Understanding your WordPress.com stats if you have a static front page

If your WordPress.com site has a static front page (as we do at Happy Guide), you may have noticed something a little odd in your stats…

There appears to be two “home” pages logging! Here’s why…

One entry in the stats is the name of the page that is set as your front page. If you hover over this entry and look at your status bar (bottom left of your browser window), you’ll see it links to your static page’s original location.

This will be yoursite.com/home or yoursite.com/front-page, or something similar, depending on what you originally entered as the page’s permalink.

Then there’s another entry in the stats called “Home page / Archives”. If you hover over this entry and look at your status bar, you’ll see it links to your site root — yoursite.com.

So which one actually tells you the number of views of your home page? It’s the FIRST one — the entry that refers to your static page. Continue reading

Your on-page SEO checklist

A question I’m asked a lot is…

“How do I make my content as Google-friendly as possible?”

In terms of on-page SEO (Search Engine Optimization), I believe the big stuff is…

  • Use your keyword phrase in the title of your post
  • Use your keyword phrase near the beginning of your post and then whenever’s natural

However, when writing a new blog post or article, it would be nice to know that you’re checking as many of those on-page SEO boxes as possible.

I just discovered this brilliant infographic by the very dedicated Brian Dean that serves as an “on-page SEO checklist”. You might like to check out the original post too, as he gives a little more information on each element…  Continue reading

How to remove the featured images from the subpages under a grid page, on the Motif theme for WordPress.com

Ok so you’ve created a grid page by creating subpages with titles, excerpts and featured images. The trouble is those featured images also appear on the subpages themselves — probably not what you want.

Well you can remove them with some simple CSS. You’ll need the Custom Design upgrade for this, but you can try it out first by going to Appearance > Custom Design > Preview for free (in the CSS box). Then in the CSS input box, paste in this code…

.page-child .attachment-motif-page-thumbnail {display: none;}

Before this code was provided by WordPress.com, I’d worked out this (slightly less elegant) way of achieving the same result. So if for any reason the above code doesn’t work for you, give this a try instead…

.entry-thumbnail {display: none;}
.grid-row .entry-thumbnail {display: inherit;}

Let me know how you get on :-)

All the best,
James

How to show only the first part of a post on your blog page

Ragini asks…

“Really appreciate your post on how to set up motif for WordPress. But our blog page isn’t truncating the posts, it’s showing the whole posts. After reading all the directions neither of us could find any place other than under Settings > Reading, but there seems to be no setting for truncating the posts. Just wondering what we are missing!”

It was a good idea to look in the Settings but in fact, this is done on the Edit Post page. Place the cursor where you want the post to be truncated and then click on the little “Insert More Tag” icon. You should get a line appear across the editor, to show that this is the cut-off point…

When you save the post and then view your Blog page, the post you edited should have a “Continue reading →” link at the correct point.

Because it’s done on a post-by-post basis, you can “cut off” each post wherever you like. You can go back and insert a More tag into your existing posts, if you want to :-)

Hope this helps — let me know how you get on.

All the best,
James

How to customize the white text box on the Motif theme’s front page template

Patricia asks…

“I found your Motif tips very helpful, but do you know how I could reduce the overall size of the white Front Page title box?  The box covers an important section of the Featured Image that I want to use. Thanks if you can help! :-)”

Luckily, a chap called Richard from The Sacred Path has provided us with the answer, as well as how to remove it or shift it over to the left hand side. I’ll reproduce his code below.

You’ll need the Custom Design upgrade if you haven’t already got it, but you can try out the code and see the effect, before purchasing. To do this, go to Appearance > Custom Design. On the CSS panel click on “Preview for free”. Click on Try It and then click on CSS. Delete all the informational text and add your code… Continue reading