Home Wordpress Tips

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pocketHave you ever found a great article or website online and just don’t have the time to read it, but don’t want to lose the website address?

Or maybe you want to save the website address but read it later offline?

Introducing Pocket – a great tool that allows you to save it for later in you “pocket”!

You may be wondering why this is a WordPress tip?

Well, other articles and content that you find online are great tools to use to help bring you inspiration to write content for your blog, so instead of reading something then losing it, save it for later when you are ready to write!

http://www.getpocket.com

Click here for instructions on how to add Pocket to your browser

 Watch the short video below:

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Lorette LyttleLorette Lyttle is the “little” sister of “The Lyttle Sisters”. Lorette can’t stop thinking like a marketer everywhere she goes and loves to write about what she observes  from other businesses , personal experiences and other successful entrepreneurs and how certain strategies can be (or shouldn’t be) integrated in your business. She is also the “geeky” one of the sister clan and pulls out some techy stuff once in awhile and likes to write and share with others who will listen (since Alicia usually just nods her head at the tech talk) !

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calendar

One of the great benefits of WordPress is the ability to schedule posts.

The WP Editorial Calendar Plugin is the best plugin you can use to help stay organized.

Features

  1. See all of your posts and when they’ll be posted.
  2. Drag and drop to change your post dates.
  3. Manage your drafts with our new drafts drawer.
  4. Quickedit post titles, contents, and times.
  5. Publish posts or manage drafts.
  6. Easily see the status of your posts.
  7. Manage posts from multiple authors.

Watch the video below to learn more

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Lorette LyttleLorette Lyttle is the “little” sister of “The Lyttle Sisters”. Lorette can’t stop thinking like a marketer everywhere she goes and loves to write about what she observes  from other businesses , personal experiences and other successful entrepreneurs and how certain strategies can be (or shouldn’t be) integrated in your business. She is also the “geeky” one of the sister clan and pulls out some techy stuff once in awhile and likes to write and share with others who will listen (since Alicia usually just nods her head at the tech talk) !

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This tutorial is going to walk you through how to add a custom menu to the top of your blog/website. Now, keep in mind, this may vary depending on what theme you are using, but this is the generic way to do it and works with almost any theme.

Here are the steps.

1 – Login to your wordpress dashboard and click on “Appearance” then “Menus”

2. You will see a screen like this. First, create a name for your menu and click “Save Menu”

Custom WordPress Menus3. The next step is to choose the pages that you want to appear in your menu. In the bottom left, there will be a list of all the pages that are on your site. Just check the box next to the pages that you want to show up.

Wordpress Custom Menus

4. When you choose the pages, they will show up in your menu area. Each one represents a page that will show up in your menu/navigation.

Wordpress Custom Menus

5. If you would like to create drop down lists, simple click and drag the pages as seen below, then click “save menu”.Wordpress Custom Menu

6. In order for the menu to show up, on the left hand side of the Menu screen, it will ask you what menu do you want to show, choose the name of the menu you just created from the drop down box and click “Save”.

This is what your final menu/navigation would look like.

Wordpress Custom Menu

Have Fun!

Lorette

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Every WordPress Dashboard has a variety of configuration options to help set up your site to your specific requirements. In this post we are going to review, the “Settings” area in your Dashboard.
I am going to go highlight the settings that you should pay close attention to…

1. General – This is where you would update your sites title and description (make sure it is keyword rich). You would also update the date and time to display on your site.

2 – Writing – Customizing the way your posts are written (recommended to leave all the information as default)
3 – Reading – This area is where you can choose how your website is “read”. You can choose to either show your blog posts on the front page of yours site or even choose a static page for your front  page.
You can also choose how many posts are displayed at one time – for example if you only want to show 5 posts on the front page, simply change the default number to five, and how to adjust RSS syndication feed features to determine how the information from your site is sent to a reader’s web browser or other applications.
Wordpress reading settings
4 – Discussion – In this setting you can control how people interact on your blog. For example, are comments autoposted or approval needed.
wordpress discussion settings

5 – Media – This area is where you can specify the maximum dimensions to use when inserting an image into a post (leave these as default)

6 – Privacy – Choose whether you want your site to be indexed by search engines—like Google, Bing, or Yahoo, or only to your specific visitors, of course you would want to choose the first option to get maximum exposure to your site.
wordpress privacy settings

7 – Permalinks – Create a custom URL structure for your permalinks and archives.

