Have I Too Many Plugins? How Many Is Too Many?

Monday, November 10th, 2014
How many plugins is too many

This is a question I see popup a lot over Facebook groups, forums, and anywhere WordPress is discussed. The concern is legitimate. Too many plugins slows down a site we’ve been told. Nobody wants that. Least of all, those of us who sell online. Contrary to popular belief (and regurgitated advice), it’s not the number of plugins you have – well, not always. It really boils down to how well a plugin is written. Some plugins don’t do anything on the front end, they are for admins and therefore will have no impact on visitor loading time – or at least it shouldn’t if it is well written. Some, do load on the front end but are well written so they only load the resources needed when they need it – therefore, no load time is compromised. Others load a ton of Javascript and CSS on each page whether needed or not and some even dump tens and hundreds of lines of Javascript/CSS in the header! Others are really badly written, not using the standards and programming options WP has in place which could also contribute to the problem. Oy! I’ve seen them and you may be surprised how many plugins are poorly

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Sneak Peak of WordPress 4.0

Wednesday, August 27th, 2014
6 Things You Should Be Doing On the Back End to Boost Your Posts

Yes, another  update soon. WordPress 4.0 is in the works. Often times, we are way too busy to check out what’s new. The official developer site is OK but it’s way too geeky for most to understand. Sure, you can test it out yourself but that involves installing a test version. Who has time for that? Thankfully, the good folks at Smashing Magazine did the job for us so we can see for ourselves and have an idea what to prepare for. Two things I think I’ll like are: Plugin installation screen makeover. As a plugin developer, this is definitely something to look forward to. Video preview in editor Edit box update Anything stand out for you?

6 Things You Should Be Doing On the Back End to Boost Your Posts

I’m part of several WordPress groups on Facebook and every single day, without fail, someone, somewhere asks a question that goes something like this. “I’m looking for a plugin that can create a business for me, market itself, makes me a million dollars while I sip margaritas by the beach and oh if it can be under $20 that’ll be great.” These questions are also commonly echoed in various forums, groups, chats, webinars, seminars – everywhere people talk about WordPress and plugins. Ok… so that’s not exactly what they say but that’s pretty much the essence of what they ask for. That’s why I love Chris Lema’s post, You Can’t Afford The WordPress Plugin You Want. In the post, he nailed it when he said, [What you are looking for] isn’t a plugin. It’s a system. Exactly. A plugin that can do precisely what you want and do it well does not exist. It could but it doesn’t exist as an off the shelf solution. Kinda like you don’t go to the local super store to buy a custom closet complete with Teak wood imported from Bali. And that leads to the 2nd portion of the equation. The low price. Seriously?

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6 Things You Should Be Doing On the Back End to Boost Your Posts

It’s been a few years now since I started using Amazon SES to send transactional email and must say – best thing I’ve done. If you’re wondering… What are transactional emails What is Amazon SES Have no fear, here’s a quick explanation. Transactional emails are messages that get sent when someone creates an account, requests password reset, or when a comment is made. On a shopping cart system, transactional emails include order receipts and the like. Amazon SES stands for Amazon Simple Email Service. It is part of Amazon’s Web Services offerings, super cheap and has great deliverability rates. Why go through all the trouble? Very simply, sometimes your web host gives you grief over email sending and it’s not a good idea to use your personal email. So if you’re looking for an alternative way to send email for your WordPress sites, TutsPlus has a wonderfully detailed Amazon SES tutorial to help you.


Being a veteran WordPress user, I’ve tried a lot of different tools to manage multiple WordPress sites. Since 2012, I’ve used InfiniteWP and they are good! The main system is free which is awesome and no monthly fee (huge deal). The only issue is – their add-ons are very expensive. I missed out on their initial low cost deal. It’s my fault. I snoozed and I lost. Even so, I used it because it is good and it helped a great deal but I was always on the lookout for more pocket friendly alternatives. Not just for me but for you too. When a power WordPress user and developer recommended MainWP to me, I immediately paid attention. At that time, they charged $79 a year for unlimited sites, free for 5 sites and I think the extensions were $20 each. Not bad considering prices from the competition. Then they changed their entire model. You now get free unlimited sites. Overall, I’ve been happy enough with it that after 6 months, I moved all sites over to MainWP. Easy On The Wallet I already mentioned you can get MainWP free. If you need premium ticket support it’s $49.99 a year. If you want

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14 Action Steps To Secure WordPress Now

