Important information on a forthcoming Google update, and why you must have a responsive site.
Plug from The Beano, who is copyright D.C. Thomsen, and just holding this space until I get an illustration drawn…
There are some great plugins that can improve your site. Here is how to add one to your WordPress site.
In the back end > plugins > add new, put the plugin you are looking for into the search box, install and activate it. Easy. Some work immediately on activation, some need certain aspects set up on their set up page. Somewhere in the backend left hand sidebar, will be the set up page for the plugin. Look under ‘Settings’ if you can’t see it.
A word of warning on plugins. They can cause problems on your site. Don’t bring in too many (I’d ay about 5 max, less is better). Check to see if a plugin is popular by downloads, or has lots of complaints in their forum before bringing it in.
Dealing with plugin issues
If something goes wrong with your site in WordPress it is almost always a plugin that is responsible. Not necessarily a bad plugin, it can be two plugins are conflicting with each other, or with your theme. If something goes wrong with your site, start by de-activating your plugins one by one, and checking if the problem is resolved. If that doesn’t solve it, deactivate them all together. If that doesn’t solve it, change your theme to one of the default WordPress themes you got with the install. Between those steps, almost all issues will be solves. You should be able to isolate, what will almost always be a problem plugin, and then delete it.
Update your plugin
Whenever the red symbol appears that a plugin needs updating, update it. This also goes for WordPress, keep it updated, and your theme.
Recommended WordPress plugin
I recommend you should have WordPress SEO by Yoast. Adds a box below each article in the back end of your site for you to fill out for SEO. It teaches you how to SEO each article or page through choosing a key phrase for that page or article, then adding it to the Title, description and in the content. It effectively teaches you to write better SEO content.
I also recommend Disqus plugin for comments. At the bottom of this article you can see my comments section is with Disqus. It allows visitors to log in with social media, or Disqus itself, and can interact with other blogs. You occasionally meet it on large scale sites such as The Daily Telegraph.
Let me take you by the hand and lead you through the streets of Internet Land… with my Top 5 tips you need to know if you are interested in a new website!
1. Use WordPress
At close to 20% of the internet and 66% of the CMS market, you’d be silly not to. While things can change quickly, with that level of users, you won’t be stuck with outdated technology in the medium term. What is a CMS?
*I don’t care what anyone says, ‘CMS Street’ is a brilliant gag!!
Number 2. Your web site must be responsive.
With 30-40% of all internet traffic now on smart phones and tablets, your site must automatically fit the user’s device. P.C sales are falling. Smart phones are increasing. This is only going to become more important.
Number 3. Have a blog.
It’s just a page filled with articles in reverse order, latest article first. It can be a ‘latest news’, a diary, or your thoughts on your field of expertise. It does not need to be on the front page, but can be. Google loves new content, and the more your customers can learn about you the better. It will increase the chances of your customers finding you, which is considerably easier and cheaper than finding your customers. Here’s a great video interview with Bill Belew on WP Elevation, very inspiring for writing a blog.
Number 4. Don’t concentrate solely on Social Media.
Facebook and Twitter are great, but don’t think you don’t need a website. It should be the centre point of your online marketing campaign. The mother ship. Then occasionally post a link to new content on Facebook or Twitter which will bring visitors to your site. Your site with your branding, selling your services, not Mark Zuckerberg’s.
Number 5. Get all your important information on your front page in a nice user friendly style.
People are lazy, and the internet has scrambled a good deal of people’s ability to concentrate – when online at any rate. Therefor all the important information needs to be on the front page. Conversely don’t overdo the information. Simplify, and minimalism with small pieces of bright colour, to help direct the eye. This is very big online at the moment, and is referred to as ‘flat design’. It’s all to do with smart phone screen size, and all the information people now receive from social media, SMS, email etc. With apologies to Sesame Street for borrowing the image of Big Bird from www.muppet.wikia.com/wiki/Muppets_Most_Wanted. So that is My top 5 tips for anyone interested in a new website. Do you want to know more? Do you disagree? Leave a comment below.
So what is a blog?
The word blog has different meanings for different people. All it now means, is a serious of articles featured on a page, in reverse chronological order, the latest article at the top.
Why is a blog important?
Firstly it is very good for search engine optimisation (Getting your site a higher placing on Google). Google and the other search engines, love new content. This shows to search engines your website is ‘active’ and therefore relevant. In addition each individual article, or post as WordPress refers to them, can be optimised for different key phrases your potential visitors may Google.
Secondly a blog is a great way to give more information on yourself or your company. A chance to further brand yourself, and allow those interested, a chance to know more about your services. The more people know, the more they will trust you, and trust in your services.
Thirdly, a blog is a great way to integrate your website with social media. By posting a link of one of your articles to your Facebook business page, you can draw in visitors to your site. Once in your site, where your brand rules, not Facebook’s, your visitors will take a closer look at your services.
What do I write about?
There are many possibilities, depending on your business. It can be an Events page, with what’s coming up, and telling of recent events. It can be a diary of how your business is going, it can give additional information on certain of your products, or you can use it to write as an expert in your field.
How do I get started?
That’s a common problem. The only way is to just write, and see how it develops. It will only take shape, and find it’s direction, after quite a few articles. So don’t be precious. You can always delete or edit articles later, and you are not going to get a bad grade from a nasty teacher. The more you write, the easier it becomes.