All posts by Tony

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.

A Beautiful Wedding Theme from WordPress

“Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope.” — Maya Angelou

Source: William & Katherine – “Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope.” — Maya Angelou

Need Training?

Free Stock Photos for your Website or Blog

Big collection of free images for your website. These stock photos can be used absolutely for free in your online project.

Source: Free Stock Photo Websites | MotoPress

Need Training?

WordPress 4.5 “Coleman” Released

WordPress 4.5 “Coleman”Version 4.5 of WordPress, named “Coleman” in honor of jazz saxophonist Coleman Hawkins, is available for download or update in your WordPress dashboard. New features in 4.5 include inline linking, formatting shortcuts, live responsive previews and more…

Source: WordPress 4.5 “Coleman”

Need WordPress Training?

Wordfence Announces New Firewall

FirewallThis morning at 9am Pacific time we rolled out a new kind of firewall to over 1 Million active WordPress websites.  It comes with a Threat Defense Feed that updates our firewall as new threats emerge. It also continuously updates our malware scan as we discover new malware patterns through our forensic research.

If you have auto-update enabled in Wordfence, you will automatically be upgraded to 6.1.1 today which will include the new features. You can manually update by signing into your WordPress site and upgrading to Wordfence to 6.1.1 or you can download Wordfence from the official WordPress plugin repository

Read the full article >

The Panama Papers

The Panama PapersMossack Fonseca (MF), the Panamanian law firm at the center of the so called Panama Papers Breach may have been breached via a vulnerable version of Revolution Slider. The data breach has so far brought down the Prime Minister of Iceland and surrounded Russian President Putin and British Prime Minister David Cameron with controversy, among […]

Source: Mossack Fonseca Breach – WordPress Revolution Slider Plugin Possible Cause – Wordfence

Need Training on how to protect your WordPress website? Learn more >

SEO: Basic Principles and Techniques

SEO: Basic Principles and Techniques

SEO: Basic Principles

  • Make pages primarily for users, not for search engines.
  • Avoid tweaking your website intended to improve search engine rankings. A good rule of thumb “Does this help my users?”
  • Think about what makes your website unique, valuable, or engaging. Make your website stand out from others in your field.

SEO: Basic Principles and Techniques

Avoid the Following Techniques

  • Automatically generated content
  • Participating in link schemes
  • Creating pages with little or no original content
  • Sneaky redirects
  • Hidden text or links
  • Participating in affiliate programs without adding sufficient value
  • Loading pages with irrelevant keywords
  • Creating pages with malicious behaviour, such as phishing or installing viruses, trojans, or other badware

Engage in Good Practices 

  • Monitoring your site for hacking and removing hacked content as soon as it appears
  • Preventing and removing user-generated spam on your site

How to Ban User

How to Ban User

Lyn wrote: “Hi Tony, I got this email below about a new “User Registration” but I haven’t loaded anyone or given anyone access to upload new details? Do you have any clue for me on how this may have been created without the relevant passwords? Below New user registration details: Username: ChristieOster23 E-mail: candescentpunct@hotmail.com Thanks, Lyn”

Hi Lyn,

Just by looking at the Username and E-Mail you can “see” this is spam!

I have divided the answer into two sections viz. User Roles- How to Control WordPress User Permissions Effectively (as per a previous Q & A) as well as “How to Ban a User” (below).

Please read the article: User Roles- How to Control WordPress User Permissions Effectively”. Assuming you read it, let’s continue…

There are various plugins that will enable you to block IPs and even block entire countries. However sometimes you will not be able get the relevant IP address so this article is about how to go about blocking email addresses. Ban Hammer does that for you by preventing unwanted users from registering.

Go to the admin area of your website > click ‘Plugins’ > ‘Add New’ > in the search bar type ‘Ban Hammer’ > click ‘Install Now’ > click ‘Activate Plugin’.

After installation go to ‘Tools’ > click ‘Ban Hammer’. In the ‘Blacklisted emails’ box enter all the emails you want to ban one below the other as per the screenshot below:

Ban User

In a case where the User already registered, delete the User and then add the User’s email address to ‘Blacklisted emails’

And that is it!

Further Reading

Ban Hammer

https://wordpress.org/plugins/ban-hammer/screenshots

Trust the aforementioned is of assistance.

Cheers,

Tony

Prevent Load Shedding from Damaging Your Computer

Prevent Load Shedding from Damaging Your Computer

Load Shedding is bad for everything: your productivity, the bottom line and in extreme cases a situation of life and death… a “world class” African city with load shedding?

On Wednesday, 10th June we had  un-announced load shedding that started at 6pm. I visit ewn (Eye Witness News) daily to check load shedding schedules.

http://ewn.co.za/assets/loadshedding/gauteng.html

I visited the aforementioned page on Wednesday, 10th June. There was no load shedding planned for that afternoon and evening.

The power went off at 6pm. The power was again restored at about 10.30pm. Later that night I walked into the study and noticed a burning smell. I looked out the window to see whether there was a veld fire. All seemed to be in order.

The next morning I sat at my desk and my P.C. did not work. I took it to a nearby Matrix Warehouse and I was told that both the Motherboard and the CPU had burnt.

I had to replace the entire computer because besides the a.m. the DDR2 Ram was not compatible with current gen components.

Are ESKOM/ City Power not competent to schedule load shedding correctly?

I got the computer working again at a cost of R5697.00!

I also purchased a Multiplug ‘Surge Protector’ that protects electrical appliances from lightning surges. I purchased the WP5 (Wonder Plug 5×5 Multiplug). It costs around R300 at Matrix Warehouse. The Multiplug has a R20 000 warranty.

Prevent Load Shedding from Damaging Your Computer-2

How to prevent load shedding from damaging your desktop, laptop and other devices?

