How to Disable the Screen Options Button in WordPress

Do you want to disable the screen options button in WordPress? The screen options button allows you to show and hide elements on different pages through out the WordPress admin area. In this article, we will show you how to disable the screen options button in WordPress.

Disable screen options button in WordPress

Why You May Want to Disable Screen Options Button?

Screen Options button is located on the top right corner of different pages in your WordPress admin area. It allows each logged in user to show and hide items on various sections of the WordPress admin area.

Many WordPress site owners run multi-author blogs. With screen options button, their authors may accidentally uncheck something that is important.

For example, on the posts edit screen users can show / hide change author field, featured image section, and more.

Screen Options settings on post edit screen in WordPress

You can control the admin view for all users by disabling the screen options button. Let’s take a look at how to easily disable screen options button in WordPress.

Method 1: Hiding Screen Options Button Using Plugin

This method is easier and is recommended for all users.

First thing you need to do is install and activate the Adminimize plugin. For more details, see our step by step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

Upon activation, you need to visit Settings » Adminimize page to configure plugin settings.

Adminimize Settings

You will see a list of sections. On this page, you need to click on the Global Options link, and it will take you down to a different section tabs. On that tab, you need to once again click on the Global Options tab to expand it.

Section tabs

This will expand the tab, and you will see a bunch of options to show and hide in your WordPress admin area. You need to check the boxes next to ‘Screen Options’.

Deactivate screen options button

The plugin allows you to disable it for all users as well as selected user roles.

Once you are done, don’t forget to click on the update options button to save your settings.

You can now visit any page in the admin area that showed Screen Options button like the dashboard or post/page edit screens, and you will notice that Screen Options button is now disabled.

Adminimize is a really powerful plugin that allows you to completely change the WordPress admin area by selectively showing or hiding different items. For more details, see our article on hiding unnecessary items from WordPress admin area with Adminimize.

Method 2: Manually Disable Screen Options Button in WordPress

This method requires you to add code to your WordPress files. If you haven’t done this before, then please take a look at our guide on how to copy and paste code in WordPress.

You will need to add the following code to your WordPress theme’s functions.php file or a site-specific plugin.

function wpb_remove_screen_options() { 
if(!current_user_can('manage_options')) {
return false;
}
return true; 
}
add_filter('screen_options_show_screen', 'wpb_remove_screen_options');

This code removes the screen options button for all users except administrators.

You can now switch to any other user account that is not an administrator. After that, visit your admin area Dashboard screen, and you will notice that Screen Options button has disappeared.

We hope this article helped you learn how to easily disable screen options button in WordPress. You may also want to see our mega list of most useful WordPress tips, tricks, and hacks for beginners.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

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WordPress 4.9.2 Patches XSS Vulnerability

WordPress 4.9.2 has been released and patches a cross-site scripting vulnerability in the Flash fallback files in the MediaElement library. According to Ian Dunn, the Flash files are rarely needed and have been removed from WordPress.

If you need access to the Flash fallback files, they can be obtained using the MediaElement Flash Fallback plugin. Enguerran Gillier and Widiz are credited with responsibly disclosing the vulnerability. 

In addition to the patch, this releases fixes 21 bugs. JavaScript errors that prevented saving posts in Firefox has been fixed and switching themes will attempt to restore previous widget assignments, even if no sidebars exist.

You can view detailed information about the changes in 4.9.2 by reading the following Codex article.

Actionable Strategies to Writing a Business Plan for Startups

Implementing a website itself is trivial – everyone can spin off a Wix or Weebly website in a matter of minutes and publish it live.

The question is – What do you have to offer and is there a market demand?

CB Insights came up with a list of the 20 main reasons why startups fail:

Top 20 reasons why startups fail.
Top 20 reasons why startups fail.

Let’s focus on the first two reasons:

  • No market need (42%).
  • Ran out of cash (29%).

Lack of a product-market fit is the reason why nearly half of all startups fail.

Validating your business idea is practically the most important thing you need to do before starting a company.

Successful businesses are profitable organizations charging for products or services. They have certain expenses – payroll, tools, hardware, probably an office space or a warehouse – you name it.

In order to break even and start growing, they need to ensure that there are viable and profitable business opportunities. In other words, someone has to pay for all the work.

There are different ways to conduct a proper market research and design a business plan with appropriate and realistic goals and targets. Some of them are more financially-oriented and traditional while others let you tap into your own strengths and exploit them for success.

4 Personalized Goals For Business Plan Success

Daniel DiPiazza suggests a plan including 4 personalized goals for success (published on Entrepreneur). Here’s a condensed overview of my tips based on the main direction provided by Daniel.

  1. Hobbies and skills you’re already good at. Tap into your strengths related to things you know well and haven’t put into practice to make a living. It could be a second language as a translator or editor, some leadership skills, or anything else.
  2. Things you’ve done for work. If you were already employed and paid for a certain type of work, someone had to pay for it. Consider a form of consulting or building a product (your idea) which automates a process and saves money. Anything related to your previous job and how it might help a large set of clients would be helpful.
  3. Things people ask you for. That’s a great evaluation of demand. You want to be in a position of selling a product that is actively asked for. Browse your inbox or look up forums and groups online for common problems that people struggle with.
  4. Things you want to learn. Entrepreneurs may still be successful even if they have a limited experience in a certain area – as long as they are eager to learn. This would motivate you to spend the time to catch up with the field. If the startup works, that’s great – otherwise, at least you’ll end up with a valuable set of skills that may open new career opportunities.

In a nutshell, you can tap into your own pool of ideas, former experience, and things you’d love to do for a living.

Successful startup owners often start with a familiar niche. This ensures the commitment to the purpose of the business. It helps you achieve more in a shorter amount of time. It keeps you up and running while overcoming obstacles.

You will understand the industry better and utilize your network. Research would take less time. And you will be more persistent during the rough months while boostrapping the business.

5 Actionable Strategies While Building a Business Plan

Peter Economy of Inc. Magazine suggests a more practical and actionable, high-end approach on Inc.:

  1. Step into the right zone. Define your vision, look for the right type of problems, consider what sort of challenges have you faced previously that are worth solving.
  2. Know your competition. No business idea is completely unique. You will unlikely create a completely new category (which is rare and extremely expensive). As long as you understand the business needs, figure out who sells similar products or services, how they market themselves, who they sell to and what portion of that market you can aim for.
  3. Learn about your chosen business model. Even if you were a practitioner, that doesn’t mean that your work as a founder would include everything that you’ve done previously. Study the leading roles in that field, what markets are worth investing in, how prospects consume information and what they expect from a product (and its presentation).
  4. Check sustainability. Certain business models require a significant investment upfront. Large corporations can even afford to sell at loss for years until they capture a significant portion of a given market. Understanding your expenses and your profit opportunities is extremely important.
  5. Associate with a marketing professional. That goes without saying, but marketing and sales are paramount for a new business. If you’re a proficient marketer yourself, you may be able to pull it off. Otherwise, consider a partnership with a marketing or business development co-founder or hire someone who can focus on that full-time.

Note the overlap with the first list of strategies. Familiarity with your industry will really ease your pain while writing your business plan.

Starting a brand new business in a new niche is tough.

You deal with a different target audience. You probably sell to consumers instead of businesses. Your ideal buyer persona has different traits. The market could be local instead of international.

Not to mention that every business has its own quirks and loopholes. Knowing them from the inside-out can be a notable leverage.

Checklist: 8 Practical Approaches to Writing Your Business Plan

Credit: https://www.50minutes.com

Noah Parsons has contributed to Bplans with a detailed list of 8 practical strategies to evaluate a business model and prepare for your new startup:

  1. Start by documenting your key assumptions about your business. Make notes of everything you believe is true in your niche. Compile stats, industry studies, notes, quotes. Attend events and talk to other industry professionals. Read interviews, books written by industry leaders. Use your own common sense combined with public data in order to validate your assumptions.
  2. Talk to your potential customers. Validating your business plan is best done in practice. Talk to prospects in person at events. Email some with a short quiz and ask them to help you understand the niche better. Discuss your solution and figure out if it’s something worth paying for in the first place.
  3. Show your prospective customers a prototype of your product, if you have one. You have a website and an idea in place. If you can, prepare some test accounts for people to try your product firsthand. Discussing your potential solution is one thing, but sharing a trial version that one can actually test and apply in practice is invaluable.
  4. Figure out what people are willing to pay. Again, a sustainable business revolves around profitability. If your cost per account is $20 and the lifetime value of a customer is $15, that’s not a profitable model. Especially for SaaS or any sort of solution that includes ongoing costs or expensive support fees. Talk to prospects openly. Try to assess a problem and how much customers lose without using your solution.
  5. Find people who think your idea sucks. Critics are your best friends. Being able to identify prospects who think that your idea isn’t worth it may point you to various problems that can be solved in order to design a better solution. Most people would rather not use a product than spend the time to share their feedback – so never ignore those who are happy to give you actionable tips.
  6. Find out how much money it is going to take to launch your business. Bootstrapping the business isn’t free, either. It will take a while until the business gets traction even if you find your product-market fit. This is why the second most common reason for failing startups is the lack of capital. If you can sustain the startup process and the first months until you land your first customers, go for it. Otherwise, consider loans from friends, credit cards, or anything else that might help get you moving forward.
  7. Start as small as possible. Investing in office spaces, expensive ads, billboards at events is probably a lost cause. Think about zero-budget marketing and activities that rely primarily on your time (instead of budget). In the early days, you have more time than cash, so it’s smarter to find opportunities that require time rather than investments that won’t repay soon (and may sink the business).
  8. Stay flexible. Regardless of your initial idea, be open to suggestions, ideas, customer feedback. Businesses evolve with time. Your initial assumptions may require fine tuning or more radical changes. Make sure that your foundation allows for change and enhancements over time in order to stay competitive and introduce new features to your clients.

Read the last point again.

Flexibility is what most entrepreneurs lack when they start they venture.

They focus on what they know and seems worthy of pursing. But that’s often far from ideal.

You may be familiar with the industry – and that’s fine. And you probably have tried some of your competitors’ products.

But what makes a business successful often hides in the tiny details. Customer support. User experience. Brand awareness.

Investing in any of those areas may immediately increase your conversion rate or a customer’s lifetime value.

Once you’ve done the research, sit down and think carefully whether the idea is viable or not.

Look up the numbers again. 42% failure for startups that couldn’t find the product-market fit. 29% for lack of capital.

Being able to overcome those problems will increase your odds of success.

What is your main obstacle while writing the business plan for your new startup?

The post Actionable Strategies to Writing a Business Plan for Startups appeared first on Mario Peshev.

Vulnerability in phpMyAdmin Requires Immediate Patch

A critical CSRF Vulnerability in phpMyAdmin Database administration tool has been found and a patch is available for all computers and servers running the MySQL database.

Does this include you?

If you are using WordPress, yes it does.

Contact your web host to ensure phpMyAdmin is updated immediately.

If you are self-hosted and manage your own server, update phpMyAdmin immediately.

