Song of the Week (The Prayer, Dion and Bocelli)

This week’s song award goes to “the prayer”, one of my favorite’s songs by Lexi Walker. The violin is played by Jenny Oaks Baker who also played in the soundtrack for Lord of the Rings. An absolutely gorgeous contribution and a true feast for the ears, enjoy!

SEO Score 78/100

Happiness Engineers?

Have you ever dealt with WordPress’ happiness engineers? Well if you did I hope your experience was a lot better than mine, and I would love to hear from you regarding. I have always worked on SEO projects for self hosted blogs and since I started this blog on WordPress.com I’ve had the privilege of meeting many great bloggers via the WP reader. Unfortunately I eventually came to the conclusion that it’s not just me who is unsatisfied with the customer support department.

Are WordPress happiness engineers driving you crazy?
Do happiness engineers stress you out?

What happened you may ask

Well, each time I moved self-hosted blog in the past, transferring subscribers never used to be an issue, but I found out the hard way that when hosting with WordPress.com it often is. They may switch around your accounts, stop email notifications to old subscribers, and each time you reply to a ticket it’s assigned to a different person so nobody knows exactly what is going on.

How is this possible

If I remember right WordPress claims that 36% of the web is build on the WordPress platform. I mean, the internet is BIG, so they must be making a lot of money, right? WordPress is owned by Automattic which last year was valued at no less than US$3 billion dollars. Since many of us are paying $25/mo just for the privilege of being able to install plugins, I would really like to know: why don’t they provide decent customer service?

Is it really that bad?

You be the judge. Yesterday I received a ticket from Jetpack Support which was submitted 15 days ago. The “happiness engineer” told me that they are working through “a bit” of backlog and she on top of that she failed to answer my questions heads-on. Instead she almost transferred subscribers from different blogs on my account that have nothing to do with the issue. I can only pray that I don’t have to wait another 15 days for the next reply…

The solution

The best solution is to take control over your own WordPress blog and data before something happens that needs urgent care. Or even better, if you start a new blog set it up directly on WordPress.org. Once there is an issue that requires hands-on work from WordPress.com and you have to wait 15 days for a ticket to be answered a quick solution will be far from reality.

How do you take control? You can migrate your blog to a self-hosted solution, and while you may need help from WordPress in order to export your data, you will be able to move to a managed hosting solution that responds to your questions and needs, at the time that this is indeed required.

Migrating your blog from WordPress.com to a self-hosted WordPress.org solution and hosting it with an independent web hosting company is additionally less expensive. In case you have a small site and basic technical knowledge you can host your WordPress blog for as little as $3/mo.

If you don’t posses any technical skills than you can choose a fully managed WordPress hosting solution which costs on average $18/mo. This compares to or even exceeds the WordPress $25/mo business package in that you get free backups, the ability to install SEO plugins, staging and unlimited bandwidth and storage space.

As always I would love to hear your opinions and experiences with happiness engineers and WordPress in general. If you would like to migrate your website I am always available for help. I am currently offering fully managed WordPress hosting services with unmetered traffic, unlimited databases, staging and free migration of your blog for just $15/mo. Use code: LOYALTY20 for 20% off. Keep me in mind ๐Ÿ˜‰

With love,

Debby

Related articles: WordPress happiness engineers, don’t ever plan on getting rid of classic editor while block editor is in use (1). WordPress Gremlins (2).

Vincent Ehindero Blogger Award

I am sending a big hug to Jai Lynn for nominating me for this award. It means a lot. โค She is a fabulous writer who is always looking for magic. If you havenโ€™t checked out her blog yet, I highly recommend you do. Make sure to read her work and give her a follow!

Also I want to thank Vincent Ehindero for creating this award in the first place! He is such a positive influence in the WordPress community and his creation of this award is helping spread the love in these turbulent times. If you havenโ€™t checked out his blog, please do, and give him a follow as well!

Rules Guidelines

  • Thank the person who nominated you with a link to their blog.
  • Make a post of the award (with a photo of the logo).
  • Post the rules.
  • Ask 5-10 questions of your choice.
  • Nominate 10-30 other bloggers (or more) and notify them.

Jai Lynn’s Questions for Me!

