Trending December 2023 # Gift Guide: Smart Health/Fitness Devices For Beginners And Fanatics # Suggested January 2024 # Top 14 Popular

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Gifting smart health/fitness devices can be really thoughtful and helpful but sometimes it can be tricky to figure out which one to pick. Below we’ve got a roundup of great options for everyone from those just getting started to super fit family or friends.

The first three smart health/fitness devices I wanted to highlight below range from a few smart scale options, blood pressure monitor, to a pocket-sized metabolic analyzer – all of which work with iPhone and Apple Health.

If you’re considering gifting a wearable, we’ll finish up by covering some tips to help you decide whether a smartwatch or more basic and affordable fitness band is a better fit (as well as how something like Apple Watch compares with Garmin/Suunto and even Google’s Wear OS).

Best smart health/fitness devices 2023 gift guide Withings Smart Scales

I’ve been using a Withings Smart Scale for going on seven years and it’s been really reliable and useful. The reason I recommend going for Withings over other options is it’s a company with a solid track record, a good iOS app with Apple Health integration, and durable/good looking build quality. Withings currently has three models for pretty much any budget and need.

Withings Body Smart Scale

For those just getting started on a health and fitness journey, the Body Withings Smart Scale is a great choice. It offers weight and BMI, automatic syncing with the iOS app, and automatically recognizes up to 8 users. It usually goes for around $60.

Body+ Smart Scale

If the person you’re looking to buy for is further along in their fitness journey or would enjoy more data, the Withings Body+ Smart Scale adds body composition measurements. That includes fat, muscle, and bone mass, as well as water percentage. Body+ goes for around $99.

Body Cardio

If you want to go for the top of the line option, the Withings Body Cardio offers all of the features of Body+ like full body composition and adds in heart rate monitoring. It usually sells for around $150.

You can check out the full Withings Smart Scale lineup here.

Withings Blood Pressure Monitor

I have an old version of Withings Blood Pressure Monitor that still works great and the current model is even more impressive. You’re getting a wireless experience, rechargeable battery that lasts for up to 6 months, it’s FDA cleared as medically accurate and you can easily send results to your doctor.

Since it works with the Withings Health Mate app like the smart scale above, you get Apple Health integration and can see all your other data in one place.

The Withings Blood Pressure Monitor retails for $99.

Lumen metabolic analyzer

This will be a neat option for someone in your life that already has most of the smart health/fitness devices on the market. While those really into fitness may be the most likely to appreciate a metabolic analyzer, Lumen is a really useful tool that anyone can use to achieve goals like losing weight, building muscle, or maintaining weight.

I did a full review of Lumen earlier this year and think it’s a really innovative device that offers super actionable data. What you’re getting is a pocket-sized metabolic analyzer that can tell you if you’re burning fat or carbs based on your breath. From there, the Lumen app gives meal planning/macro recommendations to meet your specific weight loss or fitness goals.

Another big aspect of Lumen is measuring and building metabolic flexibility. And research shows there are a wide variety of health benefits beyond just changing your body composition. They include better sleep, stronger immune system, more consistent blood sugar levels, improved workout performance, and more.

If you’re looking for a gift for someone who enjoys the quantified self, this is a killer gift.

Lumen is normally priced at $349 but is going for $279 during the holidays.

Smartwatch comparison overview Apple Watch, Wear OS, Garmin, fitness bands compared

If you’re thinking of picking up a smartwatch or fitness band for someone for the holidays, there are lots of choices, so here are some TL;DR tips to narrow down what to look at for each type:

Lots of functionality (e.g. Messages, Maps, email, fitness tracking, heart rate monitoring, ECG, much much more

Completely integrated with iPhone

Single-day battery life (rated for 18 hours can be more or less depending on use)

Many finishes to choose from especially when considering Apple Watch bands/straps

Solid for general some specific fitness tracking, not as ideal for marathons, ultra runners, and other multi-day fitness events

Price: Usually $199 and up

Be sure to check out my colleague Chance’s comparison here for more on the differences between Apple Watch models:

Garmin and Suunto: Dedicated GPS, long battery life, more

If you’re looking for a gift for an endurance athlete or someone who values dedicated GPS, a Suunto or Garmin smartwatch may be the best fit.