If you are using WordPress or phpMyAdmin and MySQL on your computer through WAMP, MAMP, XAMPP, Instant WordPress, DesktopServer, BitNami or any of the other ways you can install WordPress on your computer or a stick (USB), update phpMyAdmin by using the patch or check the install technique’s site for updates.

The flaw affects phpMyAdmin versions 4.7.x prior to 4.7.7. Hopefully, your server/web host company has been updating phpMyAdmin all along and you don’t need to worry, but even though this is a medium security vulnerability, it is your responsibility as a site owner and administrator to ensure that your site is safe. Don’t just rely on GoDaddy, Dreamhost, or whatever hosting service you use to take care of these things for you. Sometimes they are on top of these before an announcement is made public. Other times, they are clueless and require customer intervention and nagging.

Now, what is phpMyAdmin?

MySQL is an open source database program, and phpMyAdmin is the free, open source tool that makes the administration and use of MySQL easier to manage. It is not a database. It is a database manager. You can easily search and replace data in the database, make changes, and do other maintenance and utility tasks in the database.

Every installation of WordPress requires PHP and MySQL along with a variety of other web-based programming packages and software. Most installations by web hosts and portable versions of WordPress add phpMyAdmin to manage the WordPress site. It is not required for WordPress to work, but don’t assume that it is or isn’t installed. CHECK.

To find out if phpMyAdmin is installed on your site:

  1. Check with your web host and ask. Don’t expect their customer service staff to know for sure. Make them check your account and verify whether or not it is installed, and if they’ve updated. Push them for a specific answer.
  2. Check the site admin interface (cPanel, Plesk, etc.) to see if it is installed.
  3. Log into your site through secure FTP into the root (if you have access) and look for the installation at /usr/share/phpmyadmin or localhost/phpmyadmin. Unfortunately, it could be anywhere depending upon the installation as these are virtual folders, not folders found on your computer, so it must be assigned to a location.
  4. If running a portable installation of MySQL and/or WordPress, follow the instructions for that tool and download and install all patches to ensure phpMyAdmin is updated to the latest secure version.



Filed under: WordPress, WordPress News Tagged: mysql, php, phpmyadmin, phpmyadmin security, security, security vulnerability, server vulnerability, servers, vulnerability, web hosts, wordpress install, WordPress News

Ask Yoast: Still minify and concatenate CSS and JS files?

To work properly, websites contain multiple CSS and JavaScript files. These must be fetched from the server by the visitors’ computer, to fully load a webpage. In the old standard, HTTP/1, only one request at a time could be handled, so minifying and concatenating multiple files was a good idea. Otherwise, visitors would experience a slow website because of too many requests. The new standard, HTTP/2, allows for much easier communication between a visitor and the server.

So, does this increasing move to HTTP/2 mean that it’s no longer necessary to minify and concatenate your CSS and JS files? After all, site speed is still crucial for SEO. Let’s get into that in this Ask Yoast!

Become a technical SEO expert with our Technical SEO 1 training! »

Technical SEO 1 training Info

Danny O’Neill emailed us his question:

‘With the increasing move to HTTP/2 should we still minify and concatenate our CSS and JS files?’

Watch the video or read the transcript further down the page for my answer!

Is it still necessary to minify and concatenate your CSS and JS files?

“In the old standard, HTTP/1, the browser could only open so many files at the same time on your server and thus it was smart to combine those files into larger concatenated files. In HTTP/2 that’s not needed anymore, so no, you don’t necessarily have to do that.

What you need to look at is which portion of your traffic already supports HTTP/2. If that’s the large majority then you can stop doing that altogether. Good luck!”

Ask Yoast

In the series Ask Yoast we answer SEO questions from our readers. Have an SEO-related question? Let us help you out! Send an email to ask@yoast.com.

(Note: please check our blog and knowledge base first, the answer to your question may already be out there! For urgent questions, for example about our plugin not working properly, we’d like to refer you to our support page.)

Read more: ‘Performance optimization in an HTTP/2 world’ »

The post Ask Yoast: Still minify and concatenate CSS and JS files? appeared first on Yoast.

How to Choose the Best WooCommerce Hosting Company?

Are you looking for the best WooCommerce hosting to create your online store? Choosing the best hosting provider is one of the most important decision you’ll make for your eCommerce business.

A typical shared hosting provider may not always be a good choice for WooCommerce. That’s because you will need more resources, SSL certificate, and WooCommerce-centric support platform. In this guide, we will help you choose the best WooCommerce hosting for your online store.

At WPBeginner, we have helped more than 100,000+ users start their websites. As the largest unofficial WordPress resource site and years of experience with hosting services, we know the importance of choosing the best WooCommerce hosting for an eCommerce startup. Our goal is to offer insights on things you need to consider when choosing a WooCommerce hosting company.

To make the process easier, we have created the ultimate guide on how to choose the best WooCommerce hosting company.

The post How to Choose the Best WooCommerce Hosting Company? appeared first on WPBeginner.

A Collection of Gutenberg Conversations, Resources, and Videos

Since the conclusion of WordCamp US in early December, there have been a number of Gutenberg related items published to the web.

The following is a collection of items related to Gutenberg that I came across throughout December. Feel free to add to this list in the comments below.

Resources

Getting Ready for Gutenberg is a community-run initiative to help users and developers prepare for Gutenberg's inclusion in core.

GitHub repo filled with Gutenberg example blocks.

Although it was published in August of last year, WordImpress has a good guide on how to contribute to Gutenberg without code.

Rich Tabor explains how to add WordPress theme styles to Gutenberg. He's also created a Gutenberg Social Sharing Block plugin.

Human Made published a Gutenberg White Paper that introduces people to the project, goes over a number of blocks, and provides advice on how agencies can prepare for the transition.

Frontenberg is a new project by Tom Nowell that brings Gutenberg to the front end. This allows people to try Gutenberg without logging into a site or installing a plugin.

Ben Gilbanks has added basic support for Gutenberg to his Granule starter theme.

Andrew Taylor created a Gutenberg block that enables embedding Pens from CodePen.

Advanced Custom Fields announced it will focus on making ACF compatible with Gutenberg in 2018.

Meta Box has also announced its Gutenberg compatibility plans.

John Hawkins published a good post on the WebDevStudios blog on how existing content will be affected by Gutenberg.

Conversations

Kevin Hoffman started a conversation on how plugin conflicts can be handled and communicated.

Bridget Willard shared her concerns with the economic impact and timeline of Gutenberg's roll out. She also created an issue on GitHub.

Amanda Rush published her thoughts and concerns related to Gutenberg's Accessibility.

Morten Rand-Hendrisken published a series of articles on LinkedIn covering things you need to know about Gutenberg and the conditions for its success.

Scott Kingsley Clark, of the PODS framework plugin, announced they're doing some cool things in the next release specifically for Gutenberg.

Freemius takes a look at what Gutenberg means for the future of commercial WordPress products. The post includes quotes from Beaver Builder, Elementor, and Visual Composer.

In episode 297 of WordPress Weekly, Morten Rand-Hendriksen joined John James Jacoby and I in a detailed conversation about Gutenberg, its potential impacts, and the idea of forking WordPress.

GiveWP is opening up its design process for how its product will interface with Gutenberg.

Beaver Builder takes a look at Page Builders in a Gutenberg World, the future of WordPress, and how its product will embrace compatibility with Gutenberg.

Eric Mann on Gutenberg and the road ahead. Mann supports the idea of soft-forking WordPress to provide time and help for those who can't immediately update to 5.0.

Help contribute to Gutenberg by processing the usability tests from WordCamp US 2017.

Michael Hebenstreit details the potential costs for small WordPress businesses and independent developers to transition to Gutenberg.

WordCamp Miami 2018 is having a developer workshop focused on Gutenberg.

Tammie Lister shared her experience redesigning her site using the Gutenberg theme as a base.

WP4Good explains how they're preparing for Gutenberg.

Videos

Riad Benguella published a visual example that shows Meta Boxes mostly work in Gutenberg. Benguella created a sample plugin called Gutenberg Custom Fields that provides a similar user experience to existing Custom Fields plugins.

A live demo of Gutenberg during the 2017 State of the Word.

Gutenberg and the WordPress of Tomorrow by Morten Rand-Hendriksen

Yoast SEO: How to use the internal linking tool

The article you are about to read is probably one of the easiest posts I have written in a long time, as its subject is right there next to the edit screen in WordPress: the internal linking tool, which is a part of Yoast SEO Premium. I have only written three lines right now, but I already have some general suggestions of posts to link to, like the one with our 12 most read posts of 2017. Makes sense. As I continue to write this article, the suggested posts will change to match what I am writing about.

Optimize your site for search & social media and keep it optimized with Yoast SEO Premium »

Yoast SEO: the #1 WordPress SEO plugin Info

Internal linking is one of the most important ways to optimize your pages. Internal links contribute to a better site structure, easier crawling, and indexing of your pages, and might increase your time-on-site in Google Analytics. It’s a way to point Google to your main pages about a topic (cornerstone content).

Getting started with the internal linking tool

First things first, as always. We need to determine what your posts are about, and we do that by scanning your content. We would like you to help us a bit here, by starting that process for us in the settings of Yoast SEO:

Click the Analyze button to start analyzing and building these internal linking suggestions. That’s step one. No need to do that again, unless you have a specific reason for it. We will learn from each newly published posts what it is about.

What does the internal linking tool look like?

Now that we have analyzed your content, we can give you internal linking suggestions. It’s a convenient sidebar item in WordPress. It looks a bit like this, depending on your WordPress setup:

Internal linking tool yoast seo

On the left, you see “me” writing this article in WordPress, on the right you see a nice long list of articles we have written before. It’s divided into two sections:

  1. Cornerstone content
  2. Regular content

In our plugin, you can mark a specific article as cornerstone content right below the spot where you have been inserting the focus keyword for years:

Mark as cornerstone content

Checking that box will add it to the cornerstone content articles in our linking tool. These are the articles you want to link to most. These are the articles you want to rank for more general topics, like our Ultimate guide to content SEO. It makes sense to use these the most in your internal linking.

You have probably guessed that the other section contains all your related posts. To calculate these related posts, we use what we call a prominent words algorithm. No need to elaborate here, but trust me: it works. We will suggest the appropriate articles to link to in the current post you are writing.

The ease of adding internal links

In the internal linking tool, we use two icons:

  1. A checkmark for all the posts you have already linked to in your article
  2. A copy/paste icon. Click that icon, and we’ll add the link to your clipboard.

Now, how easy is that? That’s not all. There is a drag-and-drop functionality in there as well, which makes internal linking even easier. Simply click a link and hold your mouse button. Move to the spot where you want the link and release the button. Done!

Internal linking tool: drag & drop link

With this drag-and-drop option, you can create a related post block on the fly, just to name one of the possibilities. Now go and have fun with it, because this is all you need to create better internal links!

Oh, and just so there’s no confusion: the internal linking tool is indeed a feature of our paid plugin. It’s one of those extra features of our Yoast SEO Premium plugin that make it worth your while.

Read more: ‘Site structure: The ultimate guide’ »

The post Yoast SEO: How to use the internal linking tool appeared first on Yoast.

