Published on March 7, 2014
Wordpress 101 marketing your business with… the power of blogging.
What is this class? • You’ll Learn how Wordpress works • Modern marketing principles mixed in so you understand why Wordpress works
What you get... • An overview of: • What Wordpress is • How it works in the Internet Ecosystem • How it integrates with social media
Who are you? • Why have you chosen to take this course? • Why Wordpress? • What is your business? • What level user are you?
How hard is this? • What’s your background? • What’s your ambition? • Recipes vs. Concepts • Yes, some concepts are HARD ★ but you’ll need them!
How to be successful with Wordpress... • Be ACTIVE. Work at it every week. • Get help, if you need it: • Grammar, Style (can you write?) • Images, photography • Ideas... Customers and Employees
Mistakes WELCOME! • It’s all ﬁxable. Questions WELCOME! • It’s about you getting the info you need.
Wordpress What it is... What it is not.
The Internet Ecosystem • Once mostly informational, increasingly functional • Is made up of “services”... • “The Web” is just one of those services
It’s made up of... A bunch of content Might be: • Personal expression • Educational publishing • Government info & services • Mostly business, for marketing
Business on the web... is mostly static marketing content: • About <the business> • Contact form • Location, Directions, Phones • Products and/or Services These are: “Brochure Sites”
Web businesses... • Websites that ARE businesses • E-commerce (buy stuff online) • Social Networks • Ad Networks • Software or Platform as a Service ★ SaaS or PaaS
Web businesses... 63% of businesses in the US do NOT have a website... 97% of consumers search online for businesses!
Other ways to use the web for business • #1: Customer Support • Market research • know your potential customers • follow ‘trending’ topics • survey users through online communities
Most biz sites are ‘cobwebs’ • Haven’t been changed since 2009 • 1999??? • Never show up on search results • Don’t drive sales ★ They just sit there!
Why Wordpress? • The ﬁrst few answers emerge... • Acts as ‘brochure’ site • You can edit your own site! • Makes contact forms easy... • Search engines LOVE it. (more “why” later)
What is Wordpress? • It’s a Content Management System (CMS)... • content goes into a database • requested data is pulled out on demand for viewing (or editing) • it is wrapped in a ‘template’ for consistent formatting • links are managed automatically
a CMS: Web Form Title ! Body ! ! ! ! ! ! ! Database Title Body Cat Category Web Page Template
What is Wordpress? • It’s a kind of CMS called a blog: • content is displayed with the most recent articles (posts) ﬁrst. • you can click to view content by... • category • author • date... etc.
What is Wordpress? • It doesn’t HAVE to be a blog • it can have a simple page-by-page structure • it can act like a simple e-commerce system • it can have forums... etc.
How does a CMS / Blog work? • It’s better to experience it than to try to explain it. • but basically... ...it takes a URL, and uses it to pull information out of the database, and display it in various ways. It gives you tools to put in media (images, videos, audio ﬁles) and text, link to stuff, and make it available to people in a friendly, useful way. It can also communicate to social media, and gather data, and other nifty things. It’s a publishing platform. It’s fun!
What is the Web, technically? • Why should you care? • It’s a protocol, uses http/https, port 80, web server software like Apache or IIS... all of which we can set aside. • Uses HTML, which is text, following a format with tags that look like... • <html>Dragons!</html>
What is a web page? • A text ﬁle sitting on a computer. The computer runs web server software: <html> <head> <title>The Title</title> </head> <body> <h1>A big headline!</h1> <h2>...a smaller headline</h2> <p><strong>Some</strong> <em>text</em> in the form of a paragraph</p> </body> </html>
What is a Server? • It’s a computer, always connected, with an address that looks like: • 220.127.116.11 • It runs server software, perhaps for email, web, database, ﬁle transfer...
Types of Servers... • Email Server Software (IMAP, POP, SMTP servers, MX records, Ports 25, 465, 587 • Web Server Software (Apache, IIS, etc., Port 80, 8080) • Database (MySQL, PostgreSQL, etc., Port 3036) • IRC, FTP, and other TLAs you (may) never have to worry about...
