Jeff and Erin Youngren are joining us today, all the way from San Diego, California. The Youngrens are a luxury husband & wife wedding photography team. They started their photography business a few months after getting married and continue to enjoy their own love as they photograph other couple’s weddings. Take a look at their website and you will see beautiful wedding photographs and you will also see just passionate Jeff and Erin are, not only about photography, but also each other.
WordPress/Photography Related News:
WordPress 4.4.1 is now available as an automatic update. This is a minor update, so it’s safe to do without worrying about something breaking. It’s also an important update which fixes a security issue, an issue related to SSL sites and 50 or so other minor fixes. Although it should be safe to update, we also recommend running a full site backup prior to updating.
Freebie our guests
The Youngren's have created a free PDF for our listeners, called "Top 5 Crazy Easy Tools to Build an Awesome Blog (And Save You Loads of Time)"
- WordPress 4.4 Release Notes
- X Theme
- WordPress for Photographers Facebook group
- ProPhoto Theme
- Protect Clear Text Email Addresses
Where to find The Youngrens:
Scott: Welcome to episode five. My name is Scott Wyden Kivowitz, and I'm joined by co-host Rachel from FotoSkribe. Hey, Rachel.
Rachel: Hey, Scott. How are you?
Scott: Good. How you doing?
Rachel: Good. Episode five. This is very exciting.
Scott: We took a little bit of a break before doing up the five because we wanted to get it out on iTunes and all the fun podcast channels. It is now available on iTunes and Stitcher and many ... It's already pre-approved for Google Play. They haven't launched their podcast network yet, but it's coming, they said, end of January 2016. We are pre-approved and will be there once that launches. Then there will be a link on the site with the other others.
Today we've got a very exciting guests, or I should say guests. Plural. Jeff and Erin Youngren are joining us today, and they're all the way from rainy San Diego, California. It's really early, almost 8:00 AM their time, right? Something like that?
Scott: They literally just got up.
Rachel: They look good.
Scott: They do look good. How do they roll out of bed and look like that?
The Youngrens are a luxury husband and wife wedding photography team. They started their photography business a few months after getting married and continue to enjoy their own love as they photograph other couple's weddings. Take a look at their website and you will see beautiful wedding photographs. You will also see just how passionate Jeff and Erin are not only about photography, but also each other. Their websites runs on WordPress, and Jeff loves digging into conversations about it. Rachel and I are extremely excited to have both of them hear on the show.
Jeff: Thanks so much for having us. We've been really looking forward to this. Thanks for making time for us.
Rachel: We should mention that you have more than one website on WordPress, so we'll get into all of that as well.
Scott: Before we get into, really, what's on with you, we like to start out with a little bit of news. Up until yesterday, I actually didn't have any news because there was really nothing related out, and then all of a sudden WordPress pushed out a new version. It's 4.4.1. Normally I may not talk about minor point releases, so 4.4.1 being a point release. I don't think I would normally bring that up as WordPress news, but this is an important one.
It's a minor update, but it's one that's safe to do without worrying about anything breaking because of how minor it is. It's also an important update every photographer should do because it has a little bit of a security fix in it, as well as fixes related to any sites running SSL, the little lock that shows on the top of the site. If you have SSL on your site, you're going to want to do this, as well as do this anyway because of security.
There's also about 50 other minor fixes but, either way, we always recommend running a full website backup prior to updating. You definitely should do this update. It's not automatic, which a lot of hosts will automatically update your site for you when it's something as important as this.
Rachel: We always recommend waiting for some of the major upgrades, like 4.4. If you wait a week then as things break, they fix it, but because 4.4.1 is the security, we say go ahead and do it. We're giving you permission, but do backup.
Scott: Do a backup.
Rachel: That's our PSA for the day.
Scott: This has been a broadcast message.
Erin and Jeff, besides from the torrential downpours that you've been getting for a few days, or however long and what not it's been in your area, what's going on with you guys?