  1. If you had to give up one thing you loved for the rest of your life, what would you pick?

Coffee. I love it dearly, but I drink too much of it, so in a way it would be a positive change. ๐Ÿ˜€

2. Is there a book that changed your life? And if so, how?

Probably be ‘The Celestine Prophecy’ by David Redfield. I read it when I was a kid. It’s a gripping adventure story filled with intrigue, suspense, and spiritual revelations which made me see the world with different eyes.

3. What is one place you always wanted to go to except you canโ€™t because it doesnโ€™t exist anymore?

There are so many places that I would love to visit… If I had to choose one it would probably be Pompeii before the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD 79.

4. What is one thing you wish you could tell your younger self?

There’s medical information that could have saved a friend. But then again, I could warn people before a natural disaster strikes, or change the course of important future events. I feel blessed I don’t have the responsibility to decide on such matters.

5. What is one movie you loved growing up that still fills you with nostalgia today?

The Never Ending Story.

6. Have any of your dreams come true?

I am very thankful for having the best family I could ever wish for. I have the most dedicated spouse and the most lovely kids. To me this is a dream come true.

7. Do you believe things happen for a reason?

Yes, but not necessarily for the same reason you believe ๐Ÿ˜‰

My Nominations

No pressure to do this by the way, I just wanted to highlight your great blogs!

My Questions

  1. Have you been wanting to install plugins, but you think $25/mo for the WordPress package is too much? Have you considered migration to a Self-Hosted WordPress blog?
  2. Have you ever paid for SEO services, software or plugins? Which are your favorites?
  3. Have you ever read a book that changed your life? Which ones and how did it affect you?
  4. If you could know the absolute and total truth to one question, what question would you ask?
  5. How many friends do you have on Facebook and how many actually mean something to you?
  6. If you could ask advice from any historical figure, who would it be, and what would you ask them?
  7. When you have 30 minutes of free-time, how do you pass the time?

Thanks for reading to the end! Hereโ€™s my last gif to brighten your day!

Till next time,

Debby Winter ๐Ÿ˜Š

How to Fix WordPress Themes That Do Not Show Excerpts? (Work-Around)

Has this happened to you before? You install a new WordPress theme, or you buy a premium theme somewhere, and all of your excerpts stop working! So instead of having descriptions on the tag, category and index page, full posts are now showing everywhere, and there is apparently no way to change this under theme settings. If this is you than read on, I will tell you exactly how to fix this.

WordPress SEO theme change
WordPress SEO theme change

I recently had this happening after switching to a different theme. Other than excerpts simply disappearing, they now additionally showed up on top of each single post page. I did a lot of Googling and submitted a question to the WordPress.org forums where I was told that adding custom CSS would provide for a guaranteed fix. Not!

The CSS code

.single-post .entry-header-details .post-excerpt { display: none; }

OMG I was so pissed off they’d tricked me! One would expect that adding the CSS code would indeed take care of the problem with excerpts showing all messed up on the site, but nothing happened at all. What a bummer!

So how was the issue solved?

After I cried and screamed for about 15 minutes I eventually resolved the issue by downloading a child theme, and adding custom code that overwrote files from the parent theme. When done everything looked exactly the way I liked it which made me very happy. I smiled. However, since this method is likely confusing to those of you who are not comfortable with PHP and coding, I will provide a quick and easy work-around for you below.

The Word-Around Fix

If you are reading this and you plan on changing your WordPress theme in the future, make sure to remember this fix. Mark my words or bookmark this page so you have something to fall back on. But first of all, make sure that you have the Gutenberg editor and not the classic editor activated on your blog.

Now in the Gutenberg editor you can simply insert the ‘more’ block when editing a post. If you don’t know where the more block is located just type the word ‘more’ in the block library search field.

You will see that a block is added with a —–more—– separation right away. Everything written above this separator will be hidden from your post pages (the hidden part is your excerpt). The top part of the post will now show up on your tag-, category- and date pages.

The only thing you have to do now is to now is copy your text from the old excerpt location and paste it above the —–more—– separation line. Now make sure to delete the old excerpt data so it will not show above your posts, and then you’re all set!

That’s all folks, it’s as easy as one two three. I hope you found this post useful. If you experienced problems with your excerpts before I would love to hear from you! Don’t hesitate to ask me any questions you may have!

