Creating a Wordpress Blog

- Tasty Origin

a non-coding, designers journey

My Blog

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Name Check

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Domain

registrar

Website

host

Website

builder

Email

host

For security, use separate providers for each of these

where your website lives

where your website name lives

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Domain Register

  • my choices - cheap, reliable, popular

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Web Host

  • heavily promoted by bloggers - lucrative affiliate marketing program
  • my website was too slow
  • great website speeds - data centres scattered around the world
  • excellent support - live chat within a few mintues

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Website Speed is Important

  • website speed will affect your rank on google search

 

  • for every second it takes your website to load, users will abandon your page

 

  • over 3 seconds loading time - more than 40% of users could of abandoned your site

 

see Kissmetrics infographic

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Webpage Speed Test

  • in a browser: right click the website  >  then select 'Inspect' from the dropdown menu
  • select 'Performance' from the menu on the right hand side
  • a message indictates a reload button to perform the speed test
  • note: tests the speed of the page that's displayed - not the entire website

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Webpage Speed Test

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Webpage Speed Results - Pingdom

  • to understand the Performance insights - tap the arrow on the right for an explanation, or google it

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Wepbpage Speed Results - Pingdom

  • shows all the elements of your page being loaded - so you can identify any speed killers

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Webpage Speed Killers

  • slow website host

  • large images - use www.tinypng.com to compress ALL your images before uploading them to your site

  • too many plugins & widgets - or old ones

  • badly written or bloated theme

  • external embedded media - like video

  • too many fonts

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Website Host

  • easy one-click button to automatically install Wordpress
  • this option is available on many website hosts

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Name Servers

  • there will be a place on your Domain Registrar to paste your Website Host's two name servers
  • your domain name will now be able to find your website. eg. www.tastyorigin.com, which I've registered at Name.com, now knows my website files are on Siteground

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Website Builder

Wix, Squarespace, Weebly etc

  • super simple website builders - drag & drop
  • great for websites that are not going to evolve
  • beautiful themes/templates
  • not very flexible - built-in designs with limited customisation, and no options to add personal code
  • once you choose a template/theme, you can't switch it down the line
  • can't move the website to another website host - you're stuck with them

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Website Builder

Wordpress

  • flexible and powerful
  • steep learning curve for beginners - requires more technical learning
  • add your own code - HTML/CSS - for more customisation
  • switch themes at any time
  • change your website host at any time
  • huge community of users to get help

Tip for when creating webpages:

  • use Pages for static pages - like About page and Home page
  • use Posts for your articles

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Email Host

  • my email is with my website host Siteground
  • in the future I will move it to a separate email host - for security
  • I plan to choose Google's G Suite because I use all their online tools (spreadsheets etc)
  • other options: Zoho, Mailgun, Fastmail, Hover etc

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Designing Your Site

  • your design should be led by your creative vision and your users
  • don't design inside Wordpress
    • technical limitations will end up dictating your design
    • it will take much, much longer

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Who Are Your Users?

Writing

  • content decisions

  • style

  • overwhelm - don't please everyone, just talk to your user

Design

  • style

Social media, advertising & marketing

  • focus on the places your users hang out

Features

  • what your users need & like

Find them and talk to them!

Knowing your users will help with:

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Create a User Persona 

Name (made up)

Demographic

  • age
  • gender
  • location
  • income
  • education
  • interests
  • social media
  • devices
  • etc

Behaviours

  • travels to Europe for weekend getaways
  • travels internationally for holidays
  • likes to photograph food
  • posts photos to Instagram

Needs

  • wants to find where the locals eat
  • wants to try the local food
  • likes some planning mixed with serendipitous exploring

Pain Points

  • little time for research
  • doesn't completely trust review sites, like Tripadvisor
  • difficult to find non-touristy, niche/local places

What they use now

  • Friend recommendations
  • Tripadvisor
  • Lonely Planet
  • Blogs

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Sketch Your Website 

  • check out other blogs and see what features you like
  • do a mobile version - most users will read your blog on mobile

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User Journey 

Example

  • Olivia has just booked a trip to Paris and is now searching for great food experiences.

 

Can they easily find the information they need?

 

What else would interest them and keep them on your site?

Imagine scenarios for your user, then look at your sketches and go through the step by step journey your user would take.

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Digital Prototype Tools

Invision, Marvel, etc - very simple & easy to use

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Choosing a Wordpress Theme 

Must be:

  • responsive ie. designed for mobile screens
  • updated regularly and recently
  • offer support  (more likely with paid themes)

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Finding the Right Theme

  • can be overwhelming - over 2000 free themes and even more paid themes

 

  • compare themes to your sketches and check they have the features you want
    • or at least most of them - you can find a plugin for the ones missing
    • the right layout is more important than colours & fonts, which you can easily change

 

  • browse the 'Add Theme' section in Wordpress
    • all themes come with a preview

 

  • google
    • eg. 'best travel blog designs', 'best themes for travel bloggers' etc

 

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My Theme Choice

Avada

  • very popular - good chance it will stick around, regularly updated
  • support & lots of info online for troubleshooting
  • loads of features - easy drag and drop system
  • lots of customisation - however for a simple, straight forward blog there are many themes out there designed especially for bloggers
  • con: more features than I need - could slow down website speed and affect my google search ranking

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Child Theme

  • once you decide on a theme - set up a child theme for it
  • when you make customisations to your site you will make these to the child theme - that means when the main theme (parent theme) is updated, it won't affect your customisations
  • many themes come with a child theme - otherwise there is info online to set one up - or ask folks at the Wordpress meetup for advice

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Landing Page

  • before you start creating your blog - set up a landing page 
  • there are lots of free Wordpress plugins to create a landing page
  • start collecting user emails - use MailChimp for managing contacts

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Wordpress Plugins

  • if your theme can't do it - there's a plugin for it! 
  • limit the plugins you use - they affect website speed

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Yoast SEO Plugin

  • this is a great beginners plugin for learning about SEO & optimising your site

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HTML & CSS

  • a simple blog may not require any code knowledge
  • I wanted to achieve a particular look for the guide section, so I needed to learn some code

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Codecademy

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W3Schools

  • www.w3schools.com
  • sites like this list all the labels used in HTML & CSS
  • good reference - learn as you need them
  • can be outdated - check with Wordpress group for up to date sites

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Best Way to Learn HTML & CSS

  • right click your website (or anyone's website)  > select Inspect
  • the code for the website will be displayed
  • good way to find out how each element is labelled
  • you can even tap the values and edit them, and immediately see how it changes the website eg. change the font-size

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Thank you!

local specialty food guide

Rachel Thrum

Creating a Wordpress Blog - Tasty Origin

By kuyaji

Creating a Wordpress Blog - Tasty Origin

a non-coding, designers journey

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