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How Does WordPress Work?

Friday, September 15th, 2017

WordPress for an Easy Website

Chances are that you have already heard of WordPress. But what is WordPress? Simply put, WordPress is web software that you can use to create your own website or blog. Since it was released in 2003, WordPress has become one of the most popular web publishing platforms, and today it powers more than 70 million websites. Because it is built on industry standard php and mySQL, the WordPress hosting platform can run on just about any modern server.

But what many people do not realize, WordPress is not just a blogging tool. It is also a highly flexible content management system CMS which gives you the opportunity to build and manage your own full features website using only your web browser. Best of all, it is completely free. It is constantly improving and evolving. That’s because WordPress is an open-source project which means that hundreds of volunteers from all around the world are constantly creating and improving the code for WordPress software. And there are thousands of plug-in, widgets, and themes that enable you to build a completely custom website for just about anything that you can imagine.

How does WordPress work?

Since the early days of the Internet, websites have been created in HTML, a programming language that utilizes complex instructions called tags to format text, images, page-layouts and so on. Your web browser then reads the HTML code interpreting the tags to render and display the content of a particular page. These days, you can install WordPress on your own web hosting account in a few minutes. And once installed, it enables you to use a simple, web-based editor to create web pages without having to learn HTML. There is even a hosted version at WordPress.com, that allows you to create a new WordPress website in just a few seconds. The down-side to this method is that you do not have your own domain name, but instead you are using a sub-domain. Most Internet professionals agree that registering and building upon your own domain name and website is more valuable in the long run than spending the same amount of time to build a website using someone else’s domain name. This is why it is recommended that you get a shared web hosting account and install WordPress on your hosting account. Many shared hosting accounts include an easy click-to-install feature that makes installing WordPress on your own hosting account using your own domain name a snap.

  • johnday.WordPress.com
  • johnday.com

With your own domain name and your own web hosting account with WordPress installed, you are in control of your own content and your own website.

WordPress is a great choice for your website or blog:

  1. It’s open source, which also means it is free for commercial or private use. Hundreds of people working on it, WordPress is constantly improving and evolving.
  2. It is user-friendly. Rather than having to hire a web designer or contact your webmaster when every you want to make a small change to your website, you can easily manage and update your own content all without having to learn HTML. If you know how to use the basic formatting tools in Microsoft Word, you can edit your site.
  3. It’s flexible and extensible. There are literally thousands of plug-ins and themes, both commercial and free that enable you to easily change the entire look of your website or blog or even add new features like polls or contact forms with just a few clicks.
  4. It is easy to find support. So if you want to add highly customized features, its easy to find support or hire someone to help you. The official WordPress forum that is very helpful to find answers to all your WordPress questions. Other support options include the WordPress Stack Exchange or WP Questions that offer answers to your questions. There are thousands of developers who can help you as well.
  5. WordPress is SEO friendly. WordPress is standards compliant and includes everything you need to ensure that your content is optimized for search engines which is critical to your websites’ success and visibility in search engines. In short, WordPress is made to do SEO well.
    • Fully compliant with W3C standards
    • Built in support for RSS and Ping-O-Matic
    • Clean, search engine friendly code
  6. You will be in control of your own content. Some other publishing platforms limit what you can or can not do on your own website. And your locked into that service, so if it ever shuts down you could easily lose all your content. With WordPress you can import your data from other systems like blogger or tumbler. And you can easily export your data to move away from WordPress, should you choose. You are in control of your website and your content.

Design a website with WordPress and a Web Hosting account:

The following steps outline the process you will go through when setting up a WordPress website on your web hosting account.

  1. Buy domain name and web hosting
  2. Install WordPress from cPanel
  3. Change settings and permalinks structure
  4. Add essential plug-ins
    • Better WP Security – secure your WordPress website
    • WP Super Cache – speed up and improve the performance of your site
    • WordPress SEO by Yoast/All in One SEO Pack -optimize your site’s posts and pages for search engines
    • Contact form – add a simple contact form to a page on your website
    • Google XML sitemaps – create and submit your XML sitemap to Google for better indexing
  5. Install theme
  6. Add content

Web hosting account and WordPress

WordPress allows you to focus on your content – as opposed to countless hours of working the design and workflow – you will more likely than not enjoy running your site on this CMS. So if you are looking for an easy tool to build your own blog or website without having to learn complicated HTML, no other system makes it this easy. And you will find that WordPress is incredibly flexible with thousands of themes, plug-ins and support options to ensure that your site will continue to grow with you in the future. Most web hosting comes with WordPress ready to install with just a few clicks and the support staff at your web host are most likely very familiar with WordPress for your assistance.

Advanced Blogging With WordPress

Friday, September 15th, 2017

Break Through Into the Blogging Industry with WordPress

If you have a blog of any size or you desire to grow a large blog, this article is for you.

Simple Tool to Manage your Content Flow

Do you work inside of WordPress and you have multiple writers or others who manage the content for your blog? Rather than messing around with spreadsheets and Google Docs, try EditFlow plugin for WordPress. EditFlow is a plugin that allows you to do things that are, for example, only visible for editors. Only the people that are editors can see the comment. You can have a dialogue right inside the post! It provides a searchable and sortable calendar so you can see all the articles that are written in an easy way. You can post “needs images” and other comments in the sidebar to manage your content flow.

