How to Build a Portfolio with WordPress | Andrea Zoellner | Skillshare

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How to Build a Portfolio with WordPress

teacher avatar Andrea Zoellner, Marketer, Blogger, WordPress Instructor

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

10 Lessons (1h 27m)
    • 1. Getting Started

      3:21
    • 2. Intro to How the Web Works

      6:23
    • 3. Choosing Your Hosting and Buying a Domain

      4:45
    • 4. Installing WordPress

      6:40
    • 5. Customizing Your WordPress Portfolio

      26:06
    • 6. Using Plugins to Customize Your Portfolio

      25:51
    • 7. Intro to Search Engine Optimization

      6:26
    • 8. Website Maintenance

      2:04
    • 9. Marketing Yourself

      4:31
    • 10. Resources

      0:30
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About This Class

In this course, I’ll walk you through the steps to launch your online portfolio using WordPress. The course will include lessons on choosing your domain and hosting, installing WordPress, customizing your theme, and more! You’ll learn tips on creating a great portfolio and some tips on how to use it to market yourself.

The How to Build a Portfolio course is designed for artists, makers, and freelancers who are job-hunting, applying to schools, looking for clients, or need a place to present their work in an attractive and professional way.

This course includes a component on storing and organizing large files and quantities of content as well as one on marketing yourself to make your work attract the right people.

Building a portfolio with WordPress

In this tutorial, I’ll be using WordPress, open-source software that powers 40% of the web. Not sure what open-source means, what the difference between web hosting and email hosting is, and how to buy a domain? I’ll walk you through all of it. Not only will you have a great portfolio at the end of it, you’ll also feel more confident about understanding the web and how to maintain your site.

How to Build a Portfolio Lesson Plan

Make sure you download the files in the Class Project section for additional resources and written guides. 

1: Getting Started
2: Intro to the Web
3: Hosting and Domains
4: Installing WordPress
5: Customizing Your Portfolio
6: Introduction to Plugins and 3rd Party Services
7: Intro to Search Engine Optimization
8: Website Maintenance
9: Marketing Yourself
10: Resources

Meet Your Teacher

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Andrea Zoellner

Marketer, Blogger, WordPress Instructor

Teacher

Hello, I'm Andrea, a Marketing executive in tech and a digital content creator. I've been working in the web design and hosting industries for nearly a decade and love sharing my knowledge.

I've taught hundreds of people to use WordPress over the past several years and believe everybody deserves to have the skills to share their thoughts online. I also advocate for the importance of owning your content outside of social media and in a way that's not beholden to any private company. That's why I teach people about open-source software and why it matters. 

My courses are designed for absolute beginners because I love introducing students to the power of WordPress to build your personal blog, website, or portfolio. 

