This book discusses the career of a Webmaster, including the skills needed, the opportunities for work, and the challenges for the future.
This book discusses the career of a Webmaster, including the skills needed, the opportunities for work, and the challenges for the future.
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Although WordPress was initially created as a platform for bloggers, it has grown into one of the most popular websites for artists, business owners, writers, and more.
Because of its ease of use, affordability, and array of themes and plugins, companies all over the world are turning to WordPress for their professional website needs.
Getting started on your own WordPress website is relatively simple, but the following tips will help you prepare beforehand:
1. Figure out What Layout and Color Scheme You Want: There are thousands of professionally-created themes you can choose from on WordPress.
Take to time to peruse as many as you like to get an idea of the type of layout you want your website to have. For color schemes, many businesses will typically choose their store or brand colors, but feel free to also decide on something that’s eye-catching yet appropriate for your industry.
2. Decide What Type of Content You Want on Your Page: It’s a good idea to decide on the type of content you want on your page beforehand so that you’ll have a description in mind of how you want your website to be.
For example, you’ll probably want to create content on your services, products, business hours, location, and any frequently asked questions. Additionally, however, think about blog topics, industry-relevant tips, and tutorial content that would benefit your website.
3. Decide How Blog Posts Will be Laid Out: Blogs are an important part of a business website and should be placed prominently so that consumers can easily find it. Once you’ve figured out your layout design, choose a space in the layout that would be ideal for your blog posts.
Some companies choose to place their blog posts on a sidebar (see below for more details) of the main webpage while others place them at the top. Wherever you decide to place your blog posts, make sure that it’s easy for others to access.
4. Decide if You Want a Sidebar: A sidebar is a unique way to prominently place important information on the left-hand or right-hand side of a website.
As previously mentioned, a sidebar can be used to categorize your blog posts, but it can also be used to put your product information, archives, and photos in order.
In addition, sidebars provide a place for your widgets, such as calendars, social network sharing, and more.
5. Decide Who Will Design Your Site: WordPress has several different themes to choose from. However, if you need a site customized specifically how you want it, you’ll need to decide on a web designer; preferably a professional who is experienced in WordPress design.
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Most small businesses understand the importance of having a company website. A website can act as a virtual storefront and information hub, which is valuable because more and more people are turning to the Internet to learn about products, services, and companies before making purchases.
Gone are the days of primarily browsing through paper advertisements or watching television commercials in order to find a new product or service. Instead, consumers would rather get more in-depth information than a 60-second television commercial or newspaper ad will provide them. Therefore, browsing online has now become the #1 way consumers find companies that have what they need.
Not all websites are created equally, however. Some are easier to maintain while others take a lot of time and dedication to manage. Some come with an extremely high price tag, while others are affordable for most small businesses.
WordPress is a budget-friendly content management system (CMS) that’s ideal for local businesses. It’s easy enough for a novice with no knowledge of HTML to use, yet it offers an array of helpful tools that make your website more effective when it comes to generating leads and sales.
When it was created in 2003, WordPress was primarily used by bloggers. Since then, however, it has gone on to attract over 60 million users, which includes local business owners, Fortune 500 companies, celebrities, and much more. In fact, notable businesses such as the New York Times, UPS, and Forbes use WordPress.
WordPress has evolved from a tool to help writers, into a full-service CMS in which businesses can use widgets, tools, themes, plugins, mobile applications, and much more to share their company information.
As a small business owner, you more than likely already know that a quality company website is crucial in today’s technologically-advanced world. WordPress offers small companies an affordable way to have a professional, high-quality website with a variety of added features to help make your website PROFITABLE.
WordPress is a Content Management System (CMS)
WordPress is a powerful CMS, which brings several convenient options to you. With a CMS, you have direct control over your business website and can easily add, remove, or change content on the fly without having to learn any complicated software or programming.
This eliminates the hassles and/or wait times of a web developer should you want to make simple changes or publish new content. Instead, you have direct control over the content at all times without worrying about accidentally changing the design of your site, which can cost a hefty amount to have fixed.
With WordPress, your website “design” and your website “content” are completely separate, putting you at ease when it comes to content management.
In addition, you can easily train your employees, colleagues, or anyone else you’d like to publish content or help manage your website. You can give different levels of access to different users, making it easy for you to implement an approval process before content is posted.
WordPress is SEO-friendly
While having a website is important for businesses, it doesn’t do much good if you aren’t driving traffic to it. WordPress is an SEO-friendly platform filled with tools that help you boost your website exposure.
