Join us October 4th for an in depth discussion about WordPress at 11:30am PDT. Get insights, expertise and answers to your questions with JM Pepper! Add a comment below to include your question!
iii. Is THE business
iii. Do not try to run a business site on servers not designed for businesses.
Okay, we have a date here, how about a time?
Backups are a critical part of the integrity of any site not only WordPress. Every hosting company has a particular set of programs, hardware, and services to provide reliable backup and recovery. GoDaddy is certainly no different.
Let’s take a look at situation one; managed WordPress hosting. As part of all of the Managed WordPress Hosting plans you will find a dialog box and option for selecting an automatic backup. This automatic backup should be considered as a level I, basic backup. It is not the backup of all backups by any means.
For the complete restoration and recovery process one needs to consider having off-site backups and multiple recovery avenues. Let’s take a look at the dashboard for a typical GoDaddy ManagedWP hosting dashboard.
Essentially what this means is that your backup is being stored on the same server where your installation resides. This is absolutely fine since it provides a first level quick restore that solves many, many problems. Perhaps GoDaddy could be a little more clear in what this service actually provides and what it means. It is indeed an essential part of the recovery process, however another level of backup and recovery is necessary to fully protect your site.
Part 2 of the BackUp question!
The easiest way is to use GoDaddy Pro services. I consider this a set of Freemium services to extend the managed WordPress platform. You do not have to be a Web developer Or designer to use this service. Consider yourself a pro because you are going to the next level of providing a service structure to maintain and develop your site.
Follow this link to open the GoDaddy Pro login page if you are are not already a pro. Once you create your account (no charge), you will basically be asked to add a website and select a group of services to go along with that website. If you happen to be a developer, you can assign a website to a client. The same would apply if you are a web entrepreneur with several websites in that you can use the Pro dashboard as a means to help standardize services for all of you own websites .
Let’s take a quick look at this dashboard.
On the left side note the Pro Services One of which is backups. Your uptime monitor, web traffic statistics, and SEO optimization panels Are also part of this dashboard. When you click into the view backups or the backups menu link you will have access to a variety of settings.
Two of the most important are the backup schedule and enabling and off-site backup for disaster recovery. Take a look at the dashboard below.
This Pro dashboard management for WordPress provides a nice set of options for any business to establish reliable backups. For for designers and developers making sure that you understand the entire GoDaddy backup process is essential for you delivering the highest quality services. Once again, it doesn’t make any difference where you Our hosting There will be a specific set of rules, steps, and processes Involved in a reliable and valid backup.
If one wants to go one step further you can add a second backup plug-in to provide off-site backups. In the event that I do this I use UpDraftPlus And its associated services. I have found this plug-in a collection of services to be very GoDaddy friendly. It is listed on the preferred plug-ins listing at GoDaddy. While there is a free version, you cannot reap the full benefit of this plug-in set and services using only the free version. On the flipside it is well worth every penny of what is asked for.
The overall process is very similar to managed WordPress except there are a few more manual steps involved in getting your backups done. From your cPanel Dashboard there is an entire section devoted to backups. Once again you can locally establish backups using this panel and specify files and databases to be included in the backup.
Just like managed WordPress this is a first level backup and needs the next tier to make it fully recoverable. As before, the GoDaddy Pro dashboard will integrate into a WordPress site that is running on cPanel. This is accomplished by adding the site using the Pro dashboard interface or you can manually add the Pro worker plug.
Reference Links and Resources:
GoDaddy Pro Dashboard: https://godaddy.com/pro
GoDaddy ManagedWP Hosting: https://www.godaddy.com/hosting/wordpress-hosting
Business c-Panel Hosting: https://www.godaddy.com/hosting/business-hosting
UpdraftPlus Backup: https://bitly.com/ama02upd
Excellent one here on 5 strategies to backup your site.
Using UpdraftPlus for your backup: https://www.godaddy.com/garage/how-to-backup-a-wordpress-site/
And the question is, "Who Should Be Doing Your Site?"
