TaylorLovett

Safe Redirect Manager

January 8, 2013 by Taylor Lovett

Hey Everyone!

I wanted to let everyone know about a new WordPress plugin called Safe Redirect Manager. I am one of the main developers of this plugin, and it has just been released on WordPress.org along with WordPress.com VIP (which is quite a special honor).

So what is the difference between this plugin and all the other redirect management plugins? Well, this plugin is simple, safe, and straight to the point. Instead of using the WordPress options table to store redirects, it uses a custom post type; this is much more flexible and lighter on your server. The plugin has been tested and reviewed by multiple WordPress core contributors and is available on WordPress.com — in order for a plugin to be available on WordPress.com it must be extremely secure. Safe Redirect Manager also allows you to use regular expressions in your redirects (if you don’t know what this is, don’t worry it’s an optional feature).

Here is a screenshot:

Download here: http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/safe-redirect-manager

P.S: If you are a developer, Safe Redirect Manager is available to be forked on Github.

Edit: Thank you Branco Radenovich for the Slovak translation. This will be included in version 1.6.1 of the plugin.

Internal vs. Inbound Links

March 21, 2012 by Taylor Lovett

While recently doing some SEO consultations, I noticed how most people don’t understand the importance of internal linking. Let’s go back to SEO basics for a minute so I can explain.

The goal of all search engines is to serve you with the most relevant possible websites to your searches. All search engines have a different “algorithm” for deciding which pages are most relevant. Almost all of these algorithms (Google especially) place high importance on inbound links. This means the more sites linking to your site the better. The most valuable thing you can have is an inbound link from a site serving content relevant to yours. For example since my site has articles on SEO, a useful inbound link would be one from seoengine.com.

“Inbound links are like other sites voting for your content and telling search engines what your content is about.”

On the other hand, internal links are like letting search engines know about your content and voting for it. This is extremely important! Internal links signal search engines that your pages exist and are important.

Internal links are also important because your links carry authority. What do I mean when I say your links carry authority? Well, let’s say my homepage taylorlovett.com is a Google PageRank 6 (which it actually is). That means all links on my homepage carry the authority of PageRank 6. So links on my homepage carry more authority than links on some obscure page of my website that has PageRank 1. But by linking my homepage to that obscure page, I am, in a sense, telling search engines that obscure page should have more authority. Therefore my homepage should contain links to the rest of my website to spread around the “authority”.

Does that make sense? I hope it does. If not, feel free to email me with any questions.

Critical Landing Page Software to Make You Money

December 22, 2011 by Taylor Lovett

If you’ve read any of my earlier posts on landing pages, you know the importance of utilizing landing pages in your online sales efforts. Every successful internet marketer I’ve ever talked to has told me that landing pages are absolutely critical in generating sales and/or leads.

Making landing pages from scratch is time consuming. If you aren’t a web designer who is proficient in HTML, creating a professional web page is almost impossible. Why waste time and money creating individual landing pages when you can have a WordPress plugin automatically create them for you? Let me introduce you to the MaxLanding plugin for WordPress.

Features:

  • Works with any WordPress theme
  • 12 landing page templates
  • Fully customizable with plenty of easy-to-use options
  • Includes clickthrough and lead generation templates
  • Options for embedded video and product images
  • Create unlimited number of landing pages
  • 1-click copy of an existing landing page
  • No need to know HTML or to edit code files
  • All landing pages come Search Engine Optimized

MaxLanding allows you to automatically create landing pages in WordPress. The plugin is extremely customizable. You can create 1 click-through and 2 click-through landing pages with ease. MaxLanding is proven to increase the amount of sales generated by landing pages. Also since this plugin works with WordPress, you can easily hook up your landing pages to Google Analytics so you can view minute-by-minute stats of your visitors!

I recommend that you definitely give this plugin a try. You have nothing to lose. It’s cheap and if you don’t like it, there is a 30-day money back guarantee.

Download MaxLanding WordPress Plugin

Landing Pages: What Are They and When You Should Use Them?

August 16, 2011 by Taylor Lovett

There is a lot of talk today among bloggers and internet marketers about “landing pages” or “sales pages”. You might have heard people talking about how useful they are in generating new prospects for your business. I can tell you this is absolutely true but only if the landing pages are created and used correctly.

What is a landing page:
A landing page is simple a page that a visitor lands on after clicking a link. It could be your homepage. More often than not a landing page is the page that a user arrives at after clicking an advertisement.

When to use a landing page and why they are extremely important:
Suppose I have an advertisement link on webdevelopers.com. The link text reads “Free SEO Report”. Most amateurs would have this link point to their homepage. The smart move would be to create a special landing page on my site that is completely separated from the rest of the site. The landing page would be targeted specifically for the link “Free SEO Report”. That means the landing page would probably have a header that reads just that, Free SEO Report. Using a targeted landing page for your advertisements (especially for PPC ads) dramatically increases the amount of new prospects or conversions you will receive per ad click.

