Category Archives: Featured

5 Best SEO WordPress Plugins

SEO is important to business owners. The main reason SEO is important is without it your site won’t show up in the search engines or if it does, it may be several pages down. You want to be on the top one or two pages for best results.

Here are the best WordPress SEO plugins for your to consider:

1. Robots Meta: This WordPress plugin allows you to choose which blog posts allow a do follow, or no follow. This plugin helps your blog posts to be crawled by the Google spiders. Some WordPress themes set the pages to no follow and finding the code can be difficult. This plugin makes it easy.

2. Google XML Sitemaps: Sitemaps make it easier for your blog readers to find what they’re looking for. This plugin will automatically update your sitemaps with each post you make. This will eliminate the new uploads you’d had to do in the past.

3. Evermore: This WordPress plugin helps prevent Google from seeing duplicate information which will remove it from searches.

4. WP Google Analytics: is an important plugin to use. A simple code will allow you to monitor your blogs traffic. This is something you can’t do easily on a self hosted WordPress blog. You will need a Google Analytics account in order to utilize this plugin.

5. All in One SEO: The All In One SEO Pack makes it simple for you to add your custom title, description, and keywords to every blog post and page which helps with getting your content added to the search engines FAST! You’ll need to do this with every post, but the information is easy to gather as it comes right from the post you made. The Scribe plugin is a great companion to the All In One SEO Pack!

People do keyword searches almost every time they are searching for something. These WordPress SEO plugins make it easier for your blog readers to find you when they do a search. The WordPress plugins listed above are easy to install and use.

HTML to WordPress: Header.php

Now that you have your files all set up for converting your HTML template to WordPress, you now want to start changing the code of your HTML template to a WordPress compatible theme.

Today we are going to work on your header.php template. You will need to open your Header file from the folder you created in the last step in order to begin this process.

Next you will want to open up your HTML document and copy and paste the code from the top of the template all the way down to just BEFORE the DIV that contains your sidebar and/or content. This will be the core of your header.php file in your new WordPress theme.

For example:

(Click to view larger.)Next you will want to fill in the header with some code that will help convert the HTML document into a WordPress compatible template!

Replace the code with the following code, or the code from your favorite WP theme:

<head profile="http://gmpg.org/xfn/11">
<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="<?php bloginfo('html_type'); ?>; charset=<?php bloginfo('charset'); ?>" />
<meta name="generator" content="WordPress <?php bloginfo('version'); ?>" /> <!-- leave this for stats -->
<link rel="stylesheet" href="<?php bloginfo('stylesheet_url'); ?>" type="text/css" media="screen" />

<link rel="alternate" type="application/rss+xml" title="<?php bloginfo('name'); ?> RSS 2.0" href="<?php bloginfo('rss2_url'); ?>" />
<link rel="alternate" type="application/atom+xml" title="<?php bloginfo('name'); ?> Atom 0.3" href="<?php bloginfo('atom_url'); ?>" />
<link rel="pingback" href="<?php bloginfo('pingback_url'); ?>" />

<title><?php bloginfo('name'); ?><?php wp_title(); ?></title>
<link rel="shortcut icon" href="<?php bloginfo('template_url'); ?>/images/favicon.ico" type="image/x-icon" />
<link rel="icon" href="<?php bloginfo('template_url'); ?>/images/favicon.ico" type="image/x-icon" />
<?php wp_head(); ?><meta name="verify-v1" content="53/AHENoYym8RbXpIdO+Aa2GaVPVpX8G79ehG6+NYTw=" />
</head>

Your header.php file should look something like this:

(Click on image to view larger.)Please note that in WordPress the stylesheet is separate from the HTML document. But this code above is designed to link to the stylesheet you defined in the previous tutorial. If you have any CSS located within the header of your template, be sure to take it out and just add it to your external stylesheet.

Now this is actually turning out to be pretty easy don’t ya think? Going from static website to WP is definitely a smart move for EVERYONE who markets their business online!

Next week we will tackle the sidebar. Be sure to subscribe to this blog in your feed reader or by email so you don’t miss a single step!

Part 1: HTML to WordPress

Creating your own WordPress theme is really just taking your regular HTML website and converting it to a WordPress theme, making it compatible with the WordPress blogging software.