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Transcripts

1. Getting Started: Hi and welcome to my course how to build a portfolio. Thank you so much for joining me on this journey towards launching your very own portfolio. Here's an outline of what we'll cover in this course. By the end of this course, you'll have a portfolio site that you can continue to build as your endeavors grow and change. The best part is that you own your content. Unlike social media platforms that may change the rules tomorrow or go out of business, having your own online portfolio means you're in control by choosing to build your website using the WordPress content management system. You're also opening yourself up to adding any features you like in the future in less than two, I'll explain why that's possible and in Lesson 6, how to pick the right features to add. Now, before we move on to the next lesson, I have some homework for you. I want you to take a few minutes to answer these questions about your future portfolio. The first question is, how do I want to organize my portfolio items? Take stock of all the content you want displayed on your site. If you do photography, painting, and video work, do you want those organized by year, by client, by media type or all of the above. By mapping out your portfolio items and structure, you'll be in a much better position to start building your site. The second question is, will I need a video storage solution? Video is one of those media types that is best hosted off your site for bandwidth and money saving reasons. In less than six, I'll talk about this in depth, but this is something you'll want to consider before you upload any content to your site. The third question is, is there anything I want to watermark for copyright purposes? Do you have Creative Commons licenses on your work or anything that has all rights reserved. Make sure that you know before you upload it, whether or not you want to watermark any of that content. The last question you should think about is, how much money do I want to spend on this portfolio a year? Maybe you've already purchased a domain name and hosting and really you're just itching to get started. There are ways to host a site for free on the internet, but none of them will give you the same freedom and flexibility as purchasing your own hosting. Plus, there's usually a trade off to using free platforms. What's great about building your own portfolio is that you own your content. Whether or not you want to invest in design services like getting a custom logo made or want to choose a paid third party plug-in. More on that in lesson six is totally up to you. But for those who want to start lean, there are plenty of ways to do that too. In summary, your homework before moving on to lesson two is to answer these questions. How do I want to organize my portfolio items? Will I be showcasing video files? Do I need to watermark my content and how much do I need to budget for my website? See you in the next video. 2. Intro to How the Web Works: Hi and welcome to Lesson 2. This lesson we've explained the fundamentals of what makes up a website and the different services and software is required to run a site. If you already know this, you can skip ahead to lesson 3. The reason I make sure to include this lesson is that many people misunderstand the basics of how domain e-mail hosting, website hosting, and content management software work together. Understanding these foundations will help you make more informed decisions when choosing providers and when troubleshooting potential issues as your site changes and grows. It will also give you the foundational knowledge about the web industry that will help you in the rest of the course. Let's break down the anatomy of a website. At their core, websites are essentially files and databases. People visiting a site are making requests to the computer server where those files live. These are requests to view the content. Without a server to host your files. Your website can't be made accessible to people online. That's why you need to purchase a hosting service to house your website files, and database. This is usually a service paid monthly or annually, and you pay it to a hosting company that manages the servers and the server software. To design how that website content is organized and displayed, you'll need to build your website with software. Cms, more content management system is the software you use to build your website hosted by your web host. Wordpress is a CMS. In fact, it's the most popular one on the market today. Wordpress is also free and is what is called an open source software. That means that we're trust isn't a company and no one person owns WordPress. It's a software project that is maintained and developed by contributors around the world. And I'm one of them. If you download WordPress in Canadian French, you'll see interface texts that I have personally translated. I want to highlight this because I often get questions from people I meet who ask, do you work for WordPress? And the answer is no, because WordPress isn't a company. There is a foundation that manages the non-profit and community functions of the WordPress open-source project. But people who work in the WordPress industry work for hosting companies, web agencies, they are freelance developers or designers. They make themes for people that they can purchase online or they sell plugins that enhance the features on a site. People all run their livelihoods supporting and creating products for people using WordPress. But they don't work for a company called WordPress. If the situation arises where you encounter a problem with your web hosting, you can call the company that manages your hosting. But if you ever get stuck or angry at your WordPress site, you won't find a WordPress customer service phone number to call. But you can find thousands of people online who make a living offering more Press support and a million blog posts or videos on how to use word trust, often by the very people who contribute to building the features. If we go back to our anatomy of a website, the next element I want to talk about is domains. Domains are the unique web address people will use to get to your site. When you type in a URL, which stands for Uniform Resource Locator, it usually looks like this. Https stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure. You might be wondering about triple W or worldwide web. This is no longer really needed and most URLs don't use it anymore. Now the rest is up to you as long as nobody else has already claimed the same domain. The first part is your unique domain, and the last part is what is called a top-level domain. Top-level domains are pretty varied nowadays.com dot org dot ca, dot blob with dot online, dot shop and social much more. That's why I wouldn't worry too much if your first choice for a domain is already taken, since you may be able to find a combination and a top-level domain that's unique to you and that you love. So how do you register your domain? You need to go through a registrar or a reseller to secure your domain. Domains are overseen by ICANN or the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers. And registers own the rights to sell certain top-level domains like.com or dot blog. Registering your domain is an annual fee and if you fail to renew your domain, someone else can snap it up. Hosting companies often bundle things like annual hosting with domain registration and email. But more often than not, they're reselling domains and not the original registrars. Don't worry though, there really aren't any major pros or cons to where you register your domain, since like your website, and you can often move your domain registration to another provider. Lastly, let's chat about e-mails. While Gmail dominates the landscape for free email, professionals and businesses should seek out a professional email address that matches their web domain. For example, you can reach me at a, at Andrews owner.com and you can reach my blogs team at hello at capsule suitcase.com. This is not necessary to get started since you can totally list your Gmail address as a way to get in touch or have an online contact form that route directly to any free email that you have already. But to look extra professional and polished, I do recommend getting your own e-mail address with your site domains. Getting e-mail hosting is a separate service to web hosting and domain registration. But you'll often see two or three of these services bundled together. Just remember that if you do select these services from different providers, keep an organized record of your renewal dates so you never let anything accidentally laps or expire and compromise your site. And that's it. Those are the ingredients to getting your website online. In the next lesson, we'll get our hands dirty and I'll show you exactly how to get started with your hosting domain and email setup. 