With Love, Debby

Notes: Ways to freshen up your WordPress blog and make it stand out (1). WordPress happiness engineers don’t ever plan on getting rid of the classic editor (2). Of the Gutenberg editor: What’s new (3)? Gutenberg Changes: The easy ones (4). WP editor online support chat tonight (5).

WordPress SEO: Is your bandwidth usage up and your blog loading slowly? (Quick Fix)

Has it ever happened to you that your blog is loading slow, but your stats indicate you didn’t have many visitors, so you ended up blaming the web hosting service provider? If this is you, you may want to read on, because high bandwidth usage and slow loading times could be caused due to an issue on your end, and this will affect your SEO.

What causes slow loading times

WordPress blogs that are loading slow can usually be optimized by reducing the image size, cutting back on the amount of plugins, moving scripts to the footer, enabling proper caching and compression, and minification of scripts and code on your website. However, if your slow loading times are paired with high bandwidth usage, the actual issue might be that others are hotlinking to images and/or other files on your site.

What is hotlinking?

Hotlinking is the practice of linking to content on someone elses blog or website in order to display it on your own site. Instead of saving pictures and files on your server, they are loaded from a different location each time a visitor lands on your page This can either be done intentionally or unintentionally. Usually people will just copy part of a post they like and paste it on their website without even realizing that the links are still pointing to your domain.

If over time more people start hotlinking to your blog, or you are unfortunate enough to have a high traffic site hotlink your files, your blog can become considerably less responsive, and you will also notice a peak in bandwidth use. But stay calm, there is an easy solution that can both repair and prevent hotlinks to your website.

The perfect solution

Hotlinking can be prevented and/or stopped by adding a few lines of code to your .htaccess file. Where to find this file I hear you say. Easy. It’s in the directory where wordpress was installed. If you have wordpress installed in a subdirectory you may also choose to add the code to the .htaccess file in the root directory.

To access the wordpress directory you can use an FTP/SFTP program such as FileZilla. FileZilla is open source software so it won’t cost you any money. You can get the login details from your hosting company, or if have a WordPress Business or e-commerce plan you can click here to obtain your credentials.

.htaccess in filezilla
This is what the .htaccess file in FileZilla looks like after logging in with the ftp credentials

I can now click on the right mouse button, then click edit, and by default notepad will be opened which allows me to edit or add any code desired.

.htaccess file in notepad
An example of what the .htaccess file looks like after opening it in the text editor

Now all you have to do is to add the following lines:

EXAMPLE 1

RewriteEngine on
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^$
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^http://(www\.)?YOURSITE.com/.*$ [NC]
RewriteRule \.(gif|jpg|png|js|css)$ - [F]

In the example above, change YOURSITE to your domain name and this will stop any hotlinked images from loading. This is the preferred way if you just want to quickly put an end to the situation.

EXAMPLE 2

RewriteEngine On
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^$
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^http://(www\.)?example.com/.*$ [NC] 
RewriteRule \.(gif|jpg)$ http://www.example.com/stophotlinking.gif [R,L]

As you can see above I am only preventing gif and jpg images from being hotlinked this time. Stophotlinking.gif is the image that will be loaded on any blogs that have hotlinked to my site. You can change the image location to any other of your choice. The stophotlinking gif is intended to communicate that hotlinking has been disabled on your server.

In the rewrite rule you can insert any type of file extension you want in order to block them from loading. For example you could replace (gif|jpg) with (jpeg|JPEG|jpe|JPE|jpg|JPG|gif|GIF|png|PNG|mng|MNG), or even add video and audio extensions such as mp3 or mp4.

That’s all for now folks, thanks for reading to the end and I hope that you will say goodby to all your hotlinking problems for once and forever! If you found this post useful please like, comment and share!