Saturday, May 10th, 2014
14 Action Steps To Secure Your WordPress Site

I’ve written a lot about the steps to secure WordPress.  It is a bit of a wonder that I don’t have them listed in one place for you to refer to over and over. Well, I’m rectifying that right now. Here are so actions, with updated information you need to take immediately. Install iThemes Security Before proceeding, please know that… WordPress security isn’t a set once and forget thing. It’s a series of steps, and layers of processes. Now that is out of the way, there are many different plugins out there for security. I like and use iThemes Security extensively. Mostly because it has a checklist of things that covers a lot of the common issues that I used to handle by hand. Great as it is, sometimes, on some servers it just doesn’t want to work nicely. It could be an incompatibility with other plugins or with the way a web host has configured the server. In these instances, my fallback is Wordfence. While Wordfence does not do as much but it has one really important feature – to block suspicious logins and brute force logins. Both are free though there is a Pro version for iThemes Security.

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What To Do When WordPress Update Fails

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014
What To Do WhenWordPresss Update Fails

The dreaded updates. Sometimes, it’s a bit more scary like a blank page, appearing like the site disappeared. At other times, it’s frustrating stuff like not being able to log into the admin. Then there are smaller annoyances like things disappearing, and visual editor is gone. In working with WordPress over 10 years, this is what I know for sure. Your site usually hasn’t disappeared or been deleted. Could it happen, yes but not often. 90% of the time, it is either: Theme incompatibility Plugin incompatibility Upload or upgrade process didn’t complete properly or somehow the files are corrupted. Also, your posts are not gone. Here’s why. An upgrade overrides the files. Not the database. These are two systems working together to deliver your content. Unless your database is corrupt, usually you are good to go. Step 1 Before you do anything it might be a good idea to backup first. What did you say? Backup? I can’t even get into WordPress how am I supposed to backup? Ah! That’s one of the reasons you should always have an alternative backup option. You could, Backup your files the manual way Use a third party host-level backup Why backup at this late

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From time, to time, you may not be able to log in to your WordPress admin area. To troubleshoot, you may need to disable your WordPress plugins. Before you begin, this process absolutely requires FTP or cPanel access. In this tutorial, we show you using cPanel. You could achieve the very same thing using FTP as well. There are two methods here. One for disabling all plugins and disabling one plugin only at the bottom. Using your browser, log into your web hosting cPanel, look for a tool named File Manager. A new window will open and you will see a file browser much like your computer. Locate the wp-content folder. Double click it. Disabling All Plugins On the next screen, locate the plugins folder. Click once to select it and immediately after, click again to enable editing. It’s slower than double click but don’t wait too long between clicks either. Change the name, then hit Enter on your keyboard. If that is too difficult, use the Rename button instead. With the plugins folder still selected, click the Rename button. A popup will appear. Enter the new name of the plugins folder then click Rename File.     The result

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WP auto updates

Beginning with WordPress 3.7, new installations are shipped with automatic updates. This news strikes terror in many of our hearts. After all, who can forget all the failed update horror stories? I’ve got a few to tell myself so I understand and am uncertain for the time being. However, because WordPress is very much part of my business, and this can potentially help shave a ton of my time, including outsourcing costs – it would be naive to reject automatic updates wholesale without first understanding what is involved. Like anything new and somewhat major, this took me some time to digest. Some of this stuff is rather technical so I thought I’d help you understand what it all means to you. Improved Verification Before Updates When you click update, WordPress doesn’t simply update willy nilly. There are checks happening in the backend that you never see (that’s a good thing). With automatic updates, the developers have improved these backend checks to reduce update problems. Update: I forgot to include this in the initial post. From what I read and understand, the automated minor updates only replace the changed files not the entire WordPress core as you would a major update.

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How To Choose The Wrong WordPress Theme

Tuesday, October 29th, 2013
Wrong theme

What’s the best WordPress theme? That’s a question that you see thrown out regularly. Before you go further, know that there is no such thing as the best theme (or plugin) for that matter. However, there are best themes or plugins for the context of what you want to do. When you choose your themes, be mindful of these and make sure you don’t follow them. Use An Unsupported Theme This is rather tough. All theme developers start somewhere, but your business (or money making blog) is not the place to experiment with unproven themes. Security is an issue yes but also, if few people know about and use it, the tougher it is for you to get help, especially on a free theme where support is never guaranteed. Choose Themes That Are Too Feature Rich There’s a reason WordPress has plugins and themes. Some things are better left for plugins and others for themes. For example, a theme for food sites. There are plenty of gorgeous themes that do this well. The moment the theme includes ways for you to create recipe pages, it’s entering plugin territory. This can be done using custom post types or custom meta content.

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