Is WordPress Just for Blogs or Amateurs?

WordPress logoMany people may have originally heard of WordPress when people began blogging because it was a popular platform for bloggers. One of the main benefits of WordPress is it is so user friendly and there were a number of themselves available for people to use, it quickly gained popularity. While WordPress is a very good blogging platform, it is capable of doing so much more than just serving as a blog.

WordPress Is Used by Well-Known Companies

There are a number of well-known companies that use WordPress as their web platform. This includes companies like The New Yorker, Variety, Time and The New York Times Company. The designers for these sits were able to effectively use the WordPress platform to design pages that share information in unique ways. Each of the brands are distinctive from each other and visiting the sites, you are likely able to recognize them without seeing the name of the website.

WordPress Supports Retail Sites

There are plugins available that allow you to create a site that can handle selling items on the WordPress platform. While WordPress may not have been originally designed for ecommerce, the development team through the years have worked to make it possible. When looking at the different plugins available to do this, be sure to carefully check the security information. While many feature and plugins of WordPress are free, it is worth the added security and support that is available by using a plugin that you pay for.

WordPress Has a Community and Support

Since WordPress is such a popular platform a support community has been created around it. This community offers design solutions like themes or plugins. They may be able to help when you run into an issue with plugins not working together or be able to recommend the security measures you need to take to keep your website secure. This makes WordPress a great choice if you are designing your own website for your business, along with more flexibility than other web platforms that are more limited in the different formats that you use.

WordPress Scales Well

When you design in another platform, your site might not scale from mobile to tablet to a laptop well. Since the majority of people are spending their time online on their phones or tablets, it is important to have a site that scales well for your business. WordPress does it for you without causing any issues. This will keep your customers and followers happy.

Posts Make It Easy to Keep Customers Informed

Another advantage of WordPress is the blogging function. While you can design a website that does not include blogging, you can easily work one in if you want to. Posting is easy and it can give your customers something new to look at and read every day.

 

5 Steps to Keep WordPress Secure

WordPress offers a lot of flexibility in web design. It is an extremely versatile platform and one of the most popular web design programs available. Your website is an important part of your business. Hacks may want to take it over or try to get to your customer’s information on it. It is important that you take care to protect your website.

Perform Regular Updates

One of the ways to keep your website safe from attack is to regularly update WordPress. The updates help to protect you against vulnerabilities. If you continue to run older versions of WordPress, you put yourself at risk of being hacked. You should also update any plugins that you have on your site to the latest version.

Back Up Your Site on a Regular Basis

It is important to regularly back up your site. This will allow you to quickly restore your website if it is attacked or if the server that it is hosted on is attacked. Try to back up at least quarterly. If you work with a web designer, he or she may offer a backup service that is part of a security and maintenance plan, if not you will need to back up the site yourself.

Strengthen in the Log In

It is important to take steps to the strengthen the log in options for your website. You can install two-factor authentication. You should use named accounts instead of the default admin account. You may also want to limit the number of failed login attempts and disable any newly registered accounts to your website.

Remove Default Settings and Unused Themes

There are default settings and unused themes that may exist in the plugins that the creators make and leave as a backdoor and away into your website. Deleting these and changing the default settings can help you add a layer of protection to your website.

Set Up Notifications

If you set up notifications of attempted logins and changes made to your website. This will allow you to know right away if your website is under attack and let you take action immediately. This is can also alert you to attempts that try to breach a firewall or if you are under a DDoS attack.

4 Benefits of Using WordPress

responsive WordPress web designThere are a variety of different web design platforms that you can choose to design your website on. However, not all the options are equally good. Some options have just a few basic elements that you can use to create a site, meaning that many of the sites look the same. Other programs may be too complicated to use and may leave you frustrated with the end results. Here are four benefits of choosing WordPress to build your website.

1. WordPress Is Search Engine Friendly

One of the biggest benefits of using WordPress is that it is search engine friendly. This is important because you want your website to come up in a search when a potential customer is looking for a business like yours. WordPress makes it easy to use labels and keywords in a way that is great for the search engines, but does not involve keyword stuffing or other practices that the search engines no longer favor.

2. WordPress Is Easy to Use

WordPress is easy to use. It is a straightforward program that allows you to easily format and create your own site that does exactly what you want it to. The coding is not that difficult and there are a number of plug-ins that you can use to incorporate different aspects like social media into your website.

3.  WordPress Makes Blogging Easy

Along with the static pages for your website, WordPress has an easy to use blogging feature that allows you to quickly create posts that can keep your customers or your fanbase up to date on the happenings at your business. It is also a great platform if your primary business is content creation through a blog or similar website. The blog posts are archived and easy for people to go back and search if they want to.

4. WordPress Is Customizable and Versatile

WordPress allows you to create a site that is unique to you or your business. You can change everything from the background color to the page layout, and you can do it completely from scratch. However, there are many themes you can use if you do not consider yourself a designer. Another option is to hire someone to design the site for you. After the design is complete you can make updates or blog posts and keep the site updated.

Learn the difference between a post and page in WordPress.

What Is the Difference Between a Page and a Post?

When designing a website in WordPress, you have two basic options to share the content you are creating. You have the option of creating a page or a post. There are different advantages for each of these options and it is important to understand the key differences as you begin to plan and design your website.

Pages

  • Static Content
  • Provides timeless information or evergreen content
  • Can set up subpages
  • Custom features and design

The biggest advantage is that you can custom design each of the pages. This allow you to create a static page with information about specific product or aspect of your website. You can use the custom plug ins to create a design that works well for whatever purpose you have. For example, if you are creating an author website, you may have a page with information about the author, another page with information about each book or book series, and another page with contact information on it. These pages will stay the same over time and not need to change.

