Build Your Website with WordPress… and Make Google Fall In Love with It | Suzanne Scacca | Skillshare

Build Your Website with WordPress… and Make Google Fall In Love with It

Suzanne Scacca, Freelance Writer/Website Builder

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14 Lessons (1h 6m)
    • 1. Introduction

      1:49
    • 2. Install WordPress

      3:01
    • 3. Get to Know the Dashboard

      8:02
    • 4. Configure Search-Friendly Settings

      3:15
    • 5. Find a Trustworthy WordPress Theme

      10:41
    • 6. Optimize Your Site with Trustworthy Plugins

      2:27
    • 7. Using a Security Plugin

      3:25
    • 8. Using an Anti-Spam Plugin

      1:08
    • 9. Using a Backup Plugin

      3:31
    • 10. Using a Caching Plugin

      3:47
    • 11. Using an Image Optimization Plugin

      2:04
    • 12. Using an SEO Plugin

      8:01
    • 13. Turning Our Attention to Google

      12:33
    • 14. Success in Search Can Be Yours!

      2:11
37 students are watching this class

About This Class

I’ve had a number of clients say to me: “WordPress sucks” or “I hate Google.”

In this class, I want to address both of these common complaints. I want to show you how easily you can build a fully functioning website for your enterprise… and to do so following Google’s rules. All it takes is a premium WordPress theme and a handful of trustworthy plugins to create a search-optimized website straight out the gate.

If you’ve ever felt intimidated by WordPress or frustrated with the high costs of web development, this class is for you. Whether you’re building a personal portfolio, an e-commerce site, or a digital counterpart for a booming local business, WordPress is what you need to make it rank well in search. It won’t happen overnight, but with the right tools in place and ongoing commitment to optimizing the on-site experience for users, it will happen soon enough.

Before we start, you’ll need the following:

  • Web hosting plan
  • A domain name

As we go along, plan to add the cost of a premium WordPress theme to your website-building budget. The plugins we will start with are all free to use.

Once you've finished building your website, set your sights on my "How to Write SEO Content" class where I will teach you how to optimize your content both for visitors and search engines.

