Category Archives: General

Intelligent Updates

One of the beauties of WordPress as a website platform is its flexibility. There is an entire ecosystem of plugins and addons that make what was originally a simple blogging platform into a rich and exciting structure for ecommerce, marketing, and business.

WordPress snowflake
Each WordPress site is unique because of its set of plugins and add-ons.

But one of the issues that can arise is that this same ability to to adapt, change, and customize means that no two WordPress sites are exactly the same. And sometimes, that can lead to unhappy surprises.

Recently we’ve seen this happen with the Yoast SEO plugin, used on hundreds of thousands of WordPress sites. When Yoast released version 3.0, they made some fairly major changes and added features. Unfortunately, those new features caused problems for a number of users whose sites use drag-and-drop page builder plugins such as Visual Composer, or themes that include page builders. Some of the sites were completely broken, showing only text and shortcodes. Others showed “white screen of death” — a blank white screen with no website at all.
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Gung Hai Fat Choy! 3 Ways to Set Your Business on Fire This Year

Gung Hai Fat Choy!

February 10 marked the Chinese New Year, the Year of the Water Snake.  Although snakes have a bad reputation in most western cultures, in the Chinese system they are harbingers of good luck.  “A person who has a snake lviing under his house will never lack for food,” says the tradition.

2013 will be a good year for business, careers, and wealth-building.  As a snake sheds its skin and is reborn, this year will mark a turning point of rejuvenation and renewal.

Here’s to prosperity and good fortune for you and your business throughout the coming year!

3 Ways to Set your Business on Fire

One of the best ways to increase your business is by word of mouth.  But how do you get people talking about you in a way that creates new prospects, new customers, new business?

Shannon Willoby offers 4 Easy Ways to Get Your Customers Talking About You, focusing on ways to get your existing customers to refer you to their friends and contacts.

You can’t depend totally on existing customers, though, especially if your business is small or just getting started.  Geoffrey James builds on Willoby’s ideas with an article on How to Build a Network of Contacts.  Not just advice to “go out and network,” James suggests groups of people who will actively refer your business to others, as well as ways to reach out and ask for their help.

And one last – unexpected – source for help to grow your business:  How about your competitors?  Andreea Ayers of advises several methods in How to use competitors to grow your business.  The steps she outlines are smple, effective, and best of all, can be automated to bring you information on ways you may not be considering to serve your customers.

5 WordPress Security Threats You Probably Didn’t Know About

WordPress now powers about one in four websites on the Internet — more than 61 million at last count.   That means that WordPress-powered sites now present a big target for hackers.  Keeping your site secure starts with making certain that your WordPress core files, plugins, and themes are all up to date, and removing any plugins or themes that are not being used.

Tom Ewer adds good information in his article 5 WordPress Security Threats You Probably Don’t Know About.  If your site runs on WordPress, take a minute to check his list and look at your own dashboard for vulnerabilities.

Need help with time management? Take a quiz.

I don’t know about you. But I find that no matter how carefully I plan out my work day and week, there are still unplanned crises that erupt and things that don’t get finished by the target time and date.

I found this nifty quiz from Mind Tools that helps identify where the problem areas lie in time management skills.  It breaks down which skills need improvement and suggests tools and resources to help address those particular issues.

It’s completely free and doesn’t even ask for an email address in return. Give it a try! You may find some useful information.

How Good is Your Time Management? Discover time management tools that can help you.

Getting the right Facebook exposure for your blog post

Ever had someone link to your blog post from Facebook, only to see with dismay that the wrong image showed up? Or no image at all? Or even worse, that the excerpt for the article shows something completely unrelated? Ouch. Not very helpful.

Try these two WordPress plugins to help:

Facebook Like Send & Open Graph Meta adds Facebook Like and Send buttons at the base of each post on your website to make it easy for visitors to link your post on their Facebook timeline. It also adds meta information behind the scenes to tell Facebook which image to use when it grabs that link for display.

If you often post videos to your blog, you might prefer Fedmich’s Facebook Open Graph Meta. It doesn’t add the buttons to your site, but it includes a neat trick for video: the image on the Facebook excerpt is a clickable link to the video itself.

New Year = Reboot

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAHi! Yes, it’s been a while.

2012 brought a huge number of changes for me personally and for 2FishWeb. 2013 is shaping up to be really exciting. I can’t wait to share all the great changes with you.

Moving forward into 2013, I’ll be making weekly postings with a quick business or website tip and maybe a link to an article or two that I thought you might find interesting.

Biz Tips: Update your business info

– Check your website footer: Does the copyright date need to be changed to 2013? Make sure to change it, or (if you are hosted with 2FishWeb) send an email and I’ll make sure it’s done for you.

– The first of the year is a great time to update your bio and About page, too. Got a new head shot? Make sure to show it off! While you’re at it, don’t forget to update your profiles on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or other social media sites.
Sprint, not Marathon.

Let’s Get Moving

If you’re like most business owners (and me!), you go into your office in the morning, sit and work until lunchtime, eat quickly and get back to it all afternoon.

The human body was built to move. Try this instead and see if your productivity takes a jump: Set a timer for 60 to 90 minutes. Sit down, concentrate, and really work until the timer goes off. Then get up. Stretch. Take a walk, get a drink of water, move around for maybe 15 minutes. Go back to your work refreshed and ready to tackle the next segment of the day.

Try this for a week. I am. Next Monday we’ll compare notes and see how well it worked!

WP Writers: please date your posts

A number of high-profile bloggers (mostly the ones who blog about how to blog) recommend that you turn off date stamps on your posts and in the site URLs. Write “evergreen” material, they argue, and your posts will show up high in Google search pages even if the searcher asks for recent results.

If you are writing about WordPress — or indeed, any software program or system — this is bad advice. WordPress is constantly being updated and improved. Old code is deprecated and new function hooks and features are added with every release.

The WordPress code hack or snippet that you feature today may not work in future versions. The plugin you recommend now may conflict with the next release — and will the plugin’s author maintain and update it for compatibility?

Please, WordPress bloggers: put dates on your posts so that future searches will indicate whether it might be relevant to solving their problem at that time. (There’s nothing worse than finding the exact solution you need — written for WordPress 2.2 and never updated.) If you want to be really helpful, tag your post with the WordPress version current at the time you write it. Yes, your time- and version-sensitive posts will drop from future search results (as obsolete information should), leaving opportunity for you to write new material.

WordPress users and developers will bless your name and come back to your site for continuing authoritative and useful information.

Practicing what I preach: WordPress all versions; current version 3.3.1.