Gary Weis: [00:00:01] Hey, good afternoon Facebook fans and WordPress lovers.
Geoff Franklin: [00:00:06] We’re back.
Gary Weis: [00:00:06] We’re back again. What, this is about the…?
Geoff Franklin: [00:00:12] I’ve lost count now. Who’s Andrew? Who is, who’s Andrew, right?
Gary Weis: [00:00:14] So soon we forget. I think it’s, what? About our 12th…? I think it’s about our 12th Facebook live in a row. So yeah, we’re going alright. Friday Live Facebook with the WP Butler boys on the couch, and I forget WP Butler, Australia’s home of WordPress. We’re here to answer all your WordPress questions. And again, thank you so much. We love the fact that there’s so many of you, as we say, playing along at home, sending in your questions and chiming in on our lives on a Friday afternoon. And you’re looking a lot better sounding a lot better this week.
Geoff Franklin: [00:00:54] Yeah. Yeah. I still got my tea.
Gary Weis: [00:00:58] I do that a lot.
Geoff Franklin: [00:01:02] Yeah.
Gary Weis: [00:01:02] Yeah. I’ll have to work on that. Alright, jumping straight in. Let’s do it. Let’s get this thing underway. Alright. We’ve got Gabby from Perth asks “We have a WordPress website and an online store through an app called Ecwid. Is there a way we can integrate our online store with our WordPress website, or do we have to build our whole store again on WordPress?” Wow okay. Fire away.
Geoff Franklin: [00:01:32] I guess there’s a couple ways you can go about it. Ecwid. Yes I’ve heard of Ecwid before. It’s not one I’ve really done a lot of work with and I don’t think in our time here it’s been one we’ve…
Gary Weis: [00:01:44] It’s new to me.
Geoff Franklin: [00:01:45] Yeah. So. Not sure why you chose, that maybe somebody has recommended to you. However WordPress being the amazing platform that it is, has the ability to use a plugin – surprise surprise – to integrate a lot of these third party e-commerce solutions and other solutions into your WordPress website. So I’m pretty sure there is a plugin for Ecwid to assist you with integrating your Ecwid store into your WordPress website. So you don’t have to go and take your Ecwid store, whatever other platform you may be using and pulling all across into WordPress. So the Ecwid platform does have a plugin. So start there if you haven’t already. And a lot of these third party e-commerce solutions have good documentation to help you with integrating it with WordPress. And on the other part of your question there about do you need to rebuild your site? I guess it depends. Rebuild your e-commerce site into your WordPress site. That would I guess, that’s your choice a bit at the end of the day. And if you’ve got a lot of products, if you’ve got hundreds and hundreds of products, it’s probably very well invested in that e-commerce platform. Or perhaps you are looking to move on because you found the solution, and I guess in these instances if you do have like a handful of products in your Ecwid store, you might want to take this opportunity to switch over to something that’s a lot more integrated, like WooCommerce, which you probably have heard of. So there’s a couple options there. I mean, if you’ve got a lot of products, might be worth your while to just stay with Ecwid. Or if you’re like, you know what? I’m going to jump on the WooCommerce bandwagon. This might be that time to do that too. All of the above we can assist you with if you’re not feeling confident in setting up that plugin, or you want some help with integrating and moving your products across into WooCommerce, we can help you with that as well.
Gary Weis: [00:03:47] There’s a great little service that we’ve used quite a number of times because there has been a real increase in customers coming across to WooCommerce and we’re doing a lot of those, aren’t we? Migrations of stores, existing stores into the WooCommerce platform, and look, Automattic, since they’ve taken over WooCommerce, have done a fantastic job in building out that e-commerce platform to now, I think it is the number one e-commerce platform on the planet, along with obviously its parent WordPress. But it’s a great little service called Cart2Cart. It’ll do transfers from certain cart types into WooCommerce and you can pretty much pick and choose which ones you want to transfer across to. But that’s something that we’re using quite often and it’ll pick up the entire data and migrate it across to you. Look, there are a couple of idiosyncrasies with it.
Geoff Franklin: [00:04:37] Yeah, it’s not perfect.
Gary Weis: [00:04:38] It’s far from perfect, but it’s certainly I suppose breaks the back on doing all that lifting manually on trying to transfer products across. And the big one I think we find with that is that it transfers customer data. And that’s more often what you lose when you shift from one cart software to another, is you lose all your history and you lose your cart data. So if you want to have a crack at it yourself, by all means, go and have a look at Cart2Cart. C A R T, number two, CART dot com I believe, and have a look. It’s a great little interface. You can key in where you want, which software you want to come from, and key in which software you want to go to, and it’s got a pricing table and all of that sort of stuff for you. Check out Cart2Cart and also if you are thinking about adding a store to your WordPress website, by all means check out WooCommerce. Look obviously we’re biased. We’re biased. We are a WooCommerce house here so we know that little beastie inside and out. Check out wpbutler.com.au. We’ve got a page on there for just you folk for WooCommerce help, WooCommerce support. So check it out. If you need anything, just reach out to WP Butler at wpbutler.com.au. Alright, thank you Geoffrey. Hayley from Byron Bay asks “We have a WordPress website that we sell online courses on, and we’re using the LearnDash… Here’s LearnDash again. We had a LearnDash question last week, didn’t we? Using the LearnDash plugin to help with that. There’s one course with a bunch of lessons we want to copy and make a few changes too, and sell as another course. What’s the best way to do this?” What have you got for Hayley?