Is it Too Late to Start Blogging?

As a new blogger, you might think that it is too late. You might think that the other successful bloggers have too much of a head start. With blogging, any person can develop a voice. People starting now to blog are not too late. It’s certainly more cluttered and there are a lot more blogs, but this opens up opportunities to network and grow faster. While there are a lot of people blogging today, there is no one that has the exact same set of experiences, stories, skills and perspectives. Harness what you have that is unique. It’s a great way to break through into the blogging industry.

Techniques to Attract and Engage your Blog Visitors

The editorial mix that goes into a successful blog varies. But for the most part, successful blog editors post one newsletter each week (on Thursday or Friday) with tips for the weekend. With a team of writers and a few guest writers, two original articles are posted daily. To engage with as many social networks as possible, it takes a lot of time. So, in order to succeed you must plan and strategically schedule your resources. During the week there is usually a “challenge” assignment for visitors to take-away and build upon the tutorials that are published earlier in the week.

Model for Blogging:

People are much more likely to read tutorials if they have been inspired to do so. The key things that are used for success of a unique blog include a successful editorial model. Each blog is different, but for the most part this editorial calendar works.

Build three things into the editorial calendar:

  1. Information – 90%
  2. Inspiration
  3. Interaction

This is all free content. Four day a week posts, twice daily, plus a summary newsletter once a week to roll-up the tips and outline information posted during the week.

What Is Long-Form Content and Why Does It Work?

Long form content is a trend that is doing very well on blogs. Long-form content can be called “meatier” content. While typical news-friendly content includes articles with 500-800 word range, long-form content is different. A typical blogger’s average piece of content was around 1,000 words or fewer. Articles focused heavily on SEO, including keyword optimization. The only problem with this strategy? Bloggers were getting a lot of search traffic, but not a lot of return traffic, direct traffic, or brand searches, and user engagement metrics – stuff like bounce rate and time on site – were pretty low.

Long-form content, on the other hand, isn’t just rewarded by the search engines – it also resonates with readers. By creating longer, more in-depth content that provides tons of value to an audience, bloggers’ content strategy has seen success with improved engagement metrics.

Ideal Blog Content Size

Based on statistical data, the ideal blog post takes seven minutes to read and is around 1,600 words long. This is not light reading but is well worth the extra time and investment because some blog editors report that with long-form content, the average time on site has more than tripled!

Extra Content Ideas

Contests (with a prize) and polls (or discussions) are important. Community and engagement is key. Anything you can get a reader to “do” on your site is important. Second, it teaches you a great deal about your readers. At the end of the month, a monthly poll with a follow-up post to re-visit the data is useful to readers. Additionally, other blogs will consider your content good research data that they will want to link to.

Forums – although a bit of old school technology, is still interesting for readers. Readers can have discussions and show off some of their own ideas. Forums are easy to setup and in most cases, your web hosting provider will offer you a free tool that is easy to use.

Plugins for Functionality Improvement

With the growth of long-form content, the user scrolls down to read the entire article. This causes the sidebar items, in most cases, to scroll up or disappear temporarily. The ability to keep some of the most important sidebar items visible and remain persistent is a great solution to add to an existing blog.

  • Floating Sidebar
  • Lightboxes
  • Exit live boxes
  • End of post boxes appear
  • What do you want the user to see when they get to the end of the page? If you can deliver something different there, you can increase page views or newsletter subscribers.

Where can I get these plugins?

Most of these plugins are available at WordPress.com. If you are looking for a more specific plugin geared toward professional blogging, you might consider joining problogger.com. If you become a member of problogger.com/download-center you will find all the plugins that they have developed for professional blogging.

The plugins for bloggers include:

  • Facebook tracking,
  • Sticky Top Bar messenger,
  • Flicker plugin to suck in images into your blog
  • EasyDigitalDownloads – manage all your eBook sales from within WordPress
  • WordPress editorial calendar – helps to visualize all posts that are scheduled and you can drag and drop then around in order to change the posting date

Monetizing your Website

There are heaps of ways that you can monetize your content. If you are limited to only a few and can’t spend too much time testing all the monetization options available, then you can limit your energy to eBooks and affiliate links.

eBooks Monetization

eBooks are a profitable income streams. If you launch 4-5 eBooks a year, it provides a good little income for you over the years. Writing and publishing eBooks is an entire strategy that will be outlined in a different article. There is so much information that is needed in order to fully explain this monetization strategy.

More Monetization Ideas

Affiliate promotions such as Amazon links, provide a good income too. Newsletter ads and banner ads can be lucrative too as a publisher. Good old fashioned Google AdSense can be profitable for a blogger if you offer a high-level target with your content. It’s hard to beat in terms of direct sales. As with any monetization, be patient, persistent, and use only high-quality, original content.

Web Hosting for Blogs

While most bloggers are using WordPress, there are some bloggers who still use b2evolution or other blogging tools. For the most part, all web hosting providers offer WordPress for free. The question as to whether you need a bargain basement web host or a partner that actually specializes in WordPress with plugin assistance or migration help may be necessary. Every blog is different and which type of web hosting you use is something that you, the business owner, will need to decide. Build a brand that advertisers will want to align with and even with small traffic, if you have really good topics, you can earn a nice living with your blog.