Gutenberg refinement, Block Directory Concept, and MailPoet

It was another full week with lots of WordPress news. Today, we’re highlighting a cool WordPress newsletter plugin that had a big update. We’ll also see that Gutenberg got yet another polish and we’ll have a bunch of bonus links for you. Let’s check it out!

More Gutenberg refinement

The latest release of Gutenberg, version 6.1, added a lot of refinement to the editor. The two most noticeable changes are animations for when you move blocks, create a new block, delete them or remove them entirely. The second one is a speed optimization for when you’re typing long posts. Making typing 30% faster on long posts!

Block Directory Concept

In a previous roundup, I’ve mentioned work being underway to add an interface to the WordPress Dashboard to add and manage Blocks. Blocks being plugins that add specific functionality to the Block Editor. It was mentioned by Matt Mullenweg during his WordCamp Europe presentation as well. Mel Choyce has now published a lot more details into what this Block Directory could look like over at Make WordPress Core blog. Detailing with lots of screenshots, she demonstrates what the flow of managing blocks on your site could look like. Mind you, they’re still concepts, but you get a good of idea of where this is going!

MailPoet, a second start

Mailpoet is a plugin that allows you to send a newsletter from your WordPress sites. It was quite popular back in the days and disappeared a little bit off our radar. After a long rewrite, their new version seems to be getting traction again. They recently announced a new free plan that includes their in-house sending service. According to Kim Gjerstad, the co-founder, they want to grow their active websites faster. Also noteworthy, 25% of their users are using WooCommerce. Check it out if you’re in the market for a WordPress native newsletter option.

Bonus Links

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WP-CLI webinar, Post Status Notes, Google Site kit, and more plugin news

Last week was a busy week, with lots of things happening in the WordPress Community. Which means several different news items to cover today! We’ve got an awesome webinar and two cool plugins to discuss and that’s not all… Let’s get started!

WP-CLI webinar

WP-CLI is the command line interface for common WordPress tasks and more. I discussed WP-CLI in a previous post, which you can read if you haven’t heard of it. Alain Schlesser, who is the main developer on the project, will do a live webinar tomorrow, together with SiteGround. You still have time to sign up and it’ll be the best way to learn about this wonderful tool and how to use it.

Post Status Notes now free

Post Status, most commonly known for their wonderful newsletter and Slack Community, announced that they have opened up their Notes section on their website. It is this Notes section that powers their newsletter. I highly recommend to check it out if you’re looking for even more WordPress news.

FullPage plugin for Gutenberg

Ever since WordPress’ new block editor launched, at the end of last year, we’re seeing more and more projects interact with it. Last week, I discovered a plugin that allows you to create a full-screen page in Gutenberg. This looks like an interesting approach to create landing pages with the block editor. If you haven’t seen it, I’d suggest you take a look at the video here.

Rediscover microblogging

Microblogging (which is, basically, a way for you to own your short-form content) is very easy to do on platforms like Twitter or Instagram. However, in the world of WordPress, it has become a little cumbersome to log in, go to posts, start a draft, write a few sentences and then go through the publish flow. msgWP is working on a solution for this, by using Telegram messages to be published straight to your WordPress blog. They’ve not yet released their plugin yet, but you can try their demo to see what it’s like.

Google launches Site Kit

Google announced the developer preview of Google Site Kit on Github. It’s launching the plugin on Github first, to allow WordPress developers to test-drive the plugin and try out Site Kit’s compatibility with other plugins. Site Kit was announced at WordCamp US 2018, and aims to bring all of Google’s relevant products together in one environment. If you want to take the plugin for a spin, find it on GitHub here.

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The Yoast SEO configuration wizard

Have you ever done a fresh install of Yoast SEO for WordPress on your WordPress website? Or perhaps you haven’t installed Yoast SEO yet, and you’re wondering what to expect? Perhaps the better question would be: have you ever tried our Yoast SEO configuration wizard? Our wizard takes care of all the little things that you should configure in Yoast SEO. Things that you might forget in your eagerness to get started with your newly set up website. But how do you start the configuration wizard? And what exactly do we cover in each step? Let’s dive in!

Where can I find the Yoast SEO configuration wizard?