Learning how to convert an HTML theme to WordPress is also a great task to learn if you would like to take your current HTML website or boutique and create a matching WordPress theme so that your Internet Business can also have a blog!

In this tutorial series we will cover the simple steps you will need to take in order to convert an HTML template to a WordPress theme.

Step 1: Set Up Your Files

The first step to creating a WordPress theme is setting up the theme files on your computer.

First you will want to create the main folder that will hold all your theme files. This typically is the name of your WordPress theme.

Next you will want to add the following text files to your new spiffy WP theme folder:

  • Index.php
  • Header.php
  • Footer.php
  • Functions.php
  • Sidebar.php
  • Comments.php
  • Page.php
  • single.php
  • style.css

Note: These are just your basic theme files needed. If you have any additional sidebars you will need to make an php file for these as well.

In Part 2 of this series we start chopping up our HTML theme and placing the code into the PHP files. Be sure to subscribe to this blog in your feed reader or by email so you don’t miss a single step!

Installing WordPress Using Fantastico

Fantastico makes installing many open source files easy as pie. All it really takes is a few easy clicks and you can have your own WordPress blog up and running in no time!

Even though Fantastico certainly makes installing WordPress a cinch, it can be a bit confusing for someone who is new to installing scripts, or even new to using Fantastico. This tutorial will help show just how easy it is to install a WordPress blog using Fantastico!

First: Log Into Cpanel

The one thing you will want to make sure is that your website host offers Fantastico. Most (if not all) cpanel hosts typically offer Fantastico. If your host doesn’t offer Cpanel then that’s fine too, they may or may not have Fantastico installed. If that’s the case then you will want to visit our series on How to Install WordPress the old fashion way.

Once you are logged into Cpanel, scroll down until you see an icon like this:

Next: Getting Started

Once you have logged into your Cpanel and found the Fantastico dashboard. You will then want to click on the title “wordpress” to start a new installation. You will then be brought to a dashboard that looks like this:

To get started just click on “new installation.”

Now onto: The Nitty Gritty

Once you do that you will then be brought the screen that will take care of the nitty gritty, basically put your blog up! This screen can be a bit difficult to understand, but we’re here to make it easy for you to understand.

Let’s break this next screen down by section.

Install on domain: This just shows that the WordPress script will be installed on your domain name.

Install In Directory: This is the part that might be tricky for some, but directory really just means folder. Leave this area blank if you would like your blog to appear in your root director (for example you want your domain to look like this: http://yourdomainname.com.)

If you would like for your blog to appear somewhere like: http://yourdomainname.com/blog you will want to enter the word “Blog” within the section that says “Install in Directory” – this will simply be the folder your WordPress Script Files will be located.

The rest is pretty self explanatory.

Pick a username and a password, and write it down so you can remember. Then fill out the rest of the information they request.

Finally

You will be brought to a screen that will ask you to finish your installation. be sure to go over your info and make sure you are installing your WordPress blog in the appropriate directory folder:

After that you will be given your log in URL which will look something like this:

http://yourdomainname.com/foldername/wp-admin

And the link where your blog can be found!

I told you so…

See I told you installing WordPress with Fantastico was easy as pie…

WordPress Plugin Review: Scribe SEO

When you are first starting out with blogging Search Engine Optimization is the last thing on your mind. You just want to blog.

Sure there are plenty of SEO ebooks out there, and some of them are quite good, and when you have the time could be a good read. However most of us know time is money, and learning search engine optimization can be very confusing and a bit of a time commitment.

Lately I have personally made a commitment to making what blogs I do have, better. The first step to doing this, I had planned on making my blogs posts and pages better optimized for search engines. So I had made the commitment to read the SEO ebooks within one week and learn all I could about search engine optimization.

Then on Monday I opened up my email to find that Brian Clark released a new little plug in/tool for WordPress called Scribe. At first I was like OK, I think I can do what this plug in does all on my own. And in all honesty anyone who is well versed in search engine optimization, and even WordPress SEO, could do all the things this plugin does.

However! The Scribe SEO WordPress plugin can save anyone, the professional search engine optimization guru and the newbie blogger, a lot of TIME.

One of my favorite features of this plugin: the tag recommendations!
I personally hate going through my posts trying to think of different tags for my posts, so I usually get lazy and just don’t add ANY tags, or I add maybe one or two.

