Be careful with wordpress Cache plugins

  1. Many of them modify your htaccess file: You may not aware of it but many cache plugins of WordPress modify your htaccess without warning you about it. We never know the consequences of modifying htaccess.
  2. They modify the HTTP headers response of your files: The http headers are meta information about your page. Example of HTTP headers:
    HTTP/1.1 200 OK
    
    Date: Sun, 22 Oct 2017 14:21:24 GMT
    
    Server: Apache
    
    Upgrade: h2,h2c
    
    Connection: Upgrade
    
    Cache-Control: max-age=0
    
    Expires: Sun, 22 Oct 2017 14:21:24 GMT
    
    Content-Type: text/html; charset=UTF-8
  3. Some of them have security holes: Yoast has reported a vulnerability in W3 total cache. This vulnerability has been reported in 2016. However, W3 total cache exists since at least 6 years.
  4. Incompatibility with many plugins: We have found that many cache plugins aren’t compatible with many plugins. It can generate 500 server errors for some web pages and you may not aware of it because the homepage is working well.
  5. Incompatibility with many themes: There are reports of webmasters who faced problems with cache plugins. Here is one example with Wp super cache.

As you can see, using a cache plugin in WordPress has many consequences.

Don’t listen to the hype when people tell you to install a cache plugin to speed up your WordPress installation. For instance, if you have a WordPress installation in Hungarian, you don’t need a cache to speed up your WordPress installation as your visitors are close-by.

How to identify the wordpress plugin that is responsible for Google traffic drop?

In order to know it, identify the day before the start of the traffic drop in Google search console or Google analytics. Here we can see a Google traffic drop on the 18th of September 2017.

1. Take a look at the date of your WordPress plugins

Open your favorite FTP application and go to the “/wp-content/plugins” folder.  Sort the folders by date just like on the picture below. As you can see below, a WordPress plugin has been installed on this very same day (18th of september). It was the wp fastest cache plugin. We decided to delete it right away.

2. Other plugins prior to the traffic drop

Then, I took a look at the plugins that have been installed just before the date of the Google traffic drop. That’s the ones that you should disable in priority. This technique will prevent you to disable all WordPress plugins.

3. Some plugins don’t change your website code

Take a look at the remaining installations, several WordPress plugins have no consequences on your webpage’s code. Here, on the picture above, it is the case of “search and replace” and also “broken link checker”.

4. Take a look at the WordPress plugins that have been modified

Some WordPress plugins installed before the traffic dropped may have been modified. It would important to investigate the modifications. In my case, there were no significant modifications done.

List of authorized websites/companies Payoneer to get paid through global payment service

Here is a list of companies that can send you money using the bank details from the global payment tab of a Payoneer account on their website.  The companies don’t require the additional procedure of due diligence from the money sender.  I have only listed companies that aren’t a scam and that really send money. The goal of this list is to help people to make money online.

  • 123RFlimited (image database)
  • 99Designs (image database)
  • AirHelp
  • Airbnb (landlords)
  • Amazon UK, USA, France, Germany, Spain (Affiliate program)
  • Dreamstime (image database)
  • Envato market (themeforest, codecanyon)
  • Fiverr (small jobs)
  • Guru (freelance jobs))
  • Istock (image database)
  • Taboola (ad network)
  • Upwork (freelance jobs)

If you know other companies that are pre-authorized by Payoneer global payment service please write a comment.

Buying a paid internet forum software or getting a free internet forum?

We have extensively tested phpbb, myBB and SMF. We faced many issues that are not

Some default themes of free forum platforms are not responsive:

We found that the myBB and SMF default themes were no responsive so that it was even not an option to start with a default theme of myBB or SMF.

Many broken themes of free internet forum softwares:

We bought myBB and SMF themes. We faced many issues with free and paid themes. Sometimes some links of buttons (login, search) were missing. Sometimes, the responsive theme looked messy. Sometimes, the toolbar of post editing was missing.

We also bought phpBB themes from themeforest. One was called bulletin. We had to use display: none to hide a big content. We don’t like to use display:none for SEO reasons. Then, we wanted to change the colors of the themes and we added it to the custom.css file. After purging the cache and adding !important it still didn’t work. That’s the type of issue you never face with paid forum softwares.

Bad themes of free forum platforms for SEO and readability:

We saw that plenty of themes from free internet forum softwares that were not designed with SEO and readability in mind. For instance, there are plenty of SMF themes and phpBB themes with a header that is around 300px. It is just too much. On the other hand, when you look at Vbulletin, Xenforo, woltlab forums you can see that valuable information is displayed right from the top.

Upgrades from free forum softwares are dangerous:

Due to how the theme’s files are integrated into the internet forum softwares and since plugins are necessary to get important features, updates can break phpBB, myBB, SMF installations. Themes and plugins may not be compatible after an upgrade. We witnessed this issue with myBB themes. We also witnessed this issue with phpBB and myBB plugins.