Of course, you want to jump right in and configure the plugin, using that Yoast SEO configuration wizard. Once you have installed the Yoast SEO plugin, you’ll see this notification in Yoast SEO > General > Dashboard:

The configuration wizard helps you to easily configure your site to have the optimal SEO settings.
We have detected that you have not finished this wizard yet, so we recommend you to start the configuration wizard to configure Yoast SEO.

There is a link in this message, which takes you to the Yoast SEO configuration wizard.

Configuration wizard notification in Yoast SEO dashboard

Note that if this isn’t the first time you’re using the configuration wizard, you’ll still find a link to run the wizard again, but the message will instead say:

Want to make sure your Yoast SEO settings are still OK? Open the configuration wizard again to validate them.

The wizard

Once you’ve opened the wizard, we’ll guide you through the steps via a few questions. If you answer these, we’ll implement the right settings for your website, based specifically on your answers.

Step 1: Is your site ready to be indexed?

Yoast SEO configuration wizard step 1

The first question determines whether you want your site to be indexed or not. The reason we ask, is that one of the most important checks in our plugin determines whether Google can index your site or not. Google needs to be able to reach your website and index it, unless you don’t want that. And there could be good reasons why you might not want that: perhaps you’re working on a development site, on a staging server or just don’t want the public to see your site yet. If that’s the case, no problem! Just set your preference in the first step of our wizard, then click ‘next’ to continue.

Step 2: What kind of site do you have?

Yoast SEO configuration wizard step 2

In the next step, we will ask you about the type of site you have. It could be a blog or an online shop, but might as well be a news site or a portfolio.

One of the reasons we ask this question is because it’s essential for you to take a moment and think about this. What is your site about? Having a clear idea of this will help you focus on what’s important for you site.

Let’s take yoast.com, for example. We have two different sections on our website yoast.com:

  • Our blogs: an SEO blog and a dev blog. In these blogs, we share knowledge about both SEO and software development in all its facets.
  • Our online shop. We run an online shop and you’ll find our premium plugins and online courses in there.

Following our mission, “SEO for everyone”, both parts of our website are equally important. Sharing knowledge is our main goal. We use our products to provide even more insights and tools, or to deliver our knowledge to you in a structured package.

So, decide for yourself what your answer to this question should be. That’ll make it easier to configure several features of our plugin and, in fact, of your website later on. For us, as plugin developers, the information we get from this question is also useful for future improvements. For instance, it can help us to prioritize future additions to our plugin for specific types of sites.

Step 3: Is it you or an organization?

Yoast SEO configuration wizard step 3

For the right metadata, we ask you to choose between organization and person here. Is your website about you, or an organization you represent? If you are a person, we would like to include your name. If you are a company, you can add the name and logo.

This information will be included in the metadata of your website, with the goal to provide Google with the right information for their Knowledge Graph. The Knowledge Graph is the block of information you see on the right-hand side of the search results, for instance when you do a company search for Sony or Apple.

In addition to your name or company name, we also ask you to let us know which social profiles you have. Again, so we can provide Google with the right information for their Knowledge Graph. Google seems keen on delivering answers to their visitors right away, so you’d better make sure your information is on Google.

With social being a part of the Knowledge Graph, and your website being linked on all your social profile pages, be sure to fill this out as completely as possible.

Step 4: To show or not show posts and pages

Yoast SEO configuration wizard step 4

The description in the image below is pretty clear: this is where you can set posts and pages to hidden or visible for the search engines. If you already know that you don’t want posts on your site to show up in the search results, you can set this to ‘no’. Not sure? Read more about indexing in Yoast SEO.

Step 5: How many people are publishing content on your site?

Yoast SEO configuration wizard step 5

We want to know if your website has multiple authors. There’s a reason for that: when your site only has one author, WordPress will still generate author pages. And if you write all the content on your blog yourself, your blog page will show the exact same collection of posts as your author page. Which, indeed, is duplicate content.

We call something duplicate content when the majority of a page is the same as the content on another page. Google will get confused, won’t know what page to rank first, and might decide to rank both a bit less. You obviously want to prevent that. As we can guide you in this case, we added this check to our Yoast SEO configuration wizard.

