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Step 3: Install WordPress

Stage 3: WordPress Guide 04/09/2017

First, I told you how to select a good domain name. Next, I gave you tips on how to choose the right web hosting company. Once you have purchased a plan, you can install WordPress easily through your hosting account. This is the third step on how to set up an instant website.

Why Install WordPress?

WordPress is an open source software which means it’s free. It’s easy to manage. It also has a lot features that are helpful to many non-technical users. It is also very easy to learn for first time users. Oh, and I use WordPress on this website.

If you find my website good enough for your project, then use WordPress. I have not done any major alterations to my site, so it is virtually the default settings. A website like mine, with all the above benefits and without a background in web programming. What else can you ask for?

10 Simple Steps in Quick Installation of WordPress

To enjoy the many other benefits offered by WordPress, here is a simple and straight forward guide that will help you install wordpress in no time.

  1. Login to your chosen hosting provider
  2. Go to the cpanel page
  3. Scroll down to the Application section
  4. Go to the 1-Click install page
  5. Complete the information needed such as the website name, site description, email address, admin username and password.
  6. Click install now – this will only take a couple of minutes
  7. Login to your admin page – this will be: yourdomain/wp-admin/
  8. Enter the username and password you created during the installation process
  9. Once logged in, go to the page section and click add new page.
  10. Start writing web pages

Congratulations! You’ve now got a website. Your focus should now be on publishing great contents. You can start by writing different pages such as an about section, services offered page and a contact us page.

In the past not all web hosting companies offer the 1-Click installation feature. You didn’t have an option then apart from installing it manually. With 25% of website now using WordPress, the quick installation option is provided as a basic feature. I will stay away from hosting providers that don’t offer this.

This page should really end here. You don’t need to read the content below.

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Installing WordPress Manually

This was my old guide when I used to manually install WordPress. However, just to give you an idea of how complicated it is to do it manually, you can continue reading.

There are various methods that you can use to install WordPress for your site. This will focus on manual wordpress installation using either the file manager on your chosen web hosting’s cpanel or a file transfer protocol (FTP)

Things You Need to Upload Files:

  • A text editor
  • A web browser of your choice such as Internet Explorer, Firefox or Opera
  • An FTP client such as Filezilla
  • Access to your web server
  • Download the latest wordpress version directly from their wordpress.org
  • Be ready with the credentials that will enable you to access your hosting account
  • Start the installation process

Manual Installation Process

Step 1. Unzip the downloaded wordpress zip folder. After unzipping the file you will see a folder named wordpress, double click it.

Step 2. Create a database on WordPress using the cPanel’s MySQL Database Wizard and add a user to it, with appropriate privileges.

  • Log into the cpanel of your hosting server, and click on the “MySql databases”.
  • In the new window that pops up create a new database , name it appropriately such as myblog_wordpress and click on ‘create new database’.
  • Once you click on the create database button you should see a message ‘added the database myblog_wordpress’ which means that your database has been added, then proceed.
  • Create a new user in the database who will have privileges to access or modify your site. Click on the ‘create user’ option and fill up the username and password that the user will need to access the site.
  • Add the created user to the database by clicking on the “ADD” button.
  • In the window that pops up empower the created user with all privileges and click on the ‘make changes’ button to effect this.
  • When a message “username was added to the myblog_wordpress” pops up you are good to go.

Step 3. Go back to the wordpress folder at step 2 and rename the “wp-config-sample.php” to wp-config.php.

Step 4: Open the wp-config.php in your favorite text editor such as notepad and enter the following details:

  • The name of the database you created.
  • The username you created in the database.
  • The password of the user.
  • The hostname usually localhost.
  • DB_CHARSET The database character set, normally should not be changed DB_COLLATE The database collation should normally be left blank.

Uploading via FTP

Step 5. Upload the files. Connect the file transfer client such as filezilla to the server using the quick connect button and fill all the required fields.

Step 6. Once connected you will see a folder with a /, click on the plus sign and go to the “public_html” folder.

Step 7. Select the wordpress folder from your hand drive, then drag and drop to the “public_html” folder. This will load the downloaded and unzipped wordpress file into the server.

Step 8. To fully install wordpress open your browser and follow this URL: http://example.com/wp-admin/install.php replacing example.com with your own domain name. Fill all the details and click on “Install WordPress”.

Step 9. You will see a window showing you that wordpress has been installed and you can login to manage your website or blog.

Installing WordPress in a Nutshell

Armed with this easy, clear, and concise step by step guide in WordPress installation, you should be able to use WordPress as your website or your site’s blog.

Using WordPress means you no longer have to study the quite complicated and hard to grasp programming languages that web developers use. With wordpress you will have an instant website that you can use to inform, update and interact with your clients freely and effectively.

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10 Easy Steps to Create a Non-Blog WordPress Site

Stage 3: WordPress Guide 03/12/2012

Many web owners aren’t using WordPress as a blogging platform as you might have anticipated. In fact, more small business and business entrepreneurs are turning to WordPress even though they aren’t using it for blogging purposes. This is so because for an average website owner, WordPress offers many attractive features, including avoiding a huge cost for developing a custom design, modify and maintain page and post without having sufficient PHP and HTML experience, incorporate graphics at ease, and change web themes easily among other things.

10 Easy Steps to Create a Non-Blog WordPress Site – Part 1

Having said that, creating a non-blog WordPress site isn’t as easy as simply installing the WordPress site and put them on online. I have found several sites that were very close to what they wanted to achieve, but not quite there as they missed few major steps that could have effectively transition their WordPress site into a well-managed non-blog website.

So whether if you’re creating a non-blog site for yourself, or creating a non-blog WordPress for a client who ask you to set up one, you need to check this article as I share some tips to help you get started.

1. Look for excellent non-Blog Theme

Well, there are really several brilliant WordPress themes, but it doesn’t mean that each of them is effective for non-blog sites. For instance, you might not want a theme to post your content in chronological order, or show post excerpts on the home page, and stuffs like that.

That’s why; you need to do some prodding and prying in order to get a non-blog theme that really works for you.

Naturally, you might want to look for magazine-like theme to start with.

You can check out this article to find top 5 best themes for non-Blog WordPress site.

2. Avoid Using Posts, Instead Use Pages

Once you’ve found a good non-Blog theme for your WordPress site, next you’ll want to obviously create posts for it as it’s the normal thing to do for WordPress site. But I would suggest you not create any posts right now!

Well, it’s totally fine to go along with creating posts for your non-Blog site, but I would highly recommend you to create pages instead.

Why?

Although both pages and posts perform and mean the same thing on a non-Blog site, but creating both of them would definitely make a real mess while creating navigation system.

If you’re tempted to use posts, then stick to it for all of your content as there are benefits for both methods.

3. Create a Static Front Page

After you’ve decided which way to go – the posts or the pages – to create contents for your site, the next thing to do is to set your blog as static website.

To do that, if you’ve chosen to create pages, you’ll need to set your home page to display as a static front page. For that, you’ll first have to create a page you want to display as home page, and then, navigate to the Settings>Reading at the side of the WordPress dashboard, and then, finally, choose the ‘static radio’ button and choose the home page you created earlier from the drop-down option to make it a static web page.

4. Get Your Hands into the Code

To make your site appear as a non-Blog website, you’ll need to remove several blog-centered content from the default WordPress settings. For that, you’ll require to tweak few codes here and there. For example, let’s say that you’ve turned-off the commenting feature from the posts, but you still use posts to display content on your site. But I’ve noticed that most themes still show that ‘No Comments’ text on the screen. Likewise, you’ll also want to remove non-relevant information for a non-blog site, including RSS subscription, popular posts, and most viewed content among others.

For that, you’ll require to get your hands dirty on the coding aspects.

5. Get Picky with Plugins

There are several free WordPress plugins that can really make the transition of your WordPress site to a non-Blog site easy. For SEO tasks, there’s a plugin named HeadSpace that actually lets you manage meta-data, keywords, and meta-description all through a single interface. Likewise, Flutter is another super handy WordPress plugin that creates a customized write panel allowing you to fully customize your posts or pages with radio buttons, image upload, file uploads, and check-boxes among others.

Summary of 10 Easy Steps to Create a Non-Blog WordPress Site – Part 1

WordPress is one of the several popular free blogging platforms available for website owners, web developers, beginners, and small business entrepreneurs to quickly setup a professional-looking site without have any previous programming and coding experience. It’s a user-friendly platform to build dynamic websites.

But recently, we’ve found that more people are using WordPress as a non-Blog website because it let’s them create professional-looking custom website at ease. There are several website that were quite close to what they wanted to achieve, but not quite there. That’s why we’ve compiled 10 best steps to turn your WordPress site into a non-Blog site.

Please follow on with this post in the next part which includes 5 more major steps to help you guide to create a non-Blog WordPress site as ease.

When one of my clients asked me to develop a website for their restaurant, I quickly turned to WordPress. Not only the blogging platform is I am most comfortable with, but it’s so flexible that you’ll really not need to spend your time keyboard-punching all the time. Everything seems to be a matter of just clicking mouse as the CMS and dashboard is very user-friendly.

It’s a known fact that WordPress is a free blogging platform, but if you’ve been using it for a while, you’ll notice that there’s more to it that meets the eye.

But that doesn’t mean that you sit back and relax and all of the pieces fit in the puzzle out of the blue for you. There requires some few tweaking and adjustments you need to consider to customize a WordPress site according to what your requirement are.

10 Easy Steps to Create a Non-Blog WordPress Site – Part 2

One of those requirements I recently found was a non-Blog site that my client wanted desperately wanted to be set up.

With few tweaks, you’ll definitely transit a blogging platform into a non-Blog like website entity and I’ll show you exactly how to do it in 5 easy and best steps for you.

In the first part of this article, we covered 5 steps to turn a WordPress site into a non-Blog site and if you haven’t checked it out, here’s the link.

6. Find a non-Blog Theme

To create a non-Blog website, you don’t want to use a theme designed for blog, do you? Well, this is the obvious thing to do, yet a very important want as WordPress has hundreds of blog themes that are designed for blogging as well as non-blogging purposes. There are several magazine-like WordPress themes out there that fit perfectly for a small business website or for just non-conventional blogs.

For example, there are wide varieties of themes that are designed to work effectively with static home page, and sometimes these WordPress themes are designed to work equally well without any posts at all.

So if you’ve found a theme that looks similar to what you’re trying to build, then you’re in a good position to give it a head start. Even though it might be a perfect theme, but if it’s even slightly closer to what seems to be a ‘jumping’ point for you, then you’ll make a lot of progress rather quickly than wait for one to appear.

7. Just Forget about the Distinction between the Posts/Pages, Now!

The difference between pages and posts will be apparent when you figure out how the theme treats them. Posts are generally placed inside categories and pages could a child of another.

If you’re running a blog that requires both posts and pages, you might want to consider which one will display as static content – about, contact us, profile – and which one display as the news feeds or blog items for your site.

But the truth is that both posts and posts are pages and both could be used to build static content for your site.

WordPress theme does it for you. But that doesn’t mean that you cannot use them as you’d like. CopyByte, for example, has its individual areas as actual separate categories, each containing a single post. So if I had to add a new post in the category, it would throw off the previous page.

Since we’re not adding any content to these categories, these posts remain as they’re a static pages fixed on the front page as if they were pages instead of posts.

The actual pages are at the top, including the about, contact, and so on.

And this mechanisms almost serves its purpose, although this wasn’t the exactly why pages and posts were meant to be used.

8. Tweak Permalinks

Make your site web links – posts and pages – SEO-friendly, especially if you’re using WordPress to power up your non-Blog site. By default, WordPress post and pages URLs end with php file extension followed by the random post or page unique ID. But search engines don’t understand this numbers, and as a result they don’t know what’s inside the page itself. This will certainly not help to index your site properly on search engines and increase the ranking of pages no matter how information-rich your content might be.

Navigate to Settings>Permalinks on your WordPress dashboard and choose the custom permalinks radio button to make your URL structure something like this.

/%postname%/

This URL of your website will include your domain name followed by the post title.

You still need to visit your individual pages and posts to further prune down the URL. Simply look below the post or page tile on the edit page form, and click on ‘change’ or something and convert the URL slug to whatever you wish. For example, you could change ‘about-us’ to ‘about’ and so on.

This make the site’s URL professional as well as easy to remember.

9. Make Use of Widgets

Widgets are extremely powerful WordPress tool for both design and development, but recently I’ve found that they’re equally useful while creating a non-Blog site.

