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Outdated plugins are a guilty culprit when it comes to getting your site hacked.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.
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.
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.
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?
- You are pretty sure it’s just a small job. You word it best you can. You even send them the WP login credentials.
- You email it off to your WordPress developer or designer.
- 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.
- You follow up in the next day or so, trying to stay sweet and brief to be polite.
- You get a quick note that, “they’ll look into it.”
- You wait another day. Another moon.
- 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.
- You hem and haw and wonder what to do. You focus on your breath. In and out, in and out.
- You call.
- They say they’ll “take care of it right away” and they do.
- Whew, you’re glad that’s over. But you’re hesitant to ever have another issue again.
- You get a bill for 45 minutes of work @ $125 per hour (that math is too complicated for this post) and you pay.
- 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?!
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:
- 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.
- 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?
- 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.
- Monthly security scan: this is already worth the price of admission (to this nutty fun zone), but it gets even better with #5. Ready?
- 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:
- “I’m sorry, did you say unlimited? I thought you said inebriated.”
- “Client dude, I’m pretty what you just said can land you in jail. Don’t ask me that. Ever.”
- “Wow. OK, seriously, between you and me, that’s like slow torture by 1,000 cuts of broken glass.”
- “Like how small is small?”
- “I’m going to pretend I didn’t hear that.”
- “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.
Oh, is that all? No problem! We can do that! Let me see, just 14 plugins, 2 WordPress installs, a half dozen other tools and you’re all set!
Unrealistic? Not so fast, Pendergrass. Here’s a note from a client letting me know exactly what she has going on (and a few comments about how that’s working out for her):
- Memberium – a Word Press plug in to manage paid access to courses
- Learn Dash – a Word Press plug in, a learning management system
- Infusion Soft – to manage my list and to provide a shopping cart for my digital product sales
- PayPal – to manage one time and subscription payments (I want to give student the option of choosing PayPal or a regular cc.)
- Authorize.net – to manage one time and subscription payments
- LeadPages – to capture leads.
- Go To Webinar – to manage group meetings and record content. I want to drop this. It’s too expensive and complicated.
- Plus This – an IS plug in to manage dynamic countdown timers within Lead Pages and emails. It’s too expensive and complicated.
What is she hoping to accomplish? To summarize, paid courses. Is that over simplifying? Maybe. Does it have to be so complex? Are there really so many plugins and SAAS tools necessary?
She goes on to say things like:
Any thoughts? Recommendations? I need help!
She’s obviously stuck and frustrated. But she’s not new to the whole game. She does say that this is an improvement over where it was:
I am still not satisfied with my tech. It is much better than before.
What else is out there? Is there life beyond WordPress? Is it time to say Thank You to our longtime WP friend and move onto … onto what? Is there a better solution out there?
Let’s see what the pros say.
- Here’s someone who seems to have figured it out, “How I setup an online course worth $100k“
- Chris Lema is asked, “Should I use RainMaker or host my own Platform?“
- Here are, ahem, 11 solutions to the challenge, “Alternative Apps to Rainmaker Platform.” But I count 8 items above. Oh, maybe you don’t need to use all of them.
- Getting a little further down in Google results gets things that say things like easy, “Use Kajabi To Make Money Selling Online Courses, Membership Sites and Information Products.” Never heard of Kajabi.
- Here’s a respectable source (WPMUDEV), “Selling Online Courses Using CoursePressPro And Membership Pro.” Are we down to 2 items? Oh! On further reading, this is a question, not a solution! The answer involves using tools like LeadPages … are we back to square one?
I worked for an SAP consulting firm in Holland. SAP is software that’s so complicated that it requires consulting firms to implement the software. Is that still the case? Is selling a membership course so complex that it requires a team of consultants, a variety pack of tools and thousands of dollars in implementation and set up?
You want complicated? I can get your complicated. [The Settlers of Catan]
Do you need to individually distribute license codes? This might be the plugin you’ve been looking for.
License Manager for WOO Commerce
An add-on plugin for WOO Commerce, this service allows you to sell (or give away) codes to each buyer just as they would receive a customized product.
For example, let’s say you have a list of codes:
and you want to get those to each customer who buys the software or maybe, as in my case, as a discount code for Google Apps for Work. Here are the options as I’ve been through them:
- Manually receive an email from a form and send them manually the next code back.
- Share a Google Sheet and let them copy out a code and trust them not to delete the rest of them (or copy them or steal them).
- Sequentially deliver each code through a plugin like License Manager for WOO Commerce.
It doesn’t take too long to realize option #3 is the simplest and most effective.
So far, so (pretty) good.
I’m giving these coupons away, so I don’t want any money changing hands. I also don’t want (or need) any information on them other than an email address to send the code. But WOO Commerce wants all of that. I installed another plugin, WooCommerce Remove Billing Fields for Free Virtual Products, which removes the billing address fields for free virtual orders. Perfect!
A few kinks I need to work out still:
- Extra “question mark” before the code. Maybe it’s just a glitch, but the recipient receives a question mark symbol in front of their code. This only happened when I uploaded a TXT doc. Hmm.
- Add to Cart, then Checkout, then Additional Details … whew. Too many steps! Just want them to fill in an email and be done with it!
BackupBuddy failed, X Cloner conked out and WP Clone timed out. But the one-click migration tool finally worked!
Third time was the charm. The first two gave me errors and then some big, nasty error. Then it just worked.
You tend to do the low tech cross your fingers when doing something that sounds too good to be true. Likoma offers Managed WordPress Hosting (as a reseller for a big-name hosting company) and there’s a fabulous button offering single click migration from your old host. The trouble is, it doesn’t always work.
If it sounds too good to be true …
Could it really be true that with a single click you can migrate your site to managed WordPress hosting?
I’ve talked with support and when I really got down to it, they said they’d happily walk me through a manual process to migrate the site. But I didn’t want a manual walk through, I wanted the one-click dream button to work. They have the button there, it must work sometimes, right?
You’re Finished! Except that you’re not.
It’s pretty exciting. Happy buttons, exclamation point, just wait for the magic to happen. Maybe you should click your heels and whisper your favorite magical wish. It could help.
But today I tried to migrate the site, after the one-click tool was a no-trick pony, using:
- WP Cloner
- X Cloner
They all conked out. Granted, I can’t blame those tools. It’s usually a hosting issue. It’s often on the cheaper side’s hosting, in other words, where the site was hosted that was cheap (yes, the site I was migrating was on inexpensive hosting) and the server times out with too much heavy lifting and gives you an error and you’re back to the drawing board.
So I don’t know what finally did it, but on the third try, it worked. Granted, this is no longer a one-click wonder, but a three-click process, but hey, the automated thing did the automagical.