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Robert Amobi

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We are a comprehensive tourism website that handles all things Las Vegas and a few years ago, we needed to figure out how to grow our online business. Over a period of 3 years, using the principles we learned from this class, we have built a very successful online business and on the search engines, we now rank in the top 3 search results for many Las Vegas related keywords. The beauty of this class is the way they simplify the steps you need to follow. This will change your life!

Founder and CEO, LasVegas-How-To.com

2018-07-31T10:04:31+00:00

Founder and CEO, LasVegas-How-To.com

Robert Amobi Testimonial

Onuora Amobi is VP of Marketing at Learn About The Web. He has an extensive background in both Online Marketing and Enterprise Technology solutions.

Website Performance

Digital Marketing Tips – How to Create and Edit your WordPress .htaccess File

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How to Create and Edit your WordPress htaccess File

Throughout many of these posts, you’ve been asked to access and edit the .htaccess file so now we’re going to look at what it is and how to create and edit it.

It is a very important system file that is in the root directory of your website and is one of the most useful tools you have for improving the speed and performance of your website.

What is .htaccess File?

The .htaccess file is a system file that belongs to Apache server. It is a configuration file which talks to the server and acts as per the instructions in the file.

Basically, it is the way in which the Apache server handles per-directory configuration changes. WordPress uses the .htaccess file to manipulate the way in which Apache serves the files from root and subdirectories.

The (.) at the start of the name signifies that it is a hidden file so, when you need to access it, you need to ensure that your system has ‘Show Hidden Files’ enabled.

How to Create an htaccess File

Most of the time, WordPress will automatically create the file the very first time you decide on your permalink structure.

However, sometimes you may need to do it yourself because WordPress can’t, usually because of read/write issues or create permissions issues with the server. So, here’s how to create it manually:

  • Make a text file on your computer
  • Copy and then paste the code below into the file:

# BEGIN WordPress

RewriteEngine On
RewriteBase /
RewriteRule ^index\.php$ – [L]
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-d
RewriteRule . /index.php [L]

# END WordPress

  • Save the file, changing the file extension to .htaccess instead of .txt
  • Use the cPanel file manger to upload it to the root directory of your website.
  • Upload it to …/home/yourwebsite/public_html/.htaccess

How to Edit the htaccess File

There are a few ways to access and edit the .htaccess file:

Through cPanel

  • Login to the hosting account or straight into cPanel
  • Go to File Manager
  • In Settings, make sure that “Turn On Hidden File” is enabled
  • Locate the root directory for your website
  • Look in ‘public_html’ for the .htaccess file
  • Right click it and follow the instructions given to edit it

Through Yoast Plugin

Yoast is one of the most popular plugins in WordPress and it allows you to access the .htaccess file and edit it. You could also use WP Htaccess Editor but, before you use any plugin to edit the file, do back up your website first.

Why Use .htaccess to Improve Website Performance?

It is one of the most important files for your website, offering options to enable and/or disable many safety features and change the way the search engine bots are handled.

You can also use it to add URL write/rewrite rules for redirections and it can be used to help safeguard against spammers on your website.

One of the most common uses is to enable GZip compression, or to add Expires Headers, change eTag to leverage browser caching and more. In short it is, as I said, one of the best ways to manage performance and speed.

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Website Performance

Digital Marketing Tips – How to Speed Up Your WordPress Admin Area

We’re going to look at how you can speed up your WordPress admin area.

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Wordpress Admin

There’s no doubt about it, slow loading websites are frustrating but to the person that owns a WordPress website, there is nothing worse than a slow admin area.

Not only is it irritating, it can cost you so we’re going to look at how you can speed up your WordPress admin area.

Preparation

The first step is to prepare your website – this is to ensure that you don’t lose customers while you are fixing your admin area. Some of the steps you need to take are going to affect every part of your website and visitors won’t be happy if they can’t access your site.

The best way to counteract this is to create a maintenance page. You can’t just pretend that nothing is wrong when its clear parts of your site don’t work so tell them by showing an “under maintenance” message – at least they know you are working on it!

To do this, use a plugin called SeedProd Coming Soon. It has full integration with newsletters like Aweber and Mailchimp, so your list can continue growing while you fix the site.

Review Recent Updates

Do you update plugins and themes, even WordPress itself regularly? If you don’t that is your first step. Not updating leads to security issues as well as speed problems so make a backup of your website and then update everything.

Then check to see if your admin area is any faster.

Conversely, some updates can cause problems. If you recently updated your theme or a plugin and then your admin area slowed down, it could be the update that caused it.

You should have backed up your site before you updated that plugin so restore from that backup and see if it cures the problem

Disable your WordPress Theme

If updating everything didn’t make a difference, the theme may be the problem. Disable your theme and use the default WordPress them to see if that makes a difference – if your admin area speeds up again the problem lies with your theme and it will need changing.

Disable Plugins

If the theme isn’t the problem, turn to your plugins. Disable all of them and see if it makes a difference. Then re-enable each plugin individually to see which one the culprit is. To do this without using your admin area, go through your hosting account.