Step 6: Optimizing your page title

This step in the wizard asks you to think about your branding. The website name you enter here is the name that our default page title template will put at the end of each page title. The default page title template looks like this:
title - page - sep - sitename

Yoast SEO configuration wizard step 6

The last part of that template is sitename, and that’s what you fill out here. Be sure to add it, but keep it short, so the focus will be on the page or post title. It’s nice to have some of your branding in here so people will recognize your pages in the search result pages. If they already know you and your site, they’re more likely to click on one of your links.

The third part of the page template is sep, which stands for separator. A page title that follows our template could be “Some title of a post – Yoast”. The hyphen in there is the separator you set at this step in the Yoast SEO configuration wizard. Using an uncommon separator might make you stand out from your competitors in the search result pages. You could also choose to pick the smallest separator, to squeeze in another character or two.

Read more: Titles and meta variables in Yoast SEO »

Step 7: Awesome tips and new products in your inbox

Yoast SEO configuration wizard step 7

As SEO is an ongoing process, our goal is to keep you up-to-date on any changes in Google’s search result pages or Google’s algorithm. We do that by posting on our SEO blog, but also with our newsletter. In the newsletter, we highlight new developments in search, in WordPress, and in our company – if relevant. Simply insert your email address, and we’ll keep you in the loop on all things SEO!

Step 8: Upsell: you might like…

Call it whatever you want (upsell, spam, useful information), but we have to tell you about our premium plugin in our configuration. Because we deliver incredibly useful SEO extras with that premium plugin, for a reasonable price. To name but a few:

  • Better keyword optimization, because you can optimize not only for your focus keyword, but also for synonyms, and taking word forms into account.
  • What about a redirect manager? We’ll not only show you your 404s, but will also make it very easy to redirect, and thereby fix them.
  • Social previews, so you’ll know exactly what your website will show on Facebook and Twitter, and the option to tweak that.
  • A year of updates for all premium features, so your entire plugin will always be 100% up-to-date.
  • Email support for as long as you have Premium. This means you can email our 24/7 support team with any questions you have about the plugin.
Yoast SEO Configuration wizard step 8

In addition, we offer some hands-on online courses to improve your SEO game even more. Be sure to check them out; you can always decide later which SEO aspects you want more guidance on.

Step 9: Get started with the Yoast SEO and readability analysis

All the steps above have one goal: prepare you and your website for SEO. But while this wizard will help you get the general settings of your plugin right, your job optimizing your content is far from done.

Yoast SEO configuration wizard step 9

If you have used our plugin before, you’ll know it also analyses your content in real time, while you write your posts or pages. On the page/post edit screen, where you write your content, you’ll find this analysis in the sidebar and the so-called meta box. For more insights into how to use the SEO and readability analysis, we finish our Yoast SEO configuration wizard with a helpful video. It tells you more about that specific part of the plugin, so you don’t just set it and forget it. Be sure to watch that video!

The configuration wizard makes things easier for everyone

Now you know why you should give our Yoast SEO configuration wizard a spin, and why it asks certain questions. The wizard’s got you covered by setting things correctly under the hood of your website, so you can focus your efforts on optimizing your content.

Ready for the next step in using Yoast SEO? Check out our beginner’s guide to Yoast SEO. And, if you want to learn all the ins and outs of our plugin, get the Yoast SEO for WordPress training!

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Gutenberg 6.0, WPGraphQL, and WP Engine news

WordPress 5.2.2 launched last week, but of course, that wasn’t the only news happening. There was a lot going on in the world of WordPress as it was the week of the largest WordCamp Europe (over 2800 attended!). Let’s see what happened this last week!

Gutenberg 6.0

The Gutenberg project kept publishing improvement after improvement and it saw the release of version 6.0 last week. The most important new features are the polished Widgets screen and an improved Group block. This release also features a layout picker for the Columns block, allowing the user to choose from pre-defined layouts or to start from scratch.