How to Manage WordPress Comment Notification Emails

Do you want to improve your WordPress comment notification emails? Comments drive discussion and user engagement on many blogs. However, WordPress doesn’t do such a great job when it comes to notifying users about comment activity. In this article, we will show you how to better manage WordPress comment notification emails and boost user activity on your website.

How to manage WordPress comment notifications

Why Improve WordPress Comment Notification Emails

Comments are an important activity on many WordPress websites, particularly news sites and blogs. More comments mean a more engaged audience which results in more page views and ultimately more revenue.

However, default WordPress comment system is fairly limited. It sends comment notifications only to site administrators and article authors. Apart from that, there isn’t a default option for other users to be notified of new comments.

Wouldn’t it be nice if users were able to get comment notifications for the posts they like? or when someone replies to their comment?

In this article, we will show you how you can extend the default WordPress comment notification emails for a more engaged user experience on your website.

The Default Comment Notification Options in WordPress

By default, WordPress does not have an option to send notifications to commenters. However, it does have an option to send email notifications to you when a new comment is published and when a comment is held for moderation.

Default WordPress comment email notifications

Both these notifications are sent to the site administrators. WordPress also sends an email notification to post author about new comments.

If you don’t want to receive notifications for comments held for moderation, then you can simply uncheck the box here. This is particularly helpful if you get a lot of comments on your website.

Let Users Know When Their Comment is Approved

Users have no idea whether you approved their comment or not. They do see that their comment is awaiting moderation when they leave a comment. Many of these users never return to your website, and they don’t even know that you approved their comment or replied to it.

You can fix this by installing and activating Comment Approved plugin. For more details, see our step by step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

Comment Approved allow users to be notified when their comment is approved. Users can check the option when leaving a comment. You can also customize the email message sent to users after their comment is approved.

Comment Approved settings

For detailed instructions, see our article on how to notify users when their comment is approved in WordPress.

Allow Users to Subscribe to Comments in WordPress

Your commenters have no way of knowing whether you or others replied to their comment. Once they leave a comment, they will have to manually visit your website again to see if someone replied.

To solve this, you need to install and activate Subscribe to Comments Reloaded plugin. For more details, see our step by step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

It allows your users to subscribe to comments on any article with or without leaving comments. It also makes it easier for users to unsubscribe at any time.

Subscribe to Comments Reloaded settings

For detailed step by step instructions, see our article on how to allow users to subscribe to comments in WordPress.

Allow Users to Subscribe to Only their own Comments in WordPress

Many users may not want to receive notifications for all comments on an article. However, they may want to know if someone replied only to their own comments.

You can add this feature as well using the same Subscribe to Comments Reloaded plugin. Simply visit the plugin’s settings page and click on yes next to ‘Advanced Subscription’ option.

Subscribe to Comments Reloaded settings

For more details, see our article on how to notify users on replies to their own comments in WordPress.

Allow Authors to Subscribe To Other Author’s Posts

If you run a multi-author blog, then other authors may want to keep up with discussions across your website. If you already have comment subscriptions enabled, then each author can manually go and subscribe to comments.

However, if you wanted certain users to recieve all comment notifications, then you can do this with cbnet Multi Author Comment Notification plugin. For more details, see our step by step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

After installing and activating the plugin, you need to visit Settings » Discussion page to configure plugin settings.

Multi author comment notification settings

It allows you to select the user roles that you want to be notified of new comments. You can also add email addresses of individual users you want to notify.

This is particularly useful if you have registered users who are responsible for comment engagement and moderation.

Creating Custom Comment Notification in WordPress

Want to create your own custom comment notifications in WordPress? Custom notifications can allow you to change the notification sent by WordPress and replace them with your own.

First you will need to install and activate the Better Notifications for WordPress plugin. For more details, see our step by step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

Upon activation, you need to visit Notifications » Add New page to create your custom comment notifications.

Add new custom notification

You can modify the new comment, comment awaiting moderation, and comment reply notifications. You can send notifications to any user role, individual users, or add email addresses manually.

It also allows you to completely customize the email sent by WordPress. You can use shortcodes inside the email text to add custom tags.

For more details see our article on how to add better custom notifications in WordPress.

Improve Deliverability of WordPress Email Notifications

All above tips will fail if your WordPress site fails to send email notifications, or if those emails are marked spam by email providers.

To fix WordPress email issues and improve email deliverability, you need to install and activate WP Mail SMTP plugin. For more details, see our step by step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

Upon activation, visit Settings » WP Mail SMTP page to configure plugin settings.

WP Mail SMTP settings

This plugin allows you to use SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) to send emails. SMTP is a much better and reliable method than the default mail function used by WordPress.

It works with any email service that supports SMTP. This includes your free Gmail account as well as Gsuite or Google Apps for Work, Mailgun, and Sendgrid.

For details see our article on how to use SMTP server to send WordPress emails.

We hope this article helped you learn how to efficiently manage WordPress comment notifications for more user engagement and pageviews. You may also want to see our ultimate step by step guide on improving WordPress speed and performance for beginners.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

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Static Websites with Headless WordPress via REST API

Static websites are great but they still need some kind of content management system. And committing Markdown files to GitHub isn’t a friendly option for the majority of users including developers. So we end up using tools such as Prose, Netlify CMS or Contentful for the editing interface, user authentication and handling the media files.

Usually it is only the WordPress PHP templating layer that bothers the proponents of static websites and is perceived as the performance bottleneck. However, we now have the WordPress REST API which is way more flexible than any collection of Markdown files.

How?

  1. Use WordPress REST API during the build process to create the content source files with the necessary front-matter.
  2. Use Jekyll, Hugo, Metalsmith, GatsbyAssemble or any other build tool to actually construct the website.

There is even a WordPress REST API client library for Node.js which simplifies everything for Node based workflows and deployment setups.

Finally, a free website on WordPress.com can be used as a content library.


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Saving Media in 2018 – Readers Pick The Winner

We live in interesting times.

Social media has completely disrupted the way people consume information and get informed about the latest events. A study from Pew Research Center quoted by recode states:

More than two-thirds of American adults — 67 percent, to be exact — “get at least some of their news on social media,” according to new data released Thursday by Pew Research Center. That’s up from 62 percent of American adults in 2016.

When Google Reader was closed on July 1, 2013, the majority of their users stopped using RSS. Sure, some switched to Feedly or a browser extension. But many just gave up to social media. And that’s when it started.

Personal branding and storytelling are on the rise – more than ever – in 2017 and the trend will keep escalating in 2018. People and outlets are fighting for attention. They produce “How to” articles, “Best tips” cheatsheets, “The top terrible ways” for whatever and so forth. Clickbait has been the main technique that almost every outlet out there obeys to.

Headlines are Everything

When compared to reading your favorite media via RSS, readers now skip 80% of the articles if the headline isn’t catchy:

Traffic can vary by as much as 500% based on the headline: According to Koechley, tests show that traffic to content at Upworthy can vary by as much as 500% simply because of the headline. “The headline is our one chance to reach people who have a million other things that they’re thinking about, and who didn’t wake up in the morning wanting to care about feminism or climate change, or the policy details of the election,” he said.

After analyzing a million articles and headlines, here’s what OkDork and CoSchedule concluded:

Headlines matter much more than ever. And they also limit the creativity of a writer in terms of the value provided in every piece.

That’s what led to the title of this post as well – reaching to a larger audience instead of missing an opportunity in social media.

Content shifts toward walkthroughs and sensations. Journalism has been impacted – and this is notable when looking at the desperate attempts of media outlets to get attention and monetize their content in new ways (other than traditional advertising).

Get Authoritative Media Back

While listening to the daily news in my car played by Google Assistant, I stumbled on a very, very different type of monologue by Mashable called “Stop reading what Facebook tells you to read.

Seriously. If there’s one thing you should listen to this coming January, it’s this one. 13:14min worth of impactful overview of the news ecosystem and what went wrong.

Now, Mashable is too harsh on Facebook. Mashable’s quality went down significantly as well – for the same clickbait reasons. I recall reading Mashable and Techcrunch exclusively back in the day and the content was exquisit. Not so much nowadays. Not to mention that it was recently sold for $50M despite its valuation of $250M.

And Facebook brought some positive opportunities as well – being able to connect with new media sources and influencers directly. The power of traditional media was too strong to overcome as a solo writer without social media.

Mashable’s Ask

Here’s what the episode starts with:

Do you want the Internet to be better in 2018?

Want your favorite media outlets to survive in 2018?

After a series of provocative questions regarding the quality of recent news, they jump straight to the ask:

And the ask is simple: Use your browser bar. Or bookmarked websites. That’s it.

Instead of reading stories that get to you because you’re popular […], you read stories that get to you because YOU chose to go to them.

 

Which leads me to the following.

Are you subscribed to any email lists? You’re probably enrolled in a couple dozen newsletters, reading their news via email.

An office worker receives an average of 121 emails per day. I’d guess that 10% to 15% of those are newsletters and other forms of subscription brought by blogs and media outlets.

Email newsletters are the answer to the death of RSS. Many bloggers are so used to promoting on social media that they don’t even include an RSS feed icon – or even a subscription form – to their blogs.

Which leads to that same trend of writing a catchy type of content in order to bypass the 80% of users who would skip an article unless it grabs their attention.

You’ll increase the incentive for those websites to be, if nothing else, more consistent and less desperate for your attention. People do stupid, bad things when they’re desperate. They lie and they clamor, and they produce shitty work.

Exactly.

Fake news is also the response to a cry for attention. Being unable to consistently produce viral quality leads to a dip in traffic, lower number of impressions and lower revenue. And magazines have to take care of payroll – coming straight from ads.

That’s why the overall content quality has been going down for a while:

In 2017 media outlets have been more desperate and thirsty than ever – and doing dumb things to get by.

Mashable keeps blaming and bashing Facebook for that trend.

While it’s very emotional and sounds truly genuine, I still see it as a byproduct of multiple factors:

  • Facebook and other social outlets ran by advertisement.
  • The oversaturation of media outlets per capita.
  • The advertising model in general – viral content will always directly convert to more money, and that’s irrelevant to Facebook alone.
  • The death of RSS readers for the vast majority of the population.
  • New forms of media such as podcasts and videos as a primary source of information.
  • Millennials and even Gen Z now using the Internet in a completely different way than 15 years ago.

And fake news are real. They may have been the turning point during the US presidential elections as covered in depth by diginomica (who is true to its nature and maintains a successful outlet without advertising).

And yet, it’s apparent that publishers, journalists, bloggers, and influencers have turned to social media for exposure.

Bloggers report a tiny percentage of direct traffic compared to social media, guest posts and mentions, and organic search.

That’s how Mashable summed it up:

Before Facebook came along and screwed everything up for everyone, people entered URLs into browser bars. They used bookmarks. Maybe even RSS readers.

The reason they did this was because these websites were publications people trusted to deliver them a specific kind of information in a specific way. They loved the websites’ voice and ideas, and its utility. They used to read these sites regularly.