Erin: It's been a really exciting time here in San Diego. We're very excited for this new year. We are recording this at the beginning of 2016. There's a lot of really cool stuff that's going to be happening this year I think for a lot of photographers. It's really exciting. We're in that same mode of just really looking forward to everything that we want to do this year. It's going to be a really great time. We're excited to hang out with you guys.
Rachel: Thank you. Erin, you do a lot of the content creation for your brands and Jeff handles the technical backend stuff, so you guys have a really good partnership within your WordPress structure. How does that work for you?
Erin: It works wonderfully for me.
Scott: Me too.
Erin: We are very lucky, and we don't take that for granted, because I know that a lot of photographers, they're a one-man show and they don't have the support that Jeff and I get to share. That's a huge advantage that we have. Our strengths are very different from another. If you are a wedding photography couple that shoots together, it is so helpful when you guys identify your different strengths and you work in those different strengths.
This is just one example of that: because I love writing I'm really good at content. I was a literature major, and that just plays right to me strengths is creating that content. Then Jeff, like you said, he's very techy and he's very good at that. Right away we identified that and said, "This is how we're splitting up our roles: you're in charge of this, I'm in charge of this." When we live in those strengths then our business runs very smoothly. We do that throughout our business, not just when it comes to the websites.
Rachel: I love that. This is very tangible proof of it, but I love that you have that in all different aspects of your business.
Erin: It helps us work together very well, very smoothly.
Jeff: It's really fun for me. Erin is being very kind. "He's very technical;" I'm just a big geek. Let's just call it what it is.
Rachel: I wasn't going to say the word but that's what I was thinking.
Jeff: Let's just name it. I get to play around her websites and think of different things. I'm like, "I'm going to make a cool box that does this," and then I just write some kindergarten text. Then Erin comes through, cleans it up, and makes it pretty and wonderful like an adult. It's a really great partnership.
Scott: That's awesome.
Rachel: You have more than one brand. How do you manage that in your business, and then from a website point of view?
Erin: The basic structure of our business is that we have the Youngrens, which is Jeff and myself, and we've been shooting together ... We shoot weddings. That's all that we do; wedding and engagements. We've been doing that since we got married, and that was almost 10 years ago. We are celebrating our 10-year anniversary next year [crosstalk 00:07:03]. It's crazy. I can't believe it's already gotten to that point, but we've been shooting weddings together that whole time.
A couple of years ago we wanted to expand into a couple of different studios, and so we expanded into one that's called Clove and Kin. It's clove like the spice and kin like family. This brand is a lower mid-range photography brand. They do weddings and portraits with multiple photographers, but the feel is very similar to the Youngrens in style and heart and in the way that the photographers approach the day.
Then we also purchased another student called [Bowman 00:07:43] Photographers. You might recognize the name [Bowman 00:07:45] from your guests on episode four. This is a commercial studio so it does a lot of commercial work: head shots, corporate events, product photography. We have the different websites for all three of our different brands and we use WordPress for all of it.
Rachel: Jeff, [inaudible 00:08:02], do you have a multisite install? Or three separate sites? I'm going to let Scott talk about some of the multisite stuff, too.
Scott: This is really fun. I [crosstalk 00:08:14] back and forth on multisite, and ultimately we don't have any multisite installations. What I can tell you is that we have nine WordPress installations. Is it nine? Maybe it's eight. It's eight or nine WordPress installations...
Rachel: It's more than most people.
Scott: These sites that I like them to look the same, but I like them to have different functionality in these different areas. For example, just a simple example is with the Youngrens we have our wedding site and then we also have our photography resource site. I didn't want to have just a tab on our wedding site that pulled in all this photographer content because I didn't want the searching to get messed, the SEO to get messed up, with people having conflict as far as what they're looking for.
We have a separate install for weddings and a separate install for photographers. Then with Bowman Photographers we have, actually, an install for the landing page blog, we have an install for weddings, we have an install for commercial. Lots of WordPress installations. As you can see why I've gone back and forth on multisite. Ultimately, I haven't jumped off that cliff yet.
