Wordpress

Taking Your WordPress Website To The Next Level

The great thing about WordPress is that it is so easy to use. If you have read our previous article, Start Your Work-From-Home Website With WordPress, you’ll already know how to install WordPress, find a great theme, and create a range of pages and posts.

But the simplicity of WordPress hides an advanced system that can be made to do incredible things with a little bit of extra knowledge. Look at a few websites that  WordPress powers sent management.

WordPress

The great thing about WordPress is that it is so easy to use. If you have read our previous article, Start Your Work-From-Home Website With WordPress, you’ll already know how to install WordPress, find a great theme, and create a range of pages and posts.

But the simplicity of WordPress hides an advanced system that can be made to do incredible things with a little bit of extra knowledge. Just looking at a few of the websites powered by WordPress as a content management system (CMS) says it all – WordPress makes building a site easier but never limits what you can do.

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Read on to learn about some of the advanced features of WordPress and how you can use these tools to take your work-from-home website to the next level.

Build A Work-From-Home Website With A Blog

Since WordPress was initially launched as a blogging tool, even the latest versions assume that your blog is the heart of your website. Although a blog is important, most professional business websites take a different approach, with pages as main content and blog posts as an additional feature.

If you want a static page to appear on your homepage, you can change a single setting within your WordPress control panel. First, make sure you have created the page you plan to use as your homepage and a different page where your blog posts will be located. You can leave your blog page blank, as WordPress automatically pulls in every bar you add.

Then, from the Settings menu, select Reading. The first setting defines what your front page, our homepage, will display. Select the static page you want visitors to see when they land on your website, and select your preferred posts page for blog updates or news items.

This relatively insignificant change can make a world of difference to how professional your website seems. Even better, you can integrate your regularly updated posts into your homepage using widgets – WordPress includes a Recent Posts widget as standard.

WordPress Plugins – Making Your Website Do More

Although WordPress has the most commonly used tools and widgets you will need, you can easily add new features using plugins. Plugins are installed through the WordPress interface using the Plugins menu in your control panel.

Plugins are available for just about any task, most of which are free. At the time of writing, the WordPress Plugins Database features 21,500 plugins, all of which are searchable by category, rating, and name.

Here are just three must-have plugins for any work-from-home website.

1. Use Akismet To Stop Spam

WordPress supports user comments right out of the box, and your visitors can post their thoughts on the content you publish. For your blog posts, in particular, this is a great way to build a community around your business, improve your visibility on the web, and improve your search engine rank.

Unfortunately, as you begin to attract attention from visitors and potential customers, you will also draw attention from spammers who will fill your comments section with rubbish. Spam comments are easy to spot but time-consuming to remove one by one.

Akismet is the most popular and most effective anti-spam plugin for WordPress. Akismet automatically detects the signs of spam comments, including links to other websites and content that does not make sense. When Akismet finds a spam comment, it quarantines and prevents it from cluttering your website. Akismet is free of charge for personal blogs or at a low cost for business use.

2. Automate Search Engine Optimization with WordPress

Once your website is up and running, the hard work begins. Now it is time to get some visitors! Search engines are a great traffic source, but only if you achieve a good search engine rank. But, the nearer the top of the results you are, the more likely somebody will click through to your site. Search engine optimization (SEO) optimizes your website to be easily understood and preferentially indexed by search engines. A good WordPress SEO plugin can provide everything you need to optimize your site.

One great SEO plugin is Yoast WordPress SEO. This multi-featured plugin carries out several automatic tasks to improve your position, including internal links and suggesting the most appropriate keywords for you to target on each page.

3. Find The Plugin That Suits Your Website Content

As well as adding new functionality to your existing types of content, some WordPress plugins are designed to suit specific types of websites. The Plugin search tool built into WordPress is very effective, and a good tip is to type in the kind of content you want to add to your website.

You may want to add a portfolio to your website, showcasing your work to date. If so, a search for ‘portfolio’ brings up a plugin called, unsurprisingly, Portfolio. The Portfolio allows WordPress to run a portfolio section of your website, with images of projects and descriptions of what was involved. Whatever kind of content you have in mind for your website, you’ll find a plugin to help you create it.

