Nathan Wrigley: [00:00:00] Welcome to the WP Builds podcast, bringing you the latest news from the WordPress community. Welcome your hosts David Waumsley, and Nathan Wrigley.
Hello there. And welcome once again to the WP Builds podcast. This is episode number 228. Entitled J is for jobs. It was published on Thursday, the 6th of May, 2021, my name's Nathan Wrigley, and a few bits of short housekeeping just before we begin. The main thing to say is that Anshan LaRue and I have been working very hard on the page builder summit 2.0, and it kicks off on Monday.
That's Monday, the 10th of May. It runs for five days. So till Friday, the 14th of May. And honestly, I'm really hoping it's going to be a really smashing event. We have got absolutely boatloads of speakers and it doesn't matter whether you're focused on the intricacies of your page builder, whether it's design or tips and tricks that you're after, there'll be something for you.
And it doesn't really matter which page bill you using. So it may be element or Beaver builder, oxygen breezy, divvy, or Guttenberg, there's something for you. So I would urge you to go to the URL page builders, summit.com and sign up so that you can attend free. The way it works is we're going to be running the whole event for free.
So you can watch for the first 24 hours. So really I would encourage you to go to the page builder, summit.com and get yourself signed up. In fact, stop the audio right now. Page builder, summit.com go and get yourself signed up and we hope to see you there. Yeah. And having a fabulous time learning more and more about your WordPress page builders, page builder, summit.com.
Another one to mention is WP Builds.com forward slash advertise. If you would like to advertise your product or service on the WP Builds podcast. We can help you out with that and get you in front of a WordPress specific audience a bit like AB split test. Don, do you want to set up your AB split tests in record time?
Like in a couple of minutes, use your existing pages and test anything against anything else? Buttons, images, headers rows, anything. Okay. And the best part is it works with your page builder of choice, whether that be elemental Beaver builder, or the WordPress block editor, you can check it out and get a free demo at absplittest.com.
Okay. Today is a discussion episode. It's one of the ones where David Walmsley and I drone on and on about a particular WordPress subject. And today, as I said at the top, it's J is for jobs. This is a really interesting one. It's all about all the myriad of jobs that you do. Every time you put a WordPress website together, whether that's setting up your PHP or server things, maybe it's getting your forms ready or getting it so that your SMTP connection is working.
There are boatloads of things that you do each and every time. And we've tried to list them all out in some kind of order. I am pretty sure that we've missed our load out, but there's certainly a lot to think about here. One thing that occurred to me was that this could be an interesting thing to put in front of your clients, just to show them all of the myriad of different things that you do each and every time you're helping them build their websites.
And it might give them pause for thoughts. If they are hovering over the Squarespace or Wix button. Okay. It's a great episode. I hope that you enjoy it.
David Waumsley: [00:03:38] Hello. It's another A to Z of WordPress, a series where we attempt to cover all the major aspects of building and maintaining sites with WordPress today.
It is J for jobs and ideally this would have been T for tasks or C for checklists, because we're not really talking about jobs you can get in the industry.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:03:58] No, I honestly, Dave, I don't know much about Steve jobs at all. So this is going to be a tough episode for me. I don't use any Apple products good luck you're on your own.
David Waumsley: [00:04:08] Is it also just a UK thing that jobs stands for poo-pooed yes, I think, yes. I
Nathan Wrigley: [00:04:15] was actually thinking that as you said that, no, I'm not gonna, I'm not going plumb that depth, but but you have, so that's fine.
David Waumsley: [00:04:23] So w what we're going to do here. I never asked you before this, do you have a checklist that you work to when you build sites?
Not like you've got,
Nathan Wrigley: [00:04:33] because w we'll link in the show notes. I think this is the first time ever in the 200 old episodes that we've done, where we've linked to your website, which is just, seems like so bad for promotion. But anyway, you've got a great big list. No, I haven't less, but it's largely written on incumbent boards in project management tools, but it's not set out in this sort of linear way.
And I have I have a something similar and I can duplicate my basic website setup it, then sets up three lanes in progress done and to do, and then I just drag things, but there's only, I dunno, maybe two dozen tasks, whereas you've got maybe 50 or 50 or more on this page.
David Waumsley: [00:05:16] I think there's about 70, that I've put down, there might be a little bit of duplication, but I've divided these up into sections.
So we'll probably go through the different sections. The first ones are set up tasks, things that you need to do to WordPress, just to get the kind of basic site up and running. Then there's some basic design tasks, and then we've got launched tasks and finally monitoring and health tasks because of looking after client sites on their care plan.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:05:43] So it's interesting actually just looking at it. The basic setup one is the biggest. And then all the others are of similar length until you get to the monitoring and health. Bit, which is the shortest that only eight. And yet I think really for recurring revenue, the golden egg, if you like, of web development, really, that list needs to be the longest.
Doesn't it say you're maintaining that you're doing absolutely loads of stuff. During the course of the website's life cycle, whereas in here, it seems like you've done a trillion jobs up front, whereas as we're about to explore, you're probably only clicking buttons.
David Waumsley: [00:06:17] Yes, indeed. The setup task, I mean is a cheat most of the time.
I put these tasks down and I made it public for clients to see what it's a terrible blog post, the most boring thing as this. Episode probably will be, but it's still quite useful because if I change my processes, it reminds me of these little things, because I start with a starter site. So most of these jobs are done from the beginning, but you're different underneath.
And you actually go and do these jobs. Yeah, I
Nathan Wrigley: [00:06:43] actually, I was just saying to you, before we hit record, I still go and set up the sites manually and I actually find it quite cathartic. I go and I've got all the plugins where I need them. I've got this file with all the plugins on my desktop, which I just drag in and all the plugins go along that I need.
And then I just have to activate them, but I do have to go and find the license keys and type them all in and all of that kind of stuff. But I enjoy doing it. It's one of the few bits of the week where I don't really have to think it's all on autopilot and I quite like it. Anyway, we'll
David Waumsley: [00:07:15] get to that. No, it's quite good because I get shocked now.
