Working With WordPress – HoA Review

Posted on February 21, 2014

It was cold, well past midnight and in a dimly lit kitchen the Hangout topic of discussion was “Working with WordPress” but it evolved into more, much more.

Craig Chamberlin aka the #gifmaster of Google Plus, from, invited me on to his weekly show to discuss Working With WordPress. The hangout started at 3am for me in Ireland but I bit down hard on the gumshield, gulped back some tea and was happy to be a part of it. The questions from the audience dictated where the conversation went and whilst the main focus was working with WordPress we touched on SEO, social media, Google Plus and online marketing in general.

Just press play on the video below and you can find a time stamped synopsis below to allow you to quickly jump to whatever tickles your fancy. Don’t let the blurriness put you off either – new camera coming soon.. Press play and hope you find it edutaining!

Working with WordPress HOA Review3.50We learn that Craig was born to the the #gifmaster of GooglePlus

4.15How did I start out online? – I studied IT in college and got a degree in Computer Science. I then set up an online business, in 08/09. The original LadyUmbrella site was built using php, asp and SQL but was recently rebuilt using WordPress – having had experience of handcoding sites using WordPress is a dream.

6.00what is WordPress?
Craig – it’s a modular approach to web development.
Rob – WordPress started as a blogging platform but evolved into a more robust platform. As the merging of social with SEO with content creation continues WordPress will become a central online marketing tool for people.

10.15What Would Matt say? A philosophy to live your life by.

11.00“how to promote product pages with SEO?” question from Chad Molenda
Rob – product pages aren’t very text heavy so instead of focusing too much on the individual product pages focus on supporting pages around them. Blog and create content about topics and keywords that your potential customers will be searching for. Nominate some pages as your “pillar pages” and internally link back to these pillar pages from the blog posts/content you create.

13.40 Craig – “Internal links are huge”

14.00How do you best put a blog on site?
Using WordPress the blog is automatically bolted on and can be accessed by creating the page and then adding it to your site naviagtion. What I like to do is feed 3 or 4 blog posts to home page and have 3 or 4 linked in the footer as well. If you’re approaching blogging with SEO in mind then your titles should have SEO value and good to have them on the home page. Will also add a dynamic element to your site so search engine bots will be more likely to crawl more frequently.

16.15Don’t get too tag or category happy, can be detrimental to your SEO because it creates lots of duplicates of your content. Craig Fifield went over how to sort out on a previous episode.

17.30 – Craig says it’s best for blog posts to just have one single category but never use more than 4-6 tags per post.

18.40“favourite books or websites for SEO?” question from Chad Molenda
Bill Hicks wouldn’t be alarmed by me as I’m not much of a reader. I do trawl the web though for SEO news and listen to Eric Enge, Mark Traphagen, Craig Fifield, David Amerland, John Dietrich.

20.00Google Plus love in begins

Working With WordPress – HoA Review

21.00“What are 5 recommended plugins for WordPress?” question from Amber Short
From Craig

  • Yoast SEO plugin
  • W3 Total Cache
  • Comments Evolved
  • User Role Editor – tick the box system allowing you to edit privileges of users within WordPress
  • WP Slim Stat – for WordPress stats and data
  • Login Lock Down
  • Flare for social sharing

From Rob

  • Akisment
  • MailPoet – email list set up which is completely contained within WordPress, possibly the best WordPress mailing list plugin
  • MCWP – MailChimp for WordPress, a great plugin for MailChimp Integration for WordPress
  • WP Security – robust security plugin for WordPress
  • Yoast Clicky Plugin – analytics curveball, real time tracking with heatmaps, very nice service
  • Limit Login Attempts
  • Sharexy for social sharing plugin on WordPress (and yes, Sharexy has Plus One functionality).
  • OptinMonster – pop ups to get people to sign up to your mailing.

27.40WordPress Web Design Approach
Design is 10% of the job. Working on creating content and getting it out there is 90% of it. Best not to spend too much time tweaking your WordPress site. Get it right and focus on the work. You can always go for a theme change or site refresh in 6 months or a year but make sure spend the majority of the time making your site work for you rather than working on your site.

34.30How Do I Get WordPress Development Work?
I work as a freelance WordPress developer and get most of my business through Google. I’m currently number one on google for “WordPress developer” so that’s how I get most of my work. I’ve also started to get some clients via Google Plus and provide consulting services to them about SEO, social media, content creation etc and consultations are generally done via a Hangout which is kinda cool. So, hire me if you want!

