The WordPress Backup Creator takes the pain and anxiety out of three important tasks – backup, clone and transfer your WordPress blog.
If you have ever tried to backup your WordPress blog or transfer it to another web host, you will appreciate the angst involved and the complexity of the task, particularly if you want your widgets and plugins copied or transferred at the same time.
I’ve tried several WordPress backup programs but they were either too complex or unreliable. In one case, I was issued with an update (to fix a bug) almost weekly … and this did not inspire confidence.
Recently I purchased the WordPress Backup Creator and found not only was it reliable but very simple to use, with very clear written and video instructions. The beauty of it was that it took so few steps and these were very easy to execute (I don’t know about you, but I lose patience if the steps are too unclear or too complex).
I had wanted to transfer my personal productivity membership site because the original hosting was way too expensive. This productivity membership site is based on WordPress. It is fairly complex because not only does it incorporate membership details, payment options, sales page and optin page but also 50 plus lessons (blog posts) and audios.
I am delighted to report that, using the WordPress Backup Creator, I was able to transfer my whole Productivity membership site without loss of data, plugins, posts or widgets. I was truly astounded at how easy and efficient it was (and I am one very relieved person). The Backup Creator enabled me to save more than $20 per month hosting fees.
Just purchasing and using the WordPress Backup program has improved my productivity no end.
Just think of all the work that you have put into your WordPress blogs and imagine what would happen if you lost your blog (and the associated comments). This WordPress plugin is so ridiculously cheap when you think of all that pain and anxiety you can save by just using the plugin to protect your WordPress sites.
If you are into cloning WordPress sites, then this is the tool to make that task so easy and profitable.
I certainly have no hesitation in recommending the WordPress Backup Creator:
You can go the hard road and hire a lawyer to write the necessary policies for your WordPress website to make it a legal website or alternatively you can access a WordPress Plugin designed specifically for this purpose.
This WordPress Plugin will automatically generate a range of policy statements to enable you to create a legal website and improve the value of your WordPress website in the eyes of Google and other search engines.
The free plugin comes with 10 policies at the moment and you can edit these to suit your own purposes:
external links policy
Often you will find that a set of policy statements will come with other purchases that you make (for example, if you purchase the software for a membership site as I did with my personal productivity site). You can use these alternative policies if you prefer and it is just a matter of editing the ones provided with the WordPress Policies Plugin.
Installing WP Policies for a legal WordPress website
You need, however, to check the permission setting for the folder where the default policies are stored before activating the plugin. The instructions for this and for the overall setup of the legal policies are included as a text file with the plugin when you upload it. These instructions show you how to add the variable fields for the policy statements (such as Company, address, email and phone number), that are added automatically when you ‘import’ the default policies (Step 4 in the Instructions).
You can delete or deactivate any of the policy pages you do not want to display by clicking on “Pages” in the Dashboard of your WordPress blog and either ‘trashing’ the page or changing the setting to draft (deactivates the page).
You can also display the pages in the footer by adding the code provided to the footer.php file of your WordPress Theme (Step 6 in the instructions) – see illustration in the footer to SmallBusinessOdyssey.
It is important to make sure your WordPress website is a legal website by adding the relevant legal policies – the WP Policies WordPress Plugin gives you an easy way to do this.
Over the past 30 days I have been blogging daily (with the odd exception due to work/travel commitments). To blog daily takes a concerted effort and systematic planning. However, the benefits of daily blogging are well worth the effort. Persistence pays in small business marketing.
It is possible to work up to a daily schedule by gradually improving your current blogging schedule. Alternatively, you can aim for a daily blogging schedule with some advanced planning then adjust your technique as you go.
Whatever approach you use, think about how you are going to achieve your blogging goal and develop some strategies to make it easier for yourself.
Strategies to achieve your daily blogging goal
These strategies are based on my own experience and underpin my daily blogging routine:
Take time out to do a brainstorm of topics relevant to the theme of your blog. If you can’t come up with 20 or more topics then you might have to rethink the focus of your blog
Add to your brainstorming list on a daily basis (I use ‘Notepad” or my phone’s ‘notes’ application for this)
Plan the night before what your topic will be for the next day – you will be surprised how busy your sub-conscious mind becomes overnight so you wake up with a potential post
Give blogging a priority over web surfing or processing your emails (unless work-based urgent ones are involved)
Undertake focused reading – blogs, articles or e-books to stimulate your thinking
Watch videos or participate in web conferences in moderation – beware of the trap of an obsession with learning at the expense of doing (blogging)
Listen to podcasts when doing other things such as walking or house cleaning (your iPod comes in handy here)
Write whenever and wherever you can, even if it is only notes on a topic, e.g. while riding on a train or ferry or while flying to a destination (I wrote this blog post and the previous one while flying from Brisbane to Townsville – a two hour trip. The photo above was taken from my Townsville hotel room looking across to Magnetic Island as I keyed up what I wrote on the plane trip. The photo was taken from the 17th Floor with the 8 MP Camera in my Samsung Galaxy S II Smart Phone.)
