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Copyright © 2011 Pleiades Publishing Services, Co Austin WordPress Meetup Best Practices Hands-On WordPress
Presenter H. Sandra Chevalier-Batik Research Analyst Web Content Developer Pleiades Publishing Services PO Box 1638 Buda TX Copyright © 2010 Pleiades Publishing Services, Co. - 2
3 Assumptions Your WordPress has been installed perfectly Your Theme has been installed perfectly You are ready to created pages and post articles
Copyright © 2010 Pleiades Publishing Services, Co Assumptions Not so fast Spanky, We are not ready to put on a show!
Copyright © 2010 Pleiades Publishing Services, Co Successful Websites Start with a Plan How information is organized and accessed is the difference between a successful site…and not so much
Copyright © 2010 Pleiades Publishing Services, Co Successful Websites Start with a Plan Haphazard, poorly conceived and executed sites are so common That any organized website is richly rewarded: Visitors like easy to use, logical concise sites and are likely to become customers Search engines reward well-planned sites with detailed indexing and better rankings.
Planning Your WordPress Website The time invested in planning your WordPress website will net a successful website that meets clearly identified goals and provides compelling content that draws your audience to your site again and again. In addition it will be easy to navigate and is attractively designed to complement the content. Copyright © 2010 Pleiades Publishing Services, Co. - 7
Ten basic steps for planning a successful WordPress website 1. Define the purpose of your site 2.Identify your goals for the website 3.Identify your target audience 4.Create a list of content topics and keywords that will attract your target audience 5.Divide your keyword list into content categories Copyright © 2010 Pleiades Publishing Services, Co. - 8
Ten basic steps for planning a successful WordPress website 6.Draw a flow chart of Pages with connecting links 7.Create a navigation menu 8.Develop a unified site design 9.Design easy to follow action steps for site visitors 10.Commit to treating your website as a business unit and follow a set schedule for updating content Copyright © 2010 Pleiades Publishing Services, Co. - 9
1. Purpose of Site Successful business projects always Start with the end in mind. Why are you willing to commit time talent and treasure to building a site? At the end of the day, what do you want this site to do for you? Copyright © 2010 Pleiades Publishing Services, Co
2. Identify your goals for the website Here are some sample goals you might have for you website: Provide current or potential customers with information Earn high page ranking in search engines Generate new leads Sell products Copyright © 2010 Pleiades Publishing Services, Co
3. Identify your target audience Who are you trying to reach? What are they looking for when they come the site? What do you want them to do when they get there what is the Action Step? Copyright © 2010 Pleiades Publishing Services, Co
4. Create a list of content topics and keywords that will attract your target audience Who would you consider your closest competitor? What words or phases would you enter into Google to find the services or products that business/organization offers? Copyright © 2010 Pleiades Publishing Services, Co
5. Divide your keyword list into content categories Create a list of all of the content that you would like to include on your website that both achieves your goals and would be of interest to your audience. At this point, just write whatever comes to mind, do not try to organize it. Divide the List Into Post-it Notes Now that you have this list of content, organize it into site-pages. Copyright © 2010 Pleiades Publishing Services, Co
Copyright © 2010 Pleiades Publishing Services, Co Content Categories
6. Draw a flow chart (site map) of Pages with connecting links On a piece of paper and draw a box that represents each page of your website. Draw lines between the boxes showing how you want the pages to connect to each other. Draw a flow chart to show how you want users to navigate through the content. Your flow chart shows the user's experience -- how he or she can navigate through the content. Copyright © 2010 Pleiades Publishing Services, Co
7. Create a navigation menu Navigation and Site Maps Navigation is the organization of your website so you can make sure each page links to others. Actually write out your sitemap and plan where the pages of your website will go and where they will link. This avoids confusing connections that lead to visitors giving up and going away. Copyright © 2010 Pleiades Publishing Services, Co
Copyright © 2010 Pleiades Publishing Services, Co Navigation Menu Visitors use your navigation menu to move to other pages on your website Your menus need to be clear and consistent throughout your site. Depending on your theme or personal preference the navigation menu can appear in the top or in either of the sidebars Your top navigation bar should be limited to about eight links.
Copyright © 2010 Pleiades Publishing Services, Co Navigation Checklist The navigation buttons are either along the top or on the left-hand side of the page (visual tracking software indicates this is optimal positioning) Your navigation is identical on every page Turn off Flash images that slow or confuse visitors navigation of site You have a sitemap for visitors and an XML Sitemap for search engines
Copyright © 2010 Pleiades Publishing Services, Co Navigation Checklist For every page, you can answer these questions within 10-seconds: Where am I? Where have I been? Where can I go? How do I get to the home page? Your site is searchable, so your users can opt to navigate your site via the search bar
Copyright © 2010 Pleiades Publishing Services, Co Navigation Checklist If yours is an eCom site, all product images and descriptions link directly to the order form All the links to content on other pages within your site work Visitors don't have to register to browse your site The site logo is above the fold in the same place on every page and links back to the homepage You give people several ways to get to the same place. You don't link to unfinished or 'under construction' pages - finish the page then link to it.
Create Keyword List Go To Google Key Word Tool Copyright © 2010 Pleiades Publishing Services, Co
Site Plan Producing A Plan for Your Site On a piece of notebook paper, or using post-its describe your site. Answer the following questions: What am I going to do with this? Who is going to read this? What kinds of information will I be posting? Why am I doing this? Who am I doing this for? How often am I going to be posting and adding information? Copyright © 2010 Pleiades Publishing Services, Co
Site Plan Summary Compile this information into a paragraph so it looks like this: This website will be dedicated to ______and ______, and cover the topics of ______and _______. The audience will be __________ ________________ _______. I will be adding posts every _____________ about ________ _______ ______________. I am doing this because _____________ _____________. Review Your Site Map, Review Your Site Plan. Get back to the Dashboard You Are Now Psyched AND Ready Copyright © 2010 Pleiades Publishing Services, Co
8. Develop a unified site design Create a Visual Theme that is Consistent Your visual theme creates the mood and atmosphere of your website. A consistent set of colors and images creates an impression in peoples minds and imaginations. Choose a combination of colors that you will use throughout your site. Try to choose color combinations that are high contrast and easy on the eyes. Choose a set of colors that are consistent with the atmosphere you are trying to create. Copyright © 2010 Pleiades Publishing Services, Co
9. Design easy to follow action steps for site visitors We Need A BIG GREEN BUTTON Copyright © 2010 Pleiades Publishing Services, Co
10. Your Website Is A Business Unit Commit to treating your website as a business unit and follow a set schedule for updating content Copyright © 2010 Pleiades Publishing Services, Co
Copyright © 2010 Pleiades Publishing Services, Co Your Site is a Business
Copyright © 2010 Pleiades Publishing Services, Co XML Site Mapping An XML sitemap is a document on your site that lets the search engines quickly and thoroughly index your site. An XML sitemap is an index of your site that tells search engines how many pages your site has and how those pages link together. One XML sitemap works for all major search engines. Google offers an XML Sitemap generator
Copyright © 2010 Pleiades Publishing Services, Co HTML Sitemaps HTML Sitemap can be called a site map for humans. It is a single page containing links to all your other pages. An HTML site map means visitors are only every 2-clicks away from anywhere on your site. It also means that each and every page on your site links to somewhere. For a good example of a HTML site map go to:
Copyright © 2010 Pleiades Publishing Services, Co Where to Get More Information The WordPress CODEX WP CODEX is your Oracle, Your wizard of OZ Your Tech Rosetta Stone
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