mobile wordpress

WPTouch – Mobilize Your Website

A short PSA before we start this blog post: I keep getting asked by readers if they need an SSL. The short answer is that if you run any type of a site where you are asking people to login, create a profile with sensitive information, or give you payment info, then you should. I looked around a bit, you can find someGoDaddy SSL Coupon codes here to help you get a steep discount. The best deal was 30% off.


Let’s be real, you do half of your internet browsing on your phone or other mobile device because you can do it while lying on the couch with no pants on. The other half you do at work on a desktop when your boss isn’t looking. I look at Facebook pretty much exclusively through apps on my phone and iPad, and nothing annoys me more than when somebody posts a link to an article or website, and it comes up all tiny and zoomed out because there isn’t a mobile version. I have neither the time nor the patience to zoom in and then scroll back and forth cause the text doesn’t adjust to fit my screen. It’s 2014 people, you need a responsive mobile version of your site.

You have 2 options, you can use a plugin that will detect if your visitor is using a mobile device and show them a mobile version of the site, or you can use a WordPress theme that is responsive and will adjust itself accordingly. I suppose that there is a third option of building your own theme and then making a regular and mobile-friendly versions, but I mean I’m a professional web developer and I wouldn’t want to do that. If you have nothing but free time and patience, then by all means, knock yourself out.

Mobile Plug-ins

So I’m going to talk about this one first, but it’s not my recommended option, well unless you have somewhat of a budget for your blog or website. If you have a spare $50, there are worse things you could spend it on than WPTouch Pro. Like two copies of Jurassic Park III on Blu-Ray, just awful and disappointing. I have used it once before back when it was free and it worked perfectly, the only thing I didn’t really like was that you pretty much lost the whole look and feel of your website. I probably could have spent some more time fiddling with it, but I have a short attention span and am easily distracted by shiny things or attractive people. Also, now they exclusively offer the free version, which might have way more theme and customization options.

Get the Plugin

If you are broke as hell and do want to use a plugin there is also WordPress Mobile Pack. This doesn’t show the pages from your blog or site, only the posts, which is a huge drawback. If you are using WordPress as a CMS and not a blog then it won’t show any of your website. Whomp-whomp.

Responsive Themes

If you are venturing out into the premium and paid theme territory, it’s highly unlikely that the theme won’t be responsive. You should still make sure, it might be labeled as mobile-friendly or mobile-enabled instead of responsive but they all mean the same thing. Which is that it will detect the size of the screen that you are using to view the website and adjust the images and text accordingly to fit on your screen instead of just showing the website at 15% of it’s normal size. Paid themes aren’t always super expensive, ThemeForest has some starting at $3 apparently. There are free themes out there that are responsive, this blog has collected a few of them.

Personally, I think a responsive theme is the way to go. You maintain all of the look and feel of your site, and your other plugins should all still work with it. And you can’t get free themes that will do that, can’t beat that pricing!

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Are SSL Certificates a New SEO Staple?

The SEO (Search Engine Optimization) crowd has been abuzz lately with news that SSL Certificates are a new ranking signal in Google’s organic search results.

HTTPS Everywhere:

The announcement came from Google’s team at a new conference called “HTTPS” everywhere. They said that it’s a weak signal that they just introduced, but that it would likely increase in importance down the road.

Calm Down: it’s one of 200

The ranking signal is just 1 of 200 signals. I’ve never seen all 200 listed out at any one time, so I don’t really know what all these signals are. If you switchover to SSL encryption, don’t expect your website to suddenly jump 10 spots in search (wouldn’t that be nice though?).

How Much Do They Cost?

It depends on the type of SSL certificate you’re after. If you want a standard SSL certificate that works for one domain only, you can get one as cheap as $4.99. If you want to use one for multiple domains, then you need a UCC Certificate. This one is more expensive, but you can use this website to find coupons for both ssl and ucc certificates

Why is Google Doing This?