Usually, full smartwatches from these companies include battery life of 7 days or more

Dedicated GPS for tracking workouts, bikes, runs, etc. without cellular data or an iPhone in your pocket

Ideal for marathons, ultra runners, triathletes, and other endurance athletes

Durable build quality

Keep in mind these often are running on Google’s Wear OS

If the person you’re gifting is an Android user, it will probably be best to go for Wear OS (or a band-style fitness tracker).

Very wide selection of styles

Made to work with Android smartphones

Wide range of price points

Check out our sister site 9to5Google’s round ups of best Wear OS smartwatches:

These are a good option if you’re looking for something more affordable and basic in overall functionality.

Slim profile

Usually include step and activity tracking, some include sleep tracking

Overall less functionally than Apple Watch or other smartwatches

Often Long 7 days+ battery life

Most are $100 or less

Smart health/fitness devices wrap-up

Hopefully, you’ve now got some great ideas on what you’d like to gift the person (or people) who could use a smart health/fitness device.

If you’re interested in diving more into Apple Watch and health/fitness, be sure to check out 9to5Mac’s Watch Time podcast.

More 9to5Mac 2023 Holiday Gift Guides

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Last Minute Gift Guide And Reviews On Fantastic Apple Peripherals


First up is Logitech’s Ultimate Ears portable Bluetooth speakers. If you are used to the kind of sound that comes out of a $129 Jambox, prepare to be blown away by sound that doesn’t seem like it could come from such a small, beautiful object. The $99 Logitech UE Mini Boombox upgrades everything I didn’t like about the previous version (Review). The top buttons are now hardware instead of capacitive, it charges via the more common Micro-USB instead of Mini, and the rubberized outer material doesn’t get scuffs and stays in one place—even when the base gets hot. And boy does it. This is loud enough to use while in the kitchen, office or even on the beach and lasts over 5 hours on a charge.

If you want to piss off the neighbors, Logitech has you covered as well with the re-designed (not Mini but also not big) UE Boombox. This one is a big step up from Logitech’s previous offering with a total update of the design. The new Blue+Aluminum design with a handle is excellent for taking outdoors and to parties. Big Volume buttons on the one side let you crank this thing as loud as its namesake from the 80s.

Mini BoomBox is available from Logitech or Amazon in a variety of colors for $99, while the full sized BoomBox is $249 at Amazon …and Logitech.

USB Batteries:

If you want more power (but not quite as huge as the HyperJuice battery we loved), Richard Solo sent us a great 11,000mAh Mobile Power Case that includes room for an iPad, an iPhone, and another USB device (camera, iPod, or another phone?). They are all charged with convenient smart-wrapped power cables. If I had one complaint, it is with the slow rate the battery was charged via USB. On the plus side, you can just plug it into your Mac.

Richard Solo offers 9to5mac readers a coupon code that is good for 30 percent off the Mobile Power Case, but it will not work on any other product. This is a limited time offer for the holiday season and brings the MPC to less than $70! The coupon code is 9to5.

Mini iPad Cases:

There are tons of iPad mini cases out there but these two come from vendors who had units available “early on” ;). Devicewear teased their iPad mini case back in July, months before Apple even announced the product and they sent us one when it was released. Result? Fantastic case that feels every bit as professional as it looks. It comes in a variety of colors (we liked the black) and is currently retailing for $27.

We also got the Gumdrop Drop series iPad mini case the day before the Mini was announced. What’s even more impressive is that when the iPad mini was finally announced and shipped, it fit perfectly. This is the type of case that you put over the Mini, give to your kid, and then challenge them to destroy it. My kids have dropped it in the bathtub (but Gumdrop makes no waterproof claims), drooled on it, dropped it out of the car, and they have stepped on it on multiple occasions. No issues. It comes in multiple colors for $50 to $60.

Zagg’s $129 ProPLUS iPad keyboard did something we didn’t think was possible: It replaced the Logitech ultrathin keyboard that we loved. What was the clincher? The ProPlus has seven different colors of backlit keys that are fantastic for typing in the dark, for instance, in an airplane on a red-eye. Also, while Logitech has a bunch of function keys, Zagg breaks these out over an additional row for easy access. The battery is charged by micro-USB, but it lasts weeks even with the backlighting, and the Bluetooth connectivity is very reliable.

Just like other Zagg keyboards, this one is also strong and the aluminum compliments the iPad and turns it into a Mini-MacBook Pro-looking device. Unlike Logitech’s offering, it doesn’t snap/wrap around the iPad like a Smart Cover, but it stays affixed pretty well with magnets. $129 with backlighting, or $99 without.

