How To Update A WordPress Theme

How to update WordPress themes. You should update your WordPress theme to avoid any vulnerabilities or code conflict issues that could occur on your site. Here is how to do it.

  1. Click Appearance>Themes.
  2. Click Update Now for the themes that need to be updated.

SiteGround Web Hosting Review

Choosing a web host is an important decision – it can LITERALLY make or break your website. For a very long time, I hosted all my websites and my client’s websites on Bluehost. As far as cost goes, they don’t break the bank and until 2018, I always received excellent customer service. Then, well let’s just say I didn’t anymore.

As I started my search for a new hosting company, there was one name that came up in recommendations time and time again. Siteground. I’ve used a lot of hosting companies over the last ten years, but Siteground was not one of them. So I decided to give it a try. And I’m super glad I did! I’ve had my sites and several clients sites on SiteGround for the past year and have nothing but good things to say about them. I feel like I now have enough experience with them to sign up as an affiliate and start recommending them to the world! The links to SiteGround are affiliate links, and I will receive a small bit of compensation if you click through and sign up. Be assured that I only recommend the things I’ve used myself and feel are quality products and services.

Here are my top reasons why I moved all of my sites to Siteground:

Excellent Customer Service

When something goes wrong with your website (and it will) having an expert who can help you is important. There have been several times that I’ve needed help doing things like transferring sites and installing SSL certificates. I jumped on chat with the Siteground team and usually had the problem solved in less than 5 minutes.

Easy SSL Installation

Yes, I’ve been a web designer for years now, but I’ve always dreaded converting existing sites over to SSL. At SiteGround, you have access to Let’s Encrypt, which is the easiest way of converting to SSL that I’ve seen.

Free Tools for Speed

Site speed is a huge deal for your visitors and for SEO. My sites are running faster now that they’re on SiteGround. Part of that is the free tools they offer on all plans. They make it easy to install caching on your site so that local copies are kept on the server and load faster. If your site is image heavy, you’ll also want to take advantage of free CDN, which is where your images are distributed so they can be served up faster to your visitors.

Free Automated WordPress Transfers

I had multiple websites to transfer over for myself, and I often transfer websites for clients. In the past it’s been quite a process, sometimes taking several hours. With SiteGround, it’s minutes. I’ve personally transferred 10 WordPress websites with their self-service tool and it’s worked flawlessly every single time. I haven’t found that with any other web hosting company.

There are other reasons why I am enjoying hosting my sites on SiteGround, but these are my top four. If you’re looking for a new website hosting company, I highly recommend giving SiteGround a try.

Better Click to Tweet WordPress Plugin Review

I’m a big fan of social media, and I absolutely love any tool that helps me to automate some of the marketing tasks that go along with having a blog. Take Twitter for example. I know that quotes are among the most retweeted posts I have, but I don’t have the time to dash off witty quotes or blog posts all day long. And while it does happen occasionally, it’s pretty rare for someone to write out one of my quotes in a tweet and send it out. Enter this clever little plugin, Better Click to Tweet.

Better Click to Tweet quickly and easily turns text from your blog post into a tweet that your readers can simply, well… click to tweet.

Here, give it a try.

If #WordPress is like a cheeseburger, plugins are the french fries that make it that much better. Click To Tweet

If you clicked and tweeted the above, you’ve just sent out one of my most often tweeted quotes. Pretty cool, right? Here’s how it works.

Install the Better Click to Tweet plugin by Ben Meredith. As you’re writing your post in the visual editor, click the Better Click to Tweet short code generator button.

Better Click to Tweet Review

Complete the box and it will add your tweetable to the blog post formatted in a neat little box with a Click to Tweet graphic.

Customize Your Tweet

That’s not all this plugin does. You can customize your tweet using these detailed instructions from Ben. Want to customize the URL so you can link to a product instead of a blog post? You can do that. Or maybe you want to remove the URL completely? You can do that too. You can even make links NoFollow for good SEO. And if you’re good with CSS, it’s not difficult to format the tweets to your own visual taste. Ben has even provided instructions for integrating with YOURL and Bitly. And just because Ben and I are WordCamp Raleigh pals, I recommend you check out the other things he’s got going on over at WP Steward.

If you’re looking for ways to engage your readers and make it easy for them to show their support, the Better Click to Tweet plugin is a great addition to your WordPress site.

WordPress Login Math Problem for Extra Security

In the Askillity Mastermind Facebook group that I run for my customers, I often get questions about how make certain things happen in WordPress. You see, finding a particular plugin to do a particular thing can be really difficult when you don’t know exactly what that thing is called or how it works. You just saw it, and you want it for your website.

That’s what happened when one of our members saw a cool math problem show up on a WordPress login page. A math problem (in general) is a much better bot-stopper than the typical Capitcha because most humans can solve basic math. Capitcha on the other hand…

Susan asked me how to get a math problem like that for her website. There may be other plugins out there to do it, but the one I showed her how to use is called JetPack. JetPack is often described as the “swiss army knife” of plugins because it does a ton of things. It’s developed by Automattic, the people who run WordPress.com and it brings a lot of the .com features to the sites of the self-hosted.

