Lookingo were wanting a design based on one of their other websites that has offers on gifts, holiday’s, beauty products and much more! This was a contest at 99designs.com and unfortunately this one wasn’t for me.
Exhibit People had a contest on 99designs to design their homepage. I won this contest and through winning I also designed four more pages for their website. They were a pleasure to work with.
This was a design contest at 99designs.com for a Travel company that sells holiday’s at discount prices, and also has their own Social Network for travellers from around the world to unite and share their adventures via Blogs, Videos and Photos.
I coded a design provided by Curlykale Design for Rainbows Nursery. The website is coded to a full working wordpress theme which allows the nursery to add and edit text as they please.
This was for a design contest at 99designs.com. They wanted a wordpress theme for a gaming blog that they are launching in a few weeks. Unfortunately I didn’t win this contest, but I’m glad to have a new design to add to my ever growing portfolio.
Recently the company I work for have taken over the running of a blog. The blog hadn’t been updated since last April, and the version it was running on was a very old version.
I was tasked with upgrading the blog to the current version and I wanted to do it quickly and efficiently.
After surfing the Internet I came accross a great plugin that upgrades wordpress for you.
When running this plugin please be aware that it creates a backup folder in your root directory called “wpau-backup” which is accessible for writing to. You may want to rename this folder and change the permissions to 444, or you can delete it (I’d advise you download a copy before doing this).
All in all though, this plugin allowed me to upgrade wordpress automatically within 5 minutes, and it will alert me when a new version of wordpress is available, to which it will upgrade automatically too.
If you’ve read the first two parts in this series then you should be well on your way with writing your blog. But one thing that is very useful in making your blog more creative, and making usability easier, is: Plugins.
I’m not going to list every single Plugin available as there are plenty of resources that already do that, I’m going to list the ones that this blog is using and how it is useful to me.
Adman [ VISIT PAGE ]
Adman is a useful plugin that allows you to insert adsense into your posts. Usually with the standard WordPress installation it won’t allow you to insert adsense code into posts, therefore losing any adsense revenue you could potentially earn from your post.
With Adman it’s easy. You choose if you want Adsense at the beginning, middle, or end of every post (you can have all three!) and it will automatically do it for you for each post you make. If you only want the Adsense to appear on certain posts there’s a tick box when creating a new post that lets you choose if you want to disable it for that post.
Akismet [ VISIT PAGE ]
This plugin comes with WordPress but you can’t use it until you’ve registered an account at wordpress.com which will give you an API key you need to activate it. You don’t need to create a blogging account at wordpress.com, a simple non-blogging account will do. Once the plugin is activated you will notice its usefulness straight away.
When you’ve posted a blog, did you ever receive lots of spam comments?? Akismet will catch all the spam comments for you. Don’t worry though, you can check through the comments its caught to make sure no “real” comments went through. If any did, you can select it and tell Akismet that it isn’t spam, and it won’t catch any future comments from that poster. The same goes with normal comments, if any spam comments did get through, you can tick the spam tickbox and Akismet will remember that for the future!
All in One SEO Pack [ VISIT PAGE ]
Ahhh the SEO’s dream. This one allows you to create your own Title tags and Meta tags for each individual post. With the standard WordPress installation you can’t do that – usually it would create the Title tag from the Title you gave your post, and the meta Description from the first few paragraphs of your post. With the SEO Pack you can create your own tags that will mean something in the search engines.
Code Markup [ VISIT PAGE ]
I don’t use this one often, but sometimes if I’m writing about HTML/PHP code and want to display the code in a post, with this plugin all I have to do is place the code in < code > tags, otherwise the code wouldn’t appear correctly, or wouldn’t appear at all! Very useful to have if you write about HTML/PHP, or any code, alot.
Comment Relish [ VISIT PAGE ]
I only found this one recently but I think it’s a great way to increase readership. This plugin will send a thankyou email to new commenters on their first comment. A quick “thank you for your comment, we hope to see you again soon” is always nice to receive in an email from someones blog. The email is customisable so you can put whatever you like in there.
