WordPress is NOT Dead! – Why WordPress is Amazing in 2018

WordPress is undoubtably the most used Content Management System in the world for bloggers and business owners. Pretty much anyone and everyone who owns a website is using WordPress for their desired management of content.

Why?

Because WordPress is simply… amazing!

And, to even be asked the question, “is WordPress dead?”, is one of the most bizarre things I’ve ever heard since building with it, making clients happy with it and using it in general.

So, the answer is NO, WordPress is not dead. It’s alive and still making the internet a better place. Here’s how I see it, if WordPress is dead, blogging is dead.

Did you know, 74.6 million websites depend on WordPress for their website, whether it be a business or blogging website.

The thing is, WordPress can do pretty much anything you want it too, with, or without knowledge of coding languages, why?

  1. Plugins – WordPress comes with a plugin library with a quantity of 54,274 (and that’s off this second me writing this post), that allow you to extend WordPress’s core functionality.
  2. Widgets – WordPress comes with a pre-built section of widgets that allow you to perform specific functions, like displaying posts and menu’s anywhere on your site.

But that’s not all there is too it. Automattic (the company who created WordPress) are constantly working on new ways to improve the system with security updates, function extendability, usability, user interface and customisation. It’s a developers playground.

Of course, like any other platform there are some issues. In which, WordPress has a support forum for all users, whether you’re a blogger or a developer.

There are always going to be more pro’s than con’s with WordPress, because of way it’s constantly updated to evolve along with the internets standards – which it goes above and beyond.

Open-Source

The main thing about WordPress is that it’s open-source and anyone can use and edit its core files. With this, you’re free to use WordPress without having to pay for a single license fee.

Automattic created two versions of WordPress:

  1. WordPress.org – this public version allows you to download and self-host your WordPress site, for free.
  2. WordPress.com – this commercial version allows you to create a WordPress-hosted website via WordPress themselves, at a price.

For developers and site owners though, WordPress.org will always be the way forward as it gives you the most flexibility.

Security

There are 50 employee’s working on improving security for WordPress, every single day. Which means, it’s pretty much impossible.

Obviously, along with any website there lies risk of intrusion – but that’s the whole point of their security team working round the clock to help keep our data and website’s secure.

If you’re not satisfied with WordPress’s core security, then there are a handful of plugins that will extend the security functionality. Namely:

All of the above have pretty much the same functionality, but all with the same intention – keep your site secure.

Designed for YOU

Before WordPress became free-source, WordPress.com was for simply for bloggers – so the user interface is easy to use and read.

The good thing about WordPress was that it was specifically built for you, not specifically to bloggers or developers. Everyone who is anyone can use it.

Maintenance

As WordPress is a free open-source software, you’ll need to to host the website yourself and buy a domain. Effectively, WordPress is cheaper to maintain than many other CMS providers like Drupal and Joomla, and the commercial version of WordPress.

You can do the math, but domain + hosting = CHEAP.

SEO

There are systems out there that cap your SEO efforts, namely Wix – in which, decrease the chance of a successful ranking in search results. If you’re an SEO and looking to encompass SEO into your website, then WordPress is your answer.

With WordPress coming with pre-built permalink and other SEO features, you can also extend on them using plugins. You can use a plugin like Yoast SEO to edit your meta data, OG and social data, sitemaps, breadcrumbs, etc.

Everything that an SEO will need to configure for on-page optimisation, you can do with WordPress and Yoast SEO.

Themes

WordPress comes with a library of professional designed themes, some free and some of charge. Did I mention there’s thousands? And even if they aren’t in the WordPress library, there are third party sites that have theme libraries too.

On this note, WordPress themes are a developer’s playground – literally.

You can build pretty much anything into your WordPress theme, with the help of a plugin or hard-coding it yourself. The possibilities are endless. Let’s take a look at this site for example, how gorgeous is that mega-nav? Powered by WordPress, developed by a genius.


I think that pretty much sums it up, WordPress is not dead and won’t be anytime soon. With Automattic constantly updating and upgrading the functionality, it seems like a rapidly-evolving CMS, that will never die out.

August 2017 Update

Hey guys!