Transcripts

1. Introduction: Hi, I'm Suzanne. Stack up and I'm going to teach you how to build a website with WordPress that Google looks . And it's this latter part of the equation that we really want to focus on today. The reason why I'm doing this, I've had clients, prospects, friends, colleagues in the past. Try to do this on their own. They want to save money. They don't want to pay for the high cost of a web to go over Web designer, but they still want a fully functioning website for their business. However, they're frustrated because they think I have a web hosting account. I have a domain name and I installed WordPress. Why isn't ready? Why is my website not beautiful and ranking at the top of search? Um, this guy doesn't gonna get your website to the top of surge on day one, but it is gonna put you in a better position than other people who try to build their own websites and many newly developers. You don't really know what you're doing. Google wants to see certain things from your website. It wants there to be a great user experience. They want a modern and responsive or mobile friendly designed. They wanted to be super fast alone. They wanted to be super secure so that users feel confident walking around website, purchasing your products, subscribing to your services, reading your blobs. Um, and these are the things that you wouldn't necessarily know unless you're in the line of work that I'm in or if you're a wept over. But of course, Web developers are going to tell you this. So that's what this guide this for. I'm gonna teach you how to use just a premium where cross theme, a handful of high quality where press plug ins and talk directly to Google and say, Here's my website. It's awesome. Users will love it. Please rank me and search and we'll go from there. 2. Install WordPress: this is less than one how to install WordPress. As you can see, we're on the wordpress dot work website. This is where we're going to download all your free where press plug ins later. Also, where you can learn a little bit more about the content management system itself. But for right now, I just want to show you that you can get a copy of the latest WordPress installation from here. You just download the files fully. Thing is, you have to go and install them somewhere, and I don't want you to have to deal with that. So if you work with a WordPress friendly web hosting provider like I do, which is blue hosts, they should have a one click WordPress installation option. In that case, what you want to look for is something like this where it says install WordPress and what's great about this is your Web host is gonna take care of everything for you. They're gonna input all the details they're gonna install WordPress. They're going to get you set up so that you don't have to think about anything or deal with the server or your databases or any things like that it's gonna take your every single stuff. So all you have to do is enter your domain e. And if your domain is a test your Web hosting company, that's easy. Just select the one you want to build a website on Blue Host or whoever your Web hostesses gonna automatically provide you with credentials to get into or dress, which is really convenient. Here. You can change the site name for me. Building a cafe website for my dog Blue Host has given me a user name, which is the stuff of my email address. They have also given me a secure password. It's secure. It's not secure enough. So what I'm gonna recommend is you use a combination of upper case and lower case letters, numbers and symbols. Just make It is complicated as possible so that hackers can get into your website. Then check all three of these options and click the next button. And when you're ready to move on, as you can see here, Blue Host is working on installing WordPress forming. So while this is going on for you, just let the browser work. Don't exit out of it. Don't try and do anything else and multi test. Just wait. It'll take maybe a minute or two to get this fully up and running. Now it's asking you if you want to continue browsing the marketplace, you might not have this option with your hosting company. But that's not what you want to do. You want to get right into WordPress seat concert building. So click on here and you can see Blue Host is providing you with all the credentials. This is your new domain. It's your WordPress domain where you're gonna log in and build everything for your website , going to give you your user name again. It's also going to remind you about your password. So go ahead and copy your password in case you don't have it memorized. And then click on this link you're gonna automatically be were redirected into your WordPress installation. So this is the log in screen for everyone. Unless you have a developer who's customized it for you. This is what everyone seats. So go ahead and enter your credentials. And Morgan welcome the WordPress 3. Get to Know the Dashboard: WordPress is a great platform. That's why over 31% of the world uses it to power their websites. But when you first log in, as you can see here, it's kind of a mess, which is why it can be annoying or frustrating for new users and WordPress because they see all of this here in the center, and they think I have to pay attention to it. I have to do something with it. Where do I go? What's next? You actually don't need most of the stuff that's in here. So let's minimize and delete everything that we can and just focus almost the most important. Um, so you don't need the welcome to work. Trustee can go ahead and dismiss that and all these widgets. They contain information about the structure of your website, but you don't really need it, and you especially don't need something like WordPress events. So you have the option of minimizing the widgets so that you can't really see what's in them, or you can go to screen options. We'll leave that one checked, but you can get rid of all these other ones Now, the reason I want to lead. This one checked is because as I share this course with you work rest still uses its old editor interface. You're not gonna be using that in 2018 and beyond. So we want to install Gutenberg, which right now is a plug in. However going forward, it will be the default WordPress editor. So you've installed it. Let's go ahead and activate it. So let's take a look at the key areas of your WordPress dashboard. The main area that you're going to spend time and especially when you're first building your website are the pages thes are your home page about us client testimonials. Contact US services pages. Basically anything that is going to inform visitors what it is. The website is about what your company does and why they should be there. So, Teoh, add a new one you can click on add new to go in the one that already exists. You just click on the title. For the purposes of this, we're just gonna look at the empty interface so I can show you quickly how to use it. Um, now this is a block builder. So this is the interface for Gutenberg or the WordPress editor. As you can see, it's pretty empty. It does give you a placeholder here for the title, a swell asst to write the story. So go ahead and add a title to your cage. And then, in terms of writing your story, that's up to you. I'm just gonna type in some letters. That looks great. So what Gutenberg does, or what this word trust editor does is it builds out different blocks based on the kind of content you want to add to the page. So as you could see when I hit the enter button, it went ahead and greeted a completely new paragraph block. That's what this is called toe. Add different kinds of content to your website. You click over here and you can add things like images. You can add header text. You can add a bulleted list. There are a bunch of other options. You can add video rather than grab one of those really long strings of code from YouTube or Vimeo. In order to embed your video on your website, you just click on this and it will easily add it for you. There are ways to format code. You can add different layout elements like buttons with this, but the most common blocks you're gonna use paragraph, text and images. Now all of your uploaded images, video files, PDS, they all live over here in media. You're really not gonna spend any time over here. Just know that if you're curious about what's saved on your website, you can find it here for you can find the content here and directly embedded on your page. So if the file doesn't exist in WordPress yet, you click on upload and grab it from your computer. You could see here, just puts that image right on the page. Any time you want to update something, whether it's text or an image video, anything that you've added with a block, you'll have a tool bar up here. Or you can update the settings over here on the right. Um, and again, if you want to add an image from your library, just click on media library, and you could see I have a