5 Things Beginners Should Optimize On Their Website Right Now

5 Things Beginners Should Optimize On Their Website Right Now

Optimization, as they say–and I say often, is part art and part science. What it really means is that Google, Bing and any valid others just want to deliver the best search results for their search customers. If your site doesn’t tip the scale into the “this looks like the right stuff” category then they simply won’t share it with their customers. Surely that’s not hard to understand. It’s like a grocer who only wants to buy the best product to put on the shelves. So you want to create the better content and present it in a way that is simple for the users to find what they are looking for.

Everyone can benefit from an Optimization Audit–including me; that’s why I purchase one from time to time from someone other than myself. In fact I’m due for one now. That said there are 5 things that virtually every website I look at for the first time needs to have done. Chances are yours needs it right now. Just in case I’m going to throw in a couple of bonuses just to make sure you’re in top notch shape to get started. What, you thought there were only 5 things you’d ever need to do? It changes all the time….

The items listed below are perennial. They have been valid for years and will continue to be valid into the future. These are not opinion based criticisms. They are backed with years of data and information disseminated directly from the search giants themselves. If you operate a website and have ignored these few points that probably explains why you get very few, if any, transactions from your web presence. Many of these can also be translated to sites like Etsy or EBay that let you have some control over your own pages.


Mine currently reads: “Social Engagement Engineer | I help you connect with your best prospects.” I have been to plenty of sites that simply read “Home”. Or worse yet, “Just another WordPress blog.” Set your title and byline. If you don’t know how to do it you can trust Google to show you. If you’re hand coding, which these days is unlikely, it will be in the HTML code thus: <title>Social Engagement Engineer | I help you connect with your best prospects.</title>

Make your title say what you do. I actually changed mine a few months ago to dial back because I had too much business. It simply read “Free Web Articles | Choose from pre-selected articles for free.” In your case just think about what you are: “In-town Bakery Tarpon Springs | We make tasty things fresh and healthy.” The good news is Google will use your title instead of making one up. That means when your listing shows up in search your words pop.

optimize-website-hand-workSMALLER IS BETTER

And I’m not talking about dimensions in pixels. I’m talking about the number of bytes each image in your website contains. A few months ago I was hired to help out a restaurant chain. Like many restaurants they wanted little images dancing all over the screen and fading in and looping around. Pretty — but useless when it crashes the browser on the beefiest of computers. They had a slide show with 7 images. Each image was in excess of 100mb and they were set to pre-load.

The first thing I would do would be to go to http://tools.pingdom.com/fpt/ and run the page load test on each page in your site–especially the home page. If it takes longer than 5 seconds to load because of images I would begin by optimizing the larger graphics on the page. The Pingdom tool will tell you exactly which ones are the most offensive. I use Photoshop for most image optimization needs but you can also try the online tool at http://tools.dynamicdrive.com/imageoptimizer/

On another note make sure you have images. Reading a few lines of text is okay but when you get into publishing paragraphs a little eye candy goes a long way. Relevant, valuable images can really improve the usability score for your website.


Bad links can be broken links or links to sites that are excluded from Google. bad-links-dead-end-brick-wallLinking to spammer sites or sites that are blacklisted for some other reason can get your site delisted or penalized as well. While there are many ways to accomplish this you can use the tool at http://www.drlinkcheck.com/ to check individual links to see if they are blacklisted. This isn’t the only thing you need to do but it’s a great start. Checking for broken links and making sure the links are still pointing to valid pages is also important.

Along the same lines I often find sites that have no outbound links to authoritative and trusted sites. Google loves to know you’re a part of the greater community and not just an island of self-validated omnipotence. Use Google to find the right sources and link to those. You’ll truly be glad you did! I even link to competitors.


If Google doesn’t recognize the word doenits in the title on your Donut Website, just kidding–everyone can spell doughnuts, then you may not get the visitors you want. Most web editors have spell check built in but what if you just used the wrong word? I’ve done that and fortunately I have really good friends who call my attention to it. I also pay people to proof my content (sometimes, especially when I’m being paid to write it) and that really pays off.