Diving deeper into WPGraphQL

A couple of months ago, in a previous roundup, I mentioned the WPGraphQL project. And, a few of you reached out to me privately about that. Particularly about what the project aims to do and how to use it with WordPress. Now, I could, of course, write out an extensive explanation of what the possibilities are, but why bother if there’s a great video that does all the explaining for me:

To demonstrate that the WPGraphQL project is getting a lot of traction, Jason Bahl, the lead developer working on the project, announced that he’ll be joining the Gatsby team to work on the WPGraphQL project full-time.

Post Status Online event

Post Status, of PostStatus fame, has announced their first online conference. They’re going to stream 14 presentations which will also be downloadable. It’s also a great opportunity to chat with like-minded folks. Post Status Publish focuses on web professionals and will take place on July 8 & 9. You can learn more about the event here.

WP Engine news

One of the most prominent managed WordPress hosting companies out there, WP Engine, had a lot to share over the last couple of weeks. First, they launched DevKit, a WordPress local development environment and build toolkit, that seamlessly works with WP Engine and encourages better and faster code. Go check it out if you haven’t yet. It’s a pretty cool tool.

They also announced them acquiring another respected WordPress hosting company called Flywheel. Pretty big news in the world of WordPress hosting companies.

Bonus links

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WordProof, CoBlocks update, Genesis framework 3.0 beta and more

Another week, another news roundup! In this edition, we’ll cover an interesting solution to really authenticate your content. I’d also like to highlight a tutorial on how to add AMP to your site and a cool gallery block enhancing plugin. And there’s more, so let’s get started…

Time-stamping your content with WordProof

In this day and age where #fakenews is rampant, proving the authenticity and integrity of your content has become paramount. In some cases, you may even need to comply with privacy policy laws. Up until now, setting this up for your WordPress blog was extremely laborious and difficult to do.

WordProof solves exactly this problem by time-stamping your WordPress content to the Blockchain. And yes, this is the first real-life application with the blockchain that actually makes sense to me. All you need to do is install their plugin and follow the instructions to connect your site with the blockchain.

CoBlocks update

If you hadn’t noticed before, I’m a big fan of what Rich Tabor, now at GoDaddy, has done with the Block Editor enhancing CoBlocks plugin. Especially their galleries solutions are aces.

Yes, you read that correctly, the CoBlocks plugin comes with several variations, with different types of enhancements to the gallery block. They released their 1.10 version, which polishes the blocks even more, has easier maps, Form Block Spam Protection, and more. So, check out the plugin if you haven’t yet.

AMP your site up the right way

Bill Erickson walks us through building a Native AMP site. His tutorial takes the perspective of doing this in the Genesis Framework. But, don’t let that stop you from learning from it.

Genesis Framework 3.0 beta released

Genesis 3.0 will be the first big release in years. Since Genesis is already 9 years old, there were definitely things that could be removed and improved. The entire theme has been overhauled and, for instance, the blog template will be removed entirely.

One of the things which will be added to Genesis 3.0 is the integration with AMP. Which means that Bill’s above-mentioned AMP tutorial is actually easier to do with Genesis 3.0. You can try out the 3.0 beta and see for yourself.

Bonus links

  • WP Engine released a beta package of curated development tools. It’s called the DevKit and includes a local development environment, Genesis-specific functionality, and a wealth of other inclusions. It’s all geared towards helping you create and debug WordPress projects.
  • Gutenberg 5.9 was released and it adds a new type of notices called ‘Snackbars’. A ‘Snackbar’ displays a succinct message that is cleared out after a small delay.
  • The XML Sitemaps Feature Project Proposal was published. It’s a joint effort between us (Yoast), Google and various other contributors to get the sitemaps into WordPress Core.

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Sign in with Apple ID, full site editing plugin and bonus links

We had a lot going on this past week in the world of WordPress. Lots of interesting plugins and tutorials and general WordPress news. WordPress 5.2.2 is still slated for this week, but don’t let that stop you from catching up first! Let’s dive in!

New Wordfence Login Security Plugin

Wordfence, a Firewall & Malware Scan plugin that protects your websites has announced a new plugin called the Wordfence Login Security Plugin. It’s a plugin that is designed to secure your login and authentication system.

It does this by providing a robust two-factor authentication that is not vulnerable to cellphone SIM porting attacks, a login page CAPTCHA that protects you from sophisticated credential stuffing attacks, and it also includes XML-RPC protection. You can read all about in their release post.