Stop those pesky bots cold with a math problem on your #WordPress login. @WPPlugincoach Click To Tweet

SEO Study: What Works Now (2016)

If you’re a blogger or business owner using SEO to bring more traffic to your website, you might be a bit frustrated with how quickly the tactics can change. This in-depth study put out this month from Backlinko clears up some of the questions about what works now, in 2016. As you look through these results please remember, Google doesn’t give away the details of their ranking methods. This study is based on Backlinko’s observation of 1 million search results and expert interpretation of the data. Here are the highlights:

 

1. Build your backlinks

The study found that the number of backlinks to your site is had the strongest correlation to first page Google Ranking. Looking at the graphic below, you can see that when the number of backlinks hits about 75, there is a rapid increase in average ranking.

Referring-Domains

Rather than getting backlinks from any site that will link to you, focus on getting backlinks from sites that are ranking well themselves. The study found that sites that ranked well with fewer backlinks had links from high quality sites. It still doesn’t help to have multiple backlinks from the same domain.

 

2. Good content still rules

Content that is focused on one topic does much better than content that is general or covers many topics. They think this is due to Google’s semantic search. In other words, Google’s ability to recognize not just the words you are typing, but the context and topic you are searching for. There is an excellent explanation in the original study results that you should read. The study also found that pages with 2000+ words were generally ranked higher than pages with less characters. Sorry guys, you are going to have to up that word count! Make sure to break up the content with headings to make it easier for your readers and for Google to understand.

3. HTTPS helps but is not a must have

Since Google announced that HTTPs (having a security certificate on your site) was a ranking factor, we’ve all been watching for a sign of exactly how much it’s going to help ranking. The study found that while there was a correlation between high ranking sites and HTTPS, that it probably isn’t enough of a factor to make the switch just for SEO reasons. Implementing a security certificate on a brand new site is much easier than implementing it on an existing site. So if you are starting fresh, adding a security certificate to the site might be a good idea.

4. Short URLs are better

It turns out that shorter URLs aren’t just better for your human follows, Googlebot still appreciates them too. The study data shows that URLs with around 60 characters or less are more likely to rank high.

5. Add at least one image

One image is better than no image, but after that there is no significant increase per Google. Your readers may think differently, so don’t hesitate to add as many images as you think appropriate. But do it for your readers, not for Google.

6. Title keywords are still key, but moving down the list

One of the most important and well-knows SEO tactics is to ensure that the keywords for your page are in your title. The study found that while still important, title keywords aren’t what they used to be. That’s because Google as gone far beyond just matching up word patterns when looking for the best search results. It takes the entire page into consideration, including words that are related but are not exact matches to your keyword.

7. Correlation of bounce rate

The role of bounce rate is search rankings was an interested data point that came up in the data. The study authors found a clear relationship between bounce rate and higher rankings, but they are careful to point out that the bounce rate itself may not be the reason for the rankings. A visitor bounces when they land on a page of your site and leave without clicking through to a second page. It stands to reason that a low bounce rate is naturally going to occur on a site that has good content. So it’s possible that this correlation is an effect of having good content rather than a separate SEO tactic. If you are looking to lower your bounce rate, put yourself in your visitor’s shoes and think about how they move through your content. Are you offering links to related compelling content at the end of your pages? Do you have an easy way for visitors to browse the content on your site on every page?

While I’ve covered some of the highlights of the study, there is a lot more for you to look over, and some great charts that illustrate the impact of the SEO tactics that were studied. You can read the study report on Backlinko’s website. They’ve done a great job of breaking down each point and explaining it so that an SEO do-it-yourselfer can understand.

Get the No Fear Guide to Updating WordPress ecourse for free!

“Oh no, not again!” You stare at the WordPress dashboard as your palms start to sweat. The little number in the little circle next to ‘Updates’ is mocking you.

It knows you’ve been ignoring it.

It also knows that you can’t afford to ignore it much longer. You HAVE to do the updates or you’re going to get hacked.

(But you really, really, really don’t want to press that button. Because you’re afraid your entire website will come crashing down around your ears, never to be restored to it’s former glory.)

We’ve all been there, even me. In fact, updating WordPress is the most stressful (and hated) part of owning a WordPress site. I think of it as the price we pay for all of the flexibility and functionality that we get from using an open source platform. When you have this many different people developing different tools for WordPress, you are bound to run into issues and conflicts once in awhile.

You really don’t have to be afraid. There are ways to manage the risk and make applying WordPress updates safer. There are also some common troubleshoot things that can take a potential “site crashing down around your ears” moment and turn it around to business as usual in a matter of moments.

Wouldn’t you like to equip yourself with some of these stress-reducing, crash preventing tools for FREE? That’s right, I wrote FREE! I’m offering you the chance to grab The No Fear Guide to Updating WordPress for free, but you have to jump on the list before the course launches. When will it launch? Well, as soon as I get all of the content filmed! So the launch date is still up in the air. Better run over there right now!

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