And because of that, they were reading things as much because of WHO was covering them as the things that were BEING COVERED themselves. And, believe it or not, the writers and editors of those websites, human beings – and not robots, were encouraged to create things that kept people coming back ABOVE ALL ELSE.

Listen to the full episode here since it’s worth listening to – and I’m frankly surprised by the lack of response by media outlets already.

Mashable delves deeper into the problem and compares Facebook to the financial recession in 2008, outing investment banks and other organizations making irrational choices.

And Facebook keeps prioritizing their profit margins over everything. A couple months ago, they introduced an early version of their Explore feed in several countries:

Facebook has caused a 60 percent to 80 percent drop in referral traffic to news outlets in six countries due to a test that removed Page posts from the News Feed and relocated them to a separate, hard-to-find Explore Feed. But now Facebook’s VP of News Feed Adam Mosseri writes that “We currently have no plans to roll this test out further.” But that doesn’t mean Facebook won’t move forward with implementing a similar change more widely if users prefer their News Feed just be posts from friends.

This makes zero sense whenever you’ve liked a page maintained by your favorite media outlet.

When you voluntarily subscribe for a certain type of content, you’re obviously interested in it. It’s simple as that.

But Facebook incentivizes media outlets to invest even more and boost each and every post of theirs. It’s no longer about the readers – it’s all about profit.

And the gist of it is clear. People no longer follow closely the outlets they read previously. This leads to fierce competition in social media and carefully crafted headlines based on behavioral patterns observed by organizations while analyzing content success.

I wrote a relevant answer on Quora in April discussing the challenges of the ads model based on Medium’s layoffs and their attempts to find new monetization opportunities.

Medium and the Broken Advertisement Model

The controversial post by Ev Williams on their new business model and staff layoffs briefly blamed the ad-driven media model without going into details about what they’ve tried and what didn’t work out.

Sadly, most media outlets (and all sorts of web solutions) often focus on traditional banner advertising. Some take it a step further by implementing pop-ups, sticky ribbons, screen filler overlays and other annoying ads without conducting enough user research upfront.

It’s also worth noting that 26% of desktop users use blockers and Google punishes sites with annoying popups.

What most media outlets fail to understand is the following:

  1. The increased number of ads across the web builds a resistance in viewers who are used to standard ad locations and skip them entirely while browsing.
  2. Generic ad placement may harm a brand instead of supporting its sales
  3. Traditional online advertisement keep decreasing conversion rates while CPM keeps growing

Advertisement may work in different shapes and forms. Examples:

  • Non-obtrusive banners that inherit the look and feel of the site and are natural convert better.
  • Targeted advertisement will ensure that prospects are potentially a good fit given predefined criteria.
  • Ad placements should be concentrated around certain categories or tags, if not placed in high-traffic posts that rank well and are absolutely relevant to the ad.
  • Ads using conversion pixels in different media may convert better – such as Facebook or Google pixels placed within the outlet’s fan page.
  • In-post ads work better than ones placed in the header, footer, or sidebar. This still needs to be implemented elegantly but works much better.
  • Connecting advertising to the actual value for users is rarely implemented. Consider promoted posts with case studies, how to articles or others that include a non-obtrusive advertisement. Providing value while upselling a product converts better than just placing a banner.
  • Generic ad networks like Google Adwords (or Adsense, depending on the point of view) may harm the user experience for both the outlet and the brand.
  • Focusing on specific outlets that are highly relevant has a better chance to succeed.
  • Promoting globally in a large outlet converts less than sponsoring dozens of smaller niche blogs or sites.
  • Providing incentives in ads tailored to readers gives a sense of a promotional offer (rather than selling a generic solution).
  • Customizing banners for each media outlet will lead to a more seamless experience, thus higher conversions.

I won’t even get into additional advertisement packages that include promotion across social media networks, at offline events, through cross-promotion activities, organizing educational training activities or webinars, sponsoring a product or a newsletter and more.

All of those could be combined together in order to increase the efficiency of advertising channels and reach out to different mediums by using various techniques other than traditional banners.

What Can We Do About It?

The best thing we could do in order to defend the media authority and improve the quality of content is subscribing to the sources that we truly support.

Bookmakrs is one option. There is Feedly out there. Email subscriptions, too.

Social media will always be ads-driven and run by thousands of experts in AI, behavioral psychology, digital marketing, conversion rate optimization. They want to see results and keep people in their network for as long as possible.

Relying on social media for quality content by proven sources is not an option in the long run.

Browse your history bar, your emails, the pages that you like. Save all of your favorite sources and bloggers consistently producing great content. Make sure you visit them regularly instead of monotonously browsing your social feed for the next clickbait title.

The more we resort back to our favorite sources, the less pressured they will feel about generating traffic out of thin air.

 

The post Saving Media in 2018 – Readers Pick The Winner appeared first on Mario Peshev.

Always improving: Yoast SEO in 2017

A year always seems like such a long time. But whenever we reach the end of one, we tend to say: where did it go? That’s definitely the case for developing and using software. We’re so invested in Yoast SEO that we sometimes forget when we added a feature because we use it so much. So, now’s the perfect time to give you a brief overview of the evolution of Yoast SEO in 2017. Enjoy!

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To celebrate, we’re having an end of the year sale. Get all our products at 10% off!

Yoast year in review

Starting 2017 with Yoast SEO 4.1

2017 started off with a bang: we added a mobile version of the well-known snippet preview and full support for the German language. We all know mobile has only gained importance this past year and will continue to be essential. Just look at Google’s decision to switch to a mobile-first index sometime early next year.

A strong focus on site structure

The overarching theme of Yoast SEO in 2017 was site structure. We wanted to give you a set of tools to improve your site structure since site structure is one of the most overlooked, but critical parts of SEO. We wanted to build tools that are easy to use and extremely valuable. We’re happy to say we’ve succeeded! During the year, several improvements to current tools and new additions turned Yoast SEO into a fantastic tool to improve your site structure.

Vastly improved internal linking tool

internal linking toolIt all started in Yoast SEO 4.0, in December of 2016, when we launched the initial version of the internal linking tool. So what does the internal linking tool do? While working on your post, our internal linking tool will give you suggestions on which posts you could consider linking to because they are about related topics. Linking to these posts will help you create a better site structure.

To quote our CEO Joost de Valk:

“The internal linking tool is one of the most powerful tools we’ve ever built, and it keeps surprising me. I love it. In its current form, it’ll allow you to improve your site structure by the bucketload, just by suggesting posts to link to. I am very excited about where it will go from here!”

New languages

During the year we added several new languages to our roster. Besides English, we added full support for German, Dutch, Spanish, Italian and French in 2017. Yoast SEO has full knowledge of these languages so the internal linking tool and readability tools can give solid advice tailored to those languages. In 2018, more languages will follow. Our linguists are even looking into complicated languages like Japanese.

Text link counter

As we all know, links – both internal and external – play an important role in SEO. This year, Yoast SEO received several tools that help improve your linking strategy. Since 4.7, for instance, we check the text to see if you’ve added links. If not, the SEO content check will give you a red bullet. If all is well, Yoast SEO will suggest relevant links to other articles you’ve written, and you can just copy and past a new link in your article.

The text link counter, introduced in Yoast SEO 5.0, works in the post and pages section of your WordPress backend. In two columns, you’ll see how many incoming and outgoing internal links an article has. This functionality is very actionable. If you want to improve your site structure and your SEO, the text link counter will help you do that. You can go through your post with few links and improve your site’s structure step by step.

text link counter

Orphaned content filter

Orphaned content, you say? Yes, orphaned content is content on your site that doesn’t get any links from other parts of your site. Content that doesn’t get links will stay undiscovered by visitors and search engines. But if a certain article is important to you and you want it to rank for a specific keyword, you need to link it in your site structure. In Yoast SEO 5.6, we added a filter that finds these articles so that you can quickly remedy this situation and add these valuable articles to your site structure.

Checking and optimizing cornerstone content

While and finding and creating relevant links to your other content is crucial to building a solid site structure, there was another piece of the site structure missing: cornerstone content. Cornerstone content pieces are those articles on your website you’re most proud of. They reflect your business, communicate your mission, are thorough and extremely well written. These are the articles you would like to rank high in the search engines.

To help you determine what those articles are, we introduced several cornerstone content features. First, there’s the cornerstone content check in Yoast SEO 4.6. By marking an article as cornerstone content, this article receives priority over a regular article. These articles are analyzed more thoroughly to increase the chance of them popping up as must-link articles.

cornerstone content

In Yoast SEO 4.8 we expanded that feature. Since then, we analyze your cornerstone content following a particular, stricter set of specifications. These checks will help you build killer cornerstone articles. Among other things, we now check if a cornerstone article has 900+ words and if the keyword is in at least two subheadings. All this will help you to improve your most important content.

This suite of site structure tools gives you everything you need to improve your site structure. Use them!

So what else was new?

Besides helping you fix your site structure, we did loads of other cool stuff. Let’s go!

Redirect improvements

Our redirects manager is one of the most important tools in Yoast SEO. It helps you redirect anything you ever wanted. This year, we improved it drastically, with new filter options and a long-awaited import/export from/to CSV. You can analyze your redirects in a sheet, make edits and import it again.

SEO roles

Yoast SEO was always an on/off affair. There was no way to give site editors, for instance, access to selected parts of the plugin they need to do their work. Since Yoast SEO 5.5, that is now possible! Expanded in 5.8, SEO roles and capabilities give site managers to chance to fine-tune who gets to access what in Yoast SEO.

Tune Yoast SEO to your liking

Getting lost in all the Yoast SEO settings? Don’t need the readability analysis? Just want the basic settings? No problem, an ever-increasing number of features in Yoast SEO gets their own on/off toggle. Keep your workspace clean and focused.

Optimize your site to the max: get all our SEO plugins and extensions at once! Get our Yoast Complete SEO bundle and save money! »

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PHP 7 and beyond

At Yoast, we care about a lot of things, but two things in a very particular order: user happiness first, developer happiness second. A user is happy when he or she has a fast, easy to install, secure content management system like WordPress to build a site in. A developer is happy when he or she can use a modern language and modern tooling to build software with. That’s why we started the Whip project in March of 2017. The goal of this project is to steer users and web hosts away for unsupported PHP versions like 5.4 and move them towards the fast and secure PHP7.

Full support for ACF

2017 was also the year of an awesome collaborative effort: The ACF Content Analysis for Yoast SEO plugin. The Advanced Custom Fields plugin makes it easier to add custom fields to any WordPress site. Custom fields are used to extend WordPress. People use them to build tailored solutions to, often, complex problems. The ACF Content Analysis for Yoast SEO plugin makes it possible for Yoast SEO to work inside custom fields. By using this plugin, you can use the SEO and readability analysis features of Yoast SEO to check your writing and SEO score, even if they live in a complex custom field.

Vastly improved code-base

This year was not all about new features. We’ve been hard at work improving our code to make our plugins future-proof and easier to manage. One of the biggest project at Yoast right now is project Reactify. We are in the process of rebuilding several main parts of Yoast SEO in the JavaScript library React. This makes these easier to port to other platforms, for instance.