The Scribe SEO WordPress Plugin certainly helps you to:

  • Optimize your blog posts and pages in a timely manner.
  • It also helps to teach you how to optimize your blog posts and the pages the best way the first time. Simply because you go through the check list and remember next time to add this, change that. It’s amazing how much of a great teaching tool it is!

With Scribe you’ll:

  • Optimize content faster
  • Eliminate guesswork about keywords
  • Employ SEO best practices
  • Preserve maximum readability
  • Increase targeted traffic!

I give the Scribe SEO WordPress Plugin 5 out of 5 stars! I highly recommend this plug in to anyone who is serious about becoming a professional blogger and who knows the importance of search engine optimization in their efforts to grow their blog and make it better!

Installing WordPress Part 4: Uploading the Script Files

Now that we know how to choose the right website host for our new WordPress blog, upload files via File Transfer Protocol (FTP), and have a database ready to go, all we have left to do is install the WordPress script and complete the set up process.

The WordPress blogging script files should already be downloaded and unzipped to your computer. Now you just need to open your FTP client and browse to find the WordPress files on your computer. In this tutorial we will be using FileZilla as our FTP client.

In FileZilla all computer files are viewed on the left hand side under “local site” – which also means “your computer.” In FileZilla browse your computer to find the WordPress files downloaded from the WordPress website. The left hand side of FileZilla under local site should look something like this:

Next you will want to connect to your website in FileZilla. The information needed to connect to a website via FTP is: website or FTP URL, username, password, and port # (default port number is 21.)

Once you are connected to your website you will notice in FileZilla that your website files are listed on the right hand side under “remote site” which also means “your website.” In the right hand section you will want to browse to the public_html folder or the root domain.

Note: The files located within the root domain is what website visitors first see when they arrive at your website. For example if you install WordPress on your root domain the WordPress blog will appear on the following URL: http://yourdomainname.com

However if you would like to install WordPress in a sub folder of the domain you can do this as well. In order to install WordPress in a sub folder you will want to create the folder within your root domain. Just create a new folder within the public_html folder. Name the folder whatever you would like, for example if you want your WordPress blog to be located at http://yourdomainname.com/blog then name the folder “blog.” Then open that folder and upload the WordPress files within that folder.

Next we are going to upload all WordPress files to the public_html folder. You will want to be sure you have already configured the wp-config-sample.php file with the database information and save it as wp-config.php within the WordPress files located on your computer.

Be sure to upload ALL files, including the new wp-config.php file you just created.

Once all the WordPress files are uploaded you will then want to go to your website URL to run the install script. To run the install script go to the following URL: http://yourblog.com/wp-admin/install.php (replace “yourblog.com” with your actual URL.)

Note: If you installed the blog in a sub directory then you will need to add the folder name within the URL like this: http://yourblog.com/foldername/wp-admin/install.php

Next You will want to enter your blog information:

On the next page you will receive the log in information to your WordPress dashboard. Be sure to write down your password and don’t lose it!

Congratulations you are now the proud owner of a self hosted WordPress blog! Now find a fancy theme, some cool plugins, and start blogging!

Installing WordPress Part 3: Your Database

When installing WordPress you will need to have access to at least one database through your website host. The database holds the meat of the WordPress blog. When doing research on a website host, be sure they provide at least one database in so that you can install WordPress on your website.

Setting Up a Database

When signing up with a website host they will provide you with information to log into your client control panel. Most website hosts use what is called Cpanel, and this is where most web masters manage their website files, databases, and email accounts.

We will be using the Cpanel interface as a base for this tutorial.

Step #1 Create a Database – After you log into your Cpanel, find the icon that says “MySQL Databases” and click on it.

On the next page you will see a box that says “Create New Database.” There you will enter the name of the database that will be used for your new WordPress blog. After you enter the name click create database.

Step #2 Create a User – In order for the database to work you will need to assign a user and user privileges. On the page you created the database you will find a section that says “Add New User.” Here you will pick out a username, and a password for the new database user.

Please keep write down the password assigned to the user as you will need this information later on when configuring WordPress for installation. It is a good idea to create a strong database password to avoid being hacked.

Next you will want to add the new user you created to the database you created. This can be done on the same page in the section titled “Add User to Database”:

On the next page you will need to assign user privileges. Just click “All Privileges” and then click make changes.

