Productivity Tools, Tools & Tips, Websites

SEO Tools: From Yoast to SEO Press

Since I first started working with WordPress I’ve been using the Yoast plugin for my SEO. It’s a great tool. I’ve been happy with it and have been happily recommending it to clients. But lately there’s been chatter in some groups where WordPress pros and others discuss their SEO tools of choice, and I’ve been hearing very good things about SEO Press. After reading many reviews to find out more, I’ve decided to give it a go.

As I type, I’m backing up my personal blog and will shortly be installing SEO Press. Once it’s installed I will then go through the configuration and setup procedure (if there is one) and then work on and publish my first post using it. According to the instructions I’ve read it’s simple to use and has some great features, such as tools to help with titles and metatags, the creation of XML and HTML sitemaps (the latter being somewhat overlooked these days but still very helpful), content analysis with unlimited keywords, and also making it easy to implement Schema – a form of metadata that is increasingly favoured by search engines, giving your content much greater visibility in searches.

There’s a comparison of the tool’s features on the SEO Press website. It sounds impressive, at least for a free plugin. As with anything the proof will be in the pudding. After using it for a while I’ll come back with a review – on usability and also whether it makes any discernible difference to my site’s SEO! Of course, there’s no plugin in the world that can actually boost your site’s SEO. Only good writing and constant review and improvement can do that! But what a good SEO plugin can do is guide you a little and make some of the technical side of SEO, such as adding Schema tags and maintaining your XML sitemaps, easier to manage. Wish me luck!


Do you need help with your website SEO or WordPress tools and plugins? If so, contact me to arrange a free consultation – no obligation.


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WordPress

Resizing an Image to use on Your Website

If you’re building your own site or have started adding content to a WordPress (or other site) that you had built for you, one of the pitfalls is uploading large or (worse) original images to your site. It’s so easy to upload images and most tools allow you to do this from your phone, but this comes into the category of “just because you can it doesn’t mean you should!”

To help you out I’ve put together a short video showing you how to use a free tool from BeFunky which enables you to scale your image and reduce the file size before you upload it to your site. This is a critical step because slow-loading photos can really slow down the time it takes for the page to load, which not only harms your SEO but also puts off the people who do arrive at your page.

Alternatives to this DIY method are to use a plugin that does this whenever you upload an image to your site. If you’d rather go down that route you could take a look (for WordPress) at Imagify or ShortPixel*. They’re the two I use but there are others. Ask if you need more info!

*Disclaimer: This article contains an affiliate link to a product that I use and am happy to recommend. There is a free version of the product, which works as well as the paid version, but if you do end up using the paid version I’ll get a small commission, so thank you.

Productivity Tools, Tools & Tips, Websites

From Yoast to SEO Press OLD

Since I first started working with WordPress I’ve been using the Yoast plugin for my SEO. It’s a great tool. I’ve been happy with it and have been happily recommending it to clients. But lately there’s been chatter in some groups where WordPress pros and others discuss their SEO tools of choice, and I’ve been hearing very good things about SEO Press. After reading many reviews to find out more, I’ve decided to give it a go.

As I type, I’m backing up my personal blog and will shortly be installing SEO Press. Once it’s installed I will then go through the configuration and setup procedure (if there is one) and then work on and publish my first post using it. According to the instructions I’ve read it’s simple to use and has some great features, such as tools to help with titles and metatags, the creation of XML and HTML sitemaps (the latter being somewhat overlooked these days but still very helpful), content analysis with unlimited keywords, and also making it easy to implement Schema – a form of metadata that is increasingly favoured by search engines, giving your content much greater visibility in searches.

There’s a comparison of the tool’s features on the SEO Press website. It sounds impressive, at least for a free plugin. As with anything the proof will be in the pudding. After using it for a while I’ll come back with a review – on usability and also whether it makes any discernible difference to my site’s SEO! Of course, there’s no plugin in the world that can actually boost your site’s SEO. Only good writing and constant review and improvement can do that! But what a good SEO plugin can do is guide you a little and make some of the technical side of SEO, such as adding Schema tags and maintaining your XML sitemaps, easier to manage. Wish me luck!

Do you need help with your website SEO or WordPress tools and plugins? If so, contact me to arrange a free consultation – no obligation.

A set of colourful badges with the "W" from the WordPress logo - and banner text saying: Working with WordPress: Site Migration Tips"
Tools & Tips, Tutorials

Access WordPress Installation without a Domain

Let’s say you’re moving a WordPress site from one host to another. Before changing the DNS settings on the domain you want to migrated the site’s contents and test it rather than make all the changes to a live site. The way to do this is to make a few simple edits to a text file. Here’s how.

Instructions for editing your Host file, to direct your browser to WordPress on the server.

Find your server’s IP address.

Login to your CPanel account. The IP address you need is shown under the heading Shared IP Address in the General Information. Make a note of this.

Navigate to the hosts file and open it with a text editor.

The file, called hosts, is stored in C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc. You may need to click through a popup asking for Administrator access. Just click Continuewhen prompted.NOTE: If you are trying to open the file from within an application, such as Notepad++, and are not in Adminstrator mode, you won’t see the file. To rectify this, navigate to the file via Explorer then double-click to open it in your text editor.

Update the file.

You will see some intro text describing the purpose of the file and then, at the bottom, some text that includes an IP address and a label, like this: 127.0.0.1 localhostThis is an instruction that says, “when I type localhost into my browser, redirect the request to 127.0.0.1.”We will use this to redirect requests to the domain to your copy of WordPress on the server. Add a new row of text under any other redirects, in the format shown below: X.X.X.X yourdomain.comwhere, X.X.X.X is the IP address you just retrieved from your CPanel account. yourdomain.com the domain you will be transferring to (where WordPress is installed.)

Save the file.

When you’ve finished editing, save the modified hosts file.

And that’s it. Now, when you type the domain into your browser you will access the server-installed WordPress installation. Now you can get this all set up, transferring all the data from your old site to the new server, making sure everything works, before changing the DNS settings on your domain to point to the new host.

But what about when you want to see online version of the site? Well, simply open the hosts file and comment out the edits by adding the # symbol in front of the code, so:

X.X.X.X yourdomain.com
becomes
# X.X.X.X yourdomain.com

Now you can test your site on the new server before changing the DNS settings on the domain. No downtime!

Products

Web hosting package, now live!

I’m happy to be able to announce that from February 1st we will be offering a standard web hosting package for €10 per month. This is a great way to get your campaign, club, or small business site up and running and includes:

  • Server space with an uptime of 99.7%
  • Registration of your .co.uk or org.uk domain
  • WordPress installation, giving you access to premium features (templates, plugins, etc. that cost $25/month with WordPress.com) so you can quickly and easily create and maintain your site or blog.
  • An email account, for example, admin@yourdomain.

We get all this set up for you and provide clear instructions to get you up and running.

We can bill annually, quarterly, or monthly – whichever works best for you.

Our servers run cPanel, which is an incredibly comprehensive tool for managing web spaces giving access* to SEO, mailing list, database, and site builder tools as well as fantastic applications like phpBB, Drupal, Joomla and mediaWiki.*

If you need a website created, get in touch and we can talk through your requirements.

* access to these services is not included in the standard package. 

Credits: main image copyright iStock.com/FotoCuisinette