wordpress-logo-and-background

WPSS Weekly Round-up 24 Feb 2019

WordPress Support Weekly Round-Up – WordPress Redevelopment

It’s been a busy week for the WPSS team with some WordPress redevelopment projects.

Over and above our usual regular WordPress maintenance, WordPress core updates, WordPress Redevelopment, WordPress plugin updates, backups and more. We’ve been involved in a variety of interesting projects as always.

Award Winning Design Agency:

We’ve been helping a design agency get their clients’ new WordPress website over the line. Fine tuning some of the codings, making things work, and helping to get the site look as it should on all browsers – even the dreaded ie 11 :)

Wordpress-programmer-at-work

It’s been great to help these guys. They are great to work with because they are very appreciative of our specific expertise in areas they don’t know or don’t have the time to learn.

A great comment from them has been that our relationship means they have a virtual extension of their team and that makes them look bigger and better in front of their clients.

Rebuilding A Badly Built WordPress Website:

Another one of our projects involves redevelopment of a WordPress website which looked good. But it was poorly built by a freelancer. WPSS offered them WordPress Redevelopment to get things looking right.

On the face of it – using a freelancer was a good idea – relatively low cost, a nice portfolio of previous work showed the site would provide a good reflection of the company brand. However, the way the site was built made it difficult for the client to update.

They found updating one page would often break others, when they added tracking code to the site – it broke the site completely.

The low-cost route of the freelancer, unfortunately, cost them more in the end,

  1. The cost and time in the first site
  2. The time in the disruption to their business as they tried to work with the site
  3. The investment and time to rebuild it with ourselves

The new site is complete by our team and the client is delighted. They now have a stable and easy to edit the website.

Advanced Search Feature For WordPress Website:

Adding an advanced search facility to a holidays lettings park has been another interesting project.

This one has been a tricky job as we’ve had to integrate with the existing booking system. To ensure all the correct data is pulled through. Therefore, also working on the styling so it looks great on desktop, tablet and smartphones. This is to give visitors the best user experience possible.

WordPress Developers And Designers:

Finally, we’ve interviewed a selection of potential new team members including, developers, designers and writers from the UK, Egypt, Ukraine, Albania, USA, Philipines and more. We’ll update you on the new additions as soon as they join the WPSS team who now span 6 of the 7 continents of the globe.

So, that’s our wrap-up for this week – Have a great week ahead!

Find Out If You Use WordPress.Com or WordPress.Org

Find Out If You Use WordPress.Com or WordPress.Org

The most common question that many WordPress users struggle with is how to tell if their website is on either WordPress.com or WordPress.org. On this blog post, we share the most basic ways of telling the two apart.

The key difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org is hosting.

Let us begin by defining web hosting. It is the process of space allocation on a web server for a website to store its files. These files that comprise a website (HTML, CSS, files and images) are made available for viewing online.

WordPress.org often referred to as self-hosted WordPress, is usually set up with your own hosting provider, e.g. GoDaddy, Bluehost, 123 Reg, or a company like WP Support Specialists.

You can customize your website design as needed, and you are also able to run custom analytics and tracking for your website.

On the other hand, you pay WordPress.com to host your website domain for you. This kind of website is easy to use and does not require installation. However, your website will not be completely under your control and the design and themes are limited.

With all said you are still probably wondering whether there is another way you can tell if your website is on wordpress.com or self-hosted? Yes there is J

 A more practical way of checking the difference is by using your browser and following these simple steps:

  1. Go to your browser; type your website’s domain followed by /wp-login.php. This takes you to your WordPress login dashboard.
  2. Your WordPress login dashboard will appear, login to your website’s backend with your username and password.
  3. Once you are at the backend, hover your mouse over the WordPress logo at the top left corner of the page.
  4. On the dropdown list, you will see either WordPress.org or WordPress.com

Wordpress.org screenshot

We hope this blog clearly illustrates how you can tell which WordPress hosting platform you are on.

If you have any further questions about how do i tell if my website is on WordPress.com or WordPress.org, feel free to contact us here with your query.

managed wordpress hosting and support

Managed WordPress Hosting And Support

Managed WordPress hosting and support in a single, affordable package is hard to come by.  There are many companies offering fully managed WordPress hosting, and many others offering WordPress technical support – but few combine the two.