The paradoxical beast lifts its head here. On the surface there is much about WordPress that is very, very simple. For example, my 14-year-old grandson can easily install a plug-in. I watched him do it. However, once the plug-in is installed, configuring parameters may not be so simple.
May I give you an example? Suppose that I have a site that is using WooCommerce and I would like to extend the capabilities as much as possible with a single plug-in. Take a look at one like BoosterIO. The reason for choosing this one, besides liking and using it, is the pure number of controllable parameters in a pretty fast plugin. Unless one has a plan and information to “fill in the blanks” on how your ecommerce works, you’ve unleashed the beast!
In my opinion basic brick-and-mortar websites are typically the most straightforward and simple. When I say basic in this case I mean one that essentially serves as what one may consider a brochure type site. The contents for this site often center around the businesses information and branding characteristics. In many cases the goal of a website for a brick-and-mortar business is getting customers into the door. There are many coupon and discounting techniques available to draw customers in. Social media connections are pretty straightforward. Contact information Is generally easily insertable.
With that said I also believe that many basic brick-and-mortar businesses can do much of their own WordPress activities when given a proper installation, setup, and video training library. The free library at GoDaddy is good with regard to themes and plug-ins. However, even with this extensive library of resources, one still has many decisions and choices To make with regard to which plug-ins and themes to use. They don’t all work together.
Recently, I find myself guiding someone more in the process of content gathering more so than I do just building a website. Once the content is gathered sometimes it simply a matter of copy/paste and the 90% of the website is essentially done. For example, I use a service called content snare to help me collect information on any of a number projects including websites. Once a business owner or website custodian has completed all of the information within the content snare template is just as easy for them to cut paste and upload into a matching WordPress installation.
At this point I must give kudos to the GoDaddy go central product for delivering the capability to truly make getting a business on the web in a hurry. For me, this Is a great tool to use in conjunction with or in place of a WordPress installation. Because the basic site and business definitions are so good a WordPress installation may not necessarily be needed to construct a socially connected, list building, well branded brick-and-mortar brochure type site. With this functionality tended to, by using a second domain name for a WordPress installation one can focus upon a very direct function for WordPress to have with then the web presence for that business. I have done that with JMPepper.com and JMPepper.net.
Once e-commerce of any sort is introduced into a website the complexity and simplicity go out the window for most business owners. Here is an excellent example of an e-commerce checklistthat many developers or WordPress coaches may use to properly implement sales on a website. Its from e-commerce platforms and the link is :
Holy cow! Does this get a little intimidating in a hurry? Many of the items listed in this checklist are indeed just that and do not include the level of detail necessary to actually do the configuration. In the event that you are a business owner and will be implementing e-commerce I highly suggest that you take the time to educate yourself and/or your staff so that checklist such as the one mentioned above is no longer intimidating.
In the event you have not checked out GoDaddy Garage, here is a favorite link/search that use him when working with clients and others.
Here are some other good reference links:
In summary, if you are doing commerce and including your online presence unless you fully understand the process front to back I recommend that a professional service become involved. This can be anywhere from a website coach to actually having someone do it for you.
In the event that you are going to have someone do it for you, take time to learn what it takes to get a good professional working with you. Here are links to three of the very best professionals That I know of to help you in making these decisions.. I use these resources extensively.
When one is running a blog, selling online memberships, and providing downloadable information you could consider this as a model where the website is essentially the business itself. If this is your situation and you want to construct your WordPress-based site yourself be sure that you have qualified yourself for what you’re about to do.
What do I mean by this? Let’s take a membership site for example. There is much more to it than immediately meets the eye. Do a quick search on Amazon Books for membership sites and see how many books are available. Use Bing or Google and do the same. As you review the search results, take note of the variety of topics, volume of available articles, and level of complexity of these resources. For developers and designers, membership sites are even a type of niche development. Here’s a list of courses available from Udemy.com on how to build and manage membership sites. At JMPepper.Com, I have a good, basic video course on membership site basic.
The basic rule is simple for “Business Itself” type of WordPress build -- For qualified professionals only or a DIY’er willing to take time for a lot of detailed training.
