Klaviyo Viewed Product Abandonment Tracking with WooCommerce

The Klaviyo WordPress plugin does not currently work with viewed product tracking in WooCommerce out of the box. Klaviyo support provides a code but it needs to be modified to work with WooCommerce.

Below you’ll find a GIST of that custom function to be placed in your WordPress child theme’s functions file.

This will result in you being able to track and filter within your Klaviyo dashboard by users who viewed a product.

Klaviyo Viewed Product Abandonment Tracking WooCommerce

WordPress SEO Audit Checklist

The 25-item WordPress SEO Audit Self-Help Checklist is designed to make your aware of any low-hanging fruit, mitigate oversights and know where to focus when improving a website. This list is a great jumping off point to get you thinking about your WordPress SEO the right way in order to improve your website’s performance.

Developer Recommended Hosting for WordPress

There are thousands of hosting companies to choose from when looking for the best place to host your WordPress website. Deciding on which hosting company to choose for your WordPress site shouldn’t be taken lightly because selecting the wrong host can be problematic and costly. Asking your developer for hosting recommendations is the right thing to do because chances are they’ve worked with many of the big player in the hosting industry already and know the right fit for your needs.

As a developer myself who works with hundreds of WordPress clients per year I have certainly seen the good and bad side of some of the more popular hosting companies out there. In this post I’ve put together my top 3 recommended hosting solutions for WordPress sites. These are hosting companies that have stood the test of time and I recommend most often to my clients.

WPEngine

WPEngine Hosting

WordPress hosting, perfected.

WPEngine is my #1 recommendation currently if you are willing to pay slightly more than basic shared hosting (Starting at $29/mo.). They have killer support, very fast speeds, are highly secure, maintain backups for you, and are specific to WordPress.
WP Engine Managed WordPress Hosting

 

MediaTemple

Media Temple

Instant scaling and complete control.

If you need a fully scaleable solution and complete control over your server than Media Temple hosting is the way to go. They are not WordPress specific but their VPS pricing (Starting at $30/mo.) and performance is awesome.

 

Bluehost

Bluehost

Affordable, quality, shared hosting.

My own site is hosted here and has been for the last 8+ years. If you need cheap shared hosting that runs WordPress awesome then I recommend Bluehost (Starting a $3.95/mo.).


Using Yoast SEO with the Enfold WordPress Theme

This is a good question that came into my e-mail box:

I enable all my customers to use Yoast SEO since it helps trains them to enter the proper content. However it appears Enfold developers think Yoast should accommodate the use the Avia Layout Builder versus Enfold folks coding to use Yoast SEO. Do you know of a solution?

I decided I’d make a quick post about my thoughts about this so that hopefully others can benefit from the explanation.

The background here is that the Enfold theme has the option to use the ‘Avia Layout Builder’ within pages and posts instead of the standard WordPress editor. The ‘Avia Layout Builder’ is a very high quality builder with similarites to Visual Composer and other theme specific layout builders. It makes it really easy for a non-developer to build and manage more advanced page layouts and content.

The problem is that the Yoast SEO plugin doesn’t properly recognize content in the Avia Layout Builder so that ‘SEO Score’ or red yellow green ‘Traffic Light’ that Yoast produces on a page/post edit screen is not exactly accurate.

So how is an SEO amateur supposed to even use the Yoast SEO tool if they choose to use the Enfold theme?

First, let me say that the Enfold theme is my favorite theme currently to customize and develop websites with. Let me also mention that I use Yoast SEO on all my sites.

How I use Yoast SEO with Enfold

Let me start by addressing the main question about the using the Avia Layout Builder and the Yoast page/post optimizer dialogue. Personally, I predict this incompatibility is one that will get resolved between the theme and plugin authors Kriesi and Yoast in some time.

In the short term a workaround would be to not use the Advanced Layout Editor and the Yoast SEO page optimization dialogue will still work as normal with the Enfold theme. So, most blog posts, don’t use the Advanced Editor anyway, so you’re still all good. If you do need to use the Advanced Layout Editor, certain parts of the Yoast SEO plugin still work so just take the traffic light results with a grain of salt and move on. Just because the light is not green does not mean that isn’t optimized.

Furthermore, I personally think the page/post Yoast SEO optimization dialogue, the focus keyword, is the most over-rated part of the Yoast SEO plugin. I almost never use it these days, but sure I know a thing or two about SEO. But for someone who the tool helps them get closer to having a well-optimized post/page they also should not get caught up in having all green lights. I’ve even used some CSS to hide the little traffic light for some clients who just cannot get past it. These ‘rules’ are more like guidelines and really there is no formula for a well-optimized piece of content other than it being authoritative and resourceful from the users perspective.

Why I actually use Yoast SEO with Enfold

Yoast SettingsThe most under-rated part of the Yoast SEO plugin is with the other settings contained within the plugin I haven’t mentioned yet. The settings that should be set-up properly but yet are often ignored resulting in indexing issues that cause bigger SEO problems. Specifically the ‘Titles & Metas” section of Yoast SEO is one where you should have an expert help you get right for your site to avoid time-consuming head-aches down the road.

To provide you a resource on this please see my previously published post on How to Troubleshoot Google Indexing Issues which outlines these settings I’m talking about here.

Titles & Metas

So when I setup an Enfold site for a client and install Yoast SEO I do a basic configuration of these settings for the client to make sure they get started on the right foot. And leave the individual post optimization settings to them, but advise them to take that area with a grain of salt.

Conclusion: If you or your clients are obsessed with having a ‘Green Light’ on every page of their website that is the problem, nothing to do with Yoast or Enfold. My point is that I’ve had amazing SEO results with content where the Yoast tool showed ‘Red’. If there is still an issue with that answer, then try perhaps having your Avia Advanced Layout Builder pages optimized by a SEO professional or manually complete the Yoast checklist yourself. I’d assume the pages where Advanced Layout Builder are used are important pages on your website. Most the time for blog posts you use the Standard WordPress post editor anyway where the Yoast tool currently works great for optimizing new blog content as it’s created.