3. Choosing Your Hosting and Buying a Domain: Whether you're building a blog, a website, or portfolio, most WordPress hosting will meet your needs. Where things get more complex is when you have a high traffic site, complex site setups, large sites or big e-commerce sites. That's when you'll need faster, more powerful hosting with additional specs and features. But for today, here are a few pointers for choosing a WordPress host. What kind of hosting do the offer? Most entry-level hosting is shared hosting, which is like renting a storage locker in a big storage facility. You, along with a bunch of other tenants, each have your section of the space. Pros it's the most affordable hosting you can get. Cons, shared hosting is usually slower and has more security weaknesses. Support is also usually less responsive because you get what you paid for. Dedicated server hosting is like renting the whole storage building for your stored personal items. And cloud hosting is like having little copies of your stuff in the Cloud that you can access at any point. Cloud hosting is by far the most advanced and high-performance option on the market, but it also costs more. What are their reviews like? This is where the real juicy stuff is. Look at websites like G2, trust, Pilot and third party review sites. Pay close attention to how people review their site speed, time, IE your website now going offline for some reason and the customer support offered by the hosting company. Do you want a bundle, e-mail hosting and domain registration in one? Not all hosts do this. So you might want to decide if that's a deal breaker for you from the start. The cost watch out here since some host will give you an amazing deal on the first year and then charge you three times as much the next year. Make sure you always read the fine print and are aware of the full price. Extras, things like domain privacy, which hides the name and address you used to register your domain. Ssl certificates, a Content Delivery Network or CDN and website backups. Bluehost is a very common shared hosting provider with competitive rates for first-time website owners. Can stir is my pick for a top tier hosting with some of the fastest load times on the market. If you are Googling WordPress and find a website called WordPress.com, you found a product from a company called automatic. This is an online platform where you can host and build a website using a version of WordPress maintained and controlled by automatic. They offer all in one pricing. This is a popular choice if you want a new site that is easy and simple to spin up and manage. Keep in mind, this is not ideal if you want total control over your site. Wordpress.com is a website building platform and it's not using the open source version of WordPress. That means that you can't easily download your content and move your entire WordPress site to a different web host. In a nutshell, Wordpress.com is a website builder and installing WordPress on your host of your choice is called self-hosted, and they're not the same thing. I host my websites with Kingston, a premium Cloud-based hosting companies. So I'm going to use my account to demonstrate how to set up a brand new WordPress site. I'll point out where the experience will vary from host to host and also what to expect with your host. Because Ken said doesn't offer e-mail hosting or domain registration. I like to use a website called hover to register my domains. If you've chosen a hosting provider that does offer domain e-mail or both with your hosting bundle, you'll want to use their services since you've already paid for it. With hover, I'll look at my first choice domain and fevers available. If it isn't, I'll suggest some alternatives including different spellings and top-level domains. Once I've picked one, I'll pay for it and I always check off private domain registration so people can't look up who's registered the domain. I like to be mysterious and also privacy concerns. Hover has a few e-mail options. If you want something very professional, choose the works. For the super simple option, you can choose email forwarding and for a free option, bypass this entirely and use your current email provider like Gmail. For those of you who like me in this demo, I have purchased their domain on a different site than their hosting. You'll connect your domain and your hosting after you've started your website. In the next lesson, we'll install WordPress and start building. See you there. 4. Installing WordPress: Hi and welcome to lesson 4, where I'll cover installing WordPress and choosing your theme. Because by now you already have a hosting account. You don't need to download and install WordPress. Go to host will make it super simple to install WordPress right from your hosting dashboard. Every web host looks a little different. But usually if it's a brand new website, they'll guide you through every single step. Make sure you save your admin, username, and password somewhere because you'll need this later on. Before we move on to customizing your WordPress website, I want to cover a few more things. You'll need to set up your web hosting, domain and email. If you've registered a brand new domain, first, you need to verify your ownership by adding TXT records that are available in your hosting account and copying them into your domain registrar. To point your domain, you'll need to do the same thing by adding a records. Follow the prompts in your hosting and domain dashboards to copy the correct information. To connect your e-mail hosting to your domain and to the place where you've chosen to host your emails. You'll have to add MX records. If you've opted for a host that offers domain registration and email, follow the prompts in your dashboard to set those both up. Make sure that through your hosting dashboard, you've set up a secure connection to your website, either through a Let's Encrypt SSL certificate or by forcing HTTPS on all domains. Now that WordPress is installed, let's take a quick tour. To access the login page of your website. You can click on Open WordPress admin from your hosting account or visit your domain slash WP Login. Use the credentials that you had when you set up your WordPress website earlier in this video. In your dashboard, you'll find shortcuts to some of the things you'll need to set up your website, including writing your first blog posts, creating a page, and setting up your homepage. On the left, you'll find updates on your website where you can manage the version of WordPress that you have in any theme and plug-in updates. And below that you can manage your content like blog posts, media images and pages. Under appearance is where you can customize your site. And the look plugins is where you can add functionality. Users is where you can invite people to join you on your website. And tools allows even more functionality to manage your content. Settings also allows you to set global settings across your entire website. Up in the top corner, you can manage your user profile, including how your website dashboard looks. When installing WordPress, it comes with a default theme of the year, but you'll probably want to change things up based on how you want your site to look. Here's a quick lowdown on WordPress themes. There are free themes available online or through the official WordPress theme repository. These are vetted themes that have been checked for coding standards and that I personally recommend as well. To access themes, go to Appearance and Themes. This is the default theme of the year 2021. You can take a look at how it looks. I'm playing around with some of the features on the left to see if you like this theme. If you want to change it, click on change. And to view the themes in the WordPress.org theme repository. Click here. You can search and filter themes by design style, by industry, by layout features or typing keywords to see what pops up. They're usually quite simple though, so not everyone finds exactly what they need among the choices. Anyone can design and sell things online. So you can also go the route of buying and downloading a theme from a theme marketplace and uploading it to your website. Make sure you do read reviews though and see examples of lithium in action. Since not all themes have the same quality of codes to upload a theme that you've downloaded from a marketplace. Go to Appearance and Themes and click on upload theme at the very top. The third avenue to consider when picking your theme is to install a page builder plug-in. These plugins are usually paid plug-ins that enhance your theme and add additional features, flexibility, and design options to your website. These are very, very cool and I actually use one called Elementor on my travel blog or other popular ones include Beaver Builder, Devi, and visual composer. But if this is your first website, I recommend holding off on website builders, since these can make your website a little more expensive and more complicated, WordPress has plenty of great features right out of the box that are worth exploring before you decide to add another set of tools. For now I'm going to select a portfolio theme from the WordPress themes, almost anything can be made into a really beautiful portfolio, but some are specifically designed with that in mind. Once I found when I like, I can demo it on my site by clicking on live preview. And because I don't have any pages or blog posts yet, it might not look that great. But don't worry, once we add content, it'll be a lot easier to make the blog look like the demo site. At this point, if you've purchased a domain, installed WordPress, and connected your domain, your website is live and fully accessible online. This means anyone who types in your URL will see your website. Is this a problem? Unless you've already started sharing your domain name, it's unlikely many people will look up your site and check it as you add content and build it up. For most people, building their site live over the course of a few days is fine. You'll want to make sure your website settings are set to discourage search engines from indexing your site. If you want to create a coming soon page that allows you to show a splash page to visitors while you build your site on the download, you can install a coming soon page plugin. To do that, you'll learn how to install plugins in lesson six. Thanks for watching and see you in Lesson 5. 5. Customizing Your WordPress Portfolio: In this lesson, I'll cover how to really customize your portfolio so that it looks great, as easy to navigate and we'll get you the results you bought. Let's dig in. Alright, so now that we're on our website, we don't have much going on in terms of content yet. So you'll see this prompt here encouraging you to write a blog post, create an about page, set up your homepage, and manage your widgets, menus and all of that. And we are going to get through all of that in this lesson. So first, this is your dashboard, this is your backend. We are logged in, so we have access to this and this will be accessible to anyone that you add as a user and admin on your website. To see the front end of your website, you can just click on the title up here into return to your dashboard, you can just use this. This bar will only appear if you are logged in, so your website visitors won't see it. Now the first thing I want to take a look at is the customizer. By clicking on appearance and customize, it will launch right here. At the top here we have site identity. And this is where you can upload a logo and change the site title of your website. So when I set up this website, I went ahead and customize the site title, but the tagline still needs to be updated. In fact, what I might do here is use this as my tagline to give a little bit of context to what this portfolio is about and who it is. You can also choose to hide the site title, especially if you have a logo which already has that information in it. So I created a logo earlier and I'm going to upload it. Now I like adding an OL tag