Please read a previous post on how to correctly set up your Permalink settings.
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Enjoy!
Lorette
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Gravatar

This is not necessarily a WordPress tip…but, it’s a good tip to know that relates to blogs :-)

Have you ever wondered how people comment on blogs and have their picture show up next to the comments?

Those pictures are called Gravatars. Why would you even want to use one?

If you frequently post on blogs and leave comments (which you should to bring backlinks to your website), it is a good idea to have a Gravitar so that people and the blog owner begin to recognize you and it will help build relationships…and relationships is what its is all about these days.

This goes along with the whole social media craze, of networking and relationship building, and this will only help with your relationship building.

So this is how to create a Gravatar that will travel along with your email address everywhere you post something online with that email address.

Here is exactly how to to do….

1. Go to www.gravatar.com and click on “Get Your Gravatar Today”

Gravatar

2. Enter the email address that you want associated to your new Gravator

Gravatar Images

3. Next, click on the bottom where it says “Add one by clicking here” to upload an image

gravator images

4. Upload a picture. If the picture is too big it will automatically crop the picture and then you can choose which picture you want to associate to your email (if you uploaded more than one).

5. Now, go test your Gravatar! Go through the steps above, then post a comment on this post below to test it out!

You can see my sample post below (responding to a post on a blog on if it is a good idea to put a picture on a business card), so when entering my email address, it automatically associates my picture and posts it when my comment is posted.

Have fun!

Lorette

 

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YouTube Video Widget

We all know how powerful videos are today. Not only can they be educational but they can also be very entertaining, and a great marketing tool.

If you have a video that you would like to showcase on the sidebars of your WordPress website, check out the tips below and cool plugin to help you along the way.

There are a few ways to do this, but this one is the easiest…

Follow these steps…

1. Login to your WordPress Dashboard

2. Click on “Plugins” -> “Add New” and search for the plugin called “Video Sidebar Widget”

Wordpress Video Widget3. The first results in the search is the plugin you need called – “Video Sidebar Widget”, click Install then Activate the plugin

4. Now to set up your widget, go to “Appearance”, then “Widgets” and you will see the installed widget, click on Add or drag it to the sidebar that you want to add the widget on.

YouTube Sidebar Widget

5. Next, find the YouTube video that you want to add and get the Video Id. This can be found in the URL of the actual video.

YouTube Video Widget

6. Now that you have this information, you can start to create your video sidebar widget.  Create a title, choose YouTube from the drop down, and put in the video ID. For the width and height, this will vary for different blogs, leave it blank to start, then you can adjust the size. You can choose to have text under the video as well as if you want to video to autostart when someone visits your site.

video sidebar widget7. After you fill out the details, click “Save Widget” and go look at your website. The image below is what my widget looks like to start. So, now I need to go back and edit the size and I would like to make the link under it “clickable”

video widget wordpress

8. Go back to the Widget area and click on “Edit” for the widget. The changes I made:

Width: 290   Height: 280

For the video caption box, I added code to make it clickable and centered: (use this code and replace the url and the title with your website)

<center><a href=”http://www.mygoldenrolodex.info”>My Golden Rolodex </a></center>

The image below is the end result!

Enjoy adding videos to your WordPress Sidebars!

Lorette :-)

 

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It’s great having a blog and posting content to it, but it really doesn’t mean anything if you don’t have any traffic. This can especially be a challenge if you are new online and haven’t created a following yet.

One tip is to get your blog listed in blog directories. Why is this something that can help you?

There are a few reasons…

1- People that visit these blog directories are usually looking for something specific. So, if you have your blog listed and in the proper category, you will be sure to gain extra traffic and visibility!

2- Many of these blog directories are well established and credible, therefore if you are listed in their directory, you will now have more quality backlinks leading to your site, which helps with your organic traffic.

3 – Submitting to blog directories in combination with other traffic strategies that you are implementing will only make your results in the search engines even more powerful.

Some people may argue that directory submissions is not a way to get fast traffic, and I agree! You will not get a flood of traffic instantly, but you will get traffic over time and it is critical for your SEO strategy to have a variety of traffic strategies working together driving traffic to your site.

Here is a list (short list) of some of the top blog directories to list your site:

Although I provided a short list above on where you can submit your blog, I don’t recommend doing it yourself. This is a very tedious and time consuming project. I HIGHLY recommend outsourcing this project and not through the use of software, but outsourced to a human.

