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Archive for the ‘WordPress’ Category

WordCamp Phoenix Day 1 Recap #WCPHX

Even though I have been working with WordPress for years, this is my first WordCamp, so I was really excited to meet lots of great folks in the WordPress community as well as some of the providers I have worked with, but not yet had an in person connection. Having a super busy schedule, I did not get there until the afternoon session. And well, I was manning one of the cameras at 1PM, so it was pretty important to be there. 🙂

Checking In
The check in process was amazing, which for conferences can be tough. They (wisely) used QR codes to simplify check in and from the user perspective it made life simple.

Great Workshops
Day One held 5 Tracks:

    Beginner User
    Advanced User
    Beginner Developer
    Advanced Developer

(My) Session One
I spent the afternoon in the Advanced User sessions. The first session I attended was Building Websites that Visitors Actually Want to Use: Google Analytics & The Sticky Factor, with Ken Granger of BrandCo. Ken challenged the group with some great questions we all need to ask when it comes to our websites

    Why do you have a website?
    Who visits your website?
    What do you want them, to do?

As a group, we did a review of two pizza websites (Barro’s Pizza and Pizza Hut). I won’t tell you all that we found, but we answered the three questions as it related to both sites.

Ken also emphasized the importance (and power) of reading your analytics often. I am an analytics geek, so I appreciated that. Ken also demoed the “live view” of Google Analytics and pointed out that Google Webmaster Tools will give you the keyword data that Google Analytics is no longer showing.

My Second Session
The second session was Security Best Practices with Brennen Byrne & Sam Hotchkiss and it was full of solid “need to know” info. One attendee even called it “the best session of the day” via Twitter:

They discussed the 5 Rules, 4 Tools, and 3 Important Habits to keep your WordPress website safe. If you missed it, you are in luck, they made the slides AND their WordPress Security Checklist available. Here are the links: (slides) (security checklist)

They also highlighted two amazing security plugins. BruteProtect & Clef. I was really impressed with the live demo of Clef and I will be setting it up shortly. One attendee actually set it up during the session (per his Tweet below), so I’d say it’s pretty user friendly.

Great People
As expected, I ran into people I know, met people I only “knew” virtually, and got to connect with the great folks at WP Engine. If you don’t know about WP Engine, they are a managed WordPress hosting solution that my company started to use last year. It’s was great to meet some of the people behind the scenes at the company.

Great Resources
The two great resources I learned of were:
Torque – A WordPress news site run by the great folks at WP Engine. – The daily WordPress blogger.

That’s all for now. It was a busy day because I left WordCamp for a quick meal with my wife and then a client meeting, so I ended my day a bit after 9PM, making it another 13+ hour day.

AKA Internet Marketing Now Offering Entry Level WordPress Websites

Our team has always sought to serve clients of all sizes and when it comes to getting the right kind of web platform, it can seem a bit cost prohibitive for smaller companies. Many companies opt to have a simple HTML website when they find themselves in need of a website, only to later find that they can’t edit the site without technical expertise or paying a professional or they find out that they don’t own their code because it’s built with a proprietary software that’s not transferable.

My recommended web and blog platform has been WordPress for the last several years. It’s very user friendly, but more than that it’s search engine friendly and allows it’s users to create their own content in an ongoing manner by blogging. It typically costs more to have a WordPress website built because not everyone knows how to build them, but we have come up with an affordable solution so no one has an excuse for not having a viable website. Here is what we’ve included:

– Professional WordPress installation (including all necessary plugins.)
– A 3 page website with a custom header and blog feature.
– Optimized coding for search engines. While WordPress is a search engine friendly web platform, someone still has to do the research to make sure the right keywords are used – that’s what we do!
– Integration of your key social media profiles.
– The basic site is just $525 but for the first 20 folks to sign up in June, we will take $100 off of the price.

Take a look at this document which gives all of the specifics as well as some options for upgrades. If you have any questions, you can contact me at or 602-903-6223.

Recommended WordPress Plugins (Update)

This is an update from a blog post I did way back in April of 2008 which ended up being one of my most popular posts even to this day.

There have been some changes due to plugins no longer being supported and the evolution of some great new security plugins. Also, prior, I had recommended that people install plugins the old school way of uploading and now you can simply upload them through WordPress without using FTP software which is much much simpler.

First, let’s start with the installation instructions:

1. Log in as administrator.
2. Click Plugins in the left column.
3. Select “Add New” from the top of the new page that appears.
4. Type the name of the plugin you want to upload in the search box.
5. Scroll down through the results and locate the exact plugin you want to install by name. There are many similar names so be careful.
6. Select “install now”
7. On the next screen click on the link that says “activate plugin”
8. Configure plugin by selecting it from the left column. If you do not see it, you may need to click on settings for it to show up in the drop down menu.

Security Plugins for WordPress – WordPress has some security issues so it is critical that you use the following WordPress security plugins:

  • Akismet – This one will cost you a mere $5 per month, but it is well worth it to keep the spammers away.
  • Login Lockdown – This prevents people that use tools to guess password from getting access to your admin console. It is also recommended to choose a secure password.
  • WP DB Backup – This plugin will email a copy of your blog to you periodically (I recommend daily). This way, if you have to reinstall it, you can.