because this is not only helpful for your website to show up in Google image searches, but if anyone is using a screen reading technology, when the screen reader gets to an image, it will read out the alt text. So I like making it as descriptive as possible. All right, so now that this is showing up and you can tweak this a little bit. Try different logo, different sizing. But I'm gonna go ahead and remove my site title and leave this as is. This has now become clickable and will always take you back to the homepage. Even if you don't display your site title and tagline, this information will show up in your browser. So I recommend putting something descriptive. You can also set a small image that will display in your browser as well. So I recommend setting something. And here's an example of how this would show up in your browser. Now I just want to point out that the different settings that you have in this customizer do depend on your theme. So these are pretty standard, the ones that you see here across all WordPress themes, but different themes might add a couple of more options. And when we install jetpack, you'll also see a couple of more options show up in this customizer. Menus is FEM specific as well. So here we have theme locations that are primary. Footer menu and social Links menu. So your primary menu shows up at the top. What I'm gonna do is I'm going to create a new menu and call it main menu. And I'm going to put it in the primary location. And if you click on Add items, this is where you can add pages, outbound links to other websites, links to your posts, to categories, and more. When we have more content, I'll come back to menus and show you exactly what I mean. I'm also going to create a footer menu, and I'll add some different things to that later. And I will create a social Links menu. And tight into the social Links menu. And here I can actually put stuff right away because this you can link your Facebook page. You can put your custom Facebook. You can put your Twitter, Instagram, and all of your social links. It'll auto populate. These were the theme has the social links menu show up so you can have these burn all, all along the top here as you add them. Awesome, So I'm going to save what we've done so far. This theme has a widget area that is only in the footer. I'm going to leave a couple of these and hide some of them. I'm going to hide it. I don't need that. And then I'm going to show you what you can add in the footer. So here's some of the examples of widgets that you can add. And you can play around with this and see what works later on when we install jetpack, you'll get a couple of more options for widgets, so we'll explore those in lesson six. Alright, homepage settings is where it gets interesting. Because there really are only two types of ways to set up your WordPress website. Either you have your latest blog posts on your homepage or you have a static page showing your latest posts will populate your homepage with your latest blog posts. And by setting a static image, you can create a page that you will then, you know. Uncontrolled and populate with content and have that displayed as your homepage. And when you do set a static homepage, you then have to choose which page is going to be your post page where all your latest blog post populate. So in our situation, I am going to select a static page, and I'm going to choose home and create a new page and create a blog page for our latest posts. And if we go to our homepage here by clicking on the logo, I'm going to hide the footer and leave the site header as is. And we'll see later on if I change my mind. So let's save what we've done here. Additional CSS if you want to have more control over how the different design elements of your website show up. Css is a great way to do that. And if you do get really interested in customizing your site, I highly recommend taking a intro to HTML and CSS class. A lot of the features I want to add to this website are only possible once I've installed the jetpack plugin. So I'm going to do a couple of things to my homepage here. And then in the next lesson, in Lesson 6, I'm going to install jetpack and unlock even more features that will enhance your portfolio. So let's start with editing the homepage here. I'm going to close the customizer and go back to pages where I have my blog post page, homepage and privacy policy. I'm going to go ahead and publish this privacy policy. Every website needs a privacy policy. So I'm going to make this one available to the public. And I'll probably add it to the footer of my website. Okay, let's go to the Home here and click on Edit. So here we have the block editor in WordPress. Now this is pretty much the same, whether you're editing a blog post or a page. So here if you click on the plus, you can add an image, text, a heading, a gallery, which is really interesting and will be useful for your different portfolio items. And if you browse all, there is so much more. So I would recommend taking some time to pretty much at any of them, check them out. And what happens when you add one of these blocks is that it'll pop up here. And you'll have a couple of more editing options here, including duplicating it, inserting before and after moving it, and saving it as a reusable block to be used later. And then when you click on here, there's a whole panel that shows up here. Whether you're editing a page or a post. There's going to be a section here that allows you to control the entire page settings. So adding a featured image, turning on comments and things like that. But each block also has its own editing features. So, but if you add any of these, they'll also have their own styling options. So for example, this button, you can control how rounded is, whether it opens in a new tab and you know, kind of the look and feel of your button. If you have images, I think your website can handle them, although I would upload them in a slightly lower resolution than what you would typically share with a client. Just select your website isn't super slow and you don't use up all of your space. If you are embedding audio, I would recommend using something like SoundCloud or if you have other places where you host your audio, you can also embed from wherever you're hosting. And definitely for video, I would recommend hosting it on a third-party site like YouTube or Vimeo. All of these buttons can also help you if you happen to be hosting your content or want to pull in content from any of these services. For our homepage, I am going to create a navigation that really helps your visitor to access the different portions of your portfolio. So in this example, I'm creating a portfolio for a multimedia artist, which means she has different disciplines and wants to organize her portfolio into those buckets. Now, in lesson 1, I did encourage you to take some time to write out all the different type of portfolio items you would like to add and whether or not you need to create different categories and sections. If you are a photographer, you might want to divvy up your photos by style like portrait landscape, journalism. Or if you do different services, it might be wedding photography, engagement photos, and corporate headshots, for example. So take some time to think through these categories because it is going to help you set up the structure of your website. So I'm going to set up a pretty basic homepage that I feel will serve a portfolio the best. And you know, you can get inspired by what I'm doing or play around with the blocks on your own website based on the type of content that you have. So first I'm going to go into columns because I find that columns. Really help you structure your content on your website. Next, I'm going to add a type of image which is called a cover. And this one is a dynamic image type that I really like because it gives you a lot of flexibility and a lot of options on this side here. So I need to upload some contents. So I've just pulled some content from the Internet. I would recommend renaming all of these to be very explicit of what they are. So, you know, if you have the name, the gallery, the artists, whatever it is, the information that is attached to this image. I would be very specific about it, and I would also compress these images. So these images are probably a bit too large. But since this is a demo, I'm not going to be uploading hundreds of photos, but I would definitely recommend reducing the size of any photos that you do upload to your website. Alright, so here we have our image that is populated in here. So I would go full width with this to fill up the whole column. And I would call this block illustration because what I'm doing here is this will be clickable. And this will take the website visitor to the section of your website where you have all of your illustration portfolio items. So I want this to be kind of descriptive enticing and to represent that category of your portfolio. So you can add a link here. We don't have our section setup for illustration, so I'll come back to this in the future. The other thing that I need to set is a hover reveals. So I just think this looks so elegant when you hover over it, you see the link and this will take you eventually when we link it to the illustration section. So for this column here, I want to make this full width to really take up the entire space. And I'm also going to change this. All right, so one thing that I do want to add here is a little bit of a mission statement, illustration, installations. And I'm going to add another block here from the same family of blocks. And I'm gonna make it full width to match. And I'm going to add this as photography. And again, make it a hover, reveal. Some kind of making up some stuff here. It's really just placeholder text, but I would recommend putting your mission statement or who you are as an artist throughout your homepage so people can really get a sense of what to expect in your portfolio. And you can play around with the different settings for any of your blocks really. So, you know, this could be, you can change the color. You can add a background color if you wanted, which Brighton, how it looks pretty bad, but there you can play around with these settings to really match your style. We could even change this from a regular paragraph to a heading if we wanted to add even more boldness to it. Now, down here is really up to you. It depends on what the main purpose of your website is. If you want people to get in