Latest posts by Donncha Hughes (see all)
- Configuring Contact Form 7 WordPress - March 13, 2017
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WordPress is a brilliant Content Management System (CMS). This means that any business owner or trusted team member who is IT competent can now design and create a professional website for their business using WordPress. Websites are vital to promote your business and engage with customers. WordPress used to be associated solely with blogs and it remains ideal for blogs but it is also brilliant for full websites – over 17% of all websites in the US are developed using WordPress.org to include many of the Fortune 500 companies. The key advantage of WordPress is that you can update your website as often as you wish. Your website can then be a driving force for your Social Media strategy … Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest and YouTube.
Structured Training Programme
The training includes THREE ELEMENTS
1. Advance Preparation
- Secure URL (website address) for your business
- Install WordPress
Participants will be required to secure a URL, referred to as their domain, and to ensure that WordPress is installed. As part of this process, a Username and Password will be selected for your chosen domain. Please note that the cost to you to buy a domain and hosting will be approximately €60 including VAT per annum. I have written a blogpost on this topic ...
An alternative is to install a programme on your PC that allows you to learn how to create a WordPress site – you can participate fully in all the training but the site will not go live.
Further advance preparation will be required. Each participant business will be required to create a Website Design Plan – I will send you an email with guidance in advance. This requires thinking about the key objectives, messages and functionality of the site. I have written a blogpost outlining how to create a professional website in ten strategic steps – step 4 is create a Website Plan.
2. Group Training Workshops
The first workshop will showcase several live business websites that have been created by participants on previous programmes to highlight the functionality that can be provided by WordPress.
The 2 day programme will then address how to build and update your site i.e. after the workshops you will be ready to publish and promote your business website.
Please note that WordPress sites go live as soon as the hosting is activated. All edits such as posts and pages are activated in real time. For the purposes of this training, I advise activating a plugin that displays a holding or ‘under construction’ page until you are happy to publish your site
The programme is detailed fully below.
You will get very familiar with the following wordpress terms as you participate in our practical wordpress training workshops. As such you can read about them here but no need to get too worried about them.
3. Follow Up
I provide one hour per participant as follow-up time. We can also talk on the phone or via email for up to two months after the programme at no additional charge.
Who is this programme suitable for?
I mentioned ‘IT Competent’ personnel at the top of this page. This workshop will be very enjoyable if we keep good momentum and people can see results quickly. As such I would suggest that people who like IT, who like messing around and learning on computers, will benefit most from this programme. WordPress is not complicated. But it does require a certain aptitude and attitude. Once you know the basics most IT literate people should be able to figure it out. Have a look at the videos in the sidebar. This is what we will be doing in the workshops – can you see yourself enjoying building your site using WordPress. You will have the advantage of a peer group to bounce ideas off, and also a facilitator who is self taught (and pretty good at explaining things) using WordPress. When asked I often suggest that a business nominates one person to be the WordPress champion to be responsible for designing the site. Other people can then be given more limited access and responsibility.
The Programme Outline
The following topics will be addressed:
- Welcome & Introductions
- Introduction to the WordPress Dashboard
- Demonstration of the features of several Live WordPress sites
- Pages, Posts & Categories
- Navigation and creating a Menu for your Site
- Permalinks and other settings
- Designing your Site
- Sidebar Widgets
- All about Plugins
- Contact Form
- Images for your Site
- Adding a Gallery
- Free images and free icons
Homework after Workshop 1 – Finalise your Website Plan so that you can select your theme and proceed to build a site that suits your requirements.
- WordPress roles – Administrators, Editors and Users
- Social Media Integration & RSS
- Optimising your Site
- Inbound and outbound links
- SEO (Yoast)
- Working with Google
- Google Maps
- Google Places
- Google Analytics
- Webmaster Tools
- Google Authorship
Workshop group sizes will be limited to 8 people. Everyone will be operating from their own Wi-Fi enabled laptop. As such everyone will benefit from a small peer network and a certain amount of one to one support on the day.
My favourite plugins include:
- CGC Maintenance … pick a page as your ‘Under Construction’ live page as you work on the rest of your site
- Black Studio TinyMCE Widget … Adds a WYSIWYG widget based on the standard TinyMCE WordPress visual editor.
- Contact Form 7 … Just another contact form plugin. Simple but flexible.
- ELI’s Related Posts Footer Links and Widget … This Plugin creates links to Related Post at the bottom of every post.
- Google Doc Embedder … Lets you embed MS Office, PDF, TIFF, and many other file types in a web page using the Google Docs Viewer (no Flash or PDF browser plug-ins required).
- O3 Social Share … This plugin creates share boxes for Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn
- Ultimate TinyMCE … Beef up your visual tinymce editor with a plethora of advanced options.
- WordPress SEO …. Yoast. The first true all-in-one SEO solution for WordPress, including on-page content analysis, XML sitemaps and much more.
- WP Photo Album Plus … Easily manage and display your photo albums and slideshows within your WordPress site.
- WP Sitemap Page … Add a sitemap on any page/post using a simple shortcode
- WP Super Cache … Very fast caching plugin for WordPress.
- WP Minify … Speed up website loading time (grabs widget and plugin scripts and presents them in an organized way to improve loading time).
- Backup to Dropbox… Host Blacknight offer a Backup service. As a backup, this plugin backs up your website files once a week to Dropbox.
Several that have been recommended (but not tried yet)
- Referrer Detector … display a special message for your visitors depending on which site sent them your way (e.g. Google, Yahoo, Twitter, etc). You can then prompt users to take action experimenting with messages like “Subscribe to our feed” or similar.
- ClickDesk Live Support – Live Chat – Help Desk Plugin for Websites … easily add a Live Chat solution to your website.
- Restrict Content … allows content to be restricted to registered users only. This is a simple plugin that will allow you to easily restrict complete posts / pages to logged in users only. Levels of restriction may also be set.
- WooCommerce … integrate eCommerce into your site (ideally requires a WooThemes theme).
- qTranslate … Multilingual blogging with built in SEO.
- And many many more….
The Best WordPress blog is by Chris Lema … superb range of articles for Advanced Users.