Dofollow [ VISIT PAGE ]
I’m a firm believer in the “Do as you would be done by” method. I’d like to think that when I write comments on other peoples blogs the link to my site will be worth something. This plugin allows all the links in my comments to be worth something.
Standard wordpress installation applies the rel=”no-follow” tag on all links left in comments, which basically means it isn’t seen as a “proper” link, therefore Google disregards it. It’s worthless. Adding the Dofollow plugin removes all rel=”no-follow” tags on all links in my comments meaning if you post your link here it is worth something.
Google XML Sitemaps [ VISIT PAGE ]
If you have a Google Webmaster account you can submit a sitemap for your site, either in .txt or .xml format. Once the sitemap has been submitted Google will visit your sitemap regularly to see what’s new there.
The Google XML Sitemaps plugin automatically updates your .xml sitemap for you every time you create a post, a page, or even edit a post or page. This makes it a whole lot easier than having to do it manually.
Show Top Commentators [ VISIT PAGE ]
This plugin is useful to encourage commentators back to your site. It will list the Top Ten Commentators for the month with a link to their site. Obviously the more comments they leave the higher their chances of being in the top ten are, and with the plugin shown on all pages, if you have a blog with 100 posts that means they’ll have at least 100 links to their site. If that isn’t an incentive to comment I don’t know what is.
Subscribe Remind [ VISIT PAGE ]
If you have a RSS feed that you’d like people to subscribe to, sometimes having a nice RSS image at the top of your site isn’t enough. This plugin will create a line of text after every post reminding people to subscribe to your RSS feed.
Subscribe to Comments [ VISIT PAGE ]
This plugin is must-have in my opinion. If you’re leaving comments at different blogs, and some of them you may want feedback on, it can be difficult remembering which blog and which post you commented on to go back and look at a future date. If they had this plugin, however, you wouldn’t have to remember.
This plugin allows you to receive emails when someone else has made a comment at a certain blog or post you’ve commented at. This is not only good for the commenters, but it’s good for blog-owners as if people have subscribed to comments, they’re going to receive an email every time someone else comments which means those people are likely to visit again to see what else is new.
WP-ContactForm: Akismet Edition [ VISIT PAGE ]
This is basically a script that allows you to insert a contact form into your blog. You will need to activate Akismet before it will work, but it’s a very useful plugin to have if you don’t know how to create a contact form. You’ll be amazed at how many people contact you if you have a contact form ready to hand.
For further plugins, check out 101 WordPress Plugins you may not have known about.
This post follows a post I did last month: Getting Started with WordPress – Part One. As promised this post will deal with creating and managing posts and pages.
Before we get onto that subject however, there is something you need to do before creating any posts or pages. This will help with the SEO of your blog.
Go to the Options page on the Word Press admin panel, and click on the sub-link “Permalinks”. You’ll see the Default set at “http://www.yoursite.com/?p=123″ which is something you definately don’t want it set at, otherwise there’ll be no keywords set in the URL of your page and will often discourage people to visit your site if it’s seen in Search Engines.
I recommend setting it at “Date and name based” so your URLs will appear like so: http://www.yoursite.com/2008/04/30/sample-post/. This way I can add keywords to the URL and also have it date based, so anyone who’s looking in the Search Engines can see exactly what date it was posted and know that you’re site is pretty much up-to-date.
I would however suggest if you want your URL to just be “http://www.youriste.com/sample-post” set the Permalink to Custom, and in the text box just have “/%postname%/”.
Now that is out of the way let’s take a look at creating and managing posts.
When you create a post you have four standard things:
The Title is used as the title of your post and although it’s a little useful to include keywords in it, it isn’t major to do so. In fact, most people write catchy Titles to attract readers rather than stuff it with Keywords. Keep this in mind when writing your titles.
The Post is obviously where you write the content of your post so I won’t insult your intelligence by explaining how to do that.