Domains • Domain Name Servers (DNS) look at the Top Level Domain (TLD) like .com, .net, .biz, etc. and pass to... • the Nameserver assigned to the Second-Level Domain, like “facebook” or “google” or your domain name. • That may point to another DNS server, or directly to a speciﬁc server address, which is a number like 18.104.22.168 called an IP address. • The IP address may point to a speciﬁc computer running server software. Based on the port and other info, it may be directed to a speciﬁc type of software. That software will look for certain ﬁles which may be some text or a script or a program which returns information. Some is used only by machines, some is for humans.
Subdomains • www... • most people think all websites start with www. But that's just an optional thing. It can be any word or number combination* • So... • www.richwebster.com • subdomain.secondlevel.toplevel
And to the right of that... www.richwebster.com/directory/ﬁle.html And to the left of that... www.richwebster.com/directory/ﬁle.html www.richwebster.com/directory/ﬁle.html
But wait... • Wordpress can make urls that look like www.richwebster.com/?p=123 • The “?” tells a script on the server to go the the DB and do something • In this case, go to the DB and get “post #123”
Even better... • Wordpress can make urls that look like www.richwebster.com/postname/ • The “postname” is the title of your post, like: top-10-reasons-to-buy-a-top-hat • This is big-time Search Engine Mojo (more on that, later).
Review: • Your website is on a server: — a computer with special software • You get to it with a URL: — protocol//sub.domain.tld/dir/ﬁle.html — http://www.richwebster.com/about/me.htm • The domain is registered; on a DNS server • An HTML ﬁle + images make a web page
Why Wordpress VS. Something Else
Other Options • There are hundreds of CMS solutions • Wordpress is usually compared with: • Joomla (similar to WP) • Drupal (more powerful than WP) • These are both open-source solutions that are based on PHP and MySQL and have strong, vibrant communities.
Power vs. Simplicity? • WP is relatively easy for users • WP is powerful, especially for developers (like me). • You control it (unlike Facebook, G+, Tumblr, blogger, etc.) • It’s “Open Source”
Open Source is... • All the code is visible, and can be modiﬁed by a developer. • Closed code is ‘compiled’ and can’t be viewed or modiﬁed. • “Open” means thousands of people can work on it, improve it, and extend it. • If your expert drops dead, you can ﬁnd someone else who can work on it.
Wordpress is good... • Thoroughly documented • Frequently improved • Clean architecture • Core is separate, shared with all sites • Themes deﬁne the user experience • Secure as anything ever is, ﬁxed fast when new ‘exploits’ are found
Why not? • It doesn’t have complex user roles • It doesn’t do complex page layouts well • You might need a speciﬁc functions WP doesn’t have. • Consider Drupal… or Concrete5
Reason #1: Wordpress is SEO Catnip... • People at Google help develop it • It has lots of hidden attributes that make it ideally ‘semantic’ • Google takes cues from how it works, it takes cues from how Google works. • ...more later
Will this be a good choice in the future? • Over 60 million users • A very strong community • Devotion to open source • ...so, probably. ★ But the net changes fast!
What makes blogging special? • Blogging serves people, but it also serves machines: Search Engines
Blogs Serving People... • people get to a site occasionally, not regularly • they want to know what's current, ﬁrst. But then they want to know the “back story”, history, or story line. • whether they are back after a week or a month, they can scan what has happened since they last visited.
Serving People... • they can scan and then 'drill down' easily • they can search, easily (content in DB) • they want consistent, easy navigation • they want to ﬁnd out about new things through other channels: ★ Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, RSS
Serving Search Engines ★ Search Engine Optimization: SEO • There's more than meets the eye: Search Engine 'spiders or bots' consume information too. • Google tries to ﬁnd and judge info the way people do, or better • It looks at the URLs, HTML, page structure, relationships to other websites
Serving Search Engines • Google looks at time and location • How old is the domain? • How fresh is the content? • Where is it published? (geolocation) • <H1>, <H2>, <H3>, <p>, <strong> etc. • there are special hidden ﬁles (XML site maps) just for them, that WP can generate (with a plugin).
Blogging for SEO
Optimal Patterns ★ Post 2 times/week • Fresh content • After a year, you have 100 articles focused on your business. • Each article can act as a de facto “landing page” for a product, a target market, or a “keyword set”
Optimal Patterns ★ Keyword-driven content and menus • Figure out your “Keywords” • 1-3 word phrases • describe — or appeal to — your target audience • describe your products, services, brands, community, aesthetics, humor... think broadly
How do people describe your business? ★ Plug ‘em in • URL: https://adwords.google.com/ko/ KeywordPlanner/
Keep these in mind ★ Write posts with these keywords • Monitor the biggies: • Google Alerts • Twitter • etc...
