Multi Language WordPress Website

Multi Language

Recommended Plugin

Multi Language Plugin that works with Divi

This plugin has a free version

Polylang-Multi-Language-WordPress-Plugin

Polylang Multi Language Plugin Configurations

What this article is really about is to help you get through that glitch that I have seen mentioned in several support forums. I was nearly ready to give up on the Polylang free plugin and just buy something because I couldn’t work out why my home page had disappeared and returned instead a 404 not found error.

There is already a very good article written by Divitheme with all the steps to getting the plugin working but I just wanted to add the step that wasn’t apparent to me. First off take a look at their tutorial. I would like to reiterate their steps are so nicely out-lined in the article by Divitheme so I am in no way trying duplicate their content, just add a little bit extra which helped me along the way.

So here goes.

Install the Polylang WordPress Plugin from the WordPress repository. Activate the plugin. Then go to the plugin settings via Dashboard > Languages > Languages and choose a language from the drop-down menu. Choosing a language will automatically populate the fields below this. Select the order of the languages setting your Default language to 0. Click ‘Add new  language’ . The language will appear on the right hand side in a list with all your languages. In the example below I chose English and German. Polylang-Language-Settings

You can also click the star icon on and off to set a language to the default language. In my case and the example above I only needed 2 languages. Install the Duplicate Post Plugin and activate it. When you head over to your posts or pages, hover over the list of posts or pages in your dashboard and you will see a new option next to ‘Edit | | Trash | View | Clone | New Draft’. Choose a page you want to translate. In my case it was the home page for my one page website. I clicked ‘clone’ and had an exact copy of my home page ready for translation. Here is the important step. Go into your primary language, in my case the English home page. On the right hand side you will see the language options. Under language I have selected English.

Link your default home page with your other language home pages

Now to link the 2 pages English and German I need to select the German page to link to from inside the Default home page language in my dashboard. So go to your default language home page dashboard. Once in put your cursor in the field below ‘Translations’. It will automatically show options of other pages on the site that are in another language. Select the desired page and language. Save your settings. You will see now that your page url has changed. For example the new url will be mydomain.com/en/home with the English translation code as part of the url. See screenshot below:

Polylang-Page-Settings

If you visit the page you just linked to you will see it is also linked and the url has incorporated the additional language code.

Hide the language code from your urls

If you do not want the url’s to show your language code you can hide this under the Settings > Languages > Settings > URL modifications. In the screenshot below I have configured the settings to show the language code in the url: Polylan-url-modifications

If you get the following Polyang Plugin Errors:

The chosen static front page must be translated in all languages

You will not be able to set the default home page until you have created at least 1 additional language for your home page and configured the settings above. Namely, go into your default language home page and choose the additional language to link it to. See explanation above.

Multi Language Menu

You will now navigate to Dashboard > Appearance > Menus and begin creating your multi language menu. First Create new menu, let’s say the English Menu. Add all the English language pages to it. Also add the new item created by the Polylang plugin called ‘Language switcher ‘.

 

Set the menu as your primary English Menu.

Create another additional language menu. Add the additional language pages to this menu. Set it as the default main menu for the additional language. Remember, you can only do this once you have created your additional language pages shown in the steps above.

Here is what the menu section would look like:

multi-language-menu

 

 

 

QUICK TIPS

Thanks to the Divitheme Article for getting me here.

Thanks to Gordon Johnson from Pixabay for the lovely image

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Has Joined the Elegant Themes Affiliate Program

We have been using the Elegant Themes Divi template and their range of plugins for over 3 years now. Finding the Divi WordPress Theme has been like finding a gold mine. It is rich in features and is constantly breaking new bariers in web technology. It is hard to keep up with all the changes which is a clear indication of the dedication of the Elegant Themes team to their one masterpiece, Divi. We have joinged their affiliate program and as of April 2019 we will receive an affiliate commission for every sale generated through our affiliate links.

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Dynamic drag-and-drop visual builder. This template has fantastic animations for every module. Every module can be custom styled and saved to a library for use in the site. Create a custom layout for your blog pages, save this to the library and import on any new post.

