Hello world! again!

Here’s my problem….well about my website to be specific. I have this thing where I have a hard time sticking to a specific domain for to long. This is now going o be my 4th domain change for this site and this time I think this is it.

This is the last time I change domains. I’m happy (like I always say) with this new domain and i am looking forward to another busy year helping people with their WordPress sites.

New Years Resolution

So I have decided that my goal for this year will be to help 100 people move to Self Hosted WordPress. There seems to be a lot of people wanting to make this move in 2018 and helping with this is my goal. Can I actually help 100 people? I hope so, will I try as hard as I can? Yes!

Now comes the hard part, how do I let people know that I am here to help? I am basically going to tweet as much as I can and more than I did last year.

Now if you are here for help please leave me a comment below or send me a DM on Twitter and I can help you along this journey.

If you want to start on your own check out my guide that lists all the steps you will need to make the move.

Hope everyone has a great 2018!

Start Blogging with WordPress

Thinking of Blogging?

Blogging is truly a great passion to have, a blog can be a place to share your opinions, thoughts, feelings, and experiences as well as learning new things and growing a community. WordPress is a great place to start your community.

Self Hosted vs WordPress.com

If you are new to blogging you might be confused by this. There are TWO versions of WordPress. WordPress.com which is an all in one option, it is the easiest option to go with. There are several plans to choose from, starting with a Free plan all the way to a premium plan.

Option two is WordPress.org (the self-hosted version) and going this route will require you to sign up for hosting. I use and recommend Flywheel, I use it for several personal sites as well as for clients. If you want to use a different host you can just Google “WordPress hosting” and you can find plenty of options.

For most going self-hosted is the ultimate goal, as you are able to do a lot more with customization and you have the option to monetize your site.

Whats it cost?

Well that depends, WordPress.com offers 3 plans with the best one costing $24.92 per month. Whats the cost to go self-hosted? If you use Flywheel the cost is about $14 per month. That’s a huge saving for the same features.

Ready to Start Blogging?

Once you have decided on which platform you are going to use, the most exciting part is to get started. There is something great about that feeling you get when you are about to share something great with the world.

Creating a Temporary WordPress Account

The Issue

Have you ever had someone ask you for your WordPress login to help troubleshoot an issue? I do it all the time. Sometimes that the only way to figure out what issues may be going on.

When I am asked for my login I usually get an uneasy feeling, come on your giving someone the keys to your house. Who wouldn’t be on edge about that.

The solution

How do we give access and feel good about it? That’s easy you install a plugin called Temporary Login Without Password. It is the go-to plugin I use for my clients who need one-time fixes.

Steps

  1. Head over to plugins and click add new.
  2. Once installed and activated go to Users > Temporary Login
  3. Click Create New and enter the email address
  4. You can leave the Level as Admin (if needed) and select the appropriate duration time.
  5. The final step is to email the link that is shown.

The WordPress Reader

WordPress.com

If you’re considering starting a website, most likely you will seek advice from people who already have gone through the process. I stick to offering help to users on Twitter, but Twitter isn’t the only source, dozens of forums and websites exist to help people with their WordPress journey.

Most people will recommend going self-hosted vs going with WordPress.com. I am one who would also recommend a self-hosted website. One main reason is the customization you can do is very limited on WordPress.com also the price is a lot more compared to standard hosting.

The Main Advantage

The main advantage I see by going with WordPress.com is that your site is visible in the WordPress reader. The WordPress Reader is a place where you can search and follow blogs that you are interested in. It is easy exposure for new blogs to gain followers.

When you have a self-hosted site you do not get this visibility and it is up to you to build your own following. Depending on your focus it may be easy or hard to do.

The Solution

People can still follow your blog (if you have JetPack installed) even if your self-hosted but you won’t show up in the search results. The best way to fix this is to be active on other people’s blogs. Commenting on topics that are related to your blog will help people follow you. That is how I bring in new followers to my blog, now don’t go spamming other people’s blogs. Offer good information that is complementary to the post you are reading.

Happy Blogging

My Thoughts on Gutenberg

Having tried out the Gutenberg plugin on my test site, I thought I would offer my perspective on how it functions.

I feel like using Gutenberg is like using Visual Composer or Cornerstone which is part of the X theme.

It’s another block layout builder. Nothing new, I understand why the developers working on WordPress want to make the change. They want to make this platform easy to use for anyone that is new to WordPress.

I feel though that this is such a HUGE change that will break many plugins and functions that people have built into their current sites that this should not be forced on to every user.

Having cleared my site just for testing purposes, using the beta version of Gutenberg was easy. It has worked fine, I have no customizations, no other plugins, no custom themes, no other posts. It works as advertised.

Current rating, 11/12/17

But reading the reviews people are voicing their concerns about how this substantial update will break their custom site.

Basic Steps to Start a WP Site

Browsing on Twitter I noticed a lot of people asking for the same help. So here is a quick guide to let you know exactly what you need to do. If you want something more detailed you can check out my guide on how to set up WordPress.

“how do I create a WordPress site?”

The Basics

Step 1

Make sure you have a domain, if you are a free plan you are probably using something like example.wordpress.com but now its time to switch to a .com name. I use Namecheap to register my domains, but if you google domain registrar you will find plenty of options.