Best Wishes, Debby

Notes: Several WordPress SEO plugins are on the fritz (1), Yoast WordPress plugin advantages and disadvantages for your optimization (2). WordPress SEO for beginners, 10 things to do now to improve your score (3). Seven terms you need to know if you are a self-hosted blogger (4). Tools you should use to fix your website speed (5)

Remove underline and change color of hyperlinks in WordPress themes (hack)

Hello WordPress fans! I haven’t been posting often lately because I’ve had a lot of work on my hands, but today I ran into an issue I wanted to share with you because I think you might find the solution useful. It happened that I was creating internal links for a client when she asked me to remove the underline and change the color of all links. She had the Twenty twenty theme installed, but guess what, it didn’t allow me to change the color of hyperlinks, let alone removing the underline…

How I fixed this

Where to find the additional CSS field

So what did I do to fix this issue without installing a different WordPress theme? The answer is simple: I injected custom CSS code, which may sound more complicated than it is. All you need to do is go to the admin area and click on customize, then click on additional CSS and you will see a window which most likely doesn’t have any code in it yet.

You can see the ‘additional CSS’ field in the image below on the left hand side. In the window you can see what the hyperlinks looked like before I applied the new code (bright blue and underlined).

Bright blue hyperlinks and underlined
This is what the hyperlinks looked like before inserting the CSS code

The only thing you have to do is add the following code in the window:

.entry-content a, 
.entry-summary a, 
.widget a, 
.site-footer .widget-area a, 
.posts-navigation a, 
.widget_authors a strong,
.entry-content a:hover, 
.entry-summary a:hover, 
.widget a:hover, 
.site-footer .widget-area a:hover, 
.posts-navigation a:hover, 
.widget_authors a strong:hover {
    box-shadow: none;
}

/* Standard links */
a {
    color: #FE2EC8;
}

Look what happened to the links! I’ve changed the color to pink and removed the underline. If you don’t like pink that’s OK, simply change the color code at the end. You can click here to choose a shade you love.

Pink hyperlinks and not being underlined
This is what the hyperlinks look like after the CSS code has been changed

This hack is not just for the WordPress twenty-twenty theme, you can use it in ANY template of your choice. Have fun and if you liked this post please comment, like and subscribe!

Lots of love, Debby

How to add a Follow Button in between the content of your WordPress blog

Do you want to add a follow button in between the text of your content? In this post I will tell you exactly how to do this with only a few lines of HTML. Just copy the code below and change the URL. When adding the HTML code to your blog, make sure to add it to the HTML block, and not directly to the ‘Paragraph’ block which opens by default.

HTML code for the follow button with blog name and follower count:

<a class="wordpress-follow-button" href="https:// debbyseo.wordpress.com">Follow SEO San Francisco on WordPress.com</a> (function(d){var f = d.getElementsByTagName(‘SCRIPT’)[0], p = d.createElement(‘SCRIPT’);p.type = ‘text/javascript’;p.async = true;p.src = ‘//widgets.wp.com/platform.js’;f.parentNode.insertBefore(p,f);}(document));

This is what the button looks like:

HTML Code for the Follow button with blog name no follower count:

<a class="wordpress-follow-button" href="https:// debbyseo.wordpress.com">Follow SEO San Francisco on WordPress.com</a> (function(d){var f = d.getElementsByTagName(‘SCRIPT’)[0], p = d.createElement(‘SCRIPT’);p.type = ‘text/javascript’;p.async = true;p.src = ‘//widgets.wp.com/platform.js’;f.parentNode.insertBefore(p,f);}(document));

HTML code for the Follow button without blog name but with Follower count:

<a class="wordpress-follow-button" href="https:// debbyseo.wordpress.com">Follow SEO San Francisco on WordPress.com</a> (function(d){var f = d.getElementsByTagName(‘SCRIPT’)[0], p = d.createElement(‘SCRIPT’);p.type = ‘text/javascript’;p.async = true;p.src = ‘//widgets.wp.com/platform.js’;f.parentNode.insertBefore(p,f);}(document));

HTML code for the follow button without blog name and no follower count:

<a class="wordpress-follow-button" href="https:// debbyseo.wordpress.com">Follow SEO San Francisco on WordPress.com</a> (function(d){var f = d.getElementsByTagName(‘SCRIPT’)[0], p = d.createElement(‘SCRIPT’);p.type = ‘text/javascript’;p.async = true;p.src = ‘//widgets.wp.com/platform.js’;f.parentNode.insertBefore(p,f);}(document));

I hope this post will be of use to you. You can also visit the follow button creator as can be found on the WordPress developers website. Have fun!

