Category Archives: WordPress

Make Your Web Site Mobile Friendly for Google

Mobile Friendly

On Tuesday, April 24, Google will make an important change in the way it ranks web sites for search.

For at least a year, Google has been pushing web site owners to make their sites more mobile friendly. In fact, they’ve even noted in the search results which sites are optimized for mobile devices.

The biggest change of all in this new mobile front will come when sites are actually demoted in search results if Google deems them not mobile friendly.

Are you ready?

Google’s Mobile Friendly Test will tell you: https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/

mobile ready

WordPress Makes It Easy

If your web site is built with WordPress, you are probably all set.

Here are the things you need to check:

  • Are you running the latest version of WordPress? Update if necessary
  • Is your theme up to date?
  • Is your theme mobile ready? WordPress calls such themes “Responsive Themes.” They look good on either a desktop or mobile device. If you are planning to update the look of your site, now would be the perfect time to switch to a new responsive theme.

Jetpack to the Rescue

If you like you web site the way it is, but it isn’t mobile friendly, there is a quick and easy WordPress solution – a plugin called Jetpack

JetPack has lots of useful tools, but for the big Google re-ranking, the most important part is its built in Responsive Theme. It will leave your desktop theme as is while adding a new, mobile friendly theme that will be detected by mobile browsers (and Google!)

Jetpack’s Mobile theme. Instant and customizable lightweight responsive theme designed for phones and tablets.

To use Jetpack, you’ll need a WordPress.com account.

You don’t actually have to build a blog on WordPress.com to open an account. You just have to select Create Account Only at sign in.

Make a note of your WordPress.com user name and password, and return to your own WordPress powered web site.

Download and install the Jetpack theme, sign in with your WordPress.com credentials when prompted, activate the plugin, select Mobile Theme, and you are done.

Your site is now ready for Google’s Mobile Friendly search.

 

Your Blog Is Your Internet Resume

resume

I read this interesting blog post by Brian Clark from copyblogger.com – called The Income Outlook for 2009

It’s a great read about how, when and why to monetize your blog.

Reading the article as well as a few comments I’ve received lately, jelled an idea I’ve had about blogging floating around in my head.

Everyone knows, or at least has heard that it is important to have a blog. Besides building relationships with your customers, there is a possibility that you might make a few bucks.

However, if you are a service company do you really want flashing banners distracting your potential customers? Is it worth the chance of making a few cents on a click and losing the client? Probably, no… unless you already have more clients than you know what to do with. (Not likely, is it?).

Leaving your blog open to comments, creates a dialog and helps build community. That’s great if you have a top 10 blog, but for the rest of us, that may be a great by-product, but shouldn’t be the reason to start a blog. Unless you are really great at networking you’ll feel let down by the lack of response.

Of course, writing is hard for most people, so the very nature of a blog is a little off-putting. But, as we continue to progress along the internet age and web 2.0 morphs into web 3.0 blogging is becoming more and more important for businesses, large and small.

I’ve been struck recently by the response to one of my recent blogs. It’s not very old — a relative new kid on the block. However, as I network and people start check me out, guess what? The first place they come is to the blog. And, unlike my website(s) that I’ve had up for years, people compliment the blog –and it has opened up the door to several new professional relationships. One potential client even called it a “property.” LOL — I love that term, makes me feel pretty darn important. Hope I don’t get too big for me britches.

My point is if you haven’t started a blog, here’s another reason. Consider it your internet résumé — no matter what your purpose for being online, a blog will get you noticed. Just a like a résumé put your best foot forward.

Photo by Olivier Charavel at http://www.flickr.com/photos/oliviercharavel/2631535001/

Make Your Headlines Clear – Not Clever – If You Want To Be Read

The temptation to write clever headlines, captions, titles, and text can be hard to resist. In face-to-face situations, the rewards for being witty or funny or erudite are real.

But online – the cost of being clever is lost readers and lost sales.

Today, Harry of Men With Pens reviewed Steve Krug’s Don’t Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability. Everything he said about web design applies equally to web writing.

It can’t be said often enough.

Online readers don’t read – they skim.

The more time a reader spends trying to decipher your puns, the less likely they are to find your call to action. Or to even realize the call to action exists.

When you have the choice between a boring headline that explains what a blog post or newsletter is about and a clever one whose meaning becomes clear only after you’ve read a paragraph or two – choose the boring headline.

DON’T MAKE ME WORK

Readers already feel overwhelmed and exhausted.

A subject line that hints rather than explains will be deleted or set aside for “later” (a time that never comes). A deceptive “Look At The Train Wreck!” style headline may work once or twice – until annoyed readers consign you to the SPAM filter.

An effective headline or subject line spells out the benefits of reading the newsletter or blog post.

Blogs and newsletters are gatherers of information. They collect and broadcast what we need to know in small, easy to use chunks.

Respect your readers by telling them, clearly and concisely, exactly what you have to offer. Write a simple, clear headline and then follow through by writing articles that fulfill the promise of the headline.

THINK LIKE A BILLBOARD

Harry, of Men With Pens, uses the analogy of a billboard. While cars speed by at 60 MPH, there is no room for subtlty. You need to get the message across fast.

Your headline is your billboard – use it to snag the attention of speeding readers.

The Power of WordPress & Content Management

Although it is best known as blogging software, WordPress is much, much more than just a blog.

Content Management Systems, like WordPress, separate content and design – making it possible for anyone to update and maintain a web site. This 1 hour webinar shows how WordPress’s ease of use can be combined with its excellent Search Engine Optimization to make winning web sites without extensive knowledge of either coding or web design.

