Articles on Setting Up and Using WordPress Blogs

The articles listed below cover tips and techniques on setting up and using WordPress as the platform for your website. Click the headline to read the full article.

Tourbleshooting WordPress with a Stethoscope

Errors that arise after updating something You updated a plugin, or a theme, or WordPress itself and suddenly something goes wrong – sound familiar? “…Why can’t I update my posts anymore..?” “…Why am I getting these warning messages..?” “…Why has the layout on the front of my site changed..?” The WordPress eco-system WordPress is often… 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

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

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

Why should you make use of the H tags in blog posts? Because, in addition to the SEO benefits they bring, they highlight a roadmap through your article. People skim read articles online, and if your article is just a load of unbroken text you’ll lose them before the 4th line. Reading unbroken text on… 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

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

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

The 1-click installation service offered by most hosting providers for various applications is wonderful. In particular, it’s opened up self-hosted WordPress blogging to a whole tribe of people who might have baulked at the manual installation. But there are some things to keep in mind. And please don’t take these as criticisms – they’re not… Read more

I saw one of those VERY IMPORTANT READ THIS NOW posts in a forum the other day. It was all about how WordPress could get us banned from the search engines. I normally don’t go anywhere near posts with titles like that, but considering the mutual love affair between Google and WordPress I was intrigued… Read more

I see a lot of questions asking how to make a WordPress post sticky. A sticky post is one that stays on the front page of your blog so that, same as sticky posts in forums, it will always be displaid first. What’s the point of that? It depends on the content of your blog… Read more

In this post I referred to a question I saw in one of the forums: what is WordPress? Given that I write this blog for people who are new, or relatively new, to working on-line, and it contains over 40 articles on WordPress, I have been remiss in not writing one that describes exactly what… Read more

Another question I see quite often is people asking how to copy a post developed in Word into WordPress. I create all my posts initially in either Word or Open Office, because with both of those packages I get spelling and grammar checking and the ability to test different layouts. Once you’re satisfied with the… Read more

Sometimes, just sometimes, the commands on the toolbars in the WordPress post- or page-write screens decide they’re not going to work. As frustrating as that is, particularly when you’re trying to get a post published by a deadline, the fix is usually pretty simple. But that didn’t stop me taking 5 hours today, doing all… Read more

Well – I have to eat my own words. Back here I wrote a post about how I improved the search functionality on this blog by searching for and adding a new plugin. In that post I was critical of Google Custom Search. Recently that plugin that I eventually installed was updated, a move which… Read more

Important note: We’re currently on WordPress 3.X and the process for managing widgets is the same as described both in this article and in the video on widgets in WordPress 2.8. If the process changes in a future version of WordPress I’ll publish an updated article. Note that widgets are different from plugins. Widgets are… Read more

Important: Which version of WordPress do you want to install a widget in? WordPress before 2.8: click here WordPress 2.8 or later: click here Installing widgets in WordPress versions before 2.8: When you set up a new WordPress blog you have the option to add some widgets to your sidebars. What are widgets? Widgets are… Read more

I saw a question in one of the forums this week that asked whether a blog could be used to set up landing pages containing product reviews for a wide range of products. The review pages (blog) would be promoted through Pay Per Click or article marketing campaigns, and direct visitors on to the actual… Read more

I’ve seen a lot of questions about Wordpress this week in the forums I visit. So here’s my take: For the vast majority of people working online Wordpress is the best platform I know of for publishing online. There are platforms that are more powerful in certain ways – like Drupal and Joomla – but… Read more