I think that the WordPress app is fairly robust. I find it far more useful as a true posting and writing tool than as a means to do development and deployment. There are some very key concepts though that must be adhered to in order to make it a useful tool.
For example it is really easy to take a photo, uploaded into a gallery for image type post. However one of the most common mistakes that is made is the size of the image. Many, many people have their cameras set to the highest resolution which generates a large image file. When you try to upload this Huge image into WordPress. It seems to take forever and then the post doesn’t seem to load quickly. By far the easiest remedy is simply to decrease the resolution of your camera whenever you are taking web photos. However, having a plug-in like smush pro is essential to make your site maintain its speed.
It also takes a while to get used to the menu collapse and expansion. This is a relatively minor irritation but does take some time getting used to as far as learning your way around the app. One feature that I do like is the ability to quickly sign in and out of sites. It’s a breeze and makes posting to multiple sites a bit easier.
I think the key in using WordPress on the phone is defining the role that the phone is going to play in posting. For example, loading a CSV file into a shopping cart is not one of the things that I would be likely to do. I have done this and it works, But it is slow and cumbersome to say the least. Part of the problem is manipulating any of the spreadsheet data in the event editing is needed before or after the upload.
In contrast, actually writing a blog by using the phone as a voice typing device works very well. With the current interface, one can develop a fairly consistent and easy writing and publishing flow. Just like on the computer I find that one of the key elements in making the app work for me is having my content available and ready before I sit down and start to publish.
One of the use of the phone that I really like is for training and documentation. In many of my WordPress installations there is video documentation included. Streaming videos on the phone as we all know works quite well. So, viewing documentation and videos as one is learning WordPress is nicely enhanced by having a phone handy as a reference.
For me, the WordPress app Is good for actual publishing Activities but I do very little development work from the phone.
Glad you asked that question! To me, there are two components to this question. The first is what role is Gutenberg playing in the actual programming involved in WordPress. The second is the politics and the direction of the WordPress development from here on out.
With regard to the first issue, Gutenberg is seen by many as just a new type of page builder. What is known as the classic editor is about to be phased out and the Gutenberg block-based editor is being coded into the core of WordPress. This is a huge change with regard to programming. In many respects it is like changing the type of motor one is using in a car. For example, going from a generic carbureted engine to an electric motor is a bit of a switch. Parts have to be swapped out, wiring has to be rerouted, new power sources, new tools to work on the motor,.... Well, you see many the changes to be made! The same is holding true for the inclusion of Gutenberg into the core of WordPress.
Thus far Gutenberg has not received a warm welcome into the WordPress community.
Here is a quote from WordPress.org on why Gutenberg was introduced.
By revisiting the interface, we can modernize the writing, editing, and publishing experience, with usability and simplicity in mind, benefitting both new and casual users.
One of the key phrases to me is” benefiting both new and casual users.” What happened to experience, established users? In many respects that is where the rub is today. How well does Gutenberg play with other plug-ins in production environments is still up in the air. Because the Gutenberg editor is being included in the core of WordPress, plug-in and theme incompatibility may be an issue for a while. I’m sure that this will eventually it worked out.
The second issue that hand is the WordPress community itself. Because WordPress started out as open source software is under the general public license scheme, a community was founded to guide the direction of the platform. Matt at automatic has chosen to take the path of Gutenberg while many see this move as forcing this type of change into the community. Consequently politics seem to be involved.
An article was recently written about the future of WordPress and that it may have hit a fork In the road so to speak. Given the nature of this type of software licensing it is fair to expect this. So for the biggest movement that I have seen in the Gutenberg controversy is classic press.net. These developers and programmers are dedicated to keeping the classic editing process in place and the core free from the insertion of the Gutenberg editor. And just as much, they are committed to a community building effort just as the original WordPress was founded upon.
The immediate impact for me is the stability of the themes and plug-ins that I use with the Gutenberg editor installed. For the foreseeable future I am not one who will be adopting the Gutenberg editing platform. The primary reason is the significant investment in the page builders that I am currently using. This investment is not only in dollars but is also in training hours for me and my clients. The cost of retraining someone to use the Gutenberg editor is significant to say the least. So far, I cannot see a training bridge to move those that are currently using tools like BeaverBuilder or Oxygen to a Gutenberg platform. Without such a tool in place I think it will be a difficult transition for many small businesses.