So if you’re a regular follower of my blog and my social media channels, you’ll know that I’ve been really quiet this month. There are a few reasons for it, but the biggest is I’ve been super busy with family life and work. I’ve decided to start writing monthly updates to let people know what I’ve been up too, whether I’ve been too busy to post or not.

Here’s what I’ve been up too…

Rank and Rent

I’ve come up with this wicked plan to get 5 sites ranking in specific niches and areas by some point next year, then rent them out to business owners who are having trouble getting leads. In a way, I’m basically selling leads to the business by redirecting the leads over via call tracking.

Now, at the end of my Rank and Rent video I talk about a post coming shortly. This still isn’t out yet. Don’t worry, it will be – this will be published by the end of this week.

Stick that in your diary.

I won’t be updating you as to where I’ve got so far with month 1 of the plan due to creating separate content for the updates on both YouTube and this blog.

New web design project

I’ve had this one in the pipeline for a long time, and the client finally came through with the initial payment so the design process could begin. It’s something I’ve been super excited to work on for a long time as I’ve never worked on something quite like it.

There’s so much customisation with the functioning in the backend it’s unreal, and so far it’s looking pretty hardcore.

When this is done, this will free up so much of my working day fo’ sure!

Instagram marketing

For a while now I’ve had a little side project running with an Instagram account. I’ve been earning 1k per month for the past 2 months by getting people to sign up for paid tools and other services, which I’ve been promoting through my Instagram account.

You’re probably thinking, what!?!?

Truth is, even with my current follower count (57 followers), I’m still getting that recurring income. How?

Well… I’ll explain it to you in an eBook that you can download.

I’ve been writing an eBook on how to make this kind of money with your Instagram account which will be soon available. I’m giving away only 200 copies and there are not many spaces left, so if you want this FREE eBook, head over to my Instagram account and visit the link in my bio.

Local citations

As most of you know, local citations play a huge role in Local SEO. I’ve been doing a whole lot of these for the past couple of months – and they’re paying off amazingly.

Local citations are where your business is mentioned on other websites, for example, Yelp and Google My Business, in which, keeping the information consistent across these websites is a ranking factor. So it’s not the nicest job in the world playing with all that information and adding listings, but I prefer to do it single-handed rather than assigning it to my VA to do.

If you’re looking for the best local citation service, read my post.

New SMM & SMA client

I’ve recently been pushing out the Social Media Management and Social Media Advertising side of things with clients, and it just so happens… this month I got a new client wanting both of these services.

We had the initial meeting 2 weeks ago and we’ve already sat down and worked on a gold strategy on how to get more leads and more people interacting with their content. I’ll have some more information about this client soon, such as case studies, etc.

Things I can take away from this month

Plan time more efficiently. I’ve been taking every day as it comes this month and not planning anything in. I need to make sure that everything that I do is planned and set myself a time limit on tasks.

Stop taking days off. This month has been one of my worst months as a freelancer, probably because it was my birthday on the 8th. But, seriously, I took like 3 days off (mainly to recover) for my birthday. Ashamed to say the least.

Courses and eBooks are still workingThis month I released a landing page link for my new free eBook about Instagram marketing and within 24 hours almost 100 copies had been taken from the 200 that were there. Quality.


Well that’s it from me folks, see you in my next post. Any feedback? As always, leave it in the comments below and I’ll get back to you.

Do You Need A Unique Description for Each Citation Built?

A question that has been long answered in my head, came to me today: would it count as duplicate content if my description is the same on all of the listings I’ve added? The answer is no.

I’ve thought about this long and hard, done my research and couldn’t find a lot of information regarding this question. After all, I don’t actually know anyone else that building manual local citations for their clients – besides myself.

Let me expand on why I said no it wouldn’t class as duplicate content and it doesn’t need to be unique.

Firstly, let me explain what duplicate content is. Duplicate content is when a piece of content is found on more than one website. Why is this bad? In some cases, Google will give a penalty to the site that hosts the duplicate content, which can impact your current rankings.

So here’s why I asked this question. I see on some business directories it asks if the business description you’re entering is unique and not displayed on any other websites – why? Because I guess they don’t want to be demoted in the SERPs.

Fair enough, but the question is, do you really need to provide a unique business description for each listing that you add?