Are You Taking Advantage Of The Permalinks Settings?

By now, your work-from-home website is taking shape. You’ve started to write content pages, perhaps got the blog started with a few posts, and added the right functionality for your specific goals. This is great for search engine optimization and attracting new visitors, but a particular setting can help search engines find their way around.

When you create a blog post, it is added to your main ‘blog’ page and published as an individual page. This page is the Permalink page because it is located at an address that always points directly to the specific post.

Confusing Permalink addresses can cause search engine crawlers to miss great content on your site. Fortunately, you can customize your Permalinks to make them both search engine and visitor-friendly.

Under the Settings menu, select the Permalinks option. You will see that, by default, each page that you create is given a unique number. As you reach your hundredth or thousandth post, keeping track of these numbers is difficult!

There are a few different alternatives that WordPress can implement automatically – pick the one that you prefer. Ideally, choose a Permalink setting that includes the title of your post. This means that you will always recognize what the link is pointing to, and search engines will value the inclusion of keywords in your web addresses.

You can even define your custom Permalink structure. For more information on doing this, visit codex.wordpress.org/Using_Permalinks.

Backing Up Your WordPress Website To Protect Your Data

Launching your work-from-home website is a proud moment, particularly when your content is well organized and your design looks great. Conversely, nothing is worse than the feeling in your gut when you realize you have lost all your hard work! So many WordPress users do not back up their websites regularly. Don’t take the risk!

WordPress makes backing up your database and related files easy. One feature is under the Tools menu, named Export. This will save your posts, pages, comments, and menus in a single file that can be imported into WordPress.

Alternatively, why not consider a plugin to take care of back-ups for you? Several backup plugins are available, including some that back up locally to your server and some that back up to external services, including Dropbox.

Finally, your web hosting control panel should offer the functionality to back up your files and MySQL database.

For complete peace of mind, use all three methods together.

You Have A Great Website – Now Make It Social!

A good business website does not just showcase what you can do. Successful small businesses use their website as a part of a much bigger online strategy covering a wide range of social media. Your website should not be an island. Instead, it should be connected to every part of your online persona.

It is easy to integrate your WordPress website with social media using plugins. One great social media plugin is the aptly named Social Media Widget. This can be added to any digitized section of your website and displays icons that link to your social media accounts, including Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

You can also add social media sharing buttons to your posts, giving visitors an easy way to share your excellent content with their followers. Check out Slick Social Share Buttons for an all-encompassing tool that can help your content go viral.

Finally, remember that your website can also send traffic to your social media. You want potential customers to contact you, so make doing so as easy as possible!

You can add your most recent tweets or Facebook fans to your website using plugins or copying and pasting ready-made code.

For Twitter, visit twitter.com/about/resources/widgets.

For Facebook, visit facebook.com/badges.

New Content, All The Time – The Secret of Online Success

You’ve installed WordPress. You’ve spent hours searching for the right theme. You’ve customized your installation with widgets, plugins, and bespoke settings. Now it’s time to make the most of WordPress’s best feature – the fact that it disappears.

Over the coming weeks and months, you will notice WordPress less and less. It is a tool that never gets in the way but makes maintaining your website easier. So don’t fret about the details – WordPress will care for you. Instead, take advantage of what WordPress can do and create the best possible content that your customers will love.

Visit HomeforBusiness [http://www.homeforbusiness.co.uk/] for more work-from-home business tips and ideas [http://www.homeforbusiness.co.uk/category/business-ideas/].

Daughter, Sister, Wife, Mother of three, PR Consultant and Entrepreneur

Like many women, on most days, I seem to have to juggle all my roles on other days, just three or four. This is why I founded Home for Business. I recognize what it takes to be a working Mum and set up an online business from Home with all the ‘pulls’ of everyday family life and work.

I have always been entrepreneurial and was set up by the first corporate communications company, EMA Productions, in my 30s, working with big corporate clients such as Texaco, Rank, and Boots. While it was challenging and hard work, it was quickly successful. I could focus solely on winning contracts and meeting the client’s needs without family distractions and with a fantastic team and office support.

