RECAP: WP Toronto North – Let’s Fix Your Site #3

We had eight people turn-out on this last week before the holidays and with resident experts on vacation, we turned to Jeremy Choi from WPUP.CO to provide answers to our group. Thanks Jeremy for your support and offers to follow-up on the more complicated issues.

In attendance on Monday was Todd, who runs the sports media blog highprofilesportsmedia.com on WordPress.com who came out for the 1st time and had some questions about Google AdSense and AdWords. Jeremy suggested that he use an AdManager plug-in for AdWords instead of just pasting the AdSense code on the side widget bar because on mobile the ads will get lost.

Todd also wondered about an image on his blog that didn’t respond effectively on mobile. He was encouraged to not post the photo inline to the text but instead use a landscape format for pictures and make sure there is a space above and below the image so that the text on the mobile doesn’t wrap around the image leaving very little space to read. This rule applies to images that are over 100 pixels (it doesn’t really matter for small icons and images). As we looked at the image, there was no information filled in for the title, caption, description and alt text. Jeremy cautioned that you should fill out this info about your images since anything that you index, Google can read and it will help your SEO as well as allow people using screen readers to understand what’s posted. This also makes sure you comply with WCAG / AODA.

Edward runs the site www.cspis.com for his private investigator and security training programs. He was wondering if there was a way to make a local copy so that he can work on it without affecting his live site. He is with Just Host and uses the page builder Cornerstone. Instead of downloading the entire site into a localhost, and leveraging WAMP, Jeremy suggested that it would be much easier to create a non-indexed, duplicate version of his site (a clone copy) on a subdomain and work on it because the environment would be the same. Alex notes: Some hosts also support creating staging sites for you and allow promotion of changes from staging to production. This is the case with Managed WordPress from GoDaddy and many others.

Edward also had a picture that wasn’t showing up well on his site, it was pixelated and took a long time to load He had posted it as a GIF and it was suggested that he should post pictures as JPEGs or PNGs for use on his site because an image with people in it has lots of colors, and a GIF will not only make the image large in file size, it will also not support more than 256 colors. Luckily he is adept with Photoshop so he has the ability to choose the appropriate size for web postings when he saves a picture and should be able to resolve his issue. Jeremy recommends using the Save for Web option inside Photoshop, and making sure to test whether or not JPG or PNG has a smaller size, and ensure that if saving for JPG, that 60% quality is more than enough.

Peter runs the blog, www.TDtheBully.com, and is having trouble with his 1clicktraffic plug-in. It is not working for Facebook. He gets a ‘404: Page not found’ error message trying to access a file inside the plugin folder. Jeremy was able to determine that it was a problem with the plug-in and urged Peter to contact 1 Click Traffic or investigate other plug-ins that do the same job.

It was Igor of www.kimagic.com’s second time to our meet-up. He’s looking for the best way to have his travel blog content displayed on his commercial tourism eCommerce site. Jeremy cautioned that if he has duplicate content, Google will penalize you in your SEO rankings. Igor is using a Storefront theme with Beaver Builder. He is looking to include more categories on his homepage than the theme and page builder default to. We weren’t able to figure out how to use Beaver Builder to create extra categories because none of us have much experience with it.

Another issue we found is that he wasn’t using proper permalinks on his website, default to syntaxes like ?page=[ID], which is not very search engine friendly. Google can’t read them and assign them the appropriate SEO. Jeremy figured out that Igor’s host must be preventing access to his htaccess files because when we went to change the permalink, the pages returned an error.

Igor would like to have his blog posts to appear on the right side of the page, but we currently were only able to post them at the bottom – it might have been a restriction imposed by the theme but we didn’t have enough time to delve into how to post them in an alternative spot.

David of davidgilbertvoiceover.com is one of our long-standing members and didn’t present an issue for us to tackle at this meet-up but did mention that he’s having trouble with the Sumo.com plug-in attempting to start on his page. We’ll aim to tackle that one in the new year!

Karen came all the way from Hamilton to join us for some answers on why her affiliate marketing site was no longer showing credit for her promotions. Jeremy was able to determine that her links were accurate, and it was passing over the proper codes, but it is on the actual travel website that the cookies are not tracking. It was suggested that she use a plug-in such as Thirsty affiliates to track the links going through but the company also has stats, so she may not need a service like this unless they wants to mask and make the URL pretty.

Karen’s partner company had recently taken over the monitoring of their affiliates from a 3rd party and Karen now thinks this may be a factor in the non-recognition of her marketing efforts.

Our next meet-up is planned for January 15, 2018 and we look forward to our third year of supporting the local WordPress community through our monthly events.

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