touch with you, you could put a contact form down here. If you had a blog that you regularly updated, we could populate this section with your blog posts. So if you had a block section, I would start with a heading. And I would call this news or blog. And then I would, and then I would pull in one block called posts. And so you could do archive if you wanted them organized by month or latest posts just to display all of them. So right now we only have one sample blog post. But if we had many, that they would show up here and you could organize which categories would be displayed, how many items, if the featured image would be displayed alongside it. And here we have the other option to show them in columns. So this is how you could pull in more content on your homepage. A lot of artists like to showcase what galleries there in at the moment. So that might be something that you want to list here. If you have an agent, you might want to put their contact information. Or if you have a gallery that you run, you might want to also put the gallery hours. So these are all available in your block editor and you can play around with the different ways to display content, to decide how you want to display that information. So now that we've edited our homepage, I want to show you a couple of other pages that you should add. So I definitely recommend adding an About page and some shape or form. So it could be about the artist. If you want to stay in the third person, you could add bio or CV slash resume. You can have your about information kind of in any way that suits you. But I would recommend having an About page in some shape or form. So here this is another page we add content. I would break it up into paragraphs and headings. So kind of your basic structure for any content. And the reason why structure like this is important is psychologically, people skim pages, so they need to be able to find the most important information and design wise, your headings are organized by importance, so your H1 is always reserved for the page title. And then H2 can be your paragraph headings. And if you have smaller paragraphs nested underneath there, you would use an h3 heading and so on. So this is important for just information architecture, but also for search engines. So when a search engine crawls this page, It's looking at the H1, H2, and H3 is as the highlights of what this page is about. So I recommend making them very descriptive and to reflect what the content of the paragraph is. If you have something like services, I would also create a page like this. And something that you might want to consider doing is making a breakdown of what you offer. And again, I would recommend columns to do something like this. And you know, maybe you want to nest your different services and packages. This is where columns can get interesting because you can play around with text and display images within the confines of a column. Can add multiple buttons and you can add a link to whatever you need to point this to. So next, I'm going to think about the large categories that I had on my homepage because I want to add those to the menu. So illustration is one, photography was another, and installations was the other one. I hope I got that right. So what I wanna do next is I want to go back to my customizer and click on menus here because I never actually added anything to my menu. So because this is clickable, not, it's not necessary to add a home button to your menu, but sometimes just for clarity, it can be helpful to add that. But I went just call it home. And now I would add a link to your different sections. Maybe I would start with about the artist. And now here it's really up to you how you want to display your portfolio items. So I'm going to show you two different ways. One of them is just to add these top pages right to your menu. Now this makes it easy to access. And for whomever is looking for this, you know, they'll be able to click right there. But keep in mind you also have those links on your homepage themselves. So having them in the menu might take up space unnecessarily. One thing you can do is to nest them under a parent menu item. Now if you want to nest them under a parent item that is clickable, you could do something like this and just pull it underneath. And then both of these are clickable, but one is underneath the other. Something that I sometimes do is I create a fake menu item by clicking on custom links. And I just put a pound or hashtag and I put a text that I want to display. So this link doesn't actually go anywhere, but it will show up as a menu item. So I might use something just kind of an umbrella term like art and add it. And then I'll use that to organize everything else as a dropdown. So this is just one little technique you can use to organize your links. It is, it's debatable whether it's better to have this as a page that leads to maybe all projects or that leads to a page like this where you have more links to click. But there's also a school of thought that recommends leaving this as a blank item because people don't always click on it and we'll go straight to these links instead. So up to you how you want to organize it. But that's two different ways to nest things in a way that frees up your menu to add more items and also organizes it under a larger category. So I'll leave this like this and the next, I will add more pages. So the log for example, and contact services as well. Not one. Don't forget that. And if you had more pages for each of your services, you can nest them under there as well. Now, I'm going to save this because I like the work that we've done. And then I'm going to go back to our footer menu and add some things there. If you wanted to, just mimic what you had up here and put it in the footer. You could go back here to your main menu and have it also appear in your footer. So if we went to one of our blog posts, this would appear in your footer as well as at the top. But I want to try something a little bit different for my footer. So I'm going to remove that and I'm going to create my own footer menu. And there I'm going to add just some basics like contact and my privacy policy and maybe the blog. And leave it at that. Now the reason why my footer menu isn't showing up on the homepage is because I did set my homepage not to show a footer. And that was checked off earlier here. So if I did add that back, it would show the widgets that I have activated as well as this footer menu. So notice here how these look very similar. This is a widget section, so it's controlled here in the customizer under widgets. But when I hit it, I decided to manually add a new section that pulls in my latest blog posts to the homepage. Anyway, it's two different means to get to the same outcome. So whether you want to leave your widgets in the bottom of the page and just customize which ones show up or whether you want to hide them and only allow them to show up on your posts is totally up to you. And in fact, the widgets that are available to you are often also available in block form so you can add them in your content in other ways. But for now, I'm going to continue on and hide those from my homepage to keep it streamlined and neat, I'm going to hop back into my homepage here. So now I'm going to add a link to this and add a link here as well. To installations. And here to photography. We haven't really touched upon blog posts all that much. And it's really up to you whether you want to add a blog to your website. But I do recommend at least having an enabled. Because whether you want to add news or a straight up blog, Google like say, your website visitors will find it interesting and it can even just be updates on where you're showing your art next, how people can get in touch with you. Updates on your creative process. Whether you update it every week or every season, is up to you. But it's nice to have that enabled and have it operate in a different way than just adding a page. For example, I'll show you how because if you edit your post here, there are new things and different things from posts. One of those is categories and the other one is tags. Categories and tags will also be helpful for your portfolio items. So I will talk a little bit more about these in the next lesson. But for your blog, you might want to categorize your blog posts into a couple of categories. And for tags, you can be a little bit more liberal with them and add tags that are relevant to each post. You can set a featured image. You can choose whether or not to allow comments on your blog. And you can add an excerpt that will show up when you embed blog posts elsewhere on your site like on the homepage. In the example that I just did. In the next video, I will install jetpack and Yoast SEO plugins, and those will unlock even more features for your website, for your portfolio items, testimonials, as well as more blog post features. See you in the next video. 