couple images here. Click on the one you want, Quick, Select, and it adds it to the page again. I'm not gonna go too much into this because this is your page decree. But know that working within this WordPress editor is very easy, and it's all pretty much spelled out for you in terms of the blocks and the settings. Just remember, when you're done making changes or creating a page, do you hit that blue publish button? Or it may say, update if the page or exists on your website, and this will save your changes and not lose any of the work that you've done, and just to clarify the difference between these two pages again, this is the main structure of your website. People will be able to find these pages in the navigation of your Web site. Host, however, are log posts, so you might not need these right away. And that's fine. But know that they're here and ready to be created when you're ready to start doing content marketing and this returns us back to the template that Gutenberg went and created for us. You can use this and replace it with your own text, which might be quite convenient if you don't feel like dealing with outing the blocks and handling your own formatting, Um, or you could just use this as inspiration for your own work, and then let's move on. So comments on Lee pertained to block posts. If you've published blog's and you are encouraging people to leave comments, they will show up here. You can approve them. You can mark them as spam. You can delete them all the other these air yours to control. Next. Let's look at users. So if this is your personal website, you're not gonna need to add anyone else. But you might wanna change your password or update your bio. And you can do that here. If you have employees or anyone that you wanna invite to contribute to the website or help you update it, just do it through here. Add some information. Whatever the required details are, let WordPress create a secure password for you and at the new user. They'll get une email and it will give them a link. Teoh activate and they can take care of the rest. So let's look at the appearance tab. And as you can see, the first option here is your themes. WordPress will automatically upload its default themes. We're gonna talk about how to add your own but just know that these air here, you can poke inside if you want to get a look for details about the theme, or just take a closer look at it customizes where you'll go to actually configure your theme again. We'll discuss that in one of the upcoming lessons Menus is where you're going to create that top navigation bar for your website. So generally you have a logo over here. And then along this bar here, it will say about US menu services, pricing contact something like that. So this section here, called menus, is where you're gonna build out that structure. Now, as you can see, I have a very strange selection of pages here. But if I want to add them to my my navigation, I just click on the ones I want to add and click. Add to menu, and you can see they automatically populate Over here. What's nice about this is it's a dragon drop. So just move the pages into place, and if you decide, you just don't want them in their go in and remove, and then when you're done, see that and then it will show up on the front and your website. The last thing to look at here are plug. It's I'm not gonna cover what to do with this, because that's the bulk of this course. But just know that when you're looking for plug ins, Thio added features at functionality at design elements lead generation, you're gonna find them here. 4. Configure Search-Friendly Settings: now 51% of all traffic on the Web comes from organic search results. That means someone goes to Google. They type in their search quarry and Google populates. Ah, set of results could be millions of results. Thousands of results depends on what they're looking for. However, the ads at the top people who actually pay to have their websites listed at the top of page do not count. The ones that really matter are the ones that are organically listed. And that's what we're working towards here today. This doesn't force you to pay Google to list your website at the top of search. This will get your website closer to the top of search because you're taking care of all the things that matter. So let's just look at the settings road quick. We're not going to go through each of these. You can take your time looking through them and adjusting accordingly. There. Just to that I want to call out in particular that will help create a more user friendly environment for your website and improve your rank in search. So the first thing to look at his cult colonel ins and this is how WORDPRESS will automatically structure the Earl of a Page or post. Now, as you can see here, the default is post name and all it does, is it. You have your main you Earl, and then it adds the name of the Web page so it could be slash about us, um slash contact for four block post. It would be something a little bit lengthier, but whatever you do, just avoid all the other options. You don't wanna force users to look at the data of a block post or look at a random string of numbers that pertain to the peach i D. We want to make you Arles as user friendly as possible. And let's also look at the reading tab. This has to do with how your home page is configured and how your blog's is handled. So if you have home page and if this is for business website, you should look on a static peach and you want to assign one of the pages you've created and published as a home page. As of right now, I haven't created a home peach for my website, but I think sample page will do so I'm gonna set that there and then post page. Once I do create a dedicated page for my blawg, I will select up. But as of right now, I'm gonna leave this. So whether you start the blogged now, where you started down the road, another thing to take into consideration is how the main blawg page appears. So if you ever spend any time on a websites block, you know that it's gonna be post after post after post within a single feed, and you can scroll through and easily decide what you want to read. However, WordPress automatically sets this to show the full text, and you don't want to force your readers to do that. You want to just give them a quick summary so they can make up their minds as to which post they want to click on and read to make sure this is such a summary and one last thing. Make sure this is not checked. This message here is telling Google and all other search engines not to look at your website and not to rank it in search. You don't want that. That defeats the whole purpose of why we're here and why you're building a website. So please make sure that this is unchecked and save your changes 5. Find a Trustworthy WordPress Theme: Now let's talk about design because you are building your own WORDPRESS website. You're not planning on spending money on a Web designer, which is fine because you can purchase a premium theme from for WordPress from a website here. Like theme Forrester, you can purchase it from an individual Web developer if you prefer. If you are building a website that's for professional use for a business for something that you want to help you make sales and do well with your audience, I would strongly recommend using a premium thing. I recognize that it forces you to pay for a design, but it'll be under $100 a year, and it takes care of everything for you, especially if you can write to find the right team. Some statistics will say that about 94% of people at some point in time have been completely turned off by a website based solely on the design. So you don't want to risk that, especially if you're trying to do this on your own. So start with being forest. You can find really affordable themes here, and you can find them made specifically for your industry. So for the purposes of this example, we're gonna look for a restaurant game. Now, as you can see here, there are over 1000 restaurant themes. You don't wanna have to sift through all of them or take a guess as to which one is right for you to The first thing to do is sort based on best redid. This will tell you which themes have the best score, so up to five stars, and you also want to look at how many times it's actually been installed and used by people . So, as you can see here, almost 2000 people have used this, and it has a nearly five star rating. Same thing here. Almost 1000 sales, nearly five star rating. So you want to start at the top and work your way down. You really don't want to gamble on a team that hasn't really been installed, hasn't been tested and doesn't have a lot of reviews or has really crappy reviews. So because we're looking ah, specifically restaurant Dean, let's choose this one. There are multipurpose themes. If your business is not going to change in the next couple of years, meaning you're not gonna shift your business model or