How to Hunt for Quality WordPress Developers

Finding High Quality WordPress DevelopersHave you been searching for the illusive awesome WordPress developer without luck? Do you have a simple development need or ongoing need to hire quality WordPress developers but seem to only ever find under-qualified freelancers who are unprofessional or not the right fit? Do you think all the best WordPress developers have jobs for Agencies who charge too much for you to be able to take advantage of the talent? If so, it sounds like to me that you need some help with your WordPress developer hunting skills in order to land you that prize developer you can brag about to all your colleagues when they nail your task/project.

Where to Hunt for the Best WordPress Developers

If you are just starting your search or perhaps have even been searching for some time you need to first know the best place to find a quality WordPress developer. You wouldn’t go hunting in the desert for a moose so make sure you don’t go hunting on sites like Fiverr.com for a quality developer. Turns out, the best developers are usually hanging out in the best places for developers. Sure, often times the best place for a developer might be a well-paid position at a creative agency but actually many or most developers don’t want to work for an in-house agency and prefer the freedom to choose which projects they get to spend their time on.


Codeable
Freelance marketplaces, like codeable.io, are a great place to go looking for the highest quality WordPress developers. These marketplaces are like watering holes for developers where they go when they have gaps in their work schedules looking to satisfy their thirst for new work. Some of these marketplaces, or watering holes, are better than others which I have explained in my other post you should read, Freelance WordPress Developer Service Marketplaces Ranked. Not only do the best WordPress developer spend time on these marketplaces but the marketplaces actually make it easy for you to try new developers and many provide quality guarantees. Normally when you work with a freelancer it’s just you and them but when a company can step in the middle and provide some level of quality assurance it makes ensuring you get a great web development service even easier.

How to Hunt for the Best WordPress Developers

If you are walking through some woods that are filled with large elk and it’s open season you are going to be in a lot of trouble when you find one but can’t shoot your bow and arrow for the life of you. So now I want to advise on how you can be prepared to present your task/project the best way to the developer for the highest chance that they’ll want to take on the work for you. So how to arm yourself with the best rifle or and skills to land that big elk.

The most important thing to remember is this is a two-way street. These high quality freelance WordPress developers are not starving for work, they are very well fed by the demand for work. So from the very start of your contact with a new developer remember that they are evaluating your as a potential new client just as you are evaluating them as a new developer. This means that you must be careful in what you say so that you provide respect to the developer and their profession at all times. Remember also that often times when working with a freelance developer that there is no “account manager” or middle man to translate between ‘developer speak’ and ‘client facing language’ so be sensitive to that. I wrote another post, Two Red Flags Not to Say to a Web Developer, that gives a couple examples of how clients think they are helping but really they are unknowingly disqualifying themselves as a potential new client in the eyes of the freelance developer.

The best advice I can give on how to effectively communicate with a new WordPress developer is to treat them like the expert practitioners they are. That means treat them as you would your doctor, lawyer, or accountant. This will in return get you the respect from the developer you expect. I wrote a book review on The Win Without Pitching Manifesto that describes this mentality spot on and gives you an inside look into how the best WordPress developers think about their work.

Developer Poaching

Developer PoachingI’m one of the highly regarded expert freelance WordPress developers lucky enough to work for Codeable a service marketplace platform where I get awesome new work and new clients. Sometimes though, I get contacted outside of the platform by new clients who mention they found me on there but are trying to hire me outside of the platform, this is called poaching and is strictly prohibited by Codeable who has hand-selected and time tested each of their expert developers that they guarantee satisfaction.

To give the client the benefit of the doubt they usually get a warning but I do see clients who repeatably attempt to hire multiple developers after they have been told the work must go through the agency or the service marketplace. Put yourself in the shoes of the developer, they would never want to risk losing their chance to be able to get new work/clients on the platform by allowing a client to pay them outside the platform. And if I put myself in the shoes of the client there are many benefits to hiring through an agency or service marketplace that should be valued by the client.

Recently, I had a lady who attempted to reach out to me by e-mail after she hired me on a service marketplace and asked if I could just invoice her directly instead. I warned her that wasn’t OK and also reported her to the service marketplace. Instead of just continuing the project with me through the service marketplace she went around our backs again and tried to hire one of my associates on the same service marketplace who reported it to me and the platform and that clients was banned from the marketplace and left without anyone to help her out. She wrote me a “thanks a lot for telling on me” e-mail trying to ruin my day or something which I sent her a polite response saying I warned her and then proceeded to block her e-mail address so I would never hear from her again. She was not treating me like an expert practitioner and I have zero tolerance for that especially after the fair warning I provided.

Final Advice on Quality WordPress Developer Hunting

If your budget is small then you should be upfront and understanding about that. Try sites like upwork.com and you’ll have 1000’s of developers who will do the work for you for very small budgets. But also understand that the quality of work, customer service, communication, and professionalism will all reflect that.

If your budget is fair or flexible then you should have no problems when hunting for a high quality WordPress developer if you follow my advice in this post. Again once you’ve located the developer it doesn’t end there, you must setup the project properly and define everything as upfront as possible before the worked in funded and/or started to ensure the quality you are seeking. And remember that the developer is also rating you the client and this will determine if they want to work with you again in the future and how much they care to go above and beyond to ensure your complete satisfaction. Quality developers work with many different client types and they recognize quickly who they are compatible with or not so be conscious of that.

 

5 Different Types of WordPress Developers

If you ask a WordPress developer or a client what makes a great WordPress developer you will likely get a different set of answers. This is because there are different types of WordPress developers each with their own specialties within WordPress. You see, it depends on what you are looking to get out of a WordPress developer that dictates what qualities that developer should posses.

Types of WordPress Developers

1. The All Code, No Design WordPress Developer

This type of WordPress developer is 100% focused on providing the absolute best possible code. They want your website to be the fastest WordPress site on the block with the leanest code, they trim ALL the fat. This type of developer admits they know nothing about design, wish they did, but have no desire to learn it. They will however be able to talk your ear off about the future of WordPress development, technologies and use acronyms you’ll likely have to Google to understand but don’t worry they got you.

If you’re the type of client who needs a plugin created or customized this is the developer for you. If you want a custom theme created instead of modifying an existing theme to fit your design this is your developer. If you have a designer and your website is more complicated than the standard business website, perhaps with e-commerce integrated then you want this developer to make sure you get the most out of how your site functions.

