Tag Archives: wordpress

PHP 7.2, WordPress and You

Right on the heels of the Gutenberg update, WordPress users are facing another technology update that will require a little attention.

This time around, we’re facing an update to PHP, one of the core programming languages that WordPress is built upon. This update will affect WordPress users globally, and so everyone with a WordPress site will need to make sure that they evaluate their setup to make sure everything is hunky-dory.

Don’t worry! I know this sounds like I’m about to jump of the techno-babble cliff and bore you all to death, but I promise I’ll keep this understandable. So stay tuned, and we’ll go through what PHP is, why it’s updating, and what needs to be done about it. Continue reading

How We Work: Web Development

Here at the Solamar blog, we spend a lot of time talking about web design — tips and best practices for putting your logo together or how to make a killer landing page — but we don’t get too much into the development side of things. For the most part, this is because development stuff is highly technical and we don’t want to put off our audience by throwing a bunch of jargon at them that they’ll have trouble deciphering.

But today, let’s dig into how the sausage is made! I promise I’ll keep things as simple and easy to understand as possible, and I think you’ll find the process of how we take your web design from concept to execution an interesting journey. So stay tuned, and buckle up as we discover how we work on web development! Continue reading

The Latest & Greatest — WordPress 4.6 “Pepper”

wapuu_1024x1024_5fa163fe-60e2-4844-b62f-fcbae5befb4e_1024x1024One of the great things about WordPress is that it is constantly in development, and each new release brings a slew of new features and updates that make using our favorite CMS even more enjoyable. That’s why, as each new “named” release becomes available, we’re going to take some time here to go through the new bells and whistles for you.

If you have an existing WordPress site, you won’t see these new items automatically, you’ll need to upgrade your WordPress installation to 4.6 in order to see them. However, you shouldn’t update your install without backing up your entire site first and then double-checking everything is still working afterwards. If that isn’t something you are comfortable with, DON’T update. Instead, get a team with WordPress experience, like Solamar, to do it for you.

That said, we still want you to know what the new hotness is, so you’re up-to-date on what WordPress is capable of. So without further ado, here’s the good stuff that was added in WordPress 4.6 “Pepper”, named for jazz baritone saxophonist Park Frederick “Pepper” Adams III. Continue reading

WordPress Plugins We Love: Advanced Custom Fields Pro

acf-proOne of the reasons we love WordPress so much is the vast number of plugins it has available to extend the built-in functionality. But since there are over 40,000 plugins available in the repository, we thought it would be fun to help you sort through the pile by recommending a few of our favorites. These will be plugins we use all the time, have thoroughly tested and highly suggest using if you are looking for what they offer.

OK, fair warning, this post is going to be a little bit techy, so if that’s not your bag, bail now. Or don’t! You might find this interesting anyway.

Stay or go, we just couldn’t resist highlighting one of our favorite WordPress plugins, Advanced Custom Fields Pro (ACF PRO). Why do we like this plugin so much? Simply put, it allows us to create custom fields in ways that make our sites incredibly easy to use for our clients, as well as simplifying the development process for us.

Stay tuned, and I’ll tell you what the heck I’m talking about. Continue reading

WordPress Plugins We Love: All in One SEO PAck

all-in-one-seoOne of the reasons we love WordPress so much is the vast number of plugins it has available to extend the built-in functionality. But since there are over 40,000 plugins available in the repository, we thought it would be fun to help you sort through the pile by recommending a few of our favorites. These will be plugins we use all the time, have thoroughly tested and highly suggest using if you are looking for what they offer.

As we mentioned in a recent post, WordPress is an awesome Search Engine Optimization (SEO) tool right out of the box, but with a little help, it can do so much more! One of the best ways to make that happen is to install a top-of-class SEO plugin to extend the built-in functionality. While there are many plugins that claim to power-up your SEO, a few stand above the rest by providing a wide array of tools, are easy to use, and don’t impact the performance of your site. Of these, we have found All in One SEO Pack to be the best of the breed.

All in One SEO was created by Michael Torbert and Steve Mortiboy in 2007 and is one of the more venerable plugins out there. According to their site, it is the most downloaded plugin for WordPress (with almost 30-million downloads), and for good reason! So what makes this plugin so great? Stick around, and we’ll drop some truth on you. Continue reading

How To Do On-Page SEO in WordPress

Depositphotos_43832397_s-2015Search Engine Optimization has changed over the past several years, but don’t make the mistake of thinking SEO is dead. Business owners often hear that old SEO tactics no longer work, so they misunderstand this to mean you can ignore SEO guidelines altogether and still show up competitively in the search engines.

SEO continues to be a complex undertaking, and Google and other search engine’s algorithms are constantly changing,  but there are things you can do to make your WordPress website SEO friendly.

The good news is, WordPress is built as an SEO-friendly content management system. This means the way a WordPress website is coded and designed makes it easy for search engines to discover your content and crawl your site. A well-developed, cleanly-designed, responsive theme, such as Solamar’s custom themes for WordPress, ensure the robots are less likely to run into any trouble crawling your site.

So once you’ve chosen to use WordPress and the right theme, you’ve already chosen fertile ground for doing your on-page SEO.

The next smart step to do on-page SEO effectively in WordPress, would be to select and install a plugin that will make it easier for you. We generally recommend the All-in-One SEO plugin because it is simple to use and understand. Another popular option that our clients use is the Yoast SEO plugin. Continue reading

8 Simple Steps to Keep Your WordPress Site Secure

padlock-597495_640-cropIt’s ironic that securing a WordPress website is called “hardening.” The process is a bit  like adding more stones and rocks to bolster a fortress. But, remembering all the details of WordPress security is so much “harder” (and so much more important to keeping hackers away) than a rock wall!

Sure, you could stick your head in the ground like an ostrich and make-believe that small business owners aren’t worth hacking. However, as we mentioned in a previous post, we live “…in the age of big box security leaks, NSA snooping, easily lost mobile devices chock full of personal data and hackers that are increasingly targeting smaller targets.” And since WordPress is pretty soft on defense, it’s seriously important to step up and combat the attacks.

That’s why it’s worth repeatedly telling you about how to best protect your WordPress site. Especially when these 8 simple steps can help even the most technically challenged secure their website. Continue reading