Geoff Franklin: [00:06:29] OK well it sounds like the course that you have, you want to use that as the foundation for the new course. So I’d recommend, depending on the content. If it’s a lot of just text and images, you could quite easily just literally go and add a new course, and copy and paste the content across if you want to do that. Or a plugin like Duplicate Post or Duplicate Page. I think Duplicate Post is the name of it. And with that pretty simple yet powerful plugin, it allow you to – once you’ve installed it and activated it – you’ll be able to go into your course landing page within LearnDash, and when you hover over each of the line items, each of the courses, you’ll see like a clone or a duplicate button. They each have different functions, like Duplicate will pretty much do the same thing to be honest. Thing Duplicate, what that does is it’ll Duplicate the course or the post or the page or whatever thing you want to duplicate, and it’ll set it up as a draft so the auto-draft it. And Clone will literally do a copy in auto-publish it. So something along those lines. So that’s basically it. It’s pretty simple. You may be asking because you have a lot of lessons? Maybe you got a course with a lot of lessons in there and you’re like I don’t want to do all this work. Well yeah, this simple Duplicate Post plugin will help you with that. And then what you’ll do is once you’ve duplicated that course, you’ll need to go in and duplicate the lessons and then reassign those duplicated lessons as lessons under that new course. I’m guessing you know how to do that because you’ve already set up your first course. But yeah, hopefully that gives you something to get started there.
Gary Weis: [00:08:16] And that’s exactly why folks we have a LearnDash expert on staff, because that went over my head. But I hope get something out of that Hayley. Good luck. If you have any trouble, again reach out to us here at WP Butler at wpbutler.com.au. There’s online chat, there’s a form and there’s a phone number on your screen to dial to talk to … Geoff. Probably you, don’t talk to me about it. I’m just going to pass you on the Geoff. Okay, Sandra from Sydney asks “Parts of my website are broken and aren’t loading properly. This has just started happening. My hosting provider said something recently about the PHP version of my server getting upgraded soon. So do you think that has anything to do with it?”
Geoff Franklin: [00:08:59] I think you said it right there. It probably does. And it’s no surprise because you know we’re partner with WP Engine, and one of the things that they do with all their customers is they let them know when they’re doing software updates just like this. And just recently, they’re in the process of rolling out upgrading from version PHP 5 to 7.2. And yeah, so there have been a few speed bumps along the way and just you know, part of our process of going through and tending to those areas, and it sounds like you’re hosting provider, in that e-mail that they sent out to you, mentioned something to do with your PHP upgrade. So there are, well, it sounds like your site is still online, and parts of it are broken. So there is a plugin you can install, courtesy of WP engine as well, which is really great. It’s called PHP Compatibility Checker. Install that, activate it, and then once you’ve done that, under the sidebar, I think it’s in tools, you’ll see PHP Compatibility Checker. Go in there. It’s pretty simple. It’s like, you just select PHP 7.2 that option and then I think the default options is what you need but just make sure the option to test on 7.2 is ticked and then click the Go button, and that might take a while. Depending on your hosting, it might take a while, and how many plugins you have activated as well because it will scan through all your active plugins. And then it’ll spit out a report of like what’s compatible with 7.2 and what isn’t. It doesn’t suggest alternative plugins, so some of the things we’ve come across is, you know, I can’t remember all the plugins off the top of my head, there are so many. But there were some plugins that it’s come up with an error. Okay, let’s see if we can find an alternative to swap in with that, so that we can move forward with the new version of PHP 7.2 with little to no impact. So that’s a place to start. Like I said, if your site, it sounds like your site is still running, chuck that Compatibility Checker plugin on there, run the tests, see what the report spits out. Some of it makes sense, some of it doesn’t. I mean, we’re here if you have any questions around that, but that’s it. That’d be the place to start. And your hosting provider may be able to temporarily drop your version of your account back to 5.6 or whatever it may have been on. So whatever it may have been on, if you need to then go in and tend to some things. But moving forward, you will need to upgrade to 7.2 in terms of security and performance of your website.