Joost stepped down as WordPress marketing lead

Joost, our CPO, announced he’s stepped down from his role as Marketing Lead for WordPress. In Joost’s own words:

My experience over the last few months made me feel that while I was doing things and getting things done, I certainly wasn’t leadership. Which is why I want to step away from my role: I don’t want to pretend I have a say in things I don’t have a say in.

– Joost de Valk

You can read more about the full reasoning on his post on his personal blog.

Full site editing plugin

Automattic releases a Full Site Editing plugin that takes Gutenberg to the next level when it comes to building your site. I really love the idea, but I’d love it even more if this was a community plugin instead of just an Automattic one.

I’m assuming (hoping, really) something like this gets added to Gutenberg with plenty of hooks and filters, so theme developers can easily add custom templates.

Sign in with Apple in WordPress

If you’ve seen last week’s WWDC, you may have noticed Apple is providing a new way to create login credentials for apps and sites. Sign In with Apple makes it easy for users to sign in to your apps and websites using their Apple ID. Instead of filling out forms, verifying email addresses, and choosing new passwords, they can use Sign In with Apple to set up an account and start using your app right away. 

Now, it was only a matter of time before someone brought this idea to WordPress and as it turns out, the time needed for that was less than a week. Kaspars Dambis created a proof of concept that bridges WordPress to this new Sign In with Apple functionality. Pretty cool, right?

Pantheon acquires StagingPilot

Pantheon acquires StagingPilot, a WebOps tooling service that automates over two million test steps a month that would otherwise be done by humans.

Bonus links

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Block Editor news and plugin tips

While we’re getting ready to see WordPress 5.2.2 released next week, today’s roundup focuses partly on the Block Editor. I’m also highlighting two plugins that work wonderfully with the Block Editor. One is for creating creative grid layouts and one is for ad management. Let’s dive in!

Block Library Project

The project for the Block Library in the Gutenberg editor, which allows for installing Blocks from within Gutenberg, is well underway. The end goal of the project is to have the WordPress.org API provide an endpoint for searching for blocks by name and description, and return metadata similar to that of plugins. Making it super easy to install blocks from within the Gutenberg editor.

Mel Choyce published an update on the Make WordPress Design blog outlining a workflow. Well worth checking out. Especially if you’ve already spent a lot of time in the new Block Editor.

Grids for the Block Editor

Speaking of the Block Editor, there’s a cool plugin I stumbled upon called Grids. It’s a sort of layout builder that helps you create visual structures in your page. From a simple layout made by adjacent columns, to more complex compositions.

Grids is entirely based on the Block Editor, which means you’ll be able to use it together with the big collection of content blocks that have already been created. It’s a pretty nifty plugin, if you ask me.

Site Health Manager

WordPress 5.2 introduced the ‘Site Health’ section in your ‘Tools’ menu. As is the case with all new features WordPress adds, soon, a new plugin will start playing with that :) Just like in this case. If you’d like more granular control over what is shown in the ‘Site Health’ section, then the Site Health Manager plugin is for you.

Adsanity

One of the very few plugins I recommend for managing advertisements on your site is Adsanity. It’s a premium plugin, but it’s one well worth paying for in my opinion. The plugin works as a light ad rotator plugin. It allows you, as the user, to create and manage ads shown on a website as well as keep statistics on views and clicks.

They recently released their 1.6 version, which makes the plugin integrate perfectly with the Block Editor as well as Beaver Builder, for instance. If you’re in the market for an ad manager, do check them out.

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Happy sweet 16 WordPress, microblogging and Hello theme launch

We have a wide arrange of topics to discuss in this roundup. Everything from a perfect microblogging theme, to spinning up your WordPress hosting environment and lots in between. And, there are even some bonus links this time. Let’s dive in!

Happy Sweet 16 WordPress!

Today is an extra special day in the land of WordPress. It’s the 16th birthday of WordPress. It’s been 16 years since Mike Little and Matt Mullenweg released the first release of WordPress.

Elementor launches Hello theme

One of my favorite theme builders, Elementor, launched a theme in the WordPress repository that is fully compatibility with Elementor called Hello. It’s both a clean and lightweight theme that allows you to fully build the site whichever way you like.