Making sure you have keywords spelled correctly is even more important than just any-old-word on the page. Misspelled keywords can result in wasted time, revenue, and lost income. Make sure to check the keywords on every page and especially in the title and headings. Google pays very close attention to those. It reminds me of some years ago when one of my salesmen sold a job to Arctic Cat. On the work order is was spelled Artic Cat and the customer had signed off on it. Since it was printed work I took the 5 minutes to verify. Good thing I did.


You may not think many people are going to access your site on a mobile device but you’d be wrong. If you get any traffic at all some of it will be on a mobile device. While it’s not all you need, because most people don’t use an iPhone, the simulator at http://iphone5simulator.com/ does give you a great idea of what people may be seeing when they visit your site with their mobile device (phone).

If your site looks wonky (aka bad) in the simulator there are two things I have to say: It may not actually look that bad because the simulator may be munging it. Secondly you’re not alone because the vast majority of websites are yet to be optimized for mobile. The problem with that is Google now prefers sites that are mobile optimized over sites that are not. It’s not always a simple matter to optimize a site for mobile but it is possible. If your site is built on a framework like WordPress or Joomla it’s all in the theme. It may be as simple as selecting a responsive theme. If not let me know what the issue is and I’ll see what I can do to help.


I’m not going to beat this drum too loudly just know that it’s an issue. Firstly, if you have any sounds that play automatically when the page loads or when the visitor mouses over a link- get rid of them. Auto-playing noises are generally unwelcome. If you want to start a video do so with the volume off. And by all means don’t have a little “you” walk out at the bottom of the screen and start talking. The end result is people leave and it hurts your bounce rate. Google does not like sites with high bounce rates when there are other sites with a better rate.

Secondly ditch any Flash videos you have in your landing page. Primarily because many people cannot see them. Many phones just wont play them and many computers, like all of mine except one, have Flash disabled in the browser due to security concerns. Flash was a graphic designer’s idea of forcing the web to do things the browser didn’t intend for it today. The protocol has never been fully accepted or trusted by many security professionals and browser developers. Sounds like you’ll be busy.

How To Change Your Website’s Default Landing Page With HTACCESS


Have you ever wondered why when you type http://www.SOMESITE.com without typing http://www.SOMESITE.com/index.html the server knows that’s the page you wanted? It’s called the default page, the directory index page to be more precise, and it’s handled at the server level. I have no idea how it’s done on a Winder’s server but on Apache on Linux (the vast majority of websites) it’s handled in the .htaccess file.

The htaccess file controls a the flow of traffic inside of the webserver. You can learn more about it from Apache by reading their primer. All we’re concerned with for now is changing the default landing page. In this case we’re changing the default landing page of a subdirectory to be different than the default landing page of the web root directory. More specifically http://thekencook.com/web-development/ which is found in public_http/thekencook/web-development – did you follow that? Good!

There is an htaccess file in public_http and another in thekencook and yet another in web-development, which we want to change. You’ll see in the video how we did it and if you want to skip all the introduction and get right to the “how to change the default landing page with htaccess” then jump to 3:50 in the video. If you just want me to do it for you then HIRE ME 😉

Install Contact Form with New reCAPTCHA Spam Blocker


You’ve seen it, the reCAPTCHA tool installed on web forms. But how do they get that? How do you control spam? Chances are you need an email contact form on your site – especially one that sends an automated reply to your visitors. But you don’t need expensive email campaign systems like Mail Chimp or Constant Contact. You simply can’t afford another $10 a month much less $30 or more just to capture a few emails.

Relax, there’s a solution

It’s really not that difficult to do yourself if you have a small amount of coding experience. If you don’t you’ll probably be happy to know I can install it and give you my own email response system all for an average of $65. Not $65 per month, $65 ever. Plus I’ll make it match your site design; usually within 24 hours except on weekends. That said here’s the way to do it…

First register your site and get your public and private keys from Google at Google reCAPTCHA. Once you have those you’ll just need to put a bit of information into your web page(s) and your form. You’ll generally need 2 web pages: one for the form and one for the processing. It is possible to have both of these on a single page but most do not.