you're not gonna expand from a simple storefront to a booming market place. Try to find a theme that's specific to your industry. Multipurpose names air a little bit complicated because they have so many templates and the options for you to choose from. And it's really unnecessary to adul that week to your website. This is what it's gonna look like when you preview but theme in being forest. What you want to do is that first the quality of the developer, then you want to bet the theme itself. And this is just to make sure that what you're spending your money on is legit, and it'll fulfill all of your goals and building a website in the first place. So to find out more about the person who developed this theme, you can go over here. So this tells you that they're an elite author on being forest. This typically means that they sold a whole bunch of themes. They get really great ratings and there will trusted by their users because they provide high quality support and modern designs. So if you want to look into the different aka leads, they've aren't through theme for us. You can hover over these, then click on their portfolio to see more. But I trust these guys if they have elite status with being forest, this is a pretty legit option. You can see here that there's about 440 sales and they have a five star rating. That's pretty amazing. It's only 25 people who have rated, but 25 out of 25 people gave it five stars. So your goal here is to use a theme that has at least a 4.5 star rating and higher anything below that. You don't wanna risk issues with code or a theme that son supported and just leaves you hanging out in the cold. Use one that people love and trust. So now that we know that we can trust this, we need to look at the theme and make sure that it's a good fit for you. So in theme forced, you can actually go through a demo of it. You can click here, or you can click live Previ, Um, and this gives you a sense of what your website might look like. I'm gonna remove the frame just you can see this in a full screen. So you've got a nice header up here phone number that if you'd on Mobile, they'd be able to click to call. They've got a shopping cart if they want to order food online or if you have merchandise Really cool navigation here, centered under the nice looking logo. Of course, you'll have to add your own logo, but you get a sense for where you would place everything really beautiful high resolution image for space for your own custom image here, a clear call. The action is right here, and as you go through, you could just see that this is a really well made design. This looks like other websites that are online today, and hopefully in the future, the developer should support it so that as design trends changed, their theme is updated with it. But you can see if you're running a restaurant. This would be a great choice for you. It includes everything you'd want. You even have a section for testimonials. You can explore the menu some more. And, of course, if you want to add a blawg later in time, there's a section for that. And don't get hung up on what sections? Aaron the theme or how exactly it looks. As you can see here, you have different ways of styling the theme. So whenever you're looking through, ah, new potential theme, be sure to look through these. They'll they'll give you different options for how the pages will look how the menu will be laid out. So just take time getting yourself acquainted, making sure it's a good fit, and when you decide that it is, you can go over here and add to cart. If you want to buy some more look around or you could just click by now. I'm not gonna walk you through the process because I've already bought my theme. So what happens is you walk through the traditional shopping cart process by your theme and then being forced will email you the theme files for if you don't get the email, you've lost the email. You've forgotten where the files are. Just go to your bio up here and go to downloads. As you can see here, I've purchased a theme called Unq Owed, so to retrieve the files at this time, all you want are the install A ble WordPress files. Do you click on that? Now Automatically install them to your computer and then you'll go back to WordPress. We'll go to appearance and themes. And as you can see here, WordPress is already loaded up its own default themes. You don't want to use thes, but it's good to know that they're there. So that website isn't completely blank to start. But to add a premium theme from outside of work for us, you're gonna click, upload theme and shoes file. Now, this is the zip folder, as you can see here, just put the entire thing inside of WordPress stone. Unzip it, leave it. As is all the required files air within their and we're press will need Teoh unpackaged, um, for you. So click, then stall now, but and wait for WordPress to do its thing. Once WordPress has successfully installed your theme and you will get a success message, you'll find your theme here under your list of themes. However, as you can see the default 2017 or whatever it happens to be in the future 2018 2019. He's still alive on your website, so you wanna click on your new theme, whether it's uncoated, whether it's the restaurant, Dean, whatever you've chosen to use for your business, you want to activate it, and this will automatically skin your website with the theme that you've chosen. So with something like a multipurpose name, I have a lot more options I have to go through. I have to import demos to actually skin my pages. So I'm not gonna walk you through how to handle this. However, just understand that when you do have a theme configured in WordPress a premium of theme the first thing to do is to go to its own unique section over here on the side bar. It could be a peer down here in the middle. It doesn't matter where it is. Just look for the name of your theme. Go inside, poke around under the hood and make sure you understand what everything is. If you have to add your and Votto token and purchase code were really easy to get, so you could see here when you click on download, has your certificate and your purchase code. You can just download that file and then copy the relevant information in here. There's other things you may want to configure while you're in here. But really, what I want to focus on is the appearance and customized home, because everything, no matter which one you use inside of WordPress ER outside of WordPress, will enable you to customize settings for branding for your blog's or widgets things of that nature. That identity allows you to update the title of your site and at a tagline. You can also choose a site icon, and that's this little icon up here that shows up in the browser windows so that when your website is open alongside Borg's and Google and your competitors, the person who's looking at all these websites can easily navigate. Act yours. It's great for brand recognition and for getting people to navigate your website as soon as they want to see it colors. This allows you to change the background color of your website. However, the easiest way to re text on the Web is black text on top of a white background, so don't changed us. Same thing goes with the background image. You don't wanna disrupt anything that's happening in terms of the content. This is what's going to inform people about what your business does and how you can help, so leave it be menus. We've already created our menu, but if you want to adjust it here, you conduce that. And if you want to sign it to the correct spot, you click on primary Menu and you'll see it populates up here, which it's pertained to usually pertain to the footer of your website. So if there were widgets available, they would show up here, and you would get to you, customize them as you see that and then home page settings we've already taken care of under settings. If you make any changes here, of course, that the published but and so that you can save them to the website. And then when you're done, just click the X button so we can go back to work rest 6. Optimize Your Site with Trustworthy Plugins: Now let's talk about plug ins, since that's the bulk of this course. As you can see here, this is the WordPress website. This is the free plug in repository. As of writing this as of speaking to you from used to writing all the time, this is ah telling us they're over 55,000 plug ins in the repository. As you can imagine, that's a lot to sort through. And if if you don't know where, trust well, if you don't understand what plug ins do, you're probably feeling a bit overwhelmed. And, quite frankly, not every plug in is made the same. You want to use a plug and that's highly rated well trusted and won't break your site. Won't interfere with functionality. Won't complicate things. We wanted to improve the experience. You wanted to speed things up. You wanted to keep everyone secure, and that includes you, as well as anyone