WordPress Meetup for November 16, 2011

Followup Resources from the meeting:

Permalinks Migration Plugin link, courtesy of Brian Childers

Local Santa Cruz SEO Expert Steve Penny

Other Items Mentioned at Sept. 16th meeting.

  • Premium Themes
  • Shopping (cart 66)
  • Google+
  • Slider Plugins
  • Clean Image Gallery
  • WordPress issues for designers
  • Contest Plugins

6 p.m. at Cruzio & Ecology Action Green Building

Join our group!

Special Guest Speaker Steve Penny. “Search Engine Optimization SEO is the most affordable way of getting free, well targeted traffic to your website,” says Steve on his website.”

6:45: What are the Most Important Steps When Setting Up a WordPress Website?

1. Is WordPress the Right Choice For You?

WordPress is a Content Management System (CMS). Initially developed for “bloggers,” WordPress has became so popular over the past few years that it’s being used for full-scale websites and giving Joomla and Drupal a run for the money.  Keep in mind, however, that WordPress isn’t for everyone. Ask yourself these key questions if you are thinking about building a WordPress site.

  • Do you intend to update your site frequently (once a week; once a month?)
  • Do you want control over your content and do not want to rely upon a “webmaster”?
  • Is your budget such that you can’t afford regular updates but need to make them?
  • Are you planning to sell fewer than 50 products on your website?

Then WordPress just might be the right choice for your web presence.    It takes time to learn, so be prepared to spend some quality time exploring the Dashboard until you are comfortable working with it.

2. Key Installation Steps.

  • Activate your Akismet plugin.  If you don’t have a key, get one here.  Otherwise, you’ll be flooded with spam.
  • Set up user-friendly pages.  Go to “settings,” Permalinks.  Use “custom” setting and place this code: /%postname%/ for the format.
  • Go to settings and decide whether you want your home page to be “static” or contain your latest posts.
  • Install Yoast’s SEO plugin.
  • Learn how easy it is to add Videos (example: http://www.denjuworms.com/contact.html)
  • Learn how to add images and format them to float within the content.  Captions are nice and make it even better for SEO.

3.  What do I need to know about themes?

  • Make sure the theme you choose has plenty of documentation:  Check to see that is has an active forum and a place where you can get answers right away.
  • While it appears that you can change your theme as easily as you change shoes…it’s not that simple!  Things can break when you swap out a theme so select carefully.
  • Make sure that you love the theme you choose because modifying that theme could become problematical, so you want to avoid trying to tweak it.

4. What other important things do I need to be aware of?

  • Word docs can’t just be “dumped” into WordPress.  You get all this “junk code,” especially from Word documents.  So, use the “paste from word” feature or save as a simple text document.
  • To see the sidebar information, you need to navigate to Appearance/Widgets (people often have trouble finding this).