35.40Should you have multiple posts targeting the same keyword or is that considered spamming?
Overall, be natural about it. If you work doing SEO then it makes sense that you’ll be writing about SEO regularly. Google doesn’t know what you’re targeting within Yoast SEO so no impact in that regard. What will happen though is you will be competing with yourself for the same keyword if you have 2 posts optimised for the same keyword.

30.50“What makes a good WordPress website?”, question from Albert Meza
How sound is the SEO architecture on the site? What are the main objectives of the site? And how well does the site complete those objectives? Focus on leads and conversions and don’t get caught up on the visuals of what is “good”.

32.00Load times are important for a good WordPress site as is formatting and use of header tags etc. On page formatting is very important, make sure that the content your providing isn’t visually off putting and is easy for users to engage with.

37.30“What’s a decent word count for a blog post?” – question Lynn Abate Johnson
As Craig Fifield says “focus on making your posts as complete as possible”
Rob – When writing I’m aware of the 2 Audiences who I have to cater for when writing. One audience is Google and you have to make sure that your onsite SEO is correct. Your 2nd audience are your fellow humanoids who you want to compel to share your content. WordPress takes 90% of the SEO donkey work out of the equation which makes it possible to cater to Google robots.

Working With WordPress – HoA Review

Working with WordPress - responsive wordpress sites41.00“If I create a WordPress site from scratch will it automatically be optimised for mobile or are there specific plugins needed?” – question from Sara La Mothe
To be optimised for mobile you need a theme that is responsive. Most new themes that are released now are responsive but important to check to make sure that is explicitly says responsive. It is your theme which will determine whether or not that your site is displayed in a responsive manner – not WordPress. (P.S. no such thing as a dumb question Sara ;)).

42.30What WordPress theme sites do you recommend?
Themeforest is my site of choice. There are thousands of themes available for WordPress there and to spend too much time on theme selection is the wrong approach. Focus on getting a site that works and converts, 90/10 rule.

43.30Vlogging/Blogging question – Do you make posts/videos owned by A) The Company, B) a personality associated with a company or C) a stand alone personality? Also, opinion on minimum video production quality? – question from Chad Molenda
Depends on specific set up for your business but for my LadyUmbrella example we are part of the brand and have put our faces forward. On social media, on twitter for example, I say that the account is run by me, Rob, so that people know there is a human involved. Similarly on the Google Plus buiness page people know that it is run by Elena. To promote yourself online it’s always advantageous to find a slightly bigger bucket. That is to say, find a way that you can talk about topics related to your products but not just focused on you or your product.
A good model to check out is the Huffington Post.

Another approach to social media is to set up a “mothership” account which would be the company name and somewhat sterile with it’s content. The account would be used for customer service and broadcasting the company message. Employees from the company could also have their own individual profiles and sharing content from the mothership when it’s appropriate.

49.45 – “In terms of SEO does Google “work” with other website development programs like SquareSpace? or, is WordPress really the only way to go? – question from David Cary
It is very beneficial to your SEO efforts to have your own domain as you have control then. If you start to build a site on someone elses platform they will benefit from it.

Working With WordPress – HoA Review – Wrap Up

And, that’s a wrap! If you’ve read all of this post and are reading this now I hope you leaned a thing or two about WordPress and found the hangout enjoyable. If you did, join my mailing list in the footer below and you won’t miss out on future hangouts or hangout reviews.

Finally, I’d like to say thank you for having on your show Craig – I enjoyed it and hope to do it again with you sometime! If you’ve any questions you’d like answered in a future show comment below!

10 Replies to "Working With WordPress - HoA Review"

  • Whitt
    February 21, 2014 (9:47 pm)

    What a terrific way to teach, Robert. And to think that it started in a kitchen, mid-winter, at 3 a.m. You’ve found your forté. For me, choosing teachers and sources carefully is essential, and I’m studying a post you shared just recently on ‘influential people.’ I didn’t quite realize how valuable young talent like you can be. I won’t forget it. I owe you, pal. Thanks for opening my eyes.