There’s a reason for that!

Widgets easily let you create custom navigations. For example, to build a customized list of links, for services and pages perhaps, things might get a little bit confusing especially if you’ve a mixed content using pages and posts. However, with widgets, you can get around this obstacle easily, in fact within few minutes.

You can ‘widgetize’ your theme any way you like. You don’t always have to have widgets cramming at the sidebar, but they could also be in other sections of the website, including headers, footers, featured section among others.

Using widgets, you’ll avoid forcing yourself to mess around with codes, and probably screw up in the process as you can easily move small things around the site as you require them.

10. Use Category Feeds

Sometimes you’ll require displaying little blog-like content on your site, news section for example. RSS feed seems like the obvious way to go, but they’ll only populate non-blog related content. The only way around this impasse is to use category feeds.

Add the following code into your feed URL. Replace the hash, # with actual category ID for news sections.

Insert ‘cat=#&’ after ‘?’ in your Feed URL and replace the hash with category ID for news.

After that, the new URL will only generate content for that one feed. In addition, you can also provide the URL to FeedBurner.

Summary of 10 Easy Steps to Create a Non-Blog WordPress Site – Part 2

WordPress aren’t used only for blogging purposes. Many people are still using WordPress but to create a non-Blog type websites instead as the CMS system lets them create a professional-looking customized site for their business without any hassle – knowledge of programming, complicated code tweaking, and all.

In this and the previous article, we discussed 10 easy steps to create a non-blog WordPress site for yourself or for your client who requires it. If you haven’t checked the first part, here’s the link.

 

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How to Display Featured Image Thumbnails for Your WordPress Articles

Stage 3: WordPress Guide 03/12/2012

There’s a ‘Featured Image’ box inside a edit page or post on WordPress powered website. You can easily upload or choose featured images for a page or an article using this box. The ‘featured image’ usually appear as a thumbnail on ‘blogs’ section, probably in a category or as in a search result page.

First, you need to enable the thumbnail support inside your current theme setting to display featured images for your articles.

To enable thumbnail support, you could either add a plug-in so that this option is available for any themes you select and display in all. But this isn’t an appropriate method, though. Creating a file named ‘functions.php’ inside the current theme – inside ‘wp-content/themes/theme-name/’ – folder usually is the most apt method to go about.

That’s what we’re going to explain in this article to display featured image thumbnails for you WordPress articles.

1. Add Theme Support

To enable thumbnail support for all every themes and posts types, simply add the following code right after the opening PHP tag, or <php:.

add_theme_support(‘post-thumbnails’);

The above code will enable thumbnail support for all theme types. But for both posts and pages, you’ll require an additional parameter in the same command specifying ‘posts’ or ‘pages’ as array values.

For posts, you’ll require to add the following code to enable thumbnail support for posts only.

add_theme_support(‘post-thumbnails’, array(‘post’));

And for pages, you’ll require the following code.

add_theme_support(‘post-thumbnails’, array(‘page’));

2. Specify Thumbnail Sizes

By default, you can easily specify the thumbnail size for your images via WordPress settings>media screen. Alternatively, you can also specify the size of your thumbnail by adding a line of command in ‘functions.php’ inside your current them.

For example:

set_post_thumbnail_size(125, 100);

The above line of command will generate a square thumbnail image of 125px wide and 100px high, making it a perfect 4:3 ratio. But there could be a problem. What if someone uploads an image with different aspect ratio – let’s just say 125px by 200px?

In this scenario, the image will be cropped and reduced to fit the thumbnail size, resulting to an ugly looking 50 by 75px.

To get around this problem, you can enforce hard-cropping by passing a third argument to the same command line as ‘true’.

set_post_thumbnail_size(125, 100, true);

This hard-cropping fix will always crop the image exactly matching with our aspect ratio. The result, a thumbnail always have an aspect ratio of 125×100, with only few edges removed at the top, bottom, right, and left.

3. The Featured Image

On the page/post edit page of your WordPress site, the ‘Featured Image’ box option should appear. If you still can’t see it, simply enable it in ‘Screen Options’ or recheck the functions.php file.

4. Using Simple Thumbnails

Once you’ve enabled thumbnail support, you can use three key thumbnail commands within any WordPress loops, including the index.php, archive.php, category.php, author.php, search.php or taxonomy.php.

These three thumbnails commands each check whether the thumbnail has been set or not, returns the string containing the thumbnail image, and displays it on the screen.

  1. has_post_thumbnail() //returns ‘true’ if a thumbnail has been set
  2. the_post_thumbnail() //displays the string having thumbnail <img>
  3. get_the_post_thumbnail() //returns a string having thumbnail <img>

Here’s an simple implementation.

if (has_post_thumbnail()) {

get_the_post_thumbnail()

the_post_thumbnail();

}

What if there’s no thumbnail for the post? Well, you can add a default link and wrap it up with a link around the string.

Here’s an example.

print ‘<a href=”‘, get_permalink(), ‘”>’;

if (has_post_thumbnail()) {

get_the_post_thumbnail()

the_post_thumbnail();

}

else {

echo

‘<img src=”‘,

get_bloginfo(‘template_directory’), ‘/images/default-thumb.png’,

‘” width=”125″ height=”100″ alt=”No Image” />’;

}

echo ‘</a>’;

So if there aren’t’ any thumbnails for the posts or the page, our script above will locate the default image and display them as instead.

5. Advanced Technique Using Thumbnails

Pass two optional arguments inside the two functions – the_post_thumbnail() and the get_the_post_thumbnail() – to specify the size and attributes of the thumbnail image.

To specify the size, set the text as ‘thumbnail’, ‘medium’ or ‘large’ in an array or explicitly specify its width and height – something like array(125,100) for example.

To set the attribute for our thumbnail, in the ‘the_post_thumbnail’ pass the thumbnail attributes – src, class, alt, and title.

For example:

the_post_thumbnail(

array(125, 100),

array(

‘src’ => ‘picture.jpg’,

‘class’ => ‘thumb’,

‘alt’ => ‘article thumb image’,

‘title’ => ‘my personal thumbnail’

)

);

The above code will produce an HTML like:

<img width=”125″ height=”100″ src=”picture.jpg” alt=”article thumb image” class=”thumb” title=”my personal thumbnail” />

That’s all there for the advanced techniques to customize your thumbnails for posts or pages.

Summary How to Display Featured Image Thumbnails for Your WordPress Articles

To enable ‘Featured Image’ box in a WordPress website, you’ll require enabling the thumbnail support in your current theme. You’ll need to either create or tweak the ‘functions.php’ inside the current WordPress theme before going over each steps – add theme support, specify thumbnail size, use thumbnails, and follow an optional advanced techniques – to enable thumbnails on your site.

How to Display Featured Image Thumbnails for Your WordPress Articles

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3 Best WordPress Plugins to Make Your Site Responsive!

Stage 3: WordPress Guide 03/12/2012

To make your website more mobile-friendly, there are several free WordPress plug-ins available on the internet. These plug-ins not only work on the latest WordPress version, but they could also be used without having to re-register or be installed on the development server, and more importantly, offers mobile-device detection mechanisms.

Why use mobile-friendly website in the first place, you might ask. Well, as you might already know, people are often shifting to using their small hand-held devices as it allows them to virtually do everything that a desktop PC or Laptops make them do. For example, people not only connect with the internet and browse internet, but they also use it to chat, buy products online, and create applications on the fly.

Do we need to mention the fact that mobile device really makes people to be more mobile, instead of having to sit behind their desk, at their office or home? In addition, mobile devices are popular because of its portability – just slip it inside your jacket pocket and frisk it out whenever you want it.

3 Best WordPress Plugins to Make Your Site Responsive!

So why not make your WordPress site more mobile-friendly, right?

Well, if you’re reading till now, then you’ve probably saw a good value in it. So let’s get back into business. How do we make your website compatible with hand-held devices, including smartphones, iPhones, iPads, and tablets … then?

Well, you’ll require using few free WordPress plug-ins as I’ve mentioned earlier. While there are many free plug-ins plaguing the internet, we’ve done the tedious task for you and finally pruned down those list to only three best WordPress plug-ins to make your site mobile-friendly.

1. WP Mobile Detector

To quickly adapt your website with small-screen devices, there’s a simple WordPress plug-in called WP Mobile Detector, which you can download and install its free version through the WordPress official site.

The special feature of this amazing mobile-detector plugin is that unlike other plugin that target only few gadgets, WP Mobile detector supports not only 100 or even 1000, but a whopping 5,000 web-enabled cells, smartphones, iPhones, and tablets in the market.

And other features including the WP Mobile detector is not less impressive. For example, the plugin also comes along with 9 different themes. Likewise, the content and the images are also automatically re-sized according to its target device to display it correctly. In addition, the free WordPress plugin also supports WordPress widgets, provides statistics about website traffics by recording web page access, and more importantly, you can also create a multilingual site to target locals and natives that don’t understand and speak English.

To enable real-time interaction, a professional edition of the WP Mobile detector is available from the ‘Websitez.com’ costing $49.95, however, if you’re not willing to buy this plugin before testing out, then a free plugin is readily available from the WordPress.org site.

2. WordPress Mobile Pack

This free WordPress plugin is readily available from WordPress.org site. But before you go on and download the plugin, I want you to consider its pros and cons first.

The good news is that WordPress Mobile Pack is a complete plugin that not only converts your non-mobile website into responsive website, but also gives you a full control over to you.

The domain mapping and the user agent actually detects the most popular hand-held devices before displaying the content on it. In addition to that, it includes an Elegant theme, although it comes in four different colors.

The bad news is that it has got an overwhelming array of options available across multiple pages that might puzzle out beginner WordPress users.

The WordPress Mobile Pack is free and is available to download and install from WordPress.org site.

3. WordPress MobilePress

Finally, the final WordPress plugin to make your website mobile-friendly is WordPress MobilePress. The author who developed the plugin claims that the plugin only works for version up to 2.8.6, but we didn’t have any problems so far using it on the latest WordPress version.

MobilePress is a simple plugin and doesn’t try to overwhelm its users as it only provides few important options to turn your website into a responsive web design.

Here’s another interesting thing we found out about the WordPress MobilePress. It’s not only simple to use, but to test also as the plugin forces your site to switch to mobile view rather than using the actual mobile-device, and more importantly, domain mapping.

Here’s good news for web developers and regular users as well. The plugin also contains two mobile-friendly themes, but looking at these two themes, I couldn’t really figure out the difference. However, if you’ve time and creative juices flowing inside your brain, then you can certainly develop your own version.

The WordPress MobilePress plugin is free and is available from WordPress.

Summary of 3 Best WordPress Plugins to Make Your Site Responsive!

To make your WordPress site responsive, we’ve included three best WordPress plugins and discussed why you should you use them. This plug-ins are not only free, but they also target most popular hand-held devices, includes free themes, and are simple not to overwhelm a not-every-day WordPress users.

 

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Top 15 Most Common WordPress Mistakes

Stage 3: WordPress Guide 03/12/2012

Just like with everything else in the world, there’s some tiny little flaw in everything, reminding us that only Allah can obtain the true perfection. Having said that, we human being has one thing in common, and that is tendency to make mistake.

We do make mistakes as it’s the vital part of growth. Just like with everything else, we can’t simply stop it’s never going to happen again. But we can at least learn from them, or even better, learn from other people’s mistakes.

Top 15 Most Common WordPress Mistakes – Part One

WordPress users and developers, I’ve compiled 10 of the most frequently repeated mistakes that you must be aware of. If you’re doing these mistakes, being simply aware won’t get you anywhere, but you must prevent it from repeating again!

So let’s talk about the 10 most WordPress blunders web developers make.

1. Missing Out on the Best Plugins

While it won’t be readily apparent for you at the beginning to know all of those fancy WordPress Plugins to use on your website to make the most out of it, but through trial and error, you’ll definitely find those that suits you best.

But we’re being kind and generous as always and did a bit of research ourselves to make your life a bit easier.

You need to have, and I mean must have, these WordPress Plugins – All in One SEO Pack, Akismet, Contact Form 7, Google XML Sitemaps. That’s all for now folks … with the Plugins.

2. You’re not backing up your website?

Remember the boy-scout motto, ‘Be Prepared’? Well, this point would really ring a bell for you when I mention that your website will definitely crash, especially if you’re unprepared. The worst thing that could happen for you is that you might lose all those crucial data from your database and WordPress files.

Recovering those data isn’t impossible, but will sure going to take a couple of weeks on your side. Can you wait that long?

