Archive for February, 2015

Getting Started with Content Marketing

Friday, February 27th, 2015

One of the best ways to market your website is by providing visitors with quality content. Whether you are running an SEO campaign or you just want to keep visitors coming back, content marketing is the best way to do it. Here are a few tips you can use to get started with content marketing.

It Is Not About Selling Your Products
Content marketing is never about selling your products or services. It is about providing visitors with quality articles and other content that they will find valuable. You can discuss industry-related updates, tips and tricks and even talk about how visitors can better use your products or services. What you shouldn’t do is hard-sell your products and services to customers.

Pick a Niche and Stick With It

You may have all the knowledge you need to write about a wide variety of subjects, but that doesn’t mean that’s the route you should choose. Instead of writing about everything, focus on a particular niche that relates well to your brand, products and services.

You should also go in depth instead of going wide. Discuss topics in a way that will please your visitors the most: from a very personal and practical point of view. By providing valuable information, you will be able to retain more visitors and have your site perform better in general.

You Don’t Have to Do It Yourself

The best thing about content marketing is that you don’t have to do everything yourself. You can hire content creators and SEO agencies to write the articles or produce the content for you. These services are not only very affordable but will also save you a lot of time and money in the process.

Once you have a strong team of content writers in your arsenal, you can simply set the topics for each article and let the experts do the hard work for you. All articles will be well researched and well written. In the mean time, you can focus on other more important things, such as micro-managing your website.

Be Consistent

One of the main reasons why content marketing failed is inconsistency. You need to be willing to stick to it, produce good quality content regularly and continue to please your users. Once you start missing the usual schedules of posting fresh articles, your users will begin to look for information elsewhere.

If you are posting content for SEO purposes, consistency is even more important. Regularly updated sites tend to rank higher in search results. Paired with the right set of keywords to target, you will be surprised by how much keeping your site up to date really helps.

Just Get Started

One last thing: you can’t do content marketing without actually starting to write articles and posting quality content. Don’t wait; start posting good articles and gain more traffic immediately. You can figure out the rest of the content marketing efforts as you go along. Once you start, continuing to write good articles and keeping visitors happy in the long run will be much easier to do.

Migrating WordPress Website To New Host – A Step By Step Guide

Friday, February 27th, 2015

Migrating WordPress website to a new host can be a challenging and hectic task for beginners but it isn’t that daunting if done properly. You may be in need of migrating WordPress website either because you are having problems with your current hosting provider or you may want to move your website/blog to a more reliable host. In the process of moving your website to new host, there is always a risk of losing or damaging your website data especially if you are a beginner and haven’t gone through this before.

While migrating WordPress website you have three options; (a) Hire a professional to safely transfer your files and database to a new host, (b) Look for a hosting provider that provides migration services as a part of new hosting plan or (c) Try it yourself . If you have prepared a full back up of your website files and database then migrating should be a straightforward thing and can be easily reversed if something goes wrong. Below are steps of migrating WordPress website to a new host.

Step # 1: Back Up Your Website’s Files

Creating a backup of your website’s files is the primary and very crucial step of any project like in this case migrating a website from old host to a new hosting provider. Having regular backups of your website files is recommended practice but when you are going to migrate your website then it becomes a mandatory step of migration process. Though there are several WordPress plugins that provide you complete backup of your website files , however, this kind of backup requires a manual approach. It is recommended to use a thirty party FTP program like FileZilla to copy files from your old host residing under root directory to a local folder on you PC.

Download and install FileZilla if you don’t already have this. Run the program and connect to your host by using ftp or ftps host name, user name and password, already provided by your old hosting provider. This could take some time depending upon the number of media uploads (images, themes, plugins, posts). Let’s move to our next step of exporting WordPress Database while this download is underway.

Step # 2: Export Your WordPress Database

Exporting your WordPress database is a very simple process and you can complete this in a few steps. Launch the phpMyAdmin program by Logging in to your cPanel of your web server. From the list on the left sidebar select the database that has your WordPress installation, then click on the Export tab on the top navigation Menu.

Here you don’t need to change the export settings, all you need is the default settings of a Quick export and the SQL format. Hit the Go button and a file will be downloaded to your local computer within few seconds to few minutes. Once you have completed these two very important steps (FTP transfer of your website’s files and database export), you are ready to move to 3rd step described below.

Step # 3: Create New WordPress Database On Your New Host

Before you start migrating WordPress website to new web host you need to create an environment for WordPress installation. Here you are going to create a new database to import previously downloaded SQL into it. First Login to cPanel of your new web host and run the MySQL Databases application. In some cases your web host doesn’t have that MySQL Databases application running, in such a case you should contact the customer support team of your hosting provider and ask them for the method of creating new database. Here are steps of creating a new database:

  • Open MySQL Database and Select create a new database.
  • Give it an appropriate name.
  • Create a new MySQL user
  • Create a secure password for new MySQL user
  • Add this user account to the new database
  •  Grant it All Privileges.
  • Hit Save

Note down the newly created database name, the new MySQL username and its password.

