I am involved in web training and consulting: AdWords, Blogging, E-commerce, Email Marketing with MailChimp, Google Analytics, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Social Media Marketing and WordPress. Interests? I enjoy family and friends, the great outdoors and the internet. I enjoy reading, dining, shows, traveling as well as participating in sport activities.
Without any warning South Africa was plunged into darkness with Stage 4 Load Shedding. Load shedding continued for five days.
You can keep your laptop connected to the internet through your smart-phone.
There is an alternative way. Connect your laptop to the internet by using a mobile WiFi router. You can connect up to 5 laptops to the WiFi and once charged this WiFi router will keep you going for 8-10 hours.
The cost is approx R1200. I purchased mine (a M7300 LTE Advanced Mobile WiFi Router) at Matrix Warehouse but there are various retailers selling the device. You will find them on Google.
If you have your own website or if you are managing the website for a client make sure you move from http to https ASAP. Here are the reasons:
Website not secure. Google Chrome warns users that the site they are about to visit is not secure. If a user about to visit your website gets a warning that your website in not safe then the probability is high that the user will will not visit your site
Ranking boost. Google gives a slight ranking boost should your website be https (this means you will be ranked higher when a user does a search on Google)
Encryption. Encrypting the exchanged data to keep it secure from eavesdroppers. This means that while the user is browsing a website, nobody can “listen” to their conversations, track their activities across multiple pages or steal their information.
Data integrity. Data cannot be modified or corrupted during transfer, intentionally or otherwise, without being detected.
Authentication. Proves that your users communicate with the intended website. It protects against man-in-the-middle attacks and builds user trust, which translates into other business benefits.
Is it difficult? Not all all. You simply have to phone your hosting company and request that your URL be changed from http to https. Once this is done remember to:
update your Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools (for all of you who attended the SEO Training Course)
change the urls on all your Google Ads (should you be running Ad Campaigns on Google Ads).
The Blog Subscriptions Jetpack Widget is easy to use and can easily bring you leads.
A popular method for gathering leads is encouraging visitors to subscribe to your site. This way, they’ll receive notifications whenever you post new content. Users can subscribe through the Subscriptions Widget.
This ensures that your site visitors won’t miss your latest posts. When they receive notifications that you’ve published new content, they’ll be more likely to keep you top-of-mind when they’re ready to make purchases.
How to go about it?
Go to your Admin Area > Appearance > Widgets
scroll down the widgets list to the ‘Blog Subscriptions Jetpack Widget
Drag the ‘Blog Subscriptions Jetpack’ Widget to the right hand side (and drop this widget in the correct sidebar). Fill in details.
Did you recently open a page or post on your WordPress website and it looks completely different? If your WordPress website automatically updates to a new version then you got Version 5.0 (or higher). WordPress has introduced Gutenberg a brand new Editor that is going to make your life easier.
Gutenberg is amazing and it gives you many new features. If you are familiar with WordPress websites, Gutenberg is going to provide you with an even better experience.
Gutenberg, WordPress’ new block-based Editor gives you more flexibility w.r.t. how content is displayed, whether you are building your first site, revamping your blog, or write code for a living.
Gutenberg is the Editor by default on all new WordPress.com sites. On existing websites it is now also the default editor if you updated to version 5.0 or higher. Should you not wish to use Gutenberg you can continue using the Classic Editor by installing it as a plugin. Your life will be easier if you upgrade (at no cost) from the Classic Editor to Gutenberg.
Do more with fewer plugins
Create modern, multimedia-heavy layouts
work across all screen sizes and devices
Trust that your editor looks like your website
Building with Blocks
The new block-based editor won’t change the way any of your content looks to your visitors. What it will do is let you insert any type of multimedia in a snap and rearrange to your heart’s content. Each piece of content will be in its own block.
WordPress has tons of blocks available by default, and more get added by the community every day. Here are a few of the blocks to help you get started:
Freedom to Build, Freedom to Write
This new editing experience provides a more consistent treatment of design as well as content. If you’re building client sites, you can create reusable blocks. This lets your clients add new content anytime, while still maintaining a consistent look and feel.
Email remains one of the most effective marketing tools. Having a direct channel for connecting with your audience is a priceless way to bypass all the noise on the Internet.
MailChimp is one of the many email marketing providers. The service is a favourite for bloggers, small businesses as well as large corporates. And the best part is the fact that it is completely free to use up to 2000 subscribers.
MailChimp is only one of many solutions out there. So why should you use this service?
As mentioned above, MailChimp is free for up to 2000 subscribers on your email list and 12,000 monthly emails
The service is trusted by more than seven million users
It integrates extremely well with WordPress
MailChimp is very easy to use and lets you create HTML email templates without any coding
In my case security from cyber attack is very important as in the past four years I lost two of my websites to hacking and last week I almost lost the entire content in my hard drive. A proper website can take months or even years to create – this means much time and money.
Many of us have heard cases of friends whose websites were hacked and their clients were receiving invoices from the hackers.
Once someone hacks your email he/ she has access to your mailing lists and in some cases to all your computer files as well.
Whenever a hosting company tells you that they will back-up your website – take that statement with a pinch of salt. Yahoo, my hosting company at the time was unable to recover my websites. Also, the back-up I had, was not effective. I will mention about an incredibly effective backup plugin later in this article.
Protect your Computer
Protect your computer from Malware. There are various reputable brands, Malwarebytes being one of the most popular. If you opt for the free version ensure that you do a weekly scan.
