Upgrade WordPress websites in seconds (WordPress Secret Weapon #1)

The WordPress logo made with lightWelcome to a new series on my website about my favourite WordPress Secret Weapons. As a professional WordPress designer and developer I spend a lot of time working with WordPress, and have learned a lot of incredible tricks that will save you time and energy.

My first tip is how to upgrade WordPress smarter.

If you manage a lot of WordPress sites—as I do—you’ll find that keeping those sites up-to-date can be a tedious process. Between themes, plugins, and core updates, there’s a lot to deal with, and the problem gets worse as you get more and more sites. I used to find myself spending an hour every few days to make sure sites were upgraded, and more often than not I slacked off and left the upgrades for weeks at a time.

Fortunately, there’s a better way.

Click through to learn the better, faster, free way to keep your WordPress websites up to date.

Keeping busy

Hello readers! I wanted to post a quick update regarding all the places you can find me blabbing about life.

First and foremost is this blog. If you’re not subscribed already, it’s easy! You can also join my mailing list to get a monthly link round-up, productivity tips, and tons of totally exclusive writing.

I’m also podcasting quite a bit lately. I’m solo over at Wrapp Up, a podcast about apps and web services. Each episode is only about five minutes long, making it very easy to digest.

My good friend Joel Kelly and I chat about social media, digital marketing, productivity, and whatever else interests us at the Not a Real Job podcast. Not a Real Job is a paid podcast, but I’m pretty convinced it’s worth it.

I’ve also been recording videos over at my YouTube channel. Subscribe there for video walkthroughs and more.

As always, I also tweet regularly.

Thanks for sticking around. There’s much more to come!

Van Patten Media goodies

Van Patten Media has really been busy lately!

I just posted our second week in review. See what we’ve been up to the past seven days (and if you really care, the seven days before that).

For those who don’t know, Van Patten Media is the website design firm I run. We’re targeted toward actors and theatre people, but have worked and continue to work with just about anyone. We also have a strong commitment to the open source software community. And we love WordPress.

We’re available for March and beyond – feel free to contact Van Patten Media directly for more info.

Surviving the business world

I’ve been a follower of Becky McCray on Twitter for quite some time, but only today did I begin following her website, SmallBizSurvival.com. I don’t know what took me so long, the site is awesome! It’s packed with great articles, tools, and tricks for small businesses. It has a rural focus too, which is excellent for my area. As a web designer who has had success finding a niche in a b2b market online (primarily being outsourced to do work from other consultancies) and having a bit of trouble translating that success into direct work with businesses offline (eliminating the middle man) I’m finding a lot of great advice on the SmallBizSurvival website that will hopefully get me on a good track in this other focus of my business.

Some of my favorite articles:

Next questions from starting your first business
Checklists for starting your first business
Five common mistakes

I also enjoy the weekly “brag basket” posts. Hopefully I’ll have some accomplishments to share in the near future!

SmallBizSurvival is a great blog and it’s highly recommended for any entrepreneur, big or small. It’s already given me some great advice and I’m sure you can find something valuable too!