WordPress Tricks to Improve Your Website

If you have a blog and you wish to make it an established source of information, then you must turn to WordPress. WordPress is quite a hit for most bloggers because it is more flexible than other blog hosting programs. By installing additional features and using customized plug-ins, bloggers can add new possibilities to their site. In fact, there are many WordPress tricks to improve your website.

At first, WordPress may be as simple as you presume it to be. It is quite straightforward to install to your domain, and posting new articles won’t take you more than five minutes to accomplish. However, there are things that you can learn in order for you to completely benefit from WordPress.

1. Decide on a Niche
Look at your hosting plan and see if your plan comes with enough space and bandwidth for a WordPress blog. Once you have your niche, you need to determine the keywords that you are going to use for your chosen niche. As soon as you add the keywords to the website, you will most likely strengthen your search engine ranking.

2. Customize Your Theme
WordPress themes can easily be optimized. If you figure out how to do this, you can turn your blog into an eye-catching website. Make sure to add your corporate logos or any other design logos to brand you site. Some people even push this further and make an interactive domain for a visitor. There are various widgets that are influential on the global functions of the site. However, if a widget is not used properly, it may also affect the look of your blog as a whole. The secret is to look for themes than conveniently permit you to modify the widgets as well as view the different areas on the site. You may wish to include the external links on the main blog entry page. You can add links to your main page, but try to limit the number of external links and add more internal links to your pages. This is the secret to keep the visitor on your site, rather than giving them links to go to other websites.

3. Update Your Content
If you have a regular visitor on your website, he will most likely visit your site if your content changes every day. No one prefers a “dead” site. In order to keep the content flowing, you can do this automatically in WordPress. There is a way for you to show featured content and set this up in such a way that it changes every day. The procedure is quite simple and can be applied to most blogs, including WordPress. You should familiarize yourself with the coding that changes the featured content of your website.

4. Two-Tiered Conditional Navigation
You can customize your WordPress navigation menu and set it up in a way that it shows the parent pages and the child pages. In doing so, the over-all look is not as cluttered as other blogs. This type of navigational menu is ideal for blogs that have lots of content and multiple pages. Once you have a WordPress design that is easy enough for the average visitor to navigate, you can expect more visitors to come.

5. Integrating Slide Shows
WordPress blogs can also host slide shows. By uploading the slide shows that you made on websites like Animoto or on a program from your computer like PowerPoint, you will get your point across much better using visuals. Instead of the articles that are uploaded into WordPress, you can just add the slide shows to the site and let your visitors watch it.

These are only five WordPress tricks to improve your website. Once you get the hang of it, you might even discover more tips and tricks over time and your WordPress blog could be on the first page of search engine results.

 

Paid WordPress Plugins

Looking for the best-rated plug ins for WordPress? Do a Google search first on the term “buying the best wordpress plug ins” and look for any listings dated from this year only. Why? You must keep all your program plug ins up to date to make them work correctly and there’s no point in downloading something that is behind the times. It may also cause your site to have a seizure and then you’ll have to go in and fix it or get help from support. Meanwhile, you’re losing money and time spent on pulling in your customer base.

Take a look at Tripwiremagazine.com as a first step to read reviews about 34 top rated plug ins from a recent post in May 2011 by author Dustin Bentonio, listing all the best choices in order. In the first spot is WP Review Plug in, designed for review postings of all types along with different rating systems for use. Second is the WP auctions where you can host your own online auctions all by yourself. Third is Shortcode Kid that has preset codes you can insert to change your blog appearance at a snap. You don’t have to do intricate coding if that’s not your thing.

Fourth is the CompariPress which allows you to compare prices from user set sites, and earning commissions every time someone buys from your site button. Other plug ins to review are WP Robot, WP SEO by Yoast, Events Calendar, ReviewsPRESS, WordPress Slider, AJAX Contact Forms, Gravity Forms and VidEmbed, just to name some of the other top rated plug ins. You will probably want to do a monthly check on what’s new in plug ins as it seems every week, someone is coming up with a new plug in to make your life easier and more fun to run a website. Unless you know how to fix plug ins, stay away from anything in beta format, at least until it’s a full plug in, tried and tested.

