First Manchester WordPress User Group of the year. Mike talks about the latest WordPress news and is joined by Rhys who gives us an incite into some useful SEO tips for your WordPress site.
WordPress 3.9 News
AH-o2, ridiculous name, not that easy to implement, but there are plans to make it better.
Omnisearch (jetpack) - Supposed to be better for searching on the back-end, 'The Search initiative' meant to improve search on the front-end. Room for improvement here.
About 4 years ago when WordPress was taking off in the UK government, most of the US government were going for Drupal, but now they've moved to WordPress
Matt Mullenweg and Toni Schneider are changing roles: https://techcrunch.com/2014/01/13/matt-mullenweg-becomes-automattic-ceo-as-toni-schneider-shifts-focus-to-new-products/
Rhys Wynne talks about some of the techniques you can use to help your SEO when using WordPress.
You can follow Rhys at @rhyswynne.
Yoast SEO Plugin
Security 'Disable the Advanced…' (untick this? check)
Other > Meta Robots: > Disable the author archives (tick this box to avoid duplicate content with multiple users?)
Target keywords that are more relevant and where you'll have less competition. e.g. 'plumber' vs 'plumber in Manchester'
Don't duplicate focus keywords.
General On Page SEO Tips
Even if you do rank well in Google, if your copy isn't well punctuated and using correct grammar, then people will tend not to read it.
Include the meta description - this doesn't count for SEO ranking (although should still be done), but shows up on Google so it's useful if you add a phone number here. People on phones can then click it directly there and then to ring you.
Where relevant include internal links.
On a post or page, instead of hitting 'publish' it's possible to hit 'check'?, this can give you some useful SEO feedback.
Page Analysis, uses a lot of custom fields and custom data, only reads 'post content'. Good to use as a guide and overview, but don't use as gospel.
Create a 200x200 logo image, then go to Yoast > SEO > Social > Facebook ? Front Page Image URL.
If there isn't a featured image to be used, this will add an image by default, therefore making the default area on Facebook more prominent and can increase your click through rate.
Create a Google plus page.
Add your site url to your Google about page.
Add your Google+ page to yoast WordPress SEO > Social > Google + And 'don't show' author for homepage.
Google is looking at site speed.
Use a CDN, (or very least Jetpack Photon). Mike mentioned if you upload an updated version of the same image, this won't get updated so do be wary if using this.
Caching Plugins such as WP Super Cache (Simple), W3 Total Cache (Advanced) can also help with site speed.
Use Google libraries - https://wordpress.org/plugins/use-google-libraries.
'Google PageSpeed' - Will give you advice on how to make your site faster.
Theme Development Tips
Keep database calls to a minimum.
bloginfo('name') the H1 on home page and
the_title() the H1 on pages/posts.
SEO Doctor for Firefox (plugin for Firefox): https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/seo-doctor/ Good for getting an overview and similar to PageSpeed will offer advice on improvements.
Pingdom tools - gives you a page speed time.
Varnish https://www.varnish-cache.org/ - Can also help speed up your site. However Mike mentioned with one of his clients using a shared server, it was actually quicker to it turn off! This was as varnish was capped and causing a bottleneck because of the price plan that he was on.
WordPress Contributor Day has been set up, go check it out and keep up to date when this is taking place in Manchester.
It's a brilliant feeling contributing to WordPress and having millions of people use and benefit from it.
Even if you don't code, if you can test and suggest improvements, come along we need you!
JSON Rest API
This was a project developed in Google's 'Summer of Code' and is going from strength to strength.
Using a WP site for a mobile application, make it query your WordPress site using JSON.
Using a WP site as a database repository, potentially means that it will help with mobile app development sites.
Questions and Answers
Make Sense of WP Query Functions
Query posts is not the thing to use in your template files as this will throw away the work WordPress has already done.
Pre get posts - will run before WordPress and is often a better option. https://codex.wordpress.org/Plugin_API/Action_Reference/pre_get_posts
'A Warning About Admin Usage' check if is admin do something / if not admin do something.
Still needs a bit of code to make it work, but brings a lot of options and customisation.
How to make the sidebar 'sticky', this can be done using jQuery waypoints.
You can do this using
This can be done using:
Weekend 'un-conference', not about a set of speakers, although there are speakers, it also has an element where people can just get up and talk about something.
Everyone contributing to the community, you don't need to be a master.
All about helping and giving back to the community.
Mike normally attends.
It's not often that in a trade / business, that people are so willing to help out and share what they've learnt rather than keeping quite and trying to make as much money from it as they can.
Hope that helps folks, look forward to seeing you at the next one.
The event mentioned that I organise for Front-End Developers is called Manchester FRED, you can find out more here: https://s10wen.com/blog/categories/mcrfred/
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