No, however it does provide tools that can assist in getting a great ranking. As I have told many, the key to search engine ranking is the content that you provide. While there are formatting requirements and rules to help with search engine rankings, the only real differentiation is the content a business provides.
Having clear definitions of who your audience is and what they are looking for is the key to developing your SEO ranking. Here is an article on the Yoast site that talks about common mistakes made in optimizing WordPress site.
What Wordpress can do for you though is help you structure your content so that it is properly indexed by the search engines. A couple of key terms are “snippets” and “focused keyword”. Classic meta descriptions and titles are also part of the structure. Using a plug-in like Yoast or SmartCrawl Pro are outstanding tools to make sure that you have properly included the content necessary for proper optimization.
Once again education is the key to making WordPress work for you. For example, knowing how to develop a strategy utilizing H1 and H2 level headings to include focus keywords is a good SEO skill. WordPress makes Inserting the H1 and H2 level headings very easy. Your theme and plug-ins add advanced formatting and other options. Once again WordPress makes this simple. And yet again here is the paradox in that the best formatted and constructed H1 and H2 level headings are no guarantee of top-level SEO rankings.
Knowing how to get your content to shine in WordPress is the key skill. There is a ton of information in the GoDaddy Garage on search engine optimization, much of it includes discussions on WordPress implementations. Use this free research! May I say that again? Use this free research! These are not just technical articles by any stretch of the imagination. The garage is full of practical, step-by-step instructional articles, as well as overview articles. Read one of my favorites by Tim Dugan. Also, one of my go-to readings now to start him SEO conversations is this article at WPMUDEV. Its an excellent startup guide.
Here is a great paradox! One of the strongest attractions to WordPress is that it is supposed to be free. You see that everywhere. I often say that WordPress and WooCommerce are the two most expensive pieces of free software that I have ever seen. It is absolutely fair to say that it is free for a basic WordPress installation with a very limited feature set. If you are brand-new to blogging or in developing your online presence such a set up is likely to be marginally useful. If the functionality you are seeking is already included in the free version you’re a very lucky individual or business.
Let’s start by making sure that WordPress is what is needed for your site. Selecting WordPress when it is not needed for a site can be very costly. Many of today’s modern page builders including those found at JMPepper’s VideoWebSystems.com and the GoCentrall page builder by GoDaddy provide outstanding functionality for many basic business services.
Regardless of platform, the cost of gathering content and information should essentially be the same. It does not cost any more to develop graphics for WordPress than it does a generic page builder. It does not cost any more to write content for WordPress than it does a generic page builder. It does not cost any more to produce a CSV file to import into any e-commerce cart versus importing into WordPress. With these common costs considered one now can begin to structure the budget.
When I look at the cost of WordPress, I break it down into three basic components. The first component is the design and construction phase. The second phase is the implementation. Maintenance and training comprise the third phase.
In most cases the initial design and construction phase is the most expensive. This is where the functionality of the site is defined, wireframes for your site are drawn, discussions are held for content placement and aesthetics, themes and plug-ins selected, and quite a bit more. If you are going through this full process you can expect to spend at least several hundred dollars from most services. If e-commerce, membership, or automation are involved it is fair to expect a four-figure price tag to be associated. Please keep in mind that cheap is not always the best. At the end of this phase of a project the information gathered and presented should be applicable to the implementation phase regardless of who is going to do the actual implementation.
During this initial design and construction phase one will need to take into consideration the use of outside and third-party services. A quick example is the use of MailChimp. I did a quick calculation on what it would take to include a 9000 subscriber mailing list into a new WordPress installation. The licensing for any number of plug-ins and MailChimp integrated form generators should be less than $150. If you are going to be using auto responders along with your email campaigns expect to spend several hundred dollars for automation configuration and email-template development/design purposes.