Gary Weis: [00:11:39] Absolutely, and it’s been a process that we here at WP Butler have been going through for, what? About the last 6 months in preparation of the end of life announcements of 5.6 and PHP 7. So I think one of the big lessons that we can share with folks out there – don’t ignore the messages that come from your hosting provider. They’re probably not the most interesting e-mails you going to read in a day, and a large priority of the may even be going into your spam folder. But, we’re finding that we’ve fielded a lot of calls here at WP Butler in regards to this exact issue, where PHP has been upgraded and the site just simply using in a state where it can actually function on the new PHP version. And it is absolutely 100% worth your while to upgrade to the latest version of PHP, and move away from the deprecated versions. One, for basically patches and security updates, they’re not gonna be continued. And also, secondly, the performance that you’re gonna get out of the new version of PHP is noticeable. So, if you want more leads, you need more speed – one of our mantras here WP Butler. So yeah, don’t ignore those emails. Look, we know ourselves, we’ve sent e-mails to our clients and advised them that of the process, and sometimes you get a bit of a .. crickets. But look, please, don’t ignore those emails. And if you are finding you’re having trouble with your PHP upgrade from your web host provider, please reach out to WP Butler at wpbutler.com.au and we can help you out. We’ve done it hundreds of times, and many many hundreds of times actually. So we know what we’re doing there. So thank you. Alright Geoff, thank you. I hope that was helpful for you Sandra. Alright, couple of quick things now. That’s the questions for this week. WordPress news. What you got for us.
Geoff Franklin: [00:13:37] WordPress is .. hot off the press. We love, well I like to follow WordFence. WordFence is a security plugin company.
Gary Weis: [00:13:49] One of our favourites, isn’t it?
Geoff Franklin: [00:13:50] Yeah yeah. So, a lot of our clients, we recommend the WordFence plugin, and they’ve recently released a podcast. That seems to be a lot of people are jumping on the podcast wagon. But anyway, they’ve released a podcast called Think Like A Hacker. I think they’ve just released Episode 2, and what they’re doing is doing interviews with people in the WordPress world and their talking about WordPress, funnily enough, security and innovations in the security space as well. It’s pretty interesting. I mean, go check it out, have a listen and I could learn something. We learn something new every day. So yeah.
Gary Weis: [00:14:30] Absolutely, and that’s one of those topics that you do need to keep abreast of. Security is not just for the geeks and the nerds. It’s for everybody, because again, as you’ve probably seen us talk about, just purely because you have a website makes you a target for hackers. Again they’re not after your valuable information most of the time. They’re not after your customer data list. They’re really after your server resources to send out malware, spyware, bulk emails. They’re trying to spam people and this is how DDoS attacks occur where a network of hacked servers start sending out a high volume of requests to particular sites and they bring them down. We still don’t know what really – I haven’t caught up in the news yet – but we still don’t really know what happened with Facebook yesterday. So it went sleep for about twelve hours.
Geoff Franklin: [00:15:19] I didn’t even know until Andrew did his post, oh that’s nice. Thanks Andrew.
Gary Weis: [00:15:22] Good luck Facebook. Yeah, that didn’t go unnoticed. You’ve only got a few users. What they’re in the one billion users. So their customer support department, good luck today guys. Okay. Thank you Geoffrey, and finishing up. WP Butler hosts a WordPress Meetup every month on the Wednesday, and this month it’s on the 20th of March at North Lakes. And that is located at 4 Sibley Street at North Lakes. Proceedings kick off at six o’clock for a bit of networking and mingling and drinks and pizza. And the evening kicks off officially at 6:30 for presentations. We roll through to about eight o’clock where again we sort of wrap things up and have a bit of networking at the end, and just have a bit of a chat about what was going on in the day of WordPress. So please, if you’re a local and that’s obviously in the Brisbane area. Feel free to come up from Adelaide, Perth.
Geoff Franklin: [00:16:28] Down from Hervey Bay. We have people actually come all the way down from Hervey Bay which is awesome.
Gary Weis: [00:16:33] That is so true, we do, don’t we? Actually, you know, there’s quite a number of people that come down from the Sunshine Coast too. And look, that’s about almost an hour’s drive north. So, love the dedication to the WordPress Meetup that we have here. Got a great local community and I suppose a big shout out to every WordPress Meetup out there. Go and support your local Meetups. They’re a great place to learn. They’re a great place to build your network, and you’ll be surprised at the talent that is out there. I’m gobsmacked every time I go and present at these Meetups, what people are in the room and most, importantly what they’re actually up to. There’s some really great things going on out there and you’d be surprised how WordPress is powering so many of these ventures, and how they’re doing these things, and what plugins are using, and their business models behind it. So get out there and go and check it out and support your local Meetup. That’s it, that’s it for the news. We’ve got questions, we’ve got news and we’ve got our Meetups in there. So that’s everything checked off our list. Until next week. Have a play around, but don’t forget to take a backup.
Geoff Franklin: [00:17:45] Good advice.
Gary Weis: [00:17:46] And stay WordPress. See you later folks.