I've done a few sites just for the videos that I do for demonstration. And I've gone with a blank install and plugins, then tell me, Oh, you need to set your permalinks and things like that. So it's Oh gosh, I've not had to do that for
Nathan Wrigley: [00:07:32] years. Yes. Without a shadow of a doubt, the intelligent way of doing it.
But mine is the way that I've just decided to do it. Because I like it.
David Waumsley: [00:07:41] Okay. So for anyone actually, no, it really reminds me just how difficult it is for anybody. Who's new to WordPress, what they've got to do. So should we just quickly go through this? This will be boring, isn't it? So not
Nathan Wrigley: [00:07:53] necessarily, cause this could be a nice episode for somebody that's never done it before.
And having this list, I will, by the way, include all of your checks in our post and you might think of things to add to it, but they're important.
David Waumsley: [00:08:05] Yeah. So I've started with setting up the domain name records for the development site in the first place. That's one of the things I have to do on our server.
Yep. Create a space on our server at the security certificate to that set up a database, set the PHP version, install, WordPress set, time zones. Now you said one of mine is out of order because you would actually go in and do your permalinks at this point. And I think I've stuck those somewhere else.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:08:30] Yeah.
At this point, as soon as WordPress is up, I go in and do my little run around, where I create a page called home. I create a page called blog. I then go, and as soon as they're done, I'd delete the sample page. And go and change the permalinks and set the blog the home pages, the home page I've just created and set the permalinks up and all of that.
Yeah. Yeah. So just a slightly different order, then I'll go and delete all the unnecessary themes and install the themes that I want. And, but yeah you're doing the same thing just in a different order.
David Waumsley: [00:09:03] Yeah, exactly. Getting rid of those. It's amazing how many sites you still see that have the sample page still left?
Yes. Because people new to WordPress, all the blog post is still there. I need to set up with the work that I'm doing. They're coming soon page. Most of the time for that plugin has to get set up create user accounts for all, and then send them the account password securely as well, which I do with one time pass.
I don't know if that's a, so a website.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:09:34] Oh, I see. You mean, you silo it away into a password manager kind of thing.
David Waumsley: [00:09:39] No, what I do is I don't, I send them their login by an email, and then I send them a link to this. One-time pass whether the, it's the message destructs after you've read it, so
Nathan Wrigley: [00:09:49] you don't just set them up as a user and then tell them to go. Actually now of course, in the latest version of WordPress, you've got the send yes. Reset password link. So you could just make use of that. I've just removed a step. David,
David Waumsley: [00:10:02] you have actually, I forgot all about that. It's true. I go through all this thing of making it look really secure by sending them to this other place.
I make their account. It's just that I give them a password, which they can go and change later. But of course, yeah. Good point. There's one gone.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:10:17] You're dead. Now are we counted like three and a half trillion little jobs.
David Waumsley: [00:10:24] I think you covered that. Get rid of all of the standard plugins. Hello, Dolly goes and And what's the other one that kismet that has to get deleted.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:10:34] hello, Dolly. There still, I just don't know what that's doing. Lurking. I wonder how many ins, it must be one of the most widely installed plugins in WordPress, just because of the tyranny of people having to forget to one, install it and delete it.
David Waumsley: [00:10:52] Yeah, exactly. Yeah. It's fairly lightweight at least that he's got that going for it.
So yeah, where do I move into next? Installed in all my premium themes and plugins of course, and activate the license actually activating the license, even though I got started, theme is something I generally have to do when I create a new one. So title
Nathan Wrigley: [00:11:11] to the URL aren't they usually, when they're, if you move a site from one URL to another, then it obviously knows something about that.
And then, yeah, fair enough. It takes a few minutes.
David Waumsley: [00:11:23] And then I'm actually, this is, wouldn't be a starter thing for most people, but I need to set up my transactional email system, which is mail gun for me to send from the server. And that's because I communicate from the WordPress is stall that we're using for the project.
So it's my project management as well as my, a startup building site as well. So I actually have to get that up and running, which would probably be something later for
Nathan Wrigley: [00:11:46] most. Okay. No, that's fair enough. That comes fairly early on. Certainly you want to protect your server, an IP address. So using something that mail gum is a bit of a no brainer.
How do you actually do that though? Do male gone have a plugin or are you using a third policy plugin to connect.
David Waumsley: [00:12:01] Yes, they've got their own plugin. That's the one I'm using. Okay. And they're all in the one central account as well. And yeah, to be honest, that's in there, but I usually to make these things work, you're supposed to have their domain names.
So when you start off without their domain name, you probably still have to do this job once again. When the site
Nathan Wrigley: [00:12:19] goes live, Oh, I see Mailgun gun. If you move it over from like dev.to just www dot, then you'd have to go in and reconfigure the account there. Okay. Yeah, it's
David Waumsley: [00:12:29] the email it's sending out from the survey.
It's got better deliverability if it's using the domain that the website's on the clock, isn't their websites. So I still works, but it just improves it proudly. So for me, a SEO plugins, I'm setting that up usually as well. Okay.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:12:47] Okay. I'm all in on SEO, press at the moment. Quite happy with that. I managed to get a lifetime deal a couple of years ago and it's working out really well.
I'm really pleased with it seems to do exactly what I want. No, no surprises. It just, all the boxes are in the right place. For me. I've become really familiar with where everything is and what I need to adopt for each post and and have to say actually the defaults I don't usually tinker with.
Cause I like the defaults that basically what I would have done anyway.
David Waumsley: [00:13:13] But, I think there's one thing that I always want to check here, although I've got it set in my starter site is that the, that have set the know follows. If a friend of ours was seen about this wasn't they were one of their clients had picked up that their templates that they were using on their page builder, where we're showing up in search results.
So I'm usually, that's one of the early things I want to try and make sure that I've set no follow on, on templates and things that I just really don't want to follow
Nathan Wrigley: [00:13:43] later. I really can't remember how SEO press takes care of that. But my usual technique for that is just to create a site map and just quickly browse through the site map and see if anything unexpected is lurking there.
And in many cases does nothing, but in some cases you, like archives that you don't want, because you've somehow managed to create that archive in a different way is appearing. And so you've got basically duplicate content. Can't say I'm a hundred percent about that, but yeah, I do a little bit of that.
