How to make your WordPress blog posts visible to Search Engines

Wondering why your WordPress blog isn’t getting any traffic? This is a really simple and effective way of boosting your blog traffic.

To get your blog posts indexed and showing up in search engines like Google go to your Web Dashboard: Settings > Reading and you will see your privacy settings. You can choose from:

  • Allow search engines to index this site.
  • Ask search engines not to index this site.
  • I would like my site to be private, visible only to users I choose

WordPress: How to make your blog posts visible to Search Engines

To get your posts indexed select ‘Allow search engines to index this site’ and get posting!

Remember it’s also really important to write original content and use tags wisely – tags are a great way of boosting traffic too!

Problems with iPad spell check and auto-correct and how to fix them

Have you found that your iPad or iPhone has recently started auto-correcting perfectly normal words to really strange ones?

This can happen in any IOS app which uses Apple’s built-in auto-correction, auto-complete and spell-checking mechanisms. This includes BlogPad Pro, although we’re currently looking into other options to get around this issue. 

iPad spell check problem

But why does this happen?

IOS uses a unique dictionary which ‘learns’ new words depending on the words you use. If you reject an auto-corrected word twice, the dictionary assumes the new word is correct and adds it to the dictionary. 
 
This can result in strange phrases and misspelled words replacing proper words.
 
IOS auto correct problem

So what can I do to fix the problem?

One way of fixing this is by disabling these features. To do this go into your iPad or iPhone settings:
Settings > General > Keyboard

Once you’re in keyboard settings here are three options you can disable:

  • Auto-capitalization
  • Auto-correction
  • Check spelling
Another option is to reset your keyboard to factory settings.
 
To do this go to your iPad or iPhone settings:
Settings > General > Reset > Reset Keyboard Dictionary.
 
Please bear in mind that this sets your keyboard to default settings and will delete all custom words.

iPad hints and tips: parents disable those expensive in-app purchases!

This is really for parents whose kids use their iPads to play games. We’ve all heard the horror stories about the huge bills incurred by some parents (like the unlucky parents whose child racked up a huge £1300 bill playing ‘free app’ Tap Zoo!). 

These horrendous costs are generally incurred through in-app purchases, and no matter how much you trust your child, they can sometimes do this without even realising. There are 2 changes you need to make, it’s not JUST your In-App Purchase settings!

You can easily disable these easily by tapping: Settings > General > Restrictions > Enable Restrictions

Then scroll down to Allowed Content and swipe In-App Purchases to OFF

iPad settings turn in app purchases off

Also – DON’T FORGET to change your password settings too. By default your device remembers your password for 15 minutes which allows your child to buy anything during this time. A friend of ours had in-app purchases disabled and still lost over £150 because of this!

Just underneath ‘In-App Purchases’ you can see ‘Require Password’. Set this to ‘Immediately’

How to close an app on your iPad, iPhone or iPod touch

How to close a running app on your IOS device including iPad, iPhone or iPod touch

Since Apple introduced multitasking on IOS devices you’ve been able to run different apps on your device and leave them running in the background while you use another app.

This is great, but sometimes you want to close the app – sometimes it’s because your iPad is running short on memory or maybe an app has stopped responding. Closing and relaunching the app quite often fixes this.

1. To close an app double-tap on your home button (below)

iPad home button

2. The bottom bar now shows a list of all the apps on your iPad which you are currently running:

How to close an app on your iPad, iPhone or iPod touch

3. Tap and hold one of these icons until they wiggle and red minus signs appear next to each icon.

How to close an app on your iPad, iPhone or iPod touch

4. To close an app just tap on the minus sign next to it. This won’t delete your app, it will just close it.

To exit this mode just press the ‘home’ button again.

iOS 7 Update

Closing an app in iOS 7 is slightly different. When you double-tap on the home button it goes to a screen like this (below) which shows all your open apps:

Closing an app: iOS7

To close an app just swipe it upwards.

How to find which version of WordPress you’re using

It’s really simple to find which version of WordPress.org you’re using for your blog when you’re blogging using BlogPad Pro for iPad.

Go to Manage Blogs > Edit Blog Settings

Scroll to the bottom of the page and you will see your WordPress software version:

find your WordPress version

You can also find your WordPress version by looking in your blog file system.

There is a file in your blog directory wp-includes/version.php. If you open this in a text editor you can see the version number.

This is only for WordPress.org (self-hosted) blogs, if you are using WordPress.com you don’t need to worry about which version as this changes automatically.

How to turn falling snow on (or off) your WordPress blog

It’s that time of year once again, where we’re all starting to feel some festive cheer, and you might have noticed falling snow appearing on some of your favourite WordPress.com blogs

Are you wondering how to turn this option on?

Go to your online dashboard > Settings > General

Scroll to the bottom of the page and you’ll see “Show falling snow on my blog until January 4th” – simply check the box to turn on some festive falling snow.

Falling snow on WordPress

If you’ve suddenly discovered falling snow on your blog (maybe you turned this option on last year), simply uncheck the button to turn off.

WordPress: What are tags?

Tags are the lifeblood of your blog, they help other people to find your posts and provide a useful way of grouping your posts by topic.

Do I have to use tags

No, you don’t have to use tags. However, they can be very useful so I would recommend using them. You can use as few or as many tags as you like on each post.

What are tags?

Tags are words, rather like keywords, which help describe what your post is about.

What is the difference between tags and categories?

There are no hard and fast rules about this but basically categories are for a broad grouping and tags are more specific. For example if your blog is about food and your post is about lasagna, you would perhaps use the categoriesRecipes, Pasta, Dinners and the tags: lasagna, tomato, beef, cheese.

I use categories for organising my blog and tags for telling people what a post is about.

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iPad hints and tips: orientation lock

If you’re tired of your iPad screen rotating when you don’t want it to you can set the slide switch to lock the orientation of the screen.

By default this is set to be a mute button but since you have the volume buttons right below it this maybe more useful for you.

To do this tap on Settings > General > Use Side Switch to: Lock Rotation.

iPad settings lock rotation orientation

WordPress: What is Publicize?

One way of boosting your blog traffic is by connecting your blog to social media accounts so that WordPress automatically tells your followers and friends as soon as you publish a new post.

You can do with using the Publicize option within WordPress.

To enable publicize go to  Settings > Sharing >  and you should see a screen like this:

Publicize on WordPress

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WordPress: What are widgets?

Do  you keep hearing people mentioning widgets, but have no idea what they are? Basically widgets are little tools which you can add into your blog, and are generally seen on the right sidebar or footer.  On this blog the widgets I’m using include text widgets (in the right sidebar) for social media links, plus the Follow Blog widget to make it easy for readers to subscribe to blog posts.

Widgets can do all sorts of things: from integrating with your social media accounts (Facebook, twitter, Meebo, Flickr etc) to showing site stats, recent comments and followers and lots more – we’ll get into that later on.

Your blog has set areas where you can drag and drop widgets – usually in the right sidebar or footer areas, although this depends on the theme you have chosen.

To get to widgets click on appearance in your left menu, then select widgets from the sub-menu underneath.

WordPress widgets

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