who visits your website. So in the following steps, I'm going to cover what these essentials are off right now. I just want to walk you through an example of installing a plug in. So while you can access them here and Peru's plug ins from WordPress. You can actually do it from within WordPress from within your installation. So I'm gonna recommend you do that so that you don't have to install files and upload them to your server. Instead, you're here under plug ins. Goto add new and then search for the plug in that you want to install. Or you can look here at the most commonly downloaded ones. But for the purposes of this since work fences, the 1st 1 I'm going to show you do a search and you can find all the plug ins here. You can also do a generic search for security. Pop up context one. Whatever you're looking for, just type it in up here, and work costs will give you a bunch of options. As with a theme, you want to bet it, make sure that it's got a nearly five star rating. It comes from a trusted developer word. Spence is a leader in WordPress security and that people I actually enjoy using it, and it makes their experience that it makes their visitors experience better. So once you found a winning plug in click install now and this will just literally install the files on your server. It does not apply the plug in to your website, so there's one more additional stuff to take here and that's to click activity. And then once you're plugging is activated, you can go in and can fit your settings if there are settings to configure and get to work on optimizing your website for search. 7. Using a Security Plugin: security is a critical piece of what Google is looking for. So, um, the first plug in I'm gonna recommend is a security plug in and specifically one cold word fence security. So there are no settings under here. In order to access and configure this, you'll want to find it over here on the side bar. The reason why we're gonna prioritize this is because reports like a recent site lock one tell us that 18.5 1,000,000 websites are infected at any given time. That's not websites that are under attack, these air one place that actually have something wrong with that meaning there's faulty code or someone broke through the log in page. Someone left a spam comment somehow hacker or about thought inside the website. And when a website is compromised in terms of security, hookers aren't discriminating. They will go after anyone. Your website could be a day old. Your website could only have three or four pages on it. They don't care if it's not necessarily about stealing valuable customer information like credit cards or social security numbers. It's just about the potential of what they can do with your website. They can deface it. They can hold it ransom in the hopes that you'll pay a large sum in order to get it back. They could use it to attack other websites, so don't give them that opportunity. Your Web host should be able to help you with some security features, and you should be getting an SSL certificate with, um SSL certificates or what? Allow your website to move from each TTP to https. It's a form of encryption that masts all communications that take place between your website and your visitors. So if you can get that in place and Google wants you to, your website will instantly do better in search. And that's because Google penalises websites that have this not secure warning here. So first and foremost get that SSL certificate, then come back here, install WordPress and let's go to all options to see what exactly we can do with this plug in these air general settings, you're gonna want to make sure you insert the correct email address here so that if there is a security threat attacking your website or someone has gotten in, you get an instant email notification about it. Firewall options allow you to configure things like the fire wall, which is a way to assess the quality of traffic coming into your website and block anyone who is known to be, ah, malicious entity, a hacker about anyone who's just reach havoc on the Web before brute force protection will protect your log in screen so hackers will send out box Teoh repeatedly. Try user name and password combinations, hoping that will unlock access to a website. So don't even allow that to happen. Set limits on this and block them out before they have a chance to get inside. You can see here where offense comes with scanning tool. This is a really great feature. This is what enables you toe sit back and trust that your website is being watched. So if malware happens to get through, if someone's trying to log in repeatedly over the course of an hour, this scan is gonna pick up on that stuff and let you know there are some other options down here. I wouldn't bother with them right now. This is a premium feature, so you can't do anything with it at the moment. But focus on the key security features so that you can protect your website where account 8. Using an Anti-Spam Plugin: next it's discussed a kiss mitt there, different types of security threats that may try to infect your website. Now, where distributed Denial of service, also known as DDOS Brute force attacks ransomware and, of course, Sam. People who try to embed malicious links into your comment forms into your contact forms and maybe even in the form so you don't wanna have to sift through every single comment that comes through. And you don't want to put anyone at risk by allowing bad links to make it to the front, end your Web site or tow pop into your email inbox. So with this plug and installed voters settings here, it's going to automate the whole thing for you. It will prevent spam from ever touching word for us, so you won't even have to see it. You won't have to deal with it. Um, a kiss mitt will filter it all out for you. Only thing that's required to set this up is that you do need a wordpress dot com website. It's really easy to get set up. Just walk through the steps of getting your A P I key, and it will take you directly to where cross dot com so you can create that user name and password and get started 9. Using a Backup Plugin: The last piece of the security puzzle is actually something that a lot of users don't think of or aren't aware of. And that's the backup. Your Web hosting company probably included free backups with their service, but if anything should happen to their server or they're automated or scheduled, backups just don't work. You could be left him in a lot of trouble. And you you just don't wanna have to rely on your Web hosting company to take care of this . For you installed the updraft plus backup plug in, which also comes with restore capabilities, which I'll explain in a second so that you have all of the security covered within word for us. So, as you can see here, under backup and restore, you can generate a backup of your website instantly and what this does is it copies everything. So the database with all your WordPress code and files, a love, the plug ins and games that you've installed all the configurations that you've customized for them all the content you've created images you've uploaded everything that exists within your WordPress website that makes it your WordPress website will be backed up and saved somewhere else. Um, this ensures that if your website gets hacked and torn down, if user error just results in your website breaking and you can't get it back if something else happens to your website, the interferes with it being online or, um destroys the design. Compromise is the the experience. In general, you can easily roll it back to a previous version that worked well, So here you could do an instant backup. And if you do have a backup saved, you'll see it down here. As you can see, it has a really easy one click restore option. You click this. You get to choose what exactly you want to bring back and from this state, and you'll automatically have ah, safe and fast and good looking website back online so you don't have to worry about losing all your data and having to start from scratch. What's really nice about this plug in is you can automate the scheduling of it so that you don't have to worry about logging in and setting a backup to get pulled. Whenever you happen to remember, this will take care of it for you so that you always have a copy of your website saved based on how big your website issue can adjust, how frequently they're saved, I would say if your website is smaller, it's brand new. You're not producing a lot of new content. Save it monthly that that should be more than fine. And don't save too many copies of it to your server. Another thing to think about is where you want to save your website, so what you can do is at first you can just email it to yourself. You'll get a Zip folder of your website email to you once a month, or however frequently want it, and you could just save it and hold onto it in case something happens. What I prefer