David Waumsley: [00:14:14] I think it's pretty basic, isn't it? Most of them use SEO press in the sense that you can just whatever, it's a post type, isn't it with templates or something, just make sure you've got the slider off. So it ignores that even that the SEO plugin to them. Yeah. And I think by default it turns them off. Next thing is my, a WordPress security goes in.
Cause there's still sites that someone can hack. And there's a few little things which I put in apart from, cause I've got third party security plugins that are working, but there are some things that I want to make sure disabled, like XML, RPC, which we've talked about before.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:14:52] Yep. I do the same thing. I just go in and configure the plugin in the exact same way that I do everywhere else.
David Waumsley: [00:15:00] Yeah that's a little script that I put in one line. I've started taking out to harden up WordPress, just putting them in HDX as well. And one of them is one that prevents in fact, I'm not sure exactly what it does, but it's something for authors to prevent them from doing stuff, but it causes a problem if you try and download templates or, try to get blog posts later, but it's a, it's another little security thing that can go in there.
But anyway yeah. Yeah, I know for me, because we're both actually main WP users. I made sure that the sites connected to our main maintenance site for that. So we're looking after the site while we're building it set up some backup schedules as well, even when I'm building for me, I've got that little project management system that I set up.
So that's another job with clients, but not for the regular WordPress user image cropping. We weren't even talking about that last time under IFA images. Yeah. So I th you know, that's another thing that's ongoing, perhaps it's in the design because I'm often changing some of the presets. That I put in yep.
Into my theme. I use
Nathan Wrigley: [00:16:06] the trick of putting the zeros in the other day, because I knew that this particular site would never, ever use the small square thumbnail. So put the zeros in and I'm hopeful to save. A tiny amount of data on the server as a result, but it's still quite a nice trick. Thank you.
David Waumsley: [00:16:24] there's something actually that I've noticed with that. And it's just in our page builder, Beaver builder, that seems to list those, even though they're zeros as options. So I
Nathan Wrigley: [00:16:36] haven't noticed that, but okay. Yeah. Good point.
David Waumsley: [00:16:38] But yeah. And I've got another thing that I do for the clients who are getting involved in a little bit of the work on the sites themselves.
I include get stencil or stencil is called there. I have an account for them, so they can, if they want to go and choose from all of the free images that are out there through stencil and put them directly into the media library. So that's the thing that most people won't do.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:17:02] No. Can we talk about that?
Cause I actually think that's quite a cool trick and I never occurred to me cause I have a. Stencil get stencil account, whatever you want to call it. And this is a nice little trick. So you install your license. So you install the stencil plugin, which means that you can, in the media library, you can search for royalty free images off then Seoul, because they've got agreements with a bunch of third-party yeah.
Creative, common sites. You can then with stencil, you can add memes on top of the images or, you can put icons on the images. Basically. It's like a small, tiny, lightweight version of Photoshop with text and icons and things like that. And you just give them access to that in the development period.
So they can go and find, I dunno if they're a garden company or something, they can go and find pictures of shovels and spades and whatnot. And then when the site launches, you just take it out because that's your license and you don't want to give it to them.
David Waumsley: [00:17:59] Yeah, exactly. I have these little videos that are start-up and I mentioned since then, I say, here it is, and you can get a free account if you want to sign in for yourself.
But for the development period, here is my spare license key that I've got, because it's blank. And I clear it out at the end of it and they can just go and use that if they want, it's not being used much, but it has been handy when people just don't have the images. At least they can go search for suitable ones and get us halfway there.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:18:25] What do you mean? You've got a spare license, so you've bought two licenses for stamps. I've got mine right then the other one you can amend it. Can you, so if you give it, you don't actually give the license to the client. You just input it into the box, in the plugin. And then at the end, before you hand it over, you just delete that and then they no longer have access to that functionality to go and do it themselves.
David Waumsley: [00:18:48] When they go in the plugins there, but it still asks them to log in if they don't have anything. So I provide them with that password, which I change when we get to the next client. And the reason I give them that it's because on my own stencil account, I've got so many favorites of things that I've saved in there.
I don't want them to have that.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:19:05] You've got some fruity images saved. Have you David no, I think that's a really nice idea. I'm aware that there's a property, a couple of. Things like that. I've used a, I can't even remember what it was called, but I've used a in the past, which has allowed me to search inside the media library for images on our, I don't know, let's say it's a deposit photos or pack cells or something like that.
And it's worked really well. It just, you find the one that you like, you can select the dimensions, whether you want the super big one or the medium size one, you just click download and it just comes over into your media library with all the correct file name, so it's probably got some kind of license attached with the bizarre numbers that go with it and that's worked really well, but I've never really thought of using stencil because it's superior.
Cause it's got all the editing capabilities and then removing are so lovely little trick.
David Waumsley: [00:20:00] Yeah. It's a nice add on and then it'll sense then it'll maybe some businesses, if they decide to sign up, at least they can get a 10 images per month. So if they did some blog in at least they've got that, Oh, okay.
Yeah, so they can get their own account if they want, or they can just borrow mine for the project. It just seems a nice little add on yes. The next thing is images. Again, we both use short pixel don't we? So just make sure that is set up the way that I want. Mostly that's set up by default. I use you've used other tools.
I also reset user back for me because it's a system a little bit like project huddle and it's renamed. So I don't remember. It's called auto written now.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:20:40] Activate WP feedback.
David Waumsley: [00:20:42] Yeah. Yeah. So those ways of clients being able to show you a design and give you feedback actually on the design itself. And that the nice thing about that is that you get to see what browser they're using and at what size, what resolution they are viewing on.
So if they see something wrong, you get that info really not used by people, but I set up user back. So it's an open account, cause I'm usually only working with one client at a time, so they don't have to log into anything it's just there. So I have to clear it out. If somebody else has used it, I have to clean it out for the next
Nathan Wrigley: [00:21:15] job.
Can I ask you about that? Cause I've never used use aback, but having used project huddle, project puddle is a very open system. So everybody can see the comments that everybody's making on that site. And as an example, if I put it on, I don't know, WP Builds and then there were 20 people.
