Do you need this WordPress Plugin?

f_11311025159_canyoureallymakemoneyonline.jpgThere are so many exciting plugins you can use with your WordPress site that it is easy to look at your entire list of plugins and be startled by how huge the list has grown.

There are a few plugins like Akismet that you will probably always have.  These core plugins are likely working tirelessly for you every day.

However, there are a whole bunch of other plugins that you don’t need and probably don’t use.  Maybe you used it once, or maybe you intended to use it.  Whatever the reason now you have a plugin that you aren't using or doesn't really impact the core functionality of your website.  As hard as it may be you need to take an honest evaluation of your list of plugins and ask yourself:

“Do I need this plugin?”.

As tough as it can be you need to remove all the plugins you aren't using.  Don’t just deactivate them, DELETE them.  Even a non-active plugin can impact the effectiveness of your WordPress web site.  If you need a function, such as a broken link checker; install it, use it and then remove it.

Use all the plugins that help your site function the best it can, but don’t fall into the trap of installing every pretty new plugin that comes along.

Need more help?  You can always get help with your WordPress Plugins at http://pluginshelp.com

Form follows function in your WordPress Theme

21311025203_belanja-onlineMaking your website work well, not just look pretty.

Once upon a time a long time ago graphics on a website were very limited.  There was a lot to account for to make sure your website would show up at all.  The majority of people creating web pages in the early days of the internet were programmers.  They knew that you needed to make sure the code was correct in order for the browser to be able to present the page.  Flash forward to now where there are a ton of WordPress themes to choose from.  The thing to keep in mind is that not all themes are created equal.   It is important to make sure the theme you choose is:

  • Well maintained – make sure that the theme you pick is not only compatible with the latest version of WordPress but has a plan to be actively updated when WordPress is updated
  • Has solid functionality – it is important to take a new theme out for a test drive.  Try installing some plugins and seeing how modifying something simple (like the font) or embedding a video will effect it.  You need to know that adding and changing things isn't going to break your site
  • Highly recommended – there are times when you can discover a great theme that no one recommends, but as a rule of thumb if a theme is good people will be talking about it, or at least will be recommending other themes created by the same person.
  • Worth what it cost - As a general rule you will find that spending even a few dollars for your theme will make a huge difference, especially with regard to SEO, in the long term effectiveness of your website.

IF you are interested in great themes check out  StudioPress Theme of the Month - Minimum Theme

Having a specific name that says what your site is about

Having a specific name all comes down to knowing your audience.

  • Where are they from?
  • What are they interested in?
  • What will they be searching online for when they come to your site?
  • What will they want to find when they get there?

By knowing what your customer wants and where they are coming from you can be specific with words that may include a location or a certain specific product you are about.  If you are writing about flowers that is a very general topic. Using region specific words like southwest will narrow down your site and increase the readers who know you have what they are looking for.  Adding in another specific like for example cactus would narrow this down even further.  So you could have a domain like: southwestcactus.com.

You don’t have to take this to the extreme where your name is 150 characters long, but being specific helps customers know what your site is about and will give you better search engine ranking.

Here are some more helpful tips for naming your website:

Making your domain name personal to you

What should I name my website? 

Making your domain name personal to you

When it comes to naming your website, in the end we have to keep in mind that big companies aren't formed on great naming schemes.  Companies like Sears, Wal-Mart, Ford, and Proctor & Gamble are all Fortune 100 companies whose names are based on the name of the founder.

The impact of a domain name is not based on how hard you work to come up with the “perfect name”, it is based on starting with something you are passionate about and is personal to you, then letting the whole world know about it.

No matter how good your name is until you let people know about your site, no one will be coming to your site.   You can have the best name in the world and if no one knows you are there it won’t make a difference.

Though a keyword rich name can be give a benefit in search engine placement there is no name you can come up with that is going to replace the need to get the word out and let people know you exist.Using a name that is keyword rich will help you, if you are using the words people are looking for, but in the end the best names are ones that excite you.

When in doubt see if your name is available and use that.

Here are some more helpful tips for naming your website:

Having a specific name that says what your site is about

What should I name my website?

What should I name my website?

wordsUsing words in your domain name that your readers would use

Often we pick a name based on words we use all the time.  The question is are these the words the people you want to read your site are searching for?

Spending some time on Google looking up keywords can really help you know how your customer would speak.  For example your blog is going to be about the automobile industry a quick search will show that the word car is more popular. By looking even deeper you will find that the though car is more popular in the US (local searches) that auto is more popular internationally (global searches).  So even if you normally use the word automobile using the word auto for international or car for a US only site would be a better word choice.

The key is to know your audience before you start addressing them.  Have you ever talked with someone who really knew what they were talking about, but you didn't understand a word they said?  Don't let your readers feel this way about you!  Write to them in their language.

Here are some more helpful tips for naming your website:

Having a specific name that says what your site is about

Making your domain name personal to you 

How do I find the best WordPress Plugin for my site?

Here are some things to keep in mind when you are looking at plugins for your WordPress site.

