How to Get Your WordPress Site on Google

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This is a tutorial for the video answers to top WordPress questions series that we have been publishing on this site to help users get started with WordPress.

If you’re just launching a new WordPress site, and want Google to start crawling it, there are generally only a couple things that need to be done.

First, make sure that you aren’t preventing Google from crawling and indexing your site.

The robots.txt file can set a command to prevent indexing. Check out the robots.txt file in the root of your site.

Another place to check is in the Reading Settings in WordPress.

To get there, go to Settings, then Reading. Be sure that “Discourage search engines from indexing this site” in unchecked.

Some hosts that auto-install WordPress will check that box during setup, so it’s up to you to manually uncheck it when you are ready for traffic.

If you do have to uncheck it, make sure to click on the Save Changes button.

Next, you can quickly check to see if your site is already indexed in Google.

To check, visit google.com, and in the search box type… site:your-domain.com

If the results say something like “Your search did not match any documents”, then follow the steps below.

However, if pages and links do show up, you are already indexed. Keep adding content to your site, and get links from other sites.

Moving along… to get Google to crawl and index your site:

  • Verify your site in Google Search Console.
  • Submit your Sitemap to Google.
  • Request for Google to crawl and index your site.

Watch along in the video where I include another video that covers verifying your site in Google’s Search Console, and submitting a sitemap.

Also in the video, and below in the written instructions, you can follow along for requesting Google to index your site.

First though, be sure that you have a Google Account, such as a YouTube or Gmail account.

The approach in the video uses the JetPack plugin for verification, as well as for the creation of the XML Sitemap.

In this tutorial, you will see:

  • How to connect your WordPress site to your WordPress.com account using JetPack. (video only)
  • How to add your site to Google Search Console. (video only)
  • How to add your Sitemap to Google Search Console. (video only)
  • And finally, how to request that Google crawl your site, and index its pages within the search results.

Resources mentioned in the tutorial:

With your site already verified within Google’s search console:

  1. Login to Google Search Console.
  2. Click on the name or thumbnail of the preferred version of your web site.
  3. From the left side, click on Crawl, then click on Fetch as Google.
  4. Click the Fetch button.
  5. When complete, click on the Request Indexing button.
  6. Click the I’m Not a Robot checkbox.
  7. Choose the option: Crawl this URL and its direct links.
  8. Click the Go button.
  9. Check back tomorrow or the next day by doing a search in Google for… site:your-domain.com

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How to Add PayPal to Your WordPress Site

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There are plenty of free and simple ways to add PayPal to WordPress.

Today I will provide a quick intro to 4 possible ways to accept payments from PayPal on your web site.

In this tutorial, you will see:

  • How to install and use the PayPal for Digital Goods plugin.
  • How to install and use the PayPal Donations plugin.
  • How to install and use the WP Easy Paypal Payment Accept plugin.
  • How to install and use the WordPress Simple Paypal Shopping Cart plugin.

Before you move on:

  • Please be sure that you have a PayPal account.

Video Tutorial on How to Add PayPal to Your Site

Resources mentioned in the tutorial:

How to install and use the PayPal for Digital Goods plugin

  1. From within your WordPress Dashboard, click Plugins, then Add New.
  2. Do a search for: PayPal for Digital Goods
  3. Click Install Now, then Activate.
  4. Click Settings, then PayPal for Digital Goods.
  5. Enter the desired Currency and default text for the Buy Now buttons.
  6. Enter in the PayPal Credentials which include: PayPal API Username, PayPal API Password and PayPal API Signature.
  7. You can test in Sandbox Mode, but be sure to click the Live Mode box when ready.
  8. Click the Save Changes button after making any changes.
  9. Edit a WordPress page where you have a digital file for sale, and use the following Shortcode: paypal_for_digital_goods with the parameters: name, price, url and button_text
  10. Customize the shortcode for your needs.
  11. Update the page, then view it on the site for testing.

Shortcode Example:

[paypal_for_digital_goods name="My eBook" price="25" url="http://your-domain.com/my-ebook-file.zip" button_text="Buy Now"]

How to install and use the PayPal Donations plugin

  1. From within your WordPress Dashboard, click Plugins, then Add New.
  2. Do a search for: PayPal Donations
  3. Click Install Now, then Activate.
  4. Click Settings, then PayPal Donations.
  5. Add your PayPal email address in the PayPal Account box.
  6. Add in any Optional and Default settings.
  7. Click Save Changes.
  8. Go to Appearance, then Customize.
  9. Click Widgets.
  10. Choose a Widget Location such as Sidebar.
  11. Click Add a Widget.
  12. Scroll down and find PayPal Donations, and click it.
  13. Fill out your preferences for the different options, otherwise the defaults from the previous steps will be used.
  14. Optionally, click the Visibility button to customize where the Widget gets displayed on the site.
  15. Preview the Widget in the Live Preview screen on the right.

