What is WordPress used for?

What is WordPress?

Before we get into how and where it is used, lets start by answering the question – What is WordPress?

WordPress is an open source (free) content management system. It allows you to build a website pretty easily and is extremely popular.

This is backed up with impressive stats:

  • Around 35% of ALL websites are powered by WordPress. That is an unbelievable 500 million websites.
  • Other very good content management systems are available such as Drupal and Joomla but WordPress has over 60% share of the CMS market.
  • At the time of writing this article, it has been downloaded over 40 million times.
  • WordPress is popular Worldwide and with content published in over 100 languages.

So it’s easy to see that this free CMS is a massively used tool for building websites. It’s popularity is down to how quick it is to install, easy to use and it’s vast library of add-ons (plugins) and designs (themes). That basically covers what WordPress is but what is WordPress actually used for and who is using it?

What is WordPress used for?

WordPress started out in 2003 as a blogging platform and it’s coding roots still lie deeply with blogging. However, it didn’t take long for users to realise it had potential to do much bigger things. Since the first version was released, it has grown into a platform with add-ons that can build any type of website.

Here are some big well-known organisations using WordPress today:

Vogue

Vogue website what is WordPress

 

Walt Disney

Walt Disney WordPress

 

Rolling Stone

Rolling Stone website

 

Angry Birds

Angry Birds website

 

Sony Music

Sony Music website What is WordPress

 

Over 50,000 plugins are available to download free and thousands more available to buy. Popular types of plugins include security, SEO, social media integration, site speed, page building and ecommerce. In fact, over 1.5 million online stores are built with WordPress.

If you want your website to look as good as it works then you won’t be left disappointed. You can select from over 3500 free themes and countless more commercial themes.

A recent trend for website builders is the use of page builders like Elementor and Beaver Builder. This makes building websites in WordPress even easier. Page builders are plugins that offer pre-made templates, drag and drop page elements and tonnes of design features. This really is a game changer as it tries to stay ahead of competitors such as Wix and Squarespace.

How does WordPress work?

When people ask “What is WordPress?” they are more than likely referring to WordPress.org. However, there are two versions of WordPress that you can use – WordPress.org (the version we are discussing in this article) and WordPress.com.

WordPress.org

WordPress.org is the free open source version that you can download from WordPress.org. This can be downloaded and set up locally for testing. If you have hosting it can be installed on your hosts server. Most hosting companies now have the option to have WordPress installed for you. So to get a website up and running all you need is a domain name and hosting. Using WordPress.org for your website gives you complete control of your site.

Once installed it is very simple to use. After logging in you can install themes and plugins right from your admin area. You can then add pages, posts, images, layouts and navigation. You can literally have a fully functioning, beautiful website set up after a few minutes. Especially with the ever evolving page builders that are now available.

What is WordPress dashboard

The great thing about WordPress.org being open source is the massive community on hand to offer support. From installation to customization, thousands of it’s users and experts are on hand to offer help via the official support forums. WordPress.org also offers in depth support documentation.

WordPress.com

WordPress.com is the commercial version of WordPress which is hosted on their server space. It does have a very basic free version but to have a decent website using your own domain name you will have to pay between $3 to $36 per month. They also have an enterprise plan starting at $1700 per month.

This version of WordPress is good for those who don’t need the flexibility or overall control that WordPress.org offers. It’s very simple to set up and a good choice if you want a personal blog for your hobby.

Popular Plugins

What is WordPress (or any website) without functionality? To get the most out of your WordPress website you are going to have to install some plugins. Here are some of the most popular you can download free:

Yoast SEO – Getting visitors is obviously essential for any website. Yoast SEO is a brilliant plugin that helps optimize your content for search engines. Add your keyword and Yoast will analyze your page and advises you how to improve it.

Smush – This plugin will compress your images. If you want your pages to load faster then you need to use this plugin. The great thing about Smush is that it compresses your images in bulk.

Elementor – Page builders are a huge part of website creation now. Elementor is one of the best with an excellent interface, pre-made templates, drag and drop elements and lots of design features. This plugin really does make building nice web pages a breeze.

WooCommerce – If you are looking to sell your products online then WooCommerce is the most comprehensive solution available. This eCommerce plugin works seamlessly with most themes and has tonnes of options. WooCommerce actually powers over 30% of all online stores!

MonsterInsights – Nothing beats Google Analytics for keeping an eye on what your website visitors are up to. MonsterInsights lets you check out your site stats right in your dashboard. It’s not as comprehensive as the full thing but great for a quick overview of the important data.

 

WordPress Tutorials and Help

Being open source, WordPress has a huge online community filled with helpful people and resources. Here are some of the best place to find help:

WordPress.org – the home of WordPress is where you go to download the program, plugins and themes. It also has a big section for support where you can access documentation and forums. Basic set-up, customization, security and much more is covered on the site.

WP Beginner – this is a great resource for easy to follow tutorials covering all aspects of using WordPress.

CodeinWP – CodeinWP has lots of good information on the latest WordPress themes and plugins.

WP Tavern – if you want to keep up to date with the latest WordPress news then WP Tavern is a well established source worth checking out.

Should you use WordPress?