Google Alerts

June 8, 2011 by Taylor Lovett

I wanted to let you know about a new Google service I stumbled upon recently. It’s called Google Alerts.

As you know I run a small online web development business. I target search phrases like “Maryland web developer” and “Maryland wordpress”. I’ve spent time and money getting my website to the top of Google for those search phrases.

I also spend time searching those phrases on Google to see where my website(s) are located as well as to learn about my competition. When new websites pop up on “Maryland web developer” or “Maryland wordpress” searches, I want to be the first to know so I can examine those websites and evaluate the type of keyword strategies they are using (this is how the pros do it).

Anyway I was spending a lot of time unnecessarily searching those phrases for new competition until I learned about Google Alerts. Google Alerts is a new service that provides email updates of the latest relevant Google results (web, news, etc.) based on your choice of query or topic.

Simply, tell Google the topic you wish to monitor, enter your email address and the type of results you wish to receive, and click create alert.

It’s that simple. From now on Google will alert you when new websites appear on searches on the topics of your choosing!

5 Tips for using AJAX with JQuery and PHP in WordPress

November 12, 2010 by Taylor Lovett

Hey guys, I haven’t been posting as regularly as I like to be posting. Right now Custom Contact Forms 4.1.0 is in the works and I am doing a few freelance SEO/web development projects. While trying to debug the Custom Contact Forms admin JQuery/AJAX features I stumbled upon a great article.

If you write plugins for WordPress, this is a must-read. This article goes in to detail about a lot of the best practices for using Javascript with PHP in WordPress. 9/10 plugins are not using JQuery properly and thus cause havoc for other plugins (like mine!).

Check this out: 5 Tips for using AJAX with JQuery and PHP in WordPress

SEO Techniques for Bing

July 16, 2010 by Taylor Lovett

In the field of SEO, Google’s search engine dominates the market. But what about other search engines? Yahoo and Bing, despite not being as popular as Google, can still send your website massive amounts of traffic. Many of the on page and off page search engine optimization techniques are the same for all search engines, but some search engines place more weight than others in certain areas. Bing, Microsofts replacement for MSN, heavily favors sites that have proper validating HTML code. Off-page, Bing favors sites that utilize social networking and social bookmarking sites. Bing also likes sites that link to lots of relevant external sites.

Heres in interesting article on SEO techniques for Bing:
On-page and Off-page Bing SEO Techniques

SEO Doctor Firefox Addon

July 11, 2010 by Taylor Lovett

I stumbled on an interesting add-on for Mozilla Firefox called SEO Doctor. SEO Doctor adds a small flag icon to the far right side of the url bar which opens up a small box containing information and stats pertaining to search engine optimization. when clicked. SEO Doctor’s main features:

  • Assigns an SEO score to each page and looks for SEO errors like missing alt tags, missing meta tags, and more.
  • Counts the number of inbound and outbound links keeping track of link flow and revealing any potential areas that might leak “link juice”.
  • Detects pages that can’t be found or indexed by Google and other search engines
  • Shows estimated total number of daily visits, total number of daily visits from search engines, number of nofollow links, measures loading time, and more

For me the most useful features of SEO Doctor are the ones detecting missing page features that might affect my search engine ranking. For example if I forget to use an H1 tag on a page, SEO Doctor notifies me. If I don’t use at least one H2 tag on a page, SEO Doctor warns me that I should even though it isn’t required like the H1 tag. SEO Doctor saves me tons of time because it shows me these things while I’m viewing the page instead of me taking time to search through each one of my pages to make sure they all have H1 tags.

SEO doctor is great for experienced web developers and still easy to use for novice ones. It’s definitely worth a download and it is free after all; so give it a try.

Download SEO Doctor by Vladimir Prelovac

5 Essential Free Tools No Web Developer Should Be Without

July 6, 2010 by Taylor Lovett

I’ve been a programming in PHP and developing websites for 8 years and here are 5 free tools that no web developer should ever be without. Most if not all of these require that you use Mozilla Firefox.

1. Web Developer add-on for Mozilla Firefox

Of course number one assumes you are already using Mozilla Firefox browser. This addon creates a toolbar in your browser that allows you to accomplish a myriad of things much more easily than if you didn’t have the toolbar. Disable javascript, highlight css elements, edit CSS elements and view your changes live, view code source more easily, outline block level elements, find bad code, view image properties, validate your code, auto-fill in forms (this is incredibly useful when testing a form with many fields), manage your cookies, and much, much more. It goes without saying that this toolbar is a necessity for any web developer, PHP/Javascript programmer, or WordPress plugin developer.

