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WriterAccess Guest Weekly Round-up: Horror Stories and Putrid Colors

With Caitlin on vacation, Ryn G, one of the WriterAccess community’s many top-notch writers, has stepped in on her weekly Round-up to guest post.

There is no better way to kick off a Monday than with a few good horror stories, and this week’s weekly Round-up certainly has more than a few. Horror stories always stir up the blood and make your heart race – unless, of course, you happen to be the main character that is going through the horror. Then they just stink.

Getting scammed out of your intended domain name, or having someone swipe it and then charge you astronomical fees to sell it back to you, might even be more horrific than someone finding your lost dog and demanding ransom. OK, perhaps it’s not that bad, but Best Blogging Tips Online still notes it can serve as a skull-crushing, creativity-crushing, and trust-crushing blow – especially if the thief is your web designer.

The post specifically notes buying a domain name for your WordPress blog, which applies to many. WordPress just hit a milestone, reports Mashable, and now powers more than 50 million websites, with about 25 million of them hosted on WordPress.com.

While that is not horrific at all – their themes are quite cool, actually – performing those niggling WordPress updates can be. Unformatted text, skewed or disappearing graphics, and plug-ins that no longer seem to plug in to anything useful are just some of the glitches that can come with an update. But one is now officially available. WordPress 3.2 has been released to update self-hosted blogs or websites.

To make it less horrific, For Bloggers, By Bloggers fills you in on precautions to take before you hit that update option. Back up, back up, back up is definitely on that list, as is holding your breath.

Once you’ve updated and all is blogging beautifully once again, a few more horrors can still arise. One pointed out by Copyblogger is kicking around in that loathsome place called online obscurity. The post offers 10 handy dandy tips to keep you out of that dungeon of invisibility and make your presence known online. Feel free to skip the tip about wearing an eye patch, at least literally.

One more horror that can sicken your stomach is pointed out on John Chow Dot Com – negative comments. As Mr. Chow explains, negative comments can actually be a positive thing. Heck, at least you’re beating that horrific obscurity. He also offers suggestions on responding without sinking down to an unprofessional and childish level.

To calm you down after all this horror, it’s time to take a breather from it, perhaps with a relaxing dose of green or a soothing shade of purple, as noted in a Blogtrepreneur post about the psychology behind your website’s color.

While folks may consciously pay attention to your content, your color scheme is working on their subconscious – either for or against you. If you want to stir them up, go for red or orange, which create urgency and excitement. Both also work to incite impulse buyers – but don’t go overboard.

A super-garish, headache-inducing, or just plain ugly site is more likely to turn people off, resulting in zero sales, readers or even repeat visitors. In a survey asking why people would not return to a website, more than half of them – a full 52 percent – said the reason was “aesthetics.”

So keep your visitors in mind when choosing your hues – and avoid horrific combinations such as baleful brown and orange mixed with cat-puke green and pink.

What about you? Post some relevant or interesting links in the comment section and maybe we’ll feature them, and you,  in next week’s Round-up!

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