Step 2

The next step is to sign up for a hosting plan, I have been using Flywheel for a couple of months now and they are pretty solid. Again if you search “WordPress hosting” you will find many options.

Step 3

Once you have signed up for hosting and pointed your domain to the hosting company you will have to wait usually between thirty minutes to an hour before the URL is live.

Step 4

Once the domain is ready you can install WordPress. Most hosting companies now offer a 1 click install, so google your hosting company and WordPress (ex. A2Hosting WordPress) and you should be able to bring up some instructions on how to install it.

Step 4B

Depending on who you sign up with, you may get a free SSL so make sure that when you install WordPress you select https for the URL address. Flywheel includes a free SSL with all plans.

Step 5

One of the final steps is to pick a free theme from the directory or find a premium theme that you like. I have been using ThemeForest for almost 6 years now. Again if you google “premium WordPress themes” you will find tons of sites out there.

Step 6

The final step is the fun part, time to make the theme your own. Add your content photos, social media accounts. Have fun and enjoy. Don’t forget to share on Twitter.

Backup your site before making changes.

I had an issue recently with a client site where I had done an update to a very popular plugin and halfway through I started to get error messages. Ok, no big deal right? Wrong. I refreshed the page and bam ?? I got a white screen on the admin page. I thought oh no! ?.

What I did first.

I knew the white screen was caused by a plugin. So I went into the file manager, went into the content section and renamed the plugin in question. I then went back to the site crossed my fingers ? and hit F5 to refresh the page and….. Nothing still a white screen.

What I did next

Well disabling the plugin didn’t work the only other option I had was to restore from a backup. So I thought, do they have backups? I looked and the hosting company and saw they do monthly backups. I checked the last back update and it was done the day before. How luckily I was. I informed my client of the issue and told them was had happened.

Restoring from a backup

After talking to my clients their response was “better you than me”. After a quick laugh, I went ahead and restored the site using the backup. Once it was done I headed back to the site and hit F5 again, crossed my fingers ? and… The site came back up. ?

Moral of the story

You have no way of knowing when something might go wrong. When I did the update to this site yesterday I even got a white screen when updating a theme. Luckily deleting the theme from the file manager worked for me. I had a backup just in case.

My client was happy at the end of the day and even signed up for one of my care plans to make sure she is covered in the future.

Move to Self-Hosted WordPress

Moving from WordPress.com to WordPress.org will seem overwhelming at first but it really is a straightforward process. You should definitely plan ahead and make sure you are ready before you make the switch.

Always have a backup of your site just incase.

Hosting

Make sure you have set up your hosting for your site.

I currently use Flywheel and don’t have any complaints. WordPress recommends their own hosting companies and those will work just fine.

Once you have set up your hosting you will need to point your domain to your new hosting account.

Site DNS

Here are WordPress.com exact instructions to point your DNS to someone else.

Change nameservers to point the domain outside of WordPress.com

You can leave your domain registered with WordPress.com and point it to another host by changing its name servers. You’ll keep the domain upgrade you purchased with us, and just stop using our hosting.

To change name servers, you need to insert the name servers provided by your host under Domains — by clicking Edit and then Name Servers.

To get the new Name Servers head over to your hosting company because this varies so much it may be easier to google your hosting name followed by nameservers.

 

 

Once your domain is pointing to your new hosting location you will want to create a WordPress site with them. Here are some instructions depending on who you picked.

A2Hosting

Bluehost

GoDaddy

Flywheel

The details you put will not matter as this will be overridden with the info from your original site.

Export Content

Now head over to your WordPress.com site and go to Plugins. You will want to search for and install the All-in-One WP Migration. I have the best luck with this plugin & it makes the transfer painless.

Once you have activated it you will see the options menu on the bottom left, under the settings menu.

You will want to hover over the name and then click Export.

Once you have clicked Export click the Export To button.

 

I recommend exporting to File as this is the quickest and will be saved to your computer.

You will get a pop-up letting you know that the file is being exported, once it has calculated the size it will begin flashing green letting you know its ready to download. While that is exporting you can head over to the new site you just created and install the same plugin.

Importing Content

Once you have installed it you will want to import the file that we just exported.

This time you will want to click import and then import from file. Select the file we just exported.

 

This will override all the info you gave when creating the second site. So you can still use the same username and password you had for the original site.

And that’s it. Your site should now be moved over and ready to use. If you have any issues need clarification please let me know.

WordPress.com or WordPress.org

Being on Twitter helping people with WordPress issues, I have come across questions quite often. “Whats the difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org?”

It’s really a simple answer so here it goes:

WordPress.com

  1. If you have a website with WordPress.com your URL will be example.wordpress.com.
  2. You will not be able to upload any themes or plugins.

WordPress.org

  1. If you have a WordPress.org site you would have had to set up your hosting.
  2. Your URL will be whatever you picked (mine is luis.coffee) and you are able to upload any theme or plugin you want.

If you are using a WordPress.com site I suggest moving away and switching to a full-blown WordPress site. You will have more options and full customization.

If this is something you are interested in and not sure what to do next send me a message or send me a DM on Twitter.