“Let’s Fix Your Website” Recap for May 19, 2020

Video recording of the May 19th, 2020 “Let’s Fix Your WordPress Website” Meetup event.

This post recaps some of the exchanges and tips from the Let’s Fix Your WordPress Site, 2020-05-19 | WPTO Meetup. This was our third online session using Zoom.

These notes are in 2 parts. The first are notes taken during the session and then cleaned up. They cover some of the discussion and make the video more useful. The second part of this post is the chat transcript with light editing of the URLs in particular.

The requests for help were made in the event page’s comments and in Zoom’s chat messages and discussed more or less in chronological order.

The session started at 6:30 and ended shortly before 8:30.

Some of the attendees at the 2020-05-19 Zoom session.

From Fernne Kane: Caffeine pixel plugin for Facebook ads to discuss, already have Facebook pixel. Pixel Caffeine | WP.org (AdEspresso; 60k), “Pixel Caffeine is the easiest and most powerful WordPress Plugin to manage your Facebook Pixel and Facebook Product Catalog setup. This plugin is 100% free.” (We didn’t return to this topic.)

From Nicole Hart: How to restart your website from scratch (like on a blank slate). So how delete everything but maybe keep the content and images. What do you want to do? Make a fresh start with a blank slate on which to redesign. So exporting the site’s content is the goal. Her plan is to use Divi and Elementor. Elementor has export capabilities as well as a tool to search and replace old and new URLs when there’s a domain name change or some structural change.

Alex Sirota: You can migrate your content from an old site to a new one.

Dan Stramer: There are a few plugins for that but most of theme will wipe everything including your content (posts). https://en-ca.wordpress.org/plugins/wordpress-database-reset/ and https://en-ca.wordpress.org/plugins/wp-reset/ wipes everything including plugin settings. There is an option to preserve images.

Alex: The WordPress Tools > Export is a builtin capability. There is also an import capabilitity which requires the importer to be installed first. This isn’t the equivalent to a full backup. Migrate, backup, clone, convert, etc. depend on what you want to accomplish.

Nicole. How to override SiteGround’s highly restricted WordPress website builder that don’t allow you to access plugins, add new plugins or add new themes from your dashboard even when you are the main Admin (with full access). Boris thinks it’s some setting which he’ll try to find and confirm this.

Boris: Take a look at How to Fix ‘Add New Plugin Menu Not Showing’ In WordPress | YouTube. At about 8:08 mark is what I entered to get me going. Let me know if you need further help. The issue there was a setting which limited file changes (disallow file edit mode or mods in wpconfig.php). Alex provided the Codex page reference, Editing wp-config.php | WordPress.org: “This will block users being able to use the plugin and theme installation/update functionality from the WordPress admin area. Setting this constant also disables the Plugin and Theme editor ….”

From Olivia Boodram: My [site’s pages’] favicon is WordPress even though I have uploaded my [own favicon] image. Also the channel name shows up as Elementor instead of my website name. Is there a box that needs to be checked? I already did a full cache of the website. [Astra theme with Elementor.]

Olivia used the site identity option in the Customizer. The answer is that she didn’t click the publish button after making the favicon image change. The favicon now appears.

From Melanie Coleman: I’m using an Astra template [on Melanie Coleman]. I won’t be selling anything on my site and want to hide the shopping bag icon on desktop. Using WPForms. Deactivating WOOCommerce removes the icon.

Also, my social media buttons in the footer on mobile do not work, but they work on desktop, and do not show up on tablet view. Dan guided her to the place to check check the footer’s Facebook URL and icon. Dan found that there’s one setting for desktop use and another for a mobile footer [i.e., instead of one component used in both desktop and mobile].

My third question is how to hide a [page] from my menu. To hide a page, change its status to draft or private from published. Click update to finish. The page won’t be listed in the menu if it has either the draft or private status.

Iris Murray: I had asked a question on Meetup. I have broken links and am losing energy. I was wondering if I should switch to buddypress.org or youzer? my site is for old ladies to chat to other old ladies. [The site] is Housing Options. Alex suggested that she consider a social media platform rather than a site. She has a Facebook page and should consider using its new Messenger Rooms service (Introducing Messenger Rooms and More Ways to Connect When You’re Apart | About Facebook) [similar to app.houseparty.com but with more options].

Meetup page and chat help requests now completed. Other questions?

Fernne requests some guidance on how to optimize the images she’s using on her site. Dan gave her a guided tour of using Photoshop‘s File > Save For Web option. Choose the appropriate file format and then any options specific to the file format chosen. Then, for each image, upload to the media library and then go to the blog post and change the image to the new one.

Nicole: Anyone have suggestions for keeping your files and images in the media library better organized? A plug-in perhaps? [See below.]

Nicole: Hey Fern, you can go to this site gtmetrix.com and it tells you which photos are too big on your site and which are slowing your site down.

From Sara: I’m new to WordPress. Struggling through Elementor. I feel like I might be better to be more hands on. I have done some HTML/ CSS years ago. Is there a place to start you recommend?

Alex recommended the Lynda.com courseware access free through Toronto’s library system. Go to Lynda.com | Toronto Public Library if you’re a TO resident [there is a non-resident library membership]. He recommended Morten Rand-Hendriksen‘s WordPress 5 Essential Training: Site Administration course.