Categories & Tags are similar. In fact, there was a time where I would use the same words for the categories and tags. This isn’t useful though for people who are looking for something specific. The categories section should be used as a general categorization and tags to be used as something more specific.
For example, if I write a post about how to create a logo in photoshop, the Category I’d put it in would be “Design”, or “How To”, but the tags could explain it more specifically by using the words “logos”, “photoshop”, “creating” etc. You can use as many tags as you like for each post. The more specific, the better!
Now let’s take a look at the other sections of the Write Post page.
For me the Post Slug is the most important part of the Write Post page. If you leave this blank it will create the Post Name of your post automatically from your title.
For example, if your title was to read “What’s all this then?” and the Post was actually about what Google Adsense is and how to use it, the URL of your page will end up being “http://www.yoursite.com/whats-all-this-then” which is pretty useless as it doesn’t explain what the page is about and will lose Search Engine rankings.
But, use the Post Slug and type in “what-is-google-adsense” the URL of your page will be “http://www.yoursite.com/what-is-google-adsense” and has more of a chance of being in Search Engine Results for someone searching for information about Google Adsense than if you left this blank.
And of course, this does leave the title of your page intact, so no need to worry about it being overwritten.
You can upload images to go into your post. Word Press automatically uploads it to a folder on your server and then inserts it into your Post. It will usually place it at the top of the Post so be sure to cut and paste the code it inserts into a place where you want the image to be.
Writing a Page and Writing a Post are very similar. The only difference is that you can’t include Categories or Tags into a page.
There are a lot of useful plugins available that will help with the SEO of your blog, which I will discuss in the next part of this series. These include the All in One SEO Pack which allows you to create unique Title and Meta tags for each post and page which will help significantly with getting in Search Engines for your specific keywords and search terms.
Managing Posts and Pages
This is fairly straight forward so I won’t go into too much detail with it. Basically when managing posts and pages you can View, Edit or Delete each one. It will display what date you posted it, what categories you’ve placed it in, how many comments it has, and the author of the post (useful if you have more than one person creating posts and pages).
As I said earlier the next part in this series will discuss useful plugins for your blog and how to use them. I hope you’ve found this post useful and I hope you’ll look forward to the next in the series.
Do you often ask Why aren’t I generating customers from my website?, or maybe you wonder to yourself I’m getting tons of hits but no sales.
If this applies to you this article may interest you.
After reading a post at Web Forumz I became inspired to write this article.
The poster in general has their own web design company and their website is getting 2000+ visitors a month, yet no one is biting the bait or even enquiring about their services.
I took a look at their site and I could see the problem straight away. It wasn’t obvious to the visitor that this site offered web design services. Sure enough, the text in the content specified that, but the site itself didn’t look like that.
In fact, the first thing I noticed was an image of a woman in a bikini on the right hand side. It looked like an advert to an adult-related site, and without looking at the content closer you’d think that is what it was.
Sure, a woman in a bikini will please the majority of men searching for a woman in a bikini, but for someone who wants a professional website and is searching for a professional website, the chances are they will be put off by this and go elsewhere.
When you create a website you must project what you do in the layout rather than rely on the content. In some cases this isn’t a huge problem, but if you’re a Web Design company you need to project what you do, especially if you want customers to know they’ll be getting a high quality website.
Let’s face it, if they see your website as something that doesn’t immediately project what you do, they’ll probably think you’re going to repeat that process with their website.
Do as you would be done by.
Since Internet Explorer 7 came out I was using this version, along with FireFox, to test all my websites.
I was naive and was under the impression that anything that displayed correctly in IE7, would display correctly in IE6 and other previous versions. Oh, how wrong I was.
I wanted to install IE6 back on my PC but didn’t want to uninstall IE7, so I was in a pickle as to what to do. I didn’t just want to assume all my websites look great in IE6 because they did in IE7, and I know that a huge majority of Internet users are still using IE6.
It was then, that I came accross this great program: MultipleIE. This program is a must have for any web designer as it installs Internet Explorer versions 3 to 6 on your PC, without having to uninstall version 7.