Also listed is the Extended Google Analytics that will allow you to track and identify traffic data and keyword conversions, a must have for any site trying to make money. Another valuable plugin is Vaultpress which will back up your site, plug ins, blog and anything else important, and allow you to step back to a clean revision.

Two commerce plug ins listed are WordPress Shopping Cart plug in and WordPress e-Commerce, both of which allow you to sell digital and tangible products. The Shopping Cart plugin is for purchase but the e-Commerce plug in is free, with the option to purchase extended modules.

Another site offering a shopping cart plug in called WordPress eStore Plugin is at Tipsandtricks-hq.com/wordpress-estore-plugin-complete. Check out the benefits of this plugin and see if it’s for you. It offers site security, easy checkout, easy to use design, affiliate software integration, and is also compatible with PayPal too.

Also check out a few other sites to see what else is out there for purchase or for free. Keep in mind that usually anything you purchase will also have customer service and technical support attached which can be really helpful when you don’t have time to play around with a problem.

 

What Are The Best WordPress Plugins?

The first WordPress plugin that blog owners would be remiss not to have is the WP Super Cache. The purpose of the WP Super Cache is to have an alternative to the PHP file. PHP files are much more expensive to run on a website than their HTML counterparts, and WordPress uses the PHP files. With this plugin, the system will offer up the HTML files rather than the PHP files that take longer to load onto someone’s computer.

The second plugin that is worthy of mention is the Headspace2 SEO. The Headspace 2 SEO is rumored to be much better than the All-In-One SEO tool that WordPress has for raising a blog’s search engine optimization to new levels. With all-in-one SEO, bloggers can manage their meta data, but this new plugin allows people to add much more meta data where all-in-one does not such as for the posts on the blog. Each of the pages can have meta data added to them, and also the categories are capable of hosting meta data.

Gravity Forms is an apparatus that helps blog owners create their own forms. For example, blog owners who would like to create their own Contact Us forms or anything of that type can use Gravity Forms to do it. The plugin makes it easy to create the form and add it to the blog without making it a hassle for users.

Bloggers who have affiliate products that they are promoting by way of the blog will be glad to have the MaxBlog Press Affiliate Ninja. One of the features of this tool is the one that allows affiliate marketers to convert their keywords into affiliate links. For example, a blog that has the keyword “computer” in their text will see that every time the word “computer” shows up in the text, it will become a Ninja link that customers can click to be taken to the website; statistics will also be gathered.

The WP-DBManager manages the processes of WordPress blog databases. One of the features allows blog owners to back up their databases. In the event that they need to restore their databases to an earlier state, this plugin will do it for them. They can also repair and optimize their databases in the manner they see fit. The best thing about this tool may be that all of these actions can be placed on a schedule, so that the blog owner does not have to manually perform backing up procedures; the plugin will automatically perform these duties right on time.

A tool called Thank Me Later reaches out to new people who write their first comments on a blog. Blog owners can write their own thank you messages to these new people maybe telling them they are welcome to write a comment on a future post. The thank you message will be sent the person’s email inbox as a way for the blog owner to be able to acknowledge these new people on a personal level.

A link to Older Posts and Newer Posts is not that aesthetically pleasing to some blog owners. Those who would rather have a page button that will take their readers straight to the post that they would like to read must make sure to install WP-PageNavi. This tool makes finding what is desired much easier for the user, and the blog owner has something that is different than the other WordPress blogs have.

This last tool, SEO Smartlinks, makes it possible to link to other articles on the blog from articles that have also been published on the blog. The search engines like to see inter-linking, so this plugin is a natural choice for people who have WordPress blogs.

