Making Money
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Set Up WordPress

Lesson 18 Module 4

To run a blog the no-code way, we're going to use the free WordPress platform to do all the back-end work.

INSTALLING WORDPRESS

Here's how to install WordPress with each hosting company:

  • If you chose Bluehost, WordPress will be installed automatically after signing up.
  • For SiteGround, WordPress can be installed during the set up process. Just choose "Start a new website" and select WordPress. Instructions here.
  • With DreamHost, log into the control panel and go to Domains > One-Click installs and choose WordPress. Detailed instructions here.
  • For HostGator, in your control panel go to Software > Quick Installs > One-Click Installs > WordPress. Step by step instructions here.

GETTING FAMILIAR WITH WORDPRESS

We're not going to design our blog just yet.​

Once WordPress is installed, take the time to begin familiarizing yourself with the WordPress dashboard - you're going to spend a lot of time here.

Explore these sections:

  • Posts. Practice adding a test blog post or two. Insert an image into the post, then look at your live blog post and add a comment. You can then go to the Comments section to moderate the comments.
  • Categories. Navigate to Posts > Categories. Come up with 3-5 main blog categories. For a keto diet blog, your categories can be keto recipes, keto meal plans, keto basics. You can change these later.
  • Pages. Pages are standalone pages that are not added to your latest posts. For example an about me page or a contact page.
  • Menu. To create a menu, go to Appearance > Menus. We'll go over what to put in the menu later.
  • Plugins. Plugins bring added functionality to your blog. To add a plugin you go to Plugins > Add new and search.
  • Settings. Here you can set things like your blog name, tagline, timezone and other various settings.

WORDPRESS PLUGINS TO INSTALL

Now let's install some plugins that make running a blog biz easier.

Akismet protects your blog from comment spam. It is the most popular WordPress plugin and was developed by the creator of WordPress.

Akismet is a light-weight plugin that does exactly what it says, it helps blocks spam messages from being displayed in your blog post comments.

Wordfence is a powerful and free plugin that protects your blog from hacking attempts.

Wordfence is great at stopping hackers - but it is a bit over-aggressive with its' monitoring and scanning which can cause your site to slow down.

To make sure Wordfence doesn't slow down your site (especially on shared hosting), change the following options in Wordfence > Options:

  • Uncheck "Enable Live Traffic View"
  • Uncheck "Enable email summary"
  • Check "Use low resource scanning"

Backing up your blog is a must. For a backup plugin I recommend UpdraftPlus. Here's what you can do with this free plugin:

  • Back up your entire blog including the database, plugins and media folder.
  • Save your backup to Google Drive, Dropbox or other cloud services.
  • Schedule backups so they run on a schedule for a hands-off approach.
  • Restore your site from a backup. Other plugins will back up but not restore.

To speed up our WordPress blog I recommend the WP Super Cache plugin. Here's how it works.

Your WordPress blog runs on a bunch of PHP code. PHP is a server-side language. What that means is that anything that is PHP is handled first at the server (your host), before then being sent to the users' browser.

This means lots of lines of code for the server to process before rendering the HTML output (slow).

WP Super Cache creates a static HTML file of the output and serves that page to visitors instead (fast).

Since the servers' system resources are hardly used this results in extremely fast loading times for your blog.

Finally we will need to install an SEO plugin. We're going to use the Yoast plugin to help us write content that Google search loves.

On the Features tab, be sure to enable the advanced settings.

Here's what you can do with Yoast:

  • Set a custom title and description. If you don't set these, Google will use the title of your post and will choose a snippet from your content as the description.
  • The snippet preview allows you to see how your title and description will show up on Google's search results.
  • Set a targeted keyword phrase and get the keyword density (how often you use the keyword phrase in your text).
  • Their readability analysis helps you with things like the use of transition words, passive voice, variety in your sentences, subheading distribution, paragraph length and sentence length.
  • Edit the robots.txt and .htaccess file from within Yoast so you don't need to log in via FTP. Find it at Yoast > Tools > File editor.

First, sign up with Google Analytics to track your blog stats. It's a must to see how much traffic you get (and how you got it).

The no-code way to install the Analytics tracking code on your blog is to use this plugin. Additionally, you get access to basic analytics data right on your WordPress dashboard.

Big images are one of the biggest culprits to a slow loading site. Using this plugin, you can reduce the file size of your images without compromising on image quality.

The optimizations happen automatically in the background every time you upload an image.

Now that you've got a functioning WordPress site set up, the next step is choosing a theme for your new blog.

  • Mia Angela says:

    Nice tips! For site speed I use WP Rocket. It’s an all-in-one plugin for performance, in my experience.

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