2. The Design Only WordPress Developer

This type of developer is a premium theme customizing master. They will choose the best premium theme out there and customize it, to an extent, to fit your brand. Ask them to code the theme from scratch or from bootstrap or genesis frameworks and they will run away. Don’t get me wrong they will be very capable of building you a very well designed finished product. They’ll likely also be able to ensure the site’s UI/UX is top notch as well with user-centric design consideration.

If you’re the type of client that can’t afford both a web design and web developer and your needs are not more than a standard business website for example then this could be the developer for you. The beauty of WordPress is that developing a basic website that is beautiful is not hard and many savvy designers are more than capable of using WordPress to bring their designs to life with very little actual development skills. Some things need to be engineered, other things should be designed.

3. The Business Savvy WordPress Developer

This type of developer understands what it’s like to be in the clients shoes. They have business experience and completely understand the VALUE of their work. They will prefer project based pricing over hourly but will be conscious of project budgets and to say it again, the value of their work for the client. This means that the developer will be able to make helpful recommendations in order to get your project done most efficiently within the constraints of features and costs.

If you’re a client who needs a WordPress project done but is not sure of the best way to approach or get it done this is your developer. They will be able to help advise on the best route to take in order to complete your job. This developer has worked with businesses of all sizes and knows how to speak and project manage appropriately for each. If you want your website to give you the most marketing value this type of developer will be best suited for that as well with an understanding of tactics like content marketing and SEO for instance.

4. The Complete Package WordPress Developer

This developer likely has over 10,000 hours of practice within the realm of web development. They come from a diverse background of business, coding, design, project management and administration. They are an agency packed into one person, a very rare breed of developer. They also know their value and you can expect large price tags to go along with that but it’s worth it if you can afford it. This is the developer who you can depend on no matter what you need. You will never fully understand how they are so good because you’ll never be on their level. This developer always seems to be available and in a good mood smothering clients with kindness so much you can’t possibly be unhappy as a client.

If you’re a client looking for the unicorn equivalent of a WordPress Developer this is what you’re seeking. But seriously, these guys are out there I know a few and they always get paid what they ask for and on-time by great clients. If you find one, it’s likely they’ll only want to work remotely or you better have a really awesome company that aligns with their interest, including great pay, if you’re trying to bring them in-house.

5. The Wannabe WordPress Developer

I added this developer originally as a joke to add perspective but turns out this is actually a very worthy type of WordPress developer. They have many similar qualities as the design only and business developers in that their coding skills might be lacking a little but they can help suggest great solutions for getting your WordPress job done. This developer is frustrated deep down because they feel by this point they should be better at coding than they are which leaves them feeling capped. They also feel they have an advantage because they understand the business side and the tech side.

Wannabe WordPress developers are good for clients who want to do it themselves and need hand holding. The wannabe developer will be willing to take the time to help the client learn side by side with patience. This developer likely knows a few really talented developers who can help if needed so the client need not worry. Oh and if you have any doubts about WordPress being the right CMS or platform for the job this type of developer will be glad to re-assure you WordPress is the only way to go.

Conclusion

As you can see not all WordPress developers are created equal. It’s for this reason that I myself know I will not always be the best fit for certain jobs, projects or clients based on my own developer type. As a client or a developer you should know your types so that you can produce the best results for a given WordPress development scenario.

I should also mention that it’s possible for developers to be a mix of developer types. Just ask a developer they’ll tell you where they fit because they don’t want to take on work that isn’t right for them. Developers are most happy when they have clients and jobs that are best suited to their qualities as a developer.

Which type of developer are you? Did I leave one out? Leave a comment below and add some value for the readers of this post.

Freelance WordPress Developer Service Marketplaces Ranked

Comparing WordPress Service Marketplaces

If you need to hire a freelance WordPress developer you better be looking in the right place. There are many online marketplaces where developers set up profiles to be hired for jobs large and small but not all these marketplaces are equal. As a developer myself I can tell you that the best developers choose the best marketplaces to pick up new work. That means if you are looking for a developer on the wrong marketplace you could likely end up with a poor developer who is unhappy to be working for you. Alternatively, if you are selecting a developer from the best marketplace you are more likely to find a successful developer who loves taking on new clients and work through that marketplace.

In this post I want to dive into some of the pros and cons of the different WordPress development marketplaces to give other developers and clients a better idea of where to look for work or talent. I’ve interviewed a handful of my associates who are also freelance WordPress developers to get a better idea of their experiences on the various service marketplaces out there today. My general findings is that there are actually very very few marketplaces where the best developers enjoy getting new work from. This means if you are looking to hire a new developer you want to make sure you are going to the right place so that you aren’t working with a developer who hates their life which is no fun for anyone.

As you continue to read through this post you’ll be inclined to think I’m being a little biased based on my conclusions but I assure you I’m not the only developer who agrees with what I’ve wrote below. It’s also going to seem like I am bashing some of these companies which is not my intent at all but instead raising my doubts that have shaped my opinions, please take my comments with a grain of salt.

Best WordPress Service Marketplaces Reviewed and Ranked

1. Codeable

Codeable.io is hands down the very best marketplace for finding a top-notch WordPress developer for your task/job/project large or small. As a developer I have never seen anything like it from my perspective or the clients perspective. I wrote another post, Considering Codeable.io? Developer Q&A with New Client, which you should read that gives a ton of information on how codeable works.

I want to elaborate here on why if you ask any developer who freelances on codeable why they agree codeable is the very best WordPress freelance marketplace for outsourcing your WordPress development work. I recently did a video interview which will be published soon for a content series Codeable is producing called ‘Changing Lives’ that I will post here but you should also hear from three of my Codeable developer associates who have already been featured:

Changing lives: Alexandra Spalato
Changing lives: Nathan Reimnitz
Changing lives: Spyros Vlachopoulos

Update: My Changing Lives Interview Video.

These interviews showcase what a very happy developer looks like. Happy developers = happy clients. Think of it as related to any other industry… have you ever received service from someone you know hates their job? How was that service? Developers at Codeable love their job because Codeable makes it easy for them to do a really great job and be compensated fairly.

Codeable does not support ‘bidding’ like most marketplace which is simply a race to the bottom, not good for developer or client. Instead, Codeable developers are only allowed to ‘estimate’ a task in which they know they can complete for the client at 100% satisfaction. These estimates are averaged together which is the price the client sees making sure the estimates are fair for both parties.

