Category

How-To

Google Analytics on a Macbook Pro showing 148 real-time users

Getting Started with Google Analytics

By | How-To | No Comments

If you have a Google account, you’re well on your way. If not, you need to do that before you can move forward. You’ll use this account for much more than analytics if you continue moving forward with your online marketing. Having a Google+ account and business is important for SEO (search engine optimization) and if you want to use videos, you’ll want a YouTube account — and that’s Google too.

To get started, go to Google Analytics – https://www.google.com/analytics/ and sign into your account by clicking “sign in” in the upper right-hand corner.

You’ll see Google’s 3 steps for signing up, followed by a big “sign up” button — and you guessed it — you’ll want to click that button.

More than likely, you want to track your website, so make sure that is highlighted. Then follow the directions (Google does a good job guiding you here) to complete the rest of the form. On the “account name”, think of that as the top level of your business — for example, Johnson & Johnson would be the top level or account name and Visine.com, Aveeno.com, Splenda.com, Band-aid.com, Carefree.com would all be the “website names” that sit under that account. Google allows you to run multiple websites analytics under one account.

Once you have the form filled out, submit and you’ll see the word “success” in a little green box at the top of your screen. If you aren’t directed to your Google tracking code (code snippet you’ll add to your website), click the Google Analytics logo in the upper left corner to get to your tracking page and then hit “admin” (last item in the top menu) to go to your account. In the second column, click tracking info and then click tracking code. Here you will find the code that you’ll need to add to your website. This is how Google is able to find out so much about your site and then display that information for your marketing use.

Adding the code can be tricky. If you have a static site (HTML based), you’ll need to add your code to each page that you want to track. Paste your tracking code snippet (unaltered, in its entirety) immediately before the closing tag.

If you have a WordPress or Joomla site, there’s a good chance the back of the site (where you sign in to edit) has a specific place for you to paste the code. Because these these sites are dynamic, the pasting the snippet in the specified area will push it out to every page. Much quicker than HTML.

For additional information on this topic:
https://support.google.com/analytics/answer/1008080?hl=en

Light blue shipping containers with locks

Ultra-Fast WordPress Admin Password Reset

By | How-To | No Comments

Those who know me are aware that I while I’m not a writer and I tend to write a small novel to answer the simplest of questions. So lets try something new… We’ll cut the crap and get that WordPress admin password reset- because there’s a good chance that if you’re reading this, you need to get into your WordPress dashboard. Alright. Lets do it All you need is phpMyAdmin access to accomplish this. If you have a lot of databases in one cPanel account- don’t do that. But if you do, gain FTP access to the site’s root, open your wp-config.php file and see which database the site is using from the DB_NAME around line 20.

1. Gain phpMyAdmin access from within your cPanel account.

2. Expand your database tables beneath your database and open your wp_users table.

3. Find the admin account you’re attempting to reset the password for and take note of the user_pass cell for that username. If this new to you, it’s a salted MD5 Hash. You can’t decrypt that. Don’t waste your time. Nor can you enter a plain-text password in that field.

4. Go here: md5 Hash Generator, type in your desired password, and copy the md5 hash it generates.

5. Plug that new md5 hash into you the user_pass cell for the admin account and hit enter or click outside the cell so SQL can save the cell revision. Don’t worry about the salts. WordPress will insert that automatically the first time you login.

That’s really it. Seriously. That simple! Your password is reset.

I know what you’re thinking… “why did I go to Stack Overflow first and get some insane convoluted answer peppered with attitude that suggested I need to access the command line of Linux or suggest I write a some custom PHP?” Short and pointed answer? Stack overflow is full of super-nerd jerks (albeit knowledgeable) with inferiority complexes that like to make people feel stupid to boost their ego. You’re not stupid… And now you know something new.

If you have any questions or concerns, drop it down below in the comments!

Locate a WordPress Plugin Conflict Fast

By | How-To | No Comments

If you’ve got a WordPress plugin conflict on your website and no error message, this quick how-to will help you find the super fast!

In many cases, you’ll receive an error on the front-end or back-end of the site and that makes it extremely simple to run the error down, sometimes you don’t. If you’ve got a ton of WordPress plugins installed, this will help you identify the plugin creating an issue within a minute or two, even if you’ve got 20+ plugins. You can obviously disable each plugin from the back-end of the site, but this could take a little longer since you’ve got to wait for the plugin to disable, back-end to reload, refresh your site (to see if the bug has cleared). This how-to is simply meant to save you 10 minutes or so.

Firstly, lets talk about excessive plugin use

Before proceeding, it’s worth mentioning that you shouldn’t have a ton of plugins. Many times you can achieve what a plugin does without installing any software. Here’s a shortlist why you should avoid plugins when you can, and prevent possible plugin conflicts:

1. More things for you to update, and not keeping WordPress and Plugins up-to-date can cause security issues.
2. More server resources being used. Poorly developed plugins can burn memory.
3. There are over 35,000 plugins. They’re not all perfect, many are free- and you get what you pay for.
4. Every time you update WordPress you risk plugin compatibility issues if the plugin is not being maintained.

Plugins, while they seemingly make life easier, are sometimes totally unnecessary. Do you really need a plugin for social media links in your footer? Absolutely not. A couple of social media icons and a properly styled ordered list in an text widget will serve the same purpose. Yes, it might take you 10 minutes to set up rather than a minute and a half, but you’ll make that time back later by not having to update the plugin regularly.

Lets locate that WordPress plugin conflict

You’ll need FTP access and that’s it! We recommend FileZilla. If you aren’t comfortable with FTP, you can still find your WordPress plugin conflict by disabling them from the admin dashboard under Plugins > Installed plugins.

Note- there is also a quick way to do disable your plugins and quickly reactivate them via phpMyAdmin, but this solution works just as well and is less technical. Don’t forget, you should always back up your site before doing anything!

1. Gain FTP access to your WordPress website’s root.

2. Navigate to wp-content and locate your plugins folder.

Now we’re going to determine if it’s a WordPress plugin conflict at all.

3. Rename the plugins folder to anything different. I usually choose plugins-off. This will break the file structure of all plugins which effectively disables all of the plugins. Go ahead and refresh your front-end and see if the conflict or bug is resolved. If it is, we’re halfway there! We know that you do, in fact, have a plugin causing an issue.

4. Reactivate your plugins by renaming the plugins-off folder back to plugins.

5. Enter your plugin folder and create a new folder. I usually choose 000 (zero-zero-zero) this makes the folder easy to find and places it at the top.

6. Highlight all of your plugins and drop them into folder 000.

7. Navigate to folder 000 where all of your plugins are now located (and effectively disabled).

8. one-by-one drag each plugin back into the parent directory of the 000 folder you’re in, refreshing the problematic page of your website after each plugin is moved back into plugins. Remember, the parent of your new 000 is your plugins folder, moving the plugin into the parent directory of 000 effectively reactivates the plugin.

9. Once the problematic plugin is dropped back into the plugins folder from 000, the problem will resurface. When it does, you’ve found your problematic plugin!

10. Simply reactivate the rest of your plugins and go to the back end of your website and disable the problematic plugin. WordPress plugin conflict solved… Almost!

Now you’re on your own. Run down the problem with the plugin, find another plugin to suit your needs, or simply delete the plugin and assess if you need that function on your site or if you can achieve your desired effect without using a plugin at at all, but at least we’ve found the culprit WordPress plugin conflict!