The Goal Zero Guide 10 Plus Small Adventure Kit is great, if not terribly quick at charging iOS devices. The idea is simple: you can keep a portable battery pack charged using the sun that in-turn charges your iOS devices when you need them. In practice, it takes awhile for the sun to charge the battery pack. In the New York City fall, I wasn’t able to charge it completely in a day but boy does it come in handy in a pinch. Our house was knocked out during Sandy for two weeks and this thing kept my iPhone charged. When not being used for hurricane relief, it sits in a sunny window and keeps a set of 4 AA batteries charged that in-turn add a convenient USB plug to an area of the house that doesn’t have an outlet. I suppose you could take this camping too…and it probably does wonders in third-world countries where access to power isn’t so great.

GoalZero’s Solar Charging kit: $120.

Remember, now is your last chance to get free shipping on products from Amazon and Best Buy for shipping before Christmas.



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Microsoft Word Tutorial For Beginners – Guide On How To Use It

This Microsoft Word beginner guide provides free & basic lessons, tutorials & fundamentals for learning MS Office Word software.  Microsoft Word is everyone’s favorite text editor. With so many features, it can meet all your requirements. It may look complicated to use initially, but once you get the hang of it, things start falling in place. This blog post is for those who want to learn the basic functions and features and know more about Microsoft Word.

Microsoft Word tutorial for beginners

This is how the opened blank Microsoft Word document will look like.

Now let us take a look at the features that it has to offer.

1] Title and the Quick Access Toolbar

At the top, you have the Title of the document, the Quick Access Toolbar and a few other functions such as Minimize, Restore Down / Maximize, Close and Ribbon Display Options.

In the Quick Access Toolbar to the left of the Title Bar, you will find the Save button (Ctrl+S), wherein you can save the document in the desired folder; the Undo Typing button (Ctrl+Z); the Repeat Typing button (Ctrl+Y); and the Customize Quick Access Toolbar, wherein you have the various commands as shown in the image below.

In the Ribbon Display Options, it is possible to Auto-hide the ribbon, show the ribbon tabs only or show the tabs and commands all the time. Refer to the image below.

Below the Title Bar, you will see what is called the Ribbon which consists of various tabs such as File, Home, Insert, Design, Layout, References, Mailings, Review, View, Help, Search. Now let us go through every Tab and its commands.

2] Home

The Home tab is the default tab in Microsoft Word. This tab comprises of features related to the clipboard, font, paragraph, styles, and editing.

In the Clipboard section, you will find commands such as copy, cut and paste. Next, we have the Font section. Here you can change the font and the font size for your text, change the case, apply bold or italic formatting, underline, change the font color and highlight text and also add various text effects and typography. Go ahead and explore all the different options to make your text look great and innovative!

The Paragraph section includes the alignment options where you can choose to align your text in the center, left, right or justify it (that is, evenly distribute the text between the margins).

You can add or remove borders, increase or decrease indent, adjust the line and paragraph spacing, and also add bullets and numbers from the bullets and numbering libraries.

You can also create a multilevel list to organize items or create an outline.

From the Styles section, you can select any style of your choice to change the way your document looks. In the Editing section, you can find text or any content in the document and also replace a specific word or text with something else.

3] Insert

The next tab is the Insert tab.

You can add a stylish cover page from the numerous styles available to make your document look more professional and also add a blank page from the Pages section. Another important feature is inserting a table, a picture from your picture gallery, an online picture from the web, shapes, 3D models, charts, SmartArt and screenshots from the Tables and the Illustrations section. Refer to the images below for guidance.

You can insert Tables.

In the Header & Footer section, you can add a built-in header and a footer or from online sources. You can also add page numbers to your document.

Similarly, there are a lot of other features and commands in the Add-ins, Media, Links, Comments, Text and Symbols sections.

4] Design

The Design tab comprises of commands related to Document Formatting and Page Background. To make your document look more consistent and classy, choose the right theme of your liking from the various options available. Additional features include colors, fonts, effects, and paragraph spacing.

If you wish to go for a splash of color for the document background, you can change the page color as well, add Watermark and page borders.

5] Layout

In this tab, in the Page Setup section, you can adjust margins for the entire document or for a particular section; and also customize it. You can change the Page Orientation to Landscape or Portrait; choose the page size for your document, and add or remove columns.