Anti-virus: Again there are a couple of good brands Kaspersky being one of the best. A great feature of Kaspersky is the fact that it shows you if a website is not safe to visit. My friend Niren Singh is using AVG Premium and he is very happy with their service.
Use an USB Flash Drive or some other easy, reliable storage solution. Install Cobian backup and have all your computer’s content transferred to your flash drive (or other reliable storage device) automatically and do this regularly.
Protect your email
Activate ‘two-step verification’ for your email account. What this means is that additionally to entering the password you must tap on your smartphone to access your email on your computer.
Change your password regularly. A note from my friend Andrew Gibb: “I’ve learnt that long passwords are strong passwords, that special characters (like: !@#+-_ etc), numbers and mixed case (UpPeR and LoWeR) are important but not as important as longer passwords. Remember if you think that you’re going to forget a password, write it down and store it in a safe place – it’s not often that crooks steal physical documents”.
Protect your WordPress Website
Ensure you have a website that starts with https://. If your website starts with ‘http://’ change to ‘https:// immediately!
On a weekly basis go to your ‘installed plugins’ and update any plugin that needs updating – this takes a few seconds to do.
Install and enable ‘VaultPress’ – the best back-up plugin there is (it only costs US$5/ month) and you will sleep easy. This plugin backs up your entire website every 24 hours and should your website be hacked you can restore your entire website at a touch of a button.
Your Developer/ Local IT Store
Keeping your computer, email and website safe is something you can do yourself. Additionally, keep a friendly relationship with your Developer or the Technical person at your local IT store as they are well-equipped to assist you in an emergency.
This is what happens if your website does not load:
your visitors won’t be able to access your site (not good w.r.t. customer service…).
you won’t be able to access your Admin Area and therefore you won’t be able to do any work on your site.
if you are running Campaigns on Google Ads, Facebook, Pinterest, other – visitors clicking on your Ads will be directed to a page that shows: “Page Not Found – Internal Servor Error”.. believe me, your customers won’t be impressed.
Google bot will try and crawl your site but cannot find your pages. Result? Google down-ranks your site on Google search. Very bad for your SEO!!
WordPressTrainingJohannesburg.com was down for 10 hours yesterday. Talk about someone about to get a nervous breakdown…
I have received good service from both hosting companies and so it was with great surprise (and shock!) that I saw that my one website was not loading yesterday.
After a few online chats to Bluehost and getting nowhere I contacted Bluehost’s Head Office in the United States. They said that the server needed upgrading and that I would have to authorise upgrade from EasyApache 3 to EasyApache 4 which I did and the website was subsequently uploaded to the internet. Why request authorization? just do it…
Fortunately no such issues with WordPress.com hosting!!
Why am I writing this post? To let you know the incredible importance of having a “good” company host your website. You don’t want your website to be down… EVER!
Should you have a Developer and should your Developer host your website for you, then hopefully your website is in competent hands and you should be experiencing no issues.
One more note: should your site be the free version of WordPress.com then you have nothing to worry about as WordPress.com will be the host of your free website. And should you one day upgrade from the free plan to a paid (premium) plan, I would recommend your stay with WordPress.com hosting.
At times, what is expensive today is going to save you much time and money later on.
Google Ads (formerly known as Google AdWords) recently introduced ‘Broad Match Modifier’ that lets you create keywords that are more targeted than broad match, yet have a greater reach than phrase or exact match.
With modified broad match, you put a plus sign (+) in front of one or more words in a broad match keyword. The words that are preceded by a (+) sign must appear in the user’s keyword phrase exactly or as a close variation.
The words that are not following a (+) sign will trigger ads on more significant query variations.
This feature can drive more traffic than phrase or exact match, and attract more qualified traffic than broad match.
What are examples of modified broad match phrases?
Say your broad match phrase was “red purses.” That phrase could prompt ads on relevant query variations like “red bags,” “colorful purses,” “women’s clutches,” etc.
But if your modified broad match was “+red purses,” the word red or some close variant would have to appear in the keyword phrase.
Close variants include misspellings, singular/plural forms, abbreviations and acronyms and stemming.
So the query “redd purses” or “reddish bags,” for example, could trigger your ad.
If you made your modified broad match “red +purses,” the word purse or some close variant would have to appear in the keyword phrase. Examples include “colorful purses,” “colorful purse,” or “women’s purrses.”
Go into your Google Ads account, click on the Keywords tab, and select the keyword phrase you want to edit. Click on the current match type in the Type column and choose modified broad match from the drop-down menu. Add the necessary (+) signs to the keyword phrase.
How do I know if modified broad match is a good idea for my campaign?
If you decide to give it a try, make sure you track how your campaign performance evolves. See, for example, how your clicks, CPCs, conversions, return on investment, and so on change. Google notes in its broad match modifier overview that you can produce a performance report that just details information about modified broad match keywords.
If modified broad match keywords seem to be improving your ROI, then stick with them. If not, stay with broad match, phrase match, or exact match.
All WooCommerce stores share a single aim: To increase conversions and get more sales. Whatever your wider business goals, that’s what it all comes down to!
If you Google ‘WooCommerce conversion rate optimisation’, you’ll find lots of general advice on how to convert more visitors into paying customers. This usually focusses on improvements to the cart and checkout. These are important, but often forget that you need to convince customers to buy your products in the first place.
In this article, I’m going to do the opposite. I’ll provide specific and actionable tips on how you can convince customers to add more productsto their cart using a specific tool: product tables.
WooCommerce product tables are an excellent tool for increasing your sales. By adding well designed table layouts to your store, you can present products in user-friendly ways that make it easier for customers to buy from you.