WordPress SEO and Plug-ins

Another session that I attended today at Pubcon that I found very interesting was “Wordpress SEO and Plugins” moderated by Sean Jackson and speakers Greg Banse from 7th Pixel, Carolyn Shelby from CSHEL.com, Scott Hendison from Search Commander Inc and Ben Cook from Network Solutions, here are some of my “take aways”:

Carolyn Shelby – WordPress Tricks, Tips and Tweaks

Today people over rely on plug-ins and theme framework to do the work for them. You must understand at least to understand basic HTML and CSS code.

Excessive blog bling is bad and the biggest mistake webmasters make with WordPress is not keeping their version up to date. Security should be your number one concern, don’t blame WordPress when your site gets hacked.

Carolyn’s Favorite Plug-ins:

1.       Efficient Related Posts:  allows custom field values. Excerpt editor allows you to write (and include html) in excerpts.

2.       Search and Replace: helpful when configuring your dev environment or moving domains (should be deactivated when not being used, conflicts with other plug-ins)

Never use original database when doing development websites, make a copy and use the duplicate.

When using plug-ins, there are many changes to the code of your website that can make your site slow to load. You can make these same changes to your code without using these plug-ins. This will decrease you load time as everytime you add a new plug-in, it slows down your website and the server.

The Codex is your friend. Code.wordpress.com – You should bookmark this site, very helpful to understand the codex of WordPress.

When doing your theme development, you should create a DEV site and test upgrades to test what breaks.

You should learn how to do searches from PhpMyAdmin to make changes to your database. If your site is ever hacked you will need to be able to find the offending code and remove it through the Admin panel.

Make sure that your collation method is UTF-8 General for your database. It changes how data is stored by your database and increases the speed of your website.

Scott Hendison – Why WordPress

  • Huge Community
  • Open Source
  • Over 1200 free themes
  • Over 12,000 free plug-ins

Automatic Set-up; most webhosting plans offer Fantastico, your WordPress installation is installed in under 30 seconds.

Scott’s Favorite Plug-ins:

1.       Core Tweaks; developed by Scott, does all the common configurations for WordPress in under 30 seconds.

2.       All In One SEO Pack; number 1 seo plug-in today

3.       Headspace; similar to All In One but also does sitemaps. Great plug-in for someone learning SEO

4.       Google XML sitemaps; creates XML sitemaps for Google webmasters

5.       SEO Friendly Images; Places alt tag from your page title into images

6.       WordPress SEO; In beta from Joost de Valk

Greg Banse – Themes

Themes = Eye Candy for your website
Theme Framework = Eye Candy with Steroids for your website

Stock WordPress Themes

  • Out of the box, ready to go
  • Some have many options, however maybe limiting
  • Some come with a GUI
  • Little or no building blocks
  • Support varies
  • Use as is, or customize

Themed WordPress Frameworks

  • Can use as is or customize
  • Come with GUI
  • Building blocks provided
  • Better support
  • Scalable
  • Community of users

Framework Considerations

  • Building blocks speed up customization of your website
  • Hooks can be implemented to customize your code
  • Separation from core code
  • Ease of custom design
  • Offers rapid customization
  • The Thesis theme is an example of a framework theme

Ben Cook – SEO Tools for WordPress

Best Practices

  • Use only one category per post (max two)
  • Reuse tags
  • Add unique content to category and tag pages
  • Allow your pages to be indexed

Ben’s Favorite Plug-ins

1.       SEO Smart Links; automatically creates links based upon your terms. Based upon your list of keywords, prevents links to self

2.       Widget Logic; Displays widget in categories based upon logic, displays only topic related content/widgets

3.       WordPress SEO; creates bread crumbs, XML sitemaps, permalink cleanup, canonical tags, unique title and descriptions per post/page

What are your favorite Tips, Tricks or Tweaks for WordPress? Please share them below in the comment area….

Certified Master SEO Instructor by the Search Engine Academy and CEO and founder of SEO Training SW.
Roy Reyer
Roy Reyer
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9th November 2010 2 Comments

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