Find the settings to increase or decrease the Indent and Spacing in the Paragraph section.

Other features related to the placement of text and pictures, grouping multiple images and rotation options will be found in the Arrange section.

6] References

In the References tab, you will find different commands related to the table of contents, footnotes, research, citations and bibliography, captions, index and table of authorities.

7] Mailings

Here, you will find settings that will help you to create envelopes and labels, start the mail merge wherein you can send it to multiple recipients, write and insert fields, preview results and finish mail merge.

8] Review

9] View

In the View tab, you can change the views such as Read Mode, Print Layout, Web Layout, etc. Feel free to explore the additional features from the immersive, page movement, show, zoom, window, macros, and SharePoint sections.

10] Help

In the Help tab, you can contact an office support agent and give feedback.

11] Search

In the Search tab, you can type any feature that you are looking for and get help.

12] File

In the File tab, you can save the document, print and share the document, and also publish it.

In this post, I have tried to cover all the basic and useful features and functions of Microsoft Word.

This is my first blog post and I hope it was helpful to you. Your suggestions are most welcome.

Do try out all these features in order to make your MS Word document absolutely presentable and perfect!

Next, you might want to take a look at our Microsoft Word Tips And Tricks post.

10 Digital Marketing Strategies For Gym And Fitness Clubs

Before the pandemic, fitness enthusiasts preferred traditional gyms and fitness studios for their workouts. However, during the pandemic, people were forced to work out in their homes with what limited equipment they had. They were limited to virtual training and sessions with DIY equipment. And eventually, people began to celebrate its convenience and flexibility. But, post the pandemic, people are craving a change. Over 80% of consumers have expressed their desire to return to the walk-in gyms and fitness clubs, and the rest wish to continue the convenient virtual sessions.

Hence, fitness studios and gyms should strive to accommodate the needs and desires of both clientele groups. This is a guaranteed way to ensure sales and better brand visibility. 

So, how to ensure that your business is a cut above the rest? 

How to ensure that your target audience becomes your loyal consumers? 

And how to ensure that your revenues are high to sustain and flourish your fitness studio? 

Although the answer is quite complex, it can be fundamentally narrowed down to dynamic digital marketing.

Digital marketing is a blend of traditional marketing practices with the latest digital mediums. It is a marketing strategy that involves promoting the goods and services of a business to consumers through digital channels like social media and search engines. It has become a necessity for businesses worldwide, and several reasons exist to make such a claim.

Top 10 Digital Marketing Strategies for Gym and Fitness Clubs

The top 10 dynamic digital strategies that will improve the visibility of your fitness studio and contribute to higher revenue generation are: 

1. Create And Market A Unique Brand

With so many similar businesses out there, establishing a brand identity is integral to the success of your gym and fitness centres. It facilitates consumers to form informed opinions and act on those opinions. Those opinions will often be in your favour when your brand identity is consistently and innovatively marketed. 

Branding is a very important factor for scaling your business and increasing your visibility. SoulCycle is a great example of how it has consistently continued to market its brand since its grand launch in 2006.

They are a simple, highly specific business that caters to a particular niche and is extremely bright and positive. Gaining clarity on your brand identity will facilitate the effective marketing of your business.

Start with what your values are as a business in the world of fitness. Then focus on your ideal consumer base, interiors, methods of instruction, and exercise. Whether you wish to be a regular gym, a Zumba club, or an aerial aerobics centre, customize your marketing campaign.

Finalizing your brand logo with colours and symbols that reflect and appear cohesive to your entire business is important. And finally, devising effective digital marketing strategies that can accurately expose your business to your niche clientele will ensure revenue and sales.

2. A User-Friendly Website And Mobile Application

A fully optimized website is a need for every business. It allows people to find your business and interact. A fully optimized and engaging website will facilitate a medium for communicating with your consumers. There are several reasons for investing in a quality website. First and one of the most important reasons, your members and consumers expect it.

Consumers are looking for gyms and fitness studios whose information can be accessed online. Without it, 57% of consumers will not be considering your business over others in the market. It is a great platform to curate all the necessary information at one location to ensure easy access by consumers.

Here are the best practices to create an engaging website: 

Quick site loading, seamless navigation, and adaptability to different devices ensure a credible and loyal approach to customer interaction.

A highly professional web design that appeals to the general consumers and incorporates the latest standards like dark modes, animation, and brand hues. 