Song of the Week (The Dreaming, Kate Bush)

I love Kate Bush, she’s got style and therefore she will never go out of fashion. How is she so good and unappreciated? She’s a brilliant, unique artist with a real understanding of making lyrics and telling a story that shows real emotion. This is a pop artist that is actually good.

Exotic instruments used on Bushes albums: strumento de porco, tupan, boobams, singing bowls, the lirone.

The dreaming was released in 1982, it was recorded over two years, and the album was produced entirely by Bush. The dreaming peaked at #3 on the UK album chart and has been certified Silver by the BPI.

SEO Score: 85/100
SEO Score 78/100
The Dreaming, Lyrics

“bang!” goes another kanga
on the bonnet of the van
“see the light ram through the gaps in the land.”
many an aborigine’s mistaken for a tree
’til you near him on the motorway
and the tree begin to breathe
“see the light ram through the gaps in the land.”
(“ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha”)
Coming in with the golden light
in the morning
coming in with the golden light
is the new man
coming in with the golden light
is my dented van
Woomera
“dree-ee-ee-ee-ee-
a-a-a-a-a-
m-m-m-m-m-
ti-ti-ti-ti-ti-
i-i-i-i-i-
me-me-me-me-me.”
“dree-ee-ee-ee-ee-“
woomera
“a-a-a-a-a-
m-m-m-m-m-
ti-ti-ti-ti-ti-
i-i-i-i-i-
me-me-me-me-me.”
“dree-ee-ee-ee-ee-
a-a-a-a-a-
m-m-m-m-m-
ti-ti-ti-ti-ti-“
โ€ฆ
The civilised keep alive
the territorial war
“see the light ram through the gaps in the land.”
erase the race that claim the place
and say we dig for ore
or dangle devils in a bottle
and push them from the
pull of the bush
“see the light ram through the gaps in the land.”
you find them in the road
“see the light bounce off the rocks to the sand.”
in the road
Coming in with the golden light
in the morning
coming in with the golden light
with no warning
coming in with the golden light
we bring in the rigging
dig, dig, dig, dig away
“dree-ee-ee-ee-ee-
a-a-a-a-a-
m-m-m-m-m-
ti-ti-ti-ti-ti-
i-i-i-i-i-
me-me-me-me-me”
“dree-ee-ee-ee-ee-“
woomera
“a-a-a-a-a-
m-m-m-m-m-
ti-ti-ti-ti-ti-
i-i-i-i-i-
me-me-me,”
“dree-ee-ee-ee-ee-
a-a-a-a-a-
m-m-m-m-m-“
woomera
“ti-ti-ti-ti-ti-
i-i-i-i-i-
me-me-me-me-me,”
“dree-ee-ee-ee-ee-
a-a-a-a-a-
m-m-m-m-m-
ti-ti-ti-ti-ti-
i-i-i-i-i-“
woomera
“me-me-me-me-me.”
Ma-ma-many an aborigine’s mistaken for a tree
(“la, la, oo-ooh!”)
“see the light ram through the gaps in the land.”
you near him on the motorway
and the tree begin to breathe
erase the race that claim the place
and say we dig for ore
“see the light ram through the gaps in the land.”
dangle devils in a bottle
and push them from the pull of the bush
“see the sun set in the hand of the man.”
“bang!” goes another kanga
on the bonnet of the van
“see the light bounce off the rocks to the sand.”
you find them in the road
“see the light ram through the gaps in the land.”
in the road
“see the light.”
(“push ’em from the”)
pull of the bush
“see the light bounce off the rocks to the sand.”
(“push ’em from the”)
pull of the bush
“see the sunset in the hand of the man.”
(“oh, re mikayina!”)

Blogging Tips: Safely Migrating Your Blog from WordPress.com to a Self-Hosted WordPress Solution

Hello WordPress fans! In this post I will be explaining how to migrate your data from WordPress.com to a self-hosted WordPress solution, and how to transfer your subscribers, stats and install the best SEO and Caching plugins so your new blog will be blazing fast and super-optimized for the search engines. If you have been hosting a blog at WordPress.com for a while, you may feel that it’s time to upgrade. Unfortunately the personal and premium WordPress package do not offer much flexibility. If you want the ability to install plugins, WordPress requires that you subscribe to their business package at $25/mo, which is quiet steep for most of us especially if you take into consideration that many WordPress users have less than 100 visitors a day. Note that WordPress wrote a guide for people who are moving to Self-Hosted WordPress, but you may still have questions which is why I wrote this guide on how to sucessfully move your blog.

