Top tips for WordPress websites

What is WordPress?

WordPress was set up as a blogging platform, but now has been expanded to make the creation of websites much easier and more accessible. It comes with a standard basic menu which makes it easy for anyone to update. To work it has to be installed on a server.

WordPress is a free and open-source content management system (CMS) based on PHP and MySQL. Features include a plugin architecture and a template system. WordPress was used by more than 23.3% of the top 10 million websites as of January 2015. WordPress is the most popular blogging system in use on the Web, at more than 60 million websites.

Wikipedia

WordPress Glossary

Blog

A chronological list of journal entries or articles, called Posts published on a web page.

Dashboard

The complete administrative tools for your WordPress site.

E Commerce

Commercial transactions conducted electronically on the Internet.

Footer

Refers to the bottom section of every page on a website. It usually contains the copyright and web creators link but can also contain many widgets such as calendar , contact form etc.

Header

The top section of a website and typically contains the site name, logo, menu. Can also have a top header containing contact details and social media links.

Images

These can be uploaded in the media section as .jpg/.jpeg, .gif, or .png files.

Menus

Navigation buttons that are usually found at the top of a website, but can also appear in the footer and elsewhere. This is how you move between pages.

Pages

Pages in WordPress are designed to contain static content, for example About Me page, Contact page etc. This is usually the basic structure of a website.

Plugins

Are custom functions created to extend WordPress. They provide useful add on features such as SEO, ecommerce and there are many more.

Posts

Posts hold content that is typically considered more current, or time sensitive. Posts show up on your blog page, and can be assigned to categories, tags, thumbnail images and more.

Responsive

A responsive website adjusts its layout based on the size of the screen it’s viewed on — computer, tablet, or phone , portrait or landscape, so that the site always looks its best no matter the size. This is very important and a great feature of WordPress.

Sidebar

An area usually on the left or right of a website, able to contain widgets such as search bar, calendar, blog, categories.

Slider

This is a slideshow of images , but can contain text and other features. Its  great way of showing off your work and to draw the customer in. They can be set to run automatically or manually with arrows. They can however slow down the load speed of a website if the images are too large or too many.

Theme

A collection of files that work together to produce a group of design choices to make a website or widget.

Widgets

Provide an easy way to add little programs, such as a search bar, calendar, blog ,categories to a sidebar or footer.

What is Search Engine Optimisation

Search Engine Optimisation or SEO is the way of ensuring a website can be found in search engines for words and phrases relevant to what the site is offering.

Tips for good SEO

  • Write good, useful content that uses words and phrases used by people who search for your products and services.
  • Make it easy for people to share and link to it
  • Update your content regularly

What Search engines Look for

Content  theme of site, text, titles and meta description

Performance How fast and does it work properly

Authority  Does your site have good enough content to be linked to from other highly regarded sites

Links

Links from other websites to yours are important but don’t confuse quality with quantity and don’t think about links in isolation from your content. It’s important to understand that having great content greatly increases your chances of securing natural links from quality relevant pages. This is what you want.

Focus keyword

This is a word or phrase that you define. It should be an easy search term for your page and should be included ideally in your page title, headings, copy and URL.

Meta Descriptions

The line of text limited to 156 characters shown beneath the URL. It is a good way of indicating what is on each page and should contain any keywords that people would search for and be unique and specific to each page, it should contain your focus keyword.

Page/post titles

They should usually contain your brand, preferably at the end, so people may recognize you in consecutive searches.They should always contain the keyword you think is most important for the current post or page and should preferably be at the beginning of the title.The rest of the title should entice people to click.

Permalinks

Permalinks are the permanent URLs to your post or web page.

URL

A URL is the unique address for a file that is accessible on the Internet.

Images for websites

 

Alt tags

This is the text that the search engine uses to understand images. It is important for SEO, as it can attract additional traffic through Google Images and so has a positive impact on SEO. Ideally use your brand name and descriptive image name in the Alt tag.

Image name and size

All images for websites should be saved at 72 dpi and generally need to be no bigger that 650 pixels in height or width for my sites. The exception is images for a slider which should be around 1000 pixels wide.
The larger the image size the longer the page takes to load.

How to pick a domain name

This is the name of your website. These are very important to get right. In the past putting a keyword such as “craft” in a domain name increased your SEO, but this is less the case now.You should aim for a good brand name that stands out from the crowd. Some tips on how to do this are below.

Pick a .com extension

In most cases .com is the best choice. This is because .com is the standard, the norm. Most users assume a company’s website will end with .com, but there are exceptions, eg .co.uk if you are specific to UK or for charities .org is fairly standard.

Be memorable

Users must be able to easily remember your domain name/brand.

Be relevant

Choose words that relate to your business and communicate a clear meaning.

Easy to spell

Your domain name must be easy to spell.

Sound authoritative

Your domain name should sound trustworthy.

Shorter is better

Keep your domain name short; one or two words is best.

Be unique

One of your marketing goals should be to build a distinct brand that stands out from your competitors. You can search to see if your domain name is available here