Well, if the answer was no, then here’s what I suggest you use to backup tools and keep you important files either on your local hard-drive, or even better on a USB device.

You can two ways to backup your site. Which one do you want? Do you want to go the hard way of the easy route?

If you’re not like me, the hard way would be to go Tools, and then click on ‘Export’ to backup your site manually. But if you’re like me, then you can use an automated backup plugin named WP-DB-Backup.

3. Using an Unfriendly Permalink Structure

By default, WordPress settings aren’t seo-friendly. So to get the most out of your WordPress and SEO efforts, you’ll require to make your permalink structure keyword rich, not with those confusing and vague numbers.

Here’s what you do.

  1. First, go to the ‘Options’ section inside the WordPress dashboard.
  2. Second, click on the Permalinks option.
  3. Finally, choose the ‘Custom’ option, and type “/%category%/%postname%/%post_id”

This’ll create a URL with the post tile at the end, extremely helpful for SEO purpose.

4. Using Only One Server

For those who aren’t using the WPWebHost read this.

If you’re using only a single Web server to serve web pages, then you’re not utilizing the value of Content Delivery Network, or CDN which can really be a miracle to improve your user’s experience on the website.

With that said, here’s what you need to do.

  1. In the internet, research for any CDN, like Clouldflare or MaxCDN to start with.
  2. Then, make a copy of your website content on any of these mirror servers.

What’s the use, I hear you scream.

Well, using mirror server to host your website will not only make it easier for your visitors browsing your page, wherever they might be from, but mirroring website also helps to decrease the web page load time as not every requests are sent to the same server.

5. Not Consulting Analytics Programs

If you aren’t willing to hunt a dear in a pitch-dark, then why should you have a blog without any analytic program? That’s a huge mistake if you’re not exploiting Google Analytics.

Google Analytics not only monitors your website traffic, but it also keeps the stats of each keyword that bring people into your web, or blog. Trying to write for audience without even bothering to use analytics is just like watching your hard-earned money drain down at the bottom of the canyon.

6. Not Integrating Webmaster Tools

With very little effort on your part, search engines can’t help but crawl a little bit deeper to your site. To make your every page indexed on search engines, I highly suggest you to use Google Webmaster tools and submit XML sitemaps to it.

Not only you’ll take all the benefits that comes bundled with this free webmaster tools, but you’ll also be at the receiving end of many useful statistics of your website.

7. Ignoring Google Authorship Markup

To establishing yourself as an authority figure in your niche, and as a result maximize your website’s exposure, we recommend you to learn to use Google Authorship Markup tool. Well, if you’ve not gone loco, then why aren’t you using it?

It extremely easy to use this tool, and as a result, you’ll have a nice photo next to meat description on the search result page of Google search engine. Awesome, isn’t it?

8. Being Shadowy

If you’re using WordPress, then you might have noticed that there’s a nice widget called ‘Author’s Widget’ that displays a brief introduction and an image next to it, at the sidebar.

But if you’re not using Gravatar, then the image becomes shadowy, not a useful thing to do if you want to establish credibility and attract attention of your visitors.

Well, Globally Recognized Avatar, or Gravatar is a free online tool that lets you create an image of you to appear on blog comments, online forums, and author’s bio section at the WordPress blog.

The process is easy. Just visit Gravatar official site, register one-time, and upload a good-looking photo of you, and then you’re done for a life time.

9. Not Using Custom Favicon

By default, your WordPress theme comes along with the theme’s Favicon. Favicon is an icon that appears on several section of your website, including browser’s address bar, next to page titles and tabs, and next to page name on a list of bookmarks, among others.

But most beginner WordPress users use the default Favicon that came along with their WordPress theme. But this really doesn’t make you look a professional, does it?

Do me a favor. Get yourself a nice custom Favicon. The steps to do are rather simple, and highly effective to build your credibility on the web.

Here’s what you have to do.

  1. On the web, do a quick search to find a free Favicon generator
  2. Create a custom square sized image from Photoshop to use as Favicon
  3. Upload the image, and create the Favicon icon, which will be 16 by 16 pixels and has an ‘.ico’ as file extension
  4. With FTP client, navigate to the ‘images’ folder inside your current theme
  5. Replace the default with the custom Favicon, and you’re done!

10. Not Going Mobile!

To get more traffic, you’ll need to make your WordPress site responsive. Well, responsive web designs are displayed properly in wide array of display devices, including iPhones, iPads, smartphones, and tablets.

You can follow two methods to make your website mobile-friendly.

First, you can automatically turn your fixed website into responsive by using a free WordPress Plugin – WPtouch.

Second, you can use any of the responsive WordPress themes on the market to make your website or blog fit in hand-held devices.

Summary of Top 10 Most Common WordPress Mistakes

If you’re using WordPress, then you should be definitely checking out this article as you don’t want to make these 10 awful common WordPress mistakes and watch your website traffic slip away from you because your competitor is clever enough not to make any of them.

In this article, we listed 10 common frequently made mistakes on WordPress site. Avoid making this mistakes and you’ll be way ahead of your competitions.

 

In the first article, we discussed 10 common WordPress mistakes that many web developers, including beginners as well as pros make.

Why? Because they are not using the latest tool that’ll make their routine based take much easier. This way, the productivity of your web development decrease as a result, and you’ll be spending even more time, energy, and resources to fix them later.

Top 15 Most Common WordPress Mistakes – Part Two

Don’t be among them. Read these 5 more mistakes that many bloggers usually make.

11. Using cPanel for File Transfer instead of FTP Clients

If you want to upload files on to your server, there are two ways to go about it. The first is to use the cPanel address from the browser, something like www.yourdomain.com/cpanel/. Well, to be honest, this is not the usual method I use to upload and download my files to and fro from the web server. The slow interface usually gets my nerve and often times it crashes without any prior warning.

I go about using the next method, instead.

For file transfers, I usually use one of the FTP clients. FTP clients are software that are installed and run from your computer and with a username, password, and host information; you can easily navigate through files on the server as the interface is almost exactly like the windows explorer on your computer. In addition, you can also upload multiple files at the same time, which the former method doesn’t allow you to do.

There are several free FTP clients – FileZilla, CuteFTP, and FTP Pro to get you started.

Remember; use the FTP clients as it’s more user-friendly.

12. Overwhelming Visitors with Information

Okay, you’ve created a website with your reader in mind. But most likely, usually the beginners, to cram their website with lot of information just pull in some extra cash. But do you know something? Your visitors like simplicity. Not a cluttered with more than dozens of ads, widgets, and links. They’ll simply distract your visitors.

So I would suggest that you making your sidebar appearing as zoo. Instead, only include the most crucial pieces of information.

13. Not Using on Blog Authoring Tools

While posting blogs on the internet isn’t it cumbersome to always have to enter your dashboard, login with your username and password, and then, finally use the post form to write your articles?

Instead, I would recommend you to use blog authoring tool like Windows Live Writer to write blog posts offline. You also don’t always have to connect to the internet. Simply create your article, post it with the Windows Live Writer, and then, enhance those using simple formatting tools later.

14. Not Updating WordPress Regularly

WordPress often release their new version for a reason. Not only they come along with new features that’ll enhance your blogging experience, but they’ll also help you to protect your website with security vulnerabilities.

So you need to make sure that you update the blog once in a while, every few week possible.

15. Utilizing Cheap Hosting Company

If you’re trying to save little money, it’s okay to go for low price web hosting company. But if you’re not careful, you’ll find that these cheap web hosting services often come along with only few features and not so great customer support.

But there are equally costing web hosting services that offer unlimited services – bandwidth, web space, excellent round the clock customer support, and everything you can imagine.

If you’re having problem deciding which web hosting company you should use for your WordPress website, then please check out our guide on web hosting section.

When it comes to web development, you should always go for the best, not compromise quality hoping to save few bucks.

16. Choosing a Defective Theme

While choosing a web theme, you need to ponder upon three important things. First, how easy it is to use theme, especially for the beginners. Second, you’ll want to figure out the reputation of the theme firm. Third, you’ll also make sure the web theme is responsive across wide variety of devices – smartphone, iPads, iPhones, and tablets.

So if you’ve finally found a user-friendly, reputable company, and a responsive web theme, then the next thing you want to consider is the price of the theme itself. In other words, choosing a website theme based upon only its price would mean choosing a cloth that doesn’t fit to you.

Summary of Top 15 Most Common WordPress Mistakes – Part Two

Everyone, including you, makes mistakes. Because making mistakes means you’re growing, learning from your failures. You could, in a haste, might be not using good practice while creating a site, or forgot to use a new tool that could really take off a lot of work off your shoulder.

In this article, we discussed five more points that most developers make while developing WordPress site. If you’re among them, then you know what they are and avoid them doing the same thing in your next project.

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Build Your Own WordPress Excerpt Plugin

Stage 3: WordPress Guide 03/12/2012

Sometimes when you want to showcase only the featured section on your blog, you’ll require building an excerpt plugin for your WordPress site.

For instance, you might not always want to display articles or posts on chronological order, but you want to have some control over it. You want to only post some excerpt of the main article with a link to the detail page. This not only eliminates re-entering the details manually, but they’ll also make your site more customized as displaying custom posts really drags visitor’s attention.

Build Your Own WordPress Excerpt Plugin

By default, WordPress displays list of articles in chronological order – either by its author, postdate, or categories. This is the usual stuff. Want to learn to have a more control over your custom page? Let’s learn how to create a custom excerpt plugin for our WordPress site.

Okay, so I let the cat out of the bag, but you may ask, how do you go about it? Don’t worry, I’ll be walking you through this method and teach you to quickly create a custom plugin on your own.

1. Creating the Excerpt Plugin – Header

First of all, you’ll need to create a file named ‘displayexcerptlink.php’ and save it into your plugins folder – ‘wp-content/plugins/’. In this file, add a custom header with information such as its version, author URL, license, a brief description, and the plugins URL.

<?php

/*

Plugin Name: Display Excerpt Post

Plugin URI: http://www.webdesignpeeps.com/

Description: Creates a link to a detail page by replacing the usual ‘shortcode’ code.

Version: 1.0

Author: Jon Smith

License: However you like it … 😀

*/

?>

2. Creating the Excerpt Plugin – Primary Function

To display the HTML output for this Plugin, we’ll need to use a function, a primary function – DisplayExcerpt().

In this function, we’ll use one of the parameters, the slug or permalink. Alternatively, we could have used the ID, but slug seems a better choice as it usually never change while changing the pages. In addition to the slug name, you can choose to use other parameters to make it more personal.

function DisplayExcerpt ($params = array()) {

extract(shortcode_atts(array( ‘slug’ => ” ), $params));

$html = ”;

if ($slug == ”) return $html;

 

Using the WP Query, we’ll dissect our page or post to look for either the page slug, and if that doesn’t show up, we’ll look for the website’s post slug.

$query = new WP_Query(“pagename=$slug”);

if (!$query->have_posts()) {

$query = new WP_Query(“name=$slug”);

}

After looking for the slug, we’ll loop using WordPress loop to grab one or more posts.

// the WordPress loop

while ($query->have_posts()) {

$q->the_post();

Inside this loop, we’ll generate our HTML output on the $html string. Remember that you can use any of the basic WordPress functions inside the loop. In the HTML string, we’ll grab the title, post thumbnail, and the excerpt. The $link string will hold the permalink of the post of the page itself.

// let’s generate HTML

$link = ‘<a href=”‘ . get_permalink() . ‘>’;

$html .=

‘<h2>’ . $link . the_title(”,”,false) . “</a></h2>\n” .

(has_post_thumbnail() ?

$link . get_the_post_thumbnail() . ‘</a>’ : ”

) .

get_the_excerpt();

The above code is a valid in any of the HTML version you might use, including HTML5 that will also allow you to use link around the whole text block.

To complete the function, we’ll end the loop first, and then, finally, return the HTML string.

}

return $html;

}

3. Creating the Excerpt Plugin – Register the Function

Finally, to register our function as a shortcode, we’ll have to add it to the add_shortcode function. After registering the function, simply save the file again and activate the plugin through the WordPress dashboard as you would normally activate any other plugins.

// register the function as shortcode

add_shortcode(‘displayexcerpt’, ‘DisplayExcerpt’);

 4. Creating the Excerpt Plugin – Displaying the Excerpt

After you’ve activated our custom plugin, you’ll need to add the shortcode to any of the page or post that you want to display excerpt information. For that, use the following code.