As long as you create unique content with appropriate backlinks, your website has the potential to land high in the rankings of major search engines. Google is especially well-known for placing WordPress sites in the top spots of search results.
With frequent website updates and strategically placed keywords, you have a strong chance of having your own website rank high as well. This is important for businesses as studies have shown that most people select a site from the first page on search engine results.
If your website is buried on the 5th or 6th page, there is a good chance that it will be overlooked.
Simple Social Media Integration Plugins
Social media is another way in which businesses can gain exposure. In combination with a professional website, you can drive even more traffic to your business website and gain new customers. Social Media usage is at an all-time high and is not expected to slow down any time soon.
Therefore, businesses are jumping on the social bandwagon in order to build a loyal following of customers and potential customers. WordPress offers an array of plugins associated with the popular social media platforms, such as Facebook, Google Plus, Twitter, and YouTube.
Linking your website to your social media pages is easy when using WordPress; making it pain-free to connect all of your internet properties together, which is powerful for branding as well as ultimate online exposure.
WordPress is Easy for Novices
If you don’t know HTML, WordPress makes the process of maintaining your website extremely easy: you don’t need to know HTML to post your content, add images, and make other minor changes to your site.
Years ago, businesses had to call up their web designer just to make minor changes, which usually ended up costing them much more than they wanted to spend.
However, with the invention of WordPress, businesses have more control over their content; and making simple changes is something that any business owner or staff member can handle within minutes.
Scheduling Content in Advance
If you have several pieces of written content, yet you don’t want to publish them all at once, WordPress allows you to upload as much as you like, and then create a schedule date for each post.
This saves times as you won’t need to go back each time to post your content. Instead, you can essentially “set-it-and-forget-it” all while keeping your site’s content fresh and updated.
With RSS feeds, your readers will get all of your updates just as soon as they are posted with the RSS feeder tool. They can choose to read your posts via newsletter or by email.
Affordable for Small Businesses
Many times, small companies either forgo a business website completely because they think it’s too expensive, or create a free website that doesn’t provide them enough options to be successful.
WordPress websites are very cost-effective because they are somewhat easier to design and are more easily managed. WordPress web designers generally charge less than HTLM designers due to this fact.
You probably remember years ago that a company website could cost well into the tens of thousands of dollars. However, those days are gone for most small businesses; WordPress allows any developer to create a fresh, professional website with many bells and whistles without having to spend hours and hours to do so; and this saving is passed on to business owners.
Easy Blog Integration
Having a blog on your website is crucial for small companies. It not only helps to drive in more traffic, but it lets you show the human and personal side of your business. WordPress, since it started out with bloggers in mind, provides some of the best tools for blogs, which can be incorporated directly into your business website.
More and more people are using their cell phones to browse the Internet, and these numbers are expected to grow. WordPress has a mobile application which allows mobile users to also view your site via cell phones.
In fact, WordPress can automatically detect when a user is on a cell phone, and will automatically adjust your website settings for mobile viewing.
Simple Media Options
WordPress makes it easy to upload and add high-quality photos and videos. With just few simple clicks, you can have brand new images and videos on your website ready for the world to see.
Control of Your Community
In the past, a chat board or forum was added to business websites in order for customers to engage with each other and ask relevant questions. This led to problems such as heated arguments, off-topic and/or indecent discussions, and automated advertisements and spam from other businesses.
With WordPress, however, you are in direct control of your community. In other words, you have to power to lead the discussions via blog posts, Q&A sessions, articles, or however you choose.
You can then leave the comment section open for others to engage. Yet, if inappropriate comments are left, you can turn your moderation filters on and screen them out.
This not only helps to keep your website professional at all times, but it also prevents spam, and stops competitors from posting untruthful, negative information about your company.
It’s extremely important for your company, regardless of size, to have its own business website. Most people are now looking online for new products and services, and without a proper website, you’ll be overlooked for a business that is more accessible.
Remember, however, that in order to succeed with your website, you’ll need the right tools and options that most free websites can’t provide you.
As previously mentioned, several small companies have given up on running a business website after limited websites didn’t provide the results they were looking for. It’s crucial to find a site that will afford you a professional business website without skimping on the options you need.
WordPress not only provides you with everything you need to have a successful business website, but it’s more affordable than most other web design options.