For those of you wondering if there’s a place for Page Builders in this block-based editor era, I’d encourage you to play around with the Hello theme and the Elementor plugin and see for yourself. Both are freely available from within your WordPress Dashboards.

SpinupWP out of beta

About six months ago I mentioned an alternative solution for self-hosting your WordPress sites called SpinupWP. Last week, after having two developers working on it full-time for 15 months, 400 hours of design, and 300 beta users for six months, they finally launched out of beta. If you’re in the market for self-hosting your sites, you should check them out!

Microblogging

You might think that the only place where microblogging can take place is Twitter or Instagram, for instance. Well, microblogging – short messages that come in the form of a variety of content formats, including text, images, video, audio, and hyperlinks – also have a place in our favorite CMS: WordPress.

All you really need is a theme that makes your microblogging shine. And the Davis theme created by Anders Norén does exactly that.

Disable the WordPress blog

What if the site you’re building has no need for a blog? Well, there’s a plugin for that! The Disable Blog plugin to disables the blog functionality of WordPress. It does this by hiding admin pages and settings. It also redirects pages on both the front-end and admin side. Perfect for that static site you’re building.

Bonus links

  • When you want to share blog posts on social media, you need an image that matches your post. However, creating images for social media can be a pain. It is exactly this problem that Placid is trying to solve. It’s a premium solution, but it may be just perfect for you.
  • If you’ve ever needed a solution to create beautiful footnotes for your WordPress site, look no further. Footnotes Made Easy is the perfect, Gutenberg ready plugin for this.

The post Happy sweet 16 WordPress, microblogging and Hello theme launch appeared first on Yoast.

Common (beginner) mistakes in WordPress

WordPress, as a CMS, is great for people who are just starting with their first website. It doesn’t require users to write code, it’s SEO friendly and easy to manage. Still, there are a few mistakes many beginners make in WordPress. Actually, to be honest, these mistakes are not only made by beginners. That’s is why it’s time I shared a couple of common (beginner) mistakes in WordPress here.

1. Not changing your permalinks properly

It’s good to think about your permalinks before you actually start using WordPress. Permalinks (the name already gives it away) are meant to be permanent. So, once you’ve set them, you really shouldn’t change them again.

If you, however, do decide to change your permalinks, the URLs of your posts will change. This means search engines can no longer find your posts, as they’ve indexed the old permalink. Visitors coming to your site via search engines will end up on your site with an error message saying the post could not be found. The infamous 404 error message. You want to avoid those at all cost.

You have lots of options to choose from when deciding on a permalink structure. In most cases, however, the most simple one with just the /%postname%/ will suffice for an SEO-friendly URL.

Read more: How to change your WordPress permalink structure »

2. Forgetting to update

Between WordPress, all the plugins and themes, it can be hard to keep track of all the updates a website needs. Especially if everything is working smoothly, it can be hard to see the immediate value in taking the time to process those updates.

But keeping plugins, themes and WordPress itself updated is one of the most important tasks you have as a site owner. Updates not only bring new features but often times fix bugs and security issues. The absolute last thing you want to see happen is to end up with a hacked site, right?

Keep reading: WordPress Security »

3. Having too many plugins

There are more than fifty thousand plugins available in the WordPress repository, so you have a lot of options to choose from. Which makes it very tempting to install a plugin for every little thing you can think of. But that doesn’t come without a cost.

Not only will you have to keep all these plugins up to date, but there are other risks as well. Too many plugins doing fancy stuff can possibly slow your site down, which means you may end up with a slow website. So, evaluate carefully before you install a new plugin.

Technically, a single plugin can screw up your entire site. So it isn’t just about the number of plugins, but also about being careful about what you add to your site.

4. Not creating a child theme when making changes

When installing your WordPress website for the first time, you get one of the default WordPress themes. And perhaps this theme doesn’t suit your needs. So you’re on the lookout for a new theme.

You’ve found a new theme, installed it and it’s working fine. But, after a little while, you realize you want to change a few things. Before you dive into how to change your theme, you should create a child theme and make your changes in the child theme. By doing this, you’ll be sure that when your initial theme sees some updates, you won’t lose all your modifications.