[displayexcerpt slug=page-or-post-slug-name]

Here’s another quick tip if you’re referencing a page or post that has several parent pages. Simply separate each slug with a forward slash like the example below, and you’re good to go.

[displayexcerpt slug=grand-parent-slug/parent-slug/page-slug]

Summary of Build Your Own WordPress Excerpt Plugin

To develop your own custom Excerpt plugin for WordPress site, we covered four easy steps – create the file and insert header information before saving it, create the plugin using a primary function, register the function as shortcode, and then, finally, displaying the excerpt inserting the shortcode in any of your pages.

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WordPress 3.3 – What’s New?

Stage 3: WordPress Guide 03/12/2012

To revamp and make web publishing online easy, WordPress, the ever popular online blogging and CMS tool, have again released WordPress 3.3 with many amazing features.

WordPress have polished and tidied things up since their latest version since v3.0 as one of the report boasts of 65 million downloads since its release. That’s 15% of the total current users using WordPress and 22% of new website users.

Current users can easily upgrade their version by a simple click of a button as people doing so haven’t experienced any problems till now. But to be at the safe side, I would highly recommend that you make a backup of your files as well as database before you hit the ‘upgrade’ button.

WordPress 3.3 – What’s New?

With that said, let’s head on to discuss few features of WordPress 3.3.

1. Refurbished Interface

To make your WordPress website responsive, new HTML5 web design techniques have been incorporated in the latest version of WordPress. Responsive web design are often catered to display correctly across multiple screen resolutions and sizes, including iPhones, iPad, smartphones, and tablets.

2. Fly-out Menu

To make it easier for you to access the administrative screens just with one click, the new WordPress version contains a fly-out menu system.

Previously, WordPress had an optional admin bar and a header display separately which took up more space, more obtrusive, and overall more cumbersome to post quick links and comments.  However, in the new WordPress 3.3, the header and the admin bar has been bundled in a single toolbar, saving space, and letting users to quickly access frequently visited sections – help, comments, profiles, and links – more easily.

Before going live with the new version, you should definitely test this fly-out menu as it may cause few compatibility issues with regard to several plug-ins.

3. WordPress feature pointers

With this tool, it’ll be readily apparent for you to quickly discover all the rich features of the new version with pointers that appear every time you see them.

4. Drag and Drop Media Uploader

To avoid using the bulky ‘browse files’ dialog boxes again, the new WordPress 3.3 will allow you to quickly drag and drop one or more media types onto the media dialog box. Thanks to the HTML5 technology and the browsers that support them, you can now say goodbye to those weighty ‘browse files’ section.

Likewise, to make it even easier for you to upload any media types, there’s also a single media upload panel attached to the new version of WordPress. This media upload panel not only support any file type, but also other zipped and archive files, including RAR and 7z formats.

5. Tumblr Importer

If you want to import content – text, images, and any other documents – to your WordPress website, the new Tumblr Importer lets you do just that. With this new importer, you can easily convert your Tumblr blog post into matching WordPress page or post format.

6. Improved Collaboration

To enforce co-editing tasks, the new WordPress 3.3 would let you just do that. If you usually encounter message that says, ‘Warning: Peter is currently using the post’ message screaming at your dashboard screen, then you’ll be much happier to know that it will be a thing of the past.

7. Additional Features of WordPress 3.3

In addition, WordPress includes a fresh dashboard welcome screen, especially for those who want to install WordPress from start. To keep track of your posts, the new version also includes a post-update change log screen. If you want more additional and flexible permalinks for your website, WordPress 3.3 is the answer to that puzzle.

In addition, to make your life easier while working with admin panels and coding, WordPress 3.3 has included several upgrades. The editor API is improved making it easier to craft crisp articles.

Lastly, for veteran coders and developers, here’s good news! The new is_main_query functions lets you determine whether you’re inside a loop or not. In addition, the latest WP_Screen API screen lets you work smoothly with admin panel.

8. Should You Upgrade to WordPress 3.3

Like with everything else, upgrading to WordPress 3.3 has its own few problems. But like with everything else, their solutions usually crops up with innovative software releases.

So if you feel upgrading to the new WordPress version will make your Website more vulnerable, then I would highly recommend you to wait until WordPress 3.3.1 pops up in the market. Judging from past experience, the new release will likely be within couple of weeks.

Go ahead, make up your backup of files and databases, and then upgrade to more responsive WordPress version and use its many features from WordPress 3.3 Download Page.

Summary of WordPress 3.3 – What’s New?

To improve blogging and website development practice, WordPress have finally released WordPress 3.3 with many features – refurbished interface, drag-and-drop media uploader, Tumblr Importer, and fly-out menus. In addition, the new WordPress 3.3 also enhances collaboration. For web developer and coders, the improved editor API, new function that checks whether you’re inside a loop or not, and new welcome screen for beginners makes it even appealing to many users.

Should you upgrade to WordPress 3.3 or wait until WordPress 3.3.1 arrives? Well, if you have time and vulnerable now, I would suggest you wait WordPress 3.3.1 to release, which will usually take couple of weeks.

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7 Things to do after Switching to a New WordPress Theme

Stage 3: WordPress Guide 20/11/2012

WordPress is popular blogging platform for beginner bloggers, web developers, and people who have limited knowledge on CSS/HTML and PHP knowledge. Why? Because it lets them quickly setup a full-pack website in a matter of minutes – like setting up the layout, choosing and installing themes and Plugins is a child’s play. But when it comes to changing their blog design, many developer simply ignore few basic steps and jump on the chance to stylize their website, blogs with a new theme.

Why not? After all it’s so easy. Just upload a new theme on the server, and activate it, and you have a new WordPress theme. But doing anything in haste isn’t always a good idea as you’ll have to sit back and spend your whole day recovering the original design.

7 Things to do after Switching to a New WordPress Theme

When you change your WordPress theme, be careful because after the new installation, you’ll lose your original design settings. Not the whole website or its data, but the design – like all those categories, newsletters, most popular posts, and footer widgets, I mean.

1. The Sidebar

Once you switch to a new theme, the Sidebar will be completely overwritten. I’ve seen most people spending a lot of time customizing their sidebar – adding text, links, advertisement banners, and other widgets. But some themes don’t have these problems, and the widgets stay intact even after you change theme. But if the changes were done manually, then you’ll have to start from the scratch again.

So next time before you change your theme, make sure that you save all sidebar files – copy paste them somewhere on your hard disk. When you’ve switched to a new theme, simply edit each sidebar file.

2. Tracking Code Snippets

Many people use stat-tracking tools – Google Analytics and 103bees – to monitor their website performance. They clip a small code either in the header or the footer. But these code snippets will be gone soon after you change your WordPress theme.

After you’ve switched back to a new theme, you need to do any of these three things. First, you may need to re-apply those code snippets on the header and footer again. Second, if you’ve been using Google’s Webmaster Tools, verity your site ownership. Third, put meta-tag code generated by Google and put them on the header file.

3. Plugins Change

You might not require every plugin you used before. While few of them might no longer be fitting with the new theme, others might be unnecessary. For instance, before the theme switch I was using Optimal Title Plugin. This Plugin places the blog title in front of the website name, and is highly recommended plugin for SEO purposes.

But after I switched to a new design, the Plugin was gone, but the title displayed exactly the way I wanted – before the website name. So sometimes you might not need some Plugin for a new theme.

Just clean things up, and this might be the right moment to stop using Plugins that you no longer need.

4. Is Plugin Working?

Some Plugin might not work properly after a new WordPress installation. Sometimes you might need to revise the template files, otherwise they won’t function properly.  For example, for a Related Posts Plugin, you might require to put a small code snippet inside the WordPress file. Other Plugins still might display oddly because of the new CSS style of the new theme, so you might need to fix the CSS file as well.

5. Update Ads

Have you noticed that the design – text links, colors, and its size – of several advertisements doesn’t match with a new design blog because you had set the design to reflect back the color them of your old blog? Well, after the web theme change, it’s likely that the link color will also change, and as a result, your advertisements won’t blend in seamlessly as before. Help is at hand, so don’t worry!

If you’re using Google Adsense program, then you should be using Google Adsense as it’s extremely easy to modify color values through WordPress. And if you’re using Text-Link-Ads, then you can also modify the Plugin via WordPress.

6. RSS Feeds

Once you’ve switched to a new design, it’s vital that you check if your RSS feed is working properly.

Simply subscribe to your site again. If you’re using FeedBurner, try subscribing with your blog’s URL. Its logical to subscribe with your blog’s URL as your RSS Feed Reader will automatically re-discover any accessible feeds for you and pull the ones you’re looking for.

7. How About those Secondary Features?

Once you’ve switched to a new theme, you might not find all of its secondary features running, including the site search, pages, categories, archives and so on. So after you’ve activated the new theme, always make sure that all these features are still in action on your website.

Sometimes, you’ll be surprised when you find some features not functioning, or something’s not formatted as you’d like. For instance, while switching to a new theme for my blog, I noticed that the excerpt section of the post wasn’t included. And that was a huge disappointment.

8. Bonus: Cross-Browser Check

You might skip this step, unless you aren’t bothered testing your site in multiple web browsers. But we highly suggest that you cross-check your website on popular Web browsers as its very simple, especially if you’re using PC, or Mac. While PC users can quickly check their websites on Internet Explorer (IE) and Firefox, Mac might need to check them on Safari and Firefox.

But once done, and then you’re set.

Summary of 7 Things to do after Switching to a New WordPress Theme

You might not want to spend your whole day experimenting with your new WordPress theme, but after switching to a new WordPress theme, make sure you go over these 7 important, oops, 8 important steps to make sure that you’re previous settings, pages, and plugin, and other tools are working the way they’re meant to.

7 Things to do after Switching to a New WordPress Theme

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How to Set up Akismet on a WordPress Site

Stage 3: WordPress Guide 20/11/2012

You’ve installed and configured your WordPress site, and probably gone through the checklist right after installation. What’s next? Well, if you noticed in one of our article – -, we highlighted the importance of protecting your comments against sly spammers out there, waiting and watching your each of your web content – posts and pages.

We recommended that you download and install Akismet – a free WordPress must-have Plugins – that actually filters out comments that are likely posted by spammers from their known blacklist database.

The reason we’ve written this article is that setting up Akismet on your WordPress site involves two steps. First you need to visit the WordPress site to download and install the Akismet Plugin. This is a no-brainer as Akismet installs just like any other free Plugins – search for the Plugin, and activate it to use it.

But even after activating the Plugin, Akismet does not work. You still need to go to follow another step, which isn’t discussed in most of the WordPress article directories on the website.

Since our Web developers were already few steps ahead, we wanted to guide you through the step ourselves. Let’s go step-by-step installation and activation of Akismet, shall we?

How to Set up Akismet on a WordPress Site

1. Activate the Akismet Plugin

First, you need to activate the Akismet plugin before you can even begin to use it on your website. To activate Akismet, login to your dashboard through admin section and click on the Plugins menu.

List of installed Plugins will be listed in the center of the page. Look for Akismet, and click on ‘Activate’ link.

Once Akismet is activated, a message displays on the center page of the dashboard – Akismet is almost ready. You must enter your WordPress.com API Key for it to work.

2. Get API Key from WordPress.com

After activating the Akismet on your WordPress site, the next step to do is to obtain an API Key from WordPress.org, oops, WordPress.com site. Visit WordPress.com site, and signup for a free account.

The signup process is easy. Simply enter email address, username, password and you’re done. Oh, you need to confirm your registration before WordPress.com sends you an email with an API Key.

This is the API Key you need to use Akismet on your WordPress site, so make sure you keep it somewhere safe, probably in a separate email folder where it would not be lost. But in case you’ve lost the email containing the API key, then you can login to WordPress.com account through the Global Dashboard Profile.

Once you’ve logged in through Global dashboard, under the Profile page, you’ll see your API Key. Grab it, and make sure you save it in a file on your hard disk.

Here’s a good news for you. You can use the same API Key for multiple blogs and websites that you create in the future, meaning that you don’t have to go obtain a new API Key for each new sites. Great!

3. Adding the API Key on Akismet Configuration

After you’ve grabbed the Akismet API Key, enter it on the Akismet configuration page. On the main page of your WordPress dashboard, look for the link ‘Enter your WordPress.com API Link’. Click on this link, and you’ll be taken to Akismet Configuration page.

Copy the API Key and paste it on the box, and click on the ‘Update’ button.