to do is use one of these other services. Updraft plus vaults is a free service through the plug in, and it connects everything and makes it really easy for you. Toe. Restore your backups. That's the one I'm gonna recommend. However, if you use any of these already to store files for your business, go ahead and use that here and configuring these is really easy. You'll just click on it and the plug and gives you information about how to set it up, where to go to do it and how dio input the keys to connect the two software's. 10. Using a Caching Plugin: next, let's talk about a process called cashing the A C H i N g. The plug in I'm recommending is WP fastest cash. You can find it over here on your side far. Just go ahead and click into it. Now there are a bunch of well rated cashing plug ins. However, this is the most user friendly one for new WordPress users, so please use this one over W key super cash or W three total cash. So as you can see, everything is here. All you have to do is go through and check every single thing that you want to enable. Submit it and that's it. In a nutshell. Cashing is what enables you to keep your server from having to process your website over and over again. So when someone types in your URL and mine would be small business website dot local, your server, your Web hosting company receives over questions as hey, this person wants to see your website. So what the server has to do is package up all of the files and all of the information associated with your website. For every image that you upload your logo every page of content. You create every plug and you add your theme. Any files, any code written for the website has to be gathered up with each single request and that takes time. This is why websites can take more than 10 20 seconds just to load a single page, and that's no good for you. They say that many users are willing to wait no more than three seconds, so you have three seconds to get your website to load before they get out of there. So to prevent this from happening, we use something called cashing and what cashing does is it creates a static copy of your website, which means it turns everything into one file that your server has to send over to users. So as opposed to 30 files that might take upto 10 seconds to submit to a user's browser screen. It just have has one version of your website that it can send over, and this is especially good for business websites that don't change a lot. So if you don't blawg often, if you're not constantly adding new products to a marketplace, if you're not working on tweaks or anything like that, your website isn't changing. Go ahead and enable cashing. It will allow your server to work much faster and get content to people when they want it. So in terms of what you activate here, you do want to enable cashing and then just go through. You don't have to select any of these. It's just going to give you some options. Don't worry about these two. You can leave the cash version for anyone in WordPress. So when a page or post is published, meaning new content is out of your website, you do want to clear the catch. That means your server will have to package up the files the next time next time someone visits your website. But that's good. That's so that they can see this new content to make sure you enable this. Now Code on your website is written by someone else. It's written by the people who designed your theme. It's ruined by the people who created your plug ins there and by work crust developers. You don't really have control over it, except you can men if I it. So what this does is it just shrinks down all of the code and makes it easier for your server to handle and send over again. All of this is very technical, and it has to do with the way servers process the data from your website. But the more you can do to reduce the load on that, the quicker you can get content to your users so again enable Jesup compression. Add some browser cashing, disable Emojis if you want your probably not using them, but just know these options are all here. 11. Using an Image Optimization Plugin: All right, let's just continue our discussion on speed and performance of your WordPress website again . Really only have a few seconds to hook your visitors in terms of loading content course, you have to worry about the actual content on the page and the design that is meant to impress them. But you do have to still do it within a reasonable timeframe and one of the main reasons why people's websites air so slows because of images, which is way a lot, especially as we use our iPhones or our digital cameras to take high resolution and oversized images. They just cause a lot of weight for our servers, and it's unnecessary. A website only has enough space to display an image, so there's no reason to upload a file completely full sized and leave it as is. So this is why we use Smush. Smush is a wonderful image optimization put plug in, and what it does is it automatically compresses images for you, and that just means it shrinks them down to a more reasonable size while keeping the quality of the image the same or nearly the same on your website. So everything still looks crisp and clear. The main difference is that it's not taking as much space up on your server. That makes it easy toe. Share it with people in the front of your website quickly. So this is Smush very easy to use. When you first get inside it, it's going to ask you to bulk smush your files. So go ahead and click that, and it usually just takes a couple seconds to smush or compress each of your images. Now going forward, you wanna automate this? You don't wanna have to worry about. That's mushing work, impressing your images every time you upload a new one. So just scroll down to your settings and make sure this table is set in. That way. You don't have to worry about this again, so you've automated image optimization and compression would have your cashing system in place. Your website is ready to run fast and keep Google and your users happy 12. Using an SEO Plugin: As of today, a little over 76% of all online searches are done with Google, which means that we really need to listen to what Google is saying and respond with a website that caters to that. This is why we're taking care of securing it. Why were speeding it up? Why? We're optimizing images, all of the work that we're doing here. But we also have to think about the content. Well, I'm not going to tell you how to write content that gets noticed by search engines and impresses your visitors. At least not in this course. Uh, what I am going to show you is a plug in that will start guiding you in the right direction . It won't write the content for you, but it will tell you the likelihood that your content will be rewarded in search. So this plug in is called Ghost s CEO confined it here, and you can configure settings through here, or you can look for your new S e o tab over here on the menu. So there's a lot to mess around with in here. Dashboard isn't going to tell you much. It's just gonna let you know if there any major s CEO problems with your website features, just make sure these are all toggled on. Yost is the premier S E o toole. It's very user friendly, So you should put a lot of faith and in what they dio, so any of the features that you can take advantage of be sure it are to set them here and save changes. What master tools we're gonna talk about in a little bit, um, in the next lesson, actually, and this is your way of directly communicating with Google. Search appearance is a way for you to decide how you want your pages and post to show up in search and which ones you want to show up in search. So let's say you don't have a blawg. There's no reason to show posts and search results since there's nothing to show. But if you dio take a look at this section here so you can see there placeholders here. That's what these little bubbles are. You can actually add others if you'd like where you can write your own. So, for instance, on my website, I just use the title and then I add Suzanne Stacker writing services and then that way, any time Ah, block post of mind ranks in search. Um, any of my Web pages. It has my name attached to it. Unless people know that I'm a writer, you obviously don't want it to be so long that it can't be seen and searched. But this way you can automate how your titles air written and how they're optimized for the search engines. It'll make less work of, of all the search optimization you dio so you can do the same under meta description. What I do here is I usually put the title on, and then I can add a few descriptive words for each post. But the more you can do to automate this again, please do it so that you don't have to worry about each of your pages having the right metadata, which is what this stuff iss, and it's just less for you to worry about. So again, I'm gonna add the title here and I can customize as I go