One main reason: The NSA. Now, SSL encryption only protects against a couple of security threats: phishing (website pretending to be what it isnt’) and eavesdropping. If all websites had SSL encryption, then the NSA isn’t able to eavesdrop on anything.

Google has added SSL encryption to search results, and has this secure layer built into their popular browser: Chrome.

That’s why SSL has been the bane of SEO’s for some years now: the extra encryption meant that Google no longer shared what website audiences were searching for when they visited your website. If you’ve been in Google analytics in the past year, you’ve noticed the “not provided” tab that accounts for almost all traffic. That’s because of SSL.

Essentially by pushing SSL, Google wants to create an inhospitable environment for NSA spying. There will be no data for them to collect, and then they will need to move on to other ventures.

When We Said “Buzz”, We Meant Tepid Interest:

There isn’t really any buzz in the SEO world because there aren’t many SEO’s anymore. After the Google updates targeted SEO’s instead of web-spammers (to be honest a lot of SEO’s used spam techniques as well), they were virtually all wiped out.

Google used to be able to make statements like these and get the SEO community all working for them: Google had an army of loyal followers that would do anything it said in exchange for a better ranking. But Google, like King Lear, had them all killed.

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wordpress plugins

WordPress Plugins – Widgets of Mass Awesomeness

Good morning my little angel mice, did you know that hundreds of kind web developers out there have toiled through the frustration, the rage, and the unhealthy levels of caffeine consumption to write plugins for WordPress that you can use absolutely free? If you’re not a programmer and have never had to write your own software before you might be having a hard time conceptualizing the level of personal sacrifice involved in an undertaking like that, so let me help you out: they are goddamn modern day heroes. First off, you have to learn how to program, then specifically how to do it in PHP (because all the programming languages are different), then learn the WordPress API so that your program can talk to it. Do you know how many years that would take you, or what API or PHP even means? These men and women should all be awarded with sainthood in my opinion.

Alright I’m getting a bit carried away, but respect the plugin developers. Out of the gifts that they have graciously bestowed upon the human race there are a few that I use over and over and that will make your life a thousand percent better. Probably. I’m going to list them for you. But first, a cautionary tale.

Plugins are like the T-Rex vs. Velociraptors showdown at the end of Jurassic Park: freakin’ sweet. You know it and I know it. But, as with all good things, you can go overboard and fly too close to the sun. Hear me, and hear me well, there is absolutely no damn reason why you would need 50 plugins. Here is the thing, a lot of plugins (particularly ones that affect how your website looks, like an image gallery or fancy menu plugin) will load a bunch of other scripts that make them work in your website header. At best it will slow your website down a lot and at worst it will crash it entirely because the scripts are conflicting or loading 7 different versions of jQuery. Only use plugins that you really need, and activate them one at a time. If you activate one and your website suddenly stops working or is slow as hell, delete it!

Senpai’s Top 5 WordPress Plugins

  1. WordPress SEO by Yoast

    Listen guys, you can’t just set up a website and then wait for millions of people to come. That’s not how it works. You need to setup your website in such a way that Google can find information on it really easily, and then you need to market it. But let’s take care of the Google part first, this plugin is literally designed to help you do that even if you don’t know sweet frick-all about SEO. It’s the 3rd highest rated plugin in the directory on WordPress.org and everybody and their spirit animals will tell you that you should use this plugin. Son, if a talking coyote that sounds like Johnny Cash tells you that something is legit, you listen.


    Get the plugin

  2. Akismet

    Akismet is so magical that it comes pre-installed in your copy of WordPress. Akismet blocks spam-bot comments on your blog, and believe me you will get them. Maybe not at first, but one day when you least expect it you’ll wake up to 100’s of email notifications that you’ve received a comment on your blog! They’ll all read “What great article! Thank you for to share, much helpful” and link back to cheapnikeshoestotallynotfake.ru. Akismet will stop that, you will need to sign up for an account on their website and then you will get your API key. If you are using it for a personal site you can pay as little or as much as you want, but let me say this: ain’t nobody got time to deal with spam and they are providing you a great service. I appreciate that you might be so poor that you’re eating Mr. Noodles 6 out of 7 days a week, but you can throw them $5. It’s good for karma..