Giving comments about it. They'd all be able to see everybody else's comments is the same true for users, right? Oh, could you say actually, I only want the comments for this website to show up on that website and then I want a completely different configuration for this website or is it just one website at a time?
And that's just the way it works.
David Waumsley: [00:21:52] No, you can set up lots of different projects, but then you start to get to accounts and everything, and there's a lot more you can do with it. Now I use it basically. I stick it in with an open account. So when it's on their site and their site only it's open. If I put it on lots of sites, they would all see each other's, but it never works that way.
And people don't use it that much, but so it's, it just makes it easy because it's sat in the bottom of their site all the time that it's on and they just go and click on it and then point out what they want to give me feedback on. As I say, it's not being used much by using it in that simple way.
It's just something available. Sorry. I
Nathan Wrigley: [00:22:28] misunderstood that. So you could install it on multiple sites and each site would be its own little silo. If you configured it correctly, that would be possible.
David Waumsley: [00:22:37] Yes, indeed. Yes. Designed
Nathan Wrigley: [00:22:41] to keep it open. Is it just easier to maintain on your side?
David Waumsley: [00:22:45] Yeah, because I think they would, in order to be in their little silo, they would need to log into an account where when I install the plugin, as soon as they're in the system, they're already.
In the system and they're using this, open box, if you like it. And as I'm only dealing with one at a time, but the only downside of that is that if they have given me feedback, I declared it out before the next one's in. I understand. I understand that. That's pretty simple. Yeah. Yeah, set up a blog if needed.
That's a bit of a vague one, isn't it? The otherwise I just leave that blank. Here's a question
Nathan Wrigley: [00:23:19] style, the the archives. Do you make the effort to style the archives, even if you're not a hundred percent sure they're going to commit to blogging or do you just leave that and just use the default
David Waumsley: [00:23:29] I've yeah, to be honest, I'm using Beaver builder would be the Thema.
So I usually styled with Thema something basic. So I would work with that if they wanted something new. So it's already there in place, right? Yeah. Again, my list is there just to remind me of things change also, setting up the comments earlier on, I'm asking them, are they likely to ever have comments on blog posts or stuff like that?
Cause I want to get rid of that and if they are, then I introduced the spam protection as well. And then it's forms. I usually set those up My people get editor's account, which doesn't give them rights to the form. So I've had to build that in as well, so they can see their forms, but yeah, but the spam protection goes on as well
Nathan Wrigley: [00:24:11] for that.
Yeah. Yeah. I've had to do that. And I just, something in function stopped PHP to enable them to have the ability to create forms. I can't remember what it was that they didn't have, but the ability to see, create and delete entries and things. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. That's not a default actually, but there you go.
David Waumsley: [00:24:30] Yeah. It's gravity forms that I'm using it. And you wouldn't think all these years someone would have wanted that, but yeah, I have to put a snippet in and then it just grants them access to everything. Which is fine. Yeah, there's some things that I set up in there that I've put in as side notes.
But they're just things I would set up on the basic gravity forms. Things the GDPR settings and limited submissions and that kind of thing, and setting up the email notifications, all that has to be done testing the forms has to be done. Yep. And then I'm using, this is a job mostly for them, but I want to be involved if I can.
They're setting up the Google search console and analytics code. Yep. Anonymizing analytics as well as another job that China put in, if it's appropriate. Check permalinks has come in. Lastly should have been at the top right at the top. David. Yeah. Social share my him, but that's not a job always done.
If the login there, I add in something for
Nathan Wrigley: [00:25:23] that. Yeah. We I've used we were discussing this I've used Monarch as a plugin, but I've also used the one that you, I think is your favorite one and we've, I've probably forgotten the name now. Script less social sharing. I think it is. Yeah.
David Waumsley: [00:25:38] That's my favorite.
And then of course, if I've got page builder add on that, I'm actually using them this project. It'll probably default to that because that plugins already there, but otherwise yeah, I go for the scribblers. Yeah,
Nathan Wrigley: [00:25:49] there's a nice nice Powerpack module for that. I think it's just called social sharing or something like that.
And I often use that in BeaverBuilder and then just set it as a sort of global row or something and add it into the. The post template or something works
David Waumsley: [00:26:04] here. Here's one I needed to write for myself and I still forget it, change all the posts and pages made by us to the client's account.
So moved and I'm setting up some, yeah, we'll often you're doing the work on it. And then it's always, company's name where the author of all the time. So I often forget that. I bet it's in lots of old sites. My name is still there. That's right.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:26:25] You are a prodigious writer of blog posts. You just because that's just the template.
Yeah. That's a good point. I hadn't really thought about that. And there's, there might be a few things which are. Triggered off the basis of who is the author as well. So it might be quite important to get that right. If you've got an archive of what you've written might be important to have literally nothing written against you and who's David.
David Waumsley: [00:26:46] Yeah, exactly. We hand over these sites to clients. Sometimes they go off, somebody else comes in and decides that they're going to show the authors and they don't know, do they necessarily know,
Nathan Wrigley: [00:26:56] do that one? And I really should welt on good
David Waumsley: [00:26:58] one. Yeah. All right, we're coming to the end of this first bit, because it's a bit tedious, isn't it?
Optimize the database. To be honest, that's something that's now taken care of in the ongoing, because of main WP, there's a maintenance plugin that will automate the clearing out of revisions and transient data, all that kind of stuff. So that's done and usually I'm just checking our server resources as well with having the new site on just seeing if everything's right there.
And if there's anything that I see some quick checks really, that there aren't any problems there, and that concludes the setting up well, you're
Nathan Wrigley: [00:27:30] 36 points. I would say about 18 of them are clicking a button, but but nevertheless, there's a lot there. Do you know what I mean? You forget how many little tasks there are, but they all have their place.
And if one of those pieces was missing, if one of those Lego bricks didn't exist in the wall, it wouldn't work as well as you wanted it to. And that's clever. How many, in all honesty, how many of those 36 as a percentage, roughly, would you say come across in your starter template?
David Waumsley: [00:28:00] Oh, over
Nathan Wrigley: [00:28:02] half. Yeah.