An updated security system and privacy features. 

An email sign-up sheet that allows lead generation.

Videos, pictures of events, and live sessions conducted by in-house trainers, both online and offline, are great ways to engage and introduce transparency. 

Location and contact information and a brief framework of the kind of sessions and classes, along with flexible timings, will allow consumers to form accurate decisions.

3. Marketing Through Email and Remarketing

Several different tools, like MailChimp and Constant Contact, can be utilized to generate high-quality custom emails to appeal to your consumers directly.

Email marketing is extremely beneficial. They are not affected by trends and variables, which often affect other digital marketing channels like social media or SEO. They market to the ideal consumers through a narrow and specific list and hence have a high probability of conversions. And finally, they offer a convenient communication mode through personalization, improving brand identity and credibility.

Initially, a welcome email to welcome new members into your gyms and fitness clubs. They make the consumers feel appreciated and will encourage their continued support.

Reminder emails for retargeting ideal consumers. Often, consumers are unable to buy your membership due to distractions, lengthy processes, or payment issues. Reaching out to them and solving their issues will encourage them to complete their purchase.

Update emails with the latest events offer, and new information regarding scheduling and referral programs allow consumers to gain access to valuable intel and keep them engaged. Daily updates on classes and timings and feedback about sessions are a great personal touch to reflect brand value.

Emails informing your members of incentives for referrals and the end of membership and trials are an added benefit.

And finally, feedback emails to collect valuable information from your members regarding their experience and facilities that can be improved. It is a credible and accurate way of collecting measurable user data and can be analyzed to implement strategic plans to counter the same.

4. Optimize your Reach Through Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing is the latest trend in marketing strategies. It builds on the concept of word-of-mouth but has a much higher engagement level. It involves businesses collaborating with influencers on social media like Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, and Twitter. It is an endorsement or a sponsorship of capitalizing on the credibility and following that these influencers have amassed over the years.

There are three different categories of approaches that can be initiated with influencer marketing. Paid collaborations, mutual content, and intel exchange or creative collaborations. Depending on the quality of content and the domain, successful collaborations can be initiated. Those in the field of nutrition, fitness, sports, sports equipment, and athletes are a great start to influencer marketing. Instagram reels and videos can be uploaded to market to the ideal consumer base. Rather than chasing numbers, chasing high-quality content and authenticity is key. Focusing on nano and micro-influencers would reap more benefits for your gyms and fitness clubs.

5. Reviews and Testimonials to Enhance Credibility

Reviews and member testimonials are the ideal way to establish credibility and brand value for your gyms and fitness clubs. They are an unbiased source of information that can help market your business to avail more members. Both negative and positive reviews are beneficial for the progress of your business.

Over 87% of consumers read reviews online before making a purchase. Hence, they are an invaluable asset to the growth of your business. Positive reviews enhance SEO performance, and credibility, and reflect customer satisfaction. Negative reviews have the potential to be converted to positive ones with the right approach. They also provide valuable insight into the framework of your business model.

Reviews, when displayed, have the potential to increase your conversions by 270%. Reviews can be collected through your website, social media handles, direct emails, and even through Google. Invest in guiding your members on a unified structure for these reviews and encourage them to post through attractive incentive schemes. Reviews in the form of training received, transformations achieved, and quality of equipment and support are necessary to create the right traction.

Gold’s Gym, for example, has a variety of portals through which they display and collect their reviews to reel in more members. They have reviews on Facebook, Mouthshut, JustDial, Glassdoor, and Google reviews to name a few.  

6. Optimizing your Online Presence for Better Visibility

Better online presence correlates with higher search engine ranking. Search Engine Optimizations or SEO facilitate your website to perform better and engage with a wider audience. SEO is a series of processes that involves auditing the content and technical aspects of the website of your gym or fitness club. Online presence is the most important aspect of digital marketing, and an updated and highly optimized website is a great path to creating an immaculate online presence.

Either by outsourcing or through DIY SEO audits, your website can be analyzed and improved. There are several added benefits to SEO. It is cost-effective, flexible, and increases brand awareness. Investing in analyzing keywords associated with your website content is a great first strategy. You can analyze the usage and frequency of keywords on your website through tools and applications like Google Search Console, Google Keyword Planner, Soovle, Semrush, and Jaaxy.