There are many other aspects to the Codeable platform that I described in my other post and can be heard in the interviews posted above that put Codeable a notch above the rest. If that’s not enough for you then I suggest you watch this interview by Patrick Rauland of speakinginbytes.com with Per Esbensen, Codeable co-founder and CEO, that although slightly dated really puts a nice punctuation mark on my comments above:

2. There is no equal to codeable.

When ranking the WordPress service marketplaces it was extremely difficult to decide who to put at #2. So difficult, I decided it would serve the reader best to just re-iterate how much better Codeable is than any other option out there for finding a high quality WordPress developer.

In all honesty, each of the following WordPress service marketplaces I would not even put in the same category as Codeable. Each marketplace below has a different approach to how they setup the client/developer relationship which make them all unique but not necessarily better than one another.

Codeable truely values their hand-selected and time-tested team of expert WordPress developers and puts them first, ahead of clients. You might think it’s crazy but it shouldn’t be news to you that the client is NOT always right. Codeable goes above and beyond to protect their developers from abusive clients and have systems in place to keep their developers happy. I’ve never seen this level of support for the developer from any other platform or service marketplace out there.

3. Upwork (formerly oDesk)

The elephant in the room earned the 3rd place on my list here but not because they are the best but because they are the most well-known. Many of the best developers I’ve spoke with have at some point done work through Upwork but they have since started working for Codeable they no longer bother with bidding on jobs at oDesk.

It doesn’t take much to see the problems with Upwork, just post a task on there and you will see. Sure, you’ll likely get a much cheaper estimate than most service marketplaces but that doesn’t come without a greater cost down the road. Have you ever heard the saying “Price buyers are twice buyers.”? Well that holds especially true with Upwork because many clients will simply choose the lowest bid that looks good to them. This results in a “race to the bottom” for developers on who can post the lowest bid the fastest gets the job. As a developer who focuses on quality above all else I’ve vowed to never compete on price because I believe developers are expert practitioners.  You can read more background on my beliefs about this in a book review of The Win Without Pitching I wrote here.

I’ve got word from my associates that Upwork is actually starting a program called Upwork Pro that will be more of a curated marketplace with only the best developers. The problem with this though is that ‘the best’ developers for them are the ones who have already proven themselves on Upwork by being the best at the race to the bottom while still satisfying clients. Client satisfaction with high quality work is everything but I just can’t see Upwork being able to bridge this gap even with their re-branding. Why did Upwork re-brand from oDesk anyway? Perhaps I could suggest because their reputation was not the best as oDesk, but they say it’s because of a bunch of new features, features that don’t really help me as a developer.

4. Envato Studio

Envato Studio has a great reputation but a different approach. You can read about how Envato Studio works but the gist of it is that you select talent(developers) THEN supply the brief. This is a client-centric approach in that the client gets to pick who they want to give a chance to see their brief then decide to hire or not. This same setup is also available on Codeable with ‘preferred contractors’ but the problem here is that the developer may have no interest in taking on your project based on their availability, your brief, or a multitude of other reasons. A developer-centric approach would be that the client posts a brief that developers can review and decide if they want to ask questions or estimate.

When I get selected as a ‘preferred contractor’ I rarely ever actually take on the development job if it’s for a new client. I have a good eye for spotting briefs that fit my skill set or not. So more often than not I’m faced with having to explain to the client why I am unable to take-on or estimate their job because I was never interested in the first place. This is a big waste of time for me and the client.

I should note I did apply to be a web developer provider for Envato Studio but never heard back other than the confirmation they received my application.

5. peopleperhour

My associates informed me that this marketplace has lots of good things going for it. It’s pretty strait forward as developers are able to offer “hourlies” they call it where you can hire by the hour.

I just applied for a profile here and was advised it would be reviewed within 3 days. My assumption is that this is a great service marketplace but you can’t expect work to just come to you through it. I’ll add more here once I have a chance to get my hands dirty on the platform.

Update: I was ‘Approved’ about 12-hours after submitting my application. Thing sounds really promising, “we are delighted to welcome you to the highest quality freelance marketplace online today” looking forward to getting started.

What impressed me the most is that similar to Codeable, they use a ‘trial period’ with certain requirements which they’ve actually defined for me and included some tips. re:

we expect new Freelancers to complete two separate projects and receive a 4+ rating from Buyers within the first three months of joining.  PeoplePerHour will facilitate by promoting you to different Buyers and routing you only the most relevant jobs.

We’ll see how it goes. The platform is really well-design and has a cool user experience.

Looks like there is currently 557 WordPress developers on PPH… Codeable has about 100 active or so which means less competition between developers (there is actually no competition on Codeable).

Another Update: Attempting to land my first job there has proven much more difficult than codeable. The briefs from clients are much less quality. When I attempt to ask questions on the ‘clarification board’ it tells me I’m not allow to ask questions until I submit 3 proposal first? How backwards is that? How can I submit a proposal if the task is not clarified. For example this task was for a WordPress migration but the client stated nothing about if e-mails were involved or what the current site url is to see size of site…

Error

Furthermore, when I try to submit proposals, although my settings are to use USD it asks for my proposal in Euros…

6. Toptal

Toptal claims “Hire the top 3% of freelance talent” which actually translates to the 3% who actually complete their screening process. I’ve spoke to a handful of some of the best WordPress developers in the world who all told me they closed their application with toptal before completing it because the screening requirements were “impersonal” and “unrelated to real world applications”. These are developers who make regular commits to WordPress core, esteemed theme & plugin builders, and names you’d likely recognize from very helpful/informative articles across the web. And NONE of these guys I spoke with actually want to work for toptal or bothered completing the screening process. So just be warned you are not actually getting the top 3% of freelance talent.

I also applied for Toptal just to see for myself and had exactly the same experience eventually providing my feedback for them which you may read below:

  1. Nowhere could I find the benefits of working at toptal in terms of compensation. Although there are many other great benefits. They say you choose your own rate as a developer but when searching web forums you find toptal developers who disagree saying their rates were dictated by toptal. Not sure why they can’t just be transparent about this and post on their site how developer compensation actually works.
  2. I’ve heard multiple reports of developers not being supported by toptal if a project starts off on wrong foot. Gotta stand behind your developers toptal support.
  3. Skills test, and application process in general, appear to be relatively time-consuming and in my opinion a very poor way of evaluating what makes a great developer.