Safely move your site from WordPress.com to WordPress.org
Migrating your blog from WordPress.com to WordPress.org

Step 1: Select a Hosting Package

Selecting the appropriate web hosting company and hosting package for your WordPress blog is of extreme importance. It is of no use to pay a lot of money for a hosting package that gives access to resources you will never use, but on the other hand you want to ensure that you will be located on a fast and responsive server so your visitors will have a pleasant user experience.

There are a variety of web hosting providers that are being recommended by WordPress. I have tried several of them with mixed feelings, mainly because of poor customer support. While the servers are overall responsive and well maintained, the service department is generally not as responsive as I like them to be. This means that if you have no technical knowledge you may have difficulties finishing the installation without running into trouble.

Free Automated Migrations

Free automated WordPress migrations are great! However, there is a pitfall. In order to apply for such automatic transfers you must be able to install plugins, and you guessed it already, this is only possible with the $25/mo WordPress business package. In other words, unless you are already on an expensive package you will need to do a manual migration which may be confusing if you have little technical knowledge, which is exactly why I have written this post.

So which hosting provider to choose?

Let’s assume you have a WordPress blog that receives less than 250 visitors a day, and you simply want your visitors to read your posts (you’re not hosting any resource intensive scripts). In this scenario a web hosting package under $3/month will easily meet your needs.

Hostgator

At the time of this writing HostGator is having a special on WordPress Hosting for only $2.75/month which is called the Hatchling Plan and which comes with a free domain name. HostGator is owned by the Endurance group which also owns Bluehost (recommended by WordPress). What I didn’t like about Hostgator is that once your account is due for renewal, you will be charged at their “normal” rate of $10.95/mo, something which is not clearly stated on their website and for which they referred me to the prices listed in the control panel.

Cheap WordPress Hosting
Affordable WordPress Hosting
Dreamhost

Dreamhost on the other hand offers low-cost hosting starting at only $2.59/mo, and there are no gimmicks once it’s time for the renewal. Regardless, also here it’s wise to read the fine-print, because you do not get the ability to configure sub-domains (for example subdomain.myblog.com), and the web hosting package requires you to upgrade if you want email service for your domain. But putting all things into perspective, they provide reliable hosting for your WordPress blog for less than $2.60/month, and customer support is friendly and responsive. And did I mention Dreamhost is offering a free domain name too?

Affordable WordPress Hosting
Cheap WordPress Hosting

And if you plan on choosing a different web hosting service provider to host your WordPress blog than always make sure that they offer free SSL certificates as the need to purchase one independently will greatly increase the total cost.

Installing the WordPress Software

Once you have settled for a web hosting service provider it is time to install your WordPress blog on the new location. Make sure to ask for a temporary URL so you can access your new blog until you are sure that everything is the way you like it. You should never change the DNS before everything is ready, and if you plan on moving your domain name, your want to make sure to wait with this until after your DNS has been pointed to the new location (moving a domain name takes 5-8 business days during which you will not be able to change any domain data). Installing WordPress can usually be done with the press of a single button in the cPanel control panel, or alternatively your webhost will ask during registration if you want the WordPress installation by default. In case none of the options above are offered, you can always install WordPress by downloading a copy from WordPress.org. Both DreamHost and HostGator come with WordPress pre-installed.

Migrating your data

In order to move your data you will need to have WordPress installed. This should not be a problem even if you chose a web hosting company different from the ones I mentioned above. You should first EXPORT your data. In order to do this visit your old WordPress blog, go to TOOLS and click on EXPORT CONTENT. In theory this is all you will need but I still always make a copy of the media library just in case. Just an old habit.

Export your WordPress database and media files
Exporting WordPress posts and media

Save the content in a place where you can remember it. Remember, only the first file will be required, the media library can downloaded automatically from the remote location.

Next what you want to do is go to the newly installed WordPress blog and import the database file (the one with the .XML extension), you may have to unzip it first.