Before a consumer makes a purchase, they do a quick online search to gather information to help with their decision. Phrases like “Best gyms near me”, “Fitness studios near me”, or “Top fitness centers in my area” are some of the commonly used keywords to find out about operating gyms. So, having more of these high-probable words incorporated into your website facilitates higher ranking and greater visibility.

Along with keyword analysis, analyzing and organizing your blog content, reviews, testimonials, email signups, updating your GMB page, and a virtual gallery to create a user-friendly navigation experience are ideal. This is a content SEO audit of your website.

A technical audit needs to be performed to ensure that search engines like Google and Yahoo can crawl your website much faster and at a higher position than your competitors. Analyzing the backlinks, codes and technical framework ensures the implementation of higher-quality plans. Focusing on local SEO is ideal for your gym and fitness clubs as distance and travel play a key role.

7. Social Media Marketing

With almost 59% of the global population being active users of social media, it has evolved into one of the most engaging and beneficial digital marketing strategies. Social media marketing involves promoting your business online through applications like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and Pinterest to reach a much wider audience. This form of marketing is highly effective, extremely budget-friendly, flexible, and has room for exploring creativity. Here’s how you could do it: 

Broadcasting training and sessions live occasionally through Instagram and YouTube is a great way to provide a trial class for members to generate high conversions. 

Trending reels and posts from members and trainers will gain more valuable traction.

Updating your website blog and sharing it with your Instagram and Facebook members in the form of story highlights is an innovative way to keep your members engaged.

Another best practice to create long form content could include recording and documenting a few basic training sessions and a walk-through of your fitness studio. This can be a great way of curating content for YouTube. 

Creating fitness challenges and trends and marketing them through relevant hashtags is one of the most engaging social media strategies that will propel your gym miles ahead. These hashtags also allow social media users to access information related to the location of their gyms and clubs, thereby generating more foot traffic.

Constant but short-form updates shared via Twitter act as a reliable and user-friendly communication channel. It can also be the best place to solve customer queries or concerns. 

 8. Invest in a Memorable and Seamless Customer Experience

From in-house nutritionists to the latest technological equipment, fitness studios and gyms across the world are investing in creating a seamless customer experience. Customer satisfaction will differentiate your business from that of your competitors. No great company can take customer satisfaction as an afterthought while building a community of superfans. 

Flexibility in the mode of classes and scheduling is key. Incentives and loyalty benefits need to be provided to ensure long-term retention. An approachable channel needs to be provided for your members to communicate feedback effectively. And finally, free trial classes and sessions can be arranged to generate more conversions through quality checks and persuasion.

There are several benefits to ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience for your members. It shows loyalty from your end and increases trustworthiness. By matching customer expectations, you will be able to retain existing members, thereby increasing their lifecycle. This also contributes to significantly more referrals. It increases your brand value and creates an environment for custom and superior pricing. The rule is simple –  happy customers will make your business thrive.

9. Provision for Exclusive Benefits and Incentives for Members

Benefits like free access to sessions, exclusive merchandise, free access ta o certified nutritionists, additional incentives like extendable membership, referral incentives, and occasional recreational outings are a great way to show and receive loyalty from gym members. Other incentives like giveaways, celebratory gifts, and benefits on holidays and special occasions are also great for marketing your business through digital channels.

10. Paid Advertisements

Different strategies can be deployed once the needs of your gyms are identified. Content or performance-based strategies can be created based on the need to bring the desired results.

Also, read how these top 20 gym influencers in India became popular with the help of digital marketing.


The above-mentioned digital marketing strategies are dynamic and in-trend. Any business following a traditional, modern, or hybrid channel of operation will need to up its marketing game to attract ideal consumers from a saturated market. Gyms and fitness centers are experiencing a new wave of consumers who are predominantly looking for convenience without compromising on quality. Hence, if your business ticks all the above boxes, these marketing tactics will help promote your brand and also contribute to quality sales.

Beginners Guide To Using Featured Image In WordPress? – Webnots

Did you ever wonder about the beautiful image that you see along with the shared article in Facebook or Twitter? This is called featured image of the article and the social platforms uses protocol like Open Graph to fetch this featured image while embedding your article. In many ways than one, featured images capture the essence of a post or a page in WordPress. They act almost as a represent a post or page and most likely the first thing a visitor will lay their eyes on before opening the page. This means the featured image is a critical part of your website as it can massively influence the browsing journey of your prospects. In this article, we will explain how to add featured image to your WordPress posts. We will also go over other applications of featured images on WordPress such as how it appears on social media, as well as disabling featured images and finding the correct featured image size for your website.