Now let’s jump over to MailChimp. For a pro subscription and the list of this size I would need to put around $1000 toward my yearly budget. So, in the first year you could easily expect to pay $1500-$2000 to get this functionality into a website.
As a second example, let’s say that you are just starting out. You can use a service like GoDaddy email marketing with their free plug-in and have a nice functional email marketing system with basic automation for about $500 a year. It is even less if you have fewer than 5000 subscribers.
Be careful in adding those 3rd party services and expenses!
Okay, once the design stage is complete, one begins implementation. This is where the actual plug-ins are installed, theme parameters inserted, and all of the content is placed into the WordPress installation. At this stage you may be have the option of doing some of this for yourself or having it all done for you.
For example I use a service called ContentSnare to gather information that will be going into a website. Once all that information is nice, neat, organized, and complete much of it can be very simply inserted into the website by way of copy and paste. While this activity is being completed by the website owner, my team can then be busy inserting configuration parameters for automation and other more complex functionality.
If you are in a situation where commercial plug-ins are not being used and custom programming is involved, expect this to be a bit more expensive than an installation that one that is reliant upon licensing plug-ins. Ask whether custom programming will be required early on in the budget process.
Now that the content is in place and the plug-ins are configured, WordPress will need to be backed up, plug-ins maintained, performance monitored, analytics reviewed, security updated, and new content generated. Many services charge around $49 to $99 per month to perform these basic tasks. In my opinion, this is a very fair price. In the event that you are using a GoDaddy Pro panel however most of these costs can be completely eliminated if you are running on GoDaddy servers. The one exception from the list above is adding new content. Keep in mind, once the installation is complete and tested WordPress can be simple to maintain and use.
The last thing that I will mention in a WordPress budget is allocations for education. Whether you are a do-it-yourselfer or having it done for you or a young freelancer, allowing time and money for learning how to use WordPress as a tool for your business is absolutely essential. There is a plethora of free information available about WordPress and how to use. This includes industry niches as well as broad generic overviews.
In most cases hosting is now a relatively minor expense in the world of websites. Most businesses can get a wealth of hosting services for under $50 a month. The service and people surrounding the hosting is where the value is found. My philosophy is pretty simple. If you want business level service expect to pay business level prices. Many of the very cheapest WordPress plans have pretty decent resources. However, they do have resource limitations when it comes to memory, CPU processing power, storage space and type, and programming restrictions.
One of the most common mistakes that I see is trying to stuff a complete e-commerce site onto a $10 a month server. Often times the result of this is a dissatisfaction saying the server doesn’t work. It wasn’t designed to do what you are asking of it. Actually, of all of the server problems that I see, resource allocation and limitation is the number one cause of problems. When a server is out of resources bad things are going to happen!
Here are some of my basic rules of thumb for minimum specifications. .
Brochure Site with Advanced Email/Social Media Integration - Ultimate Managed WordPress or Business Level cPanel.
Brochure Site with Minimal Email/Social Media - Most any hosting!
While many companies advertise how many websites and site visitors will be supported, one of my key metrics for determining which server is appropriate his level of complexity and automation. More automation equals more server resource requirements. One tool that I used to help the evaluation of site performance is https://gtmetrix.com/. By taking a look at the stats provided here I can get a very good insight into how the server is performing. This is especially true right from the beginning of the installation so that a baseline is established onto the resources that are being required with no traffic.
I have been getting this question more and more frequently. More and more I am impressed with the go central product and am using it as an alternative to WordPress. However, it is a much more restrictive and controlled environment than WordPress. For example, when it comes to e-commerce WordPress and WooCommerce as well as several others when it win hands down as far as scalability and features. However the GoDaddy online cart does have its place for very simple e-commerce. In total, I see WordPress as being much more flexible in being able to move information in an out of the platform. A saving grace for go central is the ability of Zapier and IFTTT (If This Then That) services to help with some of the automation.
What I do like about the gocentral platform is that the interface is very very similar to many of the WordPress Page builders today. The interface into social media is nicely integrated. Once again some restrictions, however a good initial connection. Because hosting is basically not an issue with the go central platform that headache is removed. As far as I know off-site backup is not allowed, so the caveat here is to make sure that all of your site content also stored on your hard drive or other device.
