Maintaining WordPress Maintenance Plugin Updates

If your website is managed by a content management system (CMS), the chances are relatively strong that it is WordPress. Furthermore, if you use WordPress for your site, the chances are even stronger that you have various plug-ins to increase the functionality of WordPress. Higher still is the likelihood that if the above is true, you have at least one if not many plug-ins that are missing their latest update. There are many reasons why WordPress maintenance plugin updates are often neglecting. Some go with the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” philosophy. Your plug-ins need updating, but you have not noticed it is causing any issues so why worry? Others believe that updating a plug-in is an invitation to experience issues and site crashes because of compatibility issues. However, the most common reason perhaps is that in the hustle and bustle worrying about your WordPress plug-ins is simply not a priority. For all these reasons, there is one simple reply, “Do It!”

More about WordPress Maintenance Plugin Updates

You may have noticed that on your WordPress Dashboard, at the very top of the screen you will see a notice advising you that updates for your plug-ins and WordPress itself are available. Instead of ignoring those, it is critical that you take the time to update them. After all, the notice does say “please”. WordPress often releases updates, sometimes weekly, and so do your plug-ins. The reasons are many. There may be security issues that a plug-in will correct. Alternatively, there may be added functionality that will make your life easier. Whatever the case may be, updates are necessary and should not be neglected?

Why Updating WordPress Plug-Ins Is Important

Security issues are perhaps the number one reason you want to make sure your plug-ins are up to date.  Take a look at live world wide hacking attempts that are going on now.  Developers who create their plug-ins are often working with the code daily and may find issues with the original version. They may have user feedback that shows people are having issues with it. Either way, if taking the few seconds of time, literally, that it takes to update will save you from a hacked website, it is a no-brainer. Also, because WordPress maintenance plugin updates may improve the speed of your website, plug-in updates are critical from a digital marketing perspective. If your site is slow to load, visitors will head directly to your competition. Also, because WordPress updates regularly, the thousands of available plug-ins may have compatibility issues with the new version. You should always be updating WordPress, and your plug-ins to make sure everything is functioning as it should. If it is not, the worst case scenarios include frustrated visitors, or worse, a site crash.

Still Have Excuses not to Worry About WordPress Maintenance Plugin Updates?

It is understandable. Some people simply aren’t comfortable making any changes without professional guidance. Others may want to simply set it and forget it. Alternatively, they want it updated by someone else to free up their time. Fortunately, there is help available. Cohlab offers WordPress Maintenance and Support Services that not only ensure that your CMS and plug-ins are always up-to-date, but also provides other great services including 24/7 security monitoring, secure offsite backups, and many more. These packages are a great way to make sure your website is in tip-top shape at an affordable price far less than what your valuable time is worth. Check out our packages and let Cohlab take the worry and burden off your shoulders.

Wondering how your digital marketing efforts are doing? Use our complimentary Digital Marketing Scorecard to gain valuable insight on how your website rank compares to others. We are also glad to answer any questions you may have and provide Cohlaborative digital marketing solutions to meet your company’s needs.

Google using schema.org tags to highlight events in search

~Recent Google Update

Google has now expanded the use of Schema.org tags and created a tool to check your website to see if there are any errors.  Here are 2 links that Google has created.

Structured Data Testing Tool

Prototype and test your markup

Knowledge Card

In March of 2015, Google made a change in how they display entertainment and events in their search results. Before the change, if someone searched for his or her favorite band, Google would often display a knowledge graph panel that presented a lot of great details about them. Details like the names of group members and upcoming concert dates appeared with clickable links for additional information. For Google, in their ongoing effort to provide the most accurate and relevant information possible, instead of providing information from various sources, they began providing information directly from the band’s website.

Musicians, comedians, and other entertainers could have their events shown to Google users with details about them and information on where and how they can purchase tickets. This great feature provides an exceptional way for entertainers to advertize their events, but also a super way for fans to learn more about them. However, in order to use this feature, it is the responsibility of the entertainer or their webmaster to make sure they have the correct schema.org markup tags on their website. If not, Google will not recognize and display their information.