Lastly, as a developer, I want to work for awesome companies and awesome people. This post has haunted toptal for awhile now: http://yuriybabenko.com/blog/my-experience-joining-toptal and you can see the CEO has created a PR mess for himself in the comments there. And if you want to hear more from actual toptal developers you can read here: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=10107448

What’s funny to me here is at time of writing they are actually looking to hire a ‘Head of Public Relations’ position: http://www.toptal.com/careers/head-of-public-relations which I’m normally not a huge fan of “PR” in general but in this case would do wonders for the company.

7. GoDaddy Pro Marketplace (Elto)

They are still young and I do have high hopes from GoDaddy with this service marketplace. Their deal is “Find an expert wordpress freelancer for any project. Get three free, no-obligation quotes from expert WordPress freelancers.” which seems like a pretty neat service from a trusted name.

GoDaddy bought Elto, which my associates don’t have good things to say about that old platform. But we’ll see what GoDaddy does with it…

I applied as a “pro” with godaddy and took a few of their tests and found the test to be very poor in terms of what actually makes a great freelancer or WordPress developer. It seems as though I was not approved for some unknown reason. I see other developers who were approved although they are only ‘familiar’ with WordPress according to their test results you can see the directory here: https://marketplace.godaddy.com/directory

I think the platform is just still young and think they are working on it to improve and this might be a good marketplace in the future. If only I knew why I wasn’t approved seeing as 100% of my tasks on Codeable have been rated by the client with 5 of 5 stars… I like to think I’m qualified but I guess not.

It’s cool they choose 3 developers for you based on your brief you submit through their form. But inherently this has the same problem as Envato Studio above in that the developer may be too busy or have no desire to take on the project. Shouldn’t the developer be the one to decide if they are able to do a great job for the client? I know every time I have to convince myself to take on a job I usually regret it and wish I had said no to enable me to say yes to the right job.

8. Gigster

Name dropping

Source: http://imgur.com/gallery/gU9oj

Seemingly newer on the scene, but not to be ignored, is Gigster claiming “Gigster connects you with Silicon Valley based product managers and top 1% software developers from our vetted talent pool.”

Some really innovative aspects of this platform is an artificial intelligence engine and project managers manage jobs not client throughout the entire development process. You can learn more about Gigster in this TechCrunch article. Comments on that article tell a good story as well.

I have not applied here yet as I don’t see myself working for this company based on the claim above. I’m actually just confused… top 1% from their vetted talent pool? So they have a pool of software developers but only connect people with the top 1% of those?

Sure ‘Silicon Valley’ is a buzzword for big tech but just because your ‘based’ out of the Silicon Valley really has no relation to being good at managing projects. But they do deserve credit for their innovation and I would ‘venture’ to guess they produce some high quality work from happy developers.

9. Fiverr

Fiverr can be great for some things. WordPress services… not so much. Here you can browse all their ‘gigs’ available starting at just $5:

https://www.fiverr.com/categories/programming-tech/wordpress-services/

I’ve added Fiverr here to provide some perspective on the low-end of things. I think Fiverr has a great business model and really recommend you check out the platform if you never have.

I just don’t know if I’d trust someone to fix, speed up, or work my site for $5.

Conclusion

I’ll update this post as time goes on to make it more informative but I hope you’ve found it resourceful. I’m sure some of the companies mentioned will not be exactly stoked on my review. I was extremely motivated to write this post position Codeable the way I have as compared to the other WordPress service marketplaces. I’ve never heard of any other platform where the developers are as truly happy as my associates on codeable. As for the clients, the key performance indicators listed on Codeable’s homepage are a true testament to what you will experience there. 98.9% of all tasks rated with 5 of 5 stars. You can view my profile on codeable here: https://codeable.io/developers/raleigh-leslie/

Can’t Add Social Media Profiles to Google Search Console

Today my live chat on my site rang with a visitor who was having issues with Google Search Console (formerly Google Webmaster Tools).

He sent me this photo:

Turns out he was trying to add his social media profiles like twitter and linkedin as properties in Google Search Console which is not possible.

This site visitor was from India so there was a bit of a language gap but here is what I told him:

You will only be able to add a property to Webmaster Tools that you have control over the hosting for. So sites like linkedin and twitter you won’t be able to verify therefor you will not be able to add the to google webmaster tools.

have you seen: https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/35179?hl=en ?

Verification is done through your existing already connected google analytics account OR by adding a file or some code to the hosting server… which you are unable to do with linkedin and twitter for instance. So you’ll need to either have Google Analytics setup properly already or you’ll need to verify any site you want in there by placing a file on the hosting or a meta tag in the head.

He thanked me for pointing that out for him and our conversation was over. I thought I would post a quick blog in case others were having this same issue when trying to add sites they do not have control of hosting or backend access for verifying with Google Search Console.

Fixed: Google is Only Indexing a Few of Our Webpages

I’ve published some content before on how to fix issues with how Google is crawling and indexing your site. From those older posts I get people who reach out to me an ask for me to help them solve their particular indexing problems they are experiencing with Google. The following case study is an example of one of those e-mails I received and decided I would help at no charge if I could share the results of my troubleshooting with my audience on my blog and they agreed.

Below I’ll share the correspondences and troubleshooting that took place eventually leading to a solution for this company to fix their indexing issues and start focusing back on their content marketing.

Too keep this post simple I am merely going to post the e-mail thread below with some correspondence omitted that is unrelated or confidential.

Here is the e-mail that initially showed up in my e-mail box:

Good afternoon,

I hope this email finds you well. First, let me say Im a big fan of your website. Secondly I found your post about http://raleighleslie.com/google-not-indexing-all-blog-post-pages/ very informational and easy to read.

Thank you for taking the time and posting this. About 3 months ago we launched a new website with the help of a 3rd party company. Since then Iv been studying SEO and noticed that google is only indexing a few of our webpages and not all of them.

When I reached out to the company they said it was “googles fault”. Even when I search for exact phases from my blog they are not showing up. I was wondering if you could look into it for me and to see if it is how the website is designed or if it is in fact “googles fault”.