If you are looking for a great low cost service that can help you with this, just click on the Contact Us tab and we will connect you!

Enjoy!

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We recently did a Live webinar walking people through, in 5 easy steps, how to set up your first WordPress Website…for only $3!

If you missed it, check out the replay link below!

Build A Site For 3 Bucks

Description: In 60 minutes you will learn everything you need to set up your first WordPress website. Our training is easy to follow, we cover the entire process so that after the webinar we guarantee that you can set up a wordpress site by yourself!

(Ideal for newbies or anyone wanting to understand WordPress)

Webinar Replay: http://www.buildasitefor3bucks.com/webinar

Read what people are saying about this webinar….

  • “I love you guys. You are honest and sincere. I’d do business with you at the drop of a hat. You are valuable help in this marketing world. Give me more. I’m hooked.” – Vernial Batts
  • “You ladies are simply AWESOME! This webinar was very helpful.  It took me 2 weeks to hash through all the steps to create my website. You guys did it within 1 hour. I’m impressed. Thanks for being real!!” – Eartha Dingle
  • “Thanks girls you are great- woo hoo from australia!This 1 hour webinar clarified what I struggled in a weekend seminar. Do you have more courses?” – Nick Elflett
  • “Great webinar…easy to listen to and learn at the same time! Thanks Alicia and Lorette” – Arley Owens
  • “This was a great webinar I have been trying to figure it out for at least a year now. Thanks” – Aerica Karriem

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Have you found a great blog theme that you LOVE but you want to get a custom header created? Maybe the header is a plain color and you want to add your picture or some graphics to it?

The blog theme on this site (www.alicialyttle.com), for example is a free theme with a custom header.

Follow the quick, easy (and low cost – only $5) tips below to get a custom blog header created for your site.

1. Find a theme you like (do some searching in Google) – Type this into Google:

free (put what your are looking for) wordpress theme.

Example: free golf wordpress theme

Download and save the theme to your computer.

2. Go to www.fiverr.com

3. Type in “Blog Header” into the search box or “WordPress Header”

4. You will get a bunch of search results, click on “Rating” to sort your results by the best rated designers

5. Look through the results and pick the best one for the job! Here are two sellers that have great feedback…

6. Now depending on your theme, some themes have an area under “Appearance” in the left navigation of your WordPress site that says “Header Images” and you can upload your new header there. Some themes have specific areas within their theme settings where you can upload your header. Some other themes on the other hand may be a bit confusing, if you are unsure, just hire someone to do it for you (on www.fiverr.com of course)

Just type in “Install blog header” into the search box and find someone that can do this. Here is one that I found with great feedback.

The best part about using Fiverr for your header design, is that the cost is so low you can get a few made by different people and pick the one you like best!

Have fun!

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YES!! You finally have your blog up and running, great theme, great ideas, you’ve written a bunch of blog posts….but then you get writers block and can’t think of anything to write about.

Does this ever happen to you?

Well,  you are not alone. But, unfortunately, as they say “Conent is King”, so where do you get it from?

Here are my Top 4 Tips For Generating Content For Your Blog

1. Guest Bloggers

First of all, I am a guest blogger on THIS blog, so this example is one of my favorites. There are many people out there with great content that need a place to share it and get extra exposure. To find guest bloggers, simply send out an email to your list or post on Facebook that you are looking for a guest blogger on a specific topic and for them to send you some of their writing samples.

This is a win-win for both parties because it gives you extra content for your blog and it gives your guest blogger extra exposure. If the guest blogger has a website, you can allow them to refer back to their website at the end of each post.

2. Wiki-How Articles

To get some “How to Articles” to add to your blog, go to www.wikihow.com

In the search box on the top, enter in your key word. For this example, I used “flat tire” (which can be used if you have a blog about automotive repair, cars or something related)

When you click search, you will see a list of result of different articles. Pick the article that you like the best.

Once you choose the article, scroll all the way to the bottom and you will see a link that says “Embed into your blog”.

After you click the link, it will take you to a page with a bunch of HTML code, just paste that into your blog post in the HTML tab section.

When you post the article you can make any changes to it that you want, but you must keep the last line of the post giving credit to the wikihow website.

3. WP Robot

This is a plugin that can autopost to your blog. It depends on what your blog is about and what the focus is, but this plugin can autopost content based on keywords that you set.