Jeff: From my perspective, listening to that structure, it actually would be beneficial for the Youngren site to be a multisite, and I'll come back in a second, but then also having Bowman Photographers also being a multisite, but separate multisites. The reason why it'd be beneficial is you have one WordPress site for each to maintain, but you are keeping all the content and design and potential functionality different between individual sites in the multisite.
Rachel: Now maybe we should break it down for some of our listeners about what exactly a multisite is.
Jeff: A multisite is basically a WordPress instance where you could have sub sites that are all controlled by one login if you want. It's actually the admin become a super admit, and then there's an admit, and then there's the editor and all the different roles below it. The super admin can control every single site in this network, and then all the content is separated. You can actually have a sub site of the multisite be a sub domain or a sub folder.
For example, you could have photographers.myphotography.com, or you could have myphotography.com/photographers. Either or can be the sub site. Then you could have weddings.myphotography.com, or myphotography.com/weddings. There's a variety of different things you could do. Separating content is key.
The advantage is basically simplicity of maintenance. The disadvantage is multisite is not perfect. It's a little buggy. Not every plugin or theme works with multisite, so there is risk of certain things not working the way you might...
Rachel: I hear this and I love WordPress and I think, "That's too complicated," even for someone who loves WordPress. Jeff, we love having both of you guys on because you have hat perspective of both the content and that really ... I think, Jeff, you've tried this, so what has been your experience in having the eight on multisites and then having the eight be separate? How do you manage that?
Jeff: Like Scott said, the real only big disadvantage that I was finding with multisite was just the compatibility issues and I just didn't want to be dealing with it. It's nice with how cutting-edge the main WordPress install is and how they're moving that forward so much faster.
The way I get around it is I use a service called ManageWP. I don't know if you guys have heard of it. What you can do is you can add all your sites to this service, and then I can log in to my ManageWP account and I can see all my sites in a very similar way to what Scott's talking about where I can go and I can click on the different sites and I can just open the admin window right there in that site.
Then with this update that just came out, I can actually go in and it'll say, "You have nine instances. Do you want me to upgrade them all?" You just push update and it takes 15 seconds. It just flips through and it just updates all of them. Same with plugins. I run all my backups through ManageWP so it's taking my backups and it's making nightly backups, it's making weekly backups and monthly backups and it's saving them to my FTP server of all the sites.
That's my way of getting around it.
Rachel: That's not a multisite installation, that is actually a third-party service that allows you to do everything in one place. That's interesting. I didn't actually know that distinction.
Jeff: ManageWP has a lot of cool new features. You could have added security and you could have SEO services built-in depending on the plan. They're pretty sweet. It's managewp.com.
Rachel: Can I ask Erin a question about this? When you're creating content for all of these different sites, do you also use that? Or do you log in to each separate site depending on what you're creating content for?
Erin: We log in to each separate site. For me, I'm creating content for the s 00:14:00] and for the s 00:14:01] photographers. That's [crosstalk 00:14:03] content is focused.
Then we have people on our team, and then we have also used FotoSkribe for content for our other sites. We do have separate logins. Since we do have separate people that are managing those content channels, it hasn't seemed to be a problem with the multiple logins. It's worked out pretty well for us.
Rachel: I'm trying to think what a photographer would think in terms of, if they were starting to offer their photography site and then something maybe for photographers like you have on the 00:14:36] brand, what they could use to help make it a little bit easier.
Scott: It definitely would be easier for the average photographer to just have separate instances... or for people that are advanced that really want simplicity, I do think multisite is the way to go, it's just you do have that we talked about.
Rachel: Jeff, where do you go when you do have questions to learn more about WordPress or to geek out?
Jeff: There's this service, it's free, and it's called Google. I just go to it and ... That is what I do. I'll just start Googling things.
We switched over our s 00:15:31] site to a theme made by Themeco, the X theme, I'm sure you've heard of it. We switched over to that right when it was gaining a lot of momentum, and since then there's been a great community that's been built around it, and so there's a forum that I go to and get a lot of my geeky questions answers. It's like a fellow Geek Squad hanging out in there.
Rachel: That's actually a really good suggestion for photographers: wherever your theme is, there usually is a community if it's a well maintained theme.
