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  1. 1. Tips for a Great Website Foundation Corey Freeman WordCamp Raleigh 2013
  2. 2. About Corey Freeman (ME!) Working with WordPress since 2004 Specialize in Headway Themes Fan of website optimization Owner of World’s most frustrating dog. authenticcorey.com / @coreyfreeman
  3. 3. Olive the Puppy Director of Operations
  4. 4. What Makes a Great Website? A Breakdown of Our Goals
  5. 5. A Successful Website… Loads quickly Looks amazing Is easy to find Gets users coming back
  6. 6. The Stages of Website Creation Development Design Optimization Content/Promotion/Etc
  7. 7. “Terminal Optimization” Similar to “terminal velocity.” Do the most amount of work right now so you can focus on content/ promotion/money forever and ever.
  8. 8. Random Puppy Break
  9. 9. Development Building Your Website
  10. 10. Setting Up Your Hosting Your ideal host has three major factors: Great Customer Support Affordable Pricing Excellent Service
  11. 11. Suggestions Media Temple ($20/month Grid Service) Digital Ocean ($5/month droplets) DreamHost/BlueHost/HostGator
  12. 12. Use WordPress.org Ease of Customization Plugins & Theme Frameworks Pick Your Own Hosting Package Easier to Work with Freelancers Less Expensive in the Long-Run
  13. 13. Essential Plugins *Only* install plugins you absolutely need! Do your research. Pick plugins that have been updated recently (in the last 6 months) Go with repository or premium plugins. No back-alley websites! WordPress SEO by Yoast, Akismet, Limit Login Attempts, Redirection, Gravity Forms, BackUp Buddy, Subscribe to Comments Reloaded, Clean Archives Reloaded
  14. 14. [Detour] JetPack If you’re using Jetpack, make sure you DISABLE features you’re not using (e.g. math, spelling/grammar, subscriptions, Json, gravatar hovercards, etc…) My favorite is sharing, stats, publicize, and the image CDN
  15. 15. Design Tips for Scalability
  16. 16. Theme Frameworks Eg. Headway Themes, Genesis, Thesis, PageLines, etc. Take a giant chunk of work out of design development. Are continuously developed and have a large community for support and expert services. Typically mobile responsive and ready for extensions. Are fun to use :)
  17. 17. Headway Themes (headway101.com/go/headway) Visual oriented WordPress design tool. Built to customize any and all layouts and elements of WordPress sites. Mobile Responsive My personal favorite :)
  18. 18. Puppy Break pt 2
  19. 19. Argument for Custom Design Build your design around your content so you don’t have to do multiple redesigns. Easier to brand when you brand from the ground up. Easier optimization and conversion tweaks later. (Less “Hacking”)
  20. 20. Things to Keep in Mind When Designing MOBILE. Go responsive. Avoid apps unless you have a really good reason and a LOT of money for updates. Limit the amount of images that the design needs to work for faster loading times. Make sure every color has a function. Copy, callout, background, emphasis, etc.
  21. 21. PS. Child Themes Child themes are good if you want to do a LOT of custom code customization. But it’s not necessary for Headway Themes :) They’re uploaded like themes, but require the parent theme installed.
  22. 22. Outsourcing Design & Development Pay more now or you’ll have to pay again later for someone like me to fix an “affordable” design. Don’t be afraid to shop around and ask for what you want. Ask questions! Do not fear the idea of code.
  23. 23. Tips for Optimization Speed & SEO
  24. 24. Heavy Lifting Start development once your design is FINISHED. DONE. No more colors. Pencils down. W3 Total Cache with CloudFlare JetPack’s CDN for Images or another CDN to supercharge. WP Optimize on occasion (database cleanup)
  25. 25. Reduce the Clutter Remove deactivated plugins & themes, except WP default theme. Remove “Unattached” images and files that aren’t part of the design. Remove spam and empty auto-drafts, empty your trash. Assess the plugins you’re using and reduce them whenever possible.
  26. 26. Regular Maintenance Create back-ups using a plugin like BackUp Buddy and store them locally or on Amazon S3 Enable scheduled back-ups from your host. Regularly update or use an update/ concierge service.
  27. 27. Are Your Plugins Awful? Try “P3” Plugin Performance Profiler if something weird is happening to see if a new plugin is seriously messed up. Deactivate plugins one-by-one for more precise changes.
  28. 28. Security Just. Keep. Updating. BackUps Are Your Friend. Don’t freak out if you’re not a giant ecommerce website. Limit Login Attempts, disable registration, move on. Change “admin” to anything else. Passwords: auto generate and keep it in a sticky note OR use “pass phrases” with spaces n’ stuff.
  29. 29. Other Tips Remove social media buttons & comments from the blog index and individual pages. Posts only! Permalinks Matter. Use /%postname%/ if you’re not sure what you want. Move archives to their own page instead of the sidebar. Plugin: Clean Archives Reloaded
  30. 30. Things to Remember about WP Use the “featured images” option for lead images! Don’t link post images to their attachment files, or at all if you don’t have to. Pages for static/unchanging content. Posts for fresh, updating content.
  31. 31. Puppy Break pt 3
  32. 32. SEO the Easy Way Make optimization a habit! Write content, go back and optimize. Install and configure just ONE SEO plugin, eg. WordPress SEO by Yoast Write titles people are searching for, eg. “how to change a tire” Only spend money if you have a lot and find a provider you love.
  33. 33. [Detour] Scribe Meh, I’m not a fan. I’d say use WordPress SEO unless you need a lot of hand-holding. Read up on SEO tips from major blogs like searchenginejournal.com and copyblogger.com and problogger.net, etc.
  34. 34. About Title Tags <h1> Should be your post/page title. <h2> is important stuff <h3> is for sections related to the important stuff <h4 - h6> Basically whatever you want, but treat like titles.
  35. 35. About Categories & Tags Limit the number of categories to main topics on your website. Remove the /category/ part of your URLs if you’re a new site. Create as many tags as you want, avoid duplicates. Use the plugin “Relevanssi” to make search better and take advantage of these.
  36. 36. Comment Moderation Moderate your comments to avoid spam content and crappy links. Use plugins like “Conditional Captcha for WordPress” and “Akisment” together to prevent spam. Turn OFF comments if you’re not blogging/interested in them.
  37. 37. Not Just SEO Add share buttons to posts to make it easy for people to spread naturally. Auto-update social networks and email lists on new posts to minimize work and maximize exposure. Respond to comments and let people get to know you.
  38. 38. My Favorite Social Plugins Digg-Digg (for floating) Tweet Old Posts (for continuously promoting older content automatically) Subscribe to Comments Reloaded for connecting with others. WordPress Popular Posts (sidebar widget)
  39. 39. Q&A What Tips Do You Want to Hear?
  40. 40. How Much Does a Website Cost? hosting - $5-$20 framework - $100 gravity - $100 back-up buddy - $80 stock photos - $50 Total Upstart: ~$350 Upkeep: ~$20/month
  41. 41. NEED MOAR?! Head over to headway101.com/ wordcamp/ for more information! twitter: @coreyfreeman @headway101 facebooK: fb.com/authenticcorey fb.com/headway101