Happy New Years! Here's hoping that you're recovering nicely from a great holiday season!
Don't think for a second that TitaniumSites took a long winter's nap over the holidays! I'm here today to announce a few great changes, and tell you how they might affect your website.
1. WordPress is now updated to version 3.8!
One of the things that our users love is that they get to use world-class website software(WordPress) without the headaches of updating it, or the themes, or plugins. Instead of spending hours trying to figure out whether(or after the fact: why not) all their plugins and themes will work with the latest version of WordPress, they let us handle that work for them!
So in the wee holiday hours, after extensive testing, we determined that all of our features were compatible with 3.8, and made it happen! Version 3.8 brings a much cleaner, more polished admin design, and of course plenty of security updates to keep us sleeping peacefully at night! It also boasts a fully mobile friendly admin panel, finally!
Along with the 3.8 update, we tweaked our custom Site Options and Shortcode panels to work seamlessly with the new mobile interface. Now you can manage your site nearly as effortlessly from your smartphone as you could from a desktop in the past.
What's the takeaway? This small little update is a huge win for our increasingly busy mobile-addicted users.
2. Designing your site is getting simpler!
One of the things we're happy to announce is that managing the look of your site is not only getting more powerful, but easier to use as well. You no longer need to select a theme variation separately from the rest of the choices in the Site Options. (If this doesn't make sense to you, consider yourself lucky!). All of the capabilities of the 3 theme variations that previously existed are now options integrated into the Site Options panel.
Look for more great new features in this area to be coming soon!
What's the takeaway? Everything related to the design of your site can now be accessed on one single page!
3. SEO just got put on auto-pilot!
This is a big one that we're very excited about! As of today, everything related to SEO is now fully integrated into our custom-developed feature set. Previously we were using the very capable, and popular, Yoast's SEO plugin to handle things for us.
We're dedicated, to an almost obsessive degree, to making life simpler for you, and keeping your sites running as fast as possible. Because of that, the previous plugin was quickly falling out of favor because of it's increasing feature-bloat, popups, and advertisements. It is a great option for self-hosted sites, where it makes up for many things that are missing from horribly built themes, and needs to be all things to all people.
That's not needed here at TitaniumSites! Our themes are already optimized, and the few things that were missing feature-wise were easy to replace, and in many cases improve for our users.
With an entirely integrated system we can optimize sites on a level that the average WordPress site could only dream of..."Click to Tweet
With an entirely integrated system we can optimize sites on a level that the average WordPress site could only dream of, and that's exactly what we've done here!
You shouldn't have to choose the format of your page titles, setup sitemaps, configure your indexing rules, or anything like that! How these things should be configured are well-established policies that SEO experts and the search engines themselves all agree on. Because of that we've integrated these entirely into our behind-the-scenes system so that you don't have to fiddle with them at all. We'll take care of the core, so that you can focus on the content and the things that make your site unique and successful!
So what about the customizations that you've made already to your content? All those custom keywords, custom meta titles and descriptions you've painstakingly added? Never fear, we didn't throw all that away! The customizations that you've made remain intact, and you'll still be able to customize those going forward(although the need to do so is virtually non-existent, trust us!)
Instead of the Yoast box in the admin panel under your post and page editors, you can now edit your seo titles, keywords, and descriptions via custom fields. These can be enabled by clicking on Screen Options at the top right of the editor page, and checking the Custom Fields option.
Once you do that(and you'll only need to do it once) you can scroll down and see the Custom Fields box below the editor. From there simply select one of the custom_seo names and fill out the value that you would like to use. In the Name drop-down you'll see custom_seo_title, custom_seo_desc, and custom_seo_keywords.
I want to stress that you do not need to use these custom options! They are there for historical purposes only(and for your average control freak who needs to feel as if their fiddling will produce a magic SEO boost that will propel them to unheard of rankings!). If these values are left blank, our system does a fantastic job of creating these for you based on your content, post/page name, and your tags.
4. Speed & Miscellaneous
As always, we're continually working on a ton of things in the background. This round of updates comes with a number of speed improvements, and some adjustments to our core to allow for many more features which will be coming out early this year!
Most or all of these updates will have no impact on how you currently manage your site, and we're good with that! Our goal is to maintain a system that gets out of the way while you're busy creating a successful website! Today's updates bring us yet another step in that direction. If you have any questions at all about these changes, or see something slightly amiss on your site, don't hesitate to contact us right away!