Category Archives: CMS

Another Website System Update

Several More System Updates for Graphicline

A Public Holiday in South Africa today, and a good opportunity to undertake another Drupal system update for graphicline.co.za. Today’s updates included Drupal modules; panels, webform, options element, taxonomy menu trails, and the all important view module. Two theme updates were also completed during the process.

The entire update took less than 30 minutes, during which time the site was offline, in maintenance mode, for less than 7 minutes in total.

After completing the work on the system I took the opportunity to update the front page as well, adding “Find Out More” links using CSS classes for a better appearance. A few unnoticed spelling mistakes were fixed at the same time, and a few changes made to some wording.

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Jetpack Broken

Jetpack v1.2 WordPress Plugin Faulty

Jetpack Plugin LogoThe latest update for the Jetpack Plugin for self hosted WordPress CMS installations (from Automattic /WordPpress.com) has  several bugs. I updated the plugin used for tech.graphicline.co.za from v1.1.3 to 1.2 this morning.

The first thing was a list of error messages. After de-activating and re-activating the plugin twice, the error messages had gone. Going to the plugin settings page, where here there are several new features available, the connection to WordPress.com had to be re-activated. Configured the options, then noticed that ‘Site-Stats’ had disappeared from the admin menu.

Back to the plugin settings page, and click the link to view site-stats – just got returned to the settings page.

I still had another menu page open that had not been refreshed since activating the plugin, and clicked the ‘site-stats’ link from here – message returned, ‘you do not have sufficient permission to view the page’ (logged in as administrator).

Site Stats Gone Common Issue

NOTE: THIS BUG HAS BEEN FIXED – see comments below!

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Panda Help for SA Bloggers

Panda 2.5 – Free Help for South African Bloggers

Beating up the Panda

Beating the Panda

If you are a South African based Small business entrepreneur, and your wordpress.com blog site has taking a severe traffic drop as a result of Google Panda 2.5, I can possibly help.

To help these SME’s I am making the resources of my company Graphicline.co.za available with a PRO BONO offer to help move your blog to a self hosted domain.

The only way you have a realistic chance of recovering is to move your blog site to your own domain. I fully realise many of you do not have the technical skills to do this without help. The process of setting up a WordPress CMS is simple to us web people, but complicated for the uninitiated.

Transferring an existing site poses additional challenges. WordPres.com happines engineers will do this for you for a fee, to one of their partner hosting services. For South Africans, a .co.za domain is cheaper than a dot-com or other international domain, and not necessary for those of us conducting business in South Africa – When a visitor sees .co.za they know straight away this is a South African web site, a dot-com could be anywhere in the world.

Having a self hosted WordPress site gives the advantage of total control over the site structure, with the long-term benefits of making your site (blog) as Google friendly as possible.

Pro-Bono to Beat Google Discrimination

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Fix the Panda

Yes you can recover from Panda 2.5

If you have a site or blog that took a big hit from the latest Google algorithm update, don’t panic (Yet!).

It may take time, but it can be done. Now is the time to pay attention to basics. In some ways if your site was one that got hit very hard, possibly even de-listed, you could actually have an advantage going forward. You can now take drastic action to fix up all the errors and problems that accumulated over the years, or even months…

Broken links and missing content no longer has any relevance. Therefore you can get rid of bad content, plagiarised content, duplicate content, spam, and anything else that has no value, or may be damaging the site’s reputation with the search engine.

Be Absolutely Ruthless

Look at every piece of content on your site. Be absolutely ruthless. If it lacks quality, or does not add value – DELETE it now. If you really must have that trashy article, or near duplicate content, then add Robots Meta tags noindex, nofollow” /> These tags are used in different ways to limit what search engines do – “noindex” tells SE’s to ignore the Do not followpage, “nofollow” tells it to ignore outgoing links. (For more information about these meta tags and others – Metatags.info has plenty of information).

Be particularly ruthless using the “noindex” term – why have all the junk pages indexed by Google? Including “noindex” will stop Google from adding these irrelevant pages to their index database.

“Nofollow” Meta tags: Use this as well on any page (or other content TYPE) that could get your site into trouble. If you have an RSS feed – this can really cause problems (read this article Too Many Backlinks are Bad News). Placing the Robots nofollow meta tag in the HEAD part of the page containing the RSS feed will stop search engines from following all outgoing links from that page (CMS users add this to feed aggregators, feed categories etc). Read the rest of this entry

Too Many Backlinks are Bad News

Backlinks can harm your Website

I’m listening to all those backlink farmers screaming. But it is a fact, too many backlinks from a single domain will not do your site any good at all.

Consider this example. A site with more than 5700 backlinks from 51 domains, several considered authoritative sites. Wow you say, that must be a really strong site. Well yes it was. It got clobbered by Panda 2.5 – In one day from page 1 Google SERP to who knows where!

Where’s the problem you ask. The problem is simple; 5432 of those backlinks came from a single domain – wordpress.com

Google right now is not looking at subdomains of wordpress.com – your blogs, it is aggregating all links from all blogs on the platform into a single domain.

The backlinks are to 45 pages on the site – more than 100 links per page. Now if that was from 100 sites it would be better. But 5400 links from a domain equals heavy link farming!

5432 backlinks

5432 backlinks

Where did these links come from?

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Custom or Out of the Box

Choosing between custom or out of the box software applications can be confusing. Whether the choice is for an in-house software system or a content management system (CMS) for a website which is the better way to go.

Custom Applications

Custom application softwareCustom software has one advantage: It can be tailor-made to suit a set of exact requirements. Custom application developers may over-state the benefits of custom software – creating these custom apps are their livelihood. What may not be mentioned are the potential difficulties that may appear later… What happens if or when the application builder is no longer available to support the product?

Consider also the cost of developing custom applications. Developing, testing and debugging (fault-finding and fixing) software is time-consuming. any custom developer worth their salt will charge premium rates (be very wary of anyone offering to work well below established market rates – custom development is one of those areas where you get what you pay for). As the buyer of the custom app you will most likely bear the entire cost of this development. Read the rest of this entry