Tips and Tricks on Using WordPress

The more WordPress develops and grows the less I understand why anyone would want to build websites ‘by hand’ any more!

It’s an amazingly flexible and powerful platform, that can be used for any type of website.

This series of articles offers different tips and tricks on using WordPress and answers some of the more common questions I hear.

Click the headline to read the full article and if you need me to clarify anything leave a comment. I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.

I saw an interesting question today while browsing the queries for which this site has been returned in the search results: What is the difference between WordPress pages, WordPress posts and WordPress categories? Being able to use these three elements in the way they are intended can make a big difference to how your site… . . . Read more

Things to consider when changing your theme

The short answer is ‘Yes, it can do’, but not necessarily always for the worse. It could improve your SEO or it could make it worse, and the effect it has depends on a few things:How you set up your META tags (SEO title, SEO description, index/noindex tags, etc)How good the coding of the new… . . . Read more

With the ever increasing emphasis on quality-of-content in the search engines’ algorithms, making sure you update or clear out articles which are either out of date or of little value is important. So I spent a lot of time recently reviewing and either updating or trashing old articles on this site. I wrote back here… . . . Read more

I often see questions asking how to convert an HTML website to WordPress and, back here, I covered some of the things you need to think about before doing so. Anyway, I recently converted an old HTML site to WordPress so I figured I’d set out the step-by-step process – so here it is: Overview… . . . Read more

I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve seen threads asking which are the best WordPress plugins. The responses inevitably list lots of them, covering the widest range of functionality you can imagine. One of the benefits of using WordPress is the range of plugins that extend its functionality into pretty much any area… . . . Read more

Websites are being hacked more often every day. Not only do you owe it to yourself to take every precaution you can to keep the hackers out, you owe it to your customers, friends and everyone who visits your sites. It’s your responsibility to the web as a whole, not just protection for yourself. I’ve… . . . Read more

My Google Analytics keywords report is telling me that one of the more searched for items on this site is ‘how to set up W3-Total-Cache’ – so here goes. Before starting, though, a word of caution: server configurations vary between hosting providers, so your first step should be to ask your hosting provider for their… . . . Read more

As I mentioned back here the Thesis theme applies a date stamp to CSS files when they’re updated. It does (did) this in order to ensure the latest version of your site is always displaid to visitors. Unfortunately that process confused the life out of the W3-Total-Cache plugin (because it had the effect of creating… . . . Read more

One of the WordPress plugins I use and really like is WP-DBManager. For some reason, though, when you activate it for the first time you will see a red warning across the top of all your WordPress admin screens that tells you your backup folder might be visible to the public. This can be a… . . . Read more

I read a post on the Warrior Forum the other day bemoaning what the poster saw as the design limitations of WordPress. While WordPress, which is a Content Management System, does have some functional limitations, it does not have any design limitations. The reason is simple: WordPress itself doesn’t touch the design aspect of the… . . . Read more

The old chestnut that WordPress ‘creates duplicate content issues’ keeps coming up. Someone even wrote it to me in an email recently. Let’s be clear: WordPress does not create duplicate content problems. What WordPress does is allow the same content, on the same site, to be accessed via a number of different URLs (or permalinks)… . . . Read more

I had to buy a couple of things for the flat today and I went to the only place I know that had what I needed at the right price and the right quality: Ikea. But it was a trade off: price and quality vs convenience and experience, because Ikea stores frustrate the life out… . . . Read more

Every WordPress upgrade brings howls of anguish on Twitter and other forums as installations that were working perfectly well prior to the upgrade suddenly crash. Some people ignore WordPress upgrades in order to avoid the problems – if it ain’t broke don’t fix it. But that’s not smart because many of the upgrades are designed… . . . Read more

I moved this site from the /blog folder to the root folder recently. The main reason was to tidy up this domain and, in the process, improve its focus. That, I hope, will improve the effectiveness of its SEO. I’ve had this domain for 5 years and during that time I’ve had different folders and… . . . Read more

Here’s a question I saw today: how do I move my WordPress site to a new server? This can be a fiddly exercise with a number of steps to go through, and you should avoid it if you possibly can. However, on the basis that you can’t avoid it, here’s the answer. Note that the… . . . Read more

I’ve seen quite a lot of questions recently asking how to change the appearance of a WordPress site. Unless you’re using a premium theme, or a free theme that offers some site design controls, the answer is you’re going to need a bit of CSS. And one absolutely wonderful tool: Firebug (which I wrote about… . . . Read more

Interesting question on Twitter today: “Can someone clue me in to backing up my files on WordPress” As the hackers get better and more numerous, it only makes sense to have full backups of your WordPress sites. Once your site has been compromised it will quickly be removed from the search engines’ indices and your… . . . Read more

Update: If you’re looking for the step-by-step process for migrating an HTML site to WordPress you can find it here. Original article starts here: Just recently I’ve seen a few questions in a couple of the forums asking about moving an existing HTML static website to WordPress. As big a fan as I am of… . . . Read more

This is a hectic time for me because I was at the Macau GP last weekend (Formula 3 and World Touring Car Championship series) and I’m going to Kuala Lumpur this weekend for the final of the HK Classic Car Series, so a couple of short posts this week! For a while now I’ve built… . . . Read more

When Thesis 1.7 was released I reviewed it and bemoaned the fact that I couldn’t make use of its SEO features and drop the All-in-One-SEO plugin. The reason was because removing the All-in-One results in all the META tags on all the articles on the blog being removed as well. That would mean I’d have… . . . Read more

I wrote a post recently on how to insert an Opt-in form on a WordPress blog with no sidebars. It’s attracted a lot of views from people searching how to create an opt-in form on WordPress, so I figured a description of how to insert one in a blog that does have sidebars might be… . . . Read more

WordPress 3.0 was released towards the end of last week and brought with it some major changes. The biggest is the integration of WordPress and WordPress Multi-User (MU) – previously two separate packages. Some others were: A new Navigation system, allowing you to add Categories or other special links to your navigation bar (the same… . . . Read more

I took myself off on holiday recently and decided use WordPress’ scheduled publishing feature to keep the content flowing on this site while I was lying on the beach. I simply wrote some articles before I left and scheduled them to be published every other day while I was away. It’s such a useful feature… . . . Read more

Post images – those thumbnail-sized images that I use at the start of each article – can help strengthen the impact of your message, as well as providing some visual appeal. But how to add them? I saw a question recently where someone asked the forum what plugins were available to help manage post images… . . . Read more

‘I can’t find any WordPress themes I like so I’m going to build my own’ is a statement I see a lot on places like Twitter. If you’re an ace coder (really ace) with a good understanding of SEO (really good), that’s a great route to follow. There’s also the option of using Artisteer, a… . . . Read more

Here’s an interesting question I saw recently: my theme is not widget-ready, so how do I insert an opt-in form on my WordPress blog? There are a couple of ways of doing that. 1. Using the What Would Seth Godin Do Plugin This plugin was originally designed to offer different personal greetings, posted at the… . . . Read more

One of my customer’s WordPress installations was hacked and turned into an attack site over the weekend. I got a plea for help on New Year’s Day because she couldn’t view her site or log in – she just got an error message whenever she tried to do either. When I reviewed the file that… . . . Read more