Use a technique that enables you to capture your ideas on a topic at different times of the day – you could write notes on paper, on your smart phone or on your computer (use your preferred mode that helps to increase your productivity)
Match your blog post to your available time or access to your computer. If you have limited time on a particular day, don’t choose a topic that requires in-depth research. Choose something that you can write off the top of your head if time is limited
Develop a schedule for writing. Identify an ideal time that matches your body clock and creative energy flow (e.g. if you are a morning person write in the early morning)
If daily blogging is currently beyond your capacity, aim to increase the current frequency of your blogging to an achievable level, e.g. from monthly to weekly, from weekly to twice weekly. The existence of a new goal will help you increase your blogging frequency. You have to be realistic if you have limited capacity because of work/family commitments, writing difficulties or limited knowledge
If you see a stimulating email or link to a great blog post that is relevant to your focus, store it in a readily accessible folder so that you can use it later as a catalyst for a blog post
Store your resource material (e-books, podcasts, videos, checklists, images) in accessble folders under topic headings related to your focus
If you have responded to a query from someone on your mailing list, convert your response to a blog post
Try to get ahead of the daily schedule by writing a couple of posts in one sitting – this will give you a bit of breathing space when you need it and, if your have a WordPress blog, you can set the publish date for sometime in the future
Where possible, encourage a guest blogger to make occasional contributions – as you become established you may want to open the guest blogging option to a number of people as my friends have done at SquidLog.net
Above all else, don’t beat up on yourself if you don’t achieve your blogging target. Persist but don’t punish yourself. Review why you missed your target, adopt corrective strategies or amend your goal if it is unrealistic.
If at first you don’t succeed … try, try again (This is my 3rd attempt to create a daily blogging schedule).
Daily blogging can enhance your authority in your niche and build web traffic and sales, but it requires focus, discipline and sound techniques to develop and maintain the momentum.
When I discussed Webmaster Tools earlier, I mentioned the need to create a sitemap for your website and submit it to Google. I will discuss how to do the creation and submission of a site map in this post because it is critical to the indexing of your website by Google and determines how your website will be found through search queries on Google (and other search engines).
A sitemap is basically, as the name suggests, a map or directory of your website, so that the structure and priority of the files on your website can be displayed for easy access by the search engines. You can see from the sitemap extract above that the sitemap for Small Business Odyssey has a hyperlinked list of files, a priority rating (percentage) and a frequency rating (to tell the search engines how frequently to index that part of the website).
Why create a sitemap and why submit it to Webmaster Tools?
Well, in non-technical language, it seems that the Google Bots (robots that crawl your website) are lazy ‘creatures” and do not go out of their way to properly index your site for the Google search engine. They take the easy way out – they only go where the path is clearly laid out for them. They don’t like deadends (broken links) or confused pathways (disconnected files randomly located). When I look at how Google is currently indexing my Small Business Odyssey blog, I am even more convinced of how lazy the Google Bots are – it seems that they need to be spoon-fed the information, otherwise they do a poor job of indexing your website.
So the primary reason for creating a sitemap for Google is to enable the Google Bots to comprehensively index your website. Otherwise, a lot of your website may not appear in Google’s index and will not be found by Internet searchers. Google admits as much by this comment on Webmaster Tools:
Submit a Sitemap to tell Google about pages on your site we might not otherwise discover.
Creating an XML Sitemap
This brings us to the creation of a sitemap. I am suggesting that you create this sitemap initially as a .XML file because it is easy for the lazy Bots to read completely. This sitemap format basically lets the Google Bots into the back engine room of your site and shows them around – where files are located and how they are linked by type (home page, static pages, dynamic pages, categories, tags).
If this post appears too technical for you, just make sure that your Webmaster has created an XML sitemap for your website and submitted it to Google.