Missing features and mandatory plugin installations:

We found no free internet softwares with SEO friendly URLs. This always required the installation of a plugin to get the title of a thread as keywords in the URL.  Additionally, many plugins aren’t maintained by developers. It means many of phpBB, myBB, SMF plugins don’t work.

Also, things that seem obvious on every single forum isn’t already provided by a free internet forum installation. It is the case for the User karma system (also called reputation system) that is no embedded in the phpBB default installation. The nofollow features aren’t installed by default on phpBB, myBB or SMF.  In other words, when you install phpBB or SMF, all the URL in the posts are dofollow. This will attracts spammers.

Paid forum softwares are ready out of the box:

I have found that Xenforo, Woltlab, and Vbulletin were ready to be used out of the box without looking for a responsive reliable theme, modifying CSS, adding plugins, changing colors. This tremendously speeds up your forum installation project because you don’t need to spend hours to look for plugins, installation of plugins, coding.

Think about the future migration

I have noticed that many internet forum webmasters moved their forums to XenForo. There is an import module in XenForo. However, URL redirection needs to be in place and it looks like it is still complicated today. To write this article I have browsed the internet and looked at the forum softwares of major forum websites and I have discovered that most of them use Vbulletin. Then, I think the most common free forum installation is phpBB but I also noticed that nobody install the mod to turn the phpBB urls into SEO friendly URLs.

Free internet forum softwares vs paid forum softwares

The free forum platforms like phpbb, mybb, smf aren’t as reliable as Xenforo, Vbulletin among others.

Free forum softwares and the many theme issues

I have downloaded SMF, MyBB and phpBB. For sure, the default themes don’t look appealing. So, I have decided to look for themes. First of all, I have discovered that many themes were not compatible with my version of SMF and myBB. Then, I have discovered that many themes were incomplete. I have witnessed issues with phpBB, myBB and SMF themes such as links that didn’t work, text fields that opened partially, toolbars of edit page that didn’t show.

I have bought a theme called flatOne for myBB and I discovered that the login link and the search link didn’t work. However, it was a premium theme and I paid $30 for it. Then, I have discovered it was very difficult to modify a theme in myBB. I wanted to buy a theme to use it on several websites. I have bought several premium themes for myBB and none of theme suited my needs.

VIenna myBB paid theme: Broken link behind avatar, missing toolbar, text field is half of the screen.

On the other hand, the themes of Vbulletin and Xenforo look professional and they are reliable out of the box. Nothing is broken.

On one forum, I have discovered that theme authors didn’t use to maintain their themes. I have found a thread of someone complaining that a  theme footer was broken since several years!

At the end, the amount of money that I have to spend in buying premium themes for free internet

Free themes from free forum softwares aren’t responsive

I have found that the default themes of myBB and SMF were not responsive. Then, I have discovered that many free themes that were advertised as being “responsive” were barely responsive as they looked messy when I visited the forum from a mobile phone. Items were not aligned. Titles were not at the right location. By the way, if you test a forum, don’t use a mobile phone simulation, use a smartphone to see how it looks like.

By the way, if you test a forum, don’t use a mobile phone simulation, use a smartphone to see how it looks like.

On the other hand, all the paid internet forum softwares are perfectly displayed on mobile phones and tablets.

Free Internet forum softwares and SEO:

On the developers’ forums from SMF, myBB and phpBB no one is interested in implementing friendly URLs into their internet forum software. So, they want to keep URLs looking like:  /viewforum.php?f=2&sid=6793ae5b47125325d08772c73d628200 which is a URL from phpBB 3.21

If you want a friendly URL for your free internet forum you have to download a plugin.

On the other hand, friendly URLs are default features of Xenforo, Vbulletin, and other paid internet forums.

Conclusion:

If you can afford it, It is advised to buy a serious forum platform like Xenforo, Vbulletin because you will save time building up your forum and its template. Also, you will get a reliable solution and you will not need to install any plugins.

If you opt for free internet forum platforms, I would suggest sticking to the default theme and develop your own theme if your community gets bigger.

How do I check that my site is penalized by Google?

Most of the time, when a domain is penalized by Google, it disappears from the google search engine. If you type “site:yourbannedwebsite.com” and if you see no result in google search engine, it means your website is banned from Google. You should see something similar to the following screenshot.

However, I have also noticed stealthier bans where the website was still indexed by Google and when the traffic tremendously dropped. Then, you need to investigate a bit further.

 

In google webmaster tools, if you see a drop in impressions in the course of 3 days to 1 month and if your website is not seasonal it means something goes wrong. Your domain is likely penalized by Google.

On the other hand, a sharp drop in impressions may mean that there is a technical problem with your website and you should check the reachability of your pages.

Here is an example below of a domain penalized by Google in Google search console.