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Elegant Themes has become the leading edge in Template Development and have packed all their features into just one template, Divi. It is so versatile that no 2 websites will ever look alike.

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There are so many Development companies creating features to extend the Divi template. Template layouts are available all over the web free and premium. This makes styling your Divi Template a breeze.

BECOMING PART OF THE ET FAMILY

We receive an affiliate commission for every Divi Template purchased through our affiliate links on this page or elsewhere on our website. We are proud of our affilliation with Elegant Themes.

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We Make Content Movies

To Engage your Audience

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Faster Faster Fastest WordPress Websites

About how to make your WordPress Website faster

This article is not presuming to shed any new light on content that is already widely written about and hopefully is common knowledge to most online businesses. However it is always good for one’s own SEO to keep topical, so in this light and to share with The First Step clients I would like to point you all in the direction of testing your website so that you you are informed about whether or not you need to take action.

This being said, you may not know what to do once you have tested the speed of your website but at least you will be armed with the knowledge that you need a faster website, MUCH faster.

There are a few free and excellent tools for testing your website speed.

Listed below a few popular resources.

Run your Website through a speed test tool

Just to see how fast or in most cases how slow it is…

Copy your domain’s url from the address bar of your browser and paste it into the field of the tool of your choice. It is wise to test your site on at least 3 different tools as they all offer different insights and test for different metrix.

To the complete layperson this may seem like another technical advancement that you just can’t deal with but the reality is that you must! Treat your online business like it were a shop and make it expedient for customers to visit, get the information they need, and bring you business.

Having a slow website is like having your shop assistant on a lunch break when your sale starts, leaving the ‘Closed for Lunch, back in 1 Hour’ sign up on the door.

This is equally as counter-productive as having a slow website. Your customers can’t open the pages they want to view in the short window of time they have made available in their busy lives, to get the information or purchase the item they have gone online to source.

If you have found your website to be underper-forming, whether or not you understand the metrix it will be enough for you to glean that there is a problem when you see red warnings and optimization tips and low page scores for you to get the help you need.

Google will rank your site higher for it’s speed than an equally SEO optimized site that is slow to load. So no-longer can you just focus on your content optimization. Now it’s vital to have a fast website.

For services in website speed optimization feel free to inquire at The First Step.

 

Happy 15th Birthday WordPress

Cape Town Celebrates as WordPress turns 15

I set out on this Wintery Thursday to join the WordPress Cape Town Team and other WordPress enthusiasts to celebrate as WordPress turns 15. On the drive out to the Red and Yellow venue I was a little nervous. I didn’t know a soul there and wasn’t sure how I was just going to mingle and look like I belonged, when in fact, I knew no-one.

But that is what is amazing about WordPress. You still know deep down, or right up on the surface, that you are a part of something bigger than yourself, much bigger, the world around, and that whether or not you know anybody you still belong.

So in I walked in and found a lovely atmosphere with everyone chatting around a delicious snack table and a fabulous WordPress birthday cake waiting to be cut.

wordpress-capetown-15-years

But I knew noone and everyone was chatting in small groups.

I felt nervous.

And then I just decided I was going to introduce myself and say I didn’t know a soul. (I could always just leave and no-one would notice!) The minute I did this I found plenty of other people who were also there alone and were welcoming and happy to chat with me.

That is why people around the world get together, even when they may not know anyone, because one thing we all know is that we are part of this great WordPress community.

Thanks #WP15 and #wpcapetown and all the sponsors.

Loved the cake.

GDPR Compliance Services – everyone’s writing about it

GDPR Compliance after it has been unpacked

I have sourced a lot of information out there and have put together my own version of all of it, and will expand on this as I learn more, but in the mean time I have also referenced some very useful articles that clearly explained the compliance to me.

You may be wondering how on earth you can become GDPR compliant or does it really even matter. The more you research the more you will find it is in your own interests to get onboard this ship.

New European Laws that Affect your Website coming into effect 25th May 2018 – a very important read

These new European laws come into effect on 25th of May. The new GDPR compliance laws (General Data Protection Regulation) relate to your privacy policy and affect any website that stores data and information of any European citizen whether or not you reside outside the EU. This is a complicated new law which affects most businesses online. I have sourced many articles but here are some of the clearest and simplest to understand.