Yeah. Yeah. There's obviously a few that you can't, you know, Google analytics code and so on, but that's good. You've saved yourself a lot of work, but the, from the client's point of view, there's still jobs that have been ticked off. They have been done. And if I'm a client of yours, I can see if you've, I don't know how you present this to your clients, but if you have that as a laundry list of tick boxes after the first day or so, you could have ticked off 36 boxes and I'm a happy client.
You're busy doing work for me.
David Waumsley: [00:28:31] Yeah, exactly. I ha I've only put this on a post. I don't make a big deal of it. I just have it there for a bit of transparency. And should anyone seem when I'm giving them an estimate about how long it'll just take to get a basic design up and running in terms of hours?
This just lets them know a bunch of tasks. And for me, I think probably everything that I haven't put here as at some point bitten me in the past.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:28:54] Yeah. No, but it's good. It's really good. And I forget how many little jobs there are at the beginning and having this at the outset as a blog post, which you can show to clients, it does, it creates a bit of it makes you look the professional for one thing, but also it creates a nice.
What's the word I'm after, it gives the impression that there is work to be done. It's not just a question of we just download WordPress and install a database and that's it. Yes, that could be it, but if you want it to be properly done, there's this boatload of things and we're going to check them all.
David Waumsley: [00:29:26] Yeah. The next section that we'll do, we'll w we'll whiz through these, I think basic design checks. I've put them under there. I think I need to organize this list though, but they could be in the first section. So add in now I always say this wrong favicon is what I want to say, but it's what I save icon.
Is it what you just say?
Nathan Wrigley: [00:29:45] But I think some people do say fave icon, but there's no E so the, a, you remember the magic E from childhood magic is not in place. It's not changing the app into an, a.
David Waumsley: [00:29:57] But this isn't it because it's supposed to be favorite icon. I know. I know. Anyway, it's all in your favorites.
Downtick create pages that I'm going to need that let's see. This could have been a set at one, create a custom four Oh four page.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:30:14] You are good.
David Waumsley: [00:30:16] Yeah. Every
Nathan Wrigley: [00:30:17] time. Or is that in the template as well? I'm guessing I
David Waumsley: [00:30:22] you've got me, but it's pretty basic. Yeah. I think the
Nathan Wrigley: [00:30:25] four Oh four pages it's actually quite good because let's say that a post somehow gets deleted, but the URLs are still floating around that it.
If that could become a moment where you can get them back onto your homepage or whatever it is. So I think there's good value in creating a four Oh four page. Yes,
David Waumsley: [00:30:42] I think it's just, I think it's essential to putting them in some designers to go in it quickly, but if there's are basics there, same as a custom privacy page, I have the same ones set up for everybody.
And I just need to go in and say who the data controller is and things like that, and shift around a few elements and thank you page as well that somebody built into the starter site. And then I just, I have it connected to the form, but I usually have to make sure that I've done that again because things have changed.
Cause I usually, I think I'm referenced in a URL connect.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:31:11] So you always go for your forms is redirected to a page, not just the generic pop messages.
David Waumsley: [00:31:18] Yeah, I've always got those set. So there's the thank you page, cause there's always, just having it, there reminds me to talk to the client about the bit of the journey as well.
So it's good for that. Yeah. I said set up WordPress menus again. That should probably have been in the first section.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:31:32] Tufts Tom's David,
David Waumsley: [00:31:34] I know terrible set up site headers and texts of the fonts that we're going to use is in their brand colors. Obviously we need to get those sorts of out set up header layouts, footers with the copyright details in set up search layouts, all of these kinds of things that we need, the dynamic layouts, if they're going to be there.
And the same with the blogs, whether they need to have a dynamic archive pages set up for those and style, those Yeah, most of this is, we're moving into design, so there's only really basic stuff we can put in. I do some basic browser testing when I started some of the design in there.
Just make sure, if they wanted the full package where you really test everything, but they do chest test the main browsers and then take a look on the mobile check the console for errors as well to see if there's not a problem. And then of course it's just the basic mobile and template responsiveness checklist.
There's a lot in the design, not covered there. One thing
Nathan Wrigley: [00:32:34] I was thinking, there's one thing that's really shouting at me is logo. Do you do that? Do you get involved in logos? I know that you've got things like, create headers and footers and so on. Are you taking the logo on yourself or do you hire that out to somebody else?
David Waumsley: [00:32:49] If I say my logo skills are as good as yours, Nathan. Ah
Nathan Wrigley: [00:32:53] Yes, I can. I can type, so you get somebody else to do that usually do, but that's not part of what you need to
David Waumsley: [00:33:01] do. Do it if I'm forced to, and I'll just do the best job I can and probably aim for, F type, right? Yes. If I need to, so yeah, somebody else hopefully most of the clients come with something these days anyway.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:33:15] Section three, launch tasks.
David Waumsley: [00:33:18] Yeah, so well, easy deal and that's records have to sort out to point to the new domain. I have to turn off my coming soon page, which is easy to forget. Check my robots texts. So again, I've done this mistake of grief. Yes. I know it's leaving WordPress now.
I don't do this any longer because you can say don't search this. Yeah, WordPress site can't do it. And it's not on by default. No, the press and my coming soon page takes care of that for me. So I shouldn't need to do that, but I still have to go and check myself, but I haven't turned
Nathan Wrigley: [00:33:57] it off. I'm not sure if it's SEO press, that's doing this, but I have a website which I'm fiddling with at the moment.
And the fact that the in the settings area I've got do not discourage whatever it says, discouraged search engines from crawling this site that is, that's a big red banner in the admin bar. It says site. It's there's an eyeball icon. And then it says no index and it's bright red. I wonder if that's SEO press, I can't remember where that's coming from, but you cannot miss it.
So that's quite a nice visual indication that I've got to deal with that in, in any event.
David Waumsley: [00:34:36] I think I've seen it there. And I think it's also in Yoast as well. It will scream at me if I don't, if I leave it where it is, but you become accustomed to seeing it and yes, that's the problem
Nathan Wrigley: [00:34:46] I have back in the day, this is going back a long time ago, there was a website.