About Schema.org Tags

You may be familiar with HTML tags that used on web pages that guide the web browser in the best way to display the information in the tag. The problem is that the browser may misinterpret HTML tags. A good example of this related to how browsers interpret HTML tags regarding dates. Because there are many different formats to display a date, the HTML tag may not display it as you’d like. The schema project is a collaboration between the major search engines to standardize the structure of the markup. Schema microdata helps to define what something is and how it to handle it. The use of schema microdata can help your SEO strategy because it has the likelihood of increasing visibility, including event information for entertainers.

How to Add Your Information with Schema.org

Schema is considered a best practice for SEO and a requirement under the new Google rules for their knowledge graph panels. That does not imply there is not some level work needed to do so. Fortunately, Google has provided comprehensive information that will assist webmasters and entertainers to appear in the feature. If you are promoting your event and would like Google to highlight information from your website, adding the schema microdata can provide a tremendous boost to your potential audience. After all, isn’t it more fun to entertain a full-house?

Wondering how your digital marketing efforts are doing? Use our complimentary Digital Marketing Scorecard to gain valuable insight on how your website rank compares to others. We are also glad to answer any questions you may have and provide Cohlaborative digital marketing solutions to meet your company’s needs.

5 Spring Cleaning Tips for Your Websites You Can Use All Year Long

After months of cold temperatures and gray skies, the thermometer is finally beginning to rise and the sun is once again showing its cheerful face. As we recover from our annual bout of cabin fever and begin to feel the energy and motivation that spring often brings, we often look for ways to do some much needed spring cleaning. However one thing many people miss is the spring cleaning that may be needed on their website. Just like our houses and cars, after a time they need a little freshening up, and spring is a wonderful time to make it happen. Here are the top 5 tips to give your website a spring makeover.

# 1 – Scrub Your Website Content:

Content is the lifeblood of your website and is one of your websites most important attributes. It is a key component that will generate traffic and increase the amount of time people are interacting with your brand. If you have older content that should stay on your site, consider freshening it up with a new structure. Perhaps change the titles to something a bit more interesting, or include updated statistics and information. Also, make sure there are no broken links. Another project could be to add links within content that is the least visited to help traffic. Or, simply add content that is fresh and relevant to provide something new to drive people to your site.

# 2 – Sweep Your Website Design:

If your website is looking a little tired and outdated, it may be time for a bit of design rehabilitation. This type of website spring cleaning may require a bit more thought and effort, but it can be invaluable to your digital marketing efforts. Imagine yourself as a visitor to your own site and think about if the information seems well organized. Are the pages are easy to navigate? Consider the message your website is providing visitors, and determine if there are any small adjustments you can make so it is more inviting and interesting.

# 3 – Dust Your Details:

It’s often the little details that people notice about your website that seem the most unprofessional. Check out things like your copyright date in the footer, the events on your calendar page, the staff on your about us page, or the contact information. Make sure everything is current. You might also want to read through your content, or have another set of eyes do it to find any grammar or punctuation issues.

# 4 – Tidy Up Your Website Calls to Action:

Websites serve many purposes. One is for marketing and brand recognition, but another is to prompt people to take action. To really move people to take the action you are shooting for, spend some time thinking about how well your call to actions are crafted. Make sure they are very clear and easy to find. Think about if they are easily shared to social media. If you have been wondering why your call to action is ineffective, it may be it just needs a ten-minute tidy.

# 5 – Shake Out Your Website SEO:

Search Engine Optimization is pretty important, that is if you hope people will find your website. It’s a good idea to take some time to review your SEO and make sure it is clean and polished. First take a peek at your analytics and use it to determine your best traffic drivers, and also any errors that visitors may be running into. Also important, think about how you are using social media. Add links to share content on your various platforms. Consider doing some guest blogs. Review your personal and professional contacts and think about who may benefit from your content. In short, seek out new ways to drive traffic and expand your traffic sources.