You can set the autposting at whatever interval you want, by hour, by day etc. It can post content from Amazon, Yahoo answers, YouTube, Article Base, Flickr, Yahoo News, Twitter, PR Web, Yelp, Linkshare and more!

This is a great tool to automate your blog posting as well as brining extra traffic to your blog. We’ve personally used it to autopost Amazon, YouTube and Yahoo Answers.

To learn more about this plugin visit – www.wprobotplugin.com

4. Top News Sites

If you are looking for inspiration on blog topics, see whats happening in the news and write stories around those topics. For example, if you are in the Heath Niche and there is a new diet trend that is in the news, write a blog article about it.

Some places to check out for news stories:

I hope these tips help you keep your blog full of new, fresh content. Happy writing!

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When building your WordPress Blog, you have many options to add widgets to your sidebars. WordPress comes with a variety of default widgets such as Calendar, Recent Posts, Recent Comments and more.

But, what if you want to add a banner or an image to your side bar, how do you do that?

Personally, I used to use the Text Widget option and hard code html in the text widget…which is very old school and I can’t believe that is how I was doing it :-)

This is the quick and easy way….

1. Click on Posts, then Add New

2. Now you will create a post with the images and text that you want to put in your sidebar (insert images, text, links etc)

3. Click on HTML and copy the HTML code <– this is the secret tip!!

4. Now you can close the post (don’t actually make it a live post). When you leave the site, it will ask you if you want to save the post, go ahead and choose “No”

5. Click on Appearance, Widgets, then Text Widgets. Drag the text widget into the sidebar that you wish for it to appear.

 

6. Paste the HTML code into the Text widget

 

7. Save the widget, now check your blog. You may have to do a little editing, but it should look like the post you created.

 

This tip allows you to make a custom sidebar widget … and it’s so quick and easy!

P.S. I learned this great tip from Nicola Grace from http://www.infullflightonline.com/ – thanks Nicola!

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When you are writing your blog posts, sales letters or creating your membership sites, make sure you incorporate the use of images.

Whether these images are pictures that you’ve taken or graphical images, you will gain more attention to your post/page when you have visual images to break up the straight text.

BUT, make sure when adding images and icons to your site that they are royalty free. This means that you can’t just go to Google, find a picture and post it on your site, its not your picture! Although, some sites allow for reprinting/reposting of images on other sites, to stay on the safe side you should use images that are made for the purpose of republishing.

Icon Sites

Icon Archive – I love this site, all the graphical images I put in my blog posts are from here. A huge library of free icons.

Find Icons - Another great site to find free icons. Also gives upsell option of great paid icons.

Photo Sites

IStockPhoto - Great site to provide high quality royalty free stock photos. Monthly Subscription payment as well as pay-as-you-go program.

Dreamstime – Royalty free photos on a pay per download option of a monthly subscription option.

There are many more sites out there for royalty free photo options, but the ones listed above are the ones that we currently use and some we’ve been using for several years.

Remember, the use of images, pictures, icons and videos are a great bonus when creating website and/or blog posts to grab your readers attention.

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You work hard and write a awesome WordPress post. You send it out to your Facebook fans, maybe send out a Twitter alert, send out an email, people like it and comment on it…but then after awhile it fades away.

How do you keep the traffic comming back to your old posts ?

Here are two plugins that can help.

1. Yet Another Related Post Plugin

This plugin presents the reader of your new blog post with other older posts that are related to your new post. It uses a fancy algorithm that takes into consideration, post title, description, tags, content and categories and calculates a “match score” for your posts.

Therefore, after someone is finished reading your post, then are now presented with related posts. Since they were reading the new post, they are more than likely interested in something related.

2. Tweet Old Posts

If you have a Twitter account, this is a great plugin for you. Tweet Old Posts is a plugin designed to randomly pick your older posts based on the interval specified by you.

You enter in your Twitter account details, then set how often you want your old posts tweeted. You can exclude certain categories as well as add additional text to each tweet. This plugin automates the entire process and does a GREAT job of keeping your old posts “alive”!

Sceenshot below of some of the settings that can be edited to your specific needs.

Thanks Devon at renegadesuccess.com for suggesting this plugin!

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WordPress is a great tool for publishing content for the world to see. But what if you want to publish a post and/or page and keep it private, maybe only for friends or family to see?
Or maybe just a specific user group, like coaching clients, or team members? Well, I am gong to show you how to protect your posts and/or page with the use of a passwords or by setting user roles.

