Blog Archives

Correct Mystique Site Title Header

How to Correct WordPress Mystique Theme Site Title Header Markup

fix mystique theme h1 title error iconA sharp eyed user of the WordPress Mystique theme noticed duplicate <h1> headers on the front page.

The theme places the site title and tagline inside <h1> markup for the front page and blog page.

And of course, WordPress puts the page title in <h1> markup as well – so you get 2 instances of <h1> on the site front page and the blog.

Not good for SEO. There must only be one H1 on any page.

Funny thing is, the developer has commented the theme file responsible for assigning the title markup, in the code just prior to the offending lines of script:

“only on the front/home page, for seo reasons”

Change the Code to Fix Error

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Fastest WordPress Caching System

Unique Very Fast Cache for WordPress

The fastest caching system for WordPress; imagine WordPress pages serving in under 100 ms – on low-end shared hosting! This is the fastest cache system for WordPress I’ve found.

WordPress is a great CMS, but it has one drawback – It’s slow. A side by side speed comparison between Drupal and WordPress on the same server showed Drupal was about twice as fast as WordPress.

Really Static (WordPress plugin) creates static HTML files from WordPress pages and posts. You don’t even need WordPress installed on a live server. The system is very fast because you can take WordPress completely out of the loop, and serve static HTML files directly.

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Apple Touch Icon Precomposed Not Found

Apple Touch Icon 404 Errors

Are you seeing 404 errors for a range of image files called apple-touch-icon.png and apple-touch-icon-precomposed.png with a range of size attributes and wondering where these are coming from?

No, it’s not a WordPress plugin conflict or bug as some ‘Pressers have believed. It’s bad behaviour by Apple devices – iPhones and iPads. These devices look for these dedicated icons by default, instead of looking for the apple-icon link in page header, and using the normal favicon if the link isn’t found. It’s annoying, unnecessary, and easily resolved (and a waste of valuable time).

The issue becomes more complicated as Apple devices now look for a range of icons in several sizes

With the iPad (3rd generation) there are now four icon sizes 57×57, 72×72, 114×114, 144×144.

Because retina icons are exactly double the size of the standard icons we really only need to make 2 icons: 114 x 114 and 144 x 144. By setting the retina sized icon to the corresponding standard icon iOS will scale them accordingly.

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Hosting Change – Ten Times Faster

Website Loads 10 Times Faster After Hosting Change

One of my sub-sites loads 10 times faster after moving the domain to an offshore server. To be totally fair and put the improvement in perspective, the actual server is not that much faster; the big difference is route latency or lag.

graph showing 10 times faster page load speed

Before moving the average time it took Google-bot to load a page from this site was around 1100 ms. Now, a month later we can see the improvement – average time is about 100 ms..

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Fix Widget Position

CSS Fix for Text Widget Without Title

I previously wrote about using a Text Widget without a Widget Title or Name as a way to gain a small improvement in SEO for a WordPress.com blog (see WordPress Widget Headings) by using a lower order <h> attribute than the <h3> standard mark-up used by the theme.

Some themes play nicely when the title is blank by collapsing the space used by the title if it is missing. More themes however keep the space intended for the title resulting in a large blank space that spoils the appearance of the blog. This can be fixed fairly easily using CSS styles to reposition the widget content.

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CSS3 Button Creator for WordPress

WP CSS3 Button Creator Plugin

WP CSS3 Button Creator iconHere’s a brand new plugin for WordPress self hosted sites and blogs. WP CSS3 Button Creator makes it easy to generate the code needed for CSS3 buttons. While the code generation part is easy and foolproof, using this code on a WordPress self-hosted site needs a bit more effort than just installing and activating the plugin.

Users will need to add the CSS generated to their theme stylesheet, or use a custom stylesheet along with another plugin to insert the stylesheet link in the content of any page where the buttons are used.. While not difficult, this may be beyond beginners, so the plugin is aimed at intermediate to advanced users.

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The Humble Meta Description

Attract Visitors in 150 Characters

Tell the world about your page or post content in one hundred and fifty characters: That is the power of the meta description HTML head markup. Search engines often use the meta description for a snippet of information to display in search results. The meta descriptions is the first impression a searcher gets about your content when looking through search engine results for required information.

Meta Description – Your Website Showroom

Meta Descriptions in GoogleA showroom, shop window, storefront display and media advertisement; meta descriptions should be used to the fullest.

Yet how often do web content creators ignore this useful tool. Content Management Systems like WordPress often do too much of the work for us, filling the meta description field with an extract from page content. Normally the description is extracted from the first paragraph, so unless we are really clever with our first paragraph, especially the first 150 characters from the paragraph, the result is a SERP snippet that poorly summarises the article content we want to draw people’s attention to.

Worse still, if a plugin has not been installed to extract this snippets, or the theme used doesn’t have this function (most do not – Thesis is one that does), the field is left out altogether. Read the rest of this entry

Is Valid HTML Needed for SEO?

Does Validation Failure Affect SEO Negatively?

The simple answer is NO. Html that fails W3C validation does not necessarily adversely affect search engine ranking. I do not mean to imply faulty html is OK, it is not! Common reasons for validation failure are attributes not included in the standard, simply because they did not exist at the time the protocol was created, or back then caused display problems with early web browsers. HTML validation is more about consistency in displaying content uniformly across browsers and less about search engines parsing content.

Major websites throughout the world often do not have valid HTML, either throughout the site, or for a high percentage of pages. Google.com included

Experts Discuss Validation and SEO

Don’t take my word though, instead see what the experts have to say. Matt Cutts of Google answers the question “Is HTML validation necessary for ranking?”

Vodpod videos no longer available.

WordPress SEO guru and creator of the excellent  WordPress Plugin WordPress SEO by Yoast, Jooost de Valk considers minor validation errors irrelevant to SEO  in this article “W3C Validation: why you should care, and why not” on yoast.com Read the rest of this entry

Authorship Markup for WordPress.com

Using Authorship Markup and WordPress.com

(updated: 16-05-2012) Most bloggers by now will have heard about claiming authorship for their posts. Possibly many will be wondering how to do this with their WordPress.com blog. The instructions for using the attributes rel=”author” and rel=”me” posted on Google are possibly a bit confusing for bloggers without some HTML background – in fact without some minor changes the markup will not verify!. This article seeks to provide an easy to use solution for bloggers using the WordPress.com platform.

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