Our website company has since tried to put me in contact with their “seo specialist” or to sign up for their “maintenance plan” however I think there is something bigger at hand here and think it’s the way the website maybe designed.  At the end of the day I may hire a firm to help us with SEO but for now I am simply just trying to have all of my pages indexed which should be standard and easy…

I greatly appreciate any insight or input you can share with me. Thank you!

Steve

to which I responded:

Hey Steve –
Thanks for reaching out. So glad to hear when people get value from my blog!

I don’t have time until later this week to look into this further for you but I was curious and took a quick look around.

Looks like a really nice website that company built for you. Well designed and developed.

As far as SEO for that site, they’ve got you setup on a great foundation but they are right in recommending you work with an SEO specialist to achieve your specific goals. I also commend you though for self-educating yourself enough thus far to know what you are after it seems.

I’d be happy to pop in and take a look at the back end of that site if you want to send me WordPress logins. I’d also be willing to use it as a case study for a blog post on my site, making it anonymous if you want, so that I could help you through the indexing issue you’re having. Particularly I want to look at the Yoast WordPress SEO settings and theme settings.

On quick look: I noticed that specifically your blog/news post pages are what are not indexing. I looked and didn’t see the specific nofollow or noindex code that might cause that so I didn’t immediately find a switch in the code that would resolve your issues.

Have you setup Google Webmaster Tools? Have you submitted your sitemap there?

Are those blog posts unique content are are the copied or duplicate somewhere else on the web? You or someone else writes them all?

Your company does not maintain any social media accounts? If you posted your blog/news content there that would be a helpful signal for the Google crawlers to come by as well…

What specific keyword terms are you most concerned with? Seems like you’d just like your blog/news titles to show up in Google which should be attainable…

I think you’re right though about not needing an SEO maintenance plan but instead just to resolve the immediate indexing issues you’re experiencing. Then if you keep up the blogging and keep doing a better job there and with the rest of your content marketing that should be enough as long as you have the little things tweaked right to start.

I hear ya… hard to investing in creating more content when the posts are not even indexing in Google…

Let me know how that sounds to you.

Cheers – Raleigh

Steve was very appreciative and responded with this…

Raleigh,

That would be awesome and would like that as a case study!

My wordpress is: […]

I do have a webmaster tools and submitted our site map on there. I have recently disabled the yoast wordpress and tried the google sitemap plug in.  ( still no luck )

These blog posts are all unique and I wrote them all with the help of a copy editor.

We do in fact have social media, linkedin, facebook and google+ that I post on and link back to website.

I’m not so concerned with keywords… I’m more concerned with adding content that isn’t showing up on google. These blog posts are typically 500 words with all unique information.

Please let me know if there is anything additional I can provide you. I would love your insight to what could be the issue! Thank you very much and I look forward to speaking further and hopefully one day reading a blog about this.

Steve

After taking a look around the site a bit deeper I came back to Steve with this:

Perfect that worked. Everything in there looks pretty good.

Would you be able to give me a quick timeline of what you’ve done since the site launch 3 months ago briefly?

I did notice one thing that could be part of the issues:

When the google crawler hits your site and starts crawling the only links to your blog posts exisit on this page:
http://watchdogpm.com/news-blog/

But you are using a Ajax post loading plugin that generates the content dynamically. So when I look at the source code there is no actual links to the recent posts re:

 

So even though you are posting links to the posts on social media and are submitting sitemap to Google Webmaster Tools the crawlers may still be having trouble crawling your blog roll if you use that ajax plugin…

The fancy loading is cool but could be a factor in the indexing issue you are having. I recommend ditching that plugin to eliminate it as a possible cause for the problem..

Let me know what you think. I gotta jump on some other work today so I’ll get back to this later.

Raleigh

Steve came back to me with this helpful information:

Absolutely!

So we launched the site 3 months. Besides regularly posting to the “blog/news” section I also added meta tags and keywords for the yoast SEO plugin. All of our posts are also posted on linked in, fbook and google+.

I submitted site map to google and did google fetch about a week after the launch.

About 30 days ago I noticed that sections of the website were not showing up on google so I resubmitted to google.

2 weeks disabled the yoast plugin and tried the google site map plugin.

Since then I have made 1 or 2 more blog posts.

Other than that I didn’t do anything else. I’m not smart enough to be dangerous when it comes to website design and am not familiar with the ajax plugin. I would be willing to disable it but I guess I would like to see what that makes the website looks like first? Or keep the look of it and use a different plugin?

Our market is a niche and our competition does not focus on their website. I think we could broaden our reach and land more clients if I was able to leverage our blog posts increase our ranking for various keywords. I think without google indexing our blog posts the blog is pretty much useless.

I greatly appreciate you checking this out and please let me know if there is anything additional I can provide! Thank you

My response to Steve:

Thanks for the breakdown that helps a ton.

Honestly you are doing a great job thus far doing everything you can. Things take time especially with Google most people like me will tell you any changes you make could take up to 3 months to have an effect.

I could not encourage you enough with pushing forward with your content marketing strategy as you’ve described. But you’re right you definitely needs to fix the indexing issues.

I recommend you discontinue the use of that Ajax loader plugin to display your blog posts. They also offer an SEO add-on for the plugin that might help but deactivating the plugin and having the post load normally would be the best bet toward better indexing sooner. The add-on is $25 bucks and might be worth it to try right away.

You might need a developer to complete that work as it might not be as simple as deactivating the plugin or adding the add-on as the development company might have coded it into the theme.

Thanks – Raleigh

Steve then reported back to me with:

Awesome! Thanks for the information. Let me touch base with our company president and make him aware of the current situation. We may go back to our website designer and give them an opportunity to fix the issue.

I also want to touch base with him about our marketing budget and share with him the importance of hiring an SEO specialist who can really help us out. I will share with him your hourly rates and see if we can move forward on doing some work together.

Thank you again for your insights!!

I responded:

Hey thanks for reaching out Steve. Glad I could help.

Let me know if you have any questions in the meantime but I honestly think the root of the issue is with the Ajax plugin and would love the storybook ending to the case study blog post to be true haha.

