Building a WordPress Powered Website


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As presented to the 2009 Nonprofit Bar Camp on November 14th in Austin, Texas, this presentation outlines building a WordPress powered Website. WordPress can be used as a feature rich CMS to power your entire Website. And, since it has built in RSS technology and is widgetized, it can help you build both a search engine and social media optimized Website.

This presentation demonstrates example WordPress powered Websites, the anatomy of a WordPress site, and outlines a best-practice plan for you to follow to build your own WordPress powered Website.

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Building a WordPress Powered Website

  1. 1. Building a WordPress Powered Website... Copyright 2009, Deltina Hay
  2. 2. With Deltina Hay of Dalton Publishing, Social Media Power, and Author of A Survival Guide to Social Media and Web 2.0 Optimization As presented for the Nonprofit Bar Camp on November 14, 2009 in Austin, Texas.
  3. 3. What is WordPress? <ul><li>A blogging platform
  4. 4. A CMS (content management system) </li><ul><li>A platform for building robust Websites
  5. 5. Usually programmed in php and use MySQL databases
  6. 6. Usually open source, so many enhancements and support available, and easily customized </li></ul><li>Don't confuse with </li></ul>
  7. 7. Why use WordPress to power your Website? <ul><li>Easy to set up and maintain
  8. 8. Uses RSS technology so integrates easily with the rest of the Social Web
  9. 9. Widgetized, so easy to add widgets and badges from other Websites
  10. 10. Regular upgrades and security releases
  11. 11. Good support forums and network
  12. 12. Free!
  13. 13. Many themes and plugins available... </li></ul>
  14. 14. What are plugins? <ul><li>Enhancements and add ons to WordPress
  15. 15. Since WordPress is open source, there are many developers creating plugins
  16. 16. Easy to install and set up
  17. 17. As simple as a comment spam filter
  18. 18. As complicated as a full-featured shopping cart... </li></ul>
  19. 19. What are plugins?
  20. 20. What are themes? <ul><li>Templates that change the look and feel of a WordPress site
  21. 21. Very easy to install
  22. 22. Again, open source, so there are many free themes available
  23. 23. Most are easy to customize with new colors, headers, etc... </li></ul>
  24. 24. What are themes?
  25. 25. What are themes?
  26. 26. Diversity of WordPress powered Websites... <ul><li>One reason some decide not to use a CMS is that they are concerned their site may look too “templated”
  27. 27. This is the case for some CMSs – but not for WordPress
  28. 28. The following slides depict a collection of sites that were built using WordPress as a CMS... </li></ul>
  29. 29. Diversity of WordPress powered Websites...
  30. 30. Diversity of WordPress powered Websites...
  31. 31. Diversity of WordPress powered Websites...
  32. 32. Diversity of WordPress powered Websites...
  33. 33. Diversity of WordPress powered Websites...
  34. 34. Diversity of WordPress powered Websites...
  35. 35. Anatomy of a WordPress Website: <ul><li>Header
  36. 36. Navigation
  37. 37. Main body area
  38. 38. Sidebars
  39. 39. Footer
  40. 40. Sidebar widgets
  41. 41. Static pages </li></ul>
  42. 42. Anatomy of a WordPress Website... (note header and footer on this one, along with sidebars)
  43. 43. Anatomy of a WordPress Website... (static page that has no sidebars)
  44. 44. Anatomy of a WordPress Website... (note that sidebars to not have to be on the “side” - there are three on the bottom here)
  45. 45. Anatomy of a WordPress Website... (this one has a static home page - as opposed to blog posts on the home page)
  46. 46. Anatomy of a WordPress Website... (blog page with a different sidebar as the static pages)
  47. 47. Anatomy of a WordPress Website... (site with blog as home page)
  48. 48. Anatomy of a WordPress Website... (static page)
  49. 49. Anatomy of a WordPress Website... (the header and footer are only images – and the navigation and sidebar are combined – only thing that changes is the main body area of each page)
  50. 50. Setting up a WordPress Website: <ul><li>Download and install </li><ul><li>Make sure you install in your root folder and not in a directory
  51. 51. Need some knowledge of how to install php on your server and how to install MySQL and create databases and tables
  52. 52. You can get help from your host or from the WordPress forums </li></ul><li>Make some important initial settings (permalink structure, static home page, comment approvals, security settings, etc.)
  53. 53. Plan the site (what functionalities does it need)