 

First of all, when you write your post and/or page, most people immediately push the blue “Publish” button and then they are done. But there is also an option called “Visibility”. This is by default, set to “Public”. The “Visibility” option is available for both posts and pages.

Click on “Edit” to see your options.
The easiest way to make your posts and/or pages private is to choose the “Password Protected” option.
When you choose that option, you simply enter in a password and share that password with whoever you want to have access to that page.
 The screen shot below is what it would look like for a post and similar for a page.

The other option which is called “Private” makes the post/page only available to other admins or editors of the site.

This is a great function if you are working with others on the post and it needs to be reviewed by other admins or Editors before it is published.

You can add an “Editor” to your site by going to “Users” on your left navigation and choose “Add New”, then add a new user with “Editor” status.

These are quick and easy ways to protect your content. There are more advanced ways to protect your content by using membership site plugins, which we will conver in another post.

 

 

But, if you are interested to learn more about membership site plugins for wordpress, we use and recommend WPWishlist.

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Are you continuously adding fresh new content to your website, but its just not getting noticed like you want it to?

Or maybe your pages are getting indexed but it is taking a long time and some of your site pages are getting skipped over completely?

This is where “pinging” your website will help.

What exactly is “pinging”?

Pinging is like ringing on someones doorbell and letting them know that you have some fresh new content and you want them to come check it out.

When a website is “pinged”, it is ringing the doorbell of several search engines as well as directories to let them know you have new content. After you ring their doorbell, it is now up to them to see if they want to open the door and check it out, this is done by “crawling” your website.

When should you “ping” your site?

Your site should only be pinged when you have fresh new content. Pinging your site several times will not benefit you, and may even backfire because search engines may look at you as a spammer and block your IP.

With that in mind, as long as you are providing new content, your site can be pinged multiple times a day, but only on new content.

Does WordPress automatically ping my site with any new changes?

YES! But the problem with the auto “pinging” is that if you make multiple changes to one post for example and update it throughout the day, the search engines will frown upon it, because it will keep pining with each change.

Therefore, it is recommended to install a plugin to monitor your pinging.

Recommended Ping Plugin – CBNet Ping Optimizer

Prevent your blog from getting tagged as ping spammer by installing this plugin.

After you install cbnet Ping Optimizer:

  • When you create a new post, your blog will ping and notify all the ping services that it has been updated. This encourages search engines and different blog directories/services to index your updated blog properly.
  • When you edit an existing post, it won’t send any unnecessary ping to ping services and saves your blog from getting banned by such services.
  • When you post a future post by editing the time stamp, it will ping only when your post appears in future. It won’t unnecessarily ping many times when you schedule posts as WordPress does by default.

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What is the world is a Permalink?

Permalink is how a URL of a WordPress post and/or page appears to a visitor and search engines. By default your WordPress URL will have a bunch of numbers and will say something like “page ID = 32″ – which means nothing to a user or to a search engine.

These urls will stay this way until you change it, this should be one of the very first things you should do after installing your WordPress blog. This is because once you post your first page, search engines begin to index your blog based on the post URL and if you change it at a later date then you will lose your rankings and the old links will no longer work.

So let’s get started on how to edit your Permalink structure.

Editing Your Permalink Structure

1. Login to your WordPress dashboard and click on “Settings” then “Permalinks”.

2. On this screen you will see several options. You should choose “Custom Structure”.

In this box you have a few options based on how you structured your site…

/%postname%/

This structure will display the post name in the URL. This is a good standard if you are unsure what format to use. This is also good if your posts cannot be efficiently categorized well.

/%category%/%postname%/

This structure shows what category your post belongs to, then the title of the post. Here is an example.www.domain.com/shoes/womens-running-shoes

Here are some other structures that may be good for your specific blog

Year & Category: /%year%/%category%/%postname%/

Time sensitive data: /%year%/%day%/%hour%/%postname%/

Optimize author names: /%author%/%year%/%postname%/
Edit Your Post-Specific Slug

After you create your post, WordPress will automatically generate a “slug” for your post. Depending on the title of your post it could be very long and contain extraneous words that should be removed.

Before you push “Publish” on your blog post, you should edit the link to only have keywords. Remove words like “the”, “and”, “a”, “you”. This allows your links to be focused, short and search engine friendly.

The two factors to keep in mind when editing your post-specific slug

1 – Does it  make sense to your user?