Really this makes no sense: websites need hosting and websites need maintenance – it’s just a fact of the digital world.  But WordPress website owners have to shop around to find the best managed WP hosting company for their needs.  Then most owners simply try to manage the regular maintenance themselves, without having any training or expertise in WordPress management.

And there are several disadvantages to these approaches:

1.Not All Website Hosting Is Created Equal

WEBSPACE

The size of a website dictates the amount of webspace it requires.  Around 1Gb is fine for small sites with modest website traffic, but the bigger the site, the more webspace it requires – those huge, complicated sites with 1000s of visitors plus per day, are going to need to have hosting with unlimited webspace.

It’s not easy to predict the amount of webspace you will need for your site and consequently makes it hard to find the right hosting package for you.

SERVER

Hosting can be shared or on a private server – again the best choice depends on the anticipated website traffic.  General shared hosting, as offered by companies such as GoDaddy, Bluehost and 123 Reg, means your site will share the server with other company websites. Consequently this type of hosting can be adequate for small sites where uptime and site speed are not critical, but far from ideal for sites with large volumes of traffic. In the latter case, website speed may be slow and if you have too much traffic, the site is likely to crash

Private server hosting means you have resources that are not shared by others. This provides more power and flexibility than being on a shared account, but costs more.

For a WordPress website, it makes sense to choose WordPress specific hosting. It may be slightly more expensive than general hosting but is optimised for WP and ensures the website runs faster and can be more easily maintained.  But many of the “big names” in website hosting don’t offer this option.

In short finding the right hosting package for your WordPress website can be tricky if you don’t  know the right questions to ask.

2. WordPress Maintenance Isn’t All Plain Sailing

In theory, WordPress is a free platform available for all to use. The reality is that it is hard to maintain a WP site securely if you’ve taught yourself everything you know about the platform.

Many business owners don’t even appreciate the need to regularly maintain their website: it needs to be backed up regularly, to be monitored for malware, and plugin and core updates need to be done in a timely manner.

Even those who do realise regular maintenance is essential, don’t have all the skills they need to carry it out effectively. Or alternatively they get so caught up in the demands of their business, that the website maintenance gets overlooked all together.

The result? At some point or other the website is going to have problems. And at that point, WordPress support is needed – again another hassle for the business owner who has to try to find a company to help them as soon as possible.

 

For all of these reasons, we have created a Managed WordPress Hosting and Support package which offers reliable, WP specific hosting and expert support delivered by trained WP specialists.  We work with a modest number of clients, enabling us to provide a truly personal service for each one (quite different to the likes of Godaddy and Bluehost who manage hundreds of thousands of customers).

If you’re fed up with your unhelpful WP hosting company, who tend to blame the WordPress platform itself for any problems you report, and you want quality support from friendly, WP experts then consider our managed WordPress hosting and support package.

 

 

premium wordpress hosting

Premium WordPress Hosting And Support

Premium WordPress hosting and support is ideal for companies with WordPress websites who want to leave the management of the site to experts so they can focus on their business.  As the name suggests, premium WordPress hosting and support comprises a top-notch service which includes:

  • WordPress specific hosting, specifically designed to deal with the “application nuances” of this CMS and ensures optimal caching and security for WP sites
  • A fast loading website which is essential for your website to please Google (and so show high in search results) and also to please your website visitors
  • The ability to quickly fix any security issues identified by WordPress
  • Regular maintenance of the website including daily back-ups, malware protection plus core and plugin updates
  • 24/7 WordPress support if things go wrong
  • WordPress support services delivered by experts who work solely with the WordPress platform and know everything there is to know

Whilst business owners realise they need to host their website via a third party hosting party, many mistakenly believe that they can support their site without external assistance; but unless they are an expert in all things WordPress, things have a tendency to go horribly wrong.

For example, WordPress plugins and core updates need to be made frequently, but if the whole website isn’t backed up properly first and something goes wrong, a lot of data is going to be lost.

Similarly if the site isn’t fully protected against hackers and malware, and actively checked for malicious behaviour on the site, it can become compromised.