Import your blog from a WordPress export file and automatically download media files from the remote location
Import WordPress files

You will be asked to choose from a list what kind of content you are importing, and you should choose the last option which says WordPress –> Run Importer. Now upload the database file and start the process. Make sure to check the option to download all media files when prompted.

An error which most people run into at this time, is that they are unable to download all the media files because of server limits that allow you to use only a certain amount of resources. These limits are set by your web hosting provider and can usually not be changed. There used to be a way around this by uploading the media files via FTP, and then using a plugin to make them visible in the WordPress media library. The WP plugin I’m referring to is called “Add to Server”, but it stopped working about 3 months ago and people have been experiencing difficulties. (I will tell you how to solve this problem keep on reading).

When trying to replace the “Add to Server” plugin with another one you will find that you run into a lot of paid plugins that require you to install the WP plugin on both ends of your WordPress blog, and because you don’t want to pay $25/mo for the monthly WordPress subscription this is not an option.

So how to fix the WordPress media import issue?

The solution is simple. When you import the data from the database you will most likely get the same server 500 error everyone else runs into, and in order to solve this issue you can simply repeat the process of importing the same database file. While this apparently makes no difference (you will have to do this quiet a few times and the server will keep crashing each time) you can open the WordPress Media Library in another tab and here you will see that with each attempt you will be adding a few extra rows of media until all the content has been downloaded, after which you receive a confirmation that everything has been correctly imported. It may take you a while but eventually all the content will be there. Piece of cake, a kid can do the laundry!

This is the media library after the wordpress bulk images import
Some images in the media library have registered twice during the data download but I can remove them later

If importing the same database file over and over has caused some duplicate content you can easily delete this, or just leave it the way it is, since there is usually no storage limit on a self-hosted WordPress account it’s nothing to worry about.

Installing a Cool WordPress Theme

So now you’ve got the content of your blog migrated to the new location, whats next? First of all let’s make sure you install a super cool template for your blog. When no longer hosting at WordPress.com the template you used before may or may not be available, but even if it’s not, you now have the freedom to install thousands of different templates while you were previously limited to just a few.

On the WordPress.org site alone you can find over 7500 themes, and then you can also find themes on non-WordPress sites, so its fair to say that finding a theme that you absolutely love is a fun process that should appeal to everyone.

After you have installed the Theme it’s time to make some modifications. If you are a picky person you can change the font size (I like size 18) and letter type, install widgets and play with all the customization options the new template has to offer, or you can simply keep the default configuration which is just fine for the majority of bloggers.

Installing Plugins

If you liked being a part of the WordPress community than the Jetpack plugin is a must-have. It allows you to move your stats, subscribers and you can even login to your new self-hosted blog with your WordPress.com account so it also adds security. But you want to run the plugin in safe-mode until the DNS has been updated and your domain name transferred.

If you want your site to be blazing fast and responsive I recommend the WP Super Cache plugin, it has been around for as long as I can remember and it’s still the best of its kind.

WP Super Cache Plugin Setting
Configuring WP Super Cache advanced settings

The WP Super Cache plugin requires some basic knowledge on the users end in order to get the configuration right, but once you’ve got everything configured this plugin makes your blog super-fast!

Yoast SEO and WP Super Cache, two must-have plugins for WordPress
a closer look at (part of) the active plugin list

So as you can see above I have the ability to install any plugin I like, and additionally I can choose from over 3.500 free WordPress themes that can be found on WordPress.org, or I can choose to install from any other location, and all this with a DreamHost hosting package of only $2.59/month.

SEO Plugins

Playing with SEO plugins is a lot of fun, but if you have an established website and you are inexperienced you could really hurt your rankings by choosing the wrong configurations. My advice is that if you don’t know what you are doing and you value your blog traffic, it’s better to look for assistance.

How to configure WP Internal Link Juicer plugin
WP Internal Link Juicer Configuration

The plugin above is called the Internal Link Juicer. It’s excellent for blog owners who have a large amount of posts but never hot-linked any of their pages. Since it would take a long time to manually cross-link all the internal posts and pages, you can configure the plugin to set preferred keywords for each post, and use the content of each posts to automatically locate link text and point links to desired locations. A great time-saver but you must never stop using it or change the settings as this will guarantee a drop in search engine ranking.