  54. 54. Choose and customize a theme based on your plan
  55. 55. Choose, install, and set up plugins to accomplish functionalities (including essential plugins for anti-spam, security, and SEO)
  56. 56. Set up sidebars (place standard and custom widgets)
  57. 57. Build static pages and populate blog </li></ul>
  58. 58. Planning your WordPress site: <ul><li>List the features you want (don't hold back) </li><ul><li>RSS feed (blog) subscription options
  59. 59. Ways for others to share your site (like to social bookmarking sites)
  60. 60. Widgets from other social sites like Facebook and Twitter
  61. 61. Image/Video Galleries
  62. 62. Shopping cart or donation features
  63. 63. Event listings or calendar widgets
  64. 64. Submission forms
  65. 65. Surveys or polls
  66. 66. Imported feeds from other sites
  67. 67. And so forth... </li></ul></ul>
  68. 68. Choosing a theme: <ul><li>Choose your theme once you know the features you want, not before...
  69. 69. Make certain is has one more sidebar than you think you need (easier to delete than to add)
  70. 70. Is typically easy to change color schemes, headers, fonts and such – so choose based on look and feel </li></ul>
  71. 71. Choosing a theme:
  72. 72. Choosing a theme:
  73. 73. Choosing a theme:
  74. 74. Choosing Plugins: <ul><li>Choose plugins to accomplish the functionalities in your plan
  75. 75. Try not to install plugins “just because they are cool” - sometimes it is best to use existing functionality
  76. 76. Pay attention to the ratings, how many times a plugin has been downloaded, and that it has been tested for the latest version of WordPress
  77. 77. Go to the plugin & author's Website to make sure the plugin is being supported
  78. 78. A good rule of thumb when setting up a plugin is that if you can't do it in two tries, find another plugin to do the job (they should be pretty straightforward to set up) </li></ul>
  79. 79. Choosing plugins:
  80. 80. Choosing plugins:
  81. 81. Choosing plugins:
  82. 82. A look at the WordPress Backend (dashboard):
  83. 83. A look at the WordPress Backend (adding posts – adding pages is the same):
  84. 84. A look at the WordPress Backend (can change themes with one click, add them and customize them):
  85. 85. A look at the WordPress Backend (can maintain, add, and customize plugins):
  86. 86. A look at the WordPress Backend (once a plugin is installed, you can maintain its settings here – where applicable):
  87. 87. A look at the WordPress Backend (this is where you create and place your sidebar widgets):
  88. 88. A look at the WordPress Backend (shows the resulting sidebars from the previous slide):
  89. 89. Upkeep and Security of Your WordPress Website: <ul><li>Keep blog posts current
  90. 90. Always update to latest version of WordPress and plugins: </li><ul><li>One-click upgrade with latest WordPress versions
  91. 91. Be careful if you have customized the code
  92. 92. Always back-up before an upgrade </li></ul><li>Essential plugins: </li><ul><li>Spam filter (Akismet)
  93. 93. Security plugins
  94. 94. SEO plugin </li></ul></ul>
  95. 95. Optimizing Your WordPress Website: <ul><li>Optimize blog by: </li><ul><li>Using good keyterms in posts, as categories and tags
  96. 96. Burning your feed to
  97. 97. Adding to many blog directories </li></ul><li>Optimize Website by: </li><ul><li>Using (to its fullest) the latest version of a good SEO plugin
  98. 98. Making it easy for others to share, interact, and collaborate using tools like
  99. 99. Taking advantage of how your site can integrate with the rest of the Social Web...(that is a whole different session) </li></ul></ul>
  100. 100. Finding Resources: <ul><li> </li><ul><li>Documentation and tutorials
  101. 101. Links to other resources
  102. 102. Links to WordPress-friendly hosts </li></ul></ul>
  103. 103. Open Source “Netiquette:” <ul><li>Search forums thoroughly before posting a question
  104. 104. Give back: </li><ul><li>Donate to plugins you use regularly
  105. 105. Share your new-found knowledge on the forums </li></ul><li>Never remove the “Powered by WordPress” statement and link from the footer of your site. It is one of the only license requirements for using this free software. </li></ul>
  106. 106. Questions... ?
  107. 107. Thank you for participating! <ul><li>Buy the book at these trusted sources: </li><ul><li>Barnes & Noble
  108. 108. Amazon
  109. 109. Indiebound
  110. 110. BookPeople (in Austin) </li></ul><li>Upcoming Webinars and workshops: </li><ul><ul><li>Visit for info... </li></ul></ul><li>Deltina Hay </li><ul><li>@socialmediapwr & @deltina
  111. 111. &
  112. 112. [email_address] </li></ul></ul>