If you do not have a form you’ll need to create one. I hand code them because they are so quick and simple but you can make one online at JotForms.

For a basic form you can just copy this one:

<form name=”contact” method=”post” action=”RESULTSPAGEHERE”>
<p><input type=”text” name=”fName” /> : <label for=”fName”>Full Name</label></p>
<p><input type=”text” name=”uMail” /> : <label for=”uMail”>Your Email</label></p>
<p><label for=”uComments”>Comments :<br />
<textarea name=”uComments” rows=”8″ cols=”80″></textarea></p>
<p><input type=”submit” value=”Send Comments”></p>

You’ll need to change action=”RESULTSPAGEHERE” to point to the page that processes your form.

DONE FOR YOU: Email AutoResponder with reCAPTCHA

I’ll send you a PHP script for $7 that accepts the form data, validates the content (verifies the email address is properly formatted), strips out dangerous code, sends an automated response to the person who filled out the form, prints a “Thank You” page, and emails you the form data. It can do more – but you’ll get all that for $7. It’s written in PHP so should work on just about every web hosting service out there. If you’re not sure then download the test file and run it first.


Once you download your script you can follow the simple instructions in the files to make it work with your site. Again if you’re in a hurry, don’t want to mess with it, whatever your reason – I’ll do it all for you for $65

Here is one I just installed for a client who already had a website and they just needed a form, a spam blocker, and the data content from the contact forward sent to them. (This is a live site so please don’t demo it. If you want to demo use the one at iCobb here.) I just inserted the form into their existing page, created a confirmation page that matches this page and installed the new reCAPTCHA.



What Is So Great About WordPress?


Every small business, every business even, every marketer, every church, every politician, needs a web presence. Years ago when I first began providing web presences for such people it took much more to convince them of the need. Today it seems almost every one of these people recognize the need even if they do not exactly know why. For the sake of this short article let’s assume everyone knows having a website gives direct access to your words, images and sound to nearly every person in your marketplace regardless of scope or size.

When the web first started gaining traction back in 1995 I could charge, and get, as much as $500-$1000 for a single web page, more for small business websites, that actually did something like accept information into a form or provide automated data responses to visitors. Plain static web pages would yield $150-$300 or more depending on graphics and how much content I created for the site owner. This trend continued for a few years and started to change when Microsoft and Macromedia (among others) came out with WYSIWYG, DIY solutions. Unfortunately this led to a proliferation of cookie cutter, amateurish websites which displayed awkwardly on various browsers, contained many errors in style and code, and all too often stayed out of date within days of being published.

By the opening of the new millennium various Content Management Systems were making their way onto the Internet to help solve some of these issues. These framework systems were created by groups of developers working on the code in teams and churning out stable, modifiable solutions almost always available for free. Many of these continue today and our subject, WordPress, was born in the same era and continues to grow and refine today.

But Why Choose WordPress?

Today’s selection of CMS solutions is wide. There are at least four major competitors, although another twenty or so would like to be considered a front-runner, vying for your attention today. Each of them offers a unique blend of solutions and all do so quite well. Only one is highly dominant, for reasons we will discuss, and that is WordPress.

While it is still possible to make a royal mess of a website and to present a cookie-cutter look and feel it is also possible to have a powerful solution, likely valued in the hundreds of thousands of dollars to have developed from scratch, for much less than I developed five page sites in the mid-nineties. Using the most widely supported CMS helps insure it is stable, secure and continually updated to keep up with changes and challenges every website owner eventually faces.

WordPress Uses Themes

Imagine clicking a button and your entire website look and feel changing instantly. You don’t actually have to imagine because this is exactly what happens with WordPress. There are thousands of free themes available, an equally exhaustive catalog of fee-paid themes, and even having a custom theme developed (most “WordPress experts” who claim to do this only change a few colors and images and do not actually create a custom theme) for a few hundred dollars. Once the theme is installed you can activate it, switch to another, or revert to the “out-of-the-box” default theme quite literally by clicking a button.

