Getting to Grips With WordPress for Your Blog or Website

21 January 2014

Detroit: It’s not hard to see why WordPress is a really popular alternative for building websites; it’s powerful, customizable, and most notably, free. More than 60 million sites now employ this robust platform which is the foundation of 18.9% of the top 10 million websites worldwide.

Used correctly, WordPress can be a very powerful tool, and allow you create a professional blog or site for your business with minimal set-up time and cost. To make the most of WordPress, following tips are recommended:

1. Sign Up!

If you have decided that WordPress is the platform for you, you will initially need to go to WordPress.com and sign-up with a few fundamental details. Once you have entered your contact details, you can choose a name for your site, usually something like “http://yourbusiness.writeupp.com”. Don’t be bothered too much about this for now, as you can redirect this to another URL at a later date. This is the point at which you can choose either a free or improved package, but it is suggested choosing the free one until you are all set to go.

2. Get to grips with the Admin Panel

When you are logged into the Administrative part of your WordPress site, you are presented with a Dashboard which illustrates you key statistics and features of your site. This will typically be accessed by adding your blog URL with the suffix “wp-admin”.

Once you are in, you will see a left hand menu bar that allows you access key features such as your Posts and the Appearance of your pages. Take some time to discover all of these options and make you acquainted with where everything sits.

3. Choose a Theme

WordPress Themes let you to promptly overhaul the design of your site, and makes sure that you can have an expert and striking looking site without any understanding of HTML or CSS. You can switch between themes as you desire, and all of your content will stay the same and be formatted correctly. There are a number of free themes obtainable, so you can test until you find the ideal one, whilst there are also numerous premium options which are usually around the £40 mark for a one off purchase. If you do have some programming knowledge, you can normally amend these themes, but understand that you may need some knowledge of PHP.

4. Get some Plugins

Whilst your core site will be very simple in nature, the rich variety of the 26,000 accessible plugins enables you to widen the functionality and customize your site to your specifications. Some allow you to integrate with social media, whilst there are a whole host of other navigational tools and “widgets” that provide you new content and features.

We recommend a number of plugins, including the free WordPress SEO plugin which optimises your content and helps you to rank better and be found more easily on search engines.

5. Create Pages

The “Pages” section lets you to create pages, all with diverse content about your site. You must consider the following as a minimum:

  • Homepage – A landing page which clearly states who you are, what services you offer and where you are located
  • Contact Details – Together with your email address, phone number, practice address details and links to any social media profiles

Once you have the fundamentals, you may want to discover adding extra Pages such as:

  • Client Testimonials – You can request these from existing clients to add trustworthiness and authenticity to your site
  • Blog – Letting you to write original content about your specialty, and cover stories pertinent to existing and potential clients and peers
  • FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions about yourself, your business and the area you work in
  • Pricing – You may want to incorporate prices if you have specific products, or even integrate a shopfront if you want to sell online
  • Videos – You may wish for creating short videos and promoting your business

6. Navigation

Once you have got your content rich Pages arranged you need to set up a simple navigational system that can aid your audience to access information in a spontaneous manner. The “Menus” part of the Appearance section is the way to control this, so think what positioning and content you are going to link to, and how. Make certain there are no broken links and that you can find the way to every page from every page. There must also be a rapid way to return home.

7. Go Mobile

Whichever theme you choose, try to guarantee that your site will deliver correctly on smartphones and tablets. In many cases this will be taken care of, but if not, there are a number of plugins that you can set up to make your site mobile friendly. WPtouch is free and delivers a quick, user-friendly version of your site to your mobile visitors without having to alter any code or change the desktop appearance.

8. Get Your Own Personalized Domain

Making sure that your site is accessed through a personal, unique and easy-to-type domain name is necessary to the professional persona of your practice. Think using the name if your practice such as “www.yourclinic.com”, but potentially also including your specialty or location if this is not available i.e. “www.yourbusinessspeciality.com” or “www.yourbusinesslondon.com”. The Store part of the Admin panel can let you to buy a domain, and will handle all of the routing for you.

9. Set up Google+ Authorship

Changes in the Google algorithm mean that moving forward; sites will be given a higher ranking based on belief and power. If you have a Google Plus page, you can link to this from your WordPress site. The connection will be a favorable one, and aid you to come out higher up in searches for your pertinent keywords. Free plugins such as Google+ Author Information in Search Results can assist you do this speedily and effortlessly.

10. Ready, Set, Go

There is constantly the excitement to start endorsing your site before it is ready, but avoid putting it into the public eye until you’ve undertaken all of the key points. Having no web presence originally may be better than a disorganized one that doesn’t represent yourself or your business.

You must also avoid viewing your site as a static thing to be finalized, but it must be something you frequently filter over time. Adding original content that changes often is a key tactic for SEO, so make time to update your site in response to feedback or any business changes.

Finally, it is also essential to understand that it will take time for your site to rank well in Google, so don’t wait for top positioning straight away. Employ SEO best practice, cheering linking and publish high quality content, and you will see your efforts pay off over time.

Read more: WordPress Development Detroit

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