At this point, business owners realise their error – they will have search for WP experts who offer emergency support, and then pay out hundreds or thousands of pounds for the experts to investigate the problems to put everything right.  And during this process of course, the website isn’t working and the business is losing potential customers and sales.

How much more sensible it would have been to follow the “prevention is better than cure” philosophy.

For all of these reasons, we have created a WordPress premium plan which offers both fast, reliable hosting and superb support delivered by specific WP experts.  We support small businesses on a regular basis and pride ourselves on developing a personal relationship with them – not for us the impersonal approach of the “big” hosting companies such as Godaddy and Bluehost where you are just one customer amongst hundreds of thousands.

Are you fed up trying to deal with your hosting company, who are slow to respond and then simply blame the WordPress platform itself for any below par performance? Do you need regular support from friendly, experienced WP experts to keep your website ticking over reliably? If yes, then consider our premium WordPress hosting and support package.

wordpress maintenance companies UK

WordPress Maintenance Companies UK

wordpress maintenance companies UKAre you looking for a WordPress Maintenance Companies based in the UK that you can trust?

WordPress is used for 26% of the worlds websites, many of which being notable big names; Mercdes Benz, Sony, Walt Disney, Beyonce and The Rolling Stones to name a few. It’s safe to say then, that if you’ve chosen to use WordPress for your website you’re up there with the best of them.

But let me ask you a question if I may? Why are you in your line of business? Chances are you’ve been asked this question before and, “to spend time developing and managing my WordPress website” probably wasn’t your first answer.

There is no escaping however, that our clients expect us to have an online presence that includes a fully functioning website. Not a lot to ask is it really? which is why so many businesses become the proud owners of brand new beautiful WordPress websites. But what happens when the honeymoon period is over?

Maintaining a website to the standard required for it to enhance your brand and bring in more customers takes expertise and time, and a lot of both when things go wrong.

When things go wrong with your website, such as hosting problems, security problems or issues with a painfully slow website, it’s simply bad for business. Not only does it turn away your potential and existing customers, but the time taken to resolve the issue can be significant, not to mention stressful. This all detracts from the one thing you really ought to be doing do to keep your business alive and growing; stay focused on what you do best.

Have you decided that you need to spend more time on your business, rather than keeping your WordPress website working optimally and backed-up?

wordpress maintenance companies UKAre you trying to take care of your WordPress Website yourself but not sure you’re getting it right?

Do you need more peace of mind so that you can concentrate on what you do best?

If you’ve answered “yes” to any of the above questions, you may have already started looking for some help with WordPress maintenance and support for your website.

We were one of the first, and longest running commercial WordPress Maintenance Companies based in the UK.

Whilst many other WordPress Maintenance Companies appear when you run a Google search, the vast majority of these companies are based in the USA.

Of the rest, many others are web design agencies who offer a maintenance service, however, they are often not experienced in the troubleshooting side of website support. That’s one of the areas where we differ. We are WordPress Support Specialists, and our business is to prevent and solve all of your WordPress problems quickly, and efficiently. It’s what we do best and what we focus on.

Are you ready to focus on what you do best?

Are you looking for WordPress Maintenance Companies based in the UK that you can trust?

If so we’re here to help you. We will take care of your WordPress Website for you so that you can take care of your business and your customers. Click here to learn more about our WordPress maintenance packages.

is my website hacked

Is My Website Hacked? 7 Telltale Signs | WP Support Specialists 

It’s every business owner and blogger’s nightmare – is my website hacked?  You may have noticed that your site isn’t operating as smoothly as normal, or, if you rarely use your own website (as you’re busy running your business), regular clients call to say the website isn’t working properly.

Nowadays, hackers are sophisticated and the signs that your site has been hacked range from “obviously something’s gone wrong” to “I have a sense all is not right”.  It’s important to identify if your website has been hacked as soon as possible – so you can take steps to get it fixed.  Here are 6 telltale signs to look out for.

Is My Website Hacked?  The “Obviously Something’s Gone Wrong” Signs 

1. Different Website Entirely

If you type your website url into your browser, or click a link for your site but find yourself on a completely different site (often one of a risqué nature), it’s highly likely you’ve been hacked.