At Alex‘s request, Wayne responded to Nicole‘s chat message. WordPress Media Library Folders | WP.org and Media Library Plus Pro | MaxGalleria. Use FTP to upload and use Media from FTP | WP.org to recognize them as additions.

At the beginning of the session, in response to a request, Alex asked if there is any interest in having a day-time session rather than one starting at 6:30? Jacques‘ experience is 7-12 people have attended his several 2020 sessions at 3:00. No one preferred an afternoon over an early evening session.

Chat Transcript

  • 18:39:08 From Iris MURRAY : evening is good. late afternoon at least.
  • 18:39:28 From Nicole Hart : Afternoon or 6pm
  • 18:39:31 From Melanie Coleman : Evening is best for me.
  • 18:39:31 From Iris MURRAY : working daytimes, so sat morning would be good.
  • 18:39:34 From Jim Courtney : 6:30
  • 18:41:21 From ozzieciliberti : After dinner would be best for me
  • 18:44:53 From Iris MURRAY : Nicole wants to save her photos etc and start fresh . I can relate to that question- iris
  • 18:46:49 From Robin Macrae : I like the 6:30 start.
  • 18:49:27 From Olivia Boodram : 6:30 works for me
  • 18:53:01 From Olivia Boodram : My favicon is wordpress, even though I have uploaded my site image. Also the channel name shows up as Elementor, instead of my website name. Is there a box that needs to be checked? I already did a full cache of the website.
  • 18:53:12 From Iris MURRAY : are you saying no one can switch their THEME?
  • 19:00:55 From Jacques Surveyer : Has anyone tried the new Thrive ThemeBuilder ? It appears to have Divi Theme and Elementor Pro features.
  • 19:01:59 From Melanie Coleman : I’m using an Astra template. I won’t be selling anything on my site, and want to hide the shopping bag icon on desktop. Also, my social media buttons in the footer on mobile do not work, but they work on desktop, and do not show up on tablet view. My third question is how to hide a section from my menu.
  • 19:03:35 From Iris MURRAY : I had asked a question on Meetup. I have broken links and am losing energy. I was wondering if I should switch to bbpress or youzer? my site is for old ladies to chat to other old ladies. it is housing-options.info – thanks iris
  • 19:26:25 From Jacques Surveyer : Melanie – how to hide a section from my menu.? Is the section == a complete page
  • 19:27:23 From Jacques Surveyer : Iri – I have gone to housing-otions.info
  • 19:30:20 From Alex Sirota :
    Editing wp-config.php
  • 19:42:04 From Sara : I’m new to Worpress. Struggling through Elementor… I feel like I might be better to be more hands on. I have done some HTML/ CSS years ago. Is there a place to start you recommend?
  • 19:42:54 From Nicole Hart : File..Save as….
  • 19:52:57 From Olivia Boodram : Great Meetup… 1st time here. Thank you for help. Have to go now. See you next week.
  • 19:53:13 From Alex Sirota : Thanks Olivia – come again soon!
  • 19:56:51 From moore : Thanks guys. I learned a lot. Will see next time.
  • 20:01:11 From Nicole Hart : Anyone have suggestions for keeping your files and images in the media library better organized? A plug-in perhaps?
  • 20:04:50 From Nicole Hart : Hey Fern, you can goto this site https://gtmetrix.com/ and it tells you which photos are too big on your site and which are slowing your site down.
  • 20:06:35 From Fernne Kane : Thanks, Nicole for that. I was at that sight which say my speed was a little slow, but I did NOT know it will tell me what photos should be optimized.
  • 20:07:14 From Iris MURRAY : that’s an excellent question Sara. I heard square space is easier. but WP seems to be the standard.
  • 20:08:54 From Wayne Murphy : @Nicole: I’m probably in the minority, but the normal way of storing them by upload date didn’t fit with me, so for a couple of years I’ve used the paid plugin ‘Media Library Folders Pro’ where you can organize the folders that way, and select the images via another WP option. I stopped that since it was a per year payment and it didn’t seem worth it for the amount I use it (maybe you use WP every day and you might like it). My current solution is just to upload via FTP (so I create the folders via FTP) and use the free plug-in “Media via FTP” where it searches your folders and adds the files into the media library that way
  • 20:10:59 From Iris MURRAY : a lot of the set themes are very ‘busy’ and jazzed up.. you prob want clean simple site for healing clients, Sara.
  • 20:16:02 From Iris MURRAY : Robin, is that Guiness or foamy latte? haha- iris
  • 20:17:51 From Iris MURRAY : so the advantage of ‘content mgt’ is .. searching terms?
  • 20:18:52 From Robin Macrae : The latter, very tasty.
  • 20:20:42 From Paul Warner : If somebody lives in a town where the library doesn’t have Lynda.com, it is possible for a non-resident of Toronto to get a Toronto library card. There is an annual fee, and you have to go into a Toronto Library in person every year to renew it.
  • 20:21:06 From Paul Warner : I know cause I live in Hamilton and use the TPL.
  • 20:21:41 From Iris MURRAY : great tip!
Robin Macrae (LinkedIn)

That’s it for this month’s Meetup notes and chat transcript.

The next is another online session, Let’s Fix Your WordPress Site, 2020-06-16 | WPTO Meetup. RSVP and post your question or request.

Robin Macrae (LinkedIn)

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