 

How To Create A WordPress Blog

It seems everyone has their own blog online these days. Some choose free platforms while others prefer to host their sites themselves. Either way has it’s advantages and disadvantages, but there are a few things to keep in mind with both. Here are a few of the things to do and not to do when creating a WordPress blog.

The first thing is to decide if this is going to be hosted by the company itself or if it’s going to be a self-hosted site. WordPress offers a free platform, but will have their name in the site’s web address. Also, with this avenue, they have the right to post their ads on the site in question. It’s a good way to get started blogging, but not a great option for someone looking to create their own blogging brand. With a self-hosted blog, the owner will need to purchase a domain name for their site and find somewhere to host the blog. Most hosting companies offer decent rates for individuals, and in most cases will allow the user to host more than one blog for the same rate.

Once hosting needs are met, it’s time to set up the WordPress blog itself. Some hosting companies make it easy to upload the software, while others will require the help of an FTP client. Either way, there will be directions on how to do this correctly. Once the software is in place, it’s time to create a look. The best option when starting this part is in going with a design that will accentuate the domain name. If this is going to be a niche site, then choosing a professional or specific styled design is essential. If this is meant to be more of a personal blog, then the design can be more toward the owner’s personal taste.

There are a lot of options when choosing the design of the site. For someone who’s trying to start a business or to create a personal brand, there are some incredible premium themes available. These can run from just a few dollars to hundreds of dollars, depending on all the amenities that come with the theme. However, for someone just getting started, there are a lot of sites that offer free WordPress blog themes. Choose from different colors, niche ideas, and even the number of columns.

Once everything is set up and the theme is in place, there is still some things to add. The back end of any WordPress blog had a dashboard. This is where the blog owner updates the site and keeps things running smoothly. In the “Appearance” section, there are places to add widgets and plug-ins. Widgets are the areas in the sidebars of a blog where the owner can add things such as advertising space, links to other sites, or graphics for various things. Plug-ins are pieces of code that allow the readers to interact with the blog. These might include the ability to share a post on a social media outlet or to have the readers latest post from their blog visible with their comment on this blog. Widgets usually come with the blog software, while most plug-ins need to be downloaded from the WordPress directory.

Once this has all been completed, it’s a matter of creating and uploading the content to the site. Be sure to have a way of announcing the new site to the world so it can be found, as that won’t come with the blog. From here on, it’s only a matter of keeping the site updated and the rest will take care of itself.

 

Designing an Aesthetically Pleasing Website

People may have different ideas of what is aesthetically pleasing in web design, but usually it is fairly evident when looking at a website whether it can be considered attractive and well designed or not. There are some general guidelines that it is helpful to follow when designing a website so that the results are good looking and pleasing to site visitors. Though none of these guidelines and ideas are written in stone by any means, they are useful examples of what to keep in mind when designing a website so that it is a an aesthetic and eye catching experience for all who use it.

Functional

The functional nature of a website comes first and can be considered one of the most primary design considerations. Websites are meant to be useful and to be used, and the aesthetics of the site should flow from this rather than the other way around. This means that people will consider an easy to use website to be good looking in design more readily than one which is bad looking. The overall experience of ease of use and clarity translates to an appreciation for the site that can be considered aesthetic. So make your site a smooth and functional experience and you have laid the groundwork for a beautiful website as well.

Suited to Visitors

The next thing to consider is what type of visitors will be using your website. If it is a commercial website aimed at individuals, you will probably want to create as colorful and eye catching an environment as possible. Something that really works and is inviting. It is also a good idea to think in terms of creating a homey, comfortable atmosphere where people can feel comfortable and like they want to stay on the site and explore it.
B2B business type websites can look more conservative. The point with these types of sites is to communicate professionalism and competence. The visitors will be other business people and they will not be thinking in terms of being impressed in the way casual site consumer site visitors will. A focused, efficient site design and more understated colors and clean lines are a good idea here.

