recommend our product, BookServe (ahem). You can sign up in minutes.

5. Check the rates in your area

Man with binoculars looking at a webpage
Published Rates are easy to Find

This used to be done by getting your cousin to ring up and ask for a quote. Half the time they knew it was her and quoted her a much higher price, just to mess with you. Now with D’Internet,  it’s more straightforward.

Check the rates around and be competitive. If you find you’re getting visits but no bookings, high prices are usually the problem.

6. Consider listing on Expedia

Untitled-1
Billboard effect on Room Nights. The green line is the hotel’s own website.

It can be worthwhile to connect to Expedia. Share your excess rooms with Expedia and raise the traffic to your own website with the ‘Billboard Effect‘.

This effect works because visitors use Expedia to make a list of hotels and then look on the hotels’ own websites for direct booking.

It gives a lot of ‘reach’ for very little effort and expense.

7. Be Sociable

Kiev, Ukraine - August 26, 2013 - A collection of well-known social media brands printed on paper and placed on plastic signs. Include Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Google Plus, Instagram and Tumblr logos.
Connect with your customers over social media channels..

Be social. Get onto FaceBook, register a business page.

Respond quickly. Be gracious. If you can’t ‘do’ social media, then hire people that can.

If an applicant says that they can run a campaign, hire them at once.

FaceBook page response time snippet
Social Media – Exposes weakness in social media. Be professional, friendly and prompt.

8. Go completely DIY, ya mad thing.

MeetupLogo
Meetup is people getting together to learn something, do something, share something.

If you’re technically inclined and want to make your own website, the best thing to do is join other like minded individuals.

Meetup is a great place to find those people. Click here for a list of WordPress related groups in Ireland.

gombeensguidelogoThe Gombeen’s Guide gives straightforward advice for running your own real-world business, online.

It’s written by a cat, because cats have historically been the most successful species at building an online profile.

Follow us for updates and if you have a question, or something you’d like us to cover email us.

Look back on 2011 – Irish Museum of Modern Art

2011 was an incredible year, with so much publication of work and software , that it seems like only now that there is a chance to take a pause and review the events of the year. 1st up IMMA.

Getting the White Balance

Irish Museum of Modern Art – Virtual Tours

We had been working here for some time, completing this virtual tour of the north wing and gardens in on behalf of the Royal Hospital Kilmainham in 2007, but 2011 saw the project move to a completely new level.

The Gallery, following a safety review, had to limit wheelchair access to the lower floors of the buildings. It was decided to create a digital version of the exhibition and to make it available in a kiosk in the downstairs areas.

The timeframe for the completion of the project was short. We used our FastReach CMS to coordinate the collation and display of the exhibition digital assets, and worked closely with the curation team in IMMA to ensure fidelity to the exhibition in the timeframe available.

Dolly setup for a Les Levine exhibit

The first  IMMA exhibition tour, which coincides with the gallery’s 20th anniversary this year, was completed in just 34 working days, during which time 460 artworks were logged and loaded into the database, as well as 42 online HD videos and 31 virtual tours. The virtual tour of the final exhibition was released the same week.

The virtual tour provides 360 degree views of each room in the gallery. A detailed introductory synopsis of each room is provided and, as you explore the wings and landings of the IMMA, you follow the physical layout of the exhibition.

Additional social features, including artwork thumbnails and the option to pull discussions about artworks into online groups, help facilitate collaboration between groups of artists, commentators and students, and also make it easier to share links.

The IMMA virtual tour appeared on the 1st page of Google the day after its release for searches of artwork titles and, after just three days, one quarter of all its traffic was from google-generated artwork searches. Within the first month of its launch in excess of 3600 visitors viewed over 57,000 online gallery pages.

The team behind the project includes the co-founder of Rollthrus (Disabled Access Portal): Chris Healy, project manager Matthew McGee, software developer Bryan McEleney and, of course, the photographic team including Denis Mortell and others, who took the excellent, high resolution stills of the artworks, as well as the curatorial staff in IMMA.

Here are some links to the exhibitions:

Aspect Hotel Kilkenny chooses FastReach

Aspect Hotel LogoCongratulations to Aspect Hotel Kilkenny on their successful launch and their new FastReach website. As part of the new Aspect hotel brand, the hotel in Kilkenny decided to use FastReach as it’s web content delivery platform due to the ease of use through the unique backend hotel CMS and the stylish frontend which enables the brand to market the hotel using a multi-faceted approach. After a short period of training delivered using the tailored digital manual and supported by the Vinyl Matt Media team the staff at the Kilkenny Hotel took just hours to populate the site and publish the content. Situated near Kilkenny Castle Aspect Hotel Kilkenny opened it’s doors for business in mid-October.  On behalf of Vinyl Matt Media we would like to wish the team in Kilkenny all the best with their new venture.