If you follow the links in the previous paragraph, you can learn how to create your child theme yourself. But, as with many things within WordPress, there’s also a plugin that does it for you.

By the way, there’s a big chance you only want to do some CSS changes and the Customizer should suffice for this. That’s also a future proof way to change things about your theme.

5. Deleting content the wrong way

One of the most common mistakes occurs once you have your site up and running. You may want to delete posts or pages. They may no longer serve the purpose they used to and it makes good sense to remove those.

However, since the search engines have indexed your site, deleted content on your site will render the infamous 404 pages: page not found. So, make sure you delete pages on your site the right way. Our Yoast SEO Premium solves this problem for you, by the way.

Read on: What does the Redirect manager in Yoast SEO do? »

6. Not deleting the default content

When you first install WordPress, WordPress will create a ‘Sample Page’ and a ‘Hello World’ post for you. Make sure you delete the default sample page via the pages menu and the ‘Hello World’ post via the posts menu. Don’t be like any of these websites 😉.

Don’t make these mistakes!

There you have it. These are the most common (beginner) mistakes made in WordPress. Although you may have noticed a few things listed here that are not just mistakes beginners make. Make sure you avoid these and you’re well under way working on your WordPress site.

Keep on reading: WordPress SEO: The definitive guide »

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Supporting older versions of WordPress

As soon as WordPress 5.3 comes out, Yoast will only support WordPress 5.2 and WordPress 5.3, and not versions before that. This means we’ll end our support for WordPress 4.9, which we’d kept alive for a little bit longer than usual to allow people to transition to WordPress 5.0 and the classic editor. I’d like to explain why we have this policy and why we’re deciding to go back to it.

Building software for WordPress can be incredibly complex. We work in a world where there are always a couple of versions of WordPress around. Next to that, plugins can do almost anything (which they do), which also means they can interfere with each other. Every site has a different combination of plugins, leading to tens of thousands of different combinations.

Modern code

At Yoast we pride ourselves in using the best tools available to build solutions for our users. With WordPress 5.2, the WordPress core team upped the minimum PHP requirement for WordPress from PHP 5.2 to PHP 5.6. We always want our software to work on the minimum requirements for WordPress, which means we could only use functionality from PHP 5.2 up until then.

Note: I know these version numbers and the fact that they’re so alike can become confusing. We’ve certainly had some confusion around that internally. I apologize for that in advance, but as you’ll understand, I can’t change these version numbers.

PHP is the language that most of the WordPress backend is built in. PHP 5.2 was released in 2006, while PHP 5.6 was released in 2014. As you can see, that’s 8 years apart, and 8 years is an incredibly long time on the internet.

By going back to our policy of only supporting the current and previous version, and thus only supporting WordPress 5.2 and 5.3, we allow ourselves to develop using PHP 5.6. Because we can use PHP 5.6 now, we can develop faster and more securely.

What does “support” mean?

When we say we don’t support an older version of WordPress it means we’ve stopped testing with it, and things are likely to break. It also means you won’t see Yoast SEO updates until you’ve updated your WordPress to a supported version.

My site doesn’t work with the classic editor

For a small portion of sites, I know this leaves them in limbo, which we hate. If you have a custom WordPress solution, built with old versions of plugins like Advanced Custom Fields (ACF), you might be “stuck”. Even though ACF has done an incredibly good job of migrating to Gutenberg, that might not “save” you.

While we think that sucks, we don’t really have any option for you other than to go to your website developer and explain them that this isn’t a state you want to stay in. You really should move to newer versions of WordPress. We will keep on supporting the Classic Editor for a few more years, so if they make it work with that, you’re good.

I don’t see any Yoast SEO updates

There are a couple of different reasons why you can’t see Yoast SEO updates. As said above: if you’re on an old version of WordPress, you will not see them. So update your WordPress first. If that’s not the case, please reinstall the plugin, simply delete it and install the latest version manually. That won’t delete any of your data, don’t worry.

Go and update your site!

So, if you’re on an old version of WordPress, go and update. Of course, before doing anything like updating plugins or WordPress, always make sure to test and back up your site!

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