February Update (Important Stuff!)

By now, you are all somewhere in the process of getting your site ready for switchover. Several of you have already requested switchovers and have completed them. Just a reminder, we will be automatically switching everyone’s site over the week of 2/26 unless you notify us by email at [email protected] or fill out the questionnaire that was sent out the week of 1/29. I wanted to quickly point out a few things that we have run across while switching some of the sites over.

First, many of you will note the various messages that appear at the top of your dashboard screens. They are many and varied. Most of these are ads for plugins and themes that are made by the developers of your other site plugins and themes. Some of them are asking for you to rate their plugin. Some of them would like you to allow them to track your plugin use. You may safely ignore these messages. Hit “Dismiss” where available. For the rating ones, you can hit “No” or “I’ve already rated it” to get rid of them. For the ones that want to track your use, it should be safe to allow, but I would recommend saying “No.” The main message I want to address; however, is the larger yellow message that accompanies several of the Themes when you activate them. This message usually says something like the follwing:

This theme recommends the following plugins: Anti-SpamBreadcrumb NavXTContact Form 7Instagram Slider WidgetPage Builder by SiteOriginSiteOrigin CSSSiteOrigin Widgets BundleWooCommerce and Yoast SEO.Begin installing plugins | Dismiss this notice

This is an advertisement. YOU DO NOT NEED TO INSTALL THESE PLUGINS FOR YOUR THEME TO WORK. I have seen several of your sites where it looks like you went ahead and clicked to install these themes. While this should not hurt anything on your site, you simply don’t need these plugins. They are extra baggage on your site that will want to be updated regularly. If you have installed these themes, I would recommend watching the working with Plugins section of the tutorials and deleting these plugins. Make sure, though, that you don’t delete plugins that you need. If you need assistance with this, please use the question or helpdesk forms to let us know.

Second, I have noted that the Panoramic theme does not display the recent posts extended widget properly. I was hoping this would be fixed, however, it does not look like it has been. As a fix to this, install a different plugin called Recent Posts Widget With Thumbnails by author Martin Stehle. It does the same thing as the Recent Posts extended widget and has most of the same settings. You can alternately use a different theme, however, that will involve much more work than simply using a different plugin. This, of course, only affects you if you are using the Panoramic Theme and the Recent Posts Extended widget.

Finally, as I type this, I note that there is a yellow message at the top that says:

WordPress 4.9.4 is available! Please update now.

We recommend that you do not click this message. While we don’t believe that manually updating your core installation will affect anything, remember that our servers will automatically install this update on schedule sometime in the next few days. If you have any questions, please use the question form on this site.