I think not.

And here’s my theory, there will always be duplicate content on the web and the biggest is your NAPW (name, address, phone, website) across all of your listings. And Google encourages you to create consistency with this information, meaning they want it to be duplicated.

Weird.

And, even if you did create a unique business description for each listing you create, it’s so likely that your description will become a duplicate anyway. This falls down the Local Search Ecosystem in the UK (and other countries). This means that large business directories such as GMB, Thomson Local, and Yell are huge primary data sources for all other business directories, leaving the chances likely for duplicate content from listing to another.

Unless this topic is spoken on from an employee at Google, it will remain unanswered.

Update (12/01/2018)

6 months later, I finally got some responses from the SEO community.

Let’s take a look.

Rand Fishkin, Moz

I think what Rand is saying here is that it’s a good thing to have the same description, as long as there’s only a paragraph about the business. This way Google won’t treat it as duplicate content. Obviously, as long as your NAP has its consistency.

Alan Bleiweiss, Alan Bleiweiss Consulting

Alan being well known for his in-depth SEO audits, provided a great answer. He states that it’s one of those things that cannot be helped. And I stated this earlier in the post, other directories are bound to crawl and resubmit data from one source onto another.

Then he adds in the second tweet that if you have a spammy description then it will be a weak point for your citations. So make sure your descriptions are good and provide quality information.

Chase Reiner, Chase Reiner SEO

Even Chase doesn’t think it will affect citations – so I’m not the only one.


I guess this finalises it, you do not need a unique description for every citation created. Thanks all for your input.

How to Set Up Thank You Page Tracking in Google Analytics (3 EASY STEPS)

Google Analytics has so many functionalities that not all SEOs are making the most of. One thing about GA that I love is the goal funnels, in which, you’re able to set up tracking for a specific URL, the duration on a page, how many pages the user visits within that session and event tracking (i.e. link clicks).

Today, I’m going to show you how to set up destination tracking for your thank you page. This will show you conversion data when your contact form is getting submissions.

1. Set up a thank you page

Firstly, you’ll need to setup a thank you page. If you’re using WordPress for your website, then create a new page and give it a title of your choice, preferably something that is noticeable from the other pages in the list.

Psst.. I only have two pages, so that last sentence doesn’t really apply to me.

On the page, add some joyful text for the user to see once they’ve submitted the form.

Here’s the text that I added:

Thanks for getting in touch!

Please note, due to the amount of recent submissions, please allow 48 hours before following up from your initial submission. I’m working my way around to your email, don’t you worry.

Or if you want this in HTML you can copy and paste this code into your dedicated page:

<p>Thanks for getting in touch!</p>
<p>Please note, due to the amount of recent submissions, please allow 48 hours before following up from your initial submission. I'm working my way around to your email, don't you worry.</p>

2. Make sure the page is set to noindex

This isn’t mandatory, but it’s worth it unless you want organic traffic messing up your campaign. In order to noindex your page, install and activate the Yoast SEO plugin. From here, head over your new thank you page and scroll down to Yoast SEO box (generally below the TinyMCE).

Click on the cog icon and change the ‘Meta Robots Index’ to noindex.

Then hit publish.

For those of you who aren’t using WordPress, here’s how to noindex your thank you page in HTML:

<meta name="robots" content="noindex" />

That’s step 2 complete.

3. Sending your contact form to your thank you page

Next, you’ll need to send your contact form to your thank you page once the user has submitted the form successfully. I’m using Contact Form 7 so I’ll show you how to set up the redirect with that.

This is the really annoying part, you’ll need to add the snippet below into your header.php file before the end of the <head> tags.

<script>
    document.addEventListener( 'wpcf7mailsent', function( event ) {
        location = 'https://seojake.com/thank-you/';
    }, false );
</script>

To add this, go to your WordPress dashboard and hover over the ‘Appearance’ link, then select ‘Editor’.

Now go to the far-right side of the page and find the header.php file.

 

Finally, we can add our code. See the image below with the code added just before the closing <head> tag (</head>).