Yoast SEO for Magento 2 & TYPO3

Yoast was built for an open source world, and we’re branching out to other open CMSes. This year, we introduced the Magento 2 and TYPO3 communities to the pleasures of working with Yoast SEO. Together with our development partner MaxServ, we built tailored plugins for these popular platforms. We’re already looking where to go next.

Ending 2017 with Yoast SEO 6.0

In a year spanning more than 30 releases, the last one was maybe the most talked about. Not that we introduced a killer new feature or did something awkward. No, it was all about Google’s decision to move from 160 character meta descriptions to 320 character descriptions. This caused quite a stir and people were quickly asking whether Yoast SEO would follow suit and let people use all those characters. In Yoast SEO 6.0, we expanded the length of descriptions. We, however, are still researching what this decision means for the advice we give our users.

Thanks to you, our beloved community contributors

In the end, we couldn’t have done it without you. We love getting input, feedback, bug reports and features requests. Almost every release featured a community contribution, either bug fixes or improving the flow of our plugin. We love getting these suggestions, and we love to see how much thought and care people put in their work. Collectively, we make Yoast SEO better and better!

And 2018?

We’ve got loads of plans for the new year, but first, we’ve got to get a new speed bump out of the way. You know that word? It starts what a ‘G’ and ends with ‘utenberg’. Yeah, Gutenberg is going to take up a lot of our time. We’re pretty optimistic about the project, and we are doing our best to help improve where we can. We’re investing loads of time and manpower to get Gutenberg off the ground and make a killer integration for Yoast SEO. Stay tuned; you’re bound to hear a lot from us in 2018!

Read more: ‘Why every website needs Yoast SEO’ »

The post Always improving: Yoast SEO in 2017 appeared first on Yoast.

Guideline Update

The previously proposed changes have been merged into the plugin guidelines.

It’s important to note that I do not think this is a ‘complete’ or ‘finished’ project. The guidelines are imperfect, in part because it’s impossible to create a rule for every single possible variant of a possible conflict, but also because we cannot predict the future.

There are people who are unhappy we didn’t go far enough with certain guidelines — like not saying “you may have 3 links to your own products on your plugin admin pages.” Others are unhappy we’ve gone as far as we did in certain situations — such as the 9th guideline’s prohibition against harassment.

Accepting the imperfection of English, as well as the flaws built in to creating guidelines for such a large audience, many of whom do not speak English natively, has led to situations where we have to settle. These guidelines are not perfect. They are not complete. They will be constantly evolving and adapting as we try to please and protect the majority of developers and users.

I encourage all of you to help us write them better. You can email us at plugins@wordpress.org or make pull requests on the GitHub repository. While we may not accept all requests, I promise we do listen to and read every last one.

#guidelines

How to Force Logout All Users in WordPress

Do you want to force logout all users in WordPress? If you suspect that your WordPress may be hacked or just need users to login again, then there is no default option to do that in WordPress. In this article, we will show you how to easily force logout all users in WordPress.

Why and When You May Want to Force Log out All Users in WordPress?

If you run a WordPress membership site or an LMS plugin, and you need all logged in users to re-login, then this tutorial is for you.

You may want to do this for different reasons. For example, if you suspect that your WordPress site is hacked, then forcing logout will allow you to properly clean up your hacked WordPress site.

Next, if you are using a membership or pay per view site and fear that users may be sharing their passwords to access content, then this method will come in handy. After logging them out, you can stop them from sharing passwords.

Another scenario is that when you use a public computer or WiFi without using a VPN service. If you are not sure that you properly logged out, then this method will end all logged in sessions.

That being said, let’s take a look at how to easily logout all users in WordPress.

Force Log Out All WordPress Users

For this tutorial, you will be editing WP Config file called wp-config.php. We highly recommend that you backup your wp-config.php file before making any changes to it.

First you will need to connect to your website using FTP or via File Manager in cPanel. Once connected, you will find the wp-config.php file in your site’s root folder.

Editing wp-config.php file via FTP

You can right click and select edit to open the file in a text editor.

Inside your wp-config.php file you will find a code block that would look like this:

define('AUTH_KEY',         'K2#m<|[UO==4Nv c+Ox+^]NH.H*6DmQRJntnj|SwKg)>,>O-z/IeRr?>5lmx`Hf:');
define('SECURE_AUTH_KEY',  '-Qf(}6G(zB`(D*)]fe;iEw?M]PU>BY:$Ni6]~mYCfZ68l_M@R<5E_ICbPUVk.Vf@');
define('LOGGED_IN_KEY',    '6R6:bur.^!Q1K-/H!$]A$g3JaaO]r|B&zu~{-*})|+C|<V,^c|f^vlhp$urvTr7>');
define('NONCE_KEY',        'LM7}+||^qoISh4#q_ ST%#x0vke+TQD(^$W{lVQ_TyV!%,N++H)4+>uSZl6Z%W[3');
define('AUTH_SALT',        'PpS;19y?W31AY@:=,RC;&0kkNXNkP -v=Lr;ghGft:?WV5vA-lje|h{A19Tfzq$[');
define('SECURE_AUTH_SALT', '+H.u}x4u<6-^HY+<?oRkZ{9T)E_)rR+uy.3Rpm*Z&S|UUO|5Wh6cn9.2pq+o4P[M');
define('LOGGED_IN_SALT',   'I{uT;rv5S`JRRs}=1+Ls_3YMDR^;|U[&x^Oy!yg2-:BO%|0W@c-n|SY8D3zo7-8-');
define('NONCE_SALT',       ':0Y`/h3JhwMRNCj~z[1}N@5QKp0|-s4C+XR~/-q6PfZ&Q.qFY5-]qS|L,CNbv>/z');

It is also possible that each of these lines just have ‘put your unique phrase here’ as the second parameter.

These lines are called authentication keys and salts. To learn more about them see our guide on WordPress security keys.

Next, you need to visit the WordPress Salts generator page. This page randomly creates new key strings that you can use in your wp-config.php file.

Generating WordPress security keys

You need to replace your existing keys with the new ones that you just generated. Once done, make sure to save your changes and upload your wp-config.php file back to the server.

Changing the salts will automatically log everyone out of your website, forcing them to relogin.

Improving Password Security for All Users on Your WordPress Site

If you run a membership website or allow users to register on your site, then users are likely to use easy to remember and weak passwords.

Weak passwords are easy to crack and pose a security challenge for your website.

If you suspect that your website is hacked, then you may want to safely reset passwords for all users on your WordPress site. This will allow them to generate new passwords for their accounts.

However, users can still use the same password that they had before. To avoid this from happening again, you can enforce strong passwords for all users on your WordPress site.

One of the most common question we get whenever we recommend using strong passwords is how to remember all those difficult passwords?

The answer is simple, you don’t need to. There are apps available that can manage passwords for you. See our guide on how to manage WordPress passwords for more on this topic.

We hope this article helped you learn how to force logout all users in WordPress. You may also want to see our complete step by step WordPress security guide for beginners.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

The post How to Force Logout All Users in WordPress appeared first on WPBeginner.

How to Add User Role Label Next to Comments in WordPress

One of our readers asked if it was possible to highlight user role next to each comment in WordPress? Displaying user role label gives weight to comments made by registered users on your website specifically authors, editors, and admins. In this article, we will show you how to easily add user role label next to comments in WordPress.

Add user role next to comments in WordPress

Why Show User Role Label Next to Comment Author Name in WordPress?

If you allow user registration on your website or run a multi-author WordPress website, then user labels can introduce users to each other based on their user roles.

For example, users with the editor user role will show a badge next to their name in comments letting other users know that this comment was made by an editor.

It builds up user trust and increases user engagement in comments on your website.

Many WordPress themes only highlight comments made by post author. They don’t show labels for any other user roles even if other comments are made by registered users or site administrators.

That being said, let’s take a look at how to easily add user role label next to comments in WordPress.

Adding User Role Label Next to Comment Author Name in WordPress

This tutorial requires you to add code to your WordPress theme files. If you haven’t done this before, then please take a look at our guide on how to easily copy and paste code in WordPress.

First thing you need to do is add the following code to your theme’s functions.php file or a site-specific plugin.



if ( ! class_exists( 'WPB_Comment_Author_Role_Label' ) ) :
class WPB_Comment_Author_Role_Label {
public function __construct() {
add_filter( 'get_comment_author', array( $this, 'wpb_get_comment_author_role' ), 10, 3 );
add_filter( 'get_comment_author_link', array( $this, 'wpb_comment_author_role' ) );
}

// Get comment author role 
function wpb_get_comment_author_role($author, $comment_id, $comment) { 
$authoremail = get_comment_author_email( $comment); 
// Check if user is registered
if (email_exists($authoremail)) {
$commet_user_role = get_user_by( 'email', $authoremail );
$comment_user_role = $commet_user_role->roles[0];
// HTML output to add next to comment author name
$this->comment_user_role = ' <span class="comment-author-label comment-author-label-'.$comment_user_role.'">' . ucfirst($comment_user_role) . '</span>';
} else { 
$this->comment_user_role = '';
} 
return $author;
} 

// Display comment author                	
function wpb_comment_author_role($author) { 
return $author .= $this->comment_user_role; 
} 
}
new WPB_Comment_Author_Role_Label;
endif;

This function code above hooks into WordPress filters used to display comment author name to include user role label.

You can now visit any post with comments to see it in action. Comments made by registered users will display their user role next to the comment author name. Any comment made by non-registered users will only display comment author name.

User role label shown next to their comment

Now that we have added the user role, it’s time to style it and make it look clean.

In our code, we have added a CSS class for each user role, so we can use these CSS classes to customize each user badge differently (i.e use different colors, etc)

You can use the following sample CSS as an starting point:

.comment-author-label {
    padding: 5px;
    font-size: 14px;
    border-radius: 3px;
}

.comment-author-label-editor {	
background-color:#efefef;
}
.comment-author-label-author {
background-color:#faeeee;
}

.comment-author-label-contributor {
background-color:#f0faee;	
}
.comment-author-label-subscriber {
background-color:#eef5fa;	
}

.comment-author-label-administrator { 
background-color:#fde9ff;
}

Feel free to adjust the CSS to your liking. This is how it looked on our demo website:

User role badges displayed with their comments

We hope this article helped you learn how to add user role label next to comments in WordPress. You may also want to see our guide on how to lazy load gravatars in WordPress comments.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

The post How to Add User Role Label Next to Comments in WordPress appeared first on WPBeginner.

How to Set Up WordPress Error Logs in WP-Config

Do you want to set up WordPress error logs in wp-config file? The wp-config file in WordPress not only controls your WordPress site settings, it is also a very a useful debugging tool to help you find and fix errors. In this article, we will show you how to set up WordPress error logs in the wp-config file.

Setting up WordPress error logs

Why and When You Need to Set up WordPress Error Logs in WP-Config

The wp-config.php file is a WordPress configuration file that contains important WordPress settings. These settings tell your website how to connect to your WordPress database, which database table prefix to use, and generates authentication keys to make your WordPress site more secure.

To learn more about wp-config file, please see our article on how to edit wp-config file in WordPress.