Step 4: Edit the wp-config.php File

Go to the folder on your local computer where you’ve downloaded your website’s files. There should a file namely wp-config.php, this file is responsible for access between WordPress and database. To be able to reverse changes in case of going things wrong, I would recommend you to have a copy of this file on some other folder in your local computer.

Now wp-config.php (original version) in a text editor and make the following three adjustments:

  • Change The Database Name

Look for the following line:

1 define(‘DB_NAME’, ‘db_name’);

Change db_name with name of MySQL database you have just created on your new host server.

  • Change the Database Username

Locate the below line:

1 define(‘DB_USER’, ‘db_user’);

Just change the db_user portion of the line with the username you have just created for your new database.

  • Change The Database User Password

Finally locate the below line:

1 define(‘DB_PASSWORD’, ‘db_pass’);

Change db_pass part of this line with new secure password you created for your MySQL user in step 3.

  • Save wp-config.php and close the file

Step #  5: Import Your Database

In this step you will import the previously exported SQL file into your new database.

  • Login to your cPanel and launch phpMyAdmin on your new web server.
  • On the left sidebar select your new database.
  • Once selected/opened hit the import tab on navigation Menu.
  • In the File to Import window click Choose File button and browse to the folder where have exported the SQL file previously.
  • Here you should Un-tick the Partial Importcheck box.
  • Set the upload file format
  • Click the Go button, the database import will now begin.

The import will take some varies depending on the size of your database. Upon completion you will receive a message confirming the success of the import once it finishes.

Step # 6: Upload Your WordPress Files To New Web Host

Once your new database is prepared and you have made necessary changes to wp-config.php, you should move to next step of uploading your WordPress files to your new host server. Connect to your new web host using your FTP program like FileZilla and browse to the folder that your website is going to be held. Upload the files to the public_html folder is the usual directory. Next upload your website files that should now include the updated version of wp-config.php. The upload process could take some time depending upon the size of you files. Don’t delete these files from your local computer until the project of migrating WordPress website isn’t fully completed.

Step # 7: Change Name Servers

Login to your domain registrar account and go to domain details. Here you will need to reconfigure the DNS settings of your domain. They are still set to point to your old host therefore you will need to point them to the new server IP address. Just replace the name servers addresses with new one provided by your new web host. DNS changes can take up some time usually from 24 to 48 hours to propagate.

Therefore, it is recommended to make these changes during levels of traffic. After the period of the 48-hour has passed you should be accessing your website from your new web host. At this point can delete your files and database from old web host without worries as you should still have maintained backup copy of these files and the database export on your local computer including original version of wp-config.php file to roll back the migration if necessary.

SEO Tips For WordPress Users

Wednesday, February 25th, 2015

There are reasons why WordPress is among the most popular CMS platforms in the world. The CMS platform is very easy to use, offers immense flexibility and is great for SEO purposes. If you are using WordPress to power your site, these next few SEO tips for WordPress will help you get started in no time.

WordPress Media Management

SEO is not always about articles and written content. It is about images and other content as well. In order to have a truly SEO-optimized site, you need to have images named accordingly. Adding ALT tags to the images will also help boost your site’s SEO performance greatly.

Luckily, WordPress has a very intuitive media management. Whether you are uploading new images or trying to better name your old images, the WordPress Media Management can really help you.

You don’t even have to do it manually. You can have images named according to the title of the article they are attached in, or according to other parameters you set. There are plugins that can help you organize your image library more efficiently as well.

SEO-Friendly Permalinks

By default, WordPress use a numeric code to point to posts and pages. You can change this from the Settings > Permalinks menu. Here are a few tips you can follow regarding permalinks:

Use readable but short permalinks. You can customize each post’s URL or simply let WordPress use the title of the article as part of the URL. Instead of yoursite.com/?p=123, you can have yoursite.com/how-to-tutorial.

Adding categories to the permalinks can also help. yoursite.com/photoshop/how-to-tutorial, for instance, will rank higher than yoursite.com/how-to-tutorial when users are searching for Photoshop tutorials in general.

Make sure the permalinks are consistent. Decide a system you want to use and stick to it. Make changes only when you see a clear SEO value to them. Consistent permalinks and a good navigational menu will help users find the content they are looking for.

Automate Everything

WordPress has thousands of plugins you can use on its repository. Some of these plugins can help you automate major SEO tasks. If you are targeting Canadian visitors, for instance, you can combine local SEO services, a .ca domain and Canadian hosting as well as high-quality content with WordPress support for multilingual blogs. You can serve content in English and French without having to manually translate everything every time.

You can also automatically add keywords and suitable descriptions to the head of your pages and posts. Plugins such as Yoast SEO can grab keywords from the body of your posts, make the necessary adjustments to <head> tags and improve the page’s SEO performance automatically.

My personal favourite is the automatic cross-linking. Using a plugin or a theme that supports the functionality, you can show related articles at the bottom, in the middle or even on the side of your site’s content. The plugin will decide which articles to show based on keyword relevance and various other aspects. Everything is fully automated, allowing you to focus on writing great content and keeping your viewers happy.