along. Now these other ones up here they protein too, whether you want your images to rank in search which isn't a bad idea If you publish custom for top photography illustrations, team photos, anything like that, make sure this is enabled. You can also, um, have your categories tags. Your blogger archives rank. If you are very big and popular, block, read problems air free e commerce websites. So don't worry about that. And this is just to protect your content. If it shows up in an RSS feed, they're bots that will go on. Websites like yours steal your content, publish it on their website, and they will rank for it. You don't want that to happen. You want to get credit for everything that was published on your site first and that you created on your own. Yost is nice enough to add this here, so that if anyone does copy text from your website, this is automatically added to the end of it, and you get credit for it. So Google will be able to sniff out anyone who's tried to steal your content. So just leave this here. Don't go changing that search Consul cover In the next lesson. Social media, Social media plays a really big cart and how well a brand in general ranks and search So if you have any business social media accounts associated with this website, be sure to add the girls here. But once you scroll down, you're going to see a new box called Yost s CEO. It's in here where we're gonna create all of the metadata that shows up in search. So, as you can see right now, this is what my post looks like when Google tries to rank it, it's not great. It's not terrible either. So you can either click on this or click on edit snippet to open your metadata. So I'm just gonna do a quick search here for my website just to give you an example of how this works. So you can see here. This is my my professional website lips. You have the name of my website with some descriptors. You have my do Earl, the description and based on what kind of business you have our website that you're planning to run, you'll have extra information down here. Like if you have a local business, your address might appear your phone number. So back in here this is telling you what is going to show up here. Do you want to make this as user friendly as possible, which means making it descriptive, keeping it concise and, um, using keywords that will help you get found. So here we have an orange score. Yost is telling us it's good. It's just not great. So as you can see, I've started customizing this. I'm gonna customize it a little more and had another tag this way. It gives me a green spore. I feel like it's descriptive enough and people will want to come and read the slog post. I'm not gonna mess with the slug the slug Is this part of your you, Earl? So it's the Perma link that people will click on and then the description. So I have the set the description set to pull in the title, as you just saw when, um, we were creating that template. I don't want the title here. I want something more destructive. All right, so I now have a green score on this awesome description of my post euros to saying Great job. Your post is readable and you have metadata that looks good for search so you can look up here. You can see that my snippets been updated, so I know how it's gonna appear in search. Listings can also switch it and see what it's gonna look like on a desktop or mobile. Yost is gonna tell you if there's anything wrong with the readability of your post meaning paragraphs or too long you haven't used, um, a spell. Check anything like that, and you should out of focus keyword here every page, every post should have one keyword, one key word that you want to rank for. But this I just want my name to write. I want people to know who I am, and I wanna focus this page around that. So the rest of the page, if I were to build it out when it just have my picture, you would talk about more about my bio and introduce people to me just to give you an example of how you would use this. Now Yost is also going to analyze this and tell you if you haven't used it frequently enough in the post, you're not using it in the right spots if it's just not a good key, where to bring or so be sure to spend some time in this analysis and get a sense for how your page is going to do in search. You can easily tweak each of these settings to get yourself a green score and improve your chances in ranking well. 13. Turning Our Attention to Google: for our final lesson. I want to take us outside a WordPress for just a minute and talk about how Google actually ties in all this. Before we do that, I want to ask that you install a Google Analytics plug in. This will keep you from one having to embed code within your website. It's just not something I would recommend that you do if your ah new WordPress user and two it will give you, um Google Analytics tracking within your WordPress websites that you don't have toe log out and go into Google every single time. You want to know how many people have been on your site? Home pages. They viewed etcetera. So the plug and I'm recommending is Google Analytics dashboard for WP. We can't configure it yet, so let's go over to Google Analytics. So, in this lesson, I want to talk about to Google properties that are gonna help you one track the the visitors on your website ju who they are, what they're doing, where they're coming from, and get a sense for what all of this search optimization has actually done for you. And three, I also want to cover Google search consul. This is usually a tool used for by developers. It gives them a sense of things like performance, this speed affecting user experience. You can add your site maps here, which I will connect to us shortly. You can look it links. You can look at mobile usability. This is actually really important right now. Google doesn't want any website, too. Have issues with Mobile. Since more people are searching for websites using mobile devices. Thes days, it's just not something you can compromise on. That's why you use a high quality WordPress theme. It's why you use plug ins that you can trust. You need your website to be not just mobile friendly, but responsive. This report here will tell you that, but let's focus on Google analytics for a minute. Getting set up with this is really easy. So long as you have a Gina address, you goto analytics dot google dot com, and it's gonna walk you through the steps that it's just that the radio four step process enter your your Gmail and then you have tow attach your website to it. So, as you can see, my website is already connected here. But to show you how this will be done on your end can go toe admin and you can see here you can create a new account. There are other settings you can mess around with once your website is imported into here. But for now, just creating created an account. It's a website. Give your account a name so minus Charlie Murphy Cafe, the website name is turning. Working nothing. My girl has an SSL certificate. It's encrypted and secure for my users as well as for myself. As you can see here, we're gonna add You are, which is small business. Let's say Don't local because it's not a real website. Pick a category. This will help Google get a sense of what kind of website you have and help you track progress against relevant goals. Because what works for an e commerce website that's supposed to have Popeye Paul goings of traffic and sales won't really make sense for a personal portfolio for your photography business, so make sure the categories it correctly you can add your time zone if you want accurate dio regarding when people are visiting and whatnot, leave all this checked and then get your tracking I d I can't do this with this example because my website is not really it's on a local stage server. But when you get your tracking 90 go into your Google Analytics plug in. And as you can see here, you need to first give the plug in, um, authorization to even add code to your website, which is good. You obviously don't want Google going in and taking a look at your data and not doing anything with it. We're not telling you what's going on with it. You want to make sure that they're being responsible. So you giveth, um, the right to actually be in here and toe act accordingly. And then you got to get your access codes to click on here, follow the steps, and it will prompt you to add that new tracking I D that she created from here. Once it's been saved, you can start seeing all your analytics here in Google and the Google Analytics plug in. It'll tell you the basics, like how many people visited your website today? How long they spent on your website? Which pages got the most visits? How many people bounced, meaning how many left after just stepping onto your website and not doing anything else. But you can also come to Google analytics itself to dig a bit deeper. Now, this subject requires a lot of discussion, and I'm not gonna go through that today. I just