Scott: We got rid of our forum because people were treating it differently than just a community.
Erin: [crosstalk 00:16:15], you mean?
Scott: Yeah. Not all themes will have one, but there is a WordPress for photographers Facebook group that I would recommend. It's a group that I maintain.
Erin: Shameless plug?
Scott: Shameless plug.
If a product that you purchase has a forum where there's like-minded people that are using the same product you are, then that's definitely a great avenue or venue to take for finding information.
Rachel: I love the different perspectives that we all bring to the table because ... I'm with Jeff. I go to the source, almost, for if something breaks because who else would I ask besides Google, of course? Really, your mileage may vary depending on what theme you choose for which product.
Now do you have different themes for all of your sites?
Jeff: Yeah. Both Bowman Photographers and Clove and Kin are all running off of the Pro Photo Blogs theme. We're in the process of switching a lot of Bowman over to the X theme. I'm just in love with it. Then the s 00:17:34], like I said, is on X. Clove and Kin, it's fine being on Pro Photo Blogs. I'm really excited. They're going release a new update to it sometime soon and it's supposed to be responsive, and I'm holding my breath for that.
We'll see what happens. If that doesn't happen there may be a change there, too. With having multiple sites, there is something to be said for having the same theme across those sites, or at least the same framework across the sites, because there's so much language that you end up learning even if it's using something like a Genesis with all the different child themes that you can use. Having that same structure is really important.
When I have to go and maintain stuff with Clove and Kin I'm switching gears completely because I'm trying to remember how they approach different things so I'm not screwing up the total backend.
Scott: X theme's taken a very modern WordPress development approach where Pro Photo Team hasn't been updated in a while so it is a more distant, or outdated, style of system and development. This is definitely a completely different mindset.
Jeff: [crosstalk 00:18:48] the whole WordPress development community moves. I'm totally with you when you say Pro Photo hasn't been updated in a while. I think it's only been a year, but it feels like you're like, "Is that even a website anymore? Does that still work?"
Rachel: That's what photographers struggle with. I work with a lot of clients on Pro Photo themes that have been on them for years just because they set it and they forget it. They do their blog, they update their content, but they don't ... Even WordPress, they'll update the releases like we talked about at the beginning, but to change the theme is such a huge undertaking. It's just something that isn't part of their day to day life.
That's where I think the photography world and the WordPress world have major differences.
Scott: There's certain things like including the gallery in the theme that used to be acceptable and now it's not. Photocrati theme used to and now it doesn't. Now it uses NextGEN Gallery and NextGEN Pro instead. It separated the content so people who do want to change themes don't have to start all over again with making their portfolios look good.
Rachel: NextGEN plugin, you guys just hit a million dollars too, right? It's not just photographers.
Scott: 14 million downloads.
Rachel: My bad.
Scott: We have 1.3 million active users. 14 million downloads total. It's doing really well.
Rachel: There's obviously a need for that beyond photographers. Photographers should look at it for the strength of it because it sounds like 14 million people are using!
Jeff: [crosstalk 00:20:30] can't be wrong.
Scott: Let's talk about wedding photography websites specifically. I want to know the top three things that you would say are must-have for wedding photography websites.
Erin: If you're taking basics then you definitely need your basic components. You need your portfolio, you need your bio page, and you need a contact form. You just need to show your work, tell people who you are, and then you need a way for them to contact you. That is your basic structure of a wedding photography websites. It's interesting how many times those three components get ignored, especially when it comes to the contact portion of the site, so the place where it's the actually call to action, the sales page of your website.
That tends to be the area that gets left to the side because you're so excited about your portfolio, you're so excited about your images, and you're so excited about showing off your personality, writing your bio. The about page is extremely important, but don't forget that contact page. Have all of your information, have an email address on your contact form. Don't just have the fill in the blank boxes, but actually [inaudible 00:21:50] address and a phone number. Simple little thing but it gets forgotten a lot.
Jeff: For anybody who is worried about having a email address in plain text, there are tricks if you Google it. I'll see if I can find a URL tutorial to link to in ShowNotes. There are tricks you can do to protect your email address from being just a copy/paste spammer type of thing.