Why You Need Featured Image?

Featured images act as the graphical representation of your content and using them in WordPress have a wide array of benefits for your site.

Themes make use of the uploaded featured images and show them nicely in blog page, archive pages and sidebar widgets. Many magazine and news websites even show the featured images on homepage layout. For example, all those images what you see in the below home page layout are featured images uploaded under corresponding posts. Without featured images, the theme will only show text content which will spoil the beauty of the page altogether.  

Featured Images Showing in Home Page

Furthermore, if you have an eCommerce website on WordPress, you will have a featured image for each of the products on your website.

A captivating featured image coupled with an intriguing post title can lead to a surge in website visitors.

Lastly, whenever a page from your website is shared on a social media feed, guess what is going to be shown? Yes, that’s right, the article’s featured image. Below is an example of the featured image showing in Facebook social feed.

Featured Image in Social Feed

Note: Many plugins also use the featured image for showing in the widget. For example, related posts plugins will add featured images to show the list of articles along with a thumbnail of featured image.

Adding Featured Image in WordPress Posts

One of the best things about featured images on WordPress is that it is a default core feature provided by the platform. Obviously, you need to insert a featured image for each post in your site so that they appear elegantly on archive pages and on social platforms. Adding a featured image to a WordPress post is very simple and straightforward.

View or Replace Featured Image

Just like with posts, the steps for adding a featured image on pages are exactly the same. The only difference here is that the pages will not appear on archives so that featured image is only importance for social sharing and not used by most themes on the site. If you are using old Classic Editor or any custom post types like WooCommerce then you can upload the featured image within Classic Editor interface similar to Gutenberg editor.

Featured Image Meta Box in Classic Editor

Featured Image Meta Box is Missing

If you play around the settings in the editor, sometimes you will end up messing up the default settings and find the “Featured Image” box is missing. Follow the below instructions to enable meta box the editor.

On Gutenberg Editor:

Enable Featured Image on Gutenberg

On Classic Editor:

View Featured Image from Screen Options

After enabling the option, you will see the “Featured Image” meta box on the sidebar or below the post content.

Featured Image Appearance on Published Content

The uploaded featured image in the above case with Twenty-Twenty-One theme will look like below on the published article.

Published Post with Featured Image

However, display of the featured image completely depends on the theme you use. Many free and commercial themes offer different layouts to choose the position of your featured image. For example, Kadence theme allows to show the featured image above, below or behind the title. Below is an example of featured image showing behind the title using Kadence theme.

Published Post with Featured Image On Top

Below is another example of a blog page on GeneratePress theme showing featured images.

Featured Images on Blog Page

Adding Open Graph for Sharing on Social Media

The most important aspect where featured images are utilized would be when sharing a post or a page in a social media channel. Like we have mentioned before, you need to use Open Graph meta tags in the header section of your articles to make use of sharing featured images in social platforms. Some platforms like Twitter uses Twitter Card, however, Open Graph will also work on Twitter. When embedding or sharing your articles, these social platforms will check the header section and fetch corresponding meta data including featured image and show nicely with appropriate thumbnail.

The easy way to insert Open Graph meta tags in your WordPress site is to use one of the free SEO plugins available in WordPress repository. Best example is to use Yoast SEO or Rank Math and enable the automatic inclusion of meta tags on all your pages. If you don’t have a featured image set for plenty of old posts on your site, then it is difficult task to open each post and upload the featured image. Alternatively, you can set a default featured image to share on social media using Yoast SEO plugin.

And that’s all!! From now on, any article you share on social media from your site will show the featured image if already upload or show the default image if there is no featured image available. You can also make sure to check the source code of your page and confirm the meta tags are present. As you can see in the below source code, Yoast SEO plugin adds Open Graph and Twitter tags. For the featured image, you can see there are three meta tags used:

Open Graph Meta Tags by Yoast SEO Plugin

Similarly, you can use a custom featured image for single post using the same Yoast SEO plugin instead of the default WordPress featured image. You can do this by going to “Social” tab under “Yoast SEO” meta box within post editor and upload your image. This image will be used as a featured image only for that post.

Upload Custom Featured Image or Post

Hiding Featured Images from Showing on Articles

Since featured images are not necessarily to be part of the content, there are good reasons to hide them from your site. Depending upon the situation, you can do this on entire site or only where it is not required.