SEO / Social Media plugins for WordPress – These are plugins designed to help you market your WordPress Website or Blog.

  • All in One SEO Pack – Allows you to enter custom titles and meta tags for each page or blog post.
  • Blog Glue (formerly known as Arkayne) – Allows people to find you through other blog posts as it syndicates your blog posts to a network of related bloggers. I have actually seen quite a bit of traffic come to my SEO blog from Arkayne/Blog Glue.
  • CommentLUV – Encourages blog comments by linking the comment to the posters previus blog post.
  • Dofollow – This plugin removes the “nofollow” attribute which is supposed to encourage people to comment on your blog. Truth be told, people should not worry about this so much as whether or not they are contributing to good content. In the end, this plugin actually produces lots of spam because those that seek out “dofollow” blogs are typically looking to take advantage of links they can get from posting bogus comments.
  • Google Analytics for WordPress – Allows you to insert Google Analytics code simply on all pages of your WordPress website or blog.
  • Sociable – Allows readers to share your blog posts through a variety of methods including several different social media sites.
  • Tweetmeme – Allows your readers to retweet your content with minimal effort.

Communications Plugins – Plugins designed to help your readers communicate with you.

  • Contact Form 7– Creates a form for people to use to communicate with you.
  • Subscribe to Comments – Allows readers to be notified of additional comments to a blog post, which would allow them to continue the dialogue is they desired.
  • Really Simple CAPTCHA – This works in conjunction with the Contact Form 7 plugin to create a CAPTCHA code to eliminate bogus automated form responses from bots.
  • YouTube Brackets – Makes embedding YouTube videos into your posts simple.

There are dozens of additional plugins. In fact, if you want to find one, just do a Google search and you will find many plugins that can really make WordPress a powerhouse such as:

  • Directory Plugins – To create an online directory using WordPress.
  • Membership Site Plugins – This is a great way to monetize a website; by creating a membership site and charging a monthly fee.
  • Buddy Press – Helps you create a Social Media community using wordPress.

In closing, here are a few things to keep in mind regarding plugins:

1. Since they are developed by 3rd party developers, you will need to get support from the third party developers as opposed to your webmaster or web hosting company.

2. Plugins need to be kept up to date, otherwise failure can occur.

3. Make sure your plugins are compatible with your current version of WordPress (and vice versa), or you could have conflicts or plugins that do not function as they are intended.

If you have any great WordPress plugins that you think should be listed, feel free to let me know by commenting below.

WordPress Plugins That I Can’t Live Without

Here is a compilation of WordPress plugins that I currently use and am satisfied with. I know there are others that do the same thing, so feel free to leave comments and let others know what you are using.

Do-Follow – Disables “no-following” of links. Highly recommended for all bloggers.

Spam Karma – Blocks Spam – Somehow, I do think spam elicits bad karma – as it should.

All in One SEO – Allows for Optimization of Posts for Search Engines. Assuming that a high percentage of bloggers do so for online exposure, this is a must.

Google Analytics – Allows for tracking with Google Analytics. How will you ever sell ads on your blog if you don’t know how many people visit?

MyBlogLog – Adds MyBlogLog Widget allowing you to interact with other bloggers. A nice networking tool (now owned by Yahoo)

Subscribe To Comments – Allows users to subscribe to posts they comment on which helps to increase your return visitors and build community at your blog.

WP DB Backup – Simplifies the process of backing up your blog, which you should do periodically.

YouTube Brackets – Allows for easy embedding of YouTube videos – (thanks to Caroline Middlebrook for a detailed explanation on how to implement this)

Sociable – Simplifies interaction with Social Media websites.

Google AdSense – Allows for monetization of your blog with Google AdSense. Use with caution lest you send your visitors away for pennies.

Hope those are helpful. Let me know if you have any questions about any of them and feel free to subscribe to my blog to get more free online business development tips.

OldSchool SEO Gets a Face Lift

While I’d like to get the kind of face lift that would remove my extra chin, I have (for now) done a face life on the website. I wasn’t married to the “Matt Cutts” theme, I just had other more pressing priorities. I have to say, I am really happy with this selection because while it’s not the custom template that I’d like it was priced right at “free ninety nine”.

Even since I decided to get serious about blogging this year, I looked into custom designs, and really had a hard time spending real money on a site that doesn’t bring in money directly. Of course, this is the year to change that as I will highlight the services offered by my company, Web Traffic Team a bit more on the blog (and that site is getting a “real” face lift).

I would like to not only thank Performancing for the free WordPress template, but will credit Matt Keegan for prompting me to use it (without even knowing).

As for the other face lift? I missed the SEO’s Fight Fat For Charity Competition and couldn’t join late (Go Simon!), so I am on my own trying to eat healthy and exercise. I am not off to a good start either, and the fact that I am in Las Vegas this weekend won’t help much, although my hotel allegedly has a gym — mt wife said it does, but I haven’t seen it yet. Hopefully, I will be in shape before the next SEO Fat Fight, but if not, maybe I can lose weight for a good cause.

Happy Friday and wish me luck at the tables!

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