I feel very passionate about HomeforBusiness. Many people want to create a better work/life balance and work from Home, either setting up a new business or working as a freelancer. There are hundreds of genuine opportunities for people, but often, people do not know how to start. I want HomeforBusiness to empower anyone who wants to work from Home profitably. I will share genuine business opportunities, business ideas, business advice, online marketing, and health and well-being tips with a panel of guest experts. I have also put together my favorite free online resources.

Stem (CMS) says it all – WordPress makes building a site easier but never limits what you can do.
Read on to learn about some of the advanced features of WordPress and how you can use these tools to take your work-from-home website to the next level.

Build A Work-From-Home Website With A Blog

Since WordPress was initially launched as a blogging tool, even the latest versions assume that your blog is the heart of your website. Although a blog is important, most professional business websites take a different approach, with pages as main content and blog posts as an additional feature.

If you want a static page to appear on your homepage, you can change a single setting within your WordPress control panel. First, make sure you have created the page you plan to use as your homepage and a different page where your blog posts will be located. You can leave your blog page blank, as WordPress automatically pulls in every bar you add.

Then, from the Settings menu, select Reading. The first setting defines what your front page, our homepage, will display. Select the static page you want visitors to see when they land on your website, and select your preferred posts page for blog updates or news items.

This relatively insignificant change can make a world of difference to how professional your website seems. Even better, you can integrate your regularly updated posts into your homepage using widgets – WordPress includes a Recent Posts widget as standard.

WordPress Plugins – Making Your Website Do More

Although WordPress has the most commonly used tools and widgets you will need, you can easily add new features using plugins. Plugins are installed through the WordPress interface using the Plugins menu in your control panel.

Plugins are available for just about any task, most of which are free. At the time of writing, the WordPress Plugins Database features 21,500 plugins, all of which are searchable by category, rating, and name.

Here are just three must-have plugins for any work-from-home website.

1. Use Akismet To Stop Spam

WordPress supports user comments right out of the box, and your visitors can post their thoughts on the content you publish. For your blog posts, in particular, this is a great way to build a community around your business, improve your visibility on the web, and improve your search engine rank.

Unfortunately, as you begin to attract attention from visitors and potential customers, you will also draw attention from spammers who will fill your comments section with rubbish. Spam comments are easy to spot but time-consuming to remove one by one.

Akismet is the most popular and most effective anti-spam plugin for WordPress. Akismet automatically detects the signs of spam comments, including links to other websites and content that does not make sense. When Akismet finds a spam comment, it quarantines and prevents it from cluttering your website. Akismet is free of charge for personal blogs or at a low cost for business use.

2. Automate Search Engine Optimization with WordPress

Once your website is up and running, the hard work begins. Now it is time to get some visitors! Search engines are a great traffic source, but only if you achieve a good search engine rank. But, the nearer the top of the results you are, the more likely somebody will click through to your site. Search engine optimization (SEO) optimizes your website to be easily understood and preferentially indexed by search engines. A good WordPress SEO plugin can provide everything you need to optimize your site.

One great SEO plugin is Yoast WordPress SEO. This multi-featured plugin carries out several automatic tasks to improve your position, including internal links and suggesting the most appropriate keywords for you to target on each page.

3. Find The Plugin That Suits Your Website Content

As well as adding new functionality to your existing types of content, some WordPress plugins are designed to suit specific types of websites. The Plugin search tool built into WordPress is very effective, and a good tip is to type in the kind of content you want to add to your website.

You may want to add a portfolio to your website, showcasing your work to date. If so, a search for ‘portfolio’ brings up a plugin called, unsurprisingly, Portfolio. The Portfolio allows WordPress to run a portfolio section of your website, with images of projects and descriptions of what was involved. Whatever kind of content you have in mind for your website, you’ll find a plugin to help you create it.

Are You Taking Advantage Of The Permalinks Settings?

By now, your work-from-home website is taking shape. You’ve started to write content pages, perhaps got the blog started with a few posts, and added the right functionality for your specific goals. This is great for search engine optimization and attracting new visitors, but a particular setting can help search engines find their way around.

When you create a blog post, it is added to your main ‘blog’ page and published as an individual page. This page is the Permalink page because it is located at an address that always points directly to the specific post.

