Top 4 WordPress plugins

Every web site project will use plugins to compliment the core functionality of WordPress. These are our Top 4.

  1. Yoast SEO
    Yoast SEO is the No. 1 Wordpress plugin for search engine optimization. Along with a properly coded WordPress theme, it is a cornerstone in the foundation of your WordPress site (assuming you want customers to find you, that is). The Yoast SEO plugin also makes it easy to effectively share your web site on Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms. It generates site maps, hooks into Google Web master tools, and provides other essential features that every web site needs
  2. BackUpWordPress
    Does exactly what it says, with the option to schedule backups for only files, only the database, or a combination thereof.
  3. Wordfence
    The leading security plugin on the market, with over 22 million downloads
  4. Smush Image Compression and Optimization
    Widely known as WP Smush It — or sometimes just Smush It or Smush — this plugin from WPMU Dev optimizes images as you upload them to WordPress. And since bloated images are the leading cause of slow web sites, this is one plugin you can’t afford to live without

There are many other plugins that we use widely, but these are part of every project no matter the scale or scope.

Learning WordPress: 4 links to jump-start your education

Ready to learn WordPress? Two of the many great things about the platform is that one, it is extremely well-documented, and two, there is a thriving ecosystem that supports it. Jump on these 4 links to get moving.

New To WordPress – Where to Start

If you’re just diving into WordPress, knowing where to begin is no easy question to answer. Are you going to be a user or a developer? Both? This page from the official WordPress manual is the perfect place to start.

How to Learn WordPress: 7-Day Challenge

This 7-day plan from WPMU will get you up and running inside a week. Topics include:

  • setting up your first WordPress site
  • choosing the right theme
  • an introduction to plugins
  • strategies for backing up (hint: it’s important)

How to Learn WordPress for Free in a Week (or Less)

A shorter version of the above with lots of great links, such as posts vs pages and categories vs tags. The 7-day plan above is far more thorough, but this one from WP Beginner will get you up and running faster.

Get Going Fast: A Checklist

This quick-start guide from WordPress.com skips the background info and gets straight to it. You’ll be online with your own site by the end of the day.

 

Google page speed 100

No one likes to wait for a slow web page. But blinding fast sites don’t just happen.

For those that don’t know, Google PageSpeed is a free tool that assesses the performance and usability of your website for mobile and desktop platforms. It’s extra important because Google uses it in determining key elements of our SEO ranking, i.e. how high we appear in their search results.

On our first pass recently, the K4 Media site scored 86. Not bad. But not great. WordPress doesn’t make it easy, either, with bloated themes and unnecessary plugins. If your aim is Page Speed 100, however, Jeff Reifman at Tutsplus shows you the way.

WordPress SEO meetup, Phnom Penh

Be Chantra, the indefatigable social networking master, is putting together a WordPress SEO meetup. Connect with him on Facebook or LinkedIn if you are interested in speaking. K4 Media will definitely be attending and taking notes. In the meantime, here’s 5 links to help get your SEO mind ready.

The definitive guide to higher rankings for WordPress sites

If you are using WordPress and concerned with SEO, you are likely using Joost de Valk‘s industry leading plugin Yoast SEO. Like the headline says, this is the “definitive guide.” It’s long. But it covers the fundamentals of SEO, and anyone hoping to wade deeper into the SEO ocean should be comfortable with the ideas here.

WordPress SEO

This Siteground tutorial is basically a light version of the above definitive guide. It’s short and identifies key areas of the WordPress page to target for better SEO, but doesn’t go into great detail.

Beginner WordPress SEO (Part 1): How to Optimize Your Blog Posts

A do-it-yourself guide to SEO. As the article promises: if you focus on these 7 key areas of on-page SEO, you can improve your search engine rankings.

10 WordPress SEO Questions That Took Me 10 Years To Answer!

Trond Lyngbø, a columnist at Search Engine Land, touches on some frequent questions surrounding WordPress and SEO. These questions are not aimed at beginners, and the answers are often a bit technical in nature (ex, Can It Hurt My SEO If I’m Not Using The User’s Native Language? Will Adding A Post To Many WordPress Categories Be Good For My SEO? How Can I Improve My SEO With WordPress Widgets?). But there are worthwhile ideas here that even experienced SEO hands have probably not thought about in a while.

5 crazy SEO mistakes not to make in WordPress

These 5 tips are also a bit technical in nature and presume at least an intermediate level of SEO understanding. But such is the way of the SEO warrior. If you plan on reaching the advanced levels, there is no getting around the technology.

A Google search returns literally millions of articles expounding on the often shadowy world of SEO. You can never know it all. To further complicate matters, SEO techniques are constantly in flux, ebbing and flowing to the algorithms of Google and other search engines. Paid professionals can help, but so can rolling up your sleeves and doing the messy work.

That said, however, remember that SEO is marketing. And before going gung-ho with SEO, I strongly, strongly suggest evaluating the effectiveness of your current marketing strategy.

You have one, right?

Because SEO is not a replacement for a real marketing strategy. And skipping this step will likely end with tears and lots of lost dollars. Caveat emptor.

WordPress e-commerce

As an avid WordPress evangelists, one of the most obvious missing elements in the arsenal has been a viable e-commerce solution. While options have existed for some time, none were great, and even the best of them required tons of time to adapt to your specific needs. And, as we all know, time is money.

About a year ago, WooThemes announced its intention to change the playing field and launched  WooCommerce, an open-source WordPress plugin aimed at doing e-commerce right.

Fourteen months and several beta tests later and the reviews are in: WooCommerce is good.

The basic WooCommerce plugin is completely free to download and use. It’s built on top of standard WordPress Custom Post Types and straight out of the box, is extremely powerful with a lot of functionality. WooCommerce comes with all the standard features that you’d expect within an eCommerce plugin such as;

  • Various types of reporting on sales, customers and stock
  • Dashboard widgets that allow you to keep an eye on various aspects of your store from the main WordPress dashboard page
  • Shipping & Tax settings
  • Customers & Orders
  • Product & Inventory
  • Marketing & Promotions including the ability to add “coupons”
  • And most importantly, various Payment Gateways & payment methods

If you’ve ever had to suffer through the frustration of developing with WP E-commerce (fair warning: don’t believe the hype), WooCommerce will make you absolutely jubilant.

Your iPhone video to Wordpess web site in 2 seconds flat

The latest VideoPress upgrade rocks.

The VideoPress upgrade, which allows you to upload and embed your own videos on your blog, now comfortably handles videos from iPhones and iPads. You can shoot vertically or horizontally, and we’ll take care of rotating it for you so that your video looks great when it’s published on your site.

Yet another reason why WordPress is the best CMS ever.

Tim Thumb vulnerability

An exploit that allows remote attackers to take over your Web site has been found in the extremely popular TimThumb photo-resizing script.

The vulnerability allows third parties to upload and execute arbitrary PHP code in the TimThumb cache directory. Once the PHP code has been uploaded and executed, your site can be compromised however the attacker likes.

We recommend deleting timthumb.php or thumb.php if your site will work without them. If the file exists in a theme or plugin that you’re no longer using you may want to remove the entire theme or plugin directory. After you remove the TimThumb library make sure you check that your site is still working correctly.

This is potentially a massive threat because, literally, millions of Web sites use the Tim Thumb script. And every one of them needs to be updated. Help spread the word.

For complete technical details, visit the post detailing the discovery on Mark Maunder’s site.