Divi, I’m trying to like you. No, no, it’s not you. It’s me!

Divi, I’m trying to like you. No, no, it’s not you. It’s me!

I want to love Divi, I do. But I’m struggling on our first date.

Dear Divi, can't you do this? The other date I had could do this.

Dear Divi, can’t you do this? The other date I had could do this. Don’t make me go back to her.

Granted, it’s our first date. Things will get better, right? I’ll give it some time, I’ll call back (I swear) and we’ll get things worked out.

I’m just going to come out and say what’s on my mind: it’s the archives. The search results, the category index pages. There are no options. If I go to this page (say, a category about traveling through Home Exchange), I want to see a nice grid or clean and easy-to-read list of the posts in that category.

Now, now, dear, I know what you’re going to say. “Just create a page and then put a module for blog posts in the travel category in there.” I understand, but I have so many categories and I don’t want a page for my categories, I just want my categories. Oh dear, is there no hope for us?

What? There’s some code? Oh yes, your forums gave me some code to kinda sorta make a grid-like option, but it doesn’t look very clean, it has the entire post’s contents (really long) and I can’t choose the number of columns or, well, can’t choose anything because I’m back to custom code and I told you when we were choosing a place to go that I was done with custom code. I want to be flexible, but I don’t want to be dumb.

Masonry Madness

I know I'm showing off, but just have a look at this masonry.

I know I’m showing off, but just have a look at this masonry. [Enfold theme]

Now I don’t like comparing and don’t want to be the guy who says, “Well, my last date was like this.” Because then she’ll get snotty and say, “Well, then just go back to her! Just leave me! I’ll be fine without you. Just fine!”

But this is just a beautiful category display. Masonry gone wild. There’s even a filter at the top with all of the categories and when you click on one, just those categories show up. I mean, sure, this is usually with a portfolio, but my sites and those of my clients often have lots of posts in lots of categories. That’s what got me into this whole conversation in the first place.

Maybe that’s it. Maybe you’re just meant for someone who doesn’t have a ton of posts and categories and content. Just a few beautifully designed pages and a few posts here and there. No search, no archives, no glut of categories.

I’ll hold on, Dearest Divi. Your background, your crew at Elegant Themes are darlings and have been for a decade. I know these hot new things on the market might be gone tomorrow and I’ll come crawling back to you, but …

Don’t treat your WordPress hosting like an insurance policy.

Don’t treat your WordPress hosting like an insurance policy.

You can risk things with cheap hosting or just get solid hosting and not have to pay later.

We’ve built hundreds and hundreds of WordPress websites here at Likoma. Many, many sites have been hacked or down or virus infected. It’s not fun. It’s not fun for us, for you, for the hosting company. It’s pretty much only fun for the Turkish anti-government hacker groups that put up weird images of skulls and have slogans that no one understands.

Pay now or pay later? If you pay now, you’re safe. If you want to pay less now and the chance of more later, roll the dice.

There are just a few precautions that can really make life easier down the road. You know the kinds of decisions that later you have to remind yourself that you made because you never have to think about them. Did you catch that? When you skimp on services and quality to save a few bucks, chances are you will regret it later and probably calculate, quietly, how much you really had saved over the past months or years compared with the immediate emergency costs you’re shelling out now.

Yeah, it’s not fun.

So what’s good WordPress hosting? Here’s a good Managed WordPress hosting deal we like.

Reduce security risks with automated plugin updates from WordPress.com

Reduce security risks with automated plugin updates from WordPress.com

Finally, an automated, reliable WordPress plugin updating tool.

Outdated plugins are a guilty culprit when it comes to getting your site hacked. With WordPress.com’s Jetpack automated updater, you never have to worry about updating plugins manually.

Or rather, never have to worry about getting hacked through an non-updated plugin again (which is what usually happens).

Set It and Forget It

I’m all about Set It and Forget It. If there’s a tool we can use that automates some process that we normally would have to do manually, there’s little reason to not do it.

Reduce security risks with automated plugin updates.