Apart from default WordPress settings, wp-config file can also be used to define several other parameters. It can also enable WordPress debugging mode and save WordPress error logs.

This helps you find WordPress errors by identifying the plugins or scripts that are causing them. You can then go ahead and find a fix for those WordPress errors.

That being said, let’s take a look at how to enable and setup WordPress error logs in wp-config file.

Setting up WordPress Error Logs in WP-Config File

First, you will need to edit your wp-config.php file. You can access it by connecting to your website using an FTP client or File Manager app in cPanel.

Edit wp-config file

You will find wp-config.php file in the root directory of your website. Open the file in any text editor and look for the line that says ‘That’s all, stop editing! Happy blogging.’

Just before this line you need to add the following code:

define( 'WP_DEBUG', true );

It is possible that this code is already in your wp-config.php file and is set to false. In that case, you just need to change it to true.

This line alone will turn on WordPress debug mode. However the downside of using this debugging alone is that you will see WordPress errors and warnings inside your admin area as well as front page of your website.

If you want errors to be logged, then you will also need to add the following code in your wp-config.php file just below the WP_DEBUG line.

define( 'WP_DEBUG_LOG', true );

Don’t forget to save your changes and upload your wp-config.php file back to your website.

Reviewing Your WordPress Error Logs

First you need to visit your WordPress site and access the pages that were resulting in errors or warnings. After that, you will need to connect to your website using a FTP client or file manager app in your WordPress hosting cPanel.

Once connected, go to /wp-content/ folder and inside it your will find a file called debug.log.

Debug log

You can download, view, or edit this file. It will contain all WordPress errors, warnings, and notices that were logged.

WordPress errors logged

That’s all we hope this article helped you learn how to set up WordPress error logs in WP-Config file. You may also want to see our ultimate list of most wanted WordPress tips, tricks, and hacks for beginners.

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The post How to Set Up WordPress Error Logs in WP-Config appeared first on WPBeginner.

Quora: 1 Year and 1 Million Answer Views

Most people who follow me online know that I’ve been spending a lot of time on Quora lately. I’ve been writing answers, participating in discussions, sharing existing Quora answers with my team and interacting with team members met through the platform.

Which is probably why my local team prepared that spectacular clock for my birthday, conveniently including Quora to my daily schedule:

How I Got Started With Quora

I stumbled upon Quora back in 2013 or 2014 while browsing Google and landing on their site. For the most part, they allowed for browsing the first question without signing up as a new user.

My first answer was published on Feb 5, 2015. I honestly don’t remember much of my activities in 2015 and early 2016 – even though I’ve managed to publish 115 answers in the period of time. I recall reading their weekly newsletter occasionally, and reading some answer threads as well (since their targeting engine was well-adjusted based on the people I followed).

I know that I was generally intrigued by Quora but don’t recall investing much time or energy in the platform. Most of my answers hadn’t received significant activity or led to active discussions. I’ve asked a few questions as well and read several answers with varying quality.

Fast-forward to today, I’m extremely happy to mark my first full year of using Quora actively, writing a total of 855 answers since day one and generating 1 million answer views for my profile:

Why I Initially Transitioned to Quora

I’ve recently answered a related question in Quora discussing “How did Quora change your life?” which I’ll share here as well.

Quora has gradually moved higher on my “top of the mind” list. I do browse around while doing research or exploring a new field. I follow a number of topics and get a better understanding of a certain community. And I receive the type of personalized insight that I can’t find anywhere else.

There’s social media on one end and blogs/Wikipedia on the other.

Most Quora answers on subject matters are in-between. They’re not formal enough to reside as a formal article. And yet, they are not condensed (or thoughtless) enough to materialize as a Facebook post or a LinkedIn one – let alone the privacy/visibility settings. That’s something that Balaji Viswanathan briefly mentioned at Balaji Viswanathan’s answer to What are your research patterns for answering on Quora?

Some Remarkable Quora Content

Quora hosts a good number of tech and business experts and CEOs, investors, employees at companies like Google, Amazon, SpaceX. People share different perspectives in a non-intrusive way through different stylistic approaches. There’s a handful of topics (probably hundreds of thousands) for everyone.

Those are literally extracted from my Activity list over a 3 days interval. I can’t imagine reading those same stories elsewhere.

Quora as a Content Hub

From a writing standpoint, I’ve started using Quora as my go-to place. I hang out, read some intriguing stories, answer questions. Then I maintain a spreadsheet with some of the longer answers that I would reuse. And some of those get posted on LinkedIn Pulse, my blog, Medium, stories for guest posts or repurposed as videos or presentations.

A quick snapshot of my repurposing spreadsheet

Instead of spending hours on a single article covering a specific subject, I could answer random industry questions and connect the dots at a later phase. This allows me to leverage different mediums and reach other audiences as well.

I often work remotely and usually get more thoughtful and diverse insights from Quora than another forum, online community, or social network. Interacting with Quorans is also more personal as compared to a tweet or a random LinkedIn comment. Let alone sessions where industry experts such as Eric Ries take questions.

All in all, it’s been a great place to hang out once you learn how to filter out the noise.

The Community of Quora

One of the strongest aspects of Quora is the community.

When I reduced my activity here on DevWP, I did it for two reasons:

  1. The number of relevant topics I could cover slowly declined. I found myself starting a draft and realizing that I’ve discussed that problem or aspect of the WordPress ecosystem already, ending up with a closed browser tab.
  2. My readership was very narrow. I was talking a lot about the WordPress community while this is a tiny fraction of what I do. Other than being a WordPress contributor, I am a technical architect, a business owner, a manager, a certified Inbound Marketing & Sales expert with HubSpot, and hold a few more certifications in different areas. My content was constrained into the topics that my readers were generally interested in.

I wanted to broaden my horizons and connect with people outside of the community I’ve been interacting with for the past 3 or 4 years.

The first people I followed on Quora were lead engineers in Google, people working for NASA, serial entrepreneurs with multiple successful startups, marketing directors in Fortune 500 companies, investors, and other high-profile figures. Their perspective was adding on top of what I’ve seen before and what I have introduced to DevriX over the years.

I felt challenged before writing an answer. I was fully aware of the top writers in the given category and had to “compete” with them while posting my answer. This made me rethink the way I present my idea – in a condensed yet very structured way, describing the context of the situation where my answer is applicable.

My Content Marketing Focus

I decided to allocate time for Quora in December 2016 – just a year ago. It was a well-thought effort which aimed to test my writing skills, depth of understanding in different fields, and general commitment to a certain type of activity.

We all know that writing is all about persistence. That’s how I approached Quora myself and described our content marketing strategy in another answer.

Since I’ve written a bit over 700 answers over the past year, this is approximately a couple answers a day. Not too shabby, yet not as exhausting for anyone willing to run the same experiment and see for themselves.

Approaching Different Content Topics

By expanding my horizons outside of the WordPress space, I was able to join different discussions related to programming basics, teaching technical courses, hiring and recruitment practices, management strategies, inbound marketing, running an organization, remote teams and several other fields.

This was also in line with the content strategy we’ve been utilizing in DevriX and my blog redesign on Sep 30, 2016.

DevriX has been publishing content in three main categories – business, marketing, tech. I’ve been primarily writing about WordPress here but, truth is, I was just as engaged in the same three categories, leading to the redesign.

And Quora allowed me to repurpose my content across different outlets – including my blog here, LinkedIn Pulse, Medium, a recently started video series and even an attempt to craft an ebook (which may be released during Q1 2018).

A Passion for Writing

I’ve always been passionate about writing and my blogging efforts in 2015-2016 have resulted in a large group of folks discussing my blog posts here or during events. This was really exciting for me as I had never been incredibly regular in my writing activities (despite having my first blog launched in 2006).

I found HARO in the ultimate online marketing guide by one of my virtual mentors Neil Patel. And I’ve managed to land a mention (with a quote) on Entrepreneur early in 2015 out of my first 3 pitches in HARO:

This was outright surreal to me. I’ve given various interviews and appeared on several radio shows and podcasts, but our scale was a fraction of what top entrepreneurs were delivering to the world.

But I kept going and decided to aim for an entire piece published on Entrepreneur, Inc., or Forbes during the first half of 2017.

Published on Forbes, Inc., HuffPost, Entrepreneur, B2C, Apple News

I joined a few marketing communities in 2016 aiming to understand the marketing field even better and learn from the best writers out there.

That’s how I met Josh Steimle as well, joining his influencer group and newsletter and talking shop with him. His feedback was invaluable and taught me a lot about writing for the top publications out there. His group connected me with outstanding writers whom I’ve been following since.

I also followed the Marketing School and other initiatives by Neil and Eric, along with a list of focused resources on content marketing.

One of the most practical communities I joined was Online Geniuses. I met thousands of entrepreneurs, marketers, PR experts and journalists who shared their practical know-how with the crowd. That’s how I met an Indian contributor to several large outlets who connected me with an editor in Entrepreneur India.

I’ve since contributed several pieces there and indirectly hit my goal in March. I also joined Business 2 Community as a contributor and published a few articles on their platform.

The Quora Media and Publishing Team

As I kept investing time and passion into Quora, I woke up one morning with a completely unexpected direct message in my inbox:

I was honestly baffled and couldn’t figure out what was going on.

And I got to admit that I was misinformed prior to this message. I knew that some folks had a “published” badge on their profiles but thought that they are columnist or journalists for various outlets who had some type of partnership with Quora.

None of the folks I was interacting with was contacted and republished back then. And I had just enabled messages from everyone on Quora weeks before I got the contact request.

Needless to say, I was “all-in” and impatiently waited for my first piece to go live.

My profile reports 18 answers republished now in nearly 30 outlets (some get republished in 2 or 3 places at a time if the publishers like the format).

I don’t have a specific process that I follow for that purpose. It’s still enigmatic and purely subjective on Quora’s end for all I know. But that makes it that more exciting whenever I get approached for a republishing request.

Which is why I stick to my writing process – defining the context, busting a myth or two, explaining the general process or a step-by-step workflow of what works and what – not. It may spark interest but often it doesn’t.

Writing on general topics such as religion, hobbies, life, relationships definitely yields higher engagement due to the millions of teens and folks interested in chit-chat. I’m certainly not into that sort of stuff and I stick to the topics that I understand or am interested in.

Content Goals in 2018

I don’t have a specific content wishlist for 2018 yet.

The past years have led to long gaps between my writing cycles. I’ve spent months without publishing and then 4-6 months of writing a post once or twice a week. Most of those interruptions were related to work overload – tough deadlines, onboarding new people, tackling a new internal project or anything in-between.

In 2017, I managed to keep writing “no matter whatwith everything going on around me.

  1. We have a newborn at home and I’m trying to help my wife with anything I can.
  2. I work from home most of the time.
  3. We’ve hired about 10 people this year and I’m managing a number of folks at a time.
  4. I keep in touch with most of our clients on a regular basis.
  5. I participate in the long-term planning and short-term technical challenges at work.
  6. We’ve formed several strategic partnerships and launching into new markets in 2018.