2 – Does the permalink match the content of the site?

So, take a look at the new blog you are creating and set up your Permalink structure to what best fits your site. Then optimize your “slug” to not only be user friendly, but also search engine friendly.

Spending a little bit of time on this, can turn into some great organic search engine results!

P.S. We are guilty of not doing a good job of this ourselves, but will be sure to do better at it :-)

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If you have a blog, then I’m sure that you’ve been attacked by spam at one point or another.

So, here are some tips to clean up the spam and then stop it in its tracks…

1 – Cleaning Up Comments

When you log into your WordPress Dashboard do you see a large number of pending comments like this screenshot – 342 pending comments yikes!

Unfortunately, most of the time majority of the comments are spam. Here is a quick tip to clean that up….

Click on Comments and on the top right of the screen you will see where it says “Screen Options”, click on that.

Where it says “Show on Screen”, change to something high, like 999 and all of the comments will be listed on the page.

Then simply do a Bulk Action and delete the list of comments.

If for some reason that doesn’t work for you, there is a great plugin that makes it easy, Bulk Comment Remove

2 – Preventing Spam Comments

Akismet - Visit Plugin Page

Every new install of WordPress comes pre-loaded with some plugins, and one of them is Akismet – which is a great plugin to protect your site from spam. What Akismet does is that it checks every comment that is posted on your blog, then it sends the comment to the spam box if it seems like spam or has been already marked as spam by any other blog owners. In order for Akismet to work, you will need an API key . This is free for personal use and affordable for non-personal use.

WP-HashcashVisit Plugin Page
This is an anti-spam plugin that works on getting rid of spam and sending the spam to the Akismet section. Next step is to verify if the visitor is a person or simply a robot or automated system.  This plugin claims to be 100% effective at blocking all spam and no real comments. Also blocks most pingback & trackback spam.

Bad BehaviorVisit Plugin Page
This is a great plugin that not only stops spammers from posting on your blog but it can also block them from even visiting your blog. This is one that can be used in addition to any of the other spam plugins.

There are many more spam plugins that are out there, this is just a pick of 3 of some of the most popular. What plugin are you using to prevent spam on your blogs?

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One thing I LOVE about WordPress is ease of adding and changing themes. You can literally change the entire look and feel of your site with a few clicks! I remember the days of HTML static websites and the long process of getting a site designed and coded…good riddance!

There are tons of cool themes out there…here are some that I’ve personally used and recommend.

EvoLve - (the free theme on this blog)

EvoLve is a premium WordPress theme with advanced features including lots of options. It features a modern design with up to 14 color variants, fully customizable layout, post excerpts with thumbnails, post boxes, author gravatar support, up to 10 subscribe/social customizable buttons, custom logo, header widgets, recent posts slideshow, footer widgets, custom footer, customizable font styles, custom CSS, ads spaces. The EvoLve theme also comes with custom Menus support and other cool features. Tested with WP 3.1 and major browsers – Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer, Opera and Chrome.

WooThemes

Top quality, cutting edge designs. Very user friendly and easy to use.

See why our 96 themes have been downloaded over 1,799,723 times and why 38826 people prefer us as their theme provider.

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Elegant Themes

Get unlimited download of all themes for only $39. Each premium WordPress theme comes expertly coded in valid XHTML and CSS, and all are made compatible with the latest version of WordPress. I make sure that each template performs flawlessly in each of the most widely used browsers to ensure maximum functionality. Furthermore, all sidebars are made widget ready for your convenience.

What are some of your favorite places to get WordPress Themes?

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Google Analytics Plugin

Wordpress Stats Tracking ToolsIt’s a great feeling to put up your blog, start writing posts or creating content, but to really grow your blog, you need to understand the statistics of your site. You need to know who is visiting, what they are looking for, where they came from and even where they are going.

The more information you have about your visitors, the more opportunity you have to grow your site. For example, lets say you just spent money on advertising, or you just posted on your Facebook page for people to visit your site, how do you know if anyone did? How do you know if your what you are doing is worth the efforts?

Recently, we were working with a friend and we were looking at his statistics for his site. He was paying a monthly fee for banner ad placement on a site. When reviewing his stats, he had only 29 visitors from the banner ad, but over 180 visitors from a free forum that his virtual assitant was posting in. We were able to track the conversion of the forum visitors versus the banner ad, and the conversion and ROI showed that the visitors from the free forum had a significantly higher ROI than the monthly payments for the banner ads.