A business website is indeed a marketing and advertising tool; and it’s one of the most powerful ways to bring in new business. With a high-quality, informative website, people can easily make their buying decisions from the comfort of their homes.
Most consumers don’t rely on radio, billboard, or weekly newspaper advertisements anymore. Instead, they expect to find all the information they need about a company online. WordPress can help you provide this, and more, to your current customers as well as potential customers.
Many studies have shown that a quality website has the potential to boost a company’s customer base significantly.
If you are ready to finally have the professional online representation that your company deserves, contact me at 785-850-1327 for a free, no-obligation consultation.
Today, there are millions of people across the globe who blog about anything from their hobbies to business information.
For a small business, blogging is an important part of building your online presence. While consumers need to know about your products or what services you offer, reading a business website full of sales information isn’t always enough to gain their trust and turn them into paying customers.
Since a blog is usually informal, it allows a more personal, human side of your business to shine through. Many successful businesses have already realized this and continue to run successful blogs.
However, with the instant connection and gratification that social media brings, others may question if a blog is still needed for business exposure.
The answer is a resounding yes. Just as having a business website offers more options than social media, blogging also brings a lot to the table and shouldn’t be overlooked. In fact, studies have shown that companies that blog typically have doubled their website visitors.
The ranking of the results rely on several factors, such as the frequency of the keywords used on a landing page, the amount of original content on the page, and how the page interacts with other readers.
Previously, it was easy for anyone to end up on the first page of the Google search results even if the content was weak, plagiarized, and spun. Google, being proactive to the complaints of poor search engine results, created Panda, followed by Penguin. Panda and Penguin are artificial intelligence programs that cypher out what seems to be “junk” material and instead boost more personal, informational content.
What this means for bloggers is that if you consistently create personalized content, you have a great chance of being pushed high into the ranks of Google’s search engine results, as the new algorithm consistently seeks out sites that involve interaction and personalization. Blogs are well-known for providing personal content that engages others.
WordPress has unique tools that allow you to have your blog incorporated directly onto your WordPress business website. This lets your readers learn about your services and access your blog without having to navigate to another site.
As previously mentioned, having a blog on your business website has the potential to multiply your visitor numbers by over 50%. People simply want to read interesting information that can’t always be presented just by viewing product and sales information.
By consistently adding new content, consumers will have a reason to come back to your website, which could mean more business for you. New visitors may learn about your services by simply finding your blog entry in a search query.
When you blog, you’ll have the opportunity to provide more in-depth information on your products and services; information that typically shouldn’t go on your website’s main pages.
For example, too much content surrounding a certain product or service can make your business website look messy and awkward. A blog, however, gives you the perfect opportunity to post detailed material.
Numerous Internet users search for tutorials and how-to information online. By creating comprehensive blog posts in your area of expertise, you are developing an open invitation for readers to flock to your site.
People love free information, and they especially love accurate information that helps them. By blogging about the areas you know about, you can become an expert in your field, which will help you gain trust. Once you gain trust with your readers, paying customers usually follow.
Blogging Encourages Human Interaction and Engagement
One of the best ways to build trust and credibility is to actively engage with your readers. Blogging provides a perfect platform to do so.
By encouraging discussions and leaving open questions on your blog posts, readers are afforded the opportunity to get involved with you and your business, which makes them feel more appreciated.
Best of all, you create opportunities for an array of different discussions with each new blog post you publish.
Blogging can Cover Questions and Complaints
If you receive a lot of emails or calls asking the same questions, a blog is the perfect place to provide detailed answers. If a question has been asked several times already, chances are that new visitors may have the same question.
By providing a FAQ blog post, your readers can refer to your post instead of emailing or calling. If a question necessitates a more comprehensive answer, consider dedicating an entire blog post to that single topic.
In addition, complaints and suggestions will always be a part of business. If someone has a valid complaint, don’t sweep it under the rug or send out a rushed reply. Instead, consider writing a detailed blog post addressing the complaint. Not only will the readers feel appreciated, but you’ll also help your business in the long run by addressing issues head on.
Highlight Promotions and New Products/Services
If you have a new promotion going on, you’ll want to give as much information as possible in order to bring in new service. Sometimes business websites don’t have a place for promotions without coming off as looking too “sales-like.” Additionally, promotions typically last only a certain amount of time, and it’s important to keep your business site as evergreen as possible.
A blog, however, is the perfect spot for you to tell your readers about your news, updates, promotions, and more. The most important product updates or promotions can be highlighted in your blog, which will also help the major search engines pick up your site.