WordPress Uses Plugins

One of the most useful things about today’s smart phones and mobile devices is the ability to install min-applications. Plugins are very similar to apps. While I still contract to create custom web apps for non-WP sites today, often for thousands of dollars, there are thousands and thousands of plugins available for WordPress for free or very low fee. The range of what they do seems to be endless and when one cannot be found a custom one can be coded for just a few hundred to several thousand dollars depending on need.

WordPress Updates Regularly

For the same cost as purchasing WP, zero dollars, every time an update (major or minor) is released the site owner or manager can upgrade their installation with the click of a button. The same goes for themes and plugins when updates are available for release. Updates often are to enhance security, keep up with changes in HTML, CSS or other protocols, or simply to release a more advanced version.

WordPress Is Widely Supported

According to live reports on WordPress.com there are some sixty million websites using WP today. The development team has a core of full-timers and an army of contributors. Making sure the core of WP is secure, fast, functional, and forward moving at all times is what they do. Any time a report or suggestion is filed by a user it is taken seriously and considered toward future developments and releases.

WordPress Is Responsive

The word responsive, in this case, means it displays well on every browser including mobile. With the release of Theme 2014 the out-of-the-box version of WP is ready for mobile just like it is for laptops, PC’s, and even large screens. What once required a separate plugin and theme set can now be achieved within seconds of installing and activating WP.

 WordPress Is Easily Installed On Most Hosting Accounts

Whether your webhost uses CPanel or other management console it is almost certain they offer 1-click installation of multiple WordPress sites. This makes it possible, and simple, for virtually anyone to install and use WordPress online within a matter of minutes. Because each WP site can be installed in the same domain name creating dozens of sites like site1.myurl.com through site99.myurl.com is possible. This makes team management simple and even though it is beyond the scope of this article it is possible to tie all of those installations back together.

WordPress Is Simple To Use

If you can send an email with a photo attached you can post to WordPress. The management console is intuitive and even looks much like an email or word processing interface. Adding photos, changing text styles, including bullet points, inserting videos, and other common tasks are completed using the easy to navigate interface. With certain plugins it is also possible to extend the features and benefits of any WP installation.

A Word Of Caution

Just because you can sit in a race car doesn’t mean you can win a race. Just because you can sit at a piano doesn’t mean you can perform Beethoven. There is an art and a science to excellent presentation online. While it is possible to create a functional website using WordPress, and to be very proud of your results, if you are depending on your website for lead generation, customer interaction, or other crucial business tasks I encourage you to contact me for a free consultation. Sometimes that is all it takes.

29% of US Shoppers Use Mobile For Research/Inspiration

Every small business must have a mobile friendly website. Forget expensive mobile applications that people don’t want to download; we’re talking about a responsive design website people can use on their mobile device.  With today’s powerful content delivery systems small business owners, and individuals, can be online and ready for mobile in just a matter of hours. Here is why they should:

graph of mobile shopping stats showing US 29% of shoppers research online before buying
Nearly 30% of US shopping involves online research or inspiration.

Obviously no intelligent business owner would choose to neglect such a large buying population. In real numbers that percentage represents millions of people. As Google continues to improve their search results you can be sure they will, at least consider, omitting sites which are not mobile ready from the results of searches performed on a mobile device.

Read more

Who’s Name Goes On The Article?

I suppose this is a common question for ghost writers, content creators and contract employees who create content for their clients. I get it all the time from my web content and blog content clients. The answer, for my services, is simple: If you buy ready made or generic content my name goes on it. If you retain my services (that means pay me to work for you) then your name goes on the content.

Image by EloquaCC 2.0

When You Buy Articles Who Is The Author?

