From a relatively young age I have been surrounded by technology. Still in single figures, I was entering pages of code to make my Sinclair Spectrum (48k!!) do nothing more than flash various colours on screen and play the occasional sound. My most impressive piece of coding involved a very basic St. George’s Cross with the National Anthem playing in the background and to this day I haven’t ever done anything more complex.
It is for this reason I absolutely love WordPress: I can’t code anything more complex than a flashing screen yet here I am maintaining numerous blogs, all of which are managed with nothing more than clicking a few buttons and entering a bit of content. I have no understanding of the code which makes this happen – but with WordPress this is OK!
If you’re preparing a site intended to pull in massive content for the purpose of making money online, I suggest running WordPress with the following:
Search Engine Optimisation Pack: the idea is fairly simple. An SEO pack allows you to customise page and post titles, with a bespoke description for each page. If you compare SEARCH A (for ceo.smartergroup.biz) to SEARCH B (for www.smarterhousing.co.uk) you will note that this blog’s pages each have a unique description in the search results, where as those for SmarterHousing do not. I’ve already asked that our web guys, Atelier Studios, give SmarterHousing an SEO overhaul so this is likely to change in the very near future.
XML Sitemap generator: all of the pages on ceo.smartergroup.biz show up in a Google site search as I have an XML sitemap uploaded on my server. I have no idea how to create one from scratch, but the XML-Sitemap plugin does this automatically. A sitemap is essentially a map for search engines to see the pages on your site. You don’t need one, but unless every single page on your domain is linked to from the main page (or at least, a page linked to from the main page) then search engines won’t pick up all of your content.
Robots.txt plugin: search engines such as Google look for Robots.txt as a guide to what can and cannot be indexed within a particular domain. Robots.txt files only work in the root folder – such as www.smartergroup.biz/robots.txt or ceo.smartergroup.biz/robots.txt, and not in subdirectories, such as www.smartergroup.biz/smarterhousing or ceo.smartergroup.biz/blog_images/. Although this is simply a text file, the coding contained within isn’t something you can generate off the cuff which is why I use a plugin to do this automatically.
I have chosen not to refer to any specific WordPress plugins as there are several variations on offer for Search Engine Optimisation, XML sitemaps and generating robots.txt, and I shall leave it to you to decide which one works best on your own site.
Posted by Adam Arnold
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