But, if he didn’t have tracking in place to see these results, he would not know which service was worth his time. He was about to give up on the forum posting because he didn’t know if it was getting any results.

Now, there are tons of statistic plugins out there and I do not have a definitive answer as to what is THE best stats plugin, but that’s mostly because ‘best’ may vary based on what you are looking for. Therefore, I am going to highlight the three plugins that we use in our business. After testing several, these are the ones that work best for us.

Google Analytics

Google Analytics PluginGoogle Analytics has been around for a long time. We used Google Analytics for tracking and statistics for our HTML static websites.

Now, plugins have been created to easily incorporate the service into your blog. This service has pretty much all the statistics  your need. Stats by the hour, day, month and year and much, much more.

To use Google Analytics on your blog, you have to set up a Google Analytics account.

Here are plugins to add Google Analytics to your WordPress site.

Google Analytics WordPress PluginGoogle Analytics

This plugin adds the required javascript for google analytics. Install, then enter your Google Analytics code. Very simple to set up. This is the one we currently use.

 

Google Analytics WordPress PluginGoogle Analyticator

Google Analyticator adds the necessary JavaScript code to enable Google Analytics logging on any WordPress blog. This eliminates the need to edit your template code to begin logging. Also includes widgets for displaying data in the admin area.

WordPress.com Stats

Wordpress Statistics

WordPress.com Stats Plugin

This is a very simple plugin and gives you a great overall picture of what is happening on your site from a day to day basis. It is great for checking referrals, keywords, as well as the clicks for the day.

To install this plugin on your site you have get a WordPress.com account. After you sign up for an account, login to your account and obtain your API key which is located in your profile.

Once you upload and activate the plugin, they will ask for your API key and thats it! After a few minutes you will be able to see statistics on your site.

StatPress Reloaded

Wordpress stats pluginStatPress Reloaded Plugin

This plugin is by far the easiest of the the three. The reason is because you don’t need any external accounts set up anywhere else. You simply upload and activate the plugin and almost instantly you can see real time statistics with your site.

It tracks more information that WordPress.com Stats, but not as much information as  Google Analytics, so it falls in the middle.

This one is the best for a quick snapshot and also allows you to “spy” on visitors that are currently on your site. This one is quick, easy and accurate.

There are a few other statistic/tracking tools we use, but what statistic tools do YOU use and why do you like them?

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We’ve talked about backing up your website in a prior post. But here are some quick security measures you can take to protect your website from problems.

Here are some suggestions:

Always use an admin name other than “admin”

  • When you initially install WordPress you can choose the username for the main admin account. Do not use the default “admin”; choose something original instead. Brute force scripts (hacking scripts) trying to guess your password will assume the username “admin” is in place… Let them make that false assumption and keep them out of your site!

Use a Secure Password.

  • I bet you’ve heard this one before.  You shouldn’t use the same password for all your websites and logins. You also shouldn’t have a simple password like your kid’s or pet’s name. Make your passwords long, over 8 characters, and use a combination of uppercase, lowercase, numbers and symbols for best protection.

Change Admin Passwords Occasionally.

  • Change all admin-level passwords. I say occasionally because the schedule really depends on your business practices. For instance, if you outsource your WordPress maintenance or administration to different people all using your main admin account, you would be wise to change your password more frequently that if you are the only admin.

Delete Unused Accounts.

  • If you have any user accounts on your WordPress installation that you are not using anymore, be sure to remove them.

Register Domains Elsewhere.

  • If you need to move your websites because of problems with your host, you’ll be glad to have your domain name registered elsewhere. This will allow you to quickly move domains by simply pointing the nameservers at your domain registrar to your new hosting service. (For example we get our domains at www.domaindiving.com and our hosting at www.hostgator.com)

WordPress Security Plugins

Secure WordPress beefs up the security of your WordPress installation by removing error information on login pages, adds index.html to plugin directories, hides the WordPress version and much more.

Login LockDown records the IP address and timestamp of every failed login attempt. If more than a certain number of attempts are detected within a short period of time from the same IP range, then the login function is disabled for all requests from that range. This helps to prevent brute force password discovery. Currently the plugin defaults to a 1 hour lock out of an IP block after 3 failed login attempts within 5 minutes. This can be modified via the Options panel. Admisitrators can release locked out IP ranges manually from the panel.

Stay Safe!

Lorette

 

 

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