    • Robert Ryan
      February 21, 2014 (10:05 pm)

      Hi Whitt, thanks for commenting and glad you found the HoA helpful.. I won’t call it a forté just yet but I do enjoy doing these hangouts, and feedback like yours will make sure I persevere with them – so hopefully it’ll soon become a forté ;) Sadly I’m not as young as I used to be but happy that I could help open your eyes or help you think about things a little bit differently hehe – onward and upward..

  • Whitt
    February 22, 2014 (7:44 pm)

    Hi Rob; by opening my eyes, I meant that you made by realize that even though I might be able to learn some of what you already know, perhaps it was time to accept my limitations and consider turning to a pro for a design update. For someone like me who left home early with tools in my backpack, a few skills in my head and the belief that I could do anything if I put my mind to it, it’s hard to admit that I’d be better off getting someone like you to make my WordPress sites of quality design rather than amateur. I considered Christine for awhile, but I think she is concentrating more in other fields than WordPress. Plus, that you state outright that you’d like to retire to a tropical island gives us something else in common. I didn’t consider fame and fortune worthwile challenges, so don’t get your expectations too high, but when you have some time, take a look at and, and then let’s meet over on your “Hire me” page so we can better understand eachother concerning a facelift.

    • Robert Ryan
      February 22, 2014 (9:54 pm)

      Hi Whitt – indeed, I have my eyes on a tropical island at some stage in the future and I hope to get there one site at a time ;) I could never take photos of the sea like you do, or acquire the stories of the sea and the raconteurial skills to tell them, so we all can’t be good at everything, c’est la vie.. But, I’ve had a quick look at your sites so please do send me an e-mail with what you’d like to get done with and I’ll get back to you with options. Cheers..

  • Whitt
    February 27, 2014 (12:52 am)

    Hi Robert – I have no doubt that you’ll arrive at your destination in the near future. It really is amazing that concentration, effort and dedication bring such quick results — it’s like standing under the apple tree and shaking the trunk, and then being a little surprised when the apple of your eye falls right in your hand. :)

    You are quite right in sending me back to study-up and figure out exactly what I want to do. This is exactly the same advice given, not by site builders usually, but in the blogs and articles by users who have employed them and were giving their impressions, pro and con, on the experience. Certainly makes sense, and glad to hear that I should do the thinking myself rather than asking someone to think for me. Sometimes we miss the obvious. Your site, posts and comments have helped me turn my perspective 180°, and, rather than just think about content, I should try to imagine what it would be like to land on the site, and then simplify the navigation ( i.e. make a front page, table of contents, check loading speeds etc.), for starters. Nothing like being told ‘you’re being lazy!’ I owe you already, so when do I pay you? – hopefully over a beer, while you pick my brain (?) about these tropical islands. I’ll e-mail you as directed. Those were very kind words you wrote.

    • Robert Ryan
      March 5, 2014 (12:43 pm)

      Hi Whitt, thanks for the comment and gotta love it when some of those apples come your way :) Glad I’ve helped you look at WordPress development in a different way and that the focus should be on the user of the site. Please do get in touch via e-mail and looking forward to that beer ;)

  • TheBaldFatGuy
    March 4, 2014 (11:25 pm)

    Great stuff! I will definitely re-watch a few (hundred) times while I prepare my site to be what I know it can be.

    – Joby

    • Robert Ryan
      March 5, 2014 (12:44 pm)

      Cheers for the comment and for watching Joby, appreciate it..Hehe, I hear it gets better the more you watch it ;)

  • Philip Verghese 'Ariel'
    March 15, 2014 (5:44 am)

    Hi Robert,
    This is really a timely post to me, since I just migrated my contents from blogger to this wonderful platform and is yet on the search of establishing in @ Wp, of course my construction is still going on
    with the help of one of my blog friends.
    This is indeed a different kind of teaching, I means a totally a different way of presenting the connected thing in a tuto.
    I am book marking it for my further reference. though i am new at wp many technical terms used here is totally strange or new to me, so i may take more time to cop up with it.
    Anyways this is very timely as far as I am concerned.
    Thank you so much Robert for your kind share/tuto.
    Keep up the good work
    Best Regards
    I Wish you a Happy and Profitable Weekend. :-)

    • Robert Ryan
      March 21, 2014 (1:14 pm)

      Hi Philip, thanks for watching and happy to hear you found it useful. WordPress is a great platform for developing on and in time I’m sure you’ll get the hang of it and be up to speed with the technical terms.. Lean lots and enjoy, Rob :)

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