WordPress is obviously an excellent option if you want a professional website for little cost. In fact it is actually free to use. To get your website online all you need to pay for is hosting and a domain name. Companies such as GoDaddy and Bluehost offer very affordable packages and they even set up your WordPress installation for you.

You also don’t have to be a programmer or even a designer to use WordPress. There is a world of help out there if you do run into problems so you should never feel overwhelmed.

Website building is a huge market and WordPress continues to stay the number one option. This is mainly due to the amount of people developing solutions that keep up with market trends. Most of us want to have complete control of our websites and that is something WordPress offers better than its competitors.

Keep checking out the WPCake blog as we will be adding regular articles helping you reach success with WordPress and your websites in general.

That’s it for our quick overview of what is WordPress?, so now it is over to you. If you are not one of the millions already using this CMS, download it and give it a go – it’s free after all! We would love to hear how you get on.

What is a slug in SEO and how do I optimize it?

Slug in SEO

What is a slug in SEO?

A slug, in terms of SEO, is the part of a URL (a web page address) that gives a webpage it’s unique name. It tends to be a word or words that are easy to read and explains what that page is about.

So for this very page you are on right now the URL is https://wpcake.com/slug-seo, with the slug being ‘slug seo’. Or if you like to follow sports on the BBC website you will go to https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport which has the slug ‘sport’.

Easy to ready slugs allow the website visitor to understand what the page is about. It’s right there in the browser address bar. Which of the following two links are visitors most likely to click on?

https://wpcake.com/google-tools-for-website/

https://wpcake.com/?943763ID=232P0923238=ID1232

The first one tells me exactly what the page topic is. The second one doesn’t tell me anything!

A slug is far more than just a pretty URL though. It’s also important for SEO. An easy to read slug is an important ranking factor for Google. Just like us, Google looks at the URL and should know right away what the content is covering.

What is a slug in WordPress?

WordPress allows you to change how your URL appears. In WordPress admin, go to Settings > Permalinks and you will see a variety of options.

The best option to make nice, easy to read URLs is the ‘Post name’ option. This will give you your website domain / page name.

WordPress Permalinks

Then when you create a page or post you can edit the slug.

WordPress edit slug in seo

SEO slug in Yoast

The Yoast plugin for WordPress is extremely popular. The free version alone has over 5 million active installs!

Yoast helps you optimize your posts and pages for SEO. It allows you to fill in various fields below your content such as meta description, focus keyword and SEO title. One of these fields is “Slug”. So this powerful plugin is telling us that our slug should be optimized with our focus keyword.

Yoast Slug in SEO

How do I optimize a slug for SEO?

Best slug length for SEO

It is suggested by many SEO experts that the shorter your URL is, the better it is for your ranking. The optimal is between 50 and 60 characters. If you go too far beyond this it could have a negative impact on your rankings.

A good way to keep the character count down is to remove stop words such as “a”, “is”, “of” and “on” if you can. If you are using the Yoast plugin mentioned above it will let you know when you are using too many characters. Words should also be separated with a “-” rather than a blank space.

Use keywords

As mentioned in the Yoast section, you should use your keywords in your slugs. Your page URL is an indicator Google takes into consideration. The slug lets them know what your page is about and what keyword you want people to search for to reach your page.

301 Redirects for any URL changes

Some of you are probably thinking right now – wait a minute, the horse has already bolted! I already have hundreds of indexed URL’s that look really bad.

Fear not as this issue can be fixed using 301 redirects. 301 redirects tell the browser that your old url has moved to a new one and redirects the visitor to the new url.

301 Redirects using a plugin

The simplest way to do 301 redirects if you are using WordPress is by using a WordPress plugin. Redirection plugin, which can be downloaded free at WordPress.org is a good choice with over 1 million active installations. It is as easy as adding the old URL and then the new URL you want the page to go to.

301 Redirects using the .htaccess file

If you have the access, you can also set up redirects manually on your server. You need to locate your .htaccess file in your root directory and open it to edit in notepad (remember to back it up first).

To redirect a single page, at the bottom of the .htaccess file just add a small piece of code similar to below:

Redirect 301 /old-bad-url https://yourdomain.com/new-url

If you want to redirect an entire website then you add the following:

RewriteEngine On
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^olddomain.com$ [OR]
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^www.olddomain.com$
RewriteRule (.*)$ http://www.newdomain.com/$1 [R=301,L]

Conclusion

So as you can see there are plenty of tools out there to help you add pretty URL’s for your web pages. But ultimately, as with anything SEO related, just keep your visitors in mind. How easy is it for them to read your URL’s? How easy is it for Google to read them? Will they know right away what your page is about?

Keep it short, simple and relevant. Follow these rules for your slugs and you will be just fine.

14 amazing free google tools for website development and marketing

Google tools for website development and marketing

As a business owner, keeping up with your competitors is a tough task.

Thankfully there are lots of amazing tools out there to lend a helping hand.

Even better, some of the best ones are free!

Whether you are a web developer, graphic designer, content marketer or basically anyone with a website, Google provides a range of free tools that will give you the edge over your rivals.

So let’s look at the best free google tools for website development and marketing. (more…)