Here are the steps for creation of your XML sitemap:
Make adjustments to the default settings (if you wish)
Click ‘create sitemap’ and you will very quickly have a site map and a stated location (URL) for your sitemap.
The beauty of this WordPress Plugin for creating Google XML Sitemaps is that it offers multiple options in terms of settings, automatically submits the sitemap to Google, Ask.com and Bing search engines and updates automatically when you change a file on your website. So it is comprehensive and dynamic.
In terms of adjustments to default settings, most commentators suggest that you leave the defaults as they are – it certainly makes life simpler. However, I would suggest that you may want to change the default for ‘priority’ – the default setting tells the Google Bots to give priority to the posts that have the most comments. This may not be meaningful if you have a really new site. I have set up my priorities in the following order – home page, recent posts, static pages, older posts, categories and tags. I will change this as the Small Business Odyssey site becomes more established and generates more traffic and comments.
The other default setting you may want to change before you click the “create sitemap’ button, is ‘Change Frequency’. For example, the default setting tells the Google Bots to index your posts weekly. However, if you are creating blog posts on a daily basis, you should change the ‘frequency’ to daily. The Google Bots may ignore this suggestion (remember they are basically lazy), but it is better to at least express your wishes. Google’s own experts, such as Matt Cutts, tell us that the more frequently you update your site with relevant information, the more often the Google Bots will crawl your site and the deeper (more thoroughly) they will index your website.
I’ve made a few adjustments to the priority and frequency default settings for my XML sitemap and you can see the result here:
Here’s a YouTube video that simplifies the whole process and shows you exactly what to do (there are no adjustments to defaults and the WordPress Plugin is downloaded directly to the Admin panel via the built-in Plugin search facility):
How to submit your XML sitemap to Google’s Webmaster Tools
You might wonder why we need to do this extra step as the WordPress XML Sitemap Generator automatically submits your sitemap to Google (and to Bing and Ask.com). Well, I think it comes back to our lazy Google Bots again – they don’t go out of their way to find the sitemap, so you have to put it in front of them! If you check out the screenshots below, you will also see how Google takes up the information from the sitemap on Webmaster Tools and begins to integrate it into its index. So submitting the sitemap to Google’s Webmaster Tools is a way to get direct access to Google’s index (although it may take some time for all of the information to be indexed).
The process of submission of your sitemap to Google’s Webmaster Tools is very simple:
enter your sitemap address where indicated (see image below).
When you first submit your sitemap, the above image will appear with the messages ‘submitted URLs – O’ and “index count pending’ (and status shown as ‘in progress’). Take heart, this is Google trying to identify all your files from the sitemap and integrating them into their index. After some processing time, you will see the following image that indicates successful submission:
So this indicates that Google has taken on board your website pages (URLs) and has loaded them into their index. The actual indexing in terms of search terms (keywords) will occur over an unspecified period (you can’t rush the Google Bots).
Creating and submitting an XML sitemap to Google’s Webmaster Tools is critical for small business marketing because it ensures effective indexing of your website so that Internet searchers can find your website through your targeted search terms (keywords).
podPress is a free WordPress Plugin that enables you to install an audio player in your blog post. Visitors to your blog are then able to play the podcast directly on your blog.
The key thing is that you have control over where the audio player is located so that you can ensure it is near a relevant comment or resource. All you have to do is insert a simple piece of code in your post where you want the media player to display and podPress does the rest.
podPress does a range of things that are particularly useful for small business marketing:
acts as an automatic media player for videos as well as audios
allows listeners to control the player
facilitates download of the podcast
provides stats on downloads (including graphs)
generates RSS (and ATOM) feed and submits feed to iTunes (on publication).
So this free WordPress plugin enables you to readily display a media player for your audios or videos as illustrated below:
When someone clicks on the play button, the audio player image expands to show the progress of the podcast and to enable the listener to pause the player:
How to create your audio player with podPress
Once you have installed the free WordPress Plugin, you need to advise the podPress plugin of the location and details of your podcast file. Some of these details can be completed by using the “auto detect” button provided against the relevant field, others are completed automatically by the plugin. The screenshot below shows the fields that need to be completed either by yourself or automatically by the plugin:
podPress also provides a number of fields so that you can specify the relevant details for inclusion of your podcast in iTunes. However, you can override this option if you have some other method of syndicating your podcast.
podpress is a solid free WordPress Plugin that enables you to stream audio or video on your site and simultaneously broadcast your podcast to iTunes.