Thanks – Raleigh

After a little time I followed up with Steve to see what had happened since I rooted out the issue:

Steve –
Just took a quick look at the source code for your blog and it appears you were able to fix the issue and the post teasers are now showing up in the source code. That should help the rest of your blog show up in Google over the next few weeks I’d suspect.

Did you just install that Ajax SEO add-on for that plugin or can I ask what other work was performed?

Thanks hope all is well.

He sent this response back to me:

Good Afternoon Raleigh,

As my website design company was poking around trying to figure out the issue here is what they said…

“I updated the Ajax Load More plugin, and added the “Preload” option, which preloads a specific amount of posts before sending any ajax requests. This allows google to see those preloaded posts. I tested on Google Web Master Tools and had a positive result.

So right now you have 20 posts preloading. If you have more than 20 posts in WP (not the case right now) the other posts will be loaded with the click of the button at the bottom of the page that says “Old Posts”.

I did the same thing for Project posts.

This should encourage google bots to index these posts. However, this doesn’t explain why google would not index other pages such as the About page. That’s a regular page without any ajax. So, I fetched and submitted each page to the google index.

You can search google for site:watchdogpm.com to see the results.

You had also asked me about Archived Projects. Those pages actually exist. Archived Projects are just projects that were marked as archived. WordPress automatically creates the pages URLs. Two solutions:

1. Add a redirect, so that if someone somehow lands there (there are no links to get to them) then they will be redirected to the main projects page.

or

2. Add a message such as “this projected has been archived. click here to to go the main projects page”.

The “Ajax Load More” plugin we use, has an SEO AddOn, which we recently purchased. I will install it once I have done enough testing with it. “

Not sure what else they did but it looks like they are now showing up on google which makes me happy.

On a separate note how many hours would you expect to do a SEO audit and to fix any issues we may have? I am trying to rank higher for a couple of words in a niche market… Much appreciated!

And from there I considered the issue resolved on my end and responded with this last e-mail before publishing this post:

Ah yes I saw that option to preloaded some posts too and thought that might be a good workaround solution that might do the trick.

The only problem with that is the button to ‘load more posts’ is not in the HTML still as are the post teasers now. So Google still might have trouble crawling past those pre-loaded posts if you know what I mean as it will never see the load more posts.

The SEO add-on plugin fixes another common issue not as directly related to the issue you were having but I would definitely recommend they install it once they feel comfortable with it for you.

I’m working a productizing a service right now which is exactly what you’ve asked for and I get all the time. An SEO audit product/service where I point out the issues and solutions with a little focus defined by the clients. I’d be interested in hearing from you what would be the most value for that in terms of how I packaged that service if you have any input.

Thanks for the insight. Hope to publish that post soon.

Raleigh

That’s it!

If you would like to know the process I use from troubleshooting Google Indexing issues just follow that link to another blog post I published.

Please post comments or questions about the context of this blog in the comments section below.

How to Troubleshoot Google Indexing Issues

I fairly often get approached from website or business owners who are having trouble with how Google is indexing or not indexing their website(s). Most often a new website has just been launch and now they are noticing that Google isn’t seeing or displaying the site’s pages and/or posts like they had hoped. When I am asked to help get to the bottom of what is causing the indexing issues in Google I usually follow the same process for troubleshooting issues putting myself in the shoes of the Google crawlers that browse your website and determine how it should be displayed on the search engine results page.

10 Step Process for Troubleshooting Google Indexing and SEO Problems

Below are 10 different methods I use to get to the bottom of problems with how a website is getting indexed in Google. I asked my friend Betsy if I could use her new WordPress site LegosInMyLouis.com as the sample site for troubleshooting. I asked to use her site particularly because it was a common example of some fundamental WordPress issues I resolve all the time. Most the Google indexing issues I discover on her site are common for a new WordPress installation so I know they will be helpful to many others reading this post.

I mostly freestyle the screencast videos so please pardon my lack of production preparation.

1. Search ‘site:yourwebsite.com’ in Google

I always start here by first evaluating how Google is currently indexing the website. Doing a site:yourwebsite.com search only replacing with your website URL will show you how Google is currently prioritizing all the pages on your website. The results on the first page should be your most common pages such as homepage, about page, contact page, blog, ect. If you see other pages that are not familiar or seem weird on the first page of Google search results after doing the site: search then that’s a sign Google is not correctly indexing your site.

In the video below I take a look at Betsy’s site as well as my personal site to help illustrate how to perform this check.

Note: Many of the issues I pointed out in the above video are easily fixed by applying the settings I review below in the WordPress Settings and SEO Plugin step.

2. Use WayBack Machine archive.org to Understand a URL’s History

This is a tool I use when I do not know the history of a domain name or URL and am asked to troubleshooting SEO issues with a site. The free tool takes snapshots of sites on the web over time so you can see what a site looked like years back. This helps to determine if the Google crawlers have any sort of preconception of the site currently displayed at the URL.

This is helpful especially when a domain name with history or premium domain was used to launch a new site. Google also keeps track of a domains history so in order for us to troubleshoot any issues the Google crawlers are having with a site we should also make ourselves aware of the history of the domain name on the site.

Below I use the example site and my personal site to show you how to tool works.

3. Run a Website Speed Test

Running a website speed test isn’t always necessarily to resolve website indexing issues but is an important step for successful SEO as a whole. I’ll usually use a site speed test if I am troubleshooting Google indexing issues on a certain page or post for example. Site speed Google has mentioned is a ranking factor therefor something that might contribute to indexing issues. Since resolving indexing issues in Google is a process that takes time for the Google crawlers to return it makes it worth it to also evaluate site speed at this time as well in order to make necessary improvements efficiently.
Codeable Developers

Two Free Tools for Website Speed Testing

tools.pingdom.com Website Speed Test – I use this speed test because it has been a trusted authority in the site speed testing space for years. The results of the test are often more accurate and useful than PageSpeed Insights mentioned below. But ideally you’d use both tools and attempt to address the bigger issues found by both tools.

Google Developers PageSpeed Insights – This is a very strict tools and it won’t hesitate to give most sites a red very bad results upon test. The issues this tool points out are meant to be used as guidelines rather than requirements. You want to be in the green on this tool but I’ve seen plenty of well performing and properly indexed website who get a red rating on this tool so take it with a grain  of salt is my advice here. Don’t let it keep you up at night.

