Google Font Pairing Made Easy

Looking to update your site’s font but not really sure what would look good? If you find a Google Font as a base font – Google offers pairing suggestions and then shows how they look with each other. This makes it easy to then pick a title font, body font, etc by seeing how they look together before you commit to one font or another.

Example:

Let’s say you really like the Google font Oswald as your title font, you can then adjust the fonts under the “Popular Pairings with Oswald” to see their suggested pairings in all their font weight possibilities. Overall – this is a huge help for both designers and design challenged people who are looking to make some typography changes quickly and easily. Thanks Google!

Structured Data with Bootstrap

Perhaps you used Bootstrap for your web site and are excited that you have a responsive web site with all the bells an whistles. You were hoping that would help your SEO ranking, but you should know there is more to be done! Enter “structured data“. Structured data can help differentiate a recipe from an article from an event – all things that Google supports and will display depending on how the structured data is set up.

Not sure where to start?

Navigation

The differences are not too much but can make a big difference.

Simple Default Bootstrap Navigation
<ul class="navbar-nav mr-auto">
<li class="nav-item active"><a class="nav-link" href="#">Home <span class="sr-only">(current)</span></a></li>
<li class="nav-item"><a class="nav-link" href="#">Link</a></li>
</ul>
Simple Default Bootstrap Navigation with Structured Data
<ul itemscope="itemscope" itemtype="http://schema.org/SiteNavigationElement"class="navbar-nav mr-auto">
<li itemprop="name" class="nav-item active"><a itemprop="url" class="nav-link" href="#">Home <span class="sr-only">(current)</span></a></li>
<li itemprop="name" class="nav-item"><a itemprop="url" class="nav-link" href="#">Link</a></li>
</ul>

Breadcrumbs

By adding a little code to your already existing breadcrumbs – you will provide structured data that search engines can understand.

Simple Default Bootstrap Breadcrumbs
<ol class="breadcrumb">
<li class="breadcrumb-item"><a itemprop="item" href="/"><span itemprop="name">Home</span></a></li>
</ol>
Simple Default Bootstrap Breadcrumbs with Structured Data
<ol itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/BreadcrumbList" class="breadcrumb ">
<li class="breadcrumb-item" itemprop="itemListElement" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/ListItem"><a itemprop="item" href="/"><span itemprop="name">Home</span></a></li>
</ol>

Once you add in structured data to your site you can then use the Google Structured Data Testing Tool to make sure everything is set up and configured correctly. Not sold? Check out: The Beginner’s Guide to Structured Data for SEO: A Two-Part Series

Note: This is based on Bootstrap 4.

Fix: Nothing Showing For Popular Posts Widget

I recently ran into an issue with the WordPress Popular Posts plugin where it showed the bullet points for the number of popular posts I wanted to show – but no content.

Empty Popular Posts

Debugging the issue

  • I made sure I had JetPack installed
  • I had plenty of stats – but could not get any data to show. Stats were showing as expected with the JetPack plugin stats view
  • I deactivated/re-activated the WordPress Popular Posts plugin.
  • I turned off caching
  • I tried a number of different configuration options in the widget

I still was not seeing any content though. This then made me think I needed to try something different with the way the list item was formatted. At this point I then noticed that format field was blank. Since I could not remember if that was the default – I looked at the plugin readme file and added in the default (see below).

Default format setting that needed to be re-input
<a href='%post_permalink%' title='%post_title%' >%post_title%</a>

After that was in place and the widget settings were saved – the popular posts once again saved. If you notice something similar – and you are having issues getting content to show AND you know it is not a statistics issue – they the same configuration change I mentioned above. I hope it helps!

WordPress 4.9.4 Maintenance Release Available

WordPress 4.9.4 contains a fix for a severe bug which stops automated updates.

