I’m always on here apologizing for not writing more. Today isn’t any different – I’m always wishing that I had the time to devote more time to “How to Blog” (as opposed to being slammed with contract gigs and affiliate marketing work). That said, I have several posts that are currently saved as drafts that will be coming down the pipeline that I’m excited about.
WordPress 4.0 Released with some minor feature enhancements
Usually a .0 release of any software indicates some major changes have gone on under the hood. That’s not really the case with WordPress 4.0. Mostly, users will notice an improved post creation process (especially as embeds (like from youtube, twitter, etc) now appear live instead of requiring you to ‘preview’ or ‘publish’ your post to see them) —
WordPress 4.0 has also made some improvements to the Media Manager, including an infinite visual scroll through all of your items, and it is much easier to edit things like title, alt, caption, description, etc for your images although you still cannot change the filename (which frustrates the heck out of me since the filename still plays an important part in SEO).
Faster page load time helps improve SEO and User Experience
Google long ago made clear that they now take the time your website takes to load into consideration as part of their ranking algorithm. In other words, the faster your site loads, the better your site will rank, thus the more you improve SEO. Users also like fast loading pages – if your site is taking too long to load, you might find a lot of users just hitting the back button and trying a different link. So it’s clear that we want our WordPress sites to be as fast as possible.
STEP 1: Use a caching plugin like WP Super Cache or W3 Total Cache
JetPack plugin for WordPress Review: THUMBS DOWN as it causes significant site speed performance issues and slows down your site.
I have been meaning to post this for quite some time and apologize for the delay, but I wanted to make sure that none of my readers were using the JetPack plugin for WordPress. I know, I know, I used to use it myself, too. When it first came out it seemed like such a great thing – one tool to rule them all, offering so much functionality in a single plugin – which is great. BUT, what’s not so great is the affect that JetPack has on WordPress site’s performance. And I’m not talking about a tiny performance hit, either.
One of the reasons this is so important is because Site Speed is a major factor in SEO now
I had received an email just before the holidays from my web host, Hostgator, offering a special limited-time only Cyber Bundle of 13 premium WordPress themes from Mojo Themes for $29 – WP themes that they claimed were worth $608. Sounded like a great deal, so I figured I’d jump on it, even though I didn’t have time to research the quality of the specific themes, or their provider, Mojo Themes. After paying, I was sent to a download page wherein I ran into my first hiccup – one of the themes, Frisco, gave a “Cannot load page” error every time I attempted to download it. Not off to a good start. I emailed support, and they were quick to get back to me (just under 2 hours), letting me know that, “We are currently working to resolve the issue with the download on this theme.” – and they attached the WP theme to their email.
Now that I’ve had my first opportunity to get back to work after the holidays, my second problem arose: I wasn’t at my desktop PC where I’d originally downloaded the MOJO wordpress themes – I was on my new (YAY!) MacBook Pro, so in order to install the themes I would need to download them from the member area to my laptop. Only problem was, I couldn’t remember my password. So I clicked the ‘Lost Password’ button, entered my username, waited for the email to arrive and then clicked on the link provided to me to reset my password, only to get a page with an Error Code of 400, and a page that said simply, “Oops. You done broke’d it now, travis. I’ll go call the plumber.” Seriously??? So I submitted another support request a few hours ago, which I haven’t heard back from yet.