WordPress

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Times Change

Some time ago I needed an X-ray. I went to the hospital reception and was told to follow the blue line on the floor. Great idea, however I needed several X-rays by the time I arrived, I had walked into so many trolleys whilst looking at the ground.

When I first started creating websites it would take several months to get sites listed on search engines. One would write a site, generally half a dozen pages or so, add a few keywords and a description to the code and wait for it to all happen. It was infuriatingly slow, there were debates as to whether one should submit sites to the UK and/or the US versions of the search engines and whether submitting to both would cancel each other out.

My recent record for site submission is about 40 seconds. That is from the time that I made a blog post live to being able to find it on Google. 40 seconds.

Nowadays sites are much larger entities, this one already runs into hundreds of pages, it’s a blog and although the posts all sit in a single page, that page is effectively a placeholder for as many posts as I write. Click on the title of the posts and you will see that they open up into their own page.
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How to Ensure That Your Blog Grows, (Give a Little)

Blogs are great, I love them. WordPress is a fabulous tool for a business, no question about it in my mind. I have previously written about how to set your blog up to improve its performance. So what more do I need to give?

You Need Energy

We all need energy

We all need energy

Energy, in a word, energy. The difference between a blog and a static site is that the blog will generally develop and grow, but this won’t happen without some form of input. (my Mac grammar checker told me off for using that term the other day, told me it was jargon).

So what for does this energy take, what do we do to aid the ongoing development?

  1. Blog. The first thing to is to actually write some posts, ideally fairly regularly. It’s not rocket science, why would someone visit your site if there is nothing new to read?
  2. Keep a Focus. Yes this is a bit ‘do as I say, not as I do’. I have previously commented the eclectic nature of this blog, but… Keep a focus, yes of course embellish, express your human qualities, but make it clear what the boundaries are.

Hold on there, you haven’t done yet, back to the keyboard.
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How To Create a Post for WordPress Blogs

Many of my website customers forget how to create their posts for WordPress blogs that DesignCredo have created for them.

So, lets see how to,

  1. Upload an image to WordPress
  2. Create an HTML heading
  3. Use a plugin to add a page title and snippet
  4. Attach the post to a category and add a tag

This is a simple walk-through, easy enough to follow. It shows how to add some text, upload and insert an image.

In addition it offers a brief introduction to HTML, but nothing to worry about.

If the video seems blurry select a higher quality via the tab on the RH side of the control bar.

For the record this was the first attempt using a MacBook Pro with Quicktime to record. It was run through iPhoto before uploading to YouTube, ain’t macs great?

Breaking all of the rules it was unscripted and a single take. View it as a tester. You can also view the video here

I Need a Website but I Don’t Know Why

Communication is the word, yes communication. It all goes horribly wrong sometimes.

I am a slow speaker, I know I am but once many years ago this was really brought into focus when I was trying to teach a friend how to ride a drop handlebar bicycle. She fell off at the point that I had said “take your hands off the lower part of the handlebars” and never got to hear me say “slowly, one at a time and move them to the top of the bars”. She survived (we didn’t). The point was that the communication clearly failed.

Why Mining

Frequently I hear people say things like “I need a website” or “I need an A4 brochure”. Rather foolishly some might say, I usually engage in a bit of Why-Mining by asking “why?”

To aid communication the emphasis is on the why not the mining. Why-mining is an effective although slightly annoying tool. Quite simply people frequently tend to already hold many of the answers that they seek, they just need someone to stand in front of them and ask them “why?”

“I need a four page A4 brochure”
“Why?”
“Because my competitor has one”
“Why does it need to be A4?”
“Because thats what they always are?
“Why do you need four pages?”
“Dunno”

Eventually you will get to bedrock and even if this bedrock is “I don’t know”, that will be a good place to start.

The bottom line is that what we at DesignCredo are trying to find out is what is the customer’s story, the unique thing that they are trying to communicate to others.

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Great Google SEO Results For Nest Interiors

Exeter design company Design Credo is extremely pleased with the initial performance of the WordPress website that they have created on behalf of Topsham’s Nest interiors. The site has well and truly hit the ground running with large numbers of visitors already viewing the site on a daily basis.

The built-in capabilities of this WordPress site enable us to see that within days of going live the site is getting extremely good viewing figures. This is like having hundreds of extra people looking around the shop on a daily basis.

The website is based on the WordPress platform but has been designed to give a strong visual appeal. DesignCredo have undertaken photography for Nest Interiors to strengthen their existing stock of images. The site aims to capture and convey the rich visual appeal of the Nest Interiors shop.

Great SEO results

A great website is of little value unless it can be found. Of course searching on the company’s name puts it top but more relevant search strings such as ‘new + england + style + furniture + devon’ perform extremely well, less than a week from the site being live. Further to this simple search strings such as “Lexington + Devon” provide first page Google results with more detailed searches such as “Lexington + Chesapeake + Cushion” giving a position 1 on a worldwide Google search.

This is extremely important for a company selling quality brand items such as those from Lexington. Putting it simply Nest interiors although based in Topsham near Exeter in the South-West of England are able to create national and international interest.

Add to this the inclusion of PubSubHubbub technology to ensure almost immediate submission of website developments to Google and we have a very search engine friendly site.

However, this is just the start. Design Credo will use various collectable data to monitor where site-traffic comes from and will continue to develop content that will create a good hit with Google searches.

Getting Your WordPress Blog Seen by Google


This is a development of the reply that I made the other day about getting a good Google response to your blog.

Search Engine Marketing is a must if you are to going to get people to view any website. Nowadays everyone seems to be an SEO specialist, at least they do in Exeter and Devon, I imagine it is the same throughout he UK.

I am more aware of the abilities of WordPress than other blogging platforms so this is what I will use as my reference point. I have to say that I am totally enamoured with WordPress, I think it is great, but first a bit of general knowledge.

WordPress comes in two distinct flavours

  1. .com Most people start with a free WordPress blog which you can start straight away and I would recommend you to go and sign up. If you blog a for a while and chose to migrate to self-hosted this can be easily done.
  2. .org If you have access to hosting then self-hosted blogs open up a world of possibilities. You will need hosting with a database which is necessary to store all of the posts, images, comments and information about the site. My hosting supplier now throws one in with even the starter hosting package. You don’t really need to understand about databases (MySQL) but it can be quite interesting looking around, seeing how all of the data and information is organised.

WordPress can be thought of as a modular entity.

  1. Core
    The site itself, everything that is needed to make it work. This includes a user friendly interface that will allow you to update the site without knowing about web deign.
  2. Themes
    There are a huge number of available themes that make the basic WP blog look different (1 column, 2 column, colours styling etc.)
  3. Plugins
    These add to the functionality of the blog, they make it do more things, (display images in galleries, add contact forms, etc. )

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