4. Few Tricks on Using Akismet Effectively

After you’ve activated and set up the API Key, Akismet will begin to work silently behind the curtains protecting your comments from spammers. But it’s always a good practice to ensure that no genuine comments have been marked as spams. So once in a while, make sure you peak into the ‘spam’ folder.

Although this rarely happens, but sometimes you might find few genuine comments accidentally marked as spams. You want to avoid this happening in the future.

Secondly, there are also times that you might deliberately want to make some comments as spams. Why? Because trackbacks usually generated by a newly constructed spam blogs might not always come under the radar of our Akismet Plugin. In this case, you can mark the site as spam, and Akismet will deal with it in coming days.

Thirdly, for example, you have more than a dozen trackbacks from a spam blogger, you might be tempted to remove each individually and manually. Well, there’s no need to do that anymore! Simply check one of the links as spams and hit on the ‘Check for Spam’ option. This trick will automatically mark every other trackbacks from the same link as spam, saving you tons of your time.

Summary of How to Set up Akismet on a WordPress Site

WordPress comments are always vulnerable to spammers. So to protect comments from these spammers, we need Akismet. But setting up Akismet isn’t easy as installing and activating is as other Plugins. You need to obtain API Key to make it function. In this article, we learned how to set up the API Key to make Akismet work on WordPress site, and also how to configure few settings to automatically mark some comments as spams when they’re generated by newly created spam bloggers.

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Top 6 Essential WordPress Plugins You Should Install

Stage 3: WordPress Guide 20/11/2012

WordPress is everywhere, as more and more Web developers, designers, bloggers, and business entrepreneurs are choosing it to publish their online Websites. Why? Because, in addition to being user-friendly, FREE, and extremely easy to set up, WordPress has pool of awesome Plugins that’ll surely extend the functionality of your Website.

But here’s a catch. Since there are thousands of free Plugins available on the internet, you might get tempted to use every one before deciding to use the ones that are really important. Or you might be confused where to start from.

In this article, we’ll help you solve the dilemma of choosing the right Plugins.

You might also want to check out our other related WordPress articles -****.

Using these essential WordPress Plugins will definitely make your site SEO-friendly, protect your site against unauthorized access, and finally let the user navigate with more ease. Ready for it, or do you need a nap before that?

Top Six Essential WordPress Plugins You Should Install

1. All in One SEO Pack

You might have the most compelling content on your site, but what’s the use when it can’t be found on the net. In other words, to make your content more visible, you need to optimize each of your posts. Thanks to All in One SEO Pack Plugin.

Simply download and install the SEO pack, created a post or a page, and before publishing them, type in the required information on the plugin fields just below the text editor in your dashboard. Enter the page or post title, keywords, and descriptions less than 160 characters, and you’ve optimized your content.

2. WP-PageNavi

WordPress will surely win a beauty contest when it comes to pagination. All it has is a plain looking isolated ‘Older Posts’ link at the bottom of a blog listing page, and visitors have no way to jump between pages. Thanks to the march of technology. Nowadays, you create a complete pagination through a free WordPress Plugins – WP-PageNavi.

This pagination plugin will create a pagination system similar to those of PHP-driven websites. The plugin generate a list of page links, along with previous and next page links, that’ll makes visitors easily navigate between pages on your site.

3. Google XML Sitemaps Generator

Sitemaps are important as they help search engine spiders, such as Googlebot, to precisely index the Website content. And Google XML Sitemaps Generator Plugin is extremely handy as it not only generate sitemap automatically, but also update them regularly whenever you create a new post or page on your Website.

The sitemap generator sends a message, or pings to search engines to crawl back to your site and index anything new created on your site. This takes away a lot of manual task of building a new sitemap every time a new content is built on your site.

4. WP-SpamFree

Just like Akismet, WP-SpamFree also removes spams comments on WordPress site, providing an additional layer of protection. WP-SpamFree uses JavaScript- and cookie-based methods to make sure that spammers aren’t using either client-side or server-side script to post comment automatically.

WP-SpamFree tests to see if a poster is human or not, like the captcha test, however, it doesn’t use the captcha system as it affects the usability of the website.

5. Akismet

There are sly spammers out there, always waiting and watching to get a chance to not only modify, but inject obscene and irrelevant comments into posts that really need protection.

These spammers boast of intruding others space, and tell their buddies how they made a hell of a mess to the last site they hacked. These people need seasoning, don’t you think?

Just imagine your blog has hundreds of posts, and each infected by these comments, and having to go through a whole day weeding them out one by one. Sure you need a solution, quickly before they start to pop out again.

Thanks to Akismet. All your worries should subside once you install and activate this Plugin. Akismet knows who these spammers are as they have a list of them in their blacklist log.

Few weeks back, I used this Plugin and it caught more than 100 spam comments – with an accuracy of 98 percent.  Now you can truly focus on creating and publishing your content, and leave these trivial matters to Akismet.

6. WP Super Cache

The WP Super Cache Plugin speeds up the performance of your WordPress site. Each page and post will be created as static HTML, and also update them on a scheduled date. As a result, your web-server processes do not have to re-generate the pages or posts each time a visitor need them.

Once you’ve installed the WP Super Cache, you’ll notice a huge improvement of page response time. Our tests proved that the caching Plugin dramatically lowered the web page load time, and improved the web page response time by more than 250 percent.

Summary of Top Six Essential WordPress Plugins You Should Install

WordPress platform is popular because it has all the tools – themes, Plugins, and online support community – to be the choice of many Web developers when it comes to building a dynamic websites. In this article, we discussed five most commonly used and most critical WordPress Plugins that’ll protect your site from spammers, make navigation easy, optimize content, properly cache for faster load time, and finally, index your site properly on search engines automatically.

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Top Eight Benefits of Using WordPress as a Blog or a CMS

Stage 3: WordPress Guide 11/11/2012

WordPress is not only a blog, but it’s also one of the widely used CMS on the planet. WordPress was not only created with search engine in mind, to help rank your website better in search engines better, but they were also created to make the site more secure, easy to install and upgrade, and easy to create a website without a prior knowledge of complex PHP and CSS scripts.

With just few click of a button, and Plugins, you can extend a simple WordPress blog and transform into a thriving online business site.

In our previous article, we discussed the key features of using WordPress as Blog. In this article, however, we’ll discuss few points on some of the amazing benefits that you’ll get using WordPress as blog as well as a CMS.

Content Management System is software that’s built in WordPress to easily and quickly let you search, install themes, Plugins, and create pages and posts.

1. Quick and easy to install

Once you’ve registered for a Web hosting services, you’ll get an access to its Control Panel. From this Control Panel, you can click on the ‘Fantastico Delux’ link or its FD icon at the bottom of the page. Simply click on it, and you’ll be redirected to a page from where you can select WordPress as blog to install for your site.

2. Massive choice of themes

WordPress comes with two default themes already installed and activated. But they are quite basic. However, with the release of WordPress 2.9, its is possible to search, upload, and install theme of your choice from the dashboard. There are several types of themes available – shopping cart, corporate, small business, gallery, news – to suit your needs. As you’re just trying out, you might want to try the free ones first. WordPress has a huge collection of free themes that are as equally beneficial, effective, and eye-catching in its design as Premium themes.

3. Fantastic functionality

you don’t require to know PHP or CSS scripting knowledge. You can change the appearance of your website from the dashboard itself. Under the theme settings, just enter the colors, sizes, and images for background, pages, fonts, and everything. Just adjust the WordPress installation, control all your pages, posts, galleries, video, and audio from the dashboard.

4. Extendable with the use of Plugins

With more than 8,000 Plugins, you can take your WordPress blog to a next level. The WordPress blog can be turned into an online shopping site, a photographer’s personal site, a news website. While some of the Plugins enhance search engine ranking, others Plugins such as social bookmarking, XML sitemap creator, on-page SEO Plugin really help you to expose your site to more people interested in your niche.

5. Easy to Upgrade

Once you’ve installed WordPress, theme, and plug-ins, you need to upgrade them often – once twice a week. With the release of WordPress 2.9, you can upgrade all of them from a click of a button.

6. SEO-Friendly Website

Search engines loves fresh content. More importantly, fresh content that are optimized. Optimized using the SEO Plugins – ‘All in One SEO Plugin’ and ‘SEOPressor’, just to name a few. These Plugins help optimize both the page and the post – page titles and description, post title, headers, and the content itself by calculating a keyword density in them.

7. Highly-Secure

With the WordPress popularity and nature makes it vulnerable to hackers who love to infiltrate into other’s website and drum malicious content, pictures, and change few posts before the site completely stops from displaying properly on browsers. One way to prevent hackers from infiltrating your WordPress is to make a backup of your whole website, once a month, either through the Web server’s control panel or a FTP client. You also need to update Plugins, themes, and the WordPress version as they pop up.

Here’s a bonus point in case you might be wondering if you’ve hit the dead-end.

8. Multiple users and access from anywhere, anytime!

WordPress is an online platform that gives access to multiple users, meaning that you can assign as many authors to post content on it. WordPress allows you to build collaborative projects where more than single person work on the project simultaneously. That also means, if something goes foul, any of those users can also fix the bugs and keep it running.

In addition, many users can access the same WordPress site with their own username and password assigned to post, update, and submit content for preview. Awesome!

Summary of Top Eight Benefits of Using WordPress as a Blog or a CMS

If you were looking for an online platform where you could build and install professional looking website quickly and effectively, WordPress is the answer. Just in matter of few minutes, you can download and install WordPress, search and install themes from the vast selection from the net, and install and activate certain Plugins to make your site search-engine-friendly.

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How to Customize the WordPress Layout

Stage 3: WordPress Guide 11/11/2012

Now you’ve your WordPress site up and running – the theme looks professional, and the Plugins seems to make your website search engine friendly. But there’s something in the back of your mind – the WordPress layout doesn’t seem to be what you’ve imagined. Maybe, you wanted to create a customized WordPress site, and you’re not happy with the default home layout. Or, you just want to tweak few things so that your small business website stands out from the crowd.

How would you customize WordPress if you really wanted to? Well, that’s what we are going to discuss in this article.

Customizing WordPress theme isn’t difficult if you know how to program HTML pages. In fact, the jump from HTML to WordPress is more like walking up the stairs rather than jumping two steps at a time.

The Index Page

WordPress Index page is the main center space – everything that happens inside the WordPress site is displayed through this page. This is probably one of the most important page to hold visitor’s attention by crafting customized and unique website. Customizing index page is walking a thin red line, where you can have people visit and leave your site by saying either, ‘Oh! Wow, what a beauty!’ or, ‘Crap!’

In matter of minutes, people often make up their mind whether they want to continue staying on the website by looking at several factors – how easy it is to read, and navigate through the blog or the website. So with the default design, it’s impossible to get what you want for your readers – an awesome smooth design.

But if you have a basic knowledge to tweak the default Index page, using basic PHP scripts, then you can really change it how you want WordPress site to be.

Analyzing the Index Page

Let’s look at the Index page itself, the WordPress 2.0’s Index page that comes along with a default theme – Kubrick. Kubrick is the default them that everyone begin with, and also stick with as they find customizing the WordPress such as hard task to undertake.

Where is this file on the theme? Well, if you don’t know where this index.php file is, then it’s time you do so, now! Just look for the Presentation tab, inside the Theme Editor, in the dashboard. Ensure that you’re on the WordPress default theme as it will help you follow along with the examples given below.

Dissecting PHP Index Page of Default WordPress Theme – Kubrick

If you open up the index page, you’ll notice a small one-line code as shown below.

<?php get_header();?>

This PHP function – get_header() – calls the header file into the template file ‘index.php’. There are other several get functions in the template file that call different sections of the website – the footer and the sidebar, for example.

You’ll also find that these functions calls appear in every template file, or Index file, and appear the same. So instead of drumming those PHP script into each template file for headers, footers, and sidebars, it seems only logical to just call functions instead. This way, if you have to change any code structure for the header, you know all you need to do is to change the ‘header.php’ file. What it does is it saves times, a lot of time indeed. When you change the header, you’ll see the change in the overall website. Cool, isn’t it?

The Template Code Block

Between those PHP functions calls for header, footer, and sidebars, there’s a jumble of code squeezed between them which is the actual template design for the main content.

The first line of code you’ll see is,

<div id=”content” class=”narrowcolumn”>

If you just scroll down the template file – index.php – then you’ll notice that the DIV ID ‘content’ opens up a column right before the sidebar function.

Inside this DIV, there’s a whole bunch of code that follows before the DIV closes, which looks like this.

Looking at these jumble of code would really freak you out as you’ll only see programming jargon, and you’ll get lost as you don’t know where to start.

