Every month this year (2017) I’m sharing big news & industry announcements on the blog, covering info useful for online entrepreneurs and WordPress users in general, from new favorite tools to get more done faster and more easily, to security heads ups and website maintenance tips & best practices.
The goal? To keep your WordPress site running happily and working hard as your reliable 24/7 salesperson so you can be in the know and focus on your business.
Keep Your WordPress Site Running Happy This Fall
What’s up in da Interwebz?
Killer Online Scheduler Now Even More Killer
Acuity Scheduler (my fave online scheduler which I’ve been using for years) – has rolled out some very cool new features.
- Now it includes a new persistent booking bar and button – go to across the top of your website and make it easier for interested peeps to book a session with you.
- You can also embed the booking button everywhere without having to code it yourself.
- If you have a brick and mortar location, now you can include it and have it auto-added to email reminders, calendar invites, and your clients’ confirmation page. Sah-weet!
- Plus, to avoid overwhelming yourself, now you can set a max number of appointments booked per week (before you could only set a max per day).
If your scheduler isn’t as awesome, make your life easier with Acuity right here.
Facebook Launches Explore Feed
Facebook began rolling out its Explore Feed last week on desktop and mobile. It shows us relevant content from sources we don’t already follow.
If you’re me? It shows a lot of cute animal memes, good news about rescued animals included dogs and elephants, and news about Puerto Rice post-Hurricane Irma.
Give it a shot for yourself here.
What about WordPress News for October 2017?
SITEGROUND Now Makes Your Website Even Faster
Siteground just introduced a special service SuperCacher to greatly improve your website performance. It increases the number of hits your site can handle and makes it load faster (BIG deal!).
You can access the tool by logging into your account > cPanel > SuperCacher icon. It’s free for the GrowBig and GoGeek hosting plans.
Not on Siteground but really wanna move to it? Great – they’ll even migrate your website over for free. Click here to visit Siteground.
Canvas theme is no more
This week, WooCommerce retired its Canvas theme. As someone who’s worked on it and ran into many problems, I say, “Good riddance!”
If you have your website on Canvas, a wonderful alternative for you will be Beaver Builder (I used to recommend Headway as the best WordPress theme, but now I recommend Beaver Builder because Headway has been discontinued).
JETPACK Plugin Buddies up to PayPal
Already use the Jetpack plugin for one of its many stellar features, like social media sharing or traffic statistics? Now you can use it to sell your stuff, too!
There is a catch, though – it’s offered with their paid subscriptions. But if you wanna buy it or already have it? You’ll be able to add a Simple Payment Button from PayPal to any post or page and start taking payments that way in a couple of minutes.
(Don’t wanna pay for Jetpack? That’s OK – here are other ways to sell your products on your website!)
WordPress Website Maintenance Best Practices for October 2017
Rushing to prep your biz for Black Friday/Cyber Monday? Of course you are! Then head over to the 5-minute WordPress checkup for the basics.
Do this in October 2017 to keep your WordPress site running happy:
- Unless you’re on managed website hosting covering your security and maintenance, install a security plugin like Wordfence or Sucuri and run your site through a security filter like Sucuri’s: http://sitecheck.sucuri.net/ once a month to help keep your site safe from hackers
- Check for broken links automatically with the free Broken Link Checker
- Check your backups are working properly so you have a Plan B if disaster strikes (I like Backup Buddy and UpdraftPlus). Restore a backup every month to test that it has everything you need.
- Haven’t gotten a message through your contact form in the past few weeks? Test it!
- Haven’t gotten a new subscriber in a little while? Test your opt-in forms! And work on increasing your website traffic and optimizing your social media traffic while you’re at it if you want to convert visitors into more leads to warm up into customers
A website that runs well keeps Google pleased, helps you sleep better, and makes your prospects more likely to buy. It’s a no-brainer.