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Website Creation: WordPress Configuration and Plugins
Initial Configuration |
Now that the basic installation of the WordPress site is completed, you'll need to visit the login URL in order to log into the administration area of your installation and begin setting up the site.
As noted above, this is always going to be "yourdomain.com/wp-login.php", and after you login you'll be taken to a page with the URL address of "yourdomain.com/wp-admin". This is the actual control panel of your website. When you get to the login page, you'll need to use the admin username that you created in the fantastico installation, as well as the password that you created.
One of the things about WordPress is that they have a slough of volunteers who are constantly working with and upgrading the software. Because of this, it's not uncommon for the look of the administration panel to appear completely different at any given point in time. This is a good thing however because it always adds a lot of security features that keeps hackers from being able to hack into your WordPress installation and mess up your website, so while it's a pain at times to keep upgrading, overall it's a good thing. If the screen that you're seeing in your website, looks different than the one in the image above, don't let that bother you or throw you off because the basic functions of WordPress don't ever change.
Whenever you login to a brand-new WordPress installation installed by Fantastico, it's likely that you'll always see the update link like what is noted on the following page. This is because fantastico never seems to be able to keep up with the current version of WordPress, but that's okay because it's easy to update. All you have to do is click on that button that says "Please Update Now" and it will take you to another update screen. Click "update now" and within a couple of seconds you will be running the latest version of WordPress.
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And that's it - your WP is ready to be played with.
If you look on the left-hand navigation and select "Dashboard", you will notice when you get to the page that there is a section that says "right now". This provides up-to-date information on any comments that have been made on your blog, new plug-ins that have been released, and a variety of different status updates that might be useful in managing your side. Typically this information is used by individuals who actively keep up with monitoring and adding content to their website.
The next part of this course is going to help you to actively set up all of the nuts and bolts of getting your website up and running. You don't have to necessarily do any of the steps in a particular order, and if you do make any mistakes, it's easy to change and rectify them without causing any damage. We will get started by beginning and bottom of the vertical navigation on the left hand side and then move up the list from there.
In order to get to the permalinks page, you're going to need to click on the tab that says settings. After you do this, there will be a submenu of options that you can choose from. If you don't have any other plug-ins installed in your blog yet, the permalinks link will be all the way at the bottom of this list. Go ahead and click on the permalinks link.
This is an important setting because this area allows you to control what the structure of your URL is going to look like for all of your pages and posts. Since SEO is such an important part of getting your posts and pages to rank within Google and the other search engines, it's important to have the title or keyword of your page in the structure of the URL. In order to do this, you're going to want to select the "Post Name" setting from the list that is provided.
Putting it this way is going to make the URL structure of your posts and pages look something akin to this; "yourdomain.com/page-post-title-name. After you're done making that change, go ahead and click save and we will move on to the next step.
Plugins - Only the Best and Most Needed Ones!
All in One SEO Pack
The majority of the people who use this plug-in really don't know how to set it up correctly, so I'm going to take a few minutes to show you how, and explain to you why it should be set up this way.
In the left-hand navigation of your administration panel, you will see a link that says "Plugins". Hover over that icon and you will see a submenu pop-up. Within that pop-up you will see a link that says "Add New". Go ahead and click on the add new button and you'll be taken to another page with a search box that will allow you to search for different plug-ins. Go ahead and type in "all in one SEO pack" and press "Search Plugins".
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This image shows you the results of the search that you want to install. In my situation I already have it installed, but for you go ahead and click on "Install Now”. A pop-up will appear asking if you are sure you want to install this plug-in, go ahead and click allow.
You'll then be taken to another page that will ask if you want to activate it. Go ahead and click "activate plug-in"
The WordPress platform has a multitude of different post storage capabilities, be they categories, archives, or at the top level, so your posts can be stored in all of these places at once which can create havoc as far as duplicate content goes even though you haven't necessarily created more than one post with the same URL. If you don't check that box, you can end up with as many as 4 or 5 pages on your site that are exactly the same.
The latest panda update by Google made having duplicate content on website a critical issue because they will devalue your entire site and penalize you by tanking your search results. This wasn't such a big deal back before the panda update because only the duplicate page was ever affected by any penalties. Because of this, it's imperative that you make absolutely sure there is no duplicate content on your website.
Rewrite titles. Make sure that you keep this box checked because it is going to format all of your titles within the categories and pages in a similar format as what I previously suggested using for your home page title. Keeping this checked will make all of those changes for you automatically.
Keep the next few options as they are until you get to these options:
Google isn't going to pay any attention to your meta-keywords, so in essence they're pretty much worthless in that respect, but Bing still considers them so it isn't going to hurt anything if you allow them. With that said, go ahead and make sure that allow categories and tags to be used for meta-keywords are both checked.
It might be a wise idea that you also check the boxes for NoIndex archives, and NoIndex tags. I'm not going to absolutely insist that this is a must do, but it really is a good idea to make sure that these portions of your WordPress site are non-indexable.
The reason for that is because both your archives and your tags are a big causes for duplicate content issues within your site if they're allowed to be indexed. In order to avoid those dreaded Google panda penalties for duplicate content, it's wise to not allow them to be indexed so that you will be sending signals to Google that you're trying to build a quality site.
You can save a lot of time by allowing All in One SEO to auto generate descriptions for your pages and posts, and since the majority of times Google is going to completely ignore your meta-description anyway, so you might as well just let it do that work for you.
This is a really great plug-in that allows you to add AdSense blocks into the content of your website in random places, which is a really cool option currently.
You might be wondering why I haven't suggested a WordPress theme within this course yet. The reason is because Google has been known for penalizing sites that all use a certain type of theme. If I made a suggestion of any particular theme, and everybody went and started implementing and using it, the result could be that everyone who goes through this course could be affected by the Google backlash. Shis is an effort to protect you, so all I am doing is making a suggestion for a free AdSense plugin that is going to work with just about every WordPress theme out there. If you already have a particular AdSense theme that you like, or another AdSense plug-in that you prefer using, go ahead and use it, as it doesn't really matter, but I just can't take any type of risk with individuals who take this course being penalized because they are implementing a theme that is overly used.
With that said, there's nothing stopping me from adding five or 10 themes and a plug-in to the course, as the options will be pretty much endless and there isn't going to be any way that Google could track that you are using any specific type of AdSense system that came with this guide when you purchased it.
After you have uploaded this plug-in to your website, go ahead and activate it. Try not to ever install more plug-ins than what you need on your website because all it does is slow down your site, and occasionally it will cause conflicts because certain plug-ins are not compatible with each other.
Source: The Adsense Dragon
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