    Get the plugin, if for some reason you deleted it.

  3. Contact Form 7

    Number 6 on the WordPress top rated plugins list is Contact Form 7. I don’t think I’ve ever built a site that I haven’t installed this on. You do not ever want to put your email address in text on a website, unless you like getting thousands of spam emails about ‘cheap male enhancement products’. This form is incredibly easy to setup and to customize, and it has a really good built in spam filter. No more talking, just downloading.


    Get the plugin

  4. Google XML Sitemaps

    Ladies and gentleman, this is your champion: the top rated plugin on WordPress.org as of the writing of this article. It only does one thing, but it does it flawlessly. Basically this sets up a road map for search engine spiders to crawl your site (that’s a good thing, you want spiders all up in your website). The easier it is for Google and other search engines to find info on your websites the higher you will rank and the closer you will be to that solid gold statue of yourself.


    Get the plugin

  5. W3 Total Cache

    This plugin comes in second for highest rated WordPress plugin of all time. Basically this takes all of the stuff that makes up your website and squishes it up into smaller files so that your website will load faster than me running from an angry hippo (that’s very fast, if you didn’t know). Makes for a better user experience, and Google looks upon it fondly. Now, you should not install this plugin until after you are done with your site development or you will have the very confusing experience of changing something and having it ‘not work’. It did, you’re just seeing a snapshot of your website from a little while ago. So don’t install this one until after you’re site is ‘finished’, and disable it when you are working on any major changes to the look and feel of the site.


    Get the plugin

How to Install WordPress Plugins

It’s so easy it’s basically criminal. I could write it out, but I’m kind of tired and somebody already made a video.

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wordpress themes

WordPress Themes: Dress-up for your website

Okay, first things first: for the love of God do not just use the default WordPress theme UNLESS you have the skills and intention to modify the crap out of it. If you know PHP even at a basic level it’s not hard to do, WordPress has laid it all out for you. The open source movement and this websites are all about free love, man. You don’t need to have a degree in graphic design, lord knows I don’t. Nothing brings on a full-blown-fumbling-around-for-my-inhaler anxiety attack like a blank Photoshop document for me. I once had a nightmare that I was interviewing for for a design position at a fairly prestigious web dev company, absolutely terrifying. But I digress, point is that you shouldn’t just set your site up with the 2095 theme or whatever year it is now (I assume that this website will long outlive me and you are all reading this directly in your brains) and call it a day. Why? Because you are going to look like about a billion other websites who didn’t have a senpai to tell them any better.

How about this, there are literally thousands of professional and eye catching themes out there that are literally 100% free. How? Open source. Because you can’t, like, own information, man. Also the theme developer probably put a link back to their website at the bottom of the theme, thus creating a backlink and boosting their Google ranking for when potentially paying clients search for a web designer. Whatever, let them have it. They built you a goddamn theme and are letting you use it for free. Do you know how long it takes to make a theme from scratch? Basically forever, especially if Photoshop is an enigma wrapped in a mystery for you. There are so many buttons man wtf. Getting back to things I actually understand, I can teach you about SEO dark sorcery stuff sometime if you want.

Seriously you guys, it’s so freaking easy to install new themes too. You can look through all of them on WordPress, then go to your ‘Appearance’ menu on the left hand side of the screen there and click on ‘Themes’. See that ‘Add New’ button at the top? Click that with conviction, type in the name of your theme in the search bar on the right, install that son of a bitch, activate it, and then marvel at how majestic your website looks. Like a unicorn jumping over a rainbow in outer space, I bet.

So don’t let me catch you using an unadulterated default theme, senpai will not be pleased. Look this guy even made a video for you.

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