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WordPress 101: Creating your Business Website with WordPress


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These are all the basics you need to know to get a small business website up and running with WordPress.

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WordPress 101: Creating your Business Website with WordPress

  1. 1. Creating Your Business Website with WordPress WordPress 101
  2. 2. Your Instructor Laura Hartwig is a WordPress Website Developer and Trainer. She ran WordPress Westchester for 3 years in NY. She has presented at WordCamps in NY, CT, and NC, she uses her skills to create powerful, flexible, easy-to-use websites for small businesses. She is also the author of
  3. 3. What we’ll cover Set up (Installation) Choosing the best theme & plugins SEO Security Follow along: Tip SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. This is about how you rank on Google, Bing, etc.
  4. 4. Why WordPress? Using WordPress is a no-brainer. There's a reason 36% of the web uses it. Tip Read full article: wordpress 1. The software is free and open-source 2. It adapts so you can make any type of website 3. It supports numerous media types 4. It’s easy to learn and has a huge community 5. You can scale up and expand your website with themes and plugins 6. It doesn’t take a genius to manage 7. SEO comes first 8. You have full control of your website 9. The blogging is hands down the best in the business 10. Everyone is doing it
  5. 5.
  6. 6. vs
  7. 7. What you will need: Domain name Hosting Tip Siteground is a great host for beginner users.
  8. 8. The Quick Install One of the nicest things about WordPress is that it’s really easy to install. Be sure you have a host with CPanel and you can install WordPress in 5 minutes.
  9. 9. Tip Make sure you install a SSL certificate first.
  10. 10. Don’t Don’t leave your username as “admin” Do Always choose https (meaning you have a SSL certificate) when possible.
  11. 11. The Dashboard ➔ Updates Very important! ➔ Posts & Pages Categories & Tags ➔ Media Categories & Tags ➔ Comments
  12. 12. Tip Don’t leave your username as “admin” Tip Always choose https (meaning you have a SSL certificate) when possible. Tip Be sure to check out this box for local WordPress events Tip These boxes can be moved around so the ones that are most helpful to you are on top
  13. 13. Settings Once WordPress is set up, most people want to get into adding their content right away and go straight to creating pages or posts, but there are some settings we should look at first.
  14. 14. Settings ➔ General Site Title & Tagline, Email Address, and Timezone ➔ Permalinks Make sure you set up your permalinks to work best for SEO ➔ Reading Front page, Blog page, Search Engine Visibility
  15. 15. SEO Tip Be sure to fill out your Site Title and a meaningful Tagline Security Tip Uncheck the Membership box unless you specifically want people to register on your site
  16. 16. SEO Tip Set your permalinks to be readable and SEO friendly SEO Tip Don’t leave the default category as “uncategorized”
  17. 17. Tip Set your homepage here unless you want your blog posts there SEO Tip Discourage search engines on any staging sites or sites you don’t want google to index
  18. 18. Post/Pages ➔ Pages are static Use these for About, Contact, FAQs pages ➔ Posts Are usually shown on Blog page and the newest one shows up first. Older ones are paginated automatically ➔ Otherwise they are very similar
  19. 19. Tip Don’t leave your username as “admin” Tip Always choose https (meaning you have a SSL certificate) when possible. Tip You can collapse the left menu if you want more room for editing
  20. 20. Pages
  21. 21. SEO Tip Post at least once a month to keep content updated for Google
  22. 22. Featured Images ● These are the default images that may show up on your blog page, depending on your theme ● They also show up when your page/post is shared on social media
  23. 23. SEO Tip Link to your other pages as much as possible!
  24. 24. Sub Pages ● Important for navigation and site hierarchy ● Does not affect menu on front end of site ● Will help you find pages in the back end SEO Tip Page hierarchy is important for SEO! It helps Google understand relationships
  25. 25. Sub Pages
  26. 26. Posts
  27. 27. Categories vs Tags ● Categories are there to help identify what your blog is really about. It is to assist readers finding the right type of content on your site. Categories are hierarchical, so you can sub-categories. ● Tags are meant to describe specific details of your posts.
  28. 28. Categories & Tags can be edited and deleted
  29. 29. Examples ● Categories might be food like Pizza, Steak, Pasta, etc ● Tags would be the ingredients that might crossover between these categories like tomatoes, butter, garlic
  30. 30. Comments SEO Tip If you approve a spam comment, you will get a lot more and it could hurt your site. Watch out for vague comments ➔ Can be turned on or off ➔ Posts and/or Pages ➔ Spam can get out of control without spam plugin SEO Tip Real comments can be good for SEO by adding more info and key words, but not easy to get.
  31. 31. Tip You can bulk edit comments.
  32. 32. Comments 1. Commenter Gravatar 2. Commenter Name 3. Commenter Website URL 4. Commenter Email Address 5. Commenter IP Address 6. Time and Date Comment was submitted 7. Comment Text 8. Comment Moderation Options. You can approve, spam or trash a comment with one click. Reply, Quick Edit or Edit will open up a new screen for you to write a reply to the comment or edit the comment. 9. Post Name 10. Number of Comments on the Post, Link to View Post Tip Set up your gravatar across all WordPress blogs at
  33. 33. Media Library ➔ Photos/Videos ➔ PDF’s, Word Docs ➔ Audio files ➔ Other file types can be added through plugins and embeds SEO Tip Uploading videos to YouTube allows the fast streaming of Google servers as well as more eyes to lead back to your site.
