In this installment of WebWize WordPress Quick Tips covers: WordPress not updating, .htaccess Tricks and Simple SEO Tricks for WordPress.

Why Isn’t My WordPress Site Updating?

Here’s a scenario to consider: you spend several hours crafting a new post or page for your WordPress site, but when you click the “publish” button nothing happens. The admin panel may show the new post or page, but when you visit the actual URL in your web browser you don’t see it. It’s disheartening when you invest your time and energy into creating new content, only to discover that it’s not showing up on your site. So, why isn’t your WordPress site updating and how can you solve this problem?

Browser Cache

One possible reason why you aren’t seeing the changes reflected in your WordPress website is because your browser cache contains the old copy. Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and Internet Explorer feature browser caching, which allows it to store web files locally instead of having to download them each time the user visits the webpage. Subsequently, this reduces load times while promoting a positive user experience.

Browser caching isn’t a problem associated with WordPress, but instead it’s an issue with your web browser. The good news is that other visitors will see the updated version of your website. The bad news is that you won’t. Of course, browser caching is easily fixed by hitting the F5 button on your keyboard. This will refresh the current page loaded in your web browser, at which point it should reflect any changes made to your site.

Caching Plugin

WordPress supports several different caching plugins, including W3 Total Cache and WP Super Cache. Using these plugins may speed up your site, but they may also prevent your site from properly updating.

If you are using W3 Total Cache, log into your website and click “Plugins,” followed by “Settings” next to the W3 Total Cache plugin. Once the settings page loads, click the button titled “empty all caches.” This will automatically clear all cached versions of your site, allowing it to reflect the most recent changes made.

You aren’t out of the woods just yet. While you’re in the W3 Total Cache settings page, access “Page Cache” and deselect the option titled “Don’t cache front page.”

Still Not Working?

If you tried the above techniques to no avail, it’s recommended that you deactivate your plugins one by one until the problem is resolved. Caching issues are often the result of compatibility issues with plugins. The only way you’ll know which plugin is causing the problem, however, is through process of elimination.

 

.Htaccess Tricks For WordPress

The .htaccess file (hypertext access) is a powerful tool that’s often overlooked by WordPress users. While you can launch and manage a website without ever accessing this file, it offers a wide variety of customization options. If you’re unfamiliar with the .htaccess and how it works, check out some of the WordPress tips listed below.

Note: before attempting any of the following tricks, it’s recommended that you download a copy of your .htaccess file to your desktop. This is done by using a file transfer protocol (FTP) program, such as FileZilla or CuteFTP, to log into your site’s root directory. If you wish to revert the changes, you can always re-upload the copy.

Restrict Login Access To Your IP

Brute force attacks on WordPress sites often involve spamming combinations of usernames and passwords directly to the login script. You can protect your site against such attacks by restricting access to wp-login.php and wp-admin.php scripts by adding the following code to your .htaccess file. Just replace the “123\.123\123\.121 with your own IP address.

RewriteEngine on
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} ^(.*)?wp-login\.php(.*)$ [OR]
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} ^(.*)?wp-admin$
RewriteCond %{REMOTE_ADDR} !^123\.123\.123\.123$
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ – [R=403,L]

Ban IP Addresses

Have you noticed suspicious activity coming from one or more IP addresses? If so, you may want to ban them from accessing your site. You can easily ban specific IP addresses by adding the following code to your site’s .htaccess file.

order allow,deny
deny from xxx.xxx.xx.x
allow from all

Disable Directory Browsing

Another helpful security tip for WordPress sites is to disable directory browsing. Let’s face it, there’s really no reason why anyone would need to snoop around your site’s directory, unless they have nefarious intent. So, go ahead and disable this feature by adding this single line of code to the .htaccess file

Options -Indexes

Disable Hotlinking

Hotlinking occurs when another site, or user on the site, publishes a link to another site’s image. This behavior is frowned upon because it bogs down the original source’s system resources. If a high-traffic site hotlinks an image published on your WordPress site, you may experience slower load times. To prevent this from happening, disable hotlinking by adding the following code to your site’s .htaccess file.

#disable image hotlinking
RewriteEngine on
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^$
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^http(s)?://(www\.)?yoursite.com [NC]
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^http(s)?://(www\.)?google.com [NC]
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^http(s)?://(www\.)?feeds2.feedburner.com/yoursite [NC]
RewriteRule \.(jpg|jpeg|png|gif)$ – [NC,F,L]

 

Simple SEO Tips For WordPress Sites

Still struggling to rank a WordPress blog or website for your desired keyword? Search engine optimization (SEO) isn’t an easy task. If it were, you’ll see the top results flooded with spam and low-quality sites. However, there are steps you can take to encourage Google and other search engines to rank your WordPress site higher.

Dealing With Duplicate Content

WordPress is a powerful content management system (CMS), but it has one major flaw: duplicate content. By default, new posts and pages are published on the actual post/page URL, archives, author, category and tag. So instead of having your content published on a single URL, it’s published in half a dozen different locations. To prevent duplicate content issues from arising, you should block search engine robots from crawling all but the original source URL via the robots.txt file or with a plugin like Yoast’s SEO Plugin.

Adjust RSS Settings

Don’t forget to adjust your RSS settings after launching your WordPress site. WordPress automatically displays the entire content of posts in the site’s RSS feed, which may result in your posts being published on other websites (without your permission, of course). You can set your RSS to display an excerpt of the post instead of the full content by accessing Settings > Reading > and check the box “Summary” next to the option “For each article in a feed, show.”

Publish Fresh Content

Arguably, one of the most important SEO tips of all is to publish fresh content on a regular basis. Search engines love fresh content, rewarding sites with higher rankings. A good rule of thumb is to publish at least one new post or page per week, as this encourages both visitors and search engines to return to your site.

SEO-Friendly Permalinks

If you aren’t using SEO-friendly permalinks on your site, you’re missing out on one of the easiest ways to encourage higher search rankings. Just ask yourself, which of the following is more appealing: www.yoursite.com/?p=123 or you www.yoursite.com/tips-for-healthier-skin? If you choose the latter, you are correct. Set your permalinks by accessing Settings > Permalinks > and click “Post name.”

Create an XML Sitemap

Why should you create an XML sitemap? Sitemaps serve as a helpful point of reference for search engine bots. Containing links to each and every page within your site, along with other information, they help Google, Bing, Yahoo and other search engines index your site more easily. With other 16 million downloads and counting, Google Sitemap Generator is the most popular sitemap generator plugin for WordPress. It’s completely free to download and use, and you can rest assured knowing that it’s updated frequently.

 

 

 

About Glenn Brooks

Glenn Brooks is the founder of WebWize, Inc. WebWize has been providing web design, development, hosting, SEO and email services since 1994. Glenn graduated from SWTSU with a degree in Commercial Art and worked in the advertising, marketing and printing industries before starting WebWize.

Pin It on Pinterest