You should do this now. No, really.

Finally, through Jetpack, WordPress.com’s multi-featured plugin, you can choose to have certain plugins automatically updated on your WordPress site. Maybe there are some plugins that do this, but I like Jetpack and especially like that this is WordPress.com behind the scenes doing these updates. Also, the plugins will only be updated if they’re in the WP repository, so recognized and maintained and not some third-party unknowns.

If your plugin is not in the WP repository (see the fab Monarch Plugin above, because it’s a premium plugin), you’ll have to update those yourself.

Is your WordPress uploader asking for your FTP login information?

Is your WordPress uploader asking for your FTP login information?

Quite random, but it turns out there were a few lines missing from the wp-config.php file from the previous host.

When trying to upload anything or update a plugin or theme, I got the page asking for my FTP information. I knew something was wrong because I was on GoDaddy’s Managed WordPress Hosting and it’s been great and I shouldn’t need to do that kind of thing. But it was happening.

Got on the phone with help and they couldn’t find anything wrong either. In the end, they added a few lines that had to do with permissions that fixed it.

Here you go, for your head-scratching pleasure:

define( ‘FS_METHOD’, ‘direct’);
define(‘FS_CHMOD_DIR’, (0705 & ~ umask()));
define(‘FS_CHMOD_FILE’, (0604 & ~ umask()));

For the record, we had just moved hosts, so the wp-config.php file wasn’t created from scratch but was from the old hosting.

Where do I paste my coupon code for Google Apps for Work?

Where do I paste my coupon code for Google Apps for Work?

Here’s how to find out where to paste your Google Apps for Work coupon code.

I just walked through the entire process of signing up for Google Apps for Work and it really wasn’t clear where to put the coupon code! I’ll use screenshots and explanations below to show you where you can (finally) get that 20% off Google Apps for Work.

IMPORTANT: you must paste in your coupon code to get the discount. It’s not that intuitive at first because you get your first month free, but if you want the discount, you need to put the code in before you pay.

1. Find the Google Admin Console.

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It’s not easy. Here’s the direct link: admin.google.com. From here, start with the red “Set Up Billing” button on the right.

Where do I paste my coupon code for Google Apps for Work?

Opening screen for Google Admin. See Billing to the right.

2. Select your payment plan.

We recommend the annual plan to make sure you lock in the 20% savings per user.

Where do I paste my coupon code for Google Apps for Work?

Here you need to choose a payment plan. To make sure the savings are locked in, we recommend the annual payment.

3. Click the blue text “Promotion Code.”

That will open up a box where you can (finally!) insert your code.

Where do I paste my coupon code for Google Apps for Work?

See the tiny Promotion Code text in blue? Click that.

4. Blue continue button to go to the payment information page.

Paste in your promotion (coupon) code and Continue. On the next page, you’ll enter your credit card information to finalize everything.

Where do I paste my coupon code for Google Apps for Work?

Paste in your Promotion (or Coupon) code and then Continue. You’ll need to enter your credit card details in the next screen.

Unlimited small WordPress jobs for $79 per month.

Unlimited small WordPress jobs for $79 per month.

Does your WordPress developer struggle under all of your small WordPress jobs? Can you no longer get their attention? Do you feel unloved by your overworked WordPress developer? We have a solution.

“It’s just a little fix. Shouldn’t take more than 15 minutes, right?”

Does your correspondence with your WordPress developer go something like this when you have a small task for them?

  1. You are pretty sure it’s just a small job. You word it best you can. You even send them the WP login credentials.
  2. You email it off to your WordPress developer or designer.
  3. You don’t hear back terribly quickly with a response. At least one moon passes through the sky as you wonder where he or she might be.
  4. You follow up in the next day or so, trying to stay sweet and brief to be polite.
  5. You get a quick note that, “they’ll look into it.”
  6. You wait another day. Another moon.
  7. You try to resist the urge to write them again. You like your developer. You think they like you, too. But you also need your fix.
  8. You hem and haw and wonder what to do. You focus on your breath. In and out, in and out.
  9. You call.
  10. They say they’ll “take care of it right away” and they do.
  11. Whew, you’re glad that’s over. But you’re hesitant to ever have another issue again.
  12. You get a bill for 45 minutes of work @ $125 per hour (that math is too complicated for this post) and you pay.
  13. Repeat this process the next time you have a “little fix” on your WordPress site.

