Domain Forwarding a Single Page Site on WordPress – Best SEO?

I’m just going to post up a bit of a question in case anyone is wandering by who knows about these things and feels like helping me out! My wife is a professional athlete and she also is a personal trainer. I have a website up for her at ankhjii.com that is great, but it has a lot of info and things to see. It’s more focused on her activities, healthy things, competitions, etc. With her personal training, I wanted a single page. I just wanted it clean, a bit of info, directions, contact info, etc. I want everyone to be able to just get the info they need to hire her.

I really like her main page, it’s set up well, good theme, colours, etc. I wanted her one page site to match. What I’ve done right now is set up a single page on her main site to be the Toledo Personal Training website. I bought the domain toledopersonaltraining.com and set it to 301 redirect to the single page on her main site.

I really don’t want to set up another full site. Now, all of my WordPress sites are in a single multisite instance (under my main site, www.rvoodoo.com), so I wouldn’t have to run another full install, I could set up a subsite and map the domain. But I would still need to worry about plugins, configurations, etc. all of which would duplicate everything on her main site. It’s really easier to just run it as a page.

The thing I don’t know is SEO, I really want her page to rank as Toledo Personal Training, and not the full page URL that we redirect to. So, should I be doing a 301 redirect as I am currently? I have also gone in and made a sitemap for toledopersonaltraining.com (with links to a testimonial page and contact form) that I submitted to Google, it obviously points to the main domain, but the pages are all really pages on ankhjii.com, her main site. I went in to the Yoast SEO plugin and set the pages to be canonical to toledopersonaltraining.com.

Obviously, this won’t ever be a huge site with tonnes of traffic, but I want local people to see toledopersonaltraining.com when they search for those key words. Is this an OK setup that I have? Am I going to get decent rankings this way, is there a better way with my setup, or should I just bite the bullet and set it up as a separate site?

Appreciate any input from those out there knowing more than me.

Mind Your Permalinks When Setting up WordPress Multisite

Wow, just wow!! So I recently changed my several standalone WordPress installs to a network. I ran across one problem with blanking out my MX entries that I discussed here. I logged on to Webmaster Tools the other day to find out I had thousands of errors in there. There was another aspect of changing over to a network I hadn’t considered, my permalinks. Part of it was due to how WordPress handles things and most of it was due to me being a bonehead!

I used my main blog as the main site in the network. I hadn’t given it much thought, I just went with that. I would recommend if you decide to convert a bunch of sites to a network, you use the one that can afford to lose traffic the most to being the main site. Had I thought things through, I might have even used some sort of dummy site as my main site to have the least impact.

See I use the domain mapping plugin for my sites in the network, so for all of the subsites, nothing changed with the permalinks. Once I set up each subsite, I just went in and changed the permalinks to %postname% and I was good. That is the setting I had in place for each site to begin with. I – wrongly – assumed it was that way on my main site as well. Here’s all the problems I caused myself on that main site.

First, I set that site up back in 2007 or 2008, at the time you couldn’t use %postname% as your permalinks setting. So I used date based. I later changed that to category/postname when things evolved to allow it. I remembered that when I changed permalinks, WordPress would redirect all my posts. I knew that by converting my main site to be the network main site, it would add /blog to my URL. I was cool with that so I didn’t bother removing it. Afterall, this was a blog, and maybe in the back of my mind I though WP would auto-redirect. Just to be clear – it doesn’t!

Well, I converted my main site and forgot to check the permalinks settings. By default, they set to date based permalinks. I imported all my posts and everything was good to go. I spent a week converting all my other sites into my network. Well, when I converted my main site, my URLs had gone from category/postname to blog/date/postname and Google crawled it all and indexed. A week later I realized my mistake, I didn’t want date based URLs, so I converted them to %postname% thinking that’s where they started, but on this site they had never been that way! I had also had an important event going on that I was blogging about during this time and decided I wanted to keep my URLs as they are now.

So where I was at. I had, in a month, gone from category/postname to blog/date/postname to blog/postname. Google was angry and I was confused! I still haven’t solved it how I would like… I’d like to have everything fixed in .htaccess for speed sake, but I don’t know .htaccess well enough and every attempt I make botches it thoroughly! Every attempt I make either gets me stuck in a loop or throws off the links for my subsites.

I had to install two plugins to make it all work, due to my limitations and the limitations of the plugins. I like the Redirection plugin, it’s pretty powerful. But I couldn’t make wildcards work with it. I also installed Simple 301 Redirect because that one handled my wildcards, but I couldn’t make my regex entries work right. In Simple 301 Redirect I could handle redirecting all the old category/postname to blog/postname redirects easily through wildcard entries. Same with the old category, tag, and date archives. In the Redirection plugin, I could use regex to redirect that week long mistake with blog/date/postname.

