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wordpress

Convince Your Client They Should Be Using WordPress Over Another CMS

WordPress CMS

Do you ever work with clients that are running Joomla or their own custom Content Management System? (CMS) Do you wish you could convince them to migrate to WordPress, or maybe they just need a good reason?

Below is a list I have compiled to use as a selling point for WordPress to hopefully convince your client that they should at least be considering WordPress.

WordPress is Free and Used By More Than Any Other CMS

WordPress is used by 58.5% of all websites that use a CMS (http://w3techs.com/technologies/details/cm-wordpress/all/all)  This is 20.1% of all websites.

W3Techs - World Wide Web Technology Surveys

WordPress is the most customizable CMS platform available on the market today

If a customization is needed, this can be done very quickly. There are more WordPress developers available than on any other platform (checkout Freelancer if you can’t do it yourself). If a customization is needed in another CMS platform, the turnaround time could be much longer and might not even be possible.

Freelancer

The WordPress Community has thousands of plugins to help make your life easier

According to the WordPress plugin directory there are currently over 27,000 plugins available. And most of them are free. http://www.wordpress.org/plugins/

Plugin Directory

The WordPress Community has thousands of themes available, both free and premium

My favorite places for premium WordPress themes are themeforest and mythemeshop. Also make sure to checkout the free theme directory (over 2,000).

WordPress is One of the Easiest Platforms to Rank on Search Engines

With the free All In One SEO Pack or free WordPress SEO plugin, WordPress is very easy to rank.

wordpress-seo

Automated Ways to Check for Broken Links

With the free Broken Link Checker plugin, set it up to email you whenever there are new broken links detected.

Automated ways to Build Sitemap Files

My favorite free plugin is still Google XML Sitemaps. Install the plugin, and let it update your sitemap file whenever a post or page is updated.

google-xml-sitemaps

Automated ways to Build Video Sitemaps

Google XML Sitemap for Videos is a free plugin to generate a video sitemap.

Automated ways to Build Image Sitemaps

Google XML Sitemap for Images is a free plugin to generate an image sitemap.

Automated ways to post to social networks when new contents is posted

There are many free plugins available to auto post to social networks when new content is posted. Two of my personal favorites are NextScripts: Social Networks Auto-Poster and 1-click Retweet/Share/Like.

SNAP

Automated ways to setup Email Campaigns straight from RSS feeds

This is very useful for bloggers, and in fact I use this myself on my blog. Easily setup widgets to have your visitors signup for your newsletter and let your new content go out to thousands without having to do any work. MailChimp and Aweber both offer this. Read MailChimp’s RSS-to-Email tutorial. Watch Aweber’s “Email Your Blog Articles” demo.

mailchimp

Setup 301 redirects when migrating sites without messing with your .htaccess file

My favorite free plugin for this is Simple 301 Redirects.

WordPress ping sites to notify them if there is new content available.

Take advantage of the WordPress update services. Here are two recommended Ping lists: ShoutMeLoud Ping List & Vladimir Ping List

WordPress is Easy to Use for All Ages

I have worked with clients in all age groups and no matter how tech savvy they are, they have all learned it and were posting their own content within a week’s time on their own.

Conclusion

Hopefully some of the reasons above have helped you make a more informed decision when choosing a CMS platform. WordPress is a fast, efficient, and cost effective solution to develop and build websites on. If I forgot anything, please feel free to comment below.

pretty-link-wordpress-plugin

Mask Affiliate Links in WordPress with Pretty Link Plugin

If you are running an affiliate blog then it makes sense to mask your affiliate links. Partially because people are sometimes hesitant to click on them when they see the affiliate data in the URL and another reason is because affiliate links are hideous! In this tutorial I will show you how to install the free WordPress plugin “Pretty Link Lite.” This is a great plugin which allows you to create custom masked links with your own domain and track clicks on those links.

Step 1

In WordPress under Plugins click on “Add New.” Search for Pretty Link and click on “Install Now” under Pretty Link Lite and then click “OK.”

install-pretty-link-lite

Step 2

Then click on “Activate Plugin.”

activate-pretty-link

Step 3

Now go down to “Pretty Link” and click on “Pretty Link.”

pretty-link-wordpress-plugin

Step 4

Go ahead and click on “Add a Pretty Link” and I will show you an example with my Infolinks affiliate URL. I choose 301 for permanent redirection as I won’t ever be changing this. In the Target URL box I put the affiliate URL. Then choose a short and easy URL on your own site that the visitor will see. So for mine, I made http://brianleejackson.com/infolinks. And give it a title. Then click on “Create.”

pretty-link-affiliate-url

You can now use your new Pretty Link URL anywhere on your website and it will redirect to the actual affiliate URL. You can view hits on the link within the Pretty Link dashboard.

pretty-link-dashboard

For any website running affiliate links this plugin is a must have!

404

Fix your Broken Links with Broken Link Checker

Broken Link Checker

For your website to be successful, you must keep it tuned like a well oiled machine. This means fixing links when they break. The last thing a visitor wants to see on your website is a big 404 error. For WordPress I highly recommend the “Broken Link Checker” plugin.  This plugin will check your posts, comments and other content for broken links and missing images, and notify you if any are found. Below are steps for installing the plugin.