Rachel: Even if you just type it out, like Rachel and then the word "at" [Photoscribe 00:22:22], which is who I am ... Just having that on the site so that if they don't want to fill it out ... I've looked up different photographers who I want to contact who I have a relationship on a thing like Facebook, but I didn't want to use the messenger so I would go to their website and their contact form and be like, "I just need to email it." I'll type it out.
The other thing that I noticed for contact pages, and, ERIN, you mentioned this, is mention your local area, where are you shooting weddings, because sometimes I'll go to a photographer and I'll be like, "Where do they live?"
Scott: In fact, it's actually really good for search engine optimization to include a Google map of where you are.
Erin: I didn't know that.
Jeff: Just embedding an actual Google map?
Scott: You guys have an actually studio somewhere, right?
Jeff: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Scott: If you pinpoint that and embed that map with the pinpoint of where your studio is and include that on your contact page with your address and what not, Google's going to [inaudible 00:23:24]. It's not a big jump in SEO, but it helps.
Erin: That's interesting. [crosstalk 00:23:29] more, too.
Scott: What was that?
Erin: I've seen that on Facebook more, too, that you can have that map functionality on your Facebook business page. I think they're trying to roll that out.
Scott: Here's a question. Portfolio, bio page, and contact; super important for every wedding photographer. What about the blog?
Erin: I think it's very important for your SEO, but it's also just important for your brand. I've been working a lot on systems and coaching photographers in building systems in their business, and for a lot of photographer, or at least for just a lot of people in general, they're not as systems minded as I am. That's the thing that I geek out on is just how to optimize my workflows and make things easier on myself and turnaround a really great product.
What I tell is that if you're not excited about systems, get excited about your brand because [inaudible 00:24:24] are how you are going to build the most powerful brand the fastest. When you are able to deliver a consistent product over and over again, then you are sending a message every time you post to your blog, you're sending a message every time you show your images. That it how you're going to build a really strong brand and how you're going to build it very quickly.
That's what a blog does for you: it gets your message out there on a regular basis, it shows people that you are in demand, that you're working a lot, and that other people are hiring you. It's important to show your work, to show what you're doing, and it's important for you to create content for that blog. That's tough for photographers to come up with that challenge. That's probably the biggest challenge. [crosstalk 00:25:11] [Photoscribe 00:25:12] for sure.
Scott: I was going to say: if we only we knew somebody [crosstalk 00:25:15].
Rachel: Thank you, guys. You talked about systems, and I saw they section of [Jerry Bowman's 00:25:28] [Creative Vibe 00:25:29] class and I was like, "I just want to hang out with them. They talk [crosstalk 00:25:32], they talk systems."
For your blog system, for the 's 00:25:37] brand which you write, do you do it on a schedule? What is your consistent system for that?
Erin: We do have an editorial calender, which is very important. I know that you guys have talked about this before, but I just can't emphasize enough how important it is to build that editorial calendar because that's gong to help you immensely in planning ahead for these blog posts.
Where it becomes really overwhelming and you experience that just sinking feeling is when you realize that you need to post a blog that day but you [inaudible 00:26:10] plan for it. You sit down at your computer and it's this blank screen and you're thinking, "What in the world am I going to do?" I have this pressure because I need t post something.
When you can get yourself out of that cycle and you get yourself out of that point, then you [inaudible 00:26:27]. The easiest way to do that is with a calendar. This is the perfect time of year to do it. It's the beginning of the year. You can plan out the next three months. Do it quarter by quarter. That's usually a great little chunk of time that you can think about and you can really plan for.
Look at the shoots that you already have ... Really, there's so many pieces of software, there's so many apps that you can use. We use a mix of CoSchedule and Asana, and between those two I'm able to manage our editorial calendar. Actually I manage it for all three. That way I can plan out what I'm doing.
I take a look at all the shoots that I already have lined up, any weddings, engagements, any different sessions, and I put those on the calendar and I assign tasks for what needs to happen for each one of those, when the images need to be worked on.