2. IE Tab Plus add-on for Mozilla Firefox

This add-on allows you, the user, to switch the Firefox rendering engine to that of Internet Explorer’s. Simply right click on a page and click view in IE; this opens a new viewing tab in your browser that renders your current web page in IE’s engine. When building web pages, web developers often switch between Firefox and Internet Explorer (the two most popular browsers) to see how their website looks in each. Now with IE Tab, developers can stay in their current browser

3. Ubiquity for Mozilla Firefox

Another Firefox add-on big surprise huh?!? Ubiquity allows for dynamic commands to be entered by the user. Ubiquity allows for extended browser funcionality with dynamic commands. After installing Ubiquity, users can subscribe to commands that Ubiquity developers have created. Pressing CTRL+Space brings up a console that accepts commands which otherwise would take a few extra steps to do manually. To list a few commands: lookup artilces in wikipedia, search, translate current page, and much more.

4. Ubiquity: PHP Function Lookup

PHP function look up adds a PHP function lookup command to Ubiquity. PHP developers often need to look up functions for a variety of reasons. Not anyone can remember the order of parameters and return type for thousands of functions. Opening a new tab, going to PHP.net, and typing in a function takes time. Ubiquity’s PHP function look up command lets you do this by simply pressing CTRL+Space then typing “php your_function”. This will save any PHP programmer tons of time.

5. Ubiquity: WordPress Codex Lookup

WordPress Codex Lookup adds a command look up feature to Ubiquity allowing you to quickly search the WordPress codex for information. If you use WordPress, create WordPress plugins, or modify WordPress themes, this will save you some time. Press CTRL+Space, then type “wp codex_search” and Ubiquity will open a new tab in your browser with your WP codex search.

Password Protecting Directories in WordPress Tutorial

July 2, 2010 by Taylor Lovett

Today I wanted to password protect a directory on my website. I needed a web directory to be 100% secure and the only way to do that is using an .htaccess file. However, since WordPress already has an htaccess file on my site, doing this became a tricky project. After following other .htacess password protection tutorials on the net, WordPress would give me a 404 error when I browsed to the protected folder. It took me a few hours to figure out how to fix get around this. Here is a tutorial for password protecting directories in WordPress.

1. In the folder you want to protect, create a .htaccess file; I created a directory called password/ and placed my .htaccess file in password/.htaccess. Some operating systems don’t let you name a file called .htaccess. One way to get around this is to create a file named htaccess.txt, upload it to your site, then rename it to .htaccess. We will edit this file later in the tutorial

2. Create a file named .htpasswd and upload it to your site. This file contains the username and password that the you will need to enter in order to access you password protected folder. I recommend putting this folder in a location that is not web accessible. For most hosts your web accessible files are stored in the www/ or htdocs/ folder. If you put this file below those folders it will be 100% safe. Again, we will edit this file later in the tutorial.

3. Put this code in your .htaccess file:

AuthUserFile /home/.htpasswd
AuthType Basic
AuthName "My Password Protected Folder"
require user USERNAME

4. The bolded parts of the code are what you will have to change. Replace USERNAME with the username you will use, for this tutorial my username will be taylor. Replace /home/.htpasswd with the absolute path to your .htpasswd file. My web files are stored in /home/www/ so by placing my .htpasswd file in the /home/ folder, it makes it impossible to view with a web browser. Make sure you replace /home/.htpasswd with an absolute path and not a url like http://www.taylorlovett.com/.htpasswd.

5. Put this code in your .htpasswd file

USERNAME:ENCRYPTED PASSWORD

6. Replace USERNAME with your username, I am using taylor for this tutorial. Replace ENCRYPTED PASSWORD with an encrypted password. There are many .htpasswd generators you can use on the web. My .htpasswd file looks like this:

taylor:zG/hsmO/lXxnM

7. The last steps of this tutorial are what makes everything work along side your WordPress installation; which is why other .htaccess password protection tutorials on the internet don’t work if you’re running WordPress. Open the .htaccess file in the base directory of your WordPress installation. On my site WordPress is installed in the root, so I opened the file located at http://www.taylorlovett.com/.htaccess

At the very top of the file add the following code (make sure you add this before # BEGIN WordPress:

ErrorDocument 401 /401.html

So your .htaccess file should look something like this:

ErrorDocument 401 /401.html
# BEGIN WordPress
<IfModule mod_rewrite.c>
RewriteEngine On
RewriteBase /
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-d
RewriteRule . /index.php [L]
</IfModule>
# END WordPress

8. Finally, create a file in the root of your site called 401.html. You can leave the file blank if you want. Now everything should be working smoothly!