 

Disadvantages and Advantages of using CloudFlare

Disadvantages:

CloudFlare benefits from a good reputation. However, we noticed major issues related to using CloudFlare.

  • Security:  CloudFlare is a middleman between your server and your visitors. Sensitive data also go through the CloudFlare server when they are delivered to a client. CloudFlare has the ability to monitor all your traffic.
  • Power: Cloudflare can inject code into your HTTP headers and your web pages and it can have any consequences.
  • Slow: For some reasons, we have noticed that CloudFlare can slow down the page load rather than speeding it up. It is normal as a step (a hop) is added between your server and a client.
  • Misconfiguration: Since additional settings should be made on the CloudFlare website, a misconfiguration can lead to downtimes and traffic drops. Here a case study of a Google traffic drop related to Cloudflare.
  • Dependency: By choosing to point your nameservers to another server that you don’t control, it means you accept to hand over a part of your website reachability to CloudFlare. If the CloudFlare server goes down, your website gets inaccessible even if your web server works fine. In other words, you had a point of failure by using CloudFlare.

Advantages:

  • DDOS attacks: Cloudflare mitigates DDOS attacks.
  • Firewall: Cloudflare helps to reduce useless incoming traffic. Here is the list of opened ports when using CloudFlare. For HTTP: 80, 8080, 8880, 2052, 2082, 2086, 2095.  For HTTPS: 443, 2053, 2083, 2087, 2096, 8443. You can also whitelist or blacklist IP addresses. There is also an interesting option called “challenge IP” which prompts for a captcha when requests come from an IP address.
  • HTTPS, HTTP/2: Cloudflare provides free HTTPS, HTTP/2 and SPDY certificates for your domain.
  • HSTS: Cloudflare provides free HTTP Strict Transport Security for your website.
  • IPV6 reachability:  Cloudflare allows your website to be accessed through an IPV6 address even if your server has an IPV4 address.
  • Minify: It can minify CSS, Javascript, and HTML
  • Rate limiting:  Cloudflare can protect your API by limiting the number of requests for a given time using a rule. It is a paid option and it is very easy to setup from the Cloudflare configuration page.
  • Jurisdiction: CloudFlare is located in the USA. Consequently, this makes believe that your website is located in the USA. Your website is likely to benefit from the US jurisdiction.
  • Freedom of speech: By hiding the IP of the server, you can express yourself since you can rely on the 1st amendment of the United States of America which allows a website to express almost all opinions without being prosecuted.

Best paid news & magazine wordpress themes

Online news and magazine require

The Boal WordPress theme

The Boal magazine theme Boal comes with the ability to play embedded videos on the homepage. So, you can have one category with videos that can be launched from the homepage.  You can display the most popular posts, the latest news and posts by categories on the homepage.  All the items on the homepage are widgets developed by the theme creator Nano agency. The sidebar can freeze if you want to show sticky floating widgets from the sidebar while the visitor is scrolling the page.

Prevent being rejected during Adsense application for insufficient content

Head section

First of all, you should be careful when you paste the first google Adsense code provided by google adsense. You should paste this code to between the <head></head> of your website.

Multilingual websites problem

Then, if you have a multilingual website, paste the google Adsense code to pages in the same language. Don’t paste the google Adsense code to other pages in different languages.

Look at the pages that could be a problem.

For instance, you have pages with texts that make no sense for a newbie. It is better to remove the google adsense code from these pages.

Rotating advertisements and Google penalty – OIOpublisher case

I am convinced that rotating advertisements can generate a Google penalty.

I have installed on a wordpress website OIOpublisher which allows to have rotating advertisements. I have added a leaderboard at the top of the website. I added 2 ads. One was a link with an “img src” and a nofollow and the second one was an iframe. the OIOpublisher plugin loaded the two ads intermittently. Consequently, when I went to google search console and clicked on “fetch as google”, there were 2 different views on the rendering page. The googlebot window showed one advertisement. The visitor window shows the second advertisement. However, in the google webmaster guidelines, it is forbidden to serve a different content to Googlebot and visitors.  For example, it is forbidden to show a text to visitors and hide it from Googlebot. By the past, one of my websites has been penalized for serving a different content to Googlebot.

However, in the google webmaster guidelines, it is forbidden to serve a different content to Googlebot and visitors.  For example, it is forbidden to show a text to visitors and hide it from Googlebot. By the past, one of my websites has been penalized for serving a different content to Googlebot.

However, in the google webmaster guidelines, it is forbidden to serve a different content to Googlebot and visitors.  For example, it is forbidden to show a text to visitors and hide it from Googlebot. By the past, one of my websites has been penalized for serving a different content to Googlebot.

Then, few weeks after installing OIOpublisher on my website, a massive drop of traffic occurred. Of course, I could have used the OIOpublisher plugin and display only one advertisement.

I haven’t done anything else special. So, I think the rotating advertisements were responsible for the google traffic drop.