How to Turn Off the Annoying Welcome Message You Probably Don’t Remember Writing

Turn off welcome message in wpRemoving the welcome message in WordPress: my story

When I first began blogging in WordPress, I installed every plugin and widget that came even mildly recommended.  A world of buttons and settings opened before me.  

 

Ever Try Something “Wild” That You Regretted Later?

Somewhere along the line, I was asked by a box to insert text that would only be seen once, by first time visitors.   I dashed off some text and forgot about it.

Months later a friend asked, “What’s the deal with the welcome message?

“I’m not a first time visitor.”  The welcome message was popping up at the top of the post content every time anyone came to visit the home page.  It was invisible to me because I view my page as the administrator.  It wasn’t even showing up when I logged out.  But it was there.

I could not turn off the welcome message!

I looked everywhere for a widget that I must have once installed and then removed.  I searched on “Turn off welcome message in WordPress” and then tried to find something called GreetBox, which apparently is no longer.  “Oh no,” I thought, “I must have once used GreetBox, it changed things, and then I deleted it.”  I installed other greeting plugins in the vain hope I could override the welcome message.  No dice.

For me, the stuck welcome message screamed “Rank Amateur”

I could see the dumb little message (including a typo!) on Google’s Rich Snippets testing tool.  The tool shows you how your blog post appears in a Google search (very educational even if you aren’t so dumb that you installed a permanent welcome message).

I dug into code

If some Theme or Style file had been changed, maybe I could find it and manually delete it.  I went through all my WordPress files in Editor.  No dice.  It was a desperate move, I found nothing, and remained bewildered since code isn’t poetry to me, if you know what I mean, and I know you do.

I was at my wit’s end when I decided to turn off all my plugins

If a plugin was holding the welcome message text, I could turn it off by deactivating all the plugins and turning them on, one by one.  I turned off all 41 of my plugins.  Well some were off already.  I had turned off Yoast’s WorPress SEO after Google Webmaster tools told me it could not see my sitemap index.  I had reactivated HeadPress 2, la, la, la.

I was shocked when I found out which plugin

When I turned off all my plugins, some very scary stuff appeared in Rich Snippets.  

A huge RED 404 appeared instead of my post Google search snippet. That was WP Minify.  When I turned it back on, things got better.  As I turned on other plugins, I noticed something promising.  The welcome message was not appearing!  I kept turning them on until . . . the darned permanent welcome message reappeared! I had found the culprit.  It was none other than . . .

 

AddToAny vs. Sexy Bookmarks

Sexy Bookmarks supports Facebook Like, Facebook Send, and a Google +1 button, SexyBookmarks social bookmarks offers control over URL link shortener, position and appearance on your blog

Buttons for Twitter, Facebook and other social networks let readers share your blog articles

Social buttons also let readers “like” articles and “follow” so they can see future blogs.

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I had been using the AddToAny WordPress plugin to display share and bookmark buttons

But page performance tests like these were telling me that my site had “frames” and told me that was bad.  Upon examination, it became clear that the frames were coming from AddToAny.  Well, I wasn’t about to give up social network buttons, so I lived with the frames warnings.

Then I learned about a comparable plugin call Sexy Bookmarks

The name Sexy Bookmarks is, ironically, kind of a turn-off, especially given the vital role of the Internet in guiding users to “that kind” of site (wink, wink, nudge, nudge).  My advice: when you see the word “sexy,” get your mind out of the gutter, start thinking about social bookmarks, and take a cold shower.

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The Cries for Help

The cries for help in keyword searches on your site tell you what people need or think they need. Answers like best Swiss Army knife can strengthen your site.

the cries for help, best swiss army knife, WP menuse drag and drop not workingThe cries for help in search terms coming into your site tell you a lot

People looking for information send out searches for what they need, or what they think they need.  I’m obsessed with why people come to my site.  The search keywords reported by Google Analytics tell me What path brought them here?  The keywords from the their search and what happens next tell a tale.  Quite a few come for the wrong reasons.  They don’t stay.  But other times I see that someone arrived searching for an answer to a problem and that they came to the right article.  The time on site tells me that they read my article and clicked on the link I know will help them even more. Yes!  This is very satisfying.

The cries for help can help you help others

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