6. Using Plugins to Customize Your Portfolio: Hi and welcome back. In this lesson, I'll cover the basics of plugins and show you how to install two of my favorites that I think will really enhance your site. First, what exactly is a plugins? Well, it's a lot like a phone app that gives your phone more functionality than what it came with when you first bought it. For presses like your phone's operating system, which comes with some apps, or in this case, features built-in and some that you'll need a third party software to get the version of WordPress without any additional plugins is called WordPress core. Wordpress core is updated a few times a year and each release comes with new features and enhancements like apps, plugins can be free, paid, or on a subscription model. Some plugins are created by plugging companies who create and maintain the software as their business. And other plugins are created by freelance developers, just trying to share their code with others who might benefit from it. In any case, if you have something you need to do, chances are there's a plug-in for it. To search the official WordPress plugin repository, click on Plugins and Add. But not all plugins are created equal. So here are a few tips when picking plugins. For a plugin to be featured on the plugin repository, they have to meet certain requirements. So already you can feel more confident about picking a plug-in in there. What I look for when choosing a plug-in are the stars, active installs and how recently the plugin was updated. So I can tell if it's being actively maintain. Two of my recommended plug-ins for new WordPress sites are jetpack and Yoast SEO. Both of these have free and paid versions. So I'll show you how to use the free ones and how to install them. And you can decide to upgrade later if you feel the need as your site grows. Let's start with jetpack. Alright, now under plugins, let's click on Add New and add the jetpack plugin and the UK plugin. Alright, now that we have these two plugins installed, you'll see them pop up in your plugins dashboard. And I'll go ahead and activate both of them. And now we have a jetpack section and a Yoast SEO section. In our dashboard. I want to draw your attention to the top here because you might be worried. I am making this demo in offline mode. So the website I'm building for this demo isn't currently available online. And so some of the jetpack features are not going to work for me. One of those is site's Stats. Once my website is launched, site stats will show up on my dashboard and it'll give me some insights into how many people are visiting my site and what pages they are visiting. I do recommend setting up Google Analytics for your website, as well as taking a quick look at your stats from your hosting dashboard. And between the three, you'll get a pretty good picture of the median traffic of your website. There are also some security features that will be available when the website is live. And I also want to point out that jetpack has a paid version as well, and this is the free one. So there will be some options that you may see grayed out that are only available to paying jetpack customers. I'm going to go all the way to the bottom here to modules, because I want to activate some of these that will be added as features to my website. So one of the assets, CDN, CDN is a content delivery network. So it's a means to load your media even faster. We're going to add carousel, contact form, copy post custom CSS, custom post types, extra sidebar widgets, lazy images, sharing, embeds, sitemaps, tiled galleries, and widget availability. So I'm gonna go ahead and activate those components. So there's a couple of things you'll notice now that these are active. So if I go back to my settings here in jetpack, there's a couple of things that you can play around with. One's jetpack is online and fully operational. One of them is sharing. So you can add sharing buttons to your website. And I recommend adding this if you are operating a blog on your portfolio, it can just help people to share and save your content. So I recommend adding this and you can customize how it looks. So it's a little bit more elegant. The official buttons or my favorite icon and text. Back to settings. You can also customize things like discussion. So you can allow people to follow your website with a subscribe button and related post shows, other blog posts on your website at the bottom of a post page to keep readers engaged and clicking through your different blog posts. So let's go to one of our blog posts here because I also want to show you all the features of that. Jetpack has added to your block editor. So if you click on the Plus button here, you'll see a whole lot more blocks that weren't there before. So all the green ones are jetpack ones. So you've got things like Pinterest and Facebook and maps and link to Google Calendar and even more if you go all the way to the bottom here. So business hours, if you run a pop-up or gallery Calendly for people to book time with you. Forms contact info, all sorts of extra features that can really amplify your website. So I recommend playing around with these just like with the original features in the block editor. Another area where this adds features is in your widgets. So if you click on widgets here, this takes me to the back-end area of the widget. So you see the footer, this is what we had in our footer for our posts. And if we go to live preview, it takes us to the customizer where we can view the widgets there. So if I go to one of my blog posts, go here, then I'll be able to edit the footer widgets. And if I click on Add widget, there's a whole lot more that jetpack now offers and they're quite similar to the block editor jetpack features. So you'll see some overlap here, but there are some really fun features like Google Translate, which will add the option to translate a page on the front-end, a Twitter timeline, upcoming events, and a couple of others as well. Something else that jetpack ads is Visibility controls on your widgets. So this button is new. And what this allows you to do is to customize the footer widgets based on the type of post that's available here. So where that comes in handy is if you want to select a different set of widgets based on the category of the post or down to the exact post itself. And you can use this setting here to control that. So you could say show this if the category of the post is, and then you have your categories down here. And if you were to enable widgets on your homepage, you can also control the widgets that only appear on the homepage by saying show page is your homepage. So that way it would only show up on your homepage or some of your other content as well. All right, Back to our settings and jetpack. Now, you're probably wondering, we have not even touched upon our portfolio items. And so this next section is all about that. So if we go to our settings and we go to writing, we need to enable these two elements here, portfolios and testimonials. And so I couldn't really create our portfolio items until I had jetpack installed for this reason. And so now on the left you'll see posts, media pages and these new sections, portfolio and testimonials. If we go to portfolio, we can add a brand new portfolio project. You'll notice that this does look quite similar to the post or the pages editor. You have all the same blocks available here. And so you can build this content. So I'm going to add a project here and you can get as granular as you need to for your particular portfolio. So a common structure might be for this example, we have installations, illustrations, and photography, and you might just want to create one portfolio project per photography type. So you might organize all your portrait photography under one project and just put a gallery here. Let's say this was a couple of different images. And you would add all of your photography here. And maybe you would add a little blurb underneath here with a description of your style, etc. So you might do something like this. And then maybe you would pull in your blog posts, latest posts, and you would only choose blog posts that were related to the photography category if you have that category setup. So this is something I might recommend. If you wanted to showcase all of your art, all of your blog posts related to photography. You could combine these two in one page. And so under here, you might select a project type and add typography. And then under tags, you might put portrait photography. And that would be one option. And we set maybe one featured image as this. So that would be one example. Now if you wanted to get even more granular, well, you could also do is not just have a style of photography as one project, but down to the specific project. That was one photography project that you worked on. And maybe you wanted to add one image at a time. So you could do something like this. And then have more photos here and maybe a whole gallery as well, or perhaps a slideshow. We could also try one of these, let's say these were all related to that project. Create a new gallery. You can add the caption to each of these. And then this could be a really nice slider as well. And you can make it automatic, you can make it fade. You can make an autoplay transition effect. And so, because this has one specific photography project that falls under architecture photography, or maybe you want to just nest it under photography in general. You could add a category called architecture photography and add that. And you can even nest projects under each other. So we could create a, another photography, add that project type and and then go in after and nest architecture photography under photography and intact, you can also do something like add the year if you wanted to organize this later, you can also add and more specific date and this might serve you in the future if you wanted to organize your content by date. So keep that in mind as you're creating your organization and structure. I do like to map these things out on paper first. So that might be something that's helpful in organizing the project tags, the project types, and the parent types. So now I'll go back to two of our projects here. And so under all projects, Here's where you can put a little bit of order into your types. So I had architecture, photography and photography, and I am actually going to nest one under the other. We're going to call that photography. And eight. And I'll add a couple of more categories as well. So illustrations and installations. And here's an example of one of my structures. So this mimics the menu setup that I did have earlier. So you might be wondering, okay, how do I showcase these different project types on those pages? Now shortcodes can feel a little bit complicated because it is technically code, but you'll see why I find them extremely powerful. So the short code for portfolio is this. I'm going to copy paste this because it is going to come in handy for us. Now this takes us to a support document that is from WordPress.com because WordPress.com also uses shortcodes quite a bit. And the makers of wordpress.com or the same as the makers of jetpack. So you'll see a little bit of overlap here. So we did make the portfolio custom post type available via the jetpack plugin. So we know that this is the short code that we want to use to pull in our portfolio content. We also have attributes. So we can make this a little bit more granular in this way. And so the one that's going to be most relevant to me in this example is include type. So here's an example below. So if I go back to my website here, Let's go to our photography page. So here I'm going to look for the short code block. So I'm going to copy the example that we saw in that support document. So Portfolio Display types, this means are you going to show the different types of portfolio items that are on this site shirt. Let's see what that looks like. Am I going to show the tags? Sure, let's show that just so you can see