Are we having fun yet?

That’s thirteen (13) steps for a probably simple WordPress fix. WordPress isn’t rocket science, right? That’s why you chose it to begin with! Maybe your developer is just overwhelmed. Maybe they’re just inundated with small jobs like this and they’re busy with bigger jobs and would love to help, but just don’t have the bandwidth.

Heard ANY of this before?!

Imagine never having another WordPress headache.

The World’s best WordPress support.

Introducing a WordPress firm that specializes in taking care of small jobs: WP Curve. That’s all they do. They don’t create new logos or suggest you create a Facebook page for your business. They don’t care if you redesign your site or make fun of you if you want to “make your logo bigger.” They just do unlimited WordPress fixes for a flat fee per month. That’s it. But that’s a big it.

Even if they only did “unlimited small jobs,” you’d be doing cartwheels in your hallway. But wait, there’s more. They also provide:

  • An 8-hour turnaround time. That’s the time it took your developer to realize they had an email from you (doesn’t include opening it, that takes longer).
  • Detailed notes on every job. Your current developer might email something like, “Hey. It’s done.” You’re so thrilled with the detail you might print out their email and frame it.
  • 24/7 live email and chat support. Your current developer says he works on the lunar calendar and certainly not on Tuesdays after dusk.

Dear reader, I know you’re probably shaking your head, hesitant to continue reading this “propaganda” any longer as your uncle Walter always told you, “if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”

But it gets even better.

With their next level of service, they start offering options you shouldn’t consider not doing. This is where the value not only covers fixes and changes, but proactive security protection. Crazy, out-of-their-minds services such as:

  1. Proactive WordPress upgrades: this means you don’t have to log into your site and upgrade your WordPress. Of course, we know you do this on a regular basis anyway, but now you no longer have to.
  2. Proactive plugin and theme upgrades: outdated plugins and themes are where the real dangers lurk. Let them do these. Wait, did they say “proactive”? As in, you don’t have to ask them first? Have you signed up yet?
  3. Secure offsite backup: offsite means not on your server, not on your cousin’s hard drive, but somewhere safe. This is good practice. Of course, you do this anyway, but they’ll do it again for you for safe keeping.
  4. Monthly security scan: this is already worth the price of admission (to this nutty fun zone), but it gets even better with #5. Ready?
  5. Security guarantee: if your site breaks or gets hacked, they’ll fix it. I have recommended Sucuri in the past (and still do if your site gets hacked), but wait, now you won’t need to shell out $189 for a site fix.

If you’re to the point where you are yelling at your screen saying, “Enough already! Which plan should I sign up for!? I’d recommend the middle plan, the $99 plan.

I think I’m running out of space on this page to write more good things. Let me know in the comments if you think that going with WP Curve is a bad thing and why. I promise I’ll respond … but probably not within 8 hours.

BONUS CONTENT: For fun, ask your developer what they would charge for “unlimited small WordPress fixes” per month. I don’t recommend doing this is person as they might spit out their glazed doughnut. You can help me add to the list, but I’ve heard responses like:

  1. “I’m sorry, did you say unlimited? I thought you said inebriated.”
  2. “Client dude, I’m pretty what you just said can land you in jail. Don’t ask me that. Ever.”
  3. “Wow. OK, seriously, between you and me, that’s like slow torture by 1,000 cuts of broken glass.”
  4. “Like how small is small?”
  5. “I’m going to pretend I didn’t hear that.”
  6. “Are you smoking crack again? That’s a crack-addict question. Like, out of this world.”

Let me know what you hear in the comments. If you need to obfuscate your name, I understand.

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