GDPR Explainer
General Data Protection Regulation
How to Manage Optin Emails and Signups

GDPR Compliance South Africa

The Good News (No more spam! No more Fake Marketing! Social Media Platforms can nolonger store your data without explicit consent!)

It is unclear how these new laws will be policed but one sure thing is that the aim is to protect people from corporations stealing your information and using it to spam you. But down to the lowest level everyone must comply. You no-longer have permission to market to your clients without their consent or collect their data, even through Google Analytics, without informing them.

The First Steps to Compliance

1. Create/Update your privacy Policy
Update or create a privacy policy on your website which clearly communicates what information you store about your clients. Most sites quietly collect anonymous data through google analytics. If you have an email optin you are collecting data and storing it. Most importantly if you have an e-commerce store you are collecting data but using a 3rd party payment gateway to collect and store credit card details. Any user that signs up to your website is giving you their data. (The third party payment gateways will have their own privacy policy and compliance in place).

2. Terms of Service
There are many useful sites that assist with creating a terms of service in compliance with DGPR. Create a custom link on the home page of your site and clearly state your terms.

3. Re-Permissioning your subscribers
If you are sending out a news letter be sure that every subscriber has granted permission and subscribed through a proper 3rd part service. If you are mailing subscribers who have opted out you are in breach. You need to get your subscriber permission AGAIN for storing their data, sending them information, marketing to them and so much more!

4. Convert your site to SSL
This is a key factor in compliance ESPECIALLY if you have an online shop. All clients of The First Step have access to an SSL certificate through Hetzner but the WordPress platform will require some additional plugins and tweaks to configure this as will as updates of your sitemaps and urls with Google analytics and Google Search Console. This means your website address will have a GREEN PADLOCK next to the address bar and your protocol will be https not http. This secures the pages served on your website and stops 3rd part information from being stolen which in turn further protects the privacy of your clients and users.

The First Step is offering several services to assist you with this transition. This in no way covers every aspect and I am still working to understand all the steps required to be fully compliant.

In most cases the law advises on assigning a compliance officer, however I would imagine that is costly and not necessary for a small business.

Please note that the basics of compliance are covered in this information. If you feel your site is served to European citizens (even those living in your country. Any EU citizens) then please take this seriously and do further home work on the subject of GDPR compliance. (In most cases European citizens are everywhere and google is collecting your website traffic data which in turn means you need to comply.)

The First Step will assist in several steps the most important of which are outlined below.

How do I make my website GDPR Compliant?

The First Step offers a number of key services to facilitate this transition.

Please fill out this GDPR Request Services form and request which services you require:

Fixing the Hetzner Hack

A lot of password resetting

HetznerIf you run a WordPress website and host it on Hetzner you will have heard about their Konsoleh client portal being compromised by a Hack into their SQL database…Although noone seems entirely clear as to how this security breach can affect us, it would be wise to follow their instructions and reset your ftp passwords and your database passwords.

The ftp password is quite simple to update, but if you are running a WordPress website you will need to update the database password as well. Log into Konsoleh, navigate to > Manage Services > Databases > Manage MySQL. Select the database to edit and in the password field enter the new password. Its advisable to use a strong password generator . Keeping this password on hand log onto your ftp server and download the file usually found in public_html called wp-config.php . (Otherwise it is found in the core files of your wordpress folder)

In this file you will need to change the database password found in the following string of the file  (‘DB_PASSWORD’, ‘password_changed_here’) to the password you have just updated in Konsoleh.

It’s fairly simple, save the file and re-upload it to the server where you fetched it from. Check your site, if you encounter an error such as ‘DATABASE ERROR ESTABLISHING CONNECTION’ this simply means the passwords were not set correctly or there was some error in copy pasting to the file you updated.

During the course of today whilst updating the passwords on all my clients sites this error occurred a few times. Although I was extremely careful, sometimes it just required that I deleted the old wp-config.php file and uploaded the new one, or in other instances just reset the password on the server.

I would like to emphasize that I have every confidence in Hetzner and this security breach has only benefited them in becoming even more secure.