Posts

  • Posts are timely
  • Post are archived by month
  • Posts work well in RSS feeds
  • Posts encourage comments
  • Posts work well in social media

Posts are the blogging portion of your website. They are timely and allow you to share up-to-date or current information that may become stale eventually. Since the posts are archived and published with a clear date, you do not need to worry about keeping everything evergreen. Another big advantage is that posts allow comments which allows you to interact with customers. Depending on your type of business this can be a big advantage. You can also use the blog posts as part of an RSS feed, which makes keeping in contact with your customers much easier.  Thinking about the author website example, a post would be a good place to announce new visits to a bookstore, share teasers about upcoming books and share news with your readers.

Choosing Between Posts and Pages

A website designed for a business will likely have both pages and posts as part of it. A page can be set up for each type of service that the business offers or to list different types of products. The contact information should be on a page since it should not change. However, aspects of your website should be able to interact well with social media. The posts or blog portion of the site can be used to announce new items or to share news about the store.  As you design each new piece of content or page look at the purpose behind it and decide which tool works the best for you.

How to create and update a wordpress navigation menu

Here’s a quick “how to” video showing you the basic concepts (below the video are step by step instructions).

Creating and updating a WordPress menu is an important step in making a website which is easy to navigate. Typically, when you create pages in WordPress they’re not added to the menu automatically, so we need to create the menu which shows how to get to the pages you’ve made. This blog shows you how to create such a navigation menu. Let’s start at the beginning:

Step 1: Login to your website’s dashboard.

Just a quick aside on what may seem like a mundane issue to you. It is important that your username is something OTHER than admin. If it is admin, that means that all a hacker has to do is figure out your password in order to get into your website. You might want to check out some of the important things that Penner Web Design does to make sure that your website is kept secure. We have a web security package which you might be interested. You can explore it here:
https://pennerwebdesign.com/wordpress-web-security/

 

Step 2: Make sure your menu isn’t collapsed

If your menu only shows icons in a vertical row, click on the right arrow at the bottom of it (see it at left) and your menu will appear with words on it. That’s a bit easier to follow.

Step 3: Create your pages

Generally the menu you create will point to pages you have created. If you have already created pages, you can see them by passing the cursor over the ‘Pages’ item in the menu list at the left and selecting ‘All Pages’.

If you haven’t created any pages in your WordPress website, find out how you can do that here: https://pennerwebdesign.com/blog/how-to-update-a-page-in-wordpress/

Step 4: Go to the section of WordPress where you control the menus

 

Now that you know how to create page, create 4 of them. Call them Home, About Us, Contact and Sample Page.

Next, pass your cursor over the word ‘Appearance’ (see left).  A ‘flyout’ menu appears. Click on the word ‘Menus’ to go to the menu control area of WordPress.

 

 

 

Step 5: Name your Menu

Type the name that you want to give to your menu in the blank space beside the words “Menu Name“. Then click on the blue ‘Create Menu’ button.

Step 6: Select your Menu Settings

Usually you want the menu you are creating to be the ‘Top Menu’. Click on the little box to the left of the words ‘Top Menu’ and then click on the blue ‘Save Menu’ button.

Note: Some themes will refer to this type of menu as a ‘primary menu’ or ‘header menu’ or some similar term instead of ‘Top Menu’. Some themes will have different places where your menu appears and this is where you determine that.

Step 7: Select the pages you want on your menu

You will see the Most Recent pages that you have added to WordPress by default. If you have a lot of pages added over a period of time, you may have to click on the ‘View All’ tab.

We only have 4 pages in our little website. We want to add all of them to our menu. So click beside each page name to put a check mark there, and then click  the ‘Add to Menu’ button as shown on the left.

(A short cut would have been to click ‘Select All’ and then the ‘Add to Menu’ button.)

 

Step 8: Save your menu

Click on the blue ‘Save Menu’ button on the right side of the page. This is a very important step because if you navigate away from the page without saving, everything is lost!

 

Step 9: Dragging Menu Items Around: Submenus and Reordering

Sometimes you want a menu item to ‘drop down’ from the main menu items you created above.  To create a submenu item click and drag that menu item slightly to the right. In the illustration at the left, I have made ‘Contact’ a submenu underneath ‘Home Page’. Do that.

Similarly, if you want to reorder the menu items so that  ‘About Us’ appears first in the menu list, you would click and drag that menu item to the top. Try that now, then click ‘Save’, and refresh your web page to see the result (shown below).  Note that ‘contact’ is a drop-down menu item under ‘Home’ and that ‘About Us’ is the first menu item on the list.

Step 10: Editing Menu Items

Let’s suppose you want to change the name of the ‘About Us’ menu item to say only ‘About’.

Go back to the section in WordPress where you control the menus. (See Step 4 above). As shown at the left, click on the little down arrow on the far right side of the ‘About Us’ menu item. This reveals  all of the details about this menu item. Now in the Navigation Label area, change About Us to About.  (Don’t actually do this.)

NOTE: This window is also handy if you want to remove a menu item. All you do is click on  ‘Remove’ at the bottom left.

 

Step 11 Adding Posts and Links

 

If you have posts on your website, you can go to the page from which the menus are controlled, click on the little down arrow on the far right of the ‘Posts’ and it will display the most recent posts you have. You can add them to your menu in the same way as you added pages.

 

 

In addition, you can add links to pages on other websites. You can do that by clicking on the little down arrow at the end of ‘Custom Links’. This allows you to add links to whatever website you like by typing in the URL. At the left, I’m adding the URL for Google and clicking ‘Add to Menu’.

If you did all of this and changed the ‘Home’ menu item back to the top of the list, your final menu should look like what is shown below:

 

Enjoy working with WordPress menus and if you have any questions please feel free to reach out to me!

 
For all you bloggers out there, this is a pretty cool shirt.