  34. 34. Media Library ● Can be accessed through Page/Post ● Or from the media library link in the dashboard
  35. 35. Accessibility Tip Alt text is important for people using screen readers or those for who images don’t show. SEO Tip Be sure to fill out image info! It’s the only way Google will know what your image is. Don’t Skip This
  36. 36. SEO Tip Make sure image file sizes are as small as possible without losing resolution to help with loading time. Image sizes
  37. 37. Editing Images ● The WordPress image editor is weak ● I recommend for image editing
  38. 38. Editing Images
  39. 39. Appearance ➔ Themes ➔ Customize ➔ Widgets ➔ Menus ➔ Theme Editor
  40. 40. Themes SEO Tip Choosing a streamlined theme will usually mean a faster theme. Excess options usually cause bloat that slow down sites. ➔ Free ➔ Paid -one time fee ➔ Paid - yearly updates ➔ Custom
  41. 41. Theme Options ● Free WordPress theme ● Paid theme like Genesis or Elegant Themes ● Other paid theme through Themeforest like Avada And a note about page builders
  42. 42. What is a Theme? Tip Better to use plugins for functionality rather than themes so that you can change themes without losing functionality. Tip When you change a theme, all your content and WordPress & plugin settings remain the same, only the look of the site changes.
  43. 43. What is changed by a theme? ● Colors and Fonts ● Text styling ● Layout including widget areas ● Header/Footer options
  44. 44. Tip Themes with year names are created by
  45. 45. Free Themes ● Usually a footer credit which cannot be removed ● Limits on widgets areas and styles ● Sometimes poor support and lack of updates ● Many free themes have a paid upgrade
  46. 46. Paid Themes ● Examples: Genesis by StudioPress and Divi by Elegant Themes ● Have been around for years ● Have a whole team to offer support, not just one developer ● Offers lifetime access and updates
  47. 47. Child Themes ● Save your changes in case your theme is updated - and if it’s a good theme, it will be ● Sometimes offered with paid themes or can be set up with a plugin ● Must use them!!
  48. 48. (envato market ) ● Check ratings, support, last update, and how long it’s been around ● Keep in mind that the price usually only covers one year (or less) of supports and updates
  49. 49. Theme Updates ● Just like plugins and WordPress core, themes (if you have a good one) should have updates ● Child themes rarely have updates, but these should be pursued with caution because you can lose all your customizations
  50. 50. Page Builders ● Use drag and drop interface for those who are not developers ● Make sure they work with your theme ● Best options are Beaver Builder & Divi Builder
  51. 51. Gutenberg Default Block Editor
  52. 52. Divi
  53. 53. Beaver
  54. 54. Beaver
  55. 55. Beaver Mobile options
  56. 56. WP Classic Editor Free
  57. 57. Customizer ➔ Basically just another way to get to the same features ➔ Some people feel more comfortable accessing items this way
  58. 58. The Customizer
  59. 59. Widgets
  60. 60. Widget Areas ● Depends on the theme, but usually this gives a way to customize the sidebar, footer, and sometimes other areas ● Many plugins will have widget areas that can be added like calendars or event lists ● Adding a search option is super important
  61. 61. Menus
  62. 62. Menus ● Your theme determines how many menus show ● Don’t forget to set your menu location ● Like other content, menus stay despite theme and can be moved around
  63. 63. Menu Locations
  64. 64. Theme Editor
  65. 65. Theme Editor ● What you see here will be determined by your theme, but you will always have style.css file and functions.php file ● When you first go to the editor, you should see this ...
  66. 66. Theme Editor ● Like it says, be very careful making changes here. Better to make them through a file editor in your host’s cpanel ● Always have a backup when making edits. Unlike pages/posts, there is no copy of previous versions
  67. 67. Plugins ➔ Greatly increase functionality of sites ➔ Over 50K free plugins available ➔ Can be found at or on the backend of your site
  68. 68. Whatever you want to do
  69. 69. Plugin Options ● Whatever functionality you need from your website, there is probably a plugin that will help you create it ● Includes ecommerce, forms, anti-spam, page builders, SEO, backups, and more ● The more plugins, the more chances of conflicts
  70. 70. Choosing a Plugin Check these things: ● Last Update ● Number of Users ● Ratings ● Support If it’s a paid plugin, check support and length of time
  71. 71. Plugin Updates ● Super important for security and functionality ● If your site isn’t working, make sure updates are done first before further investigation ● Always backup before updates!
  72. 72. Core Updates
  73. 73. Users ➔ Different users have different permissions ➔ Keep users at lowest possible level ➔ Can create custom user roles/permissions with plugins
  74. 74. User Notes ● Subscribers can read sites that are “private” (sometimes paid) ● Contributors & Authors can only edit and delete their own posts
  75. 75. Tools ➔ Import Bring all your posts, pages, media and other info from another WordPress site ➔ Export Take all your posts, pages, media and other info to another WordPress site
  76. 76. SEO Tips ➔ Use Page Hierarchy ➔ Name All Images Something Meaningful ➔ Keep Content Updated ➔ Remember Page Speed is important ➔ Use HTTPS ➔ Use Internal Links ➔ Make Sure There is Text on the Home Page
  77. 77. Security Even if you think you would not be a target, you are ➔ Use a strong password ➔ Do your updates ➔ Remove Unused themes/plugins/files/users ➔ Security plugins ➔ Captcha for logins ➔ Backup
  78. 78. $50 ticket includes Sat & Sun sessions, lunch, snacks, the After Party Sat evening, and a WCATL t-shirt. Purchase tickets: s April 18-19
  79. 79. Questions?