WordPress Upgrade 3.0.1 Works Fine

I am not the end authority by any means, but I do run about a dozen blogs across about a half-dozen hosts and I upgraded all of the WordPress blogs to WordPress 3.0.1 via the automatic update function available on all WordPress dashboards with no trouble. So, I’m going to give this upgrade my OK.

Of course, always have a backup of your WordPress database and posts before attempting any upgrade just in case your situation differs from mine!

W3 Total Cache Upgrade Issue

w3-total-cache-configuration I’ve been using the W3 Total Cache plug-in for WordPress ever since it was recommended by Joost who seems to be one of the few original thinkers in the WordPress developer community. When he posts something, it usually turns out to be dead-on accurate, if for no other reason than he usually writes about his reasoning and what led him to his conclusions. It is an extra step that ensures you really know what you are talking about because then you can’t just blame a different opinion if someone comes in and points out that you are wrong based on something in your reasoning being faulty or disprovable. So, when says that WordPress publishers should be using W3 Total Cache, I listen.

However, a recent upgrade to the W3 Total Cache led to a minor annoyance. While the caching functionality is still flawless and the features in the caching WordPress 3.0 add-on are the best out there, one chance to the interface was made that bugs me.

W3TC used to be like most other WordPress plug-ins. Configuring the cache plug was done from the Settings menu on the sidebar, or by going into the Plug-ins screen and choosing settings from the options on the plugin itself. The new version adds its own special menu to the standard WordPress menu bar. Worse, it is labeled “Performance” instead of W3 Cache or something similar.

This bothers me for two reasons. One, the standard interface for WordPress is that plugins are managed via Settings, or in some cases, Tools, or within the Plugins area itself. The other menus are reserved for core WordPress functions and specifically categorized sub-functions like Themes which are supposed to be listed under Appearance. Two, labeling it as “Performance” strikes me as disingenuous even if that is not the intention. It is almost like the developer wants it to seem as if the functions provided by W3TC are core to the WordPress system when they are not. It will also increase confusion among those of us who make money writing online for a lot of our own websites, WordPress and otherwise.


I don’t reconfigure my WordPress sites every day. I do a lot of posting via Windows Live Writer or QuickPress or even ScribeFire, which means that days or even a week or two can go by without me seeing the Administrator screen in WordPress. When I do go into WordPress admin and I want to tweak my W3 Total Cache Minify settings, for example, I will no doubt click Settings and upon not finding it there try Tools or the Plugin screens. Even if I did happen to notice the cache settings menu (I work fast and I know what it supposed to be on each screen, so I have screen blindness to things that I am not looking for deliberately), it is likely that I wouldn’t know to use it right away because it is generically labeled Performance and what I am trying to find is W3 Total Cache not some WordPress performance settings.

This is not an indictment of W3 Total Cache, nor a reason to not use it or switch to another WordPress caching plug-in, but it does strike me as a move in the wrong direction for both the WordPress interface in general, and the development of this particular WordPress 3.0 plugin.

AdSense Optimized WordPress Theme Requirement

A lot of WordPress themes claimed to be optimized for AdSense. When you look at them, what they really mean is that they included some spots for you to put AdSense ads by default. Some of them will actually fill in Google AdSense ads automatically if you put in your AdSense account ID number. That is not AdSense optimized so much as AdSense for dummies themes.

Some themes are a little more honest claiming only to be AdSense Ready as opposed to AdSense Optimized. Of course, if you think about it, all WordPress 3.0 themes and all earlier versions of WordPress themes are AdSense ready since you can ad the Google AdSense code to them. If you want to be really honest, every blogging platform from Blogger to TypePad to Live Spaces (or whatever they are calling it these days) are AdSense ready. All you actually need to be AdSense ready is to be able to edit the source code and publish it after adding a little bit of JavaScript which is how all AdSense ads are coded. So, again, these themes are not AdSense ready as much as they are AdSense ad locations installed by default.

What would it take to be a true AdSense Optimized WordPress theme?

That is an important question for those looking to make money writing online. The answer has nothing to do with pre-filled AdSense code or designs that leave spaces open for you to publish ads in. Rather, what a fully AdSense optomized theme requires is:

  1. Be fully SEO optimized. Face it, you get your ad clicking traffic from Google search results so the most important thing to make money with AdSense is to be as highly ranked in SERPs as possible.
  2. Minimize AdSense Static. This is where most of those so-called AdSense ready and AdSense optimized themes fall flat on their face. Nothing ruins your ability to earn money with Google AdSense like getting irrelevant ads displayed on your webpages. Nothing gives you irrelevant ads faster than having too many non-targeted keywords littering your webpage. All of those comments that you did not write are throwing off your ad targeting, that is, unless your WordPress theme incorporates Google AdSense section targeting tags. Open up that source code and look for <!– google_ad_section_start –>. If you don’t see it, your theme is NOT AdSense optimized.
  3. Eliminate AdSense Interference – Even better would be a theme that separates out the comments from the post, or one that requires a click by the user from the “real” keyword targeted post with your carefully chosen content in order to expand the comments section. That way, Google can index your good stuff, match ad keywords based upon your carefully worded articles, while still allowing your readers to interact with you and your website’s community.

Ironically, most WordPress themes for writers trying to make money writing (and frankly, pretty much every WordPress theme in existence) fails these conditions like a high-school dropout taking the GED without studying after a night out drinking. That means it is up to you. If you want your theme to really be fully optimized you’ll have to stick those Google section tags into the source code manually.

Happy writing, and may big passive income come to you and your writing always.