Let’s make it seem easy for you. Let’s look each of the PHP code block by block. This way, you can assimilate the function calls simply looking at them.

<?php if (have_posts()) : ?><?php while (have_posts()) : the_post(); ?>

So what are they saying?

Well, the code block for the main template file is saying, if there are any post available, then show it. It’s up to you to set the parameters so the template file knows exactly what and how to display, otherwise, they go unused.

Next, another DIV opens up, with a class “post”.

<div id=”post-<?php the_ID(); ?>”>

<h2><a href=”<?php the_permalink() ?>” rel=”bookmark” title=”Permanent Link to <?php the_title(); ?>”><?php the_title(); ?></a></h2>

<small><?php the_time(‘F jS, Y’) ?> <!– by <?php the_author() ?> –></small>

<div>

<?php the_content(‘Read the rest of this entry &raquo;’); ?>

</div>

<p class=”postmetadata”>Posted in <?php the_category(‘, ‘) ?> | <?php edit_post_link(‘Edit’, ”, ‘ | ‘); ?>  <?php comments_popup_link(‘No Comments »’, ‘1 Comment »’, ‘% Comments »’); ?>

</p>

</div>

<?php endwhile; ?>

The above code block is simple, simple enough for you to understand what’s happening. After the DIV ID, the second line basically displays the post title into the H2 header tag, along with a link. Great!

Inside the small HTML tag, more post information – post date and its author – is shown. And then, the next line of code actually displays the post entry, inside the DIV with the ‘entry’ class. Easy!

Next, inside the paragraph with ‘postmetadata’ class, the post category, link to edit, comments are displayed before finally closing the “content” DIV.

Finally, the loop ends with the last PHP code!

Well, pieace of cake, wasnt’ it?

Summary of How to Customize the WordPress Layout

So, once you know what’s happening inside these codes in each files – the headers, sidebars, footers, and the main post entry – you can actually change them by shifting their positions either shifting the HTML tags or changing the CSS file.

This way, you can customize any WordPress theme file and make it your own.

We hope that you’ve found value in this article. If you understand and know where to change codes and HTML tags inside the template file of any WordPress theme, then you virtually have the overall control over how it should display as a final product!

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Creating a Static Front Page in WordPress Blog

Stage 3: WordPress Guide 11/11/2012

If you’re browsing the internet looking a way how to create a static front-page in WordPress site, then you’re at the right place. As you already know, WordPress is a blog platform, meaning it was originally created to display blogs post chronologically in the home page as opposed to a static site. Static site allows you to customize your home page which will allow you to display different information on different sections – welcome message, featured sections, product list, and so on.

Well, in WordPress, there’s a way to actually display static content – such as a splash or intro page and not a series of posts – on the home page. These static look for WordPress site are most helpful for those who don’t want to have a blog like feel to their site.

But if you’re opting to create a static page for your home page, then, you must also let WordPress to show those blog posts on a separate directory – a news, blog, or article sections – whether or not if you’ll be posting article on your site. Got it?

What is a static front-home page then?

The static front-page in WordPress unlike the usual WordPress blog front-page is a customized page that only displays a static content – a welcome message, links to main sections, or highlight posts and so on.

While there are various types of customized front-page, in this article, we’ll focus on the standard front-page that should work with any theme.

What it’s not?

A WordPress static page doesn’t change the overall look and feel of the design – the sidebars, footers, and header – but just the main content. So that means you don’t require changing or editing the codes of the template files.

Steps to Create the Static Home-Page

In order to create a static home-page, first simply enter to the WordPress dashboard via admin login page.

Create couple of pages by clicking on ‘Add New Page’ section at the left side of the dashboard. If you don’t want to use the blogging functionality, don’t create the second page.

Static page

  1. For the static home page, create a page and name it as ‘Home’ page, or any other name.
  2. Set its default template as ‘Home’ from the right drop-down option.
  3. Before publishing it, put the content for your static ‘Home’ page.
  4. Finally, publish the page.

Virtual Blog Page

  1. If you want a blog, or news, or article section for your blog then create another page and give it a title as ‘Blog’ or whatever title you wish.
  2. Do not, and I repeat, do not use the custom page template as home.php or index.php will be used to generate posts.
  3. Do not add any content to it. Simply leave them blank.
  4. Finally, click the ‘Publish’ button.

After you’ve created the above two pages – static home page and virtual Blog page – …

  1. Go to the Reading panel, under ‘Settings’ section at the left hand side of the dashboard.
  2. Once you’re in the Reading panel, set the option ‘Front page displays’ as a ‘a static page’ and assign the first page you’ve created earlier as ‘Front page.’
  3. Next for the blog section, set the second page as the ‘Posts page’, or else just leave this step.
  4. Click the ‘Save changes’ button at the bottom of the page.

Once you’ve set the page properties for the static home page and the post page, you still need to change the URL settings, or the Permalinks so that they appear a URL-friendly page. Simply Enable the ‘Permalinks’ and select any of the options from the URL radio buttons on the page, instead of a complex series of number  – something like /index.php?p=345 – for example.

Well, the above settings apply to most of the usual WordPress themes you will ever work with. However, there are still some themes that work slightly different than these usual ones. And here are few troubleshooting tips that you can find a way to work with it.

Troubleshooting Certain Themes

Few themes include a top navigation bar with links to different pages. These themes might already have a home link that acts as a ‘static page’. Since you’ve already created a separate page for the static home page, there’s most likely that you might have two different Home pages, and hence WordPress gets confused as to which one to display.

Here’s a simple solution to the above problem. You can edit the top navigation bar’s code – usually these codes resides inside the ‘header.php’ page – and change few parameters. Sometimes changing the link will do the trick mostly, other times disabling a comment or simply removing the whole block of code that displays the ‘Home’ page link should be a life saver.

Summary of Creating a Static Front Page in WordPress Blog

Everyone wants to learn how to create a static page using the WordPress as it’s the unusual thing to do. And then, sometimes few people also want their WordPress appear not like a typical site, with posts displayed chronological in the home page, ironically that’s what WordPress does. So is there a way to create a static home page using WordPress where people could display a welcome page, or featured section, or series of links to different sections. Fortunately, there’s a way to create a custom static home page using WordPress and that’s exactly what we covered in this article.

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3 Easy Ways to Install WordPress Plugins

Stage 3: WordPress Guide 11/11/2012

After you’ve learn to how install the WordPress and give it a modern look and feel to it by using themes over it, isn’t it obvious that we still need to install Plugins for our small business website?

WordPress is not only open-source, but it’s actually the most user-friendly blogging platform in the internet. Why? Well, first everything is so simple that you don’t need to have any prior programming or even HTML knowledge. Second, there are different ways to do the same on it – like installing a Plugin for example.

After having used WordPress as both a blogging platform and as well as a marketing campaign, I’ve been using this open-source software for almost three years now. That means, I have known few secrets that most first time WordPress users might not about some cool features of it.

Did you know there are three different ways you can install WordPress Plugins?

Well, let me clear the mystery for you. Yes there are three super easy ways you can easily and quickly search and upload WordPress Plugins before using them. Well now the curtain has been opened briefly to you, why don’t we actually go ahead and learn how to install WordPress Plugins for your small website.

1. Installing the WordPress Plugin via Plugin Search option

Among these three simple ways, this method is by far the easiest one to follow. But with everything else, there’s a small problem with this step – all the Plugins must not only be free, they must also pass the GPL and follow WordPress guidelines. So this method may not work if you want to install a premium Plugins, but you’ll never require one either, especially when you’re just learning WordPress.

  1. First, on the Plugins option at the side of the WordPress dashboard, click on Add New link. This link will take you to a page from where you can type in the name of the Plugins – ‘All in one SEO Pack’ – for example, in the search box at the top before hitting the ‘Search Plugins’ button.
  2. WordPress will search and list all the available free Plugins that match your keywords in the search box.
  3. Next, under the Actions column, click on the ‘Install’ link. A page pops up with the Plugins description – its version, author, requirements, compatibility, and average rating. After reading this, click on the orange button with white text screaming Install Now.
  4. 4.     The Plugin will take few moments to install, and after that you’ll see couple of links at the bottom. Click on the Activate Plugin.
  5. 5.     Once you’ve activated the Plugin, you can either start using it or change its basic settings.

Now that you’ve learnt how to search and install Plugins, let’s continue with other two methods that works for both FREE as well as Premium WordPress Plugins.

2. Installing WordPress Plugin through Upload Method

The advantage of using the Upload method to install Plugin is that they could be either a non-GPL Plugin, or a paid one. Whatever it is, this methods is the way to go.

This method is a lengthy one as you’ll need to manually search for the Plugin on the internet, visit the author’s site, and download them on to your hard disk, before using the WordPress Install Plugins to upload them.

  1. First, Google for the Plugin you’re looking for, and if you’re lucky you should find its source and download it. These Plugins are usually zipped files.
  2. Second, login to your WordPress dashboard and click on Plugin and Add New link next. From the Install Plugin page, click on the Upload option.
  3. Third, click on the Browse button and locate the Plugin file you just downloaded.
  4. Fourth, click on the Install Now button.
  5. Finally, after few minutes you’ll see an Activate Plugin link and click it.

After you’ve installed and activated your Plugin, you still might need to change its settings. As each Plugins have their own settings, we won’t further go to explore them for now.

3. Installing WordPress Plugin through FTP Client

Well, we covered the easiest and the long method one to install Plugins on your WordPress website. But this is by the far the most advanced and difficult method to install a Plugin, but not that difficult if you still follow the steps I outline below.

To install Plugin using FTP Client, you need FTP software. FileZilla is both free software and installs and runs very quickly.

Go here and download FileZilla FTP client.

Once you’ve downloaded and installed the FileZilla, open it up and set up a new connection by entering the control panel information –the web host address, username,  and then, finally the password – to login to your Web server and access files.

After you’ve connected with the server, follow these steps.

  1. Click on the public_html folder under the list of directories on the right server side of the FTP client.
  2. Under public_html, click on the plugins folder.
  3. On the left half of the FTP screen, browse the Plugin you’ve on your hard disk and simply drag it across the screen and drop it on the right half server side screen. Or simply double click the Plugin folder to upload it.
  4. Once the Plugin is uploaded, go to the WordPress dashboard and under the Plugins page, search for the Plugin you’ve just installed. Click on the Activate link.

Summary 3 Easy Ways to Install WordPress Plugins

As with everything else, installing a WordPress Plugin need not be a one-dimensional thing. There are actually three different ways to search, upload, and install a Plugin. While the first method is the easiest and installs Plugins that are only free and has GNU license, other two methods upload any type of Plugins – both free as well as paid. Whatever the method, knowing few more methods will only help you when you run out of options. That’s why we showed you three different ways to install WordPress Plugin.

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How to Build a Small Business Website using WordPress

Stage 3: WordPress Guide 11/11/2012

Everyone is using Internet these days for several reasons. While few of them just want to post few regular blog posts, there are still majority of people who wants to conduct an online business as they can connect with wide variety of audiences from around the world.

But they are always at odd with themselves as they don’t know where to start from. While some of them have pre-knowledge of HTML, and most of them are well versed on internet technologies, there are still many who only have writing and browsing the internet.

Well, so for those who don’t know programming or don’t want to learn them, then there’s a solution for create a nice professional-looking and elegant website on their own. They still need to learn how to register a domain name, and install program that we’re going to discuss in this article.

With that said, let’s discuss on how to create a simple small business website using WordPress – the most widely used open-source control management system, or CMS that lets you create a full-fledged customized website, just in a few clicks of a button. And you don’t require any prior knowledge of programming, only few HTML markup skills to get the website up and running.

So in order to create a small business website, you need to follow these small basic steps to create a WordPress powered small business website. You’re in it? Okay, then, let’s roll!

First, Register for a Web Hosting and Domain Names

While creating a website on WordPress, you need to put them somewhere on the internet. Having your own Web space in the internet makes it private, and only you can access them. Not only you can host a single website, but as many as the web space allows you to.

If you haven’t checked out our article on how to register for web hosting services, then please do before you begin.

Once you’ve registered for a web hosting service, you need to buy a private domain name that will cost less than ten dollars for a yearly subscription. And more importantly, this will be your private domain, and you can even re-sell them later at more profits.

Put main keywords while choosing a domain name. If your niche is in ‘health’ market, then you can register a domain name with the keyword involved – ‘myhealthtips.com’ for example.

To learn more about how to register for a proper domain names for your site, check out this article.