I can easily spend less than an hour a day on Quora and still hit 1,000 – 1,200 words worth of answers if I have a good backlog of answer requests. It gets easier when I use the “Taking Questions” feature which could pop a dozen questions in a niche I’m familiar with.

Repurposing content is also somewhat automated now. All I need is a schedule calendar and cherry-picking the answers worth publishing elsewhere.

Specific Content Goals

I’m interested in compiling some of the best practices we’ve been using in DevriX and forming them as actionable processes. I’ll probably work on some lengthier guides or “How to” series in specific niches. The content I produce is still somewhat chaotic and organization may help specific groups of people interested in a single activity.

Regardless of what happens in 2018, I’ll keep pushing for more educational content that would impact more people.

And if you’re not using Quora yet, they just crossed 200 million monthly users. If you can gain a larger audience with your blog or social profiles, go for it. Otherwise, don’t neglect a network that could feed the right questions and let you focus on writing your best content with no platform lockdown.

The post Quora: 1 Year and 1 Million Answer Views appeared first on Mario Peshev.

Ask Yoast: WordPress themes and heading structure

Headings play an important role in structuring text, whether it’s on paper or online. Since reading from a screen is already quite difficult, you should make sure you make proper use of headings. There’s a hierarchy in heading tags, with <h1> being the most important, and <h6> the least important. This will help both your visitors (whether they’re reading or using a screen reader!) and search engines understand what’s most essential on a page. But what if your theme only allows the use of one type of heading? Is that bad for your SEO, and what does it mean for your visitors? In this Ask Yoast, I’ll get into that.

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Nikola emailed us her question on WordPress themes and heading structure:

My theme has no H1 headings on the homepage (or category and archive pages). All headings are H2. My developer says it isn’t bad for SEO, it’s worse to use multiple H1s on a single page. Is he right?

Watch the video or read the transcript further down the page for my answer!

A logical order in your heading structure

Is he right? Well he is and he isn’t…it really depends. If you’re using HTML 5, you can have multiple H1s, depending on how your page is structured. At the same time, not having an H1 at all in your page sounds very weird.

On a post page the title of that post should be in the H1. On an archive page the title of that archive should be in the H1. On your homepage your brand name should probably be in the H1. So, I’m not entirely sure that he’s right. I would prefer that he does it right in terms of using one H1, then some H2s, etc.

This is more of an accessibility issue than it is a specific SEO issue. But it’s important for people who are blind, or otherwise have a hard time reading your page, because they can actually follow the structure of the headings on your page. So do think about the headings on your page and make them follow a logical order. Good luck!

Ask Yoast

In the series Ask Yoast we answer SEO questions from our readers. Have an SEO-related question? Let us help you out! Send an email to ask@yoast.com.

(note: please check our blog and knowledge base first, the answer to your question may already be out there! For urgent questions, for example about our plugin not working properly, we’d like to refer you to our support page.)

Read more: ‘SEO Basics: How to use headings on your site’ »

 

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On the topic of that pesky widget…

When I go to WordCamps, I get this question a lot: “Why do you have the PHP Code Widget still in the directory?”

There’s a good answer for that, but first let me explain why I made the thing in the first place.

If you examine the history of that plugin, you’ll find that it was submitted almost 10 years ago. Back then, widgets were new. Most people using WordPress had hardcoded sidebars in their themes. Changing the sidebar meant changing the theme. Widgets aimed to replace that with draggable objects. The Widget plugin was still a plugin, and not in core, but headed there.

The PHP Code Widget was created to make it easy and simple and fast to migrate from a hardcoded sidebar to a widget based one. You could take your existing code in the sidebar file, paste it into the widget, and then you had a movable widget that you could easily use.

Obviously, this was not meant for long term usage. The goal was to get widget support rapidly in your theme, with the expectation that as new widgets came out, you could replace your old code with newer, shinier, well supported, widgets.

The reason the plugin is still in the directory is because it still fills a need for some people. If I removed it, then they would fulfill that need in worse ways. It does not take much searching to find snippets of code, with bad advice saying to just pop it into your theme’s functions.php file, and voila, now all your Text Widgets run PHP code. That snippet actually exists. It’s a terrible idea, for obvious reasons.

The PHP Code Widget is less terrible than the alternatives.

But it’s still terrible.

And yes, it bothers me that it is one of the top 150 plugins. Storing PHP code in your database and then running it is just dumb. Don’t do that. Code should live in the right place, and that place is not the database.

So, in an effort to reduce the usage of the PHP Code Widget, here’s one way to stop using it, if you still are.

Getting rid of the PHP Code Widget

Step 1:

Get the PHP Code that you are using from the Widget, copy it into a text editor, save it somewhere for safe keeping.

Step 2:

You’re going to make a new plugin. You can call it whatever you like, but I recommend naming it specific to the site you’re making it for. If I was making a plugin for this site to hold widgets, then I’d call it “Ottopress Widgets” or something to that effect.

How to make a new plugin:

(Note: You can use Pluginception for this instead, if you like. That one I’m not ashamed of, it’s a very handy tool.)

a. Make a directory in /wp-content/plugins named after your plugin, like /wp-content/plugins/ottopress-widgets

b. Make a PHP file in there named the same. Like ottopress-widgets.php.

c. Edit that file, and add this header to the top of it:

<?php
/*
Plugin Name: Ottopress Widgets
*/

Lovely. We’ve made a new plugin. It doesn’t do anything, yet, but here’s some more code to add to the plugin. This is largely copy-paste, and then you edit it to fit your specific circumstances

Step 3:

add_action( 'widgets_init', 'ottopress_widget_register' );
function ottopress_widget_register() {
	register_widget( 'Ottopress_Widget' );
}
class Ottopress_Widget extends WP_Widget {
	function __construct() {
	
		$class = 'widget_ottopress';
		$name = 'Ottopress Widget';
		
		$widget_ops = array('classname' => $class, 'description' => $name);
		$control_ops = array('width' => 400, 'height' => 350);
		parent::__construct('', $name, $widget_ops, $control_ops);
	}

	function widget( $args, $instance ) {
		extract($args);
		echo $before_widget;

		echo '<h2 class="widget-title">Ottopress Widget</h2>';
		echo "<div>Here's my custom stuff.</div>";

		echo $after_widget;
	}
}

I named this widget “Ottopress Widget” by way of example. In the first few lines of code, you’ll want to change these to your own naming scheme. It’s important that names be unique, which is why I recommend naming things using your site’s name. Unlikely for there to be interference that way.

The $class and $name variables you should also change. The class is used in the HTML that the widget produces, so you can refer to it via CSS. The name is simply used for display purposes on the widgets editing screens.

Step 4:

Finally, the meat of the code you want to edit is here. I’ll point it out specifically.

function widget( $args, $instance ) {
	extract($args);
	echo $before_widget;

	echo '<h2 class="widget-title">Ottopress Widget</h2>';
	echo "<div>Here's my custom stuff.</div>";
	
	echo $after_widget;
}

This is the code that shows the widget on your site itself. Now, this one is just hardcoded to show the normal before and after code (these are set by the theme, so these should always be there), and then it has a little hardcoded bit there where it echo’s out a title and a div that says “Here’s my Custom Stuff”.

If you’re migrating from the PHP code widget, well, here’s where you migrate it to. You can drop your code from the PHP Code widget here and, you know, do whatever you were doing in the widget before, just now in an actual custom widget, in your own custom plugin. No more storing the code in the database. Just activate the plugin and replace the PHP Code widget with this one.

If you need more widgets because you were using it in multiple places, then simply repeat the process. Paste that whole class in there, only give it a different class name and other info, then put in your other code. You can have as many widgets as you like, they just have to all be named differently. Simple.

Note that this widget has no settings screen of any kind. Why would it? You’re controlling the code directly, no need for settings, presumably. If you want to go on and make your widget smarter and more complex and have settings, well, there’s other tutorials for that.

If this reduces the usage of the PHP Code Widget, well, I’ll be a happier person.

Reviewing the Guidelines – 2017

I do this regularly, but recently I received a comment that the guidelines were still too vague.

I need to stress that this is by intent. If we make guidelines like “You can only have 3 external links” then people will find ways to exploit that. However I do not think that guidelines are perfect. Which is why I’m proposing a minor update to them to address the following concerns:

  • Overall tense of guidelines made consistent
  • Update introduction for readability and unpack what we mean by keeping email updated
  • Explain the converse of 3
  • Put the important part of 5 on top
  • Add link to forum guidelines to 9
  • Add prohibition against harassment to anyone in WP
  • Clarify self-dismissible alerts are acceptable in 11
  • Changed tense of 12 and 13 to emphasize their importance
  • Grammar fix for title of 15
  • Fix reference to zips in 16 (upload now vs link to)
  • Reword title of 17 to explain that PLUGINS must honor…
  • Guideline 18 has received a full rewrite to clarify what rights we reserve and reiterate our promise to do this as fairly as possible.

You can see all the changes proposed here on GitHub

Please read the guidelines and leave comments or pull requests on Github. The plan is to make these live in January 2018 so please jump in and help! Thanks.

#announcement, #guidelines

What does the redirects manager in Yoast SEO do?

The redirects manager in Yoast SEO Premium is a real lifesaver. It’s a feature we at Yoast use many times a day. Once you used it for a while, you wonder how you ever lived without it. The redirects manager makes everyday website optimization and maintenance a piece of cake. It takes care of all redirect tasks, so you don’t have to think about that as much. In the end, it will save you lots of time and money. Here, we’ll shed some more light on the invaluable redirects manager in Yoast SEO.

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Yoast SEO: the #1 WordPress SEO plugin Info

What is a redirect?

Before we get into the awesomeness of the Yoast SEO redirects manager lets take a brief look at redirects. A redirect happens when a particular URL is deleted or changed and the browser gets served another URL in exchange. If a site owner deletes a page and does not redirect that old page, visitors to that page will see a 404 error message/page. So, to send visitors to a substitute URL or another relevant page, you need a redirect.

There are loads of reasons for why you would need a redirect:

  • When you delete a post or page;
  • When you change an URL structure;
  • If you move from HTTP to HTTPS;
  • Whenever you move a domain;
  • If you edit the slug of a category;
  • Etc.

Historically, deleting a page and making the correct redirect was a nasty chore. You had to do it manually in the .htaccess file or with scripts on the server-side, like Apache’s mod_rewrite or ngix rewrite module. In all cases, there was code involved. Not something anyone was remotely comfortable doing. Today, with Yoast SEO Premium that process is dead easy. If you are in need of a WordPress redirect plugin, give this one a try!

What does Yoast SEO do with redirects?

Using Yoast SEO Premium, making a redirect becomes a straightforward process. It takes just a couple of quick steps. Let’s say you want to delete a post:

  • Open the post that needs to be deleted
  • Move it to trash
  • Choose if it should receive a 410 content deleted redirect or a redirect to another page
  • Hit OK and you’re done!
  • Easy peasy, right?

redirect deleted post redirects manager

As you can see, the redirects manager in Yoast SEO Premium is an incredibly simple tool to work with redirects. It asks you what you want to do with an old URL whenever you change or delete a post or page. This process takes place in the redirects manager or the post editor. The tool asks you if you want to redirect the post to another URL or to serve a 410 content deleted header, for instance.

