Mike Levin SEO

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Installed Yoast WordPress SEO Plugin To Fix Disappearing Title Tags

by Mike Levin SEO & Datamaster, 09/17/2013

Okay, get to it. First off, avoid distraction like the plague. Oh, but I can’t! Because I’m an SEO-guy at heart. I just noticed that all my title tags on Thesis 1.8.5 just got blown away with my WordPress upgrade to WordPress 3.6.1. This is quite serious, as I can not let my natural search standings suffer from a novice site maintenance mistake. Do it as blazingly quick as you can.

1. Back up site with BackupBuddy… okay, I have the backup running.

Work on the article you’re promising a co-worker with under 1 week turnaround. This is your short-cut to re-establishing yourself as a thought-leader. It’s a HUGE opportunity. I can write about Glass like NO ONE else could… probably quite literally in the industry.

Okay, it’s a HUGE move to upgrade to Thesis 2.1.2… but I’ve got to make the break - especially now that precious title tags are disappearing under the Thesis 1.8.5 / WordPress 3.6.1 combo. The potential damage of NOT upgrading outweighs the keeping-things-working benefits of staying on 1.8.5. Ugh! Okay, the full backup is done.

Okay, I updated my Raspberry Pi comment responses a bit. Yes, it’s another distraction, but I’m helping to ensure it goes up to a million views. I’m not exactly an Internet meme, but it is PART of my launching platform for the post-SEO-world.

Okay, I have custom_functions.php stored on my Apple Notes for across-the-board access. It seems like a job for Google Docs also potentially, because I won’t want to trash up my phone with all these tiny widget files. But moving from Thesis 1.8.x to 2.x requires some tender love and care, and attention to details. This is what separates a bunch of WordPress users from a bunch of others. While it is not really necessary to know php (very well) or the database entity relationships of WordPress, to be meticulous and productive, you still need to be very understanding and precise with your Widgets and stuff that you wish to have carried over the theme upgrade.

I think it’s actually a good time to knock things down to blank-slate again with my site, and build it back up. I should do a screen-shot of remembrance, because it will be the end of an era. I’ll lose all my font work and everything. Oh, I should get my custom.css as well… duh!!! Okay, got that into notes. What else am I forgetting? Widget code? Perhaps. Thesis Hooks? Maybe. Remind yourself of your Thesis Hooks…

I have some code in the WordPress / wp_head event. Put that in Notes too! Okay, there was also one customization under Thesis 1.8.5 / thesis_hook_header.

Keep in mind there may also be redirect mappings. But those should exist totally separately than thesis customizations - as should nearly all other Plug In customizations. This change-over is MOSTLY about visual design issues. Okay, don’t forget those widgets. Snag their code! Who knows how easy or hard it will be to get to once you upgrade the theme.

Hmmmm. I think that is overkill. My widgets will not be wiped out - only their positioning. I should screen-shot that! Okay, done. Screenshot put in dropbox too for safety. Now, delete all inactive widgets so that nothing confuses you when rebuilding your sidebar. Okay, done. Now run Optimize Database.

Delete some old, unnecessary archives from BackupBuddy, and do another full-system backup. I get 512MB of free backup space from BB, but I should still use it rather economically. It’s one of the big space-hogs on my Dropbox as well, because I tend to download the backups and store them “locally” as well, for extra safety.

Okay, I am ready to do the Thesis 2.x upgrade. First, do a screen shot of what your homepage currently looks like.

Ugh! An upgrade to 2.x blanked the whole site. Nothing I tried worked to restore the title tags, except for installing the Yost SEO plugin, which I’ve been very hesitant to do in the past, since I already ran the Thesis theme. Installing this just magically fixed the title tags. I consider this a temporary condition until I upgrade to Thesis 2.x or get off of it entirely.