  1. if you are able to forecast load shedding shut your computer down properly before load shedding starts and pull the plug from your wall socket. If the load shedding is un-announced (my case on Wednesday) pull the electrical cable from your wall socket (unfortunately you won’t have time to shut your computer down properly but at least the subsequent surge that will occur when the power is restored will not do any damage).
  2. Use a ‘Surge Protector’ for your electrical appliances.

Mobile Ads on Google AdWords

Mobile Ads on Google AdWords

People spend 15 hours per week researching goods and services on their smartphones. Traffic from mobile devices will continue to grow, so start targeting that traffic now.

According to Google on an average week, 54% of the people who saw ads for my Google AdWords Campaign were on smartphones. Google advises that in order to help turn more of these viewers into customers, one should create ads specifically for the small screen.

Keep in mind:
  • Since there is less room on mobile, keep your message short and direct – Google recommends you have the most important information in the headline and first description line.
  • Assuming your ad group contains both a standard text ad and a mobile-optimized text ad, on mobile devices, your mobile-optimized text ad will be given preference over standard text ads. On computers and tablets, your standard text ad will be given preference over mobile-optimized text ads.
  • Google does not recommend your ad group to only have mobile-optimized text ads.
  • On mobile devices, where space is tight, AdWords optimizes your ad to show the highest performing text. If you have ad extensions that perform well on mobile, those may appear in your ad to show potential customers the most relevant information.

Made for Mobile Ads on Google AdWords

People spend 15 hours per week researching goods and services on their smartphones. Traffic from mobile devices will continue to grow, so start targeting that traffic now.

Made for Mobile Ads on Google AdWords-Ad a new Ad

Create an Ad: Go to Campaigns > select your Campaign > click ‘+Ad’ > on the drop-down menu click ‘Text Ad’ > follow the prompts.  On ‘Device preference’ click ‘Mobile’.

Made for Mobile Ads on Google AdWords-Create a new Text Ad

Made for Mobile Ads on Google AdWords-Select an Ad Group

Don’t forget to ‘select an ad group’ by clicking on the ‘Choose’ button.

Made for Mobile Ads on Google AdWords-Excessive Capitalization

Google will review your Ad.

Made for Mobile Ads on Google AdWords-Excessive Capitalization-part 2

Below a preview of how your Ad will look like.

Made for Mobile Ads on Google AdWords-Ad Preview

Don’t use excessive capitalization. Type ‘Free’ rather than ‘FREE’.

Once you signup for AdWords and create a Campaign, Google will from time to time send you “tune-up” emails with easy to follows steps on how you can improve your Ads.

Need AdWords Training? >

Resources – Additional Reading

https://support.google.com/adwordspolicy/answer/6021546?hl=en&expand=047#fix

 

Google’s Mobile-Friendly Update: Is your Website Mobile-Friendly?

Google’s Mobile-Friendly Update: Is your Website Mobile-Friendly?

On the 21st April 2015, Google rolled-out its ‘mobile-friendly’ update. This was a global roll-out. How does this update impact on a Google search for your website? Simple answer: it boosts mobile search rankings for pages that are legible and usable on mobile devices.

Google’s Mobile-Friendly Update
Google’s Mobile-Friendly Update: Is your Website Mobile-Friendly?

How does the Update Work?

This update:

  • Affects only search rankings on mobile devices
  • Affects search results in all languages globally
  • Applies to individual pages, not entire websites

Google states: “If your site’s pages aren’t mobile-friendly, there may be a significant decrease in mobile traffic from Google Search”.

Is your Website Mobile-Friendly?

To check if your site is mobile-friendly, you can:

Examine individual pages with the Mobile-Friendly Test

Google’s Mobile-Friendly Update-Mobile-Friendly Test

Google’s Mobile-Friendly Update-WordPress Training Johannesburg

or check the status of your entire site through the Mobile Usability report in Webmaster Tools.

Google continues: “…once your site becomes mobile-friendly, we will automatically re-process (i.e., crawl and index) your pages.  You can also expedite the process by using Fetch as Google with Submit to Index, and then your pages can be treated as mobile-friendly in ranking”.

Which Websites are Mobile-Friendly?

LatestWP ran a small test on WordPress-based websites to establish which sites were mobile friendly. They examined 25 WordPress websites including some of the largest brands in the world. The following websites not only are created on WordPress but also featured at WordPress.org Showcase section. The result was surprising!

Not Mobile-Friendly:

Mobile-Friendly Websites:

How to Set your Website to be Mobile-Friendly using Jetpack?

Jetpack extends the functionality of WordPress websites by adding powerful features previously only available to WordPress.com users. Features include customization, traffic, mobile, content, and performance tools.

To download Jetpack:

Hover over ‘plugins’ in your site’s admin area > click ‘Add New’ > search for ‘Jetpack’ > click ‘Install’ > click ‘Activate’.

Once the plugin is activated hover over ‘Jetpack’ (towards the top of your left sidebar in your admin area) > on the drop-down menu click ‘Jetpack Settings’ > scroll down the page and activate ‘Mobile Theme’. Once the mobile theme has been activated scroll down the page to ‘Mobile Theme’ once again and click ‘Configure’.

Google’s Mobile-Friendly Update-Jetpack-Mobile Theme
Hover over ‘Jetpack’ and click ‘Settings’ on the drop down menu > on the settings page scroll down to ‘Mobile Theme’ and click ‘Configure’

 

Google’s Mobile-Friendly Update-Jetpack's Mobile Theme

Wishing you success with your mobile-friendly website!

Additional reading:

Rolling out the mobile-friendly update >

28% of WordPress Websites Could Be Affected By Google’s Mobile Search Update and What to Do About It >