Correctly redirecting pages keeps your site usable, fresh and healthy. Visitors won’t stumble upon dead links and neither would Google. Google loves sites that are perfectly maintained. The cool thing is that everyone can do this and you won’t even need to call in your developer to fix it for you.

Not sure how the redirects manager in Yoast SEO works? Check this video and it becomes much clearer:

Types of redirects

The redirects manager supports the most essential redirects. Below you can find the supported redirects. If you need more information about these different redirects, please read the Which redirect post. Want to know the difference between a 302 and a 307? We’ve got you covered which this post on HTTP status codes.

  • 301 – Moved permanently
  • 302 – Found
  • 307 – Temporary redirect
  • 410 – Content deleted
  • 451 – Content unavailable for legal reasons

Inside the redirects manager in Yoast SEO

The redirect manager can do a lot more cool stuff. You can bulk edit your existing redirects to, for instance, change them from a 307 to a 301. Or you can filter for redirects to see which ones need changing or you can find a specific redirect on an article and change it to something else.

edit redirect redirects manager

Integrates with Google Search Console

If combined with the power of Google Search Console, you’ll get the ultimate in site maintenance power at your fingertips. Let Yoast SEO Premium access your Search Console account and you’ll see all the crawl errors appear. After that, you can use the redirect manager to create redirects of all 404 errors instantly. Spring cleaning, anyone?

Michiel did an excellent job explaining how you can connect Yoast SEO to Search Console and how to fix crawl errors. Read that if you want to know more about the combined power of these two killer site maintenance tools.

redirects search console yoast seo

edit redirects search console yoast seo

REGEX redirects

Not for the faint-hearted, but for the true redirect kings. That doesn’t mean you can’t learn to use it as well because you should. Making redirects with regular expressions is different because you have to determine what should happen and how it should happen. It is an incredibly powerful tool that can do crazy smart stuff and is your go-to tool if you need to do very specific or large-scale redirects.

Have Team Yoast install and configure Yoast SEO premium for you! »

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WordPress redirect plugin

(The redirects manager in) Yoast SEO Premium is an excellent tool, not just as an SEO tool but as a site maintenance tool as well. But don’t just take our word for it. As writer Jody Lee Cates told us:

“I hesitated to pay for Yoast Premium because I am a new blogger without much income yet. But I’m so, so happy I did! The time the redirect manager is saving me is priceless! And it’s giving me the freedom to change URL’s to improve SEO without worrying about creating redirects on my own.”

How’s that for an endorsement?

Read more: ‘Why every website needs Yoast SEO’ »

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WordPress 4.9.1 Released, Fixes Page Template Bug

WordPress 4.9.1 is available for download and is a maintenance and security release. This release addresses four security issues in WordPress 4.9 and below that could potentially be used as part of a multi-vector attack. According to the release notes, the following changes have been made to WordPress to protect against these vulnerabilities.

  1. Use a properly generated hash for the newbloguser key instead of a determinate substring.
  2. Add escaping to the language attributes used on html elements.
  3. Ensure the attributes of enclosures are correctly escaped in RSS and Atom feeds.
  4. Remove the ability to upload JavaScript files for users who do not have the unfiltered_html capability.

Rahul Pratap Singh and John Blackbourn are credited with responsibly disclosing the vulnerabilities. In addition to the changes above, 4.9.1 fixes eleven bugs, including the Page Template issue we wrote about last week. Many sites have already updated to 4.9.1 automatically. To see a list of detailed changes, check out this post on Make WordPress Core.

How to connect Google Search Console to Yoast SEO and fix errors

In our plugin, you can connect Google Search Console to Yoast SEO. This verifies your website for your Google Search Console account and allows you to view your crawl errors. Especially when you have a large site, the number of crawl errors might scare you. In this post, I’ll explain a bit more about crawl errors and show you how to fix them, using Yoast SEO Premium.

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What are crawl errors?

Google uses so-called Googlebots to crawl and index your page. Crawling, in layman’s language, is the process of Googlebot going over your pages, one link at a time. When crawling, its goal is to get to every important page on your site by following links on pages, in sitemaps, etc. Indexing, on the other hand, is what Googlebot does to take in all the content on your pages, to include it in its search result pages.

There are two types of crawl errors:

  • Site errors that affect your entire site. Think along the lines of connectivity issues with your web server, and problems fetching your robots.txt file.
  • URL errors that affect a specific page on your website. Googlebot tried to crawl the URL but did not succeed somehow. It was able to resolve your DNS, connect to your server, fetch/read your robots.txt file, and then request the URL. But after that, something went wrong.

Viewing crawl errors in Yoast SEO

In our Yoast SEO plugin (free and paid), you can view the crawl errors that Google came across on your website. All you have to do is connect Google Search Console to Yoast SEO. In our plugin, we guide you through that process. Let me explain the steps here as well.

Connect Google Search Console to Yoast SEO

To connect Google Search Console to the Yoast SEO plugin, all you have to do is navigate to this page in WordPress: SEO › Search Console.
Connect Google Search Console to Yoast SEO

The next step is to connect them. In our plugin, just click the ‘Get Google Authorization Code’ button:Search Console - Yoast SEO

It’ll take you to Google Search Console. There, you’ll be asked to confirm that you want to connect Google Search Console to Yoast SEO and let our plugin view and manage the data for your sites. Click ‘allow’:Search Console - Yoast SEO

Lastly, you’ll get a key to include in our plugin:GSC copy paste code

Now simply copy-paste that code and insert it into the box in our plugin, hit ‘Authenticate.’
Google Search Console pick profile

Choose the profile you’d like to connect and save it. Done! Now, you can continue in the first tab of that same section in our plugin (Desktop). Be sure to check the other tabs as well to find specific crawl errors.Yoast SEO crawl errors

Here, you will find the information we collected from your Google Search Console. In this table, you see the URL that gave an error, the date Google crawled it last, the date when Google detected the error first and the response code Google sent. In the screenshot, all response codes are 404 Not Found.

So, if you connect Google Search Console to Yoast SEO, you will have a great overview of how many crawl errors Google finds on your website. Now, you can go and create redirects for these 404s, or simply change them to 410s if that page is of absolutely no use to you anymore. More on status codes in this article. When you have ‘fixed’ the error, hover over the URL in Yoast SEO and click ‘mark as fixed’.

Is there an easy way to create that redirect?

Yes! There is an easier way to complete this process, and it is called Yoast SEO Premium. Besides a lot of extras that plugin has to offer, it allows you to immediately create your redirect in our plugin:create redirect in Yoast SEO Premium

Simply click ‘Create redirect,’ and, unlike in our free plugin (which will prompt that it’s only featured in our premium plugin), you’ll get this screen:
redirect and fix crawl errors in Yoast SEO

Our plugin will give you the option to create a redirect, or add another status code (301, 302, 307, 410, 451 are all possible). In case of a 301 redirect, like in the example, simply insert the URL you’d like that ‘old’ URL to redirect to. If you want to tell Google Search Console about this fix, simply leave the check ‘Mark as fixed’ as is and hit ‘Create Redirect.’ It’s as simple as that. In tomorrow’s article, we’ll shine a light on the redirects manager.

Now go and connect Google Search Console to Yoast SEO!

I hope this sheds some light on why you want to connect Google Search Console to Yoast SEO. You’ll be able to monitor crawl errors in our free plugin, and for a few bucks a year, our premium plugin will even help you fix them!

If you by any chance have already used this feature in our premium plugin, I’d love for you to share your thoughts and experiences in the comments!

Read more: ‘Which redirect should I use?’ »

The post How to connect Google Search Console to Yoast SEO and fix errors appeared first on Yoast.

Gutenberg Team Is Ramping Up Usability Testing at WordCamp US

The Gutenberg Team will have a usability testing station set up at WordCamp US where attendees can participate in a round of pre-set tests that focus on the writing flow. Testers will answer a short survey that includes their prior WordPress experience level, age, and device used. Volunteers will get participants set up with a testing site and will start the screen recording app.

Testers will be asked to create a post based on the content shown in an image. There are three different images, which require the user to perform actions such as adding images, embedding media, creating unordered lists, adding quotes, and other basic content creation tasks. In order to segment results, the usability tests have been divided into beginner, intermediate, and advanced level images.

Advanced level task image for Gutenberg usability testing

After completing the test, participants will be asked to answer a few followup questions, such as “Did the task take longer or shorter than you expected?” and “Are you more or less likely to use the Gutenberg editor in the future?”

“This is the second round of usability testing scripts — we tried out the first batch of scripts at WordCamp Milano, and made some adjustments for clarity,” Gutenberg design lead Tammie Lister said. “As a result of testing, we moved the toolbar on blocks to not be fixed and back to the block. At Milano, we tested the tests.”

As the result of these tests and other prior feedback, Lister recommended the default position of the toolbar to be fixed to the block.

Anna Harrison, UX lead at Ephox (the makers of tinyMCE), has been instrumental in helping with the efforts around testing and writing scripts. She also offered feedback on the ticket, referencing comments from the previous discussion on the issue:

A fixed [docked to top] toolbar solution has several complications. Firstly, we break accessibility. I won’t reiterate the discussion, as it’s well articulated above. Secondly, we break things independent of accessibility – I ran user tests on something quite similar to this last year, and we discovered that disconnecting the toolbar from the point of action resulted in 100% user test fails.

Gutenberg version 1.8 will change the default back to displaying block actions on the block level, although the option to change it to a fixed toolbar at the top of the screen will still be available. This change is one example of how usability testing is shaping Gutenberg’s development. WordCamp US is an opportunity for the team to collect a host of new testing data in one place.

Lister said all the data that is collected will be processed by volunteers on the make/test team, but the team is still small and they could use more volunteers to work on this effort.

“The turnaround time on processing the data we collect really depends on how many volunteers are available to work on it,” Lister said. “It also depends on if it’s a bug reported – bugs are easier to get fixed right away. If the data indicates an area where we need to investigate more, we’ll do that. The results of the testing will be published on make.wordpress.org/test.”

Lister said the team is hoping to reach a wider variety of WordPress users at WCUS this year, from all backgrounds and careers. The testing booth offers an opportunity for anyone to contribute to the future of WordPress, regardless of your experience level or familiarity with the software. The team is also eager to broaden its testing field by recruiting non-WordPress users as well. If you can’t make it to WordCamp US, you can still contribute to Gutenberg by taking and administering usability tests on your own with the help of the instructions posted on the make.wordpress.org/test site.

Last Updated On Nov 27/28 Without Updates? Don’t Panic!

In the last 24 hours, a fair amount of plugins were “updated” because of the strings importer having an issue. Those had to be rerun in order to get the strings pulled in to be translated properly. This had the adverse impact of causing the “Last Updated” value to change.

Which scared people. Sorry about that.

If you’re worried, check your SVN changelog. If nothing was updated, then it was just us 🙂

Of course, if someone you don’t remember giving access to did your last commit, please DO email us at plugins@wordpress.org right away and we’ll help you out.