Clean and Uncluttered

What is meant by clean here is clear of clutter. There shouldn’t be too many links, verbiage, advertising, and so on obscuring the visitor’s view of what is going on. The way to approach a website is with the user in mind. Would you want to be greeted by a barrage of unrelated or loosely related content that was alternatively after your wallet and directing you off on various tributaries of information that were questionably relevant? You would probably appreciate instead a clear and easy to determine view of what the website was about. So aim for this when you design the site. If there are many in text links and sideline information, organize it in such a way that it is not distracting. And if you must employ them, try to keep advertisements out of the way and in their own areas rather than distracting the reader from what he or she is trying to concentrate on.

Organized Information

The above also leads to the idea that information should probably be well organized to be aesthetically pleasing. A popular sort of layout is a three column approach with the most relevant information in the middle in the widest column, navigation links in a narrow left hand column, and textual and picture links in the right hand column which is also narrow. There are many other ways of organizing the information. The point is to choose one that is clear and well delineated.

If you follow these types of guidelines, you should be well on your way to designing an eye catching an aesthetically pleasing website that is also useful and easy to navigate. Alternatively, if you don’t have the time to do this all yourself, there are many companies out that have a site-builder system that is easy to use.. The basic idea is to make a web site that looks good and make that pleasing aspect suited and related to website function. Following this basic approach will lead you in the right direction design wise and the end result will be a website that you can be proud of and which your visitors will enjoy on a number of levels at once.

 

Free High Quality WordPress Themes

It pays to sign up with blogs and newsletters put out by online companies who create WordPress themes and sell them every day. Some like to occasionally send out a quick public relations bite to gather in new customers by offering a free WordPress theme for that week or month, maybe one you’ve already looked at before, but didn’t want to spend money on just yet.

Start out with a Google search for “free wordpress themes” and start looking through who carries the themes you like, particularly if they work for your online business format. WordPress.org is the first place to look as they are always coming up with new and improved themes. You do have to have a host in order to use the software and themes so make sure whatever host company you select also supports WordPress and plugins. Always keep your program, plug ins, and browsers updated to make sure your site doesn’t go on the fritz unexpectedly. If you get a message saying there’s an update available, then get it done. It’s updated for a reason.

If you want to start out with a simple blog, go to WordPress.com where you can open up a free account and blog. No software to download. However, you may be limited to only two or three themes you can use when opening your first account. Check to see what others are available for uploading to your account that the server will support. That means going to your dashboard and finding an area where it shows options to download other themes.

Some other sites to look at for free themes are WordPressthemesbase.com, Freewordpressthemes.com, Freewpthemes.net, Premiumwptheme.net and Wptemplates.net. This comes from the first page of the Google search and there are plenty more sites to look at review for what you want. If you have some knowledge, or are an expert in the coding languages of CSS and HTML5, then you will enjoy looking behind the scenes to see how these were built and maybe modify one or two for your particular needs.

Many sites will offer a search on free themes related to different business formats such as a portfolio style for photographers or other visual artists who want to show their work. Check to see if a site also offers hosting discounts for any WordPress accounts which means the server is specifically set up to work with all your theme components, and that’s always a plus.

Another point to consider is the browser you use. Some themes work only with Internet Explorer v.7 and 8, but not v.9. You may also have to use Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox in order to work with your theme. Check each theme’s specifications before you download it as it should state what browsers and versions work with the theme.

Squidoo.com has both free and premium themes for different formats such as magazine format, guaranteed to look very professional. The site also has articles on how to do different things with your theme as well as giving you a 101 on WordPress need-to-know information. There is also an informative section on components of a WordPress theme which you need to know to utilize your themes to the maximum.

Looking for crazy, fun layouts for My Space and other types of social network sites? Check out Layoutshack.net for some fun stuff. You’ll find themes with glitter, cartoons, anime, and different color-based themes categories.