If anyone requires my assistance, as this is a long and tedious process if you have many sites hosted on the Hetzner Server, don’t hesitate to call The First Step.

Good Luck!

 

 

WordPress training for Corporates

WordPress training for Corporates in Cape Town, South Africa, Worldwide

WordPress training for large or small business can be very useful in empowering you or your staff to better manage your website. The more you understand about writing new content on your site and updating existing content the easier it will be for you to steer your business to online success and to start ranking for the search terms of your related industry.

The First Step can provide you with one-on-one training at your business premise and we offer training in and around Cape Town. If you are based further afield in South Africa Skype training is an excellent way to provide training. Skype has the option of sharing screens which will fast-track the learning process.

The training can be for either beginner or advanced users of WordPress, whether you need assistance in updating products in your online shop or the basics of writing a weekly article or blog post.

Some of the most sophisticated sites are built in WordPress and although WordPress started out as a publishing platform for bloggers and news sites its uses extend to all areas of online websites and their is no area that has not been covered by the WordPress community in providing free plugins and extensions that will turn your WordPress site in any online business you can image.

It has been well noted that Google loves the WordPress platform which conforms to many web standards that assist in Google’s easy indexing of website content.

If you don’t already have a WordPress site and are trying to decide which route to take, if only for the Google Friendly merits of WordPress, this should be your first port of call.

Ideally, if you are an individual, a small business or an online enterprise, WordPress has the flexibility to grow with you and your business which is the cherry on the top. You will never be limited to what you start with. If you started a personal travel blog, you could easily extend into an online shop that sells travel paraphernalia, or a magazine that sells advertising for the travel industry…

With WordPress the sky is the limit, but managing your site is key in harnessing the best of the online optimization and good rankings in Google.

The First Step offers a wealth of training, short courses and website services. You can also book our online course by filling out the https://thefirststep.co.za/wordpress-training-course-enquiry-form/ . We will contact you with proposals for the level of training and time you would need to become proficient in the area of WordPress training you require.

Don’t hesitate to contact us for pricing and information!

WordPress Training in Cape Town

The First Step offers WordPress training to anyone wanting to have more control over their WordPress website, Blogsite, Ecommerce shop or WordPress.com website.

Training is provided on a 1 to 1 basis either over Skype or at our offices. You can decide on the length of your training. Ideally you will need your own computer, laptop, Ipad or even a phone but this is a little more tricky to acheive training. We are based in Hout Bay, Cape Town, but distance is no problem. Download Skype and we can assist you just as easily by sharing our screens with you as you learn the different areas of your WordPress dashboard and what each one can do.

WordPress has a very clear interface and with a little perserverence you will be mastering your own site in no time.

A few valuable resources will help get you on your way. These will be specified below.

Firstly you need to know how to login to your WordPress website.  In most instances unless you have changed the login url for security reasons, you can reach your dashboard by appending your domain name with /wp-admin

Example:  http://your-domain.com/wp-admin

You will be prompted to enter your username and password.

You will need to enter your Website username and password to log in. Once logged in your dashboard can be momentarily overwhelming. Just focus on the menu on the left hand side of your dashboard. You are looking for Pages or Posts.

Click on either of these links and you will be able to edit an old page or post or start a new one.

Many people start their own WordPress site at wordpress.com . Here your website hosting is free and you have a variety of templates to choose from and limited functionality, but this is a great place to start familiarizing yourself with WordPress. Even so, it can become daunting and the once great intentions to build, master and host your own side and side step a web developer can be sidelined and all but forgotten.

Don’t lose hope. An hour or two of WordPress training at The First Step will get you back on your feed and running your own site, blog or online business like you are a pro! Don’t be daunted, take WordPress by the healm and master the most versatile publishing platform on the web.

Good luck from The First Step.

 

Specialist Search Recruitment

Specialist Search Recruitment is a nifty WordPress Recruitment Site. The content is straight forward and displays perfectly in a neat one page site.

Simple design with elements picked from around the web, and using the very useful and customizable Divi Theme. The smooth scrolling and animations of the template creates a slick and elegant impression.

For more ideas on how to customize Divi take a look at their Divi showcase.

Specialist Search Recruitment