This post is all about backstage blogging and the geeky side of blogging.
It’s intended for bloggers that may have difficulties showing up on the WordPress Reader (WP reader) like I did for months now!
As I’m NOT a techie this should NOT be considered as the St Graal as what worked for me maybe won’t work for you if you’re in the same predicament but I promised some friends I would share this experience so here I am!
First of all: what IS WP reader and why do you want in?
Consider the WP reader as the pinboard at your school or fitness club. Everyone pins something he/she has to sell or trade or news etc and everyone at school can see it. Well basically this is the same with WP Reader: every post you publish appears on the WP reader and your friends can see what you publish. Other people willing to discover other bloggers can also “discover” and stumble upon your post.
In short if you don’t appear on the reader you are simply invisible.
You can create the most amazing content no one will see it, no one will comment nor follow except the friends following you by mail.
Well that was the situation I was in for months!
Since January 2017 I did not show on WP Reader. Try gathering more blogger friends with that and it’s very tricky!
I sent an SOS on WP forum but as I’m on WP.org and not WP.com and knowing the reader is a feature of WP.com I did not know where I should post my question.
Furthermore was it a problem with my theme? Try your theme forum.
Was it a problem with some plugin like Jetpack? Try Jetpack forum.
After months what appeared the most rational answer came from one techie Blade telling me there was several issues with my site.
He advised me to use pretty links (what I had not done from the beginning, foolish me) then use only https or http but not both as my site seemed to run on both and focus on my SEO installing Yoast SEO plugin.
For someone non techie like me it took me some time to investigate and look into all that he told me.
Here I would like to link to a fantastic article written by wpmudev as he describes everything in details and it’s understandable for non geeks like me. https://premium.wpmudev.org/blog/change-wordpress-site-permalink-structure/
First part of the solution: opting for pretty links (Corina it concerns you too as you don’t use them either)
What are pretty links and permalinks?
Well they are basically the url address of your posts, categories, etc.
By default WP gives you http(s)://blogname/?p=number
Any search engine can’t guess what your post is about with a ? and number. I suspect WP Reader has the same difficulties but it’s only a guess.
So you can choose your permalink for something more “readable” for search engine and other people like: “http://blogname/postname” or you can add the date etc.
My problem was changing the permalinks for a new structure meant broken links to all my old posts!!! Changing your permalinks is risky business that’s why I waited for weeks before taking a leap of faith. Don’t make this decision lightly and follow what’s in the article above and below if you want to avoid a disaster!!!
But there is a way around as explained in details in the article above.
In short: take a sheet with all your current url then install a redirection plugin that will send all people and robots using your old url to your new url.
If you have lots of publications already it can take a while to list all your url so I used a plugin “List Urls”.
BUT before using the List Urls plugin you have to check that you .php version will work with it (min 5.5)
This gets all very technical so I asked my hubs help as he is an IT guy and after some searching on Google as to how finding our .php version we were out of the woods.
To redirect I used the plugin “Redirection” I downloaded the plugin but I did not need to use it as my urls seemed to be redirected “automatically”. Why? I don’t know. Maybe my theme does it all or Jetpack or …
You can find all this in said article.
What you have to do now is change the permalinks in the dashboard/settings/permalinks.
Once it’s done try one of your old url in Google and see if you get to the new url. Check for some broken links. You can also go and change manually the old url for example on Netgalley but with the redirect plugin you should be good.
Are you still with me? Not lost yet?
Now if you do already have your pretty permalinks (Geybie it’s for you and Corina go on too)
what you need to do is being seen by robots by having optimized SEO.
I won’t go into details but let’s just say that Google, search engine and I guess WP Reader need to be able to “crawl” your site easily. SEO means Search Engine Optimization. It’s the process of getting traffic from search results on search engine.
Most themes on WP are SEO optimized but it seemed I still had some problems.
Installing the Yoast SEO plugin was rumored to be the best solution but it seemed such a daunting task to set up with maybe some unknown impacts that we tried something else first.
What we (my hubs and I) did was asking Google to index our site again and crawl my “newish” site.
You have to register your site and choose if you want it to appear with or without the www. (I chose to keep it simple without the www) plus other possibilities that I won’t go into details.
From what I understood (forgive me if it’s not totally accurate as I’m NOT a geek) it means that you point Google search engine to your site and ask it to crawl your site. You can gather many interesting information about security issues, broken links, problems etc. if you use Google search console.
You can find all these Google tools going to Google, tools “For Business “and “Search Console” tool.
To make it simple it’s like putting an ad in the newspaper telling that you are blogging about books. Search engines will see it and go to your site.
You can also submit your sitemap to Google search console and it will analyze it. If you use Jetpack plugin you can find your sitemap going to settings/traffic/sitemap and choose option “generate sitemap”.
Then you can enter your sitemap url into Google search console. It helps search engine understand how your site works, the logic behind it all.
That’s it! After asking Google to “crawl” my site I appeared in WP reader!!! Finally.
Now I cross my fingers and hope it will stay that way.
Maybe what I’ve done won’t be enough to help you as it may be another problem that you are encountering but I promised Geybie and Corina that I would share this so now Ladies I hope it will help you!
Don’t forget that I’m NOT a professional webmaster nor a techie so I can’t guarantee this will work for you nor help you unfortunately with technical questions. But the forums are filled with people very qualified and ready to help you.
I wish you luck!
A huuuge thank you to my husband for his help and technical knowledge I could not have done it without his help!
Thanks for reading.