Featured Image Settings in Kadence Theme

If your theme does not offer any options, and you want to hide a featured image for a particular post, then all you must do is to use “Hide Featured Image” plugin.

Hide Featured Image Plugin

After installing and activating the plugin, you will find a “Hide Featured Image” checkbox option in post editor. Just check “Yes” and the featured image will be hidden from the published page’s frontend view.

Hide Featured Image

Bulk Editing Featured Images Finding Correct Size for Featured Image

As mentioned, your theme will register different images sizes for generating thumbnails from featured images. Most free themes use the default WordPress thumbnails generated by WordPress, while premium themes generally use custom size. Therefore, it is essential to upload the correct size of the featured image so that the thumbnails are generated proportionately without cropping.

WordPress Media Settings

If your theme uses custom thumbnail sizes, then check with your theme’s developer on how to change the size. Some themes may show the details in the featured image meta box while many themes do not show. In general, always upload larger size images so that thumbnails can be generated proportionately.

Note: Changing a theme or plugin will result in your site using different featured image size compared to the registered sizes. In this case, you will face two problems. One is that there will be lot of old unused thumbnails available on your server occupying storage space. Second is your new theme will use inappropriate images uploaded on old theme. This will cause problems like properly resize images in Google PageSpeed Insights tool. Fortunately, you can use Regenerate Thumbnails plugin to resolve both problem by deleting old thumbnails and regenerating featured images to the image sizes required for your new theme.   

Final Words

All in all, featured images are an important part of your website’s presentation, aesthetics, marketing, and content strategy. They act as the “cover” for your proverbial book and should always be prioritized to ensure success with the content that you are trying to appeal to your audience. However, it is not always necessary to showcase them on single blog post which may affect other elements and speed. You can use theme settings or separate plugins to disable or bulk edit featured images in your site.

Can Smart Home Devices Get Viruses? Experts Separate Fact From Fiction …

Can smart home devices get viruses? There’s been a lot of talk about the idea of IoT (Internet of Things) devices being infected by viruses, not least because Samsung this month recommended scanning its QLED televisions for viruses every few weeks.

Security experts from Avast and Symantec have set out to separate fact from fiction. They say that while a virus isn’t impossible, it is extremely unlikely – but there are four other ways the security of your smart home can be compromised, and we outline some simple steps you can take to reduce the risks …

Gizmodo sought clarity from Vladislav Iliushin, IoT threat researcher at Avast, and Candid Wueest, principal threat researcher at Symantec, both specializing in smart home security.

Can smart home devices get viruses?

The short answer here is ‘Yes, but.’ Some smart home devices can, in principle, be vulnerable to viruses and other forms of malicious payload. 

Even Android malware designed to infect smartphones can compromise smart TVs if they run the Android operating system

And it’s not just Android devices that are at risk.

However, the experts stress that the risks are low because there are only four ways to get malware onto your device. Each of these is relatively easy to guard against.

The four risks, and how to guard against them

A poorly-secured device

The main protection here is to buy devices from reputable brands. These will have a professional approach to security, and keen to protect their reputation by acting quickly to deal with any vulnerabilities discovered. We saw a good example of this recently with Nest cameras, where Google was extremely fast to block a security hole.

HomeKit certification is an excellent form of protection. Apple requires that all HomeKit-certified devices use end-to-end encryption, and are ‘mutually authenticated.’ For example, when a Philips Hue hub switches on a Hue bulb, the hub checks the security credentials of the bulb before issuing the instruction, and the bulb checks the security credentials of the hub before obeying it.

Access to your home Wi-Fi network

Once someone has access to your home Wi-Fi network, many smart home apps allow immediate control of your devices. This is obviously particularly worrying with locks and cameras.

This too is easy to secure by having a strong password on your router, and ensuring that you have changed the default login details. For example, many routers default to admin/admin or admin/password as their administrator login.

Make sure, too, that your router is configured to automatically download and apply security updates. Most are by default, but not all.

Physical access to your IoT devices

Not a practical risk for most consumers – this is more something companies need to think about.

Tricking you into installing malware

A malicious app running on a computer or smartphone is the biggest risk of all. Macs and iOS devices are significantly safer than Windows PCs and Android smartphones, but they are still not completely immune.

Best practice is to download apps only from sources you completely trust, such as Apple’s own App Store and reputable developers.

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