an example. Include type. I'm going to show photography and architecture photography. And I'm going to showcase this in two columns and show a maximum of 10 posts AND, and, OR organize them by most recent. So let's see what this looks like. So with the short code I've pulled in my portfolio items. And it's showing me my waterfall house. It's showing me the type which is architecture photography. It's showing the tags that I have on this and the excerpt as well. One of the other reasons why categories are really important is that you can link to the categories this way. And it will show you all of the projects that have this project type category. And when you click on it, it takes you to that specific page for that project. So let's build on that. So let's say this was one project under the category of portrait photography. I would add this, it would be under the photography project type. And so that would be my category. So here, if I wanted to showcase both of these projects under my page where I had my previous project displaying with my short code, I would add something like portrait photography. And now that I update it, now it would show both of these. So I'm gonna give another quick example of ways to use categories and tags. Now, shortcodes this can get a little complicated. So I do recommend bookmarking that support page that I showed you earlier so you can control more of these settings as you add more projects, you could, you could stack multiple different shortcodes if you wanted to only show one type here and then add a little bit of text in between. You could insert a heading here and then you can move that in-between. So you could control some portfolio items showing up here and others showing up below. And something else you can do is just straight up, add links to whatever page you want. So we could do a list, for example. And we could list some relevant projects here. So so if we wanted to, we could really just link to this portfolio page. Or if you wanted to do it by tag, you could do by tag or category. You could click on this link and type in photography. And here you're given some options. So either you can link straight to this page or you could link to the categories, so the portfolio type or to the tag itself. So if you wanted to just do the tag, you can link. And that way, this would link to all of the projects that have the tag photography. Hopefully I haven't confused you too much with the structure of portfolios. I do recommend sketching out a general information architecture before you start uploading your content. Once you do start building the different items, have fun with adding different block types. If you want to embed videos, if you want to add a slide show like this, if you want to add a gallery or anything else that might help represent this project. So when we enabled jetpack, We got portfolios, but we also got testimonials. And for testimonials, you can add the customer's name here. And you can add the testimonial itself. And then you can add an image as well. So I would recommend putting the person's face, but you might not have that. So let's just use this as an example. And you might put the excerpt as well. So if we publish this on its own, this doesn't look that great. But where this gets interesting is that you can pull in this information on any of your pages using, once again, shortcodes. So if you wanted to add a testimonial related to this project, you could go in here short code and add testimonials. And this will pull in all of your testimonials. Or like we did with our portfolio, we can add using the attributes. And now all of a sudden I have a testimonial below. Clicking will take you to this page that you can edit and you could even add something like a beautiful quote. You could also choose to add a star rating if they've given you a star rating. Just to give it a little bit more of a fun review look. And you could also choose to remove the featured image altogether and just display it this way. What happens when you have a testimonial? When you start adding testimonials, these will all populate your website URL slash testimonials. So you can also send people there and you can add that to your menu. In fact, if we go back to our menu settings in general, you'll see now that we have testimonials and projects enabled, these will appear as options of things you can add to your menu. So instead of having a page where you pulling content, you could just link to all projects and have them show up there. Now one of the reasons why I chose instead to create separate pages for each of these categories is because it gives me more control over how to showcase content. However, if you're in a pinch or you don't really care, you can pull in all projects automatically and they will display as an archive page. And they'll just show in order like this. And you can click on each project and it takes you to that project itself. However, I think there's a little bit more beauty in showcasing them this way and having a little bit more control. If you wanted to bypass shortcodes altogether, you can absolutely do that. One final way that you could easily display your portfolio content is just by adding an image, is just by adding an image or even a cover. Adding some texts like we did with the homepage and linking this to that project. And so you could create a page where you just had a bunch of these photos that linked out to each of your projects. Rather than pulling in shortcodes that would pull multiple projects that share a same tag or a same category. I hope that showing you these options hasn't overwhelmed you, but rather given you some ideas and showing you just how flexible WordPress really is to control how you display your portfolio content. Even on our homepage, we can add testimonials or we can do something like this and manually add a testimonial. So this is two ways to add social proof to your website. Although jetpack does have some search engine optimization or SEO features, the gold standard for WordPress SEO plugins is Yoast. It has tools that allow you to prepare your website for search engines to index and rank your content so people can find it. It also has great tools for individual posts and pages. So you're really optimizing each piece of content for search engines. If I could go back in time and give myself one piece of advice as a website owner, it would be to really put in the extra love and attention to each post and page to optimize it to the max for search engine visibility. So the first thing I will take a look at is Webmaster Tools verification. So if you run your business and you have a Google page or you have Google Analytics or Google Search Console setup. You can get a Google verification code, which basically tells Google that you are the owner of this website. I recommend setting this up. The other thing that you can do is customize how your website shows up in search engines, including the metadata and the image that shows up. You can control this across media types and across your website in blog posts. Now you have this section powered by Yoast SEO. And it gives you some tools and options to maximize the visibility of this page by using specific keywords and by optimizing the metadata that you have on this page, it will also give you recommendations for readability so you can meet the standards that google sets for good content on the web. In lesson 7, I'll give you more examples of why this is important and how to achieve it. This is also available for your pages and I do recommend starting with your homepage. You can control what shows up in search engine results pages and also follow best practices for search engine visibility. So that when people Google for a photographer or for whatever services you offer, or even just so that you show up when people Google your name, you can follow these instructions and these recommendations to maximize how visible your website is to people searching online. If you're curious about how to really optimize your site for search engines, you're in luck. That's what we'll talk about in the next video. 7. Intro to Search Engine Optimization: Hi and welcome to lesson 7. In this lesson, I'll share the foundations of SEO or search engine optimization. Seo is a variety of practices, both on your site and off-site, that increased the chances people will land on your site through a Google or other search engine query. There's so much to say about search engine optimization. And if you want to gain traction and visibility on the Internet, it's crucial no matter what kind of website you run. Let's start with overall website health. One of the top metrics Google looks for when ranking websites is PageSpeed. They now have visiting a slow website is a painful experience. We'll demote sites that make visitors wait. Make sure you are hosted with a fast web hosts and that you're not doing things that can slow down your site. This includes hosting large files on your site. I recommend hosting videos on other platforms and embedding them on your site. And always, always compressed and reduce the size of your photos before uploading them to your site. Huge photos are often unnecessary anyways, and imagine you're poor end user visiting your site on their phones. Not only will it take awhile to load, it may also eat up all their cell data. The second thing to check is your site settings. You want to make sure that your site is indexed and that Google can access your sitemap. The Yoast SEO plug-in can help control those settings. By setting the metadata on your site, you can communicate to people scrolling through a search engine results page, what your pages about and entice them to click on it. You can also control your URL parameters and I recommend using this simplest form available. You may have started this course with no intention of adding a blog to your website. That's fine. This isn't the high build a blog course anyway. But if you're really looking to be found through organic search, consider adding a blog and updating it every month or so. Google loves fresh content and a blog is the best way to keep your site fresh and have people keep coming back. When creating a page. Here are some things to look out for it to really optimize your page. First. And this goes for posts and pages alike. You'll want to narrow in on some key words that will be effective and representing your content and matching up with users search queries. Let's say for example, that you run a blog about biking in