Things to note

WordPress 4.9.4 should be appplied to your site(s) in order to address a bug introduced in WordPress 4.9.3 which makes any site that uses automated updates stop updating. You will need to manually update WordPress in order for the automated updates to continue. You can read more by looking at the release notes: https://codex.wordpress.org/Version_4.9.4

If you have not done so already – download the update or simply use your existing installation of WordPress to update your site. Either way – this is an excellent time to make a backup copy of your site(s) before upgrading.

WordPress 4.9.3 Maintenance Release Available

WordPress 4.9.3 contains 34 bug fixes.

Things to note

WordPress 4.9.3 should be appplied to your site(s) in order to address the bugs fixed in the Customizer, widgets, visual editor, and PHP 7.2 compatibility. You can read more by looking at the release notes: https://codex.wordpress.org/Version_4.9.3

If you have not done so already – download the update or simply use your existing installation of WordPress to update your site. Either way – this is an excellent time to make a backup copy of your site(s) before upgrading.

WordPress 4.9.2 Security and Maintenance Release Available

WordPress 4.9.2 is a security release for all previous versions since WordPress 3.7

Things to note

It is highly recommended you update your sites immediately in order to apply important security and the additional 21 bug fixes. You can read more by looking at the release notes: https://codex.wordpress.org/Version_4.9.2

If you have not done so already – download the update or simply use your existing installation of WordPress to update your site. Either way – this is an excellent time to make a backup copy of your site(s) before upgrading.

WordPress 4.9.1 Security and Maintenance Release Available

WordPress 4.9.1 is a security and maintenance release for all previous versions.

There are four security issues addressed in this update as well as eleven bugs that were fixed. Please make sure you update your sites if you do not have auto updates enabled.

If you have not done so already – download the update or simply use your existing installation of WordPress to update your site. Either way – this is an excellent time to make a backup copy of your site(s) before upgrading.

WordPress 4.9

Coding enhancements, Customizer enhancements, more widget updates, and site building improvements.

Things to note

There are a lot of great improvements packed in WordPress 4.9, including one of my favorites – error checking when working directly with files through the WP Admin. One of the scariest things in WordPress is editing plugins/themes directly through the admin interface the next scariest thing is making a change, getting the white screen (an error) and then not being able to access the site. Fortunately for the people that make these changes via the editor – there is now error checking in place so that any errors are caught/identified before the save – saving all of us white screens, and stress.

There are also a number of enhancements to the Customizer so making your site exactly how you want it is easier than ever. You can even save “drafts” of design changes, preview them, share the preview links, and collaborate before you release changes and go live. Speaking of going live – as of WordPress 4.9 you can schedule your new design to go live at a specific time/date if you choose.

All in all – there are a lot of great changes in WordPress 4.9. You can read more by looking at the release notes: https://codex.wordpress.org/Version_4.9

If you have not done so already – download the update or simply use your existing installation of WordPress to update your site. Either way – this is an excellent time to make a backup copy of your site(s) before upgrading.

WordPress 4.8.3 Security Release Available

WordPress 4.8.3 is a security release for all previous versions.

Things to note

Per WordPress documentation – earlier versions of WordPress are affected by an issue where the $wpdb->prepare() can create unexpected and unsafe queries leading to potential SQL injection. Although WordPress core is not vulnerable to this – hardening has been put in place in order to any themes/plugins from causing possible security issues. It is highly recommended you update your sites immediately. You can read more by looking at the release notes: https://codex.wordpress.org/Version_4.8.3

If you have not done so already – download the update or simply use your existing installation of WordPress to update your site. Either way – this is an excellent time to make a backup copy of your site(s) before upgrading.

WordPress 4.8.2 Security/Maintenance Release Available

WordPress 4.8.2 is a security and maintenance release that should be applied immediately.

Things to note

WordPress versions 4.8.1 and earlier are affected by nine security vulnerabilities that are addressed in the 4.8.2 version update. Along with the security updates – there are multiple maintenance fixes to this new version as well. You can read more by looking at the release notes: https://codex.wordpress.org/Version_4.8.2

If you have not done so already – download the update or simply use your existing installation of WordPress to update your site. Either way – this is an excellent time to make a backup copy of your site(s) before upgrading.