wanna basically summarize what you're doing here. So as you can see, you have different areas of this side bar where you can hear into what's happening on your website. Audience tells you a bit more about who they are, what part of the world they're coming from, what devices they're using. This is especially important if your website isn't fully mobile, responsive, mobile friendly. But you're catering to a mobile audience. You can look at things like acquisition. This is really important since the whole point. And what we've done today is to get your website to rank in organic search results in Google. Right? So if you find that your traffic isn't coming from Google that it's coming from Facebook or it's coming from a referral website, you want to know that, um so you can actually dig into that by looking at things like channels. You can look at referral sources you can see here. This says that I had 12 users from organic search 16 from referral. Referral means that another website online had a link to my website, and that's how people got there. So, um, I write for various magazines online, and they always are nice enough to include a link to my website. So that's where all of that's coming from. Direct means that people know my website and they just go into the browser and they type in Suzanne Skoko dot com And social is obviously social media. So, um, those are the four places where I get traffic from doors might also say paid. If you're paying Google to list your website at the top of search rankings, there are a few other categories. They're kind of rare, but these are the main ones you're looking at, and because of what we're doing today, you really want to see this number go up. You want this much traffic from Google searches you can get, and you want to make sure it's quality traffic. So when you do look at this data, be sure toe. Think of it within the context of your business because not Everyone is going to jump on a website and instantly pull the trigger and buy your product or subscribe to your service. You might take some time, so dig into these in and get a sense for what it is people are doing and how they're responding to your website. You can see here my referral traffic does really well. Over half of them actually stay on the website and look around. On average, they look at more than two pages, which is good. So they're probably getting there by a block post and looking at a few more while they're there and they're standing over five minutes on the website, so they're looking at something and finding it worthwhile. So this is the kind of analysis you want to do for your own website. You can also use something, um, these statistics about behaviour. It'll help you dig in a little bit more into the content of your website. Like which of the pages air doing best. You can see my home page is a top performer. Um, my about page is the 2nd 1 that people visit, but they're blogged post that people like to look into a swells. So if you're finding that people aren't going to the right pages, if they're not responding well to the ones you specifically designed for them to stay on, now is the time to go back and revisit those plug ins and make sure that those pages are loading quickly there. No security warning. So when people are there, they feel confident to look around Teoh by your stuff to contact you, whatever it is that you want them to dio and make sure that what you're writing in terms of the content in terms of the metadata for search, it's accurate. You want people to find you and search, but you need to make sure that what it says in Google actually aligns with the reality of your website. Because if there going from Google to your website, you want them to stay there, you don't want them to be surprised or disappointed by what they see. Want them to keep moving on and eventually convert into a paying customer or clients. Subscriber reader. Whatever you're looking for, if you do have ah, an e commerce website, you can set up conversions. You can also set up Jet General goals like, if you want to see people stay on the website for a certain amount of time or visit a certain amount of pages, you can do that here and then Google Search Consul is the other tool that you're gonna need in your arsenal. Confined this at search dot google dot com. I'm sending this up is a little bit different. So as I had mentioned in the Yost lesson before this one, you have the search consul area. So first thing you want to do is get your Google authorization code. Click on this. Walk through the steps and Google will help you off. Authorize your website for search. The next thing you want to dio is go to general and Web master tools. So that's actually what this is. It used to be called Google Web Web Master tools. Um, so you'll go in here and you need Teoh. Verify that this is connected to Search Council so you can submit your site maps and make sure that Google knows where your website is. What the pages are, what it's about, why it's valuable for people when they find it in search s so that they can boost it higher and rankings as it becomes relevant for Google's users. Eso again click on this, and it will walk you through the steps of verifying your account and get you the the idea that you need to add their, Um, And since you already have a Google Analytics account, just use this. You can use this or you can verify it with tax, but that requires some coding. So my suggestion to you just take the easy route and connect all of your accounts to WordPress so that, um, you don't have to worry about hiring a developer toe. Go ahead and add a little bit of code or you doing it on your own and asked only breaking something again. That's why you have a backup so you could quickly restoring. But so long as you follow the instructions here, you can quickly connect everything and not have to worry about that happening. So now that we're coming to the end here, I just wanna quickly wrap up and say that where trust is not suck, Google does not suck. No one's out to get you. Google obviously wants to connect you with people that find your business to be a value or your service or your blogger or whatever you're sharing with them. You just have to get in front of them the right way. And you have to do what Google says in terms of creating a user friendly space for people to be on. So just to reiterate security, the image optimization optimizing your content for search, just doing anything you can to make it an overall pleasing experience. And, of course, don't forget about the design. I know we haven't spent a lot of time on that here, but mobile responsiveness is essential. Designing a website that's easy to get through essential. You just really want to make this a good experience. So spend some time in WordPress. After this tutorials over after you've installed your plug ins and really focused on creating high quality content and design that people will be attracted to you and wanna stay on the website for and and learn more about you 14. Success in Search Can Be Yours!: Hey, guys, thanks again for watching my course and learning how to build a WordPress website the right away from the get go if you want to get noticed in search. If you want your website too, do well and rise in rankings. You need should do what pool tells you to dio, and that's secure your website speeded up, making user friendly and make sure it's ready or mobile. Users basically focus on the user experience and anything we can do to improve it, and getting the right theme and high quality plug ins in place will give you a good start. Of course, talking to Google directly will help. There's a lot more that you could do there. There's a lot of Dina to assess, so take your time with us after lunch. I would suggest giving your website about a month to simmer on bond and then start looking into Google Analytics, Google Search Consul and seeing how it how it's going. Do you have the traffic that you expected? Are you getting customers or readers or whatever your full waas based on your original I'm goal for the website. If not, then it's time to figure out how to reconfigure or to get yourself on social media or to start blogging, which I will talk about in future courses. But for now, if you haven't implemented any of these steps, I would suggest you take it one by one. And if you have any questions or comments about what we've done here, what you've done on your own, please need them down below. And also let us know how its bond with your own website. I'd love to see what you created. Based on this tutorial, obviously you won't have content Feast on the price of given. But we will have a secure and speeding website on your hands, which we love. So please, please do share the results. I think we'd all like to see what everyone's created based on this foursome just in general . Thank you for your time. And be sure to stay tuned for more courses on the search engine optimization