I think I have everything caught but I’ll continue to monitor Webmaster Tools. The date based mistake will go away with time and I won’t need to keep that redirect forever, but the change from category/postname to blog/postname will be forever. I have a Yourls install which I heavily use. Those links all go to old, very popular posts on my website that I want to maintain links for.

Anybody know how to handle this all in .htaccess?? Especially for the category/postname to blog/postname without affecting subsites in a network? That would be peachy!

Google Apps Emails from an Alias do NOT Show up in Your Inbox – or – How I Wasted 2 Days

Just a little tidbit of info I stumbled across the hard way and wanted to post here just in case any of you run into the same problem. I recently reconfigured all of my WordPress installs (about 9 of them) to be a network. I hope to make a detailed post about that soon enough as it actually went really well. As part of that process, I parked all my domains so they would point to the main network site. Then I killed off all my old subdomains (Bluehost uses subdomains to route addon domains I guess) and databases, just a bunch of cleanup. What I didn’t realize is that during the killing and cleanup, something I did reset all of my MX entries and killed all of my Google Apps Alias email addresses.

It’s no big deal, right? Just populate the MX entries again and good to go. So I did, and much like in the past, sent myself random emails from account to account (all my emails are Aliased, so they all come to my main inbox) to see when the DNS stuff was done. I kept at it for a day. The next day I started going in and tweaking my MX stuff, reading help articles, using MX check tools. It was killing me! I kept working at it all day!

And then… I accidentally clicked on my All Mail box, and there they were. Every single email I’d sent. I Googled this strange behaviour and there it was… email sent from alias to alias/main email does not appear in the main inbox to avoid clutter! Wish I’d seen that sooner or read about that change somewhere as that is how I always tested in the past.

Jetpack Allows for Auto Sharing Your Content to Google+

I have been waiting forever for this capability! With the update to jetpack 2.7 that was recently announced on the Jetpack site, we finally get our content sent right over to Google+! How cool is that? I like to share my content far and wide whenever I publish – Facebook and Twitter got my content automatically, but I always had to remember (and often forgot) to manually post to Google+. No more, it’s built in! Give your plugin and update and test it out. What do you think?

Building a 'Responsive' Adsense Widget for the Twenty Twelve Theme

UPDATE 07/31/2013: Google has finally offered up the beginnings of a solution – quite similar to what we have been using. You can check out my article here!

NOTE: My adsense account has been deactivated. And the fine folks at Google simply don’t bother explaining why they deactivate accounts – they just do it. If I ever find out why I will forward that info on. For now, I would recommend you do not use the guide I have below – in case that is the problem.

Over the past two days, I’ve put up a couple articles relating to widgetizing the twenty twelve header and guidance for adding multiple items up there while accounting for 2012’s responsive nature. I wanted to finish up today by showing my solution for running Google Adsense ads to the header while still maintaining the responsive nature of the theme as best we can, let’s dig in!

Continue reading “Building a 'Responsive' Adsense Widget for the Twenty Twelve Theme”

Adding a Login Function to Our Twenty Twelve Header Widget Area – And Responsiveness Considerations

Yesterday, we started the basics for adding a widget area to the soon to be new default WordPress Twenty Twelve theme. I personally wanted to have advertising up there, plus login and registration options. I use custom login and registration pages on VoodooPress, so the standard links don’t work – I need to provide working links. I’m going to show my code for adding that login feature, of course. But I also want to show you this for a bigger reason – 2012 has a responsive setup and if you alter the theme, you need to consider that with your changes. Let’s take a look at what I have now!

Continue reading “Adding a Login Function to Our Twenty Twelve Header Widget Area – And Responsiveness Considerations”

Google Fonts, Child Themes, and @import

I’ve been trying to work through some issues after getting a comment on one of my fonts articles. It seems some people have been experiencing some problems getting Google Fonts to work on their child theme. So I was messing around with mine, and I experienced the same unpredictability. After messing around with things, I got mine straightened out, maybe this will help you!

Continue reading “Google Fonts, Child Themes, and @import”

Contest Ideas… Thoughts?

So I just ordered a big box of VoodooPress shirts. Coincidentally, Our first anniversary is soon. We actually installed WordPress on Jan. 31 2011, and launched on Feb. 16 2011. In honour of that, I was thinking of giving away 10 shirts. I’ll have 6 ways to enter. Follow me on facebook, twitter, or google+ Or share a  tweet, FB post, or G+ post. I’ll open the contest on Jan. 31, and close it on Feb. 16th. Cool right? Historically significant and shit! Anyway, contest comes soon…. I hope you will play along!