Below in the video I illustrate these two tests on our sample domain.

4. Review the Homepage Source Code

Or in the case of a single page/post indexing issue look at the source code of that specific page or post. This is a very powerful step for me as I have been developing website for many years and can easily identify any issues in the code that may be preventing Google from properly indexing a website. For those unlike me who have less or no experience with HTML you should still attempt this step and see if you can gain any insight based on the tips I give.

To help those who have less knowledge of source code I want to narrow your focus the the head section of the Source code. This is usually where most the SEO related items are applied to the page therefor the most critical part of the source code to look at when troubleshooting indexing issues.

In the video below you can see how to view the source code and how I evaluate it checking for common problems that cause indexing issues with Google.

5. Firebug Console for Firefox Browser

As a front-end web developer and designer the Firebug tool for Firefox Browser is by far the most useful tool in my toolbox. Turns out it’s also very handy for getting to the bottom of website indexing in Google or performance issues. It’s handy because although you can view the page source as I showed above it’s also important to see how the page gets served from the server. The Source Code is the end results of what you see in the browser and then I use Firebug to dig deeper into what happens when the Google crawler gets served the page content. You get insights into any errors or items in the header, footer or page content that when loaded from server may not be working correctly or as they should be.

Once again our sample site for this post illustrates how this is useful for solving indexing issues in the video below.

6. Homepage/Site Design Review

More often than not websites are designed with SEO as an afterthought and people come to me after launch wondering why their site is not indexing properly. These folks often want to point blame at their design or web development company for building them a site that doesn’t work right in search engines. The design or development company usually responds by telling them to hire an SEO expert or get on their SEO maintenance plan which sounds like a never ending expense to most business owners that they don’t always understand.

Reality is that sometimes sites are designed where a certain component or section of the site is not SEO friendly for some reason and causes indexing problems in Google. Happens more often than not actually because most Web Developers are not trained in SEO or they were not paid for that part maybe.  This is my personal sweet spot for troubleshooting as for most people these types of issues are very easy to overlook and difficult to identify when present. As a Web Designer and Developer I have a ton of experience in getting to the root of these types of issues and/or avoiding them in the first place.

Below I will review the homepage of our sample site and talk over some of what I notice about the design.

7. Google Search Console (formerly Google Webmaster Tools)

Having trouble getting your website to index properly in Google? Why not let Google tell you why that is? Here is your solution: Google Search Console. It amazes me how many people approach me to help with SEO or help them fix their indexing problems yet they have not even setup Google Search Console. Although some of the other methods I describe here are often more effective for me as a whole this tool is like getting the answers to the test a lot of the time.

Like Google PageSpeed Insights, what you find here should also be taken with a grain of salt but then again it is coming directly from the source. Google crawlers are much smarter than anyone gives them credit and although issues with indexing are pointed out in GSC(Google Search Console) often times Google will adjust accordingly to take any issues into account. Meaning just because it shows indexing issues doesn’t mean you are negatively being affected by them or that by fixing them it will solve all your problems. Just to manage some expectations there.

This tool will also often tell you if the domain name or URL has any manual penalties in place by Google that might be causing any indexing issues.

Fetch as Google is a great tool within Google Search Console although in the video below I do not use it because I want to go and fix the known issues I have already identified in my process first then fetch as Google.

Our sample website owner Betsy I asked for her to add me to the Google Search Console accounts and admitted she had not even signed up or set it up yet. In the video below I take a look through her GSC account and it’s interesting to see all that isn’t identified in relation to the issues I’ve already discovered with her site in this post.

8. WordPress Settings and WordPress SEO Plugin Configuration

There are some fundamental WordPress settings and plugins I recommend in order to make sure WordPress does exactly what we want as far as on-page SEO goes.

WordPress SEO by Yoast – Watch the very last video at the end of this post to see how I configure the plugin the address the issues I’ve identified while troubleshooting our sample site in this post.

Permalinks – You can also see in the last video of this post how Permalinks should be configured.

Watch the last video of this post to see how I correctly setup these settings.

9. Google Mobile Friendly Test

As of 4/21/2105 it’s become increasingly important to ensure your website is mobile friendly. If you have issues with indexing your website on mobile then you should take into consideration resolving the issues identified by the tool.

10. Additional Google Indexing Troubleshooting Resources

While checking some other resources in the making of this post I kept a log for you to get lost in below. Don’t get caught up here playing with every tool and resource and just try to stick to the basics of this post. I’ll add to this list as I find additional resources.

Articles:
8 Reasons Why Your Site Might Not Get Indexed – MOZ
Is Your Website Being Indexed Properly by Google? – Search Engine Journal
Solving Website Indexing Problems – Search Engine Land
Tools:
Firebug for Firefox
SEOquake for Firefox
W3C Markup Validation Service
Google Search Console

How I Fix the Identified Google Indexing Issues

Over the course of this blog post I have identified over 10 different areas with SEO/crawler issues on our sample site legosinmylouis.com that need to be addressed. I held off from fixing the issues while I was troubleshooting in the videos also contained in this post so that I could run through it all together at the end of this post in a video which is below.

FAQ

Here are a few question’s I’ve gotten via e-mail that I thought I would share here for those looking for similar answers:

If I use Google search console, I will first need to have my website done and ready to upload it, correct?
Correct. In order to use Google Search Console you should have a website that is ready to be listed or already listed in Google Search Results. You also need to have hosting access to this website so that you may complete the necessary verification step required when adding a site to Google Search Console. This is usually done by placing a HTML verification file in the root of the hosting directory or your site to confirm ownership.

I don’t understand what Google means when it asks me in the beginning to “. Download this HTML verification file. [googleXXXXXXXXXXX] ?

See answer to previous question. Google requires you verify ownership of any site you are adding to Google Search Console. One of the most common ways is to upload this verification file to your websites root directory of your hosting or server. This step requires some knowledge or either your hosting account’s control panel or FTP in order to complete the technical step of verifying a site when adding to Google Search Console. Since the actionable insights available within Google Search Console are slightly more technical oriented Google assumes this technical requirement when verifying a site shouldn’t be a problem for anyone interested in using Google Search Console.