We use BlogStomp for prepping our images for the blog, and that simplifies the process a lot and makes it very quick and easy. That's a huge time saver is using a service like BlogStomp. Then I have all those tasks associated with these blog posts, and so that helps me plan ahead so I'm not waiting until the last minute for all of this stuff.
In the middle of all those shoots, if you're just starting out and you don't have a lot of shoots to blog, then it's that additional content that can be really difficult and overwhelming to come up with, but there's a few things you can do. One, you're a photographer and you sell products, so get some sample albums, get some sample prints, whatever it is that you're selling ... If it's frame prints, if it's portrait albums, we sell a lot of wedding albums. Write articles about those, and that's going to help you sell a lot more of that.
Rachel: I just interrupt because I love that you blog about yours albums, because I don't see that, but it's a very simple blog.
Erin: You don't see it a lot. I do talk to quite a few photographers who have difficulty selling albums. If you're not showing them, you're not going to sell them. They are expensive and you do have to charge a good amount for them, but you need to make them look like they're worth that value, which they are.
If you take beautiful pictures, and that's really fun, you get to style it, you get to do all the fun pictures of your albums then post them on your blog. That's something that you can regularly. We post a blog for every album that we deliver to a client, and that tells future clients that, when you hire us, you're probably going to buy a wedding album, so they're prepared for it. I build that credibility ahead of time.
Then the next easiest thing to talk about is helpful tips and tricks and different ideas for helping them out with their wedding planning, helping them out with their portrait section, how to make the most of your wedding photography, what to wear during a portrait session. Those are very simple and easy, and every photographer can do them. That's the beauty of it. Everyone can write the exact same article and post it on their blog, but since we're all going after different clients, it's totally fine.
[crosstalk 00:29:41] blog and you can see all the articles I've written, I don't care if you copy them, I don't care if you just say, "That's a great idea. I'm going to do that for my blog," because we have different clients that we're going after.
Jeff: Maybe don't copy and paste.
Rachel: Before we get too far away we should talk more about CoSchedule, which lives within WordPress, and then Asana, which is outside, and then BlogStomp, which is a product you buy to collage your images. There's three different tools and only one lives in WordPress, but they all make it seem [crosstalk 00:30:14].
Scott: Although you have a plugin to control CoSchedule, it's actually a third party service that is outside of WordPress as well. Basically what they're doing is they're taking their outside service and embedding it in your WordPress so you can organize it within WordPress.
This actually is a good segue into guest recommended WordPress themes or plugins. We've already talked about some. X theme came up, which you've converted two sites [inaudible 00:30:48]. Then CoSchedule, which we're talking about now, which happened to also be a recommendation in episode two.
Rachel: I just saw CoSchedule now has integration with Evernote.
Scott: And Google Docs.
Rachel: I didn't know that.
Scott: Any photographers who take notes in Evernote or write stuff up in Google Doc, depending on your plan, you can now import that content directly into a blog post easily.
Rachel: Which I love that for the Evernote portion of it because you can be sitting on a train or in traffic and, maybe not driving, do something in Evernote, and then know that it's just seamlessly going to go into WordPress. I thought that was brilliant.
Scott: Then on top of organizing, in a calender fashion, your content, you can also schedule the social media stuff, which I think we talked about in a previous episode as well. We'll link this to CoSchedule for anybody interested.
Another that you have listed as a recommendation which you talked about was ManageWP, which is fantastic. We'll link to that as well for everybody to check that out.
Then you had two others. Do you want to talk about these two others you had listed?
Jeff: Yeah. I'll talk about Asana. Wait, we had other things listed.
Scott: CloudFlare and...
Jeff: I want to talk about CloudFlare, that's uber geeky. Before we do that I do want to just mention, with CoSchedule, Erin and I went back and forth on CoSchedule for a while because we're like, "Do we need another thing we're paying for?" Everything is $10, $20, $30 a month. Everything. We went back and forth on it and it was a great investment and great decision because it is free. I think there's a free version, but there's some paid plans.