On the page where you created the database you will now see your database, and the user name. Write down the database name, and database user name. Keep this information together with the password you wrote down in a previous step.

Step #3 Editing Your Wp-Config.php File – The wp-config.php is how you will connect your WordPress blogging script to the database you just created. If you haven’t already downloaded the WordPress script to your computer then now is the time to do so. The latest version of WordPress can be downloaded here: http://wordpress.org/download/

Once you have downloaded the files to your computer you will want to unzip the files. Next open up the wp-config-sample.php file in your text editor. Edit the following fields with the database information you wrote down in the previous step:

Save this file as wp-config.php within your WordPress folder that holds all the other WordPress script files. In the next tutorial we will work on uploading the WordPress files to the website and finish the process of installing a self hosted WordPress blog on your domain name.

Installing WordPress Part 2: FTP Basics

FTP stands for File Transfer Protocol. FTP is the fastest way to transfer files from a computer to a website. Knowing how to FTP is essential to installing WordPress and will be used to move the WordPress script files to your website host server. The website server is where all website files are stored.

Most FTP software is provided free through the Internet. Some website hosts also provide a free FTP client through some of their hosting packages. FileZilla is one of the well known free FTP clients available and can be downloaded here: http://filezilla-project.org/

Connecting To the Website Server

Before connecting to your website through an FTP client, you will want to make sure your domain name is set up with a hosting account and all name servers have had time to propagate. In order to connect to your web hosting server through FileZilla you will need the following information:

URL – An URL is needed when connecting to your server via FTP. In most FTP clients the website URL should be sufficient. However some website hosts also provide you with an FTP URL, or you can set one up yourself. The FTP URL can also be used to connect to your server via FTP. The URL will need to go into the “address” field when connecting to the website server via an FTP client.

Username – Most website hosts will give you an FTP or Cpanel username when setting up a new hosting account. In your FTP client you will want to enter this username provided in order to connect to the server.

Password – Again when setting up a hosting account your web host will provide an FTP or Cpanel password which will also be needed in order to connect to the server via FTP.

Port – A port number is how a server identifies the message that has arrived via FTP. For most servers the default port number for transferring files is 21.

Now that we know what information is needed to connect to our server via FTP. We will now look at some other definitions that are good to know when using an FTP client to transfer files to your website.

Local Site – Most FTP clients have a side where the “local site” files are listed. The local site is also known as your computer, and the files listed are the files stored on your computer. All the files being uploaded to your web hosts server will be found under “local site.”

Remote Site – The remote site is where all the files hosted on the website host server are listed. When installing WordPress all of the script files will be transfered from the local site (your computer) to the remote site (your website.)

Learning how to transfer files to your website via FTP can be a bit overwhelming at first. However practice makes perfect, and you will soon get the hang of using an FTP client to transfer files from your computer to your website. FTP is definitely a skill that opens many doors to help grow any online website.

Installing WordPress Part 1: Finding a Website Host

Choosing the right website host is the first step to take before setting up a self hosted WordPress Blog. There are a few hosting requirements for hosting a self hosted WordPress blog, and bloggers will want to make sure the website host that they choose meet these requirements.

Database – Believe it or not some website hosting companies do not include databases within their hosting packages. Most PHP scripts, like WordPress, require a database to be installed on a website. Each installation of WordPress will require one database. If you plan to install more than one WordPress blog, or a forum script, then additional databases will also be needed.

Disk Space – Typically the WordPress script and database do not take up too much disk space. The base installation of WordPress requires at least 1.5MB of free disk space. However the disk space is also affected by the amount of content posted on the blog, and how many plugins are installed. Most basic hosting packages include enough disk space to host a single WordPress blog. More disk space should be allocated if more than one WordPress blog, or other scripts, are going to be hosted on the same account.

Bandwidth – Most bandwidth is calculated by how many visitors there are to the website, and the amount of images hosted on the website. Choosing the right amount of bandwidth for any website, not just a WordPress website, would require some knowledge of how much traffic the web master anticipates. Purchasing a website hosting package that leaves room for growth is certainly recommended.

PHP – PHP is the scripting language in which WordPress is written in. Making sure your website host has the latest version of PHP installed will ensure that WordPress is compatible with your website hosting company.

Choosing the best website host for a self hosted WordPress blog does require some research. However through this research you will find that most hosting companies do meet the requirements of hosting a WordPress blog.