Once you’ve purchased a web hosting plan and domain name from one of best ones, then it’s time to download and install WordPress.

Download and Install WordPress

If you’ve bought a web hosting plan from either Hostgator or Bluehost, then you can easily install WordPress from the Control Panel’s provided by either of those two web hosting services. In the control panel, look for ‘Fantastico Deluxe’ service at the bottom, click on it, and in the next page, select ‘WordPress’ under Blogs to install it.

If you’re haven’t bought the web server, but just want to test WordPress first, then you’ll need to have Wampserver installed on your local machine. Just copy paste the WordPress folder inside the root folder of the localhost, and then, open the browser and type ‘http://localhost/wordpress/’.

Next, simply follow the WordPress installation on your local hard disk. Great!

Download and Install Theme

Next, you want to download and install WordPress theme for your small business site as there are wide variety of themes to choose from. There are bundle of free as well as premium WordPress themes which you can download from each of their owner’s website.

As you’re just starting out, we recommend that you download FREE WordPress themes for your site.

To install the theme, go to WordPress admin panel by logging, click on the ‘appearance’ option at the left menu bar, and click on ‘install themes’ from the option above. Browse through any of the themes you’ve downloaded, and then, select the ‘Install’ button.

Once the WordPress theme is installed, next you’ll need to activate it. Just select the ‘active’ link to make it your default WordPress theme for you site.

Remove default Link and Pages

Once you’ve install a default web address theme, you need to remove all those links and default pages that WordPress have put by default. Navigate through each section – pages, posts, links, and comments – and remove any content there might be.

Remember, this is a fresh installation and you don’t want to index your website for these dummy text and links.

Summary of How to Build a Small Business Website using WordPress

In this article, we learnt how to install WordPress on your web server to create a small business site. We learnt how to install the WordPress, choose either a free or premium theme, and remove dummy text and texts to completely install the site from the scratch.

In the next article, we’ll guide you step-by-step to create pages, blog posts, set the layout, upload logo, and choose the right plug-ins to give the ultimate functionality for your WordPress powered small business website.

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Installing WordPress – Part II – Plugins, Pages and Posts

Stage 3: WordPress Guide 11/11/2012

In previous article, we looked at how you can download and install WordPress on localhost or web server if you have one. Installing WordPress is extremely easy if you read the previous article. You just need to click few buttons, select the proper folder to install, and you’re good to go.

After installing the WordPress, we also looked at how to choose a theme for your website. There are thousands, if not millions, of both free and premium themes that you can use for your first WordPress small business site.

After that, we removed those dummy texts and links that default WordPress installation creates. They need to be removed as we don’t want to index on search engines for dummy text, do we?

Now, in this article, we’ll continue to the next step – install important and free plug-ins, design a proper layout for the site, create static pages, post few blogs relevant to your niche, and then, finally, finish it off with uploading banners and logo. Awesome!

Install Plug-ins

WordPress Plugins are tools that extend the functionality of your WordPress blog or website. But they’re only available on self-hosted blogs and websites that use WordPress.org software. These Plugins are also open-source, meaning you’re free to change the code, extend it, and use them for commercial and non-commercial for free.

To install a WordPress Plugin, go to Plugins and select Add New, and on the search box, enter the name of the Plugin you wish to install.

Check out our article on recommended WordPress Plugins for blogs.

Once you’ve found the Plugin, click on Install right under it. Wait few seconds as WordPress installs the Plugin. If it’s installed correctly, WordPress will notify with a message saying that the Plugin is being installed and awaiting for activation.

If you want to install the Plugin, simply click on ‘Activate’ link, or leave it and come back later to install it.

Well, that was one of the ways to install WordPress Plugins. Check out our next article on how to install and configure WordPress plugin.

Create Pages in WordPress

Next, you want to create few web pages you see on any other websites – home page, about, services, contacts, products, blogs, and others – to let visitors know about more about you and what you have to offer. Creating pages doesn’t get as easy as just entering the page name, setting its type, and stuffing it with content.

By default, WordPress list blog articles on the home page. Now, if you don’t have problem with displaying list of articles on the home page, then it’s okay. But if you want to display static pages on the front page, there’s a way to do that.

Check out this article on How to Creating a Static Front Page.

To create a simple page, like ‘about us’ page, for example, navigate to Pages > Add New from the left panel inside the WordPress dashboard.

Give the page a name, put the content for the ‘about us’, and select ‘Default’ as page template.

Remember, you can also create page within another page. You just need to specify the parent’s page name before saving them.

Now, follow the same steps for other pages, except for the ‘contact us’ page. There’s a simple way to create a dynamic contact page, which we’ll discuss in this article.

Create Few Blog Posts

After you’ve created a simple page, it’s time that to create more content you’re your website. It would be much better if you have content relevant to your own niche. You might want to share tips, tricks of the trade to your visitors or other helpful articles along with images and links so that they stay longer on your website.

WordPress allows you to create these entries and display them as blog entities. Blogs are displayed in chronological order, meaning the most recent blog post will display at the top and so on.

To create blog post, simply navigate through the Posts > Add New link on the dashboard. A new page pops up with blank fields to create your first blog post.

Just enter the information – blog title, select categories, enter your blog content on the wide blank field at the center, and then, finally, save it as ‘draft’ or click on ‘preview’ button before saving it by clicking on blue ‘Publish’ button.

Customizing the Layout

With WordPress widget area, you can create a website with single, double, and even multiple column layouts. This is helpful to distribute and organized your content on your small business website. You won’t be limited by only a single design.

To customize your blog layout, click on ‘Widgets’ under ‘Appearance tab at the left panel of your WordPress dashboard. Under the widgets, you’ll see several built-in widgets – polls, social bookmarkers, custom twitters, most popular posts, most recent posts, among others. Just drag each of them and drop them on the layout boxes.

If you still switch between layouts – single to double and even three-column layouts, then click on the theme settings general tab and select appropriate layout design.

You can also specify the colors, size of the texts, links, headers, and titles for your site.

Upload a Logo

A logo helps you distinguish yourself from the crowd. It’s a unique selling point of any company and its needs to be prominent on any marketing campaign in order to be successful. Now that you have created a very basic small business website, why don’t we top it all by uploading a custom logo or header for it.

To upload a logo or header, navigate to your theme’s general Settings tab, and then browse and upload an image for the header. That’s it. You should see a logo displayed in your header.

Summary Installing WordPress – Part II

In a bid to show you how to create a WordPress site, we walked you over several important steps and phases of its development – installing Plugins, creating simple page, posting blog entries, changing the layout, and uploading a logo or banner for your WordPress small business website.

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Top Key Features of WordPress

Stage 3: WordPress Guide 11/11/2012

WordPress is an open-source content management system that is used to create blogs, websites, and online business sites. WordPress is created using PHP script and works along with MySQL database to hold information.

If you have a localhost running on your hard drive, then you can download and install WordPress within matter of few minutes. It’s that easy to run WordPress site. But the ease of installation is not the only of its main features.

WordPress comes along with thousands of plug-ins that extends its functionality. So that means WordPress is nearly limitless – you are free to experiment it, use it for commercial purpose without any licensing costs, and most importantly, you are free to do whatever with the code.

WordPress is free software, not only of the cost involved, but it also allows you the freedom to have a complete control over it.

With that said, let’s discuss some key features of WordPress.

Web Standard Compliance

The WordPress community has done their best to make sure that every bit of code generated is compliant with the W3C standards. This not only helps WordPress to be inter-operable, but also make them compatible with the tools of the coming generation.

No Need for Rebuilding Pages

Any small changes that you make on your templates are immediately reflected. There’s no need to regenerate web pages.

Easily Create Static Pages

Pages inside the WordPress allows you to quickly and easily create non-blog content – a static web ‘About’ page – that you can manage through WordPress.

WordPress Links

Through the administrator interface, it’s much faster to manage Links – create, update, and maintain any amount of blogrolls as it is way much quicker than calling an external blogroll.

WordPress Themes

WordPress comes along with a bundle of themes – both premium and free of costs – that are not only attractive visually, but they also have other features – SEO friendly, corporate-friendly, and shopping-cart friendly. This means, with just a few simple click of a button, you can install all these different types of themes for your blog or website, and switch between them. You can have a new web design every day!

Blog Communication Tools

WordPress not only support Pingbacks and Trackbacks standards, but they’re also committed to support upcoming standards as they pop up.

Allows Visitors to Comments on Blog Entries

After each blog posts, you can also set whether visitors can post a comment for it or not through the admin section. The visitors not only can comment on each of your blog entries, but through Pingback, or Trackback, they can comment on the blog post on their own site. Awesome, isn’t it?

Spam Protection

The awesome WordPress comes along with integrated tools such as ‘integrated blacklist’ and ‘open proxy checker’. These tools will help you keep track of the, and even remove them from the blog. In addition, there are also a set of plug-ins that can extend WordPress’s functionality a step further.

Private and Password-protected Pages

While creating pages, WordPress gives you an option to either set a password for each to hide from public view, or set the page as private so that they’re only displayed to its author.

Full User Registration

With WordPress you can create a registration system. It’s built-in registration system lets people to register, maintain their profiles, and leave their comments as members. Optionally, the author can also close comments for those non-registered users.

Easy to Install and Upgrade

WordPress is extremely easy to install and upgrade. Just visit their site, click on the download button, and then, put them inside the localhost folder on your hard disk, or on the server. WordPress always notifies any updates via its admin panel, and with just a click of a button, you’ll be able to install and upgrade your blog.

Workflow

You can create user, or authors, that only have a authentication to post drafts, and submit it for review process and not directly publish blog post on your blog.

Easy Importing

You can import blog post from other blogging software on the internet – Textpattern, Greymatter, b2, Blogger, and Movable Type. Work are underway to import pMachine and Nucleus.

Multiple Authors

With WordPress advanced user management system, creating users with 10 level, each having different sets of configurable privilege, in regards to editing, maintaining, and deleting blog posts, is just a piece of cake.

Typographical

WordPress uses a special engine – Texture – to smoothly convert ASII codes into correct XHTML entities, including quotes, ellipses, multiplication symbols, apostrophes, and ampersands.

Fair Text Formatting

While creating new lines or line breaks on your blogs posts, have you come across few systems that converts them without your comprehension? If yes, then you know why they’ve got such a bad name. And then, if you have any HTML, these system butcher them by putting tags after every new line. WordPress’s function intelligently avoids these places where you’ve put breaks and HTML tags, allowing you to leave them as is knowing the fact that they won’t be affected.

Expose Blog Through Pings

WordPress Ping-O-Matic, a pinging service on the internet, meaning each blog post will have maximum exposure on search engines.

Summary of Top Key Features of WordPress

Well, in this article, we listed out top key features of WordPress blogging software to help you see how great it is to create blogs, websites, and everything else you see on the internet, in just a matter of few clicks of a buttons.

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Do You Really Need Premium Themes for WordPress?

Stage 3: WordPress Guide 11/11/2012

After WordPress installation, you might think that your website requires a premium theme for it. Obviously, the open-source blogging platform has many partners and theme-development companies that are cutting-edge in its design, technology, and functionality.

These premium themes are not only displayed on your regular browsers, but they’re also displayed correctly in different smartphone you see everyone carry. In fact, more people are shifting mobile browsing these days. So it makes sense people buy premium themes to wrap around their otherwise plain looking website and give it a professional feel to it.

Do You Really Need Premium Themes for WordPress?

Premium WordPress theme is as easy as wearing a pant. Just visit any of the WP theme store, download what you are looking for, and within minutes, your site turns into a beauty queen.

But before you visit these stores, you need to sit back and ponder. Ponder if you really require Premium themes for your site, no matter you’re starting out or not.

In this article, we’ll discuss few points on whether you really require to use Premium themes or not.

If you find this article helpful, then we also suggest you check out other similar articles on WordPress.

So let’s discuss the advantages and disadvantages of using Premium themes on your blog.

Premium Theme Translates to …

Beware! Beware of when the term ‘premium’ pops up anywhere on the internet. Premium not necessarily always translates into ‘best’ nowadays. Time has changed, and so does the words actual meaning. Things aren’t the same since the last Ice age.

Premium WordPress usually translates to ‘Pay More’ themes these days. Most Premium WordPress themes are ‘Paid’ themes and they could be way expensive. It’s just the marketing jargon most people use over and over again.

