During 2017, every month I’m blogging about big news & industry announcements to share actionable information that I hope will be useful to you – the online entrepreneur, WordPress website owner, or maybe just blogger.
This series discusses everything from new favorite tools you can install (usually free ones!) to get what you need done fast and boost your conversions while you get more done faster and more easily, to security heads ups and website maintenance tips & best practices. And I do this to help keep your WordPress website happy and working hard as your reliable 24/7 salesperson so you can implement anything needed and spend the bulk of your time growing your business.
Time for the November edition! Here are useful things to know as we hit the tail end of 2017.
Keep Your WordPress Website Happy This Winter
What’s up in da Interwebz?
Free LinkedIn Learning Courses on WordPress
This is awesome: starting today November 30th, 2017, and ending Thursday December 21st, 2017 LinkedIn is offering 5 free WordPress courses available to anyone and everyone (no LinkedIn Learning account necessary).
The 5 free courses you get for three weeks starting today are:
- WordPress Essential Training with Morten Rand-Hendriksen
- WordPress.com Essential Training with Carrie Dils
- WordPress Ecommerce: WooCommerce with Patrick Rauland
- WordPress: Developing Secure Sites with Jeff Starr
- WordPress: REST API with Morten Rand-Hendriksen
What about WordPress News for November 2017?
It’s time to update and WordPress 4.9 is dope! The latest version of WordPress core brings impressive improvements. Let’s look at some of them:
- Draft and Schedule Site Design Customizations: you can now tweak your website design and schedule those tweaks to go live when you want instead of immediately. Mind kinda blown here!
- Collaborate with Design Preview Links: Get feedback on proposed design changes before you push ’em live. Great for web designers/devs and marketing teams, for example.
- Design Locking To Guard Your Changes: To prevent your clients from undoing your beautiful work by mistake!
- Syntax Highlighting and Error Checking: For us geeks. Troubleshoot your code bugs more easily!
- Press a Button, Add Media: Add media to your widget areas – quickly!
And more! Haven’t been this excited about a new WordPress core version in a long time.
Backup your website, update to WordPress 4.9, and enjoy 💆
Envato Adopts All-You-Can-Eat Buffet Biz Model
If you’ve ever bought anything off the Envato market, you know it’s got killer plugins and themes, as well as graphics, music, and more.
Now, you can buy a subscription and save like crazy: Envato has added unlimited WordPress theme and plugin downloads to its Elements digital assets subscription service. You can choose from 210 WordPress themes and 100 plugins plus 400,000 other design assets available in their store, within a constantly updated library.
The yearly plan costs $228 (the buffet style selection doesn’t apply to monthly members) and makes a lot of sense especially for web designers and developers, or business owners who head multiple websites.
Please note, though, that the subscription service excludes direct item support for the themes, as these themes are submitted by independent designers.
Get Ready for Tide
If you’re anything like me, you want to only use WordPress themes and plugins that have legit code. These are more likely to work better and will be less likely to break your website!
A new project called Tide is coming to help us out. This plugin, to be released soon (no date specified as of yet), will provide a score on the software’s quality and safety under the user reviews, so we can make better choices about the tools we install.
Tide is a project by XWP and supported by Google, Automattic (makes of WordPress!), and hosting service WP Engine. It aims to equip us to make better decisions about the plugins and themes we install on our websites.
WordPress Website Maintenance Best Practices for Winter
Rushing to prep your biz for the December holidays? If you only have 5 minutes, I’ve got your back: check out the 5-minute WordPress checkup for the basics you can implement right now.
Do this in every month to keep your WordPress website happy and running smoothly:
- 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.