Confusing Permalink addresses can cause search engine crawlers to miss great content on your site. Fortunately, you can customize your Permalinks to make them both search engine and visitor-friendly.

Under the Settings menu, select the Permalinks option. You will see that, by default, each page that you create is given a unique number. As you reach your hundredth or thousandth post, keeping track of these numbers is difficult!

There are a few different alternatives that WordPress can implement automatically – pick the one that you prefer. Ideally, choose a Permalink setting that includes the title of your post. This means that you will always recognize what the link is pointing to, and search engines will value the inclusion of keywords in your web addresses.

You can even define your custom Permalink structure. For more information on doing this, visit codex.wordpress.org/Using_Permalinks.

Backing Up Your WordPress Website To Protect Your Data

Launching your work-from-home website is a proud moment, particularly when your content is well organized and your design looks great. Conversely, there is nothing in the feeling in your gut when you realize that you host all of your hard work! So many WordPress users do not back up their websites regularly. Don’t take the risk!

WordPress makes backing up your database and related files easy. One feature is under the Tools menu, named Export. This will save your posts, pages, comments, and menus in a single file that can be imported into WordPress.

Alternatively, why not consider a plugin to take care of back-ups for you? Several backup plugins are available, including some that back up locally to your server and some that back up to external services, including Dropbox.

Finally, your web hosting control panel should offer the functionality to back up your files and MySQL database.

For complete peace of mind, use all three methods together.

You Have A Great Website – Now Make It Social!

A good business website does not just showcase what you can do. Successful small businesses use their website as a part of a much bigger online strategy covering a wide range of social media. Your website should not be an island. Instead, it should be connected to every part of your online persona.

It is easy to integrate your WordPress website with social media using plugins. One great social media plugin is the aptly-named Social Media Widget. This can be added to any digitized section of your website and displays icons that link to your social media accounts, including Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

You can also add social media sharing buttons to your posts, giving visitors an easy way to share your excellent content with their followers. Check out Slick Social Share Buttons for an all-encompassing tool that can help your content go viral.

Finally, remember that your website can also send traffic to your social media. You want potential customers to get in toucontactake doing so as easily as possible!

You can add your most recent tweets or Facebook fans to your website using plugins or copying and pasting ready-made code.

For Twitter, visit twitter.com/about/resources/widgets.

For Facebook, visit facebook.com/badges.

New Content, All The Time – The Secret of Online Success

You’ve installed WordPress. You’ve spent hours searching for the right theme. You’ve customized your installation with widgets, plugins, and bespoke settings. Now it’s time to make the most of WordPress’s best feature – the fact that it disappears.

Over the coming weeks and months, you will notice WordPress less and less. It is a tool that never gets in the way but makes maintaining your website easier. So don’t fret about the details – WordPress will care for you. Instead, take advantage of what WordPress can do and create the best possible content that your customers will love.

Visit HomeforBusiness [http://www.homeforbusiness.co.uk/] for more work-from-home business tips and ideas [http://www.homeforbusiness.co.uk/category/business-ideas/].

Daughter, Sister, Wife, Mother of three, PR Consultant and Entrepreneur

Like many women, on most days, I seem to have to juggle all my roles. On other days, just three or four. This is why I founded Home for Business. I recognize what it takes to be a working Mum and set up an online business from Home with all the ‘pulls’ of everyday family life and work.

I have always been entrepreneurial and was set up by the first corporate communications company, EMA Productions, in my 30s, working with big corporate clients such as Texaco, Rank, and Boots. While it was challenging and hard work, it was quickly successful. I could focus solely on winning contracts and meeting the client’s needs without family distractions and with a fantastic team and office support.

I feel very passionate about HomeforBusiness. Many people want to create a better work/life balance and work from Home, either setting up a new business or working as a freelancer. There are hundreds of genuine opportunities for people, but often, people do not know how to start. I want HomeforBusiness to empower anyone who wants to work from Home profitably. I will share genuine business opportunities, business ideas, business advice, online marketing, and health and well-being tips with a panel of guest experts. I have also put together my favorite free online resources.

About author

I work for WideInfo and I love writing on my blog every day with huge new information to help my readers. Fashion is my hobby and eating food is my life. Social Media is my blood to connect my family and friends.
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