Some hackers think it’s a jolly jape to hijack a website and redirect all traffic elsewhere but it won’t please your clients!

Take action immediately!

Would you like a free website hacking check? Contact us today!        Is my website hacked?

2. Website disappears

When your browser tells you that your website doesn’t exist, don’t panic right away – check for simple solutions first: has the domain name expired?  Is the website down for maintenance? Is there an issue with your web hosting company? Once you’ve ruled out obvious alternatives, it’s time to consider that your website has been hacked

3. Browser alert

When trying to access your site, if you see the red malware screen, you have a definite problem that needs checking out.  Get on the case quickly – nothing so likely as to put the frighteners on clients as seeing this screen when they try to click to your site.

A big concern here is how long this has been an issue and how many visitors you’ve lost because of this. The nature of people is they are unlikely to reach out and tell you unless they are already a good customer.

 

has my website been hacked

4. Multiple Windows

If you click through to your website and multiple windows pop up, or when you click on various links on your site you find you are redirected to other sites.

If this is the case, all is not well, and it’s very likely devious hackers are behind the scenes.  Time to get your site checked out.

 

Would you like a free website hacking check? Contact us today!        Is my website hacked?

5. Words That Don’t Belong

If odd words are popping up on your site, or strange links to other sites that you know nothing about, it’s probable you have been hacked.

6. No Access

If your normal log in to the admin area of your website is not working, a hacker may have got into the site via the Admin account or cPanel and changed the passwords.

Is My Website Hacked?  The “I Have A Sense All Is Not Right” Sign

7. Exceedingly Slow To Load

If your website is suddenly much, much slower than normal, and you get a timed out message before the connection can be made,  there may be hackers using your site to send out spam emails.

There are several problems with this

a) your clients won’t bother to wait to see if the site loads

b) if a connection can’t be made, then your clients will remember you as the company with the dodgy site

c) if hackers are sending out 1000’s of spam emails from your domain, your website is in danger of being blacklisted. You Internet provider may also cut-off your internet connection and your ability to send and receive email.

 

Would you like a free website hacking check? Contact us today!        Is my website hacked?

 

If you’re thinking then it’s best to seek professional advice as soon as possible.  Hacked websites not only prevent potential clients navigating their way around them without problem, but they can also offend your clients with inappropriate material and get your domain blacklisted in the eyes of the search engines – meaning you have no possibility to rank in search results.

 

We offer a range of WordPress support services if you require help. Just contact us for a no obligation chat!

wordpress website load faster

Why Make Your WordPress Website Load Faster?

You may be aware that many people talk about making a WordPress website load faster, but don’t really understand why.  We can enlighten you: there are 2 very important reasons why you should care about the loading speed of your website.

Reason 1 – Improved User Experience

For website users there is nothing more annoying than clicking on a website link and waiting……. and waiting for the pages to load.  If that happens, they’re more likely than not to shut the tab down and head off to another website with a faster load speed.  And this doesn’t just apply to desktop users; mobile visitors want to use speedy websites too.

On eCommerce websites, users want to navigate round the site, look at all the pretty things on offer, add things to their wish list, pop things in their basket, then checkout and pay – all without being delayed by slow loading pages.  In fact website loading speed is so important for online shoppers that it has a direct impact on return visits, site loyalty and word-of-mouth recommendations.

There are some fascinating statistics which underline the above points:

  • If your website pages take 4 seconds to load, 25% of users will abandon the website
  • 73% of mobile internet users say that they’ve encountered a website that was too slow to load
  • 79% of shoppers who are dissatisfied with website performance are less likely to buy from the same site again
  • 44% of online shoppers will tell their friends about a bad experience online.

More details on loading speed can be viewed in this great infographic from Kissmetrics*.

 

Take a look at the final comment on the infographic:

“If an e-commerce site is making $100,000 per day, a 1 second page delay could potentially cost you $2.5 million in lost sales every year.”

Now that is worth thinking about!

Reason 2 – Google Likes Speedy Sites

As detailed above, a slow loading website creates a poor user experience – and frankly that makes Google fume!  As Google continuously strives to offer up the very best of websites to its searchers, those with slow page speeds will be seen as the poor relations, and won’t rank as highly in result listings as the faster performing sites.  And that goes for both desktop and mobile websites.