Rachel: I'm so glad you said that because I struggle with that, too, both in the WordPress space and in the photography space. It's only $10 a month, but when you have 10 of those, that's $100 a month. Where do you put your money for some of these services?
Scott: One of the nice things about CoSchedule, before we move on, is that they just got acquired, and the focus of the company who acquired them I still putting 100% focus on CoSchedule so there's going to be some really neat improvements and enhancements and things like that. They're very responsive to feature requests. I know that one of the ones that I requested when they first were in beta is in the works: being able to automatically to set your social schedule with every new post instead of having to manually do it each time. That'll be really good.
I'm all for CoSchedule. Even though it's a paid service; fantastic.
Erin: We do love it. I think it's really helped us out a lot with our photographer blog mostly for ... If you only have your one blog and you're just doing weddings or you're just doing portraits, it's extremely helpful in helping your with your editorial calendar. When you create a blog post in CoSchdule, it also creates it in WordPress and helps you manage that process, and I really like that. I like that you can schedule out Twitter tweets and all that stuff with your blog post. That's awesome.
If you just have your one blog and you don't have the resources to spend money on another service, Asana is a really great way to go. It's a free service. We use it in our business for everything else that we do: a lot of our workflows and just basic to-do tasks and projects. It doubles up across your business with a lot of different things, and there is calendering functions in Asana and you can use that as well.
[crosstalk 00:34:39] free way to go. I love it a lot. It's a great service. I would use it anyways. Even if you're not going to use it for an editorial calendar, I think it's wonderful. That's something to do in case CoSchedule is something that just doesn't make sense for your business right now.
Rachel: I use Asana. I second that. I'm thinking of doing an Asana coure on how it does help the blogging.
Jeff: Do it.
Rachel: It's interesting because CoSchedule also has that editorial calendar and these other components and it lives within WordPress so, if I'm in a client's blog and I'm creating a blog for them, I'll use CoSchedule, but for my own blogging, I'd really prefer Asana because I just have so much more control over that editorial calender. It does mean that you have to then manually do the tweets and the LinkedIn or find another plugin for it. It's nice to know there are options.
Erin: Asana is defrinitely the manual way to go for sure. You have to invest a little bit more time in it in order for it to be helpful, but I love it.
Scott: We only have a few more minutes left so...
Rachel: What we wanted to talk CloudFlaire and [crosstalk 00:35:44], so let's do that.
Scott: Let's get a little geeky with CloudFlare. This one's going to be a little bit more technical for most photographers, but it'll be worth sharing about.
Jeff: CloudFlare is, I think, a must-have for photographers. What is, it's a service that you ... Without being too technical into it, it's basically a CDN, a Constant Delivery Network. The idea is that it caches your website and servers all over the world, and so when someone comes to your website they're not having to retrieve that data from wherever your host is, they're getting to retrieve it from whatever server's closest to them... with most of the content, not all the content.
I think there's a free version of the site. We have a paid version, but there should be a free plan. We were talking about it earlier, Scott, where not being afraid of putting your email address on your website, and you click a button that basically scrambles, to bots, any email addresses that it can find on the site. Not just on the contact page. You don't have to remember to encode anything, it's just you put an email address out there, only real people will be able to see it.
It's just a great service.
Rachel: You can get that through your host sometimes, right, Scott? You don't...
Scott: Yeah. [SiteGround 00:37:32] offers CloudFlare's free plan included in their host for one year.
Rachel: You have to set it up, right? You have to turn it on even though it's included?
Scott: Yeah. In [SiteGround 00:37:43] it's literally turn on CloudFlare and they take care of the rest.
Jeff: We use Bluehost as our host, and they include it also I think for a time period if your host doesn't include it. The setup's actually relatively simple if you're fine messing with your DNS.
Rachel: That scares me and I know WordPress.
Scott: A lot of hosts actually come with CDN's as well, so you don't need it if you already have a CDN, really, in my opinion, but it could add extra layers. Just if you're interested in CloudFlare, make sure you check with your host and check with CloudFlare to see if you actually need it or if the host's CDN will butt heads with CloudFlare. You don't want that to happen.
