Archive for the ‘WordPress’ Category

WordCamp Providence: Saturday Keynote +

Monday, August 19th, 2013

Saturday I attended WordCamp Providence, in Providence, RI. It was a full-day schedule, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., with an After Party starting at 7 p.m. After a long week of work, I was concerned about my attention span. No need… Each session I attended kept me energized, and looking forward to the next. Either I chose lucky or all the speakers were awesome!

Frederick Townes Mashable

Frederick Townes, Saturdays Keynote Speaker

Frederick Townes (Mashable, W3 Edge, Placester, +) gave the keynote. The take away was:

“It is all in the design.” Referring to the technical and functional design more than esthetic design.

Author of the hugely popular WordPress plugin, W3 Total Cache and co-founder of multiple businesses, Townes believes that the longevity, sustainability and success of his plugins and businesses are based on the attention and effort given to their fundamental design. His most recent endeavor is the Placester website for real estate professionals. Placester.com took over three years to develop and recently launched. Trivia: What made him write W3 Total Cache? He saw a need, thought it might be unsolvable, liked the challenge, and gave it a shot….2.5M+ downloads later…

After the keynote, the sessions began. Four sessions per time slot were offered. Sessions were color-coded by audience type: Beginner Developer, Intermediate Developer, Advanced Developer, and Enterprise/Marketer.

I attended

  1. Evolving your JavaScript with Backbone.js
  2. How we built 17,170,200 Websites in 6 Months
  3. Getting SASSy: Fun with CSS Preprocessors
  4. Employing Best Security Practices for WordPress Sites
  5. Borrowing from the VIPs
  6. WebGL? Introduction to using interactive 3D Graphics in WordPress
  7. Closing Wrap Up – Anything and Everything WordPress

I’ll write more about the sessions I attended later this week.

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    WordPress Backups

    Wednesday, August 7th, 2013

    Last week, I received an urgent email from a client about her WordPress website. (She manages everything on her website and had contacted me once to do some “heavy lifting”; customizing the WordPress theme and making a WordPress plugin work to her specifications.) Anyway, a portion of the email is below:

    “… a friend hosts my website, had hardware issues, looks like everything is lost., I am sick to my stomach.”

    My eyebrows raised of course, when I read “a friend”, and I, too got that uncomfortable roll in my stomach.

    So let’s talk about hosting and backups…

    IF you choose to have a friend host your website, a friend who is not in the hosting business, then you need to backup your WordPress files and database on a regular schedule, no matter what your friend tells you about their back up policies. Hosting with a friend is not a situation that I would recommend. You don’t want to start hating on that friend if your website or blog goes missing, and it wouldn’t go missing on purpose, so then do you hate on someone for an accident? It gets too messy. Save a friend and spend some money on hosting your website.

    IF your friend works for a professional hosting company, and you host your website or blog with that hosting company, the situation is much better. Your job, then, is to check out the company’s reputation and their backup policies.

    When you host your website with a professional hosting firm, you do not have to backup your own WordPress files and database. A professional hosting firm should be doing daily backups of your website.

    Daily backups are frequently “incremental”. Incremental backups copy only the files that have been altered and added since the last backup. So, when the incrementals are restored, the entire website can be re-built. Generally, a “full” backup is run one day per week. A full backup back ups the entire website and blog and the database.

    Daily incrementals and once-per-week full backups done by a reputable hosting firm have served me well whenever I have had to rebuild a WordPress website from scratch.

    If you still would rather have your own set of backups…You can use a WordPress plugin that backs up the files and the database. CAUTION: Be careful with these. If you can find a WordPress Backup plugin that purges previous backups, then try it out, keeping an eye on the disk space being consumed by the backups. One full backup doubles the space you are using in your hosting account. Two backups triple the space. Three backups quadruple the space, and so on and so on.

    Sample WordPress backup sizes

    Is a full backup every 24 hours necessary? Each backup is 85MB.

    You might find yourself being charged extra for hosting because the backups are expanding out of your allotted space.

    Do you want to pay for additional space just to be holding backups? If you are willing to pay more, then pay a reputable hosting company that will automatically and professionally complete your WordPress backups, or, pay your WordPress webmaster to create and download special backups, or, check out a WordPress backup service like VaultPress. Don’t take up any more of your time worrying about your WordPress backups.