Your front page isn’t always your ‘home’ page ★ Customers may land anywhere. • Based on search or links-in • What did they come for? Are you using that page to do a “Call to action?” • It’ll get trafﬁc soon, but may years later, too!
create targeted content: ★write articles about things that will draw the right visitors
Once they’ve arrived • include calls to action: how to use this information to act now! • use energetic and positive writing • choose who you alienate (if anyone) • write your headlines carefully (do they make good tweets?)
Before they go... • friend you? • tweet this? • sign up for a newsletter? • buy something?
What did we learn on the show tonight, Craig? • There’s a thing called the Internet... • If you use Wordpress, you can have a great hub for your brand • A Blog is a CMS is a Website that you can control without being a ‘developer’
What did we learn on the show tonight, Craig? •URLs really matter •You can’t avoid HTML forever • Keywords drive SEO • Content tuned to your target audience will deliver trafﬁc. • Once you have someone looking, get ‘em signed up so you can bring ‘em back.
Next... • What's your site going to be about? • What do you want to name it? • What's a good subtitle? (think 'keywords') • Do you have a domain?
Getting your feet wet....
First: a tour • Generic Wordpress Site • This is the TwentyEleven Theme
Browser: • I can recommend Chrome, Firefox & Safari. I do not recommend the ubiquitous IE (Microsoft Internet Explorer) in any version before 9. • Nonetheless, your visitors will use them, so you need to look at your site that way sometimes (back to IE7).
The Parts of the Theme • Site Title in Browser Tab • URL • Site Title on page • Navigation • Post • Pages
Anatomy of a Page • Title • Content • that’s all
Anatomy of the Blog • Multiple posts, in reverse date order • Each post exists by itself: the Permalink • Posts can be listed by date (archive), author (archive), search results (search match), and more.
The Admin Area • Your admin area: /wp-login.php or /wp-admin
Settings • Site Title • Site Description • Front “Page” or “Blog”? • Creating a Page • Creating a Post
Touring the Editor • Called “TinyMCE” shared by many other CMS/Blog platforms. • This is not a Word Processor, like you’re used to • Limited by HTML • Very basic, but can be extended
Peek at code... • Bold uses the <strong> tag • italic uses the <em> tag • strikethrough uses the <del> tag • underlined uses the <span style="textdecoration: underline;">. • The old way to do this were the <b>, <i>, <s>, <u>. This relates to the increasing use of "Semantic" tagging... The ' style="" ' is an 'inline CSS style', so it's your ﬁrst glimpse at CSS.
Wordpress 101 Links & Images (in a post or page)
Creating Links • Go to a page or post • Highlight text • Click ‘chain link’ icon • URLs from other sites • Open in new window • Existing content
Links... • Find a site to link to, or just type in http://google.com • Click the “Open New Window” checkbox • submit
Links... • Now we’ll link to an internal page • Highlight some (different) text • Click the ‘link’ icon • select a page from the list • Note the title? • submit
Links... • Know your URL structure: • http or https • :// • subdomain.domain.tld • /folder/ﬁle?argument • A look at a Google Map URL
Images... • Add an image to a post (demo) • Upload an image or images • Make a gallery
Image Formats • GIF: smallest, best for art, like logos (unless transparent) • JPEG: best for photos or other “continuous tone” images • PNG: best for transparent logos
Image Size • Image in post can be full width of post area • 1/2 width (roughly) also good • Thumbnail is pretty small (but what automatically is used in Galleries)
Image Links • Images can link to: • image by itself (media) • image in a page (attachment) • image in a lightbox (requires plugin: jQuery Lightbox or similar)
Slideshows • Require a plugin (or may be in theme) • SliderVilla.com is a good source for slideshow/slider plugins
Videos • Easy to embed from: • Youtube • Screencast.com • Vimeo • Slideshare... and more
Videos are HUGE • Lots of data: let YouTube (Google) pay for the server space instead of putting it on your server • Also has SEO value: • YouTube links to your site • You link to your YouTube video
Content Plan • Pages vs. Posts = Static vs. Timely 1. Make a list for your pages Titles Basic idea of what goes on each...