Rachel: I think that's a pretty good recommendation to all photographers. If you're really stuck, calling your host, chatting, reaching out to them is always an option, because I talk to a lot of photographers and they're like, "What do I do? I know how to answer that question." I'm like, "Call your host. That's what they're there for, that's what you're paying them. You might get the runaround but at least you're talking to someone." [crosstalk 00:38:55].
Scott: If you're not getting help, I recommend changing hosts.
Erin: [crosstalk 00:38:59] which is coming, and we're so excited about that.
Scott: Rachel and I had an email thread going back and forth yesterday where someone was not getting help from their host and I was just like, "Why?" It wasn't even a simple issue, it was a security issue.
What the heck is Frizzly? What's with the silly name?
Jeff: Frizzly's just a plugin that we use. When you hover over any of our images, it pulls up the ability to put it on Pinterest or tweet it or share it on Facebook. I literally installed 15-20 different plugins that do this exact same thing, going through them, trying to figure out which one I like the best. Not only in terms of visually, but how lightweight was it? Was it making [crosstalk 00:39:50] just crash, or what was it doing to the speed?
I just fell in love with Frizzly. It was really easy to set up. It's really great and we use it on all of our sites. It's our social plugin. Again, it's just the when you're scrolling through and you hover an image, you can have it say "Pin it" or "share on Facebook." It looks really clean, it has a flat design.
Rachel: I'm going to check it out. Because I have one that just does Pinterest, but it sounds like this does more than that.
Jeff: It does more than that. We want everything to be so sharable as photographers. You got to remember that the more plugins that you're loading to do different subsets of the same thing is going to slow things down, so loading a separate thing for Pinterest, loading a separate thing for Facebook, loading the separate things for all this, it's adding to [inaudible 00:40:44] and the page load time.
When you can find stuff that can put it together, it's great. When you can find stuff like this social stuff that's built into a theme; even better.
Scott: Is Frizzly doing share bars or floating share buttons on posts and pages as well? Or is it only doing image hover?
Jeff: I'd have to look at that. I looked at it for image hover. There may be a thing that it does with the floating bar. I'm trying to find a floating bar...
Scott: One that I really love, it does four or five different types including image hover. It's Monarch from Elegant Themes. It's fantastic.
Erin: Do you have to have an Elegant Theme to use or it can be used on all themes?
Scott: It can be used in all themes. I'm using right now on my site, which is running [Photo Karate 00:41:37] theme. I use it on sites that run on Genesis themes. It doesn't make a difference.
Rachel: I love this discussion because I didn't even think to do beyond the Pinterest hover on your image. Because there's so many other ways to, again, display that social sharing, so to me it's image, then you have the Pin it button, but that's it in my mind. I love that you have these different hover options on your images because, as photographers, that's what you're selling.
Scott: Jeff and Erin, do you hae any other last minute recommendations you want to throw out there?
Erin: We put together a PDF download, a guide for your listeners, and so it's special for your listeners. You can get it at [theyoungrens.com 00:42:27]/blogging tools.
Rachel: Thank you. That'll be in our show notes as well.
Scott: Yes, it will.
Erin: If you go there, you can download this guide and it's basically our five must-have tools that we use on our WordPress sites. You can get that as well. In case you don't want to go back and rewind and re-listen to this podcast and you missed some of the things we were talking about, you can get it all in one helpful guide just right there.
Rachel: Thank you for doing that.
Scott: Closing for me, going back to the original news that I shared, by the time this episode is published, 4.4.1 of WordPress would have already been out for about a week or two. Hopefully if you're watching this, you've already updated. If you haven't, make sure you backup your site and run the update.
With that, thank you Erin and Jeff for joining us today, for getting up super early on your very rainy day.
Erin: [crosstalk 00:43:24].
Scott: Thank you for Rachel for being an awesome co-host as usual.
Rachel: Thank you, Scott, for being our great host and leader.
Scott: You can find the show notes from today at imagely.com/podcast/5.
Erin: Thank you.
Jeff: Thanks so much for having us guys. It was really fun.
— Imagely (@imagely) January 15, 2016