Getting Started With MemberPress

Getting Started with MemberPress - a membership plugin for WordPress

There are many ways to password-protect content in WordPress. Basic password-protection is built-in and there are other free plugins to expand upon that. But if you want to generate revenue from protected content, you’ll need a fully-featured membership plugin. There are many to choose from and I can’t say I’ve tried them all, but of the ones I have tried, I really like MemberPress. It has a lot of features and capabilities, but it’s also pretty easy to get up and running with. That said, learning a new system will always present some hurdles. Here are a few basic concepts I needed to get my head around to get going with MemberPress. Hopefully this will be helpful for you, too.

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How To Customize Genesis Child Themes: Design Palette Pro

Design Palette Pro - Customize Genesis

The Inner Beauty of Genesis

In the past, I’ve had mixed feelings about StudioPress’ Genesis framework. It was frequently recommended to beginners and non-developers, but the problem was that they would install it, and even with a nicely designed child theme, they would then complain, “but, where’s all the options?”

People immediately wanted to change things and when they didn’t see a massive options panel, they felt shortchanged. “I have to do CSS to customize this thing??”

But, herein lies the beauty of the Genesis framework. It’s not supposed to be Avada, Divi, X or any of the other “be everything to everyone” type of themes. When you purchase a Genesis child theme, you’re paying for the expertly-designed look and feel you see on the demo. They are not intended to be completely customizable by the user through an options panel. Of course, if you have the chops, you can certainly do anything you want with Genesis and its child themes, you just have to use their hooks system and know some CSS and PHP.

Some of you may be asking, “Well, where’s the beauty in that?”

Since working with WP Rocket (a premium caching plugin) I became painfully aware of just how badly some themes drag down a website’s load time.  While researching a blog post to showcase some of our customers’ fastest pages,  I found that most of the fastest sites I looked at ran on Genesis.

Because it doesn’t try to be everything to everyone, it’s really fast out of the box. And that’s the beauty.

“Yea, yea…..but…..customize! Fonts! Colors!” you may be grumbling at your screen.

Enter….Design Palette Pro

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Troubleshooting WordPress Issues

Troubleshooting WordPress Problems

When something goes wrong on your WordPress site, how do you react? Do you freak out, or have a mini panic attack? Don’t worry, that’s a fairly typical reaction from the normal WordPress user ;) With this post I’d like to change the way you look at and react to WordPress problems :)

With WordPress, as with many things in life, we learn a lot when things aren’t going smoothly; learning to deal with technical problems pushes us out of our comfort zone and forces us to develop new skills and a deeper understanding.

Much of what I’ve learned in WordPress over the years has happened through things going wrong and me having to figure out how to fix it. Every time you face a problem and learn how to deal with it, your confidence is boosted and your problem-solving toolkit, and resilience, expands. The next time an issue crops up you are better equipped to handle it and you feel less panic.

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The Complete Guide to Using The Yoast SEO WordPress Plugin

Complete Guide to Using Yoast SEO for WordPress

This guide is current as of  March 2017.

Get The PDF: Download the PDF version of this guide for easy reading!

While some general aspects of SEO will be touched on in this guide in the course of explaining the plugin, beginners may find that they need a more fundamental understanding of how SEO works in general, in order to get the best use out of this plugin. I have written an ebook that addresses that need:
The Beginners’ Guide to SEO for Business

Yoast SEO is on most lists of ‘must-have’ WordPress plugins. But the extensive set of options it provides can seem intimidating, especially to newer users.

Yoast has a fair amount of commentary and explanatory text throughout the plugin screens so I won’t duplicate anything he’s saying there, but I’ll try and clarify the less obvious parts.

If you’ve used an older version of Yoast on a site, there are several menu tabs you’re used to seeing, that are hidden by default on first activation of more recent versions.

To access all of the settings referred to in this guide, you will need to activate the Advanced settings.

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How To Add A Top Bar Mailchimp Opt-In

MailChimp Top Bar Opt-In for WordPress
A top bar email sign up is a nice way to boost your opt-ins without being overly obnoxious. Especially with the current trend toward one column blogs, without a sidebar, it’s a great solution for making an opt-in prominent without being an eyesore. Here’s an example of what I’m talking about:

Top Bar Email Opt In

I wanted to add a top bar email opt in to a site and was prepared to have to research and test a few plugins, maybe fiddle with some styles and generally sink a little bit of time into the whole endeavour.

However I was able to get the job done in less than 15 minutes thanks to a couple of wondrous plugins.

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How To Deal With Google Analytics Spam Data

How To Deal With Google Analytics Spam Data

There are 2 primary kinds of spam data you’ve probably seen show up in your Google Analytics reports. In some cases you may not have even realized it was spam:

1. Spam sites in your referral reports

It looks like this:

Google Analytics Spam Referral Data
These are just a few of the hundreds of spam URLs you might see show up – share-buttons.xyz (actually, lots of sites with the .xyz extension), free-social-buttons, free-floating-buttons.com, copyrightclaims.org are some other common ones, but there are soooo many! Those kinds of sites look pretty dodgy from the outset and might ring some alarm bells.

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