Oh, it's just the sh shame. It was out for about 18 months, shill. Another developer in my town emailed me because he knew I'd built it. And he said, did you know? And I was like, no, thank you. I'll. Make sure that's not. And it was an actual robot stop Tech's fault. Cause it was a Drupal site and I had to got to disallow everything and, Oh dear, that was an awful moment.
David Waumsley: [00:35:21] I've done. I've done it as well. And probably about the same leg for time. Yeah. Working with my colleague, then she spotted it. The client didn't they just didn't have much interest in the site, but yeah, I flushed red.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:35:33] It was very nice of this guy who is a competitor. He just very politely pointed out, et cetera, to, to deal with it.
And I thought that's really you. Thank you. You could have gone to the client and said, look at this dramatic era, find yourself on Google. No, it's his fault. Can I have the job? But he didn't. He was very kind.
David Waumsley: [00:35:51] Yeah, it was good. Yeah. So other tedious things we have to do, so usually taking care of kind of our hosting or the whatever service you've be used to manage our servers set in the WWS to the non WWS or in reverse those redirects rewriting the database to the new name, a domain name.
If that needs to be done, sometimes I'm doing that. I have to do that as a separate job. That's what I'm in love with a new tool, which is migrate guru, which makes moving stuff around so much easier.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:36:24] Is that a blog volt
David Waumsley: [00:36:26] products? It is. It's so wonderful. I actually used
Nathan Wrigley: [00:36:30] it for the first time.
About, about a week ago. And it was completely flawless. I thought it was going to be quicker than it was because I think it probably took, it was quite a big site. And I think it probably took about out 50 minutes, but I, right at the outset it said, this is going to be 50 minutes or, the down goes the time.
So I just went off, did all the things carry carried on with my day and it was perfect. Absolutely. Perfect.
David Waumsley: [00:36:55] Yeah, I love moving things around with that. I just, it's really nice. And I think it's a real, really generous offer from them because it's their server resources that are used for no cost to us. Yeah.
Okay. Security certificates. I need to put that on. And also the other thing, which is making sure I've gone through most of the pages and posts to see that there's no mixed content there with stuff. I don't think I'll have that issue with migrate girl, but I have done it when I've used a plugin search and replace to swap over stuff.
I find that some of the images are still with HTTP, so you get a mixed content and the security is not working on all the pages that seems to have disappeared as
Nathan Wrigley: [00:37:34] well. No, but also in the latest version of WordPress, that it takes that all by itself. Doesn't it? I don't think you need to interact, but if you do need to interact, it's in the site health area.
And it tells you that. And now I don't know if it picks out particular images or anything like that, or if it's just generically, you need to update your site from HTTP to HTTPS, but you press a button and there is literally no time. It just, you click the button and you're done. And I did it and it worked in every way that I could find.
So that was a nice add on to WordPress in 5.6 just recently. Yeah,
David Waumsley: [00:38:19] That's another one off my list. This list is
Nathan Wrigley: [00:38:23] nothing to justify your existence soon. It's all going to be non-existent items. Yeah.
David Waumsley: [00:38:30] Okay. Configure and test the Cashin. That's the job I have to do that time. Check the forms again, usually at this point because things have changed run a speed test.
That's when I do that and now of course, I'm going to have to look at Caldwell vitals. Do you have to really?
Nathan Wrigley: [00:38:44] Do we have to, or David? I don't want to look at .
David Waumsley: [00:38:48] I'll look, but I'll only talk about it. If it's in my favor, I don't
Nathan Wrigley: [00:38:52] understand it. I don't want to have to learn it.
David Waumsley: [00:38:56] No, it's quite a simple thing, something to be looking at.
I think to be honest, that's a launch task, but it's in reality testing the speed of things as I'm building the site. So really it's something that's done a lot earlier. So it's prime and perhaps in the wrong place take an external backup of course, to a server somewhere else. And usually for me, remind the clients about things like Google business pages and the benefits of particularly the local trades of encouraging reviews to them because that might help them get traffic.
Yeah, that's my launch tasks. Yep.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:39:30] Good. I'm just trying to think if there's anything that I do that you don't and the answer is no, I will probably have a, it's got nothing to do with WordPress, but I'll, I will have an under handoff meeting or some kind of comprehensive email, which just encapsulates everything just to make it final.
David Waumsley: [00:39:48] Yeah, where's the check where's the check needs to be added to our check. Yeah, that's right. Yeah. Check
Nathan Wrigley: [00:39:56] that. You've done the final check. Yep. Genius.
David Waumsley: [00:40:01] Okay. Final section then, excuse me. Monitoring and health checks, but that's really only for us who are managing the clients with some kind of care plans.
This has changed, we've jumped on board with a lot of these similar tools here. So I think
Nathan Wrigley: [00:40:14] we got very well with our lifetime deal purchases recently. I've, in the past it used to be that I was addicted to AppSumo and I've very much come away from that, but we've managed to bag a few recently haven't we, that really.
Turned out to be great little products. Yeah.
David Waumsley: [00:40:30] So uptime monitoring always needed to be done before, but excuse me now with better uptime, which was one of our lifetime deals, it's automatically got domain expiry checks, which has proven itself to be very useful. So that all goes on. The setup, visual monitoring, and some of the monitoring with Hexo watch again, another one of our share deals.
Isn't it. That's
Nathan Wrigley: [00:40:52] really nice. I haven't really deployed that for clients, but I've, I look at it. On my own website, just to make sure that things are going well. And I think it's a great tool. If you're in a competitive space, I think we have mentioned this before. It may be something that you could sell reports from, because I dunno, let's say your you're one of three shops in the local area, which do basically the same thing and your rivals.
You can monitor other people's websites to see what, amendments they've made on a page by page basis. They've lowered the price of this particular set of trainers or what have you. I won't tell you about the exact pricing change, but it will say, wait, hang on a minute. There's a change over here.
Go and have a look. You get an email. It's great.
David Waumsley: [00:41:34] Yeah, it is a really good tool. I think there's been a lot of those tools and I've never been able to rely on it. This is doing a pretty good job. It's not perfect. Now it gives me false alerts occasionally, but it makes me go and look at sites. So I don't know.