Montreal. Maybe you cover bike paths. You blog about scenic bike routes, cyclists, bylaw updates and reviewing bike shops. Your blog keywords might include cycling, biking in Montreal and bike paths. And you'll want to make sure that those appear in your metadata throughout your site. For specific blog post, you'll want to zoom in on key words specific to that blog post content like best 10-K. bike rides in Montreal and scenic bike paths. You can research keywords using special tools like SEM rush or even just by Googling and seeing what the top suggestions are. The balances to find keywords and key phrases that have a high search volume, meaning lots of people are looking for those words. And then a low competition, meaning not many blogs are ranking for those searches. You may not find a balance on both of these parameters for every post, but it can help to break out in a specific niche. So with your keywords in mind, you can start writing the content of your poster page. With Yoast, you'll get writing recommendations like writing a minimum of 400 words, keeping the active voice, breaking up your content with headers and using your keywords throughout the text. Make sure you place an extra importance on using keywords in your title and paragraph headers on the web. These are referred to as H1, H2, and H3. Your images can also be optimized for search engines. First, make sure that they aren't too big when uploaded and make sure the file name reflects the content. You should also make sure you have image alt tags which you can add in WordPress. These given extra description to your images that Google can read and indexing Google image searches and also make the description available to screen readers and other accessibility tools for assisted web browsing. On that note, if you're tempted to make all your website content beautifully laid out in image files. Don't do this. Keep that content as additional resources and for Pinterest only, and make sure that the main content of your page is text or else you'll lose all that searchability. At the bottom of your post. Yoast will give you additional tools for your post to maximize its reach. In your post, you'll want to make sure you're linking to other posts from your own blog, as well as reputable resources on other websites and blogs. The reason is that building that network of backlinks with websites with high domain authority, meaning of good reputation in Google's eyes, will boost your own site to what's even better is this other high-ranking websites link to you as well. This backlink strategy is really powerful, which is why blog owners will often hire third-party services to reach out to get links to their site added to other blogs. As a blog owner, I get about one email like this a day. It might be worth your time to do some of this outreach to if you really want to boost your Google rankings quickly. Remember that website traffic doesn't happen overnight, but there are some things that you can do to speed up your blog discoverability. Start by sharing your blog on social media if you already have friends and followers there. And this is the best way to get more eyeballs on your content. Building Pinterest into your blogging strategy is also a great way to drive traffic. In fact, Pinterest is the second biggest source of traffic to my travel blog. Experiment with joining Facebook groups that allow content sharing and other forums where you can plug your content too. With things like jetpack stats. You can track which blog posts are the most popular and build off of what's working to keep producing great content that people want to read. 8. Website Maintenance: Now that you have a website, you may think you can just set it and forget it. No, no, no, no, no. Your website is like a plant. You need to water it, give it sunlight, prune, protect it from bugs, and report it from time to time. The first thing is always keeping your version of WordPress up-to-date. You can check on this and automate it for your dashboard. And you can do the same for plugins when they have updates. If ever you have issues with your website after an update, the first thing I always do is deactivate plugins one-by-one to see if one of them may be causing an issue. If you have plugins and themes you're not using, remove them from your site. And if you have users on your site who aren't active, removed their user accounts. Backups are another very important part of maintaining a website. Make sure your hosting provider is failing backups of your website or that you have a plugin doing it. The last thing you want is to lose all your hard work. Keep your website in hosting account secure with a strong password and two-factor authentication where available, and don't install anything you're not confident in. You can also run regular speed tests on your site to check the health of your site. If your website is super slow, you may want to compress some of your images, for example. You can also regularly check the health of your content by running a broken link scanner and broken page scanner. Cleaning up old content is a great way to maintain your site, but also to keep on Google's good side. And lastly, don't let your accounts expire. I've helped so many people who've gotten confused about their hosting and domain and WordPress logins at which services they have active wear. And they've accidentally let their accounts expire because of a failed payments. In summary, keep your software up to date, have secure password, and set aside time to do health checks on your website and you should be on track. 9. Marketing Yourself: Hello and welcome to Lesson 9, marketing yourself. I designed this as the final lesson to the how the buildup portfolio course. Because so many of my friends who are artists, writers and creators struggle with the impersonal aspect of putting themselves on the web. They want to stand out in job interviews or when bidding on gigs, or when submitting work for grant proposal. Every situation is unique, but your website can hopefully put your best foot forward and save you time and effort with each new opportunity that comes your way. The first element I want to highlight is the importance of your About page. This is where you can really tell your story and who you are. I recommend posting the TLD, our version at the top and then getting into the longer story after. But since both good for you and for the person reading, your elevator pitch is so useful for people who scan. But also next time someone asks you for a one to two sentence bio for an event or an Instagram live you're participating in. You'll already have it ready to go. I would also recommend putting this short bio on your homepage or footer, so it has a prominent place on your website. Well, I recommend people keep their resumes to the point in job applications, your website is your opportunity to list your awards, your fellowships, and key highlights in your career. Plus, by listing out past jobs, you can link those to the relevant portfolio items. Helping a web viewers really get a better picture of your work. You can even make a downloadable version of your resume available with a click of a button. Make sure you keep these sections up to date and have a friend read over them to make sure that you get some outside perspective on how you've written about yourself. Now that we've covered talking about yourself, part of marketing is also about creating a connection with your website visitor. Will they get from working with hiring or supporting you? Write out your vision and mission statements somewhere prominent on your website so people can connect with the purpose of your work. This can be woven into your bio or have its own section. You can also make your mission clear throughout your portfolio by drawing direct connections to each project and how it aligns with your values, approach, method or style. Testimonials, press and social proof can help immensely with increasing your impact. If you don't have any testimonials now, reach out to past clients who enjoyed working with you and ask if they could send you an endorsement or review. You can embed screenshots, tweets, and other nice things people say about you online, right on your website. If you are building up a public-facing business, you could also add your listing to Google business to start gathering reviews they are to. Offsite marketing can also help you build your profile, although this might not be for every type of artist. If you want to reach new audiences, creating a Facebook page and Instagram profile can help make sure that you invent these profiles on your website or linked to them throughout your website so people have a way to follow you. In fact, being able to follow your work online in contact you. Or two of the best ways to start building community around your work. Creating something of value to give away on your site can really help you build a following. If you're a good writer creating your own weekly newsletter full of great content can help you gain followers and loyal fans. Lots of artists start with that and even launch paid subscription lists or Patria on pages that help them earn income as well. You can also publish things like screensavers, wallpapers to download on your site. These digital downloadable are often called lead magnets or gated content. People in put their e-mail to download your art, and then they're on your email list. So you can let them know when you have a new show coming up or to tell them about the new art for sale or services you offer. It's very important that people have a way to quickly contact you. So I recommend making it very prominent and easy to do. So if you often get requests, like for quotes, why not build those right into your contact form. So you have more details from people trying to reach. You. Never miss a note by connecting your contact form to an email that you often check. I hope these recommendations were helpful to make your website go even further. 10. Resources: Congratulations on completing this course. If you're not absolutely ready to share your website with the world yet, that's totally normal. Take your time reviewing each section and referring back to the content as you complete each step. There's still lots to learn about website creation. So I've left a few resources below to guide your next steps. If you enjoyed this course, please leave a review. I'd love to know how you did and to see your site. Take care. And thanks again for joining me on this journey.