Make Your Website Shine Year Round

It’s always refreshing to spend some time doing a little spring cleaning. And while the warmth and brightness of spring is a good reminder to do a little freshening up, the truth is that these same tips to tidy up your website are great things to consider any time of the year. Efforts you make with your web presence today can bring excellent advantages for a long time to come.

Wondering how you are doing? Use our complimentary Digital Marketing Scorecard to gain valuable insight on how your website rank compares to others. We’re also glad to answer any questions you may have and provide Cohlaborative digital marketing solutions to meet your company’s needs.

 

Google Translate Example for Your WordPress Website

We are providing this page as an example of how the Google Translator would work on your blog should you ever need to include translation capabilities.  The Google Translate plugin is a basic translation service which programmatically updates the page.  Do not confuse this with a true translation service which will translate your entire site word by word.  When using Google Translate you have the option of selecting specific languages or all the languages that Google supports, for this example we are showing some of the languages.

We are providing two options for translation:

  1. At the bottom of the page we have included the capability to select the language flag then press translate.
  2. On the far right there is a yellow tab with the word “Translate”.  Click on the tab to get flag options then select one for the translation to happen.

After you have translated a page, go to another blog post to see what happens.  Does the content remain in the language selected?  Does it change then offer you an option to change back?  Did you notice the Google Translate bar at the top of the page?

Beyond the accuracy of the translation, it is important to take into account the translation usability of your website.  Remember that as you start selecting the architecture of your website translation capabilities.

Google Translate Example Content

The Great Gatsby – by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Chapter 1

In my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice that I’ve been turning over in my mind ever since.

“Whenever you feel like criticizing any one,” he told me, “just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had.”

He didn’t say any more, but we’ve always been unusually communicative in a reserved way, and I understood that he meant a great deal more than that. In consequence, I’m inclined to reserve all judgments, a habit that has opened up many curious natures to me and also made me the victim of not a few veteran bores. The abnormal mind is quick to detect and attach itself to this quality when it appears in a normal person, and so it came about that in college I was unjustly accused of being a politician, because I was privy to the secret griefs of wild, unknown men. Most of the confidences were unsought — frequently I have feigned sleep, preoccupation, or a hostile levity when I realized by some unmistakable sign that an intimate revelation was quivering on the horizon; for the intimate revelations of young men, or at least the terms in which they express them, are usually plagiaristic and marred by obvious suppressions. Reserving judgments is a matter of infinite hope. I am still a little afraid of missing something if I forget that, as my father snobbishly suggested, and I snobbishly repeat, a sense of the fundamental decencies is parcelled out unequally at birth.

And, after boasting this way of my tolerance, I come to the admission that it has a limit. Conduct may be founded on the hard rock or the wet marshes, but after a certain point I don’t care what it’s founded on. When I came back from the East last autumn I felt that I wanted the world to be in uniform and at a sort of moral attention forever; I wanted no more riotous excursions with privileged glimpses into the human heart. Only Gatsby, the man who gives his name to this book, was exempt from my reaction — Gatsby, who represented everything for which I have an unaffected scorn. If personality is an unbroken series of successful gestures, then there was something gorgeous about him, some heightened sensitivity to the promises of life, as if he were related to one of those intricate machines that register earthquakes ten thousand miles away. This responsiveness had nothing to do with that flabby impressionability which is dignified under the name of the “creative temperament.”— it was an extraordinary gift for hope, a romantic readiness such as I have never found in any other person and which it is not likely I shall ever find again. No — Gatsby turned out all right at the end; it is what preyed on Gatsby, what foul dust floated in the wake of his dreams that temporarily closed out my interest in the abortive sorrows and short-winded elations of men.

My family have been prominent, well-to-do people in this Middle Western city for three generations. The Carraways are something of a clan, and we have a tradition that we’re descended from the Dukes of Buccleuch, but the actual founder of my line was my grandfather’s brother, who came here in fifty-one, sent a substitute to the Civil War, and started the wholesale hardware business that my father carries on to-day.

Read More of the Great Gatsby

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