But surely, WordPress Themes has its advantages and loop holes. We’ll cover the first part before revealing the second part. So, lock your seat-belt and read on. 😀

Benefits of Using WordPress Premium Themes

Yes, WordPress Premium themes can be expensive, but they come done with everything worked out by Web developers. A Premium theme might cost between 30 to 350 dollars, but they’re well-designed and configured to enhance your Website. This functionality is what separates Premium themes from FREE themes that seem to plague the web, all over!

WordPress Premium themes are all worked out. It’s likely that expert Web developer have sit in front of their laptop, installed most important widgets and Plugins – Social Plugins, newsletter system, most popular posts, twitter widgets among others – and even developed their own apps on it. This takes off a lot of hard and boring work off the shoulder of a business entrepreneur or an amateur developer. More importantly, he might have already removed all the bugs and set up media-friendly environment to add videos, audios, and galleries.

This not only saves a huge amount of time and energy on your end, but the cost as well. You don’t want to spend a week to manually search for what the best is when you don’t have that much time, and you definitely don’t want to pay for someone to do it for you.

Premium WordPress Themes are Up to date!

Most web design firms often use Premium themes for advertisement purpose. Web design companies need to make a very good impression to their clients, and that’s why they always keep the best themes available on the internet.

In other words, this also means that Premium WordPress themes are current and updated regularly as opposed to FREE WordPress themes.

Premium Theme’s Design are More Attractive

If you search for Premium themes in Google, you’ll generally find them more attractive. The designs seem as if they were custom designed for only one person, and the use of fonts and layout is simply out-of-the-box.

If you want to lure people with attractive designs, Premium themes are what you should be looking for.

Premium Themes is Shortcut to a Great Looking Website

Best themes are not only excellent designs, but they do offer many unique features you won’t find in other simple plain-looking WordPress themes.

If you have a basic understanding of HTML and WordPress, then you can convert a simple looking WordPress into a work of art by adding patterned background body images, Web fonts, custom widgets, social plugins, seo plugins, and headers, and turn your website into a beauty.

Like with everything else, Premium WordPress themes have their own disadvantages. Let’s discuss few points.

Disadvantages to Using Premium WordPress Themes

Not Every WordPress Premium Themes are FREE!

Premium not always translates to best, but usually means money and more money. In other words, there are companies out there who want to make a quick buck without having to do the real work themselves.

These companies hire an amateur designer and a developer and make not-so great looking themes into Premium. If you aren’t aware of this, they might charge you double, and sometimes, triple the amount than its really worth.

Be aware!

No Active FREE Support for Premium Themes

Premium themes are stylized, made more powerful by adding custom codes and scripts by professional. So unless you’ve bought these themes from a reputed company who has an excellent customer support, you won’t know where to turn to when things turn ugly.

WordPress Premium Themes are mostly E-commerce Websites

Lastly, most Premium Themes are built for e-commerce sites, which is not an amazing features of a WordPress platform. Its more wise to build a separate PHP and MySQL powered website and install a blog folder inside them. There are handy WordPress store and promotional gift sites built with PHP.

Summary of Do You Really Need Premium Themes for WordPress

WordPress Premium theme is an exceptional way to built a better blog or a small business website. If you do a little research, you can quickly and easily create an awesome, slick, and professional web blog or site, even if you have limited knowledge of HTML and WordPress. For advanced business websites, we don’t usually recommend people to use WordPress Premium themes, but opt for PHP and MySQL driven websites and add a blog to run it like a WordPress site.

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7 Most Important Thing to do right after WordPress Installation

Stage 3: WordPress Guide 11/11/2012

WordPress is definitely the choice of Web development tool for many developers as has tons of cool features that allow them to perform a lot of things, just with a click of a button. Wasn’t that what always wanted?

Even though you might have a coding knowledge, with WordPress, creating a dynamic website has never been easier. With easy to post user-friendly text editors to give life to your content, and the use of several plugin to market, share, and promote, WordPress seems to be the answer for many professional Web developers.

10 Most Important Thing to do right after WordPress Installation

But most of the beginner webmaster finds them confusing, probably because of the vast amount of resources WordPress offers, and they don’t know how to use them or where to start from.

So with that in mind, in this article, we’ll be discussing the most important thing you must do right after the WordPress installation on your Web server.

If you like this article, you might also like – How to secure your WordPress site, How to Install WordPress on your server, Most Helpful WordPress Plugins.

1. Remove all the Dummy Posts and Links

Right after WordPress installation, the first thing you can do is to remove all those dummy posts, comments, and links from the database created for example purpose.

WordPress site is so search-engine friendly that you’re site gets indexed within few days after the installation. But you don’t want to rank for dummy content, do you?

Go to your dashboard, click on each section – posts, comments, links – and remove them and make the site clean first.

2. Change the Permalink Structure

By default, WordPress URLs aren’t search-engine friendly. When you create a page or a post, WordPress automatically assigns a unique page with numbers trailing at the end. But these URLs can’t be read by search engines as it contains numbers, and not text.

Be wise, and click on the Permalinks under Settings tab at the left side of the dashboard, and choose the last Permalink option, which will display as the title of the page. This way, the URL of your site will be indexed not only properly, but it is also understood by your viewers.

3. Install an automatic Backup Plugin

WordPress is amazing, but like everything else, it is also vulnerable to malicious attacks. Hackers do access your database, the heart and soul of your website, and insert malicious content on your posts, pages, and comments. So if you don’t make a frequent backup of your site, you might be left with a corrupt, unusable content on them.

That’s why its imperative to make a frequent backup of your whole site on your hard disk. There’s a free plugin – Wp-DB Manager WordPress plugin – that quickly generates a backup on a schedule. Simply install, enter an email address, and set a backup schedule. It’s that simple.

4. Install Akismet

Your website starts to gain momentum as more visitors visit your site, and comment on them. When this happens, suddenly mischievous spammers sprouts out of nowhere and inject comments with links to obscene content, or they might also put abusive and disturbing content, all of them that pisses your regular readers.

While the matter can be solved simply by deleting those comments, but when there are hundreds of them around, you can’t sit down and go over each post to remove them manually, can you?

To avoid this impasse, install Akismet, enter its activation code to make it run.

Akismet blocks suspicious comments by filtering them automatically. Once you’ve installed this cool feature, you don’t need to worry about your comments being attacked, anymore!

5. Change the default username and password

By default, WordPress assigns ‘admin’ as username and some alphanumeric password right after installation. But the username is too easy to predict, making it easy for hackers to guess it and enter your WordPress site. That’s why you should change it and use some other name instead.

The random alphanumeric password generated by WordPress automatically hard to remember. Right after installation, you should change the password into something more memorable and strong.

This way, you’ll keep prodding eyes at bay.

6. Install Yoast SEO Plugin and Create A Sitemap

While installing and using WordPress to create posts is one thing, getting found on the internet is the next important tasks that many Web developers need to keep in mind.

How does your website get found on the internet? Well, you require optimizing the content of the site keeping in many different parameters – the URLs, the titles, proper distribution of keywords on posts, Meta tags, etc.

Having to do this without a guide would be trying to take an aim in the dark.

But there are many WordPress Plugins – Yoast SEO and Sitemap Generator – that lets you not only optimize your whole website, but also index your site on search engines. If you’ve done this correctly, search engine will rank your site for it, and that’s why you’ll get more influx of visitors to your website.

7. Create a Contact Form

Your next important task would be to create a contact us page as they allow visitors – readers, advertisers, readers – to contact you when they require your services or send a message.

There are several popular contact us forms that you can use in WordPress, but my favorite is C Forms offered free by Contactme. With this free WordPress contact form, you can not only send emails, but forward it, upload files, and many more.

And here’s a bonus point for you.

8. Move the Core WordPress Files To A Custom Directory

After WordPress installation, the main files on your server are stored inside the root folder, and this causes a lot of problem later on. The root folder is easy to guess, and hackers won’t have a hard time figuring out where you files are stored. As a result, your site becomes more vulnerable to their attacks.

The best way to make sure that they stay at your arms length is to move the core files to a discreet folder within your web server. Will that be a problem for you?

Summary of 10 Most Important Thing to do right after WordPress Installation

WordPress is an awesome open-source blogging platform, and its drag-and-drop concept is attractive to many Web developers to build website quickly and efficiently that other platforms. But most web developers, especially the beginners become confused because the blogging platform offers vast pool of amazing tools and Plugins to enhance the functionality of the website.

We wrote this article to help both the expert as well as the budding Web developers need to keep in mind these 10 important steps they should follow right after the installation.

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Top 7 Security Tips to Protect Your WordPress Website

Stage 3: WordPress Guide 11/11/2012

After you’ve designed and developed your Website and live on the internet running smoothly, the last thing you want to do is spending your whole day re-uploading WordPress site just because some teenager hacker cracked into your site. It has happened to me many times, in fact every time as I didn’t paid attention to the following simple easy security tips.

Top 7 Security Tips to Protect Your WordPress Website

WordPress is a wonderful open-source online blogging platform and absolutely free and secure. Like with everything, it’s better to be prepared in advance instead of waiting those mischievous hackers ruin your site.

With following only few simple steps, you can protect your WordPress site from unauthorized access.

7. Set Strong Password for Admin

Setting a strong password for the dashboard login may seem like a trivial thing to do, but I think it’s the most useful tip to protect your WordPress site. Most people use easy passwords, and as a result it’s fairly easy to break into using program such as modern brute force attack.

Setting strong password is easy, though. We strongly suggest you to use Strong Password Generator. Just go over some tips how to create a strong password.

6. Perform Data Backup Often

Having a backup of your WordPress data is like having a plan B in case it gets cracked. Well, it’s not a security trick, but its relevant. Just imagine, someone hacks your Website and you have to go through all those tedious and time-consuming task of setting up the site from scratch all over again just because you forgot to make a backup of your site previously.

But making a backup of your website is easy as ever as there are free Plugins available. Just install and activate the WordPress Backup Plugin, and set a backup schedule in its settings page.

5. Avoid using ‘admin’ as username

WordPress 3.0 and its successor let you change the username of the dashboard login. Use this feature to set a stronger username as opposed to the regular ‘admin’ username. If you change the username into something other than ‘admin’, it would mean double work as our potential hacker not only has to hack the username, but he also he has to hack the password.

But if you’re using older WordPress version, you can easily change the username through the phpMyAdmin database.

4. Use Secure WordPress Plugin

Many hackers break into your website because they know few vital information to your website. Inside your WordPress site, hackers read WordPress logs to read the current WordPress version, different users entering the sites, and the place they access.

That’s why most WordPress developers use Secure WordPress Plugin as removes all the error information stored inside the login pages, inserts index.html files inside plugin folders, hides the WordPress version, blocks any bad queries, and much more, leaving behind a highly secure website in its wake.

3. Use different prefixes for the database tables

While a normal WordPress installation, your database tables are created with a wp_ prefix. So leaving the table’s prefix intact means leaving behind a security hole for a potential hacker to quickly exploit and gain access to it.

You can prevent this by simply entering some other prefix for your tables during installation. In addition, after installation, use WordPress Secure Scan plugin to change it later.

2. Place the wp-config.php file up your root folder

Be default, wp-file.php is placed inside the root folder of your Website and it contains vital information – host name, database name, and database login information among others. So this file should be away from a hacker.

WordPress 2.6 and its later version allow you to quickly move this configuration file away from the root folder. Login to your Web server using a FTP client, and then cut and paste the wp-config.php file one level up the root folder. If WordPress doesn’t find this configuration file inside the root folder, it automatically looks to the new place.

With this simple trick, only you know where the file is, provided that you’re the only one to know its FTP login information.

1. Use Salt Keys for wp-config.php

If you open the wp-config.php file, you’ll find 4 default secret keys. Most of the Web developers, even the so-called experts never take their time to change it. Well, the secret key is used against your admin password to make it stronger, leaving behind a normal hacker confused.

define(‘AUTH_KEY’, ”);

define(‘SECURE_AUTH_KEY’, ”);

define(‘LOGGED_IN_KEY’, ”);

define(‘NONCE_KEY’, ”);

Visit this link and generate the 4 secret keys before copying them into the wp-config.php file.

Summary Top 7 Security Tips to Protect Your WordPress Website

WordPress is free, open-source, and lets you create professional small business website quickly and without having pre-knowledge of programming and other languages. But this does not mean that you let everything intact and hope your website is secure forever. Just like with everything else, the blogging platform are also vulnerable to malicious attacks, and hence, you need to constantly update, use security keys, use stronger username and passwords, place configuration files somewhere different than the usual place to keep away any unauthorized person to prod and pry to your website.

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