However recent research by Google shows that the average loading speed for a mobile page is 22 seconds – but 53% of people will abandon the mobile site if they have to wait beyond 3 seconds for it to load!

Many mobile users must be continually irritated by the websites they try to access on their smartphone or tablet.  No wonder Google pushes those sites lower down their search engine results list!  And as more and more people search on mobile device, can you really afford to not rank well in the search results because your mobile site is very sluggish?

How Can I Check My Website Speed?

If you want Google to push your website higher up the rankings and want to keep your website visitors happy, you need to check your site loading speed, and if necessary make your WordPress website load faster.

Use the simple Google “test my site” tool by simply entering your website url.

Google shows us how it should look:

wordpress website load faster

How Can I Make My WordPress Website Load Faster?

There are a number of fundamental steps you should take, including optimising your images, choosing WordPress plugins carefully and choosing the right host.  For more details, check our blog here

 

We hope that this simple overview of the importance of website loading speed has inspired you to check your own WordPress website loading speed – and to take action if it’s poor.

We offer a WordPress optimisation service if you require help with any technical elements involved in improving your loading speed.  Just contact us for a no obligation chat!

 

*Infographic from https://blog.kissmetrics.com/loading-time/

how to duplicate a page in wordpress

How to Duplicate a Page or Post in WordPress

Knowing how to duplicate a page in WordPress is a handy trick! Creating a great page or post in WordPress can take minutes. Creating a spectacular post, however, takes a lot of time. You need to do your research, write insightful content, and then you need to fine-tune it to make the post uniquely yours. You have to add images, SEO elements, bullets, numbering, and headers to make the post easy-to-read, and you should add shareable social media buttons to enable readers to spread the word easily.

That’s why it’s so important to save yourself time by learning how to duplicate a page in WordPress – or indeed duplicating a post. There are several ways to do it.

1. Duplicating a Page in WordPress – Method #1: Duplicate Post Plugin

Step 1:  Installing the Plugin

The WordPress Duplicate Post plugin is a very handy tool to have on any WordPress website.  To install it, navigate to the Plugins tab in the left hand side of your WordPress dashboard. When the page opens up, click on Add New. Type Duplicate Post in the search bar, and click on Search. The Duplicate Post result should appear on the page, with an “Install Now” button underneath. Click on that, and then on OK. Follow the prompts  until you see the Activate Plugin option.

 

Step 2:  Duplicate the Post

From the dashboard, click on Posts > All posts

duplicate a post in wordpress

 

Choose the post you wish to duplicate from the posts listing and place your cursor underneath the name of the post. A menu with options will appear.

Two options are available:

duplicate a page in wordpress

a) Click on Clone if you want to copy the page or post without opening it.

b) Click on New Draft if you want to copy the page or post and open it in the Editor window in draft mode.

 

2. Duplicating a Page in WordPress – Method #2: Using Visual Composer

If you use Visual Composer duplicating a WordPress page or post couldn’t be easier.

Simply design your page layout, then from the template menu, select “Save current page as a template” and give the template a name.

 

visual composer duplicate page in wordpress

 

Then when you create a new page, select your template from the templates menu, and it will be used on the new page.

 

3. Duplicating a Page in WordPress – Method #3: Advanced Layout Builder

Some WordPress themes have built-in page and post duplication functions.

Enfold uses the Advanced Layout Builder which makes it simple to duplicate a page or post.

If you want to clone a page you save it as a template and give the template a suitable name:

avia layout builder duplicate page

 

When you need to add a new page, click on Templates, and choose the template name you saved on the previous step and that will load the same page.

 

4. And Finally Double Check

When you are clear about how to duplicate a page in WordPress by following one of the options above, you will have duplicated an entire post or page, including the title, tags, categories, contents and more – so you won’t have to fiddle around with new formatting or the like.

It just remains for you to check the content on the page or post, change the SEO fields, update images etc and check it all for accuracy before hitting publish.

Duplicating a page in WordPress is very easy – provided you have the right tools!

If you require further help with your WordPress website or are interested in our services, please browse our website and contact us for a no obligation chat.