Step 1

In WordPress go to the Plugins section and click on “Add New.” Then in the search box, type in “broken link checker” and hit “Search Plugins.”

install-broken-link-checker-plugin

Step 2

Click on “Install Now” and then click on OK.

install-broken-link-checker

Step 3

Click on “Activate Plugin.”

activate-broken-link-checker

Step 4

By default the plugin will check for broken links every 72 hours and send you an email. You can always go into Settings > Link Checker and change the advanced settings and notification preferences. Click into “Tools” and then “Broken Links” and you can see an example of the plugin finding 3 broken links. All of these were 404, meaning not found.

broken-link-checker-404

Step 5

If you hover over the link, you have a few options. You can edit the URL, unlink it, mark as not broken and also dismiss it. On the far right hand side you can also see the page on which the broken page is located. Usually I will click into the page to see how the link was structured and where it was located. Perhaps the link is no longer required, or maybe you were linking to another website and they moved/changed what you were linking to.

broken-link-checker-edit-url

wordpress

Make Sure To Change Your Permalinks For SEO Friendly URLs

WordPress Permalinks

If you are running WordPress, the default permalink setting for URLs is not very SEO friendly. I highly recommend changing them from the default to ensure easier rankings. Don’t make life harder on yourself.

By default when you install WordPress, the permalinks are set http://yourdomain.com/?p=123.

default-permalinks

Step 1

This is assuming you have just installed WordPress. If you already have a high traffic website or blog, I recommend reading this article by my good friend Harsh, How to Change WordPress Permalink With 301 Permalink Redirection. Changing your permalinks on a site that is already established can be harmful if not done the right way.

In WordPress, go to Settings and click on “Permalinks.”

wordpress-settings-permalinks

Step 2

The best format for SEO friendly URLs is “Post name.” This will make your URLs look like http://domain.com/blog-post/.  This will allow you to have a keyword within your URL as well to help you rank. So check “Post name” and click on “Save Changes.”

wordpress-post-name-permalinks

This will update any existing URLs to that format and also any future pages/posts you create.

wordpress

How to Create a Sitemap File for Your WordPress Site

Creating a Sitemap File

In this tutorial I will be showing you how to create a sitemap file (ex. sitemap.xml) for your WordPress site. Sitemaps are used by Google and Bing as a hierarchy for your website. I highly recommend taking the time to create them and submit them properly to Google and Bing. If you aren’t running WordPress, see my other tutorial on “How to Create a Sitemap File Manually for your Website (coming soon).” Setting up your sitemap file in WordPress is very easy, but I get asked this question so many times that I am taking the time to post it.

Step 1

The first step is to install the WordPress plugin “Google XML Sitemaps.” This is the plugin I always recommend to generate your sitemap files if you are running WordPress, and it is completely free. I have used this plugin on hundreds of WordPress installs over the past 7 years. Now in WordPress, lets go down to the Plugins section and click on “Add New.” Then we will type in “Google XML Sitemaps” and click on “Search Plugins.”

download-google-xml-sitemaps-plugin

Step 2

Now we will click on “Install Now” under the plugin Google XML Sitemaps. (I always recommend backing up WordPress before installing any plugin, just to be safe. Or at least have FTP access ready)

install-google-xml-sitemaps

Step 3

Now click on “Activate Plugin.”

activate-google-xml-sitemaps-plugin

Step 4

Now we will go down to “Settings” and then click into “XML-Sitemap.”

settings-xml-sitemap

Step 5

Now we will click on the link that says “Click here” which will initiate the first creation of your new sitemap file.

xml-sitemap-build-first-time

Step 6

Now right click on the “sitemap” link and open that in a new window or tab just to verify that directory permissions for writing the file are working and that the file looks ok.

open-sitemap-file

Your sitemap file should show a list of your pages/posts and it will look similar to this. It is most likely located at the root of your site, example: http://brianleejackson.com/sitemap.xml.

sitemap-file

This plugin will update the file automatically whenever you create/update a page or post in WordPress. So there is no need to ever create this file manually again.

Stay tuned for my next upcoming post on “How to Submit Your Website to Google Webmaster Tools.”

flippa-wp

Migrate WordPress Blog from Flippa

So, did you just buy a WordPress blog on Flippa and now need to get it up and going on your own Webhost? Most likely they gave you the files and the SQL backup for the WordPress database. I’m going to show you what you do with those to get your site up and running.

This is assuming you have already transferred the DNS/domain over. If not, you can always edit your hosts file on your computer to do the steps below before the DNS has even changed over.

Step 1

Upload your WordPress files to either the root or subdomain of your webhost, depending on your URL configuration.

Step 2

Create a new mysql database by going into Cpanel and clicking on “MySQL Databases”. Choose a database name, username, and password. They can be whatever you want, just make sure you write it down as you will need this later.

mysql1

Step 3

Now that you have your mysql database, you need to take the backup (sql file) that you have from your Flippa purchase, and we are going to upload the contents of the wp db into your new one that you just created. To do this, you will need to go into phpMyAdmin. The link is right next to the previous one in Step 2.

mysql2

Step 4

Click on the “Databases” tab at the top, and then click on the name of the database you made in Step 2. Now click on the “Import” tab at the top. Browse your computer for the sql file you have from Flippa and then hit Go. That should have now uploaded all the tables from the blog/site you just purchased into your db that you created in Step 2.

Step 5

Now we need to tell your WordPress files about the credentials for your db you made in Step 2 so that it can connect. In the root of your web directory, there should be a wp-config.php file. Go ahead and open/edit that and update your mysql database username and password. And that is it! Your blog should now be back to the state it was on its previous webhost.

WordPress

Add a line break into WordPress Post or Page

I don’t know why WordPress can’t seem to get line breaks to work correctly. Anyways, if you are searching for this you have probably tried adding a
and it doesn’t work.

What you have to do is add the line break plus a space for WordPress to add the line break. Example, use this:


 

Hope that helps!