You may or may not be aware than many “authors” actually give their writers the idea they want portrayed whether it’s for books, movies or blog articles and that’s the end of their involvement. In other words many “authors” do not actually write their own content. I know, right? Because I cannot speak on behalf of the many content writers out there who choose to write content on which others place their names I will use my services as an example to give you an understanding of how it works. With that said know when I am writing about services or fees I am writing about my services and my fees which may, or may not, be the general rule.

If a client comes to me with a very specific idea of what they want written and my services will mostly be research and assembly of data followed by a corrective re-write or less I generally charge $100 or more for a blog style article giving all rights to the client. On the other hand if someone simply wants 200 words give or take a dozen on the keyword topic of their choice and my name will stay on the blurb it’s literally only five bucks. Now bear in mind this is partially for my publicity so I do not release the full license for use of the content – this is a one off content license for the single purpose and it does not allow for the removal of the author’s information.

What happens when a client needs several pages of web content or blog content created? That’s where content packages come in. Perhaps my most popular package is one month of blog or web content written around a single keyphrase with 8 articles of approximately 500-700 words delivered throughout the month along with tracking through keyword tools (Google) on the performance of those phrases.

Points To Consider When You Want to Buy Content

As terrible as this may sound to my wonderful sister and multi-degreed Dr. Northcutt, the lifelong educator, grammar and sentence structure truly are not the primary consideration where SEO is concerned. Is it important? Oh, you bet – it’s just not the most important. My intent by beginning this section with this slap from a wet trout is to say hiring a writer fresh out of journalism school is not guaranteed to return the advancements you need. In fact this world is all about appeasing the reader with relevant information and that being picked up by Google’s ever changing algorithms as they seek (so they claim) to provide only the best, most relevant information to their search customers.

People with SEO skills who have been in business for a few years and who have faced the challenge of creating their own leads often make the best writers. They generally understand the importance of delivering a concise and accurate message while focusing on the points most likely to win the attention of Google. When interviewing your prospective writer ask what they have been doing for the last 10 years.

You can get tons of content from 3rd world countries for pennies. Do I really need to sell our international brothers and sisters down the river? If what you are doing really matters look close to home. This keeps in line with our “perfect grammar does not perfect content create” but adds the unknown factor of “what the heck does this mean” to the outcome. Your site visitors really care when they get content relevant to their search. Your visitors are not always the search engine genius you are so Google does an ever improving job of presenting truly relevant search results to their search customers. In the future they will likely have some mind reading app but it’s not out yet.

How To Buy Web or Blog Content

It should go without saying you need to read what your contractor has written. Furthermore they should be well rounded, experience individuals. Be careful on hiring content companies (content farms) for your personal business if you are an independent professional. Getting your personality across on paper or web page can be a daunting task best not left up to automation, inexperience and shortness of understanding. Be thorough in your appreciation for their talent, skills, experience, and knowledge because you cannot learn most lessons in a classroom or just by Googling the answer!

I will be happy to speak with you about your content needs, provide references and give you an opportunity to experience my abilities without the need for a long-term, heavy obligation through a massive and expensive contract. Just contact me about SEO and custom website content or blog articles for sale.

How to create a Google Site – Part 2 (with video)

Part 1 of How to create a Google Site is here.

This is still so very simple to do literally anyone can do it. This is how to add a theme (change the look) of your Google site.

Using Google Sites for you business is not recommended but certainly as an extension of your Internet reach or to get you started they are an option freely available to you. Be sure to work along on your Google Site and I am relatively certain you will soon out-run the tutorials and take off on your own. If you have ever created a site anywhere you will find you don’t even need the tutorials.

Google provides several themes for your site and there are developers who create themes for Google sites as well. I am available to do so or you may already know someone who can. If I have time to take the tutorials that far you will learn how to do them yourself.