SSL Certificates And How to Switch from HTTP to HTTPS

You may have heard of SSL Certificates and be aware that Google is keen to see webmasters migrate their HTTP websites to HTTPS, all in the name of website security.  But if you’ve unclear what the fuss is all about, why you should make the move, and indeed how to do it, Matt Banner at On Blast Blog has all the answers.

This infographic is a checklist covering everything you need to know and how to migrate your site from HTTP to HTTPS.

Enjoy the read – and remember, if you experts to migrate your WordPress website to HTTPS, we’re here to help!

 

how to switch from http to https Credit: On Blast Blog
optimising images in wordpress

Optimising Images In WordPress – 9 SEO And User Experience Tips

Optimising images in WordPress is essential from both a search engine optimisation (SEO) viewpoint, and also to create a great user experience. Attractive images make the site look more appealing, can break up chunks of text and can help get a specific point across to your audience. And if they are handled properly, they can have a positive impact on your SEO.

1. Professional images

Don’t be tempted to use amateur shots on your website or even in your blogs.  They suggest you haven’t given much thought or effort to make your site look presentable.  When optimising images in WordPress, you’ll need professional shots taken of specific products, venues or the staff that you wish to promote. But of course, you can supplement these with good quality stock images.

Nowadays you can find some great free stock images, as well as paid for images on a variety of websites.  If you’re not sure where to look, check out this great article.

2. Image resolution

Choose a good enough resolution (number of pixels) for images to show as good quality on large screens ie. not fuzzy or pixelated.  As a rule of thumb, images of around 1920 pixels wide are ideal for main banner images /full-width images as they will be displayed properly on the vast majority of desktops. There is generally no need to upload images in excess of this

If your image is to enhance a blog post or page, images should be smaller to reflect the fact that they will be displayed at a smaller size.

Whatever the pixel dimensions of your image, ensure the file size is as small as possible. An easy way to do this is to save them at 72dpi.

3. File Name

Before you upload an image to your Image library, consider the page it will appear on. Think in advance what the focus word of that page will be, and create a  file name to match. This is the very first step in telling the search engines what your image represents.

In this example, the image is to be used in a blog, where the focus keyword is “WordPress website security”, and so the image file name is simply wordpress-website-security.jpg

optimising images in wordpress

Whatever the keyword you want the page to rank for, make sure it appears at the beginning of the image file name for improved SEO.

4. Title

The image title has no impact on SEO but enables you to add in more information about the image.

5. Alt Text

This is the most important field for SEO. It helps Google understand what your image is about, and hence the description you use must be in line with your focus keyword. However, don’t be tempted to stuff keywords here. Keep the text clear, concise and relevant because if the image can’t be shown to a user (eg. they have turned off images in the web browser or are using a screen reader) the Alt Text is displayed to them.

In our example, we used “WordPress Website Security Tips”.

6. Caption

This is not essential in terms of SEO but can be used to show a caption to your audience under the image on your website. If you believe it will enhance the user experience, then add captions; if not, leave this field blank.

7. Description

Again of no benefit to your SEO efforts. But you can add in descriptive details here, such as when the image was taken for example.

8. Image Compression

This is important for both SEO and user experience.  If your website pages contain large images, thousands of pixels wide, it will make the web pages very slow to load. And that creates a poor user experience that Google frowns upon.  Nowadays loading speed is considered as a ranking factor – the faster the better.

optimising images in wordpress

 

optimising images in wordpress

Then when adding images to your web pages, you can simply choose the appropriate size for the page.

9. Automatic Image Optimisation

There are a wide variety of plugins that ensure you are optimising images in WordPress. They enable website images to be served at the appropriate size for the best web page loading speed possible.

We like WP Smush which handles all image resizing, optimisation and compression needs.

By simply setting the maximum image height and width. WP Smush will compress the files to reduce file size and scale them down simultaneously – with no loss of visual quality.

 

So there you have it.  9 straightforward tips to help you optimise images on your WordPress website. To keep your users happy and to help with SEO.

 

For more information about on-page SEO using Yoast in WordPress, check out this article.

If you require help with optimising images in WordPress – or indeed help with any other WordPress issues such as hosting, maintenance or migration – then just contact us.