Blogging Shows You Are Different from the Competition
If you own a small business, chances are, you have competition. Of course, you’ll need a way to stand out from the competition and showcase why your company is better. When you provide consistent, helpful material, you are already on your way to branding yourself an expert in your field.
When you combine a human voice with your business, you show that your business is not the same as the others, and that you’re willing to communicate with customers and future customers on a personal level.
One of the biggest mistakes that small business owner make is not making their company stand out enough. Blaring website ads and pushy sales tactics may make your company’s page stand out, but not in the way you want it to.
Blogging provides an ideal platform to talk casually while subtly highlighting the assets your company provides.
Tips for Better Blogging
* Use Social Media Along with Blogging: WordPress offers several social media plugins that lets you share each blog post with your social media followers. Be certain to utilize these tools as it will bring more exposure to your blog.
In addition, consider going to your social media accounts and creating a new post, announcing your new blog entry. This gets tedious and cumbersome, but the amount of exposure you’ll get makes it worth it.
* Encourage Interaction: As aforementioned, reader engagement is a powerful way to gain new customers. Make sure your blog posts provide an opening for your readers to communicate their ideas and thoughts with you.
* Use Keywords Correctly: Google algorithm seeks out pages with quality, unique information. If you use keywords too frequently in your blog posts, you run the risk of Google determining your content is redundant. Remember, though, keywords are important. You just need to make sure you use them sparingly and strategically throughout each blog post.
* Mix It Up: Be sure to post a variety of different topics on your blog. For example, one day you can create a tutorial, and then the next day you can discuss the benefits of a certain service. Also, pay close attention to your comments. An interesting comment can provide you the tools to create an engaging blog post, and at the same time you’re acknowledging your readers.
* Use Images: Most people are visual, and a high-quality image goes a long way on a blog post. Try to use an appropriate image on every blog post you create. This will liven up your post and increase interest.
* Blogging is Long-Term: It’s imperative to keep your blog updated.
Blogging is a long-term endeavor and should always be treated as such. However, keep in mind that quantity is not better than quality.
While you’ll need to post consistently, never post unhelpful information just for the sake of updating your blog. Make sure that everything you post has substance. The goal isn’t to quickly overload your blog with a ton of posts. Instead, you’ll want to create substantial posts that in time will grow.
I specializing in helping small businesses set-up and manage their company blogs. If you would like some assistance with your blogging needs, contact me at 785-850-1327 for a free, no-obligation consultation.
Cliff Petry 785-850-1327 http://cliffatgoodlandllc.com
With over 60 million active websites across the globe, WordPress is one of the most popular platforms on Internet. Yet, because of the sheer amount of WordPress members along with its ease of use, WordPress is sometimes a target for hackers.
However, there are several ways that you can keep your site secure.
A strong password is a must for any account you have, including WordPress. Unfortunately, some people choose simple passwords or a general password they use for all of their accounts.
It’s imperative to create an original password that’s mixed with a variation of letters, symbols, and numbers. Hackers use password crack tools, and if you have a common password, it makes it easy for hackers to attack and compromise your website.
You should always back up everything on your WordPress website regularly. Although your website hosting company may help, it’s recommended to find a powerful backup plugin.
For example, Updraft Plus is a free tool provided by WordPress that backs up all of your data into your chosen destination, such as Google Drive, Dropbox, SFTP, FTP, and much more.
There are arrays of webhost companies available, and people often get confused as to which one to use.
It’s important to do you research before deciding on a webhost company as there are many companies that don’t utilize web security tools. Make sure you choose a webhost that not only offers security tools, but also monitors your website for threats.
If you’ve installed a plugin you don’t want or if you’ve replaced an old plugin with a better one, make sure you delete the plugins you no longer use. While it’s simple to click the “Deactivate” button to stop the plugin, that isn’t enough to keep your website safe.
Keep in mind that although you’ve deactivated the unused plugin, if you don’t delete it as well, you are leaving codes on your server. This is an open invitation for hackers to exploit your website. Always press the “Delete” key after you’ve deactivated unused plugins.
When you login to your WordPress account, make sure you are using a secured, wired Internet connection. If you a use a wireless Internet connection be certain that it has secure encoding and data encryption. Accessing your account from public places that offer free Wi-Fi makes your website vulnerable to hackers.
Source: WordPress: Stats: http://en.wordpress.com/stats/