  • Find the File Manager in your hosting account control panel
  • Find the directory where WordPress was installed
  • Open the folder named ‘wp-content’
  • You will see a folder named ‘Plugins’ – rename the folder so that it can’t be found by WordPress – the easiest way is to just add a letter to the end of the folder name

In your WordPress dashboard, go to the Plugins menu and there will be a message telling you your plugins are disabled.

If admin is now faster, you know that a plugin is the problem so go back to the file manager and rename the plugins folder as it was.

In WordPress dashboard, activate each plugin and test admin each time. When you find the plugin causing the problem, replace it with an alternative.

Repair/Optimize Database

Sometimes a corrupted database is the issue, so it will need to be repaired. Either use a plugin such as WP-DBManager or use the built-in repair function in WordPress, provided you are content t edit File Manager files. To do this:

  • In File Manager, go to the directory where WordPress is
  • Open the wp-config.php file
  • At the bottom of the file, starting a new line, add this code:
    ‘<code> define (‘WP_ALLOW_REPAIR’, true);</code>’
  • Save it but keep the file open
  • Open a new browser tab and type the name of your website with /wp-admin/maint/repair.php appended.
  • On the page that opens, click on Repair and Optimize Database and leave it to run. When it finishes, you will see a line at the foot of the page that says, “Repairs Complete’. Go back to your wp-config file, delete the line you added, save and close

Debug

If you still can’t locate what’s causing the problem you can use a plugin for debugging, like Query Monitor or you could find a developer to help you debug the site and find out what the issue is.

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Web Design

Digital Marketing Tips – Picking A Good WordPress Theme

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Studiopress Theme

When you get to the point where you need to select a theme for your WordPress site one of the most important things that you need to pay attention to is whether the theme has been optimized for speed.

There are some very beautiful themes for WordPress but most of them are coded badly and will only slow your website down.

It is best to choose a simple theme and combine it with good quality plugins for all the features that you want on your website than it is to pick a theme that is packed with complicated layouts, flashy-looking animations and lots of other features that you really don’t need.

Three of the best types of themes are Studiopress themes, Thrive themes and MyThemeShop themes. These are all coded well and have all been optimized for speed and we will be looking briefly at them later.

First, what if you already have a bloated or badly coded theme on your website? It’s time to change it and here’s how you do that:

Changing Your Theme

This is a big step because it means changing the entire look of your website or blog. SO, very important, backup your site entirely before you begin.

To install a new theme in WordPress:

  1. Open Appearance>Themes in WordPress and you will see all the themes you have installed on your site
  2. Click on the Add New button – it’s at the top of your screen
  3. On the page that loads, look through the list of themes until you find the one you want – move your mouse over it and click on Install.

Wait until the theme has been downloaded – please note, this does not install the theme, it only downloads it. You will need to activate it yourself.

  1. In WordPress again, click on Appearance>Themes and you will get that list of themes installed on your website. You should see the new one you downloaded in that list as well
  2. Move your mouse over the name of the themes and you will see a button that says Activate – click on this
  3. The new theme will be added to your website. If you want to see how it looks first, use the Live Proview button. This will show you how themes will look on your website, so you can make the final decision before you activate it. Alternatively, activate it and then go to your website.

So, how do you know which themes are right? Simple homework will show you which themes are speed optimized and which are full of bloat.

Bear in mind that some of the more popular themes are packed with features you don’t need, and the developers are liable to keep on adding features purely to generate income. As time goes by, this will all take its toll on the speed of your WordPress site.

To help you out, I have detailed three different groups of themes below, each offering simple themes, optimized to speed things up:

Thrive Themes

Thrive themes are built for SEO and conversion; they are light-weight, include image optimization built-in and plenty of content optimization options too.

The few themes available are all personalized to a specific niche and the image compression is a huge boost to speed.

Landing pages are included with each theme and there is also a full set of conversion tools for all users, including a number of widgets and plugins. Prices start at $49 for an individual theme.

MyThemeShop

MyThemeShop offers a wide range of WP themes, some of them free. With nearly 96 plugins and themes to choose from, there is pretty much something for everyone here, including blog-optimized themes.

Most of the themes are fully optimized for speed and are all coded cleanly, as well as being fully optimized for SEO.

The Lazy-Loading feature is built-in, automatically reducing the time it takes your website to load and prices start at $29 per year for a single theme or you can choose a membership option.

StudioPress Themes

StudioPress themes are owned by CopyBlogger Media, content marketing industry leaders. While most of their themes are aimed at blogging websites, they are all built on the Genesis framework, which is why you will often see them called Genesis Themes.

This framework is coded cleanly, is updated regularly and is one of the most secure ever built. There are loads of child themes to choose from and every theme has been fully optimized for SEO.

Most are light-weight and extremely fast, but the pricing is a little higher than others. However, there are several options to choose from, starting at just under $60 for the framework.

This is just the tip of the iceberg as far as speeding up your WordPress website, but it is an important place to start.

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