Old Way (Alternative Route)

Before, we were able to add the event listener within the ‘Additional Settings’ section when editing the chosen contact form. It looked something like this:

on_sent_ok: “location.replace('https://seojake.com/thank-you/');

You can still use this code for now, but CF7 recently stated they will be deprecating and removing this syntax by the end of 2017.

And that’s it folks!

Give it a quick test and make sure everything is running and redirecting smoothly. Now you can start tracking your contact form conversions and view the data in Google Analytics. Great, eh?

Thanks for dropping by guys, and I hope this helped you out.

How to Display A URLs Meta Description via A Form Input in PHP

I haven’t posted something code orientated in a while and I thought this is a great snippet to share seeing as it’s something I’ve actually been working on.

Oh, now you’re intrigued?

I’m building an SEO Page Analyser web application. Why? Because I hate the darn ugly interfaces. So I’m not really building it because I need it, I’m building it because I want a better interface.

It will have the same functionality as other SEO site audit tools, just with a cleaner and more user-friendly UI.

Anyway, it’s been a complete learning curve for me building something that’s completely out of my depth and thought it could be of use to some of you (my lovely readers).

Let’s dive in shall we.

You’ll need two pages:

  1. index.php (or whatever you want to call it e.g. form.php) – this page will hold your form, which we are going to use to add a website URL too.
  2. analyse.php – this page will receive the form data and display the meta description held within that pages source code.

Form page (index.php)

So let’s get coding the index.php file:

<form method="GET" action="analyse.php">
    <input type="url" name="target_url" placeholder="Enter a URL..." />
    <input type="submit" value="ANALYSE" />
</form>

We’re using the GET method with our form so we can pass the form data into the URL. This allows users to visit the analyse.php page at a later date using a link with the passed form data within the URL.

Using the POST method would only allow the user to view the page until the page is closed. They would then have to fill the form out again to reach their dedicated analyse.php page with their passed data.

We’re then using the input element and giving it a type of URL. This will only automatically give us some form validation because you won’t be able to access the analyse.php page without entering a valid URL.

You’ll need to fill out the ‘name’ attribute for the input element as this is how we’ll call the passed URL.

And because I wanted to give the option to click a submit rather than a keyboard press, I added in a submit. Remember, you don’t need to have a submit button with only one form element.

Don’t forget to close off your elements properly either. That bugs me.

Display meta description (analyse.php)

Moving on to our second and last file, the analyse.php file which will display our meta description.

<?php 
    $url = $_GET["target_url"];
    $meta = get_meta_tags( $url );
    $description = $meta['description'];
    echo '<p>' . $description . '</p>';
?>

Firstly we’re going to retrieve the URL from the form within a variable called $url. We’re grabbing the URL that was passed through from the form via the predefined variable $_GET and calling the input name attribute (which I mentioned earlier).

We then need to set another variable which uses the get_meta_tags function and adding the URL variable we just set. We add this because we’re defining the location of where we want the meta description to be pulled in from.

Please note, you can actually add a standalone URL here rather than passing data:

<?php 
    $meta = get_meta_tags( 'https://www.google.co.uk/' );
?>

Next we want to define our output so we can display it later. To do this, we’re creating yet another variable and defining what meta type we want to pull in. Obviously we’re using the meta description, but there are other types you can define:

  • Author
  • Keywords
  • Geo Position

And finally, we display the URLs meta description. We do this with echoing the variable we set above. I added HTML paragraph tags as I don’t want it displaying raw text, you should do it too. Don’t be an ugly coder.

Post special: displaying the meta description’s character count

For all of you that wanted to go that extra mile and display the character count of the meta description like SEO Mofo’s SERP Tool does, then read on.

So…

<?php 
    $url = $_GET["target_url"];
    $meta = get_meta_tags( $url );
    $description = $meta['description'];
    echo '<p>' . $description . '</p>';
    // Character count
    $char_count = strlen($description);
    echo '<p>Character count: ' . $char_count . '</p>';
?>

We’ve added two new lines of code now. First we’re going to create a new variable so we can display the character count. In order to display the character count, we need to use the strlen function and assign to pull the character length of our description (which is the string).

And then we’re displaying it using the echo constructor and calling out the $char_count variable to display the count.

That’s all from me folks. Any questions or problems with the snippets above, then please leave a comment.