Web sites for cheap

Are you looking for a great web site on the cheap?

There is the old adage that says cheap things aren’t good and good things aren’t cheap. And in the case of WordPress, that’s almost true. Good things aren’t cheap — they’re free!

In fact, the world’s leading content management system costs nothing. And you can be up and running with your own web site in under a day.

Quite simply, there is nothing better than WordPress for making web sites. And not just cheap ones (although that’s a great place to start). With WordPress, you can build simple blog sites, simple restaurant sites, company brochures, and even full-blown ecommerce sites. There is nothing WordPress can’t do. And all for very little money.

Get started with WordPress.

And if you need help along the way, get in touch.

Disable Gutenberg

By Willi Heidelbach, CC BY 2.5

Gutenberg is the new text editor from WordPress that is rolling out with the 5.0 update. It’s a HUGE change from previous versions of the text editor. As WordPress explains:

We call the new editor Gutenberg. The entire editing experience has been rebuilt for media rich pages and posts. Experience the flexibility that blocks will bring, whether you are building your first site, or write code for a living.

Gutenberg makes it easy to build rich media pages with blocks. It will revolutionize page building in WordPress.

But.

It’s going to take some getting used to. And in the meantime, people are going to grumble. And complain. And scream. And throw their hands up and shout “I hate it!”

For those people, Jeff Starr made a plugin called Disable Gutenberg, which will disable Gutenberg and enable the old editor. The plugin will also allow you to disable Gutenberg per user, post, post type, or template. If you are not ready for Gutenberg, Starr’s plugin is exactly what you need.

For further options and ways to disable Gutenberg, read Starr’s article How to Disable Gutenberg: Complete Guide.

WordPress 5.0. What’s new?

WordPress 5.0 dropped December 6, 2018. The release is being touted as the most dramatic update to WordPress in 15 years. So what’s new? Techarim hits the highlights.

  1. Gutenburg Editor
  2. Twenty Nineteen Theme
  3. Easier development, updated APIs

For users, the greatest addition in 5.0 is the Gutenburg editor, which is WordPress’s own page builder. Gutenburg uses drag-and-drop “blocks” that allow users to create their own page layouts. For a full analysis check out Smashing Magazine’s The Complete Anatomy Of The Gutenberg WordPress Editor. There’s also a Gutenburg video and tutorials from WordPress.

Just a month old, Gutenburg has yet to get the development community fully behind it. But give it time. Gutenburg is powerful, and it will redefine how designers approach WordPress theme building. For a good preview, checkout Colorlib’s list of 30+ Gutenburg-compatible themes.

Twenty Nineteen Theme

WordPress releases a new default theme every year. Twenty Nineteen is Gutenburg-ready.

The importance of keeping WP up-to-date

Malware Bytes reports of a non-trivial uptick in compromised WordPress sites.

During the past few days, our crawlers have been catching a larger-than-usual number of WordPress sites being hijacked. One of the most visible client-side payloads we see are redirections to tech support scam pages. Digging deeper, we found that this is part of a series of attacks that have compromised thousands of WordPress sites since early September. … The sites that are affected are running the WordPress CMS and often using outdated plugins.

Keeping WordPress up-to-date is essential, as is running a good security plugin. We recommend Wordfence. If you need help locking down your WordPress installation or keeping it up-to-date, contact us. We offer monitoring and updates services for as little as $35 per month.

 

Top 4 WordPress plugins

Every web site project will use plugins to compliment the core functionality of WordPress. These are our Top 4.

  1. Yoast SEO
    Yoast SEO is the No. 1 Wordpress plugin for search engine optimization. Along with a properly coded WordPress theme, it is a cornerstone in the foundation of your WordPress site (assuming you want customers to find you, that is). The Yoast SEO plugin also makes it easy to effectively share your web site on Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms. It generates site maps, hooks into Google Web master tools, and provides other essential features that every web site needs
  2. BackUpWordPress
    Does exactly what it says, with the option to schedule backups for only files, only the database, or a combination thereof.
  3. Wordfence
    The leading security plugin on the market, with over 22 million downloads
  4. Smush Image Compression and Optimization
    Widely known as WP Smush It — or sometimes just Smush It or Smush — this plugin from WPMU Dev optimizes images as you upload them to WordPress. And since bloated images are the leading cause of slow web sites, this is one plugin you can’t afford to live without

There are many other plugins that we use widely, but these are part of every project no matter the scale or scope.