How To Upgrade Your Blog to the Latest Version of WordPress

WordPress v2.8 was released on June 11, 2009. It contains new features that will make it a must have upgrade for most users, as well as over 270 bug fixes. Here’s how to upgrade safely.

First, make sure your blog is already running WordPress v2.7 or v2.71. If it is not, you’ll need to use an older upgrade method.

If you have an earlier version (WordPress 2.5 or 2.6, for instance), download and install the WP Automatic Upgrade Plugin. You can still find it at the WordPress Plugin Directory Use this plugin to get your blog updated to the most current version.

If you have WordPress v2.7 or 2.71, use WordPress’s built in automatic upgrade – do not use the plugin. Beginning with version 2.7, WordPress incorporated an automated upgrade routine. It is still not as smooth or reliable as the old plugin, but it is easy to use.

If you take the proper precautions before you upgrade, the process should take only a minute or two.

First, back up your blog. Do not skip this step! You can download and install the Automtic Database Backup plugin directly through the WordPress Dashboard. Click on Plugins and then click on Add new. Search for “backup” and select and install WP-DB-Backup.

Once it is installed, run a manual backup and save it to your server.

Next, disable all plugins.

Now it is safe to run WordPress’s automatic upgrade by clicking on the Upgrade Now link at the top of your Dashboard. It will take a few seconds, and each step will be reported.

When the upgrade is complete, you’ll get a notice that it was successful, followed by a notice to update your database.

Once you update the database, you blog will be running WordPress 2.8.

Now go back to the Plugin area of your dashboard and reactivate your plugins. Also, while you are there, update any that have new versions available. Just click on the Automatic Upgrade link under the plugin’s description.

You are now ready to take advantage of WordPress’s newest features, inclucing

  • Automtic Theme installation
  • Improved Widget management
  • Color coded syntax editing in the Template editor

How To Make A Clickable or Hot Link In WordPress

wp-link

You can make links clickable inside the listing once you’ve written the word, or words you want your readers to click on inside the word editor.

Briefly to create the links follow these steps:

  1.  Highlight the area you want to link to
  2. Go to the tool bar and click on the chain link
  3. Fill in the url — or website address — and click OK

That creates a clickable link.

Remember, for Search Engine Optimization it is better to make your words specifically about the link instead of ‘click here’ – most people recognize blue links now – and search engine robots give much higher rankings to links associated with specific words.

How to Safely Upgrade to WordPress 3.0

WordPress 3.0 is an eagerly anticipated upgrade – but every big change causes anxiety. Is it safe to upgrade? This video shows you how to protect your WordPress blog or web site while you upgrade.

WordPress 3.0 has features – like integrated networking (WordPress MU) or the new menu structure – that users have been clamoring for. But such big changes to the WordPress core features can spell disaster with a carelss upgrade.

This video demonstrates 3 different back up mehtods that will keep your posts safe while you upgrade – and make it easy to restore your data if necessary.

So far this week, I have upgraded 5 WordPress blogs to version 3.0 without a hitch. I always follow the same strategy:

1) Take the upgrades one step at a time. Don’t leap over versions. In other words, upgrade from WordPress 2.7 to to WordPress 2.8 to WordPress 2.9 if necessary, before upgrading to WordPress 3.0

2) Always install the latest version of all plugins and themes before updating. Then check wordpress.org/extend/ to be sure that the themes and plugins you use actually work with the latest version of WordPress before activating them.

3) Back up! Don’t rely on luck. Everyone knows, as long as you have a good backup, you’ll never need to use it.

4) Disable all plugins before beginning the upgrade. Don’t count on WordPress to put itself into maintenance mode. Disbale the plugins manually to be safe.

5) If you have to enter FTP passwords to upgrade or can’t use the auto install features for plugins and themes, do a manual – instead of automatic – upgrade. It only takes a few minutes more to accomplish, but it leaves you in control of every step.

That’s it. Good luck – and let us know on the forums how you like this latest version of WordPress. What features are you using?

19 Must Have Plugins for WordPress 3.1

Always check that a plug-in has been tested for compatibility with your version of WordPress before you install it.

Plugins add additional tools and functions that would normally require a knowledge of scripting and programming to your WordPress blog. But many people shy away from using plugins because they don’t know which to choose or how to install them. This brief tutorial will help you overcome those fears.

Recently someone asked me what plugins I always add to a new WordPress installation. I thought it might be useful to share that list with The Web Sellers Circle.

The short video at the end of the list will show you how to download and install plugins to your blog. If you have never installed a plugin before, you’ll be amazed to discover just how easy it is.

So look over my list of “must have” plugins; decide which ones might improve your WordPress blog; and then install them. They can all be found at http://www.wordpress.org/extend/plugins/

MUST HAVE WORD PRESS PLUG INS

14 ESSENTIAL PLUGINS

1. All In One SEO Pack
2. Broken Link Checker
3. Contact Form 7
4. Really Simple CAPTCHA
5. FD Feedburner Plug in
6. Google XML Site Maps
7. WP-DB-Backups
8. Google Analytics for WordPress
9. Sociable
10. Yet Another Related Post Plugin
11. Canonical URLs
12. Ajax Comment Preview
13. Search Suggest
14. Smart 404

NOT NECESSARILY FOR BEGINNERS BUT EXTREMELY USEFUL

Next Gen Gallery
WordPress Mobile Edition
Flash Video Player

GOES WITHOUT SAYING

Akismet