Every so often it’s time for a blog update. I just got done adding a new theme, switching to a new host and next I’ll be changing to a new recipe card that includes automatic nutrition.
I shared that since I’ve been sick, I’ve been working non-stop since I’m stuck in bed most of the time anyways. We discovered that our affiliate income had dropped dramatically because of an issue with the Pretty Link plugin, so I spent a lot of time getting that resolved.
Immediately after that project was done, I dug into another one. Gotta stay busy and keep my mind distracted! If you’re a blogger, then I can probably just say one word and you’ll understand – Gutenberg.
Is Your WordPress Theme Gutenberg Compatible?
One factor we had to consider when we started researching how the Gutenberg update would affect us was whether our WordPress theme was Gutenberg compatible. I just changed the theme in July, but unfortunately didn’t see any indication the theme I was using was Gutenberg compatible.
So when I got the email from Studiopress about which of their themes were going to be not only Gutenberg compatible, but Gutenberg optimized, I decided to migrate to one of those themes right away so I’d be ready when I hit that update button. I bought the Magazine theme (a Genesis child theme), installed it and had the site looking pretty good in under 2 hours.
One of my previous themes was on the Genesis framework as well, so I knew my way around it and was able to quickly get the look I wanted. I still want to re-do the logo, but that will have to stay on my wish list for a minute.
I’m really happy with how it turned out, and with the variety of options I have with the Magazine theme. When Studiopress puts their Pro Plus All-Theme Package on sale during Web Week (December 25-31, 2018), we’ll be investing in that and moving all of our websites over to Genesis and Studiopress themes.
The whole package is normally just under $500, which is an amazing deal when you figure that most good themes run about $100 each. During Web Week, it will be $100 off for new and returning customers. That brings our price down to just under $275. Since we have 8 other sites that need good themes (and we’ll be adding more to the portfolio), it’s a bargain to invest in our business this way.
If you’re considering a new theme, check out the Pro Plus All-Theme Package.
Is it Time to Switch Hosts?
Once I was happy with the new theme, I decided it was time to start another project, so we took a look at our hosting. Brian and I sat down and did an audit of our business after working on the post about the best hosts, and realized how silly it was that we had websites with 3 different hosts.
Happy Mothering was with AcceleratedWP, and we had other sites at SiteGround and Bluehost. I first looked into moving all of the sites to AcceleratedWP because I knew the other two couldn’t handle Happy Mothering.
I love the customer service that I was getting at AcceleratedWP, but I did have continual issues with plugins going missing. And the site kept breaking when I’d update things. Plus they didn’t have an upgrade option that would have really made me feel comfortable moving all sites over there.
So we looked into Big Scoots. This host came highly recommended from many other bloggers as well as the owner of The Blog Fixer (who fixed my Pretty Link nightmare recently, and my nofollow nightmare a few years ago).
I liked the responsiveness, the plans were affordable and their plans gave us plenty of room to grow. So we signed up and they had Happy Mothering migrated in a couple of hours. The downtime was very, very minimal.
They also moved all of our other sites over for us as well. We’re on the WordPress Optimized Professional Plan, and with that plan they will migrate up to 3 sites for you for free. Additional sites are $25 to migrate, and that was well worth the time it saved me from doing it myself.
So far, I’ve been very happy with Big Scoots. I hope we’ve found a host we can be happy at in the long run, because I’m tired of bouncing around!
It seems every couple years a new host pops up with the best technology around, and we all flock to them. For now, that company is Big Scoots. In two years, it could be a newcomer we haven’t even heard of yet!
Nutrition Information Is Next on the Agenda
I have another big project that is on my list – adding nutritional information to all of my recipes. Google recently made a change where they prioritize recipes with full nutrition information in the search algorithm.
In the past, I have not added nutritional information to any of my recipes because it can vary so much if someone chooses a different brand or changes the ingredients. However, I want Google to be happy with my recipes, so I’ll be adding nutritional information.
I’ve been using the Tasty Recipes plugin for a couple years now. While I love it, this plugin does not have the ability to automatically calculate nutrition information for you. You can link it with Nutrifox, but you still have to add the information manually. That’s more work than I want to do.
So, I’ve been looking at other recipe plugins, and it looks to me like Zip Recipes has what I’m looking for. They aren’t Gutenberg compliant just yet, but I was assured that it will be in the next couple weeks. However, their Black Friday sale is still on, so I went ahead and purchased it so I’m ready to go!
As soon as I get the green light that the bugs are worked out for Gutenberg compatibility, I’ll be changing my recipe plugin over so that we can more easily add nutritional information to all of our recipes. I know my readers will be as happy as Google about it!
Hopefully, it goes smoothly and quickly. So far, all of my big projects have gone smoothly, so I’m hoping I can make a streak of it. There’s always some way to improve what you’re doing when you’re a blogger. It’s a never ending process, and I’m okay with that.