10 Things I Learned at WCFay 2017

WordCamp Fayetteville was inspiring and fun. And, as always, I learned some things.

  1. Danny Santoro said that the theme of your WordPress website should be just for the visual style of the site, not for functionality. If your theme includes plugins, custom post types, and such, you’ll have more trouble keeping it up to date for yourself than if it’s just a pretty face. Let your theme create the look and let plugins do the work.
  2. I also learned from Danny that a study found that people will read more at your website if you don’t show dates on your blog. Our rule of thumb has always been to leave dates off if you won’t post regularly, but apparently visible dates aren’t a plus even if you post often.
  3. Google Analytics doesn’t share much keyword data any more — you’re best off using the Google Search Console, and you can access those reports through Google Analytics in the Acquisition tab. But Josepha Haden pinpointed a report that can give you some insight about past searches if you don’t have your Search Console set up yet: Acquisition> Campaigns> Organic Keywords> Not Provided with a Secondary Dimension of Landing Pages shows where your “Not Provided” visitors enter your website. This can give you an idea of the kinds of searches being made.
  4. Konstantin Obenland announced that the old WordPress Plugins Repository wasn’t built on the WordPress platform. The new Plugins Repository is built on WordPress.
  5. Aaron Campbell  told us that there is a physical test for introversion. Now, if you’re not sure that you are an introvert, you can find out in the privacy of your own home with nothing but a lemon, cotton swabs, and an accurate kitchen scale.
  6. George Spake shared that you have to consider the work environment of your website as well as the WordPress environment. Sure, you can provide each website user with the correct User Role and permissions, but that may not solve problems that arise from the workplace culture.
  7. Shane Purnell gave us evidence that shared experiences are sweeter. This could be a slogan for WordCamp, or even for WordPress, so it’s a valuable take away.
  8. Travis Pflanz suggested requiring an email address and newsletter opt-in from commenters so you can add them to your mailing list.
  9. Travis also claims that long posts get more incoming links because people link to long articles to make themselves look smart. No evidence to back up the claim, but it’s intriguing.
  10. I learned that Bentonville is starting a new WordPress Meetup Group. If you’re from Benton County, check it out.

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