  1. Plugin TipsIs kept up to date?  Be sure to see when the last time the plugin was updated.  Beware of plugins that haven’t been updated recently.  They may not work with your current version of WordPress or your other themes
  2. Does it have good support? This plugin is going to be a part of your site, so the support team for the plugin will be a part of the tech team for your site.  Make sure they are people you can and want to work with.
  3. Does it have clear installation instructions? There is nothing more frustrating than not knowing how to install a plugin or having hard to follow instructions.  Don’t settle for a plugin that causes you more work and stress.
  4. Will it work with a response WordPress theme?  With the explosion of mobile users it is imperative that your WordPress website is easily viewable regardless of the device it is being shown on.  Because this you need to make sure the plugin you pick scales with your site when view on an iPhone or tablet.
  5. What do others say about it? If most people think it is great that probably means something.  If all you can find said about the plugin is negative, take this a caution to avoid a plugin that will give you trouble later.
  6. Does it show up when you search for it in WordPress? From your Dashboard in WordPress you can search plugins under “Add New” in the plugins section.  The highly used (and usually best) plugins show up first.  Though a plugin shown on the 1st page may not be the best it usually is a good indicator of popularity and effectiveness.
  7. Is it worth what it costs? Many plugins are free, but some of them have a small cost.  This doesn’t mean they are better or worse.  What you want to find is a plugin that is worth more than what is being charged for it no matter the price.  Even a free plugin can be overpriced if it is hard to use or doesn’t work well.
  8. Do you need it? Often people become plugin happy and next thing you know they have 100s of plugins.  As a general rule only add a plugin if you need the functionality.  If after using it you don’t need that functionality or won’t need it for some time it is better to delete it and reinstall it when you need it again.  This will keep your WordPress running its best.
  9. How does it work with other plugins? Make sure when you add a new plugin that you check both the admin functions of your other plugins to be sure they are still working correctly.  Also check to make sure no change happened to the frontend of your site that you didn’t want or expect to happen.  Don’t wait until a customer tells you something is broken to figure out why.
  10. Is there another plugin that would work better for you or is more highly recommended? Sometimes you will find a gem of a plugin that isn’t well known and really does what you need it to.  The key is to take into account what others are saying about it and to be sure that the plugin really does what you want.  The highest rated or the lowest rated plugin is only as good as it truly meets the need for you WordPress website.

If you need more help with plugins try Plugins Help

How to install WordPress

21310674308_f8c48e46-origThese day most hosting providers have WordPress available for instant download.  In most cases there is an icon with the WordPress “W” symbol on it in the main section of your hosting control panel where you can install other programs.  If not then there will be something like fantastico or other script installing program which when you click on will give you a whole bunch of programs you can install on your hosting account.

Here is how it works: By clicking on the button(s) you will get to a small form which will ask you for so very basic information like what username and password you want to use and what you want to name your WordPress site.  Once you click install your WordPress will be automatically installed for you.

To help you out even more, here is a video to help you.

 

Sometimes even after watching a video you may find you need help.  If so we recommend a hosting company that will install WordPress for you.

How to create and design a WordPress child theme

When changing the design or css elements of your WordPress site it is better to make the changes in a child theme?

Why?

Because then the custom design changes you have made will not be effected (or lost) when you codeupgrade.  To set up your child theme you need to create a folder in the wp-content/themes folder.  In that folder you need to create a style.css file.

This file need to at least contain:

/*
Theme Name:     the name of your theme here
Theme URI:
Description:    your description here
Author:         yourname here
Author URI:
Template:       the name of the theme it is a child of here
Version:        version numbering here
*/
Once you have done this you should be able to select and install this new theme.  The themes will use all of the CSS and other design elements of the parent (the original theme) except for anything you put in this theme.  So if the default font color is black and you want it to be blue you would place that in the style.css file within the child theme folder.  The same is going to be true with functions.php as well as other elements of some themes

Blogging For Money

11311025161_150583-f520.jpgBlogging for money is among the great ways in which you can earn money online. Blogs have grown to be extremely popular nowadays and almost everyone has a blog found on the Internet. Through blogs you are able to express your thoughts and feelings about a certain topic, and at the same time you have the place to promote and review certain products and services that help you gain more income.
Blogging is a growing trend among worldwide internet users. Blogs are a great way to attract attention to whatever you are promoting. Whether you are just blogging about your daily activities, providing information to a certain niche, or promoting a business or product, you can use a blog to make money. Blogging for money is simple; here are a few steps to get you started.

If you own or are thinking about owning a blog or perhaps you're just looking for some information on blogging for money, then there are some things you should know. This is not an easy course and blogs take a lot more time to generate cash than traditional web pages do but in the long run blogs can be a lot more profitable than traditional sales pitches. Blogging for money is a hard course to take, because in essence, blogs serve a different role than the everyday sales pitch you see.

When people stumble upon blogs or go to blogs, most likely they're not looking for a certain product or a sales pitch, but they came to seek information on particular topic and this is why it's important to choose the correct niche. So many niches are so over populated in the blogging community that this will only make it that much harder in turn to see any profits from your blog. Some blogs can be up for a year or more and will never see a single penny which is why I believe it takes a certain kind of person to make money with a blog and this also is affected depending on which niche you choose to pursue.

Blogging for money is a profitable venture if you know what you are doing and educate yourself on the variety of ways it can be done. It does take some degree of knowledge in web information to be successful. Things such as page ranks and social book marking are just some of the things that you must be familiar with before you should even begin.

You can add Google AdSense ads or similar ads to your blog. If you use blogger.com, then it is very easy to add Google AdSense to your blog and you will make a profit each and every time someone visits your blog and clicks on one of the ads. Make sure to read the terms and conditions for Google AdSense and make sure that you do not ask people to click on the ads as this is against the Google AdSense terms and conditions.

WordPress is search engine friendly. It means that every new post on your WordPress Blog will be indexed very fast by search engines. WordPress has a mechanism that "pings" the search engines and other content syndicators any time you publish a new post.

Blogging for big money is quite easy. However, it will require some time and patience before you can generate steady traffic that will make advertisers come running after you. And when you get to this point, you will be handsomely rewarded for your patience and time.