Category Archives: SEO Blog

How to configure server permissions so WordPress does not require FTP for plugin installs/updates.

After you upload your files, you’ll want to make sure ownership permissions are set to Apache so that Wordrpess can update and/or install plugins without requiring FTP credentials. You can set permissions via SSH.

Single site hosting:

chown -R apache:apache /var/www/html

Multi site hosting:

chown -R apache:apache /var/www/

You may need to do this whenever uploading folders.

How to configure Apache correctly for WordPress to enable permalinks.

In order to enable permalinks in WordPress, custom htaccess files are created. Your server only reads these if “AllowOverride” is set to “All” in your Apache configuration.


# First, we configure the "default" to be a very restrictive set of
# features.
#
<Directory />
Options FollowSymLinks
AllowOverride None
</Directory>

If you host a single site within an “html” directory:

<Directory "/var/www/html">
AllowOverride All
Options Indexes FollowSymLinks
Require all granted
</Directory>

If you host multiple sites within the “www” directory:

<Directory "/var/www">
AllowOverride All
Options Indexes FollowSymLinks
Require all granted
</Directory>

Do not put “AllowOverride All” in for security reasons. Notice how it states “First, we configure the “default” to be a very restrictive set of features.”

CSS: How to make margins or padding work on a DIV with width 100%

In responsive design, often times you’ll want to change the width of elements from static to 100% wide with some margins or padding.

If you set a DIV width to 100%, margins and padding will be ignored. The solution is to reset the DIV to it’s default which is “auto” which will stretch as wide as it possible and include margins and/or padding

width: auto;

Google Forced to Use Less Deceptive Look for Ads in Search

Google was recently forced to launch a clearer design to distinguish ads from search results to follow updated FTC guidelines put in place on June 25, 2013. The top Ads are no longer as deceptive. Ads were formerly on a light yellow background with a tiny “sponsored results” line of text.

Advertisers and Google of course are definitely concerned about lower click-thru ratios. So far our adwords campaigns have not experienced any significant drops in performance.

Fixes for WordPress SEO Sitemap Issues

WordPress SEO is a great all in one solution for managing your site. It takes care of SEO, Sitemaps, Robots.txt, and Htaccess eliminating the need for 3 separate plugins.

There happens to be a few bugs that prevent sitemaps from working properly. Google Webmaster Tools may be giving you the following error.

Your Sitemap appears to be an HTML page. Please use a supported sitemap format instead.

If Only Some of Your Sitemaps Result in a Not Found or 404 Error…

For example: http://yourdomain.com/page-sitemap.xml results in a not found error.

Fix:
Edit a page/post in admin.
In the WordPress SEO Panel, click “Advanced.”
Change “Include in Sitemap: Auto detect” to “Always Include”

We don’t recommend this for sites with a lot of pages. Hopefully Yoast figures out a solution soon.

If Your Sitemap Doesn’t Show up at All…

Try resetting your permalinks.
Go to Settings > Permalinks.
Just click “Save Changes”
Give it a try.

Spammers Wall of Shame

Anyone who manually spams our site will be forever on display here for all to see. From your common lowlife comment spammer to your desperate job seeker that spams company contact forms. “No we’re not interested in your SEO content writing that you outsource to The Congo!” We’ll also share their IP to ban and email address for email spammers to harvest.

Enjoy!

Dreamweaver Sucks – Learn HTML and use BBEdit

In the early days we started out designing web sites with WSIWYG software. We used Adobe GoLive. Dreamweaver (Macromedia) was the main competitor. Macromedia Flash was huge back than and we used that as well.

Designing websites with HTML tables was the norm as well as the problem. HTML tables require excessive code. Luckily CSS improvements allowed for Table-less web design. At that point we got more comfortable with coding pages by hand. SEO requires the ability to write code by hand. In fact, Doing SEO taught us how to hand code SEO.

Adobe GoLive happened to feature an excellent code editor. You just were better off ignoring the WSIWYG features. We always keep the web page we are working on open in a browser so we could see the final product. Save the file after each edit and refresh the browser to see the results. It’s a smooth workflow.

Adobe dropped GoLive shortly after acquiring Macromedia. We gave Dreamweaver a try and quickly found huge problems with the code editor.

Often you’ll want to create a hierarchy of your code elements by using tabs to keep organized make it easier to understand.

For example:


<div>
  <h1>Headline</h1>
  <p>
    Paragraph
  </p>
  <ul>
    <li>List</li>
    <li>List</li>
    <li>List</li>
  </ul>
</div>

Often times while coding you’ll need to tab a bunch of lines at once. In GoLive you would simply select all the lines and tab them over or back. This necessary feature wasn’t in Dreamweaver. Indenting selected text blocks will using the tab key will delete them. Tabbing has to be done carefully line by line.

The most annoying problem with Dreamweaver is if you press the up or down key, the cursor exhibits unpredictable behavior. Instead of going straight down or up, it mostly goes to the beginning of the next line of text. This is beyond annoying when you want to paste in a new line of code and maintain your tab formatting.

After trying to be productive with Dreamweaver for a few days, and looking thoroughly for solutions, we tried a demo of BBEdit. We deleted Dreamweaver right away and purchased BBEdit. It’s hands down the best tool for coding HTML as well as other hand coding projects.

Tip: In BBEdit keyboard preferences, make sure “Allow Tab key to indent text blocks” is checked.