I think it's just great. It gives me a sense of security that an update hasn't killed things. It
Nathan Wrigley: [00:41:54] as well. It does come through really quickly. The better uptime one. I am staggered how quickly it picks up that things have gone down because I've often been operating on websites and I've deliberately taken something down.
And within seconds, in many cases, the email comes through. So that's astonishing, but the Hexo watch one. There's quite a lot of configurability there. You can tell it, only look at this portion of the page or the bottom 10%, or, only look at the top 10%. But yeah, I only want to be alerted when 30% of that top 10% gets amended.
So there's a bunch of stuff going on there, so you can make it so that it doesn't give you too many false positives, but yes, very good for clients to be assured that their own websites are intact and as pixel perfect as they were yesterday.
David Waumsley: [00:42:40] Yeah, another one. That's a lifetime deal. I think from a AppSumo for me was Acura rancor.
And I use that now. I think if someone's gone out for SEO with me and they've ordered one of my reports or stuff, I will just automatically put a few of their keywords in to see the ranking over time. I don't generally tell them I'm doing this. I just it's for my, I want to know whether the advice I gave them is working out as well.
And then I'll share it with them as a bonus later. So that's been a nice lifetime deal that came in there. You also
Nathan Wrigley: [00:43:12] use that tool pre you know, before you start on the website, is that the kind of tool that you deploy in the exploration
David Waumsley: [00:43:19] phase? No, you won't. It's only worth putting on when it's going out there live and then just try and search you, put your domain in and the keywords you want to rank for.
And then you can see over time where they are moving, which keywords are crawling up, and it's really quite useful, you there, isn't the time to go and look on it. And it's quite, it's nice that we'll add on if somebody it's only for me really, because I want to know if someone's actually paid me some time for some SEO that what I've told them is working, that's a big quiet if it wasn't, but so far it always has done.
Yeah. Yeah, I put in security scans as well that I will do this as third party stuff. So I'll be checking that they're working okay. On the new domain with those, but if you've got something built in, then you probably don't need to do that. And I set up again a little bit of duplication, automatic clearing of databases, something I might.
Be setting up again as connecting, but I've, I think I've already mentioned that I've done that with maintenance plugin as well for main WP so that the list is there and then yeah, ongoing updating of it. Do you have any system, I guess just be knowledgeable, really been in the community, when the new PHP versions coming in and do you, does that set you off to update insights?
Nathan Wrigley: [00:44:34] it, to be honest with you, it happens so infrequently. It doesn't, it's such a once in a blue moon event, but yes, I know when things like that are happening, I tend to be in the crowd. That's I'm never going to be on PHP eight when people are just fiddling with it. I'm still on PHP 7.4.
In most cases I think, and I don't try to push the envelope. And in fact I'm a bit like that with WordPress, even if WordPress flips over from 5.6 to 5.7, I will not push all the sites over. I'll do a couple of ones, which are my own personal ones first. So I know I'm not going to be checking that religiously.
I'll just be listening. And when people say in our Facebook group and things like that I'll notice it and do something about it.
David Waumsley: [00:45:19] But it never happens. Does it for regular users of WordPress? I, clients have come to me not too long ago that we're still on version 5.2 or something that I don't think, or certainly 5.6 and that's going much slower.
So when does
Nathan Wrigley: [00:45:33] that, one of the amazing things about WordPress is that they, the community, the people that build the software take the time to make sure it's backwards compatible for a long time. And it's a great frustration to developers who want to make use of key features of the latest, greatest versions of PHP that they can't in all good conscience, build those functionalities in because not everybody's able to access it.
And yeah, things like Drupal. They just go to the latest version, that's not entirely true, but they're working on the basis. That look, when we do a point release, you've all got an update. This is just how it's going to be, because we want to be able to make use of the speed optimizations of the latest version of PHP and the features and the functions that are available to us.
David Waumsley: [00:46:19] I wonder if the health checks works with the regular user, whether they actually spot, they've got a new thing to attend to with that PHP or whether people will still be around using 5.2 until it all breaks.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:46:31] In a way, you've got to imagine that this is the job of like your hosting company, really, that they would be reaching out to you and saying, look, we can't quite fathom it, but you've got PHP 5.2 still installed.
And we noticed that you're on WordPress. We've got some suggestions. Why don't you log in and click this button and update it? Yeah. Yeah. And of course managed WordPress hosts will deal with a lot of this stuff for you because they know that they can do this on your own half.
David Waumsley: [00:46:57] Yeah.
Yeah. Anyway, I skipped over the updating of software, which we do pretty much daily every day. Yeah. So do that. And I have to, and I haven't got a proper system for this. I don't know how you go about checking that the emails are being delivered from your server. The emails, aren't my responsibility, but the responsibility lies on me that it will go into their contact form and that my server will deliver it from their
Nathan Wrigley: [00:47:23] route Z.
The only thing that I do there is I make it absolutely clear that. The clients I don't say go and fill out the form each month just to check it's calming. But I do say, please log in and check that there aren't any, that there's no disconnect between what's in the form you are and what you're getting in your email inbox.
Make sure there's no disconnect and that's really never bitten me. I've never had anybody come and say, look, it's just not sending. So I was just saying to you, there is a nice free SMTP plugin by fluent forms and it has logs as standard. So anything that the server, anything that it has sent out on your, on the website's behalf is kept in a log.
You can obviously expunge them, but there's also a nice, you can see the email, delete the email, but also there's a resend button. If there were a problem, hopefully you'd be able to re-send all of them again, in that UI, you just click the button, and if the last two weeks of emails were not being sent through, you can just click recent, however many times.
And it should send them through. Obviously don't send more than like 200 in an hour or something. Cause that may break things depending on which connection you've got.
David Waumsley: [00:48:38] With something like what happens with mail girl, not the times that emails haven't been delivered, it's often been with those.
It's been BT internet not like our IP address and I wouldn't know. And I tried to make it habit to go into Mailgun once a month because that's on the free version. That's how long it will retain the record. So you can get an idea of. You know what emails are failed in that time. And if it's suddenly shot up, then I can find that if there's something in common and they've changed my IP address, but I just wonder if you're, through a system like that.