Learning WordPress: 4 links to jump-start your education

Ready to learn WordPress? Two of the many great things about the platform is that one, it is extremely well-documented, and two, there is a thriving ecosystem that supports it. Jump on these 4 links to get moving.

New To WordPress – Where to Start

If you’re just diving into WordPress, knowing where to begin is no easy question to answer. Are you going to be a user or a developer? Both? This page from the official WordPress manual is the perfect place to start.

How to Learn WordPress: 7-Day Challenge

This 7-day plan from WPMU will get you up and running inside a week. Topics include:

  • setting up your first WordPress site
  • choosing the right theme
  • an introduction to plugins
  • strategies for backing up (hint: it’s important)

How to Learn WordPress for Free in a Week (or Less)

A shorter version of the above with lots of great links, such as posts vs pages and categories vs tags. The 7-day plan above is far more thorough, but this one from WP Beginner will get you up and running faster.

Get Going Fast: A Checklist

This quick-start guide from WordPress.com skips the background info and gets straight to it. You’ll be online with your own site by the end of the day.

 

Google page speed 100

No one likes to wait for a slow web page. But blinding fast sites don’t just happen.

For those that don’t know, Google PageSpeed is a free tool that assesses the performance and usability of your website for mobile and desktop platforms. It’s extra important because Google uses it in determining key elements of our SEO ranking, i.e. how high we appear in their search results.

On our first pass recently, the K4 Media site scored 86. Not bad. But not great. WordPress doesn’t make it easy, either, with bloated themes and unnecessary plugins. If your aim is Page Speed 100, however, Jeff Reifman at Tutsplus shows you the way.

WordPress SEO meetup, Phnom Penh

Be Chantra, the indefatigable social networking master, is putting together a WordPress SEO meetup. Connect with him on Facebook or LinkedIn if you are interested in speaking. K4 Media will definitely be attending and taking notes. In the meantime, here’s 5 links to help get your SEO mind ready.

The definitive guide to higher rankings for WordPress sites

If you are using WordPress and concerned with SEO, you are likely using Joost de Valk‘s industry leading plugin Yoast SEO. Like the headline says, this is the “definitive guide.” It’s long. But it covers the fundamentals of SEO, and anyone hoping to wade deeper into the SEO ocean should be comfortable with the ideas here.

WordPress SEO

This Siteground tutorial is basically a light version of the above definitive guide. It’s short and identifies key areas of the WordPress page to target for better SEO, but doesn’t go into great detail.

Beginner WordPress SEO (Part 1): How to Optimize Your Blog Posts

A do-it-yourself guide to SEO. As the article promises: if you focus on these 7 key areas of on-page SEO, you can improve your search engine rankings.

10 WordPress SEO Questions That Took Me 10 Years To Answer!

Trond Lyngbø, a columnist at Search Engine Land, touches on some frequent questions surrounding WordPress and SEO. These questions are not aimed at beginners, and the answers are often a bit technical in nature (ex, Can It Hurt My SEO If I’m Not Using The User’s Native Language? Will Adding A Post To Many WordPress Categories Be Good For My SEO? How Can I Improve My SEO With WordPress Widgets?). But there are worthwhile ideas here that even experienced SEO hands have probably not thought about in a while.

5 crazy SEO mistakes not to make in WordPress

These 5 tips are also a bit technical in nature and presume at least an intermediate level of SEO understanding. But such is the way of the SEO warrior. If you plan on reaching the advanced levels, there is no getting around the technology.

A Google search returns literally millions of articles expounding on the often shadowy world of SEO. You can never know it all. To further complicate matters, SEO techniques are constantly in flux, ebbing and flowing to the algorithms of Google and other search engines. Paid professionals can help, but so can rolling up your sleeves and doing the messy work.

That said, however, remember that SEO is marketing. And before going gung-ho with SEO, I strongly, strongly suggest evaluating the effectiveness of your current marketing strategy.

You have one, right?

Because SEO is not a replacement for a real marketing strategy. And skipping this step will likely end with tears and lots of lost dollars. Caveat emptor.