Web designer or developer? Why you should care

Back in the ancient days of web development, around 1995 or so, the common name most “gurus” chose for themselves was “Webmaster”. Of course that is, and was, a real term which was not clearly understood in the main stream. The definition, clearly being written, for a Webmaster was essentially: the person charged with overseeing the operation of a website. This included everything from development and design to content and data control. Within the name Webmaster, however, fall two distinct services which are rarely separated in main stream conversation yet when one is engaging the services needed it is relative and of high importance to know and comprehend the differentiations of these two terms developer and designer.

iCobb has provided development since the mid 90's

Why is it important to know the difference between a designer and a developer?


Almost certainly there will be a few who read this post and make the argument it really does not matter. For the person or company writing the checks that statement could be dangerous and costly. Understanding the difference and knowing which tasks are performed by each can help even a small site owner save time and money as well as other types of capital simply by knowing what goals each position is charged with attaining.

A designer

Designers, for the purpose of websites, are charged with the look, interface, navigation, and presentation of the site. They are the one who determines the colors, graphics, menu positioning, text styles and other meta-physical attributes of the site. The designer is the one who is, or should be, charged with what you see, what you click and how you describe a site. Generally speaking a new web client will want to show the provider another site to help set a visual direction for the creation of the new site. Understanding how to direct the creation of the website for visual purposes is the responsibility of the designer.

Generally speaking there is no need for the designer to have more than a working knowledge of the programmatic structure of the languages which cause the server and browser to work together to present the user with the desires results. While they certainly need to know what AJAX, JSON, HTML5, JavaScript, and CSS can do they really do not need to know exactly how to code a data call from a Perl script which passes to a JSON code inside of a PHP script.

A developer

Once the designer has an accepted presentation of how the site should look the developer needs to know what it will do. Will the site have user interaction parsed to an online database for an online catalog? How about a dynamic, real time chat feature? For this reason the developer must be intimately familiar with and experienced in understanding which language and which functions to use to empower the site to interact with the users as well as the server to achieve the site owner’s goals.

Perhaps the designer has decided to use a menu bar just below the header on every page which has drop down categories and fly out subcategories. To make it even more challenging the client wants the categories to change dynamically based on the current page being served. It is the developer’s responsibility to develop the site to work within the designer’s specifications to provide the client a working site according to their expectations. Likewise if the client wishes for a custom email based newsletter system it is up to the developer to find a suitable solution.

Today it is quite simple to find many “out of the box” scripted solutions to achieve the goals of the client so what once would cost thousands of dollars may cast only a few dozen. With the growing pervasiveness of content management solutions like WordPress, Joomla or Drupal pretty much everything the small site owner needs is readily available and robust websites can be online in hours, instead of weeks, for hundreds of dollar, instead of thousands.

For larger, custom coded web solutions, shopping for your design and development separately can save a lot of frustration. Even if one provider is covering all the bases, and some certainly can, at least remember there are two major roles to getting the website from your head to the visitor’s monitor. And do not forget mobile!

Are you optimized for the mobile web?

You have heard it, you’ve read about it, people who appear to know stuff have told you: the digital revolution is unwired and if you don’t feed it what it needs to exist it will move on without you. When is this going to happen? It’s already, almost, so last year.

We cannot imagine the resistance Alexander Bell experienced. I remember hearing old people talking about it back int he 60’s saying they thought the phone would be a huge invasion and some called it “the devil’s box”. Why do we always credit “the devil” with innovation? But I digress. Let’s look at communications changes over the last few thousand years:Infographic of the history of communications

When I was in communcations classes some 30 years ago we were told 90% of the advancements in communications had been made since 1900. The number today must be closer to 99% of the advancements since 1969.

Many humans are slow to embrace change. Those who are generally miss the opportunity to leverage the excitement of new chances. Now we all know not everyone can do everything. You can’t be a specialist at real estate and a social media guru and a web programmer and a mobile technology expert … the list goes on. You can, however, use the technology as it is made available to you as an “early adopter”.

The important reason to be an early adopter is because if you are a late adopter by the time you start using the old technology another technology has come into play and the old technology is dead. Why is this important? Be where your buyers are coming instead of where they have already been.