How to install and use the WP Easy Paypal Payment Accept plugin

  1. From within your WordPress Dashboard, click Plugins, then Add New.
  2. Do a search for: WP Easy Paypal Payment Accept
  3. Click Install Now, then Activate.
  4. Click Settings, then WP PayPal Payment.
  5. Add your PayPal Email Address.
  6. Edit any of the optional and required settings to suit your needs.
  7. Click Update Options.
  8. Edit a WordPress page where you want to display this payment form, and use the following Shortcode: wp_paypal_payment
  9. Update the page, then view it on the site for testing.

How to install and use the WordPress Simple Paypal Shopping Cart plugin

  1. From within your WordPress Dashboard, click Plugins, then Add New.
  2. Do a search for: WordPress Simple Paypal Shopping Cart
  3. Click Install Now, then Activate.
  4. Click Settings, then WP Shopping Cart.
  5. Add your PayPal Email Address.
  6. Add in any Optional and Default settings.
  7. Click Update Options.
  8. Edit a WordPress page where you have a product for sale, and use the following Shortcode: wp_cart_button with the parameters: name and price
  9. You can use the following shortcode on the same page to show the shopping cart if desired: show_wp_shopping_cart

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How to Get the Image URL from the WordPress Media Library

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Many tools, widgets, themes, and plugins for WordPress often ask for an image URL during the configuration steps. Follow along to see how to get the Image URL so you can use it in the configuration.

In this tutorial, you will learn:

  • How to upload an image to the WordPress Media Library.
  • How to get the image URL for the uploaded image.
  • How to get the image URL for any image that was previously uploaded.
  • How to get the image URLs for the thumbnail versions of the uploaded image.

Resources discussed in the video:

First, let’s upload an image to the WordPress Media Library, and get the image URL for the Full Size image.

  1. From within your WordPress Dashboard, go to Media, then Add New.
  2. Click the Select Files button.
  3. Locate the image on your computer, and double click it.
  4. Once the image is finished uploading, click on the Edit link.
  5. The Image URL is in the File URL box on the right side of the screen. Highlight it and copy it to the clipboard. An easy way to highlight it is to triple-click it.

In a similar way as described in the previous steps, you can get the URL for an image that was previously uploaded. There are a couple slight differences though, so let’s cover those steps now.

To get the Image URL for an image already in the Media Library:

  1. From within your WordPress Dashboard, go to Media, then Library.
  2. Locate the image you want the URL for. You can perform a search if need be.
  3. Click on the Title of the image, or on the Edit link for the image.
  4. Copy the File URL to the clipboard.

In the previous steps, you were getting the URL for the Full Sized image. WordPress, your theme, and sometimes an activated plugin, will create other images with different dimensions (or widths and heights).

Sometimes the tool you are placing the Image URL in will automatically utilize the appropriate image in an intelligent way, by responding to the screen size and orientation it is being viewed in.

Other times however, you may want to explicitly get the URL of a very specific thumbnail version of the image, rather than use the Full Size.

There is a plugin in the WordPress Plugin Repository, called “Display All Image Sizes” that exposes the URLs for all versions of your uploaded images.

Let’s go through the steps to install this plugin, and find the varying Image URLs.

  1. From within your WordPress Dashboard, go to Plugins, then Add New.
  2. Do a search for: Display All Image Sizes.
  3. Click Install, then Activate.
  4. Now, head back to the Media Library by going to Media, then Library.
  5. Select an image.
  6. Scroll down below the image details to the Sizes section.
  7. From here, select a size from the dropdown box.
  8. Copy the Image URL to the clipboard.

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How to Fix: WordPress Site not Working on Localhost After Port Change

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If you have installed WordPress on localhost (example: using XAMPP) and then later you need to change the Apache’s HTTP port number, you will find that the existing WordPress installs will stop loading. It will auto redirect to the URL with the old port number and fail to load. Trying to load the WordPress install will result in a 404 error.

In this tutorial I will show you how you can easily rectify this issue so you can use the existing WordPress installs after a port change (no need to install WordPress from scratch).

Little Background

I have a few localhost WordPress installs that I used using Apache HTTP port #81. I needed to change the port #80 so I could create a new localhost WP Multi-site install (multi-site installs only work on port 80). When I changed the Apache’s configuration to use port 80, all my existing WordPress sites stopped loading. this tutorial contains the steps I took to resolve the issue.

The Main Reason for the Existing WP Site to Not Load

The reason the site is not loading after the port change is because of the site URL value (that contains the old port number) in the wp_options table. So we are going to update that value to the new port number.

Update the WP Database Table

Here is how you can fix it by updating the port number value in the database:

  • Access PHPMyAdmin tool. http://localhost:80/phpmyadmin and log in.
  • Click on the WordPress site’s database (the one that is not working).
  • Click on the “SQL” tab.
  • We are going to execute a DB query to search and replace the old port value.
  • Execute the following query:
UPDATE `table_name` 
SET `field_name` = replace(field_name, 'old_text', 'new_text')

In my case, the exact query that I executed is the following (I was going from port 81 to the default port):

UPDATE `wp_options`
SET `option_value` = replace(option_value , 'http://localhost:81', 'http://localhost')

That should do it. Check the WordPress site and it should be accessible now.

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