What should be in every business site* • Contact Page • phone, address, map, contact form • Photos of you, your staff, building? • Newsletter sign-up • Testimonials • Social Links • maybe an FAQ
Plan your ﬁrst 10 posts • What are the most common questions customers have? • What is new in your store, or industry • The history of industry, products, people • Things that prompt discussion...
Should you accept Comments? • People can comment on posts (or you can block that) • Should you allow this? • If you do, should it be ‘hands-off’ • Think of it as a customer-support channel
Using Other’s Content • Most photos & original art/music are off-limits without permission • OK to summarize & link including ‘quotes’ from original text. • Most sites want this... more trafﬁc! • Most YouTubes can be embedded
You can do delayed publishing... • Write a bunch of posts • Publish at later date/time • spread it out
Cross publish • Using tools like “dlvr.it” • http://dlvr.it • To Facebook, Twitter, Linked-In • Subscribe2 plugin, MailChimp, Constant Contact or Aweber • notiﬁes users via email of new content
Links to Social Media • Link to YOUR Facebook or Twitter • User’s can “Like” once there... • AND allow users to post your content to THEIR Facebook & Twitter, & other sites as well... • spread your content far and wide... it all links back to you! • “Sociable” plugin
Other Links-in • SEO Concept: Link Building • You want more links to your site • You want “High Quality” links • major news sites • wikipedia • social media & other blogs • You want to “disavow” spammy links
Review • Post (2x week is optimal) • Cross post to social • Schedule posts • allow people to subscribe to be notiﬁed • allow people to comment? • allow people to post to social • write useful stuff
Custom Appearance & Function
What is a theme? • A collection of • styles • templates • functions
What is a theme? • May also include: • plugins • widgets • custom admin-area forms
How to ﬁnd themes • Find some you like, don’t buy yet. • Free themes are fun to play with • Commercial themes can be a headache that you feel trapped by... • Did you spend a lot? • Is it really going to be easy?
Custom Themes • Tools you can use • Artisteer • A theme with options in the Admin – not that easy! • Genesis, Atahualpa, etc. • Hire a pro... it’s worth it.
Custom Theme Advantage • No one else looks the same • It has only those features you need, none you don’t • It lets you focus on content
Custom Theme Samples • RosevilleHyperbaric.com • NevadaCounty.com • BrookDesign.com
Installing a Theme • wp-admin > appearance > themes • Select a theme • Install & View • Switch Back • Demo of “full install” options
What happens when the Theme changes? • Image size issues • ‘orphaned’ content • but nothing is ‘lost’ • It might not land in the same place when the original is reactivated, though
What a Theme really is... In wp-content/ All the stuff that makes this WP installation “yours”
What a Theme really is... In wp-content/themes/ All the stuff that makes this “Theme”
What a Theme really is... PHP ﬁles CSS ﬁles Images
What a Theme really is... PHP: page.php
What is a plugin? • Extra functionality, in a tidy package (hopefully) • May be simple, or may require expertise to implement • Can turn your Wordpress site into a forum, e-commerce system, or...?
Adding a Plugin • Admin > Plugins • Search or Upload • Activate • Keep updated
Examples of Plugins • BackWPup • XML Sitemap • Sociable • Gravity Forms • Subscribe2 • ...and many more
Major Hosts • GoDaddy (warning: slow!, restrictive, problematic, icky) • HostGator (well liked, basic) • 1and1 (good host, not great support, nice interface, dual hosting) • DreamHost (old favorite) • Bluehost (current champion)
Cheap Shared Account • Go with any of these hosts (except GoDaddy), it’ll take you a long way. • IF lotsa trafﬁc (you wish) you can upgrade to “Pro” account, try DreamPress, or WP-Engine • Can support multiple sites/domains • Hosts take care of a lot of hidden complexity: Not rocket science; harder
Cloud Hosting • It’s all the cloud, really • The big two: • Amazon Web Services (AWS) • Google Cloud • Services like WP-Engine layered on the cloud. But so is Netﬂix, so it’s not cheating, it is smart.
On Your Device • A Mac or PC can have Wordpress • Easiest • MAMP or WAMP or XAMPP • DesktopServer
Learning More… Are you interested in more classes on the details of WordPress? Let me know. ! firstname.lastname@example.org
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