We know, now, after me being laughed and scoffed at by Mrs. Garner some 15 years ago, over 80% of all home searches are started on the internet. I bet if she were still in the business she’d have a website just like every other agent. But I wonder if she would scoff at me when I called to tell her she needs to optimze her website for mobile?

What does this mean, “optimize for mobile”?

Simply put a website created for display on a larger screen laptop or desk top computer is not going to present well on a smaller screen mobile device. The browsers, for the most part, are completely different, smaller in byte size and present the web pages in a different manner than when used on a computer. Even though mobile is new it is re-inventing a few wheels to make use of existing data in the new technology.

The subject is vast and a complete dissemination of the topic is far beyond the scope of a simple blogpost like this one. Do some research. Check your stats (you do track them, right?) and see how much of your web traffic comes from mobile. On one of my sites I’m at 13%. Thirteen percent. Would you close your doors to 13 out of 100 people who tried to come and buy from you?

Then there’s video. Don’t scoff – mobile and video go together like movies and popcorn …

See you at REtechSouth. Speaking of video, come dressed for your debut. I’ll be doing free green screen sessions at the event! My session is on how to actually cut through the smoke and generate some leads online. Not theory, my actual tools that I use and have used to generate millions in gross income.

Image credits:

(Phoenician alphabet) (Parchment) (Chinese horesmen) (Gutenberg press) (Marconi radio)


You are free to use the infographic in any way you wish so long as you either link the image back to http://icobb.com or place a credit in the article thus: <a href=”http://icobb.com” title=”Social Optimization” target=”_blank”><img src=”whereveryoustoredtheimage” alt=”Infographic by @thekencook”></a>


Finally! WordPress 3.1 is here

We’ve been playing with it. As developers we’ve checked our themes, plugins and widgets. We’ve talked about it in the WP develoepr community. We’ve seen things we really liked and saluted. We’ve seen things we didn’t like and submitted them for changes … and finally, after months of hard effort – WordPress 3.1 is live!

wordpress 3.1 releasedWhat does this mean for you?

If you host on the free WordPress.com site it means you’ll see a few new features like I wrote about at WordPress 3.1 – Developers get ready. That’s really about it.

If you self host or host with a WP developer it is possible, certainly not probable, a few things may break along with all the joys of the new features:

  • Internal Linking – click a button for an internal link and it allows you to search for a post or browse a list of existing content and select it for inclusion.
  • Admin Bar – contains various links to useful admin screens. By default, the admin bar is displayed when a user is logged in and visiting the site and is not displayed in admin screens for single blog installs. For multisite installs, the admin bar is displayed both when visiting the site and in the admin screens.
  • Streamlined Writing Interface – new users of WordPress will find the write screen much less cluttered than before, as more of the options are hidden by default. You can click on Screen Options in the top right to bring them back.
  • Post Formats – meta information that can be used by themes to customize presentation of a post. Read more in the article Post Formats.
  • Network Admin – move Super Admin menus and related pages out of the regular admin and into a new Network Admin screen.
  • List-type Admin Screens – sortable columns for list-type screens and better pagination.
  • Exporter/Importer Overhaul – many under the hood changes including adding author information, better handling for taxonomies and terms, and proper support for navigation menus.
  • Custom Content Type Improvements – allows developers to generate archive pages, and have better menu and capability controls. Read more in the article Post Types.
  • Advanced Queries – allows developers to query multiple taxonomies and custom fields.
  • Refreshed Blue Admin Color Scheme – puts the focus more squarely on your content.

What happens if it breaks?

Before you call me at 877-7000-KEN (877-700-0536) or hit up free online support for WordPress, try the following depending on your error:

  • Login as admin
  • Backup your installation of WordPress
  • Do one or all of the following then refresh your home page (or the page where the trouble is)
  • Disable your plugins either all at once then turn them back on one at a time or
  • Disable your plugins one at a time until the problem is gone
  • Switch to the default WP theme

If you find a WP theme or plugin that does not work after the upgrade or breaks your site THEN you may call me.