For me in particular, the inability to customize a dashboard and include an educational panel and support within the platform itself is a bit of drawback. As a standard practice with my WordPress installations, there is a complete training component included in the dashboard. There are quite a few developers and resellers though that are putting together some very good documentation on how to use GoDaddy’s website builders. I’m still in the process of collecting my library and making it available.
Well, I heard it and checked it out too! This is the heading and taglines at their current site
(Without Gutenberg). ClassicPress is a hard fork of WordPress that serves the CMS-based business website market. We empower the people who create and support these websites, including plugin and theme developers.
This is WordPress without Gutenburg. - Exactly what it says! As mentioned earlier in the AMA Gutenberg is quite an issue. One of the questions that I raised was what about the established professional user and invested website owner using the WordPress platform. This is a group that is directly addressing this question.
It is not ready for full launch yet, but the developers are very hard at work and it is progressing quite well.
Earlier today I read an article by Gary Pendergrast. He is a programmer that has been around for quite a while and is part of the WordPress core programming team.
His perspective on what is happening with Gutenberg and WordPress editors is priceless. I have been doing a lot of reading on Gutenberg, and installed it once. Because I have not made a full on 100% commitment to learn the ways of Gutenberg I may not be one to comment on whether or not this is a good move by WordPress.
However, as a small business owner I need to have a very stable platform from which to run my business. It doesn't take a rocket scientist, statistician (of which I have some experience), or a search engine specialist to realize that there is a bit of controversy in the WordPress world.
ClassicPress.net is a movement being put in place to preserve much of the community aspect of WordPress.org. The biggest differences are the community input into what is being developed from what is now the WordPress core, and the continuity of a community driven platform.
So, it’s going to be an interesting WordPress And ClassicPress future!
Not really. WordPress can provide an interface to trigger an SMS flow from a third party service. For example whenever and order is placed on the Internet, you can use a service like SendinBlue to send a thank you text. This type of interaction is becoming more and more common.
I recently read an article about all of the things that you can do with text messaging to increase customer sales and even walk-ins to a brick-and-mortar store. (Click here for the article). Good points throughout the article.
As I read, I had to ask are all of these things really any different than what I can do with email? Functionally, I find most of the messaging content to be very similar if not the same.
Our business has both an email campaign service and a text messaging service associated with the loyalty points program. We have found that text messaging works best for activities with our loyalty points customers. We do not have to do as much discounting and can concentrate on invitations to see new products, getting them in by way of store activities, In providing personalized recommendations.
One thing that we have found is that text messaging can end up being quite expensive. This comes in both the expense and time to get the campaign in the automation set up as well as the increased cost of delivery over most email services. We really like using text messaging, however, I don’t think it’s going to replace email anytime soon!
This is a question to which I wish I had all of the answers! In many cases the conversation starts with asking the question,”Are you an Amazon affiliate or are you selling your own products on Amazon?”
If you are an Amazon affiliate and want to promote your products through an e-commerce interface using WordPress there are any number of plug-ins and services available to do exactly that. One that I have used is AAWP (https://getaawp.com/). Amazon has its own plugin as well (https://affiliate-program.amazon.com/resource-center/how-to-use-the-amazon-link-builder-plug-in?ac-m...). Setting up as an Amazon affiliate in many respects is one of the more simple set ups.
In the event that you are actually going to be selling your items on Amazon, well that gets quite complicated. Right off the bat one of the decisions that you will need to be making is whether your WordPress site is going to be just directing traffic to your Amazon store or if you are going to be conducting the e-commerce using Amazon fulfillment. Each of these installations are a bit different. My go to solution is SparkShipping.com. It has a complete interface for Amazon shipping services that can be interfaced to WooCommerce, Shopify, and other shopping carts. With this interface you get to concentrate on the marketing side of WordPress while the fulfillment is being handled in the backend by SparkShipping. There are other services similar to SparkShipping, however Charles and his crew do an outstanding job so I haven’t looked at any others too closely!