Point DNS to the New Location

We’re almost done. Your new web host will have provided you with an IP address and name server URL. Now all the content has been migrated and you have installed your new template and the plugins it’s time to point the DNS to the new location. Login to WordPress.com and go to the menu on the left hand side and click on MANAGE –> DOMAINS –> CHANGE DNS. You will notice that once you change the DNS your website will be down for a couple of hours. When it comes back up your URL will be connected to the new host meaning that your blog is finally live.

Transferring your Domain Name

Once you have changed DNS you may see security warnings. This is especially true for people who find your site through the search engines as search engine result pages will take a while before they update your URLs from HTTPS to HTTP. The reason people get an error when landing on the HTTPS URL is that WordPress uses SSL certificates by default, and HTTPS is not enabled by default on a new host (Dreamhost and HostGator do offer free security certs but your domain name needs to be transferred first in order to be able to use a certificate with your domain). Transferring the domain is as easy as taking off the “lock” under the domain section in the WordPress.com menu, and requesting a transfer in the cPanel control panel at your new hosting company. A domain transfer usually takes 5-8 business days and during this time you cannot change any data so in order to prevent downtime make sure to point your DNS to the new host before you request for the domain to be transferred. Once the domain name has been successfully moved you can install the SSL cert and the errors will no longer appear.

Transferring Subscribers and Stats – Taking the Jetpack Plugin off Standby

And we’re down to the last step, taking the WordPress Jetpack plugin off standby which allows you to synchronize with WordPress.com and retrieve all your subscribers and stats. The Jetpack plugin additionally offers premium features such as protection against brute force attacks, real time back ups and recovery plans. Once you’re enabling this plugin you can say that you have successfully moved your site to self-hosted WordPress, but that thanks to the Jetpack plugin, you are still a member of the pack.

Good Luck!

I hope you liked this article. If you are considering a move from WordPress.com to a self-hosted WordPress solution feel free to contact me for assistance. I offer affordable WP migrations with installation and configuration of all plugins of your choice included.

Warm Regards, ~ Debby Winter

Notes: Self-Hosting with WordPress: What you need to know (1). Automatic is a distributed company made up of people working from wherever they choose (2). How to move from WordPress.com to a self-hosted site (3). Do you still like WordPress (4).

WordPress Tips: Is Your WordPress Post Title Showing Vertically?

Hello SEOs and WordPress bloggers! Here’s how we fix the issue with WordPress post titles showing up vertical instead of horizontal. Don’t freak out, the solution is simple! Let’s have a look:

WordPress post titles are showing vertical instead of horizontal.
All of the WordPress post titles are showing vertically

There’s a quick and simple solution to this problem that will revert the titles of your WordPress posts to their regular horizontal layout. The only thing you have to do is to partially deactivate the WordPress review plugin.

Click Screen Options in the right top corner
Go to WordPress Screen Options in the right top corner.

Almost there…

Too much WordPress data needs to be displayed in the columns
There a lot of WordPress data that needs to be displayed in the columns

Let’s uncheck the tags option, I remember there being a very long tag made up out of hash tags which might be the cause for this problem.

The vertical title problem has been fixed by unchecking options under the WordPress Screen Options columns.
Unchecking options in the Screen Options columns will fix the vertical title problem

If the issue is not fixed after unchecking the tag field, than you want to simply uncheck some more fields until all titles show their normal horizontal structure again.

The vertical title issue is fixed
Everything has been fixed

I hope that you were able to solve the issue successfully and that you enjoyed reading this post. If you ever need help optimizing your WordPress blog for the search engines (SEO), or you need help configuring plugins like Internal Link Juicer, Yoast SEO, WP Super Cache or others feel free to drop me a line.

With Love,

Debby Winter

Notes: WordPress is not free of issues (1). Bloggers experience everything from problems with messages to errors when scheduling posts (2). Some even blame their WordPress trouble on Windows 7 (3). So what’s the deal with people following themselves to scan for WordPress bugs (4)? People even get angry and frustrated when the like button doesn’t work (5). But even so, WordPress is the best CMS out there and hosts over 80% of all websites on the internet.

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