    Oh, and if you host your website with Adventures Online, rest assured that daily backups and weekly full backups are being done by professionals, not to mention the local copy of your website that is kept on the in-office production system.

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    Getting to Blog Worthy Presentation

    Wednesday, May 1st, 2013

    Getting to Blog Worthy is the name of the presentation I recently gave to twenty eager bloggers at the Marlborough Regional Chamber of Commerce in Marlborough, MA.  Kudos to the Chamber for recognizing the importance of blogging and offering this seminar, and,  kudos to the attendees who showed their Boston Strong by carrying on as they had planned despite the unsettling shutdown of multiple cities and frightening news reports out of Boston. SO, we took control of this one hour and decided to have fun.

    After introducing myself, everyone filled in a personal profile – to be kept private and used as a reference during the rest of the presentation.  Next, together, we took the “Is it Blog Worthy or Not” quiz (list of ten blog titles).  It started out bumpy, but, everyone got the hang of it by the time we got to the eight title – and – most were surprised to learn the definition of blog worthy just through these mini discussions of blog titles.

    After that, we looked at Google search results which set the stage for keeping our eye on the prize. Why get blog worthy rightWe went on to talk about the attendees’ areas of expertise, their target audiences, and their current business goals. Next we explored strategies for finding topics to write about, keeping the content relevant, and keeping their target audience coming back.

    We talked about blog SEO, Google+ and Google Authorship and the types of posts that will get you higher rankings. Finally, two scheduling strategies and one blog scheduling tool were introduced in order to keep ideas fresh and the blog posts coming.

    Some Take-Aways…

    • Blog-worthy content is content that will compel visitors to take the “call to action”
    • Blog-worthy content can be written in such a way that you help your blog get better rankings in the search engines
    • Blog-worthy content changes depending on your area of expertise, your business goals, your target audience
    • If you’re blogging, it is worth while to set up G+ and Google Authorship in order
    • ‘Evergreen’ blog posts can help you preserve your ranking

    Want to know more? Call me…508-480-8833. Circle me

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    Top 1% Endorsed in U.S. for WordPress

    Tuesday, February 12th, 2013

    Since 2004, I’ve done WordPress installs, customized WordPress themes, written custom WordPress programs and widgets, done WordPress upgrades and WordPress training. Looks like all the work I have done with WordPress has paid off. I opened my email this morning to find a delightful message from LinkedIn…

    Of the 200 million LinkedIn members, I am one of the top 1% most endorsed for WordPress in the United States!

    Top WordPress Consultant on LinkedIn

    Karen Callahan, Adventures Online, top 1% of professionals endorsed for WordPress on LinkedIn (2-11-2013)

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    My WordPress Wishlist for 2013

    Sunday, December 2nd, 2012

    While adding information to my Google+ profile today, I was writing about how I have a love-hate relationship with WordPress. Mostly, I am a proponent, but, there are some things that I dislike about it – like it’s evolution into a bloated piece of software with piggy behavior that is just not needed by probably 89% of its userbase.

    Here’s my WordPress Wishlist for 2013:

    1. That WordPress developers add a toggle switch that will SHUT OFF re-coding of my HTML when I am using HTML view.  I have a ton of experience and know where the tags go. Somedays, I fight with WordPress because it re-assembles my divs and paragraphs. Let me take responsibility for my blog. Do what I say and let me worry about how it will be interpretted in the browsers.
    2. That WordPress developers build in a toggle switch that turns versioning OFF so that sole proprietors like myself can avoid the overhead of having every ‘saved’ version of our posts being stored in the database.  Yes, WordPress saves EVERY SINGLE  ‘saved’ version of your post. I haven’t published this post yet, and already WordPress has 6 copies.

      Wordpress Versioning

      Wordpress Versioning on Unfinished Post

    3. That WordPress developers add a toggle switch that enables bloggers to TURN OFF the creation of multiple versions of photos. WordPress stores up to 4 copies of every uploaded image – the original and three others at sizes that it has predetermined. Let the blogger be responsible for the content. I always re-size images before uploading and teach my clients to do the same. I only need the version I upload.
      WordPress Creates Multiple=

      The image above was reduced to the exact size I wanted (355 x 90) yet - WordPress created two other versions

    These are my top 3 wishes… What are you wishes for improving WordPress in 2013?

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