Can it tell you where, what hasn't actually gone through and been accepted because it shows you delivered and then accepted. So you're pretty sure that it's gone.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:49:21] Yeah. Yeah. I don't know. That's a good point. Emails is one of those things. It's a bit of a mystery to me. I know what I need to do in order to set it up correctly, but I'm still often a little puzzled by all of the DNS stuff that you have to do sometimes, like the D Kim and D Mark and all of that kind of stuff.
Not, I did read up on that many years ago and I've forgotten what the purpose of it all is, but so long as I've covered myself, sounds a bit. But yes, it ridiculous, but I, make sure that the clients know, please log in if there's any problems, let us know. But I do make the point that when it, when we gave you the site, it was working.
If you're part of our maintenance plan we'll get it sorted. But if you're not, then, go in and check because that's on you.
David Waumsley: [00:50:07] Yeah. It's not been an issue. But that's just one of the things that I need to check every so often now. Yeah. Yeah. I don't set an alarm. I should really do that for it, but yeah.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:50:16] in the morning, on a Sunday, get up check. Yeah. But I don't know. How would you, I don't think there is an a, I don't know, is there a thing that you can trigger, which says this has got disconnected, something's broken. Does the Mailgun plugin tell you if something's gone wrong?
David Waumsley: [00:50:32] I don't really understand what I'm doing when it comes to stuff like that, but it tells me enough.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:50:36] Yeah. My feeling with this is that it fails silently. So you've got to, you've got to know you've got to go and be checking that these forms are coming through. And obviously if a client is usually having two or three emails a week, and then suddenly they have three weeks and nothing's coming through, that's a bit of a red flag to log in.
David Waumsley: [00:50:52] Yeah. And to be honest, it's probably good that they don't alert me as well, because for a period of time, on one of my own sites, I had, spamming incident where it was, they will fails because they were made up email addresses or what they tried to do. So that would have been annoying as well.
And then it would have led to the problem that I just ignore all the alerts then, right? Yes. Yeah. You've
Nathan Wrigley: [00:51:13] become weary of all of the fake things. Yes. A good point. Yeah.
David Waumsley: [00:51:17] Now we've come to the last one. Yeah. Which is boring again. Cause I've talked about it before, which is just check-in server resources.
Again, I haven't got a system exactly. In place for just checking. Yeah, the general amount of Ram use because we're running our own servers and they are managed by other tools. I still have to go in there and just see how things are going, how big the size of the disc is.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:51:41] Do you have alerts set up for those in all of your different myriad ways of running them so that they send you a disk usage email or a, I dunno, resource CPU usage email when it happens?
David Waumsley: [00:51:54] Yes and no, to two of the services I do give me some kind of alerts, one of them doesn't so I have to go and check in there, but it's probably the healthiest of the lot yeah, but still it's one of the, it's one of the tasks I feel I have to do. Just keep checking that
Nathan Wrigley: [00:52:08] no, send them because it's not got the capability or it's not sending them because it's the healthiest.
David Waumsley: [00:52:14] It's not it. Hasn't got the capability to be the healthiest. So that's
Nathan Wrigley: [00:52:18] A nice trade off. Actually. I'll take that. Yes. As long as it's behaving that way, and it's not the other way around it doesn't have the capability and it's a hopeless service. Yeah. Wow.
David Waumsley: [00:52:29] Isn't it because I bet no, one's still
Nathan Wrigley: [00:52:32] with us.
No. I'm still with you, although I'm, I'm slowly falling asleep in my chair. I've got about 30 seconds left before I doze off. No, it is interesting though, because if you are, if you're new to this and you're a novice, I bet there's a boatload of stuff in there that probably the best way to interact with it is to it's not fight your way through 50 minutes of audio.
Just go and read the show, but we left that little nugget into the 50. Let's have a look the 50 about the 55th minute or so.
David Waumsley: [00:53:03] Okay. I think we've done this topic, Dom. Yeah.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:53:06] Yeah. Do we have any clue? What comes after this? A, B, C, D E F G H I J. K isn't
David Waumsley: [00:53:13] it? Absolutely no idea, but I'm sure it was something where we wanted to ask our community to help us with it, but Oh, of course. Yeah. K
Nathan Wrigley: [00:53:21] is for community. I get it. Yeah.
David Waumsley: [00:53:26] Oh, the tips I wanted to do well, we might change our mind before it goes out. Killer tips. We wanted people's great tips. Okay. Okay. All right. We'll
Nathan Wrigley: [00:53:34] see if we can wrangle any of that before then, but that was a nice episode. Thanks for sharing your expertise in this area,
David Waumsley: [00:53:40] Dave. Thank you. Okay. See you soon.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:53:44] hope that you enjoyed that episode as always. There's always more to this stuff than meets the eye. Who'd have thought that we did so many little jobs and there really were dozens upon dozens of them. It's a really interesting subject. If you've got anything to say about it, head over to the WP build's dot com website, search through the archive and look for episode number 228.
And you can comment there or head over to our Facebook group, where we've got 2,800 plus very friendly and polite WordPress users. And you can post a comment over there. That's WP Builds.com forward slash Facebook. Just one final plug about the page builder summit. I mentioned it at the top of the show page builders, summit.com starting this Monday, the 10th of May absolutely tons and tons of speakers, all talking about how to do things better well differently in your WordPress page, builder of choice.
So go and get yourself signed up. It's completely free to attend. Page builder, summit.com. The WP build's podcast was brought to you today by AB split test. Do you want to set up your AB split tests in record time? Like in a couple of minutes, use your existing pages and test anything against anything else.
Buttons, images, headers, rows, anything. And the best part is it works with Beaver builder element or on the WordPress block editor. Check it out. You got a free [email protected]. Okay. I normally say, I hope to see you next week, or I hope to see you on the, this weekend word pressure, which we shoot live every Monday.
WP Builds.com forward slash live. But this time I'm going to say, I hope to see what the page builder summit next week. Page builders, summit.com until then stay safe. I'm going to fight in some cheesy music and say, bye-bye.