Learning code and SEO programming for my website - any ideas/advice

(12 Posts)
CareerGirl01 Thu 07-Mar-13 14:15:54

Hmm - as posted previously I'm thinking of doing this in the latter stages of my pregnancy (31 weeks now) as I start to take maternity leave. Does anyone know where I should start?!

nannynick Thu 07-Mar-13 20:26:22

To start with SEO read what google says Google Webmaster SEO.

By code, do you mean learning php, css, dhtml, hmtl5, asp, what?
I suggest looking online, reading books such as those from www.sitepoint.com and perhaps doing a distance learning course.

DolomitesDonkey Fri 08-Mar-13 06:47:56

You absolutely do not need to "learn code" to build a website!

What are you trying to do?

lemonygem Fri 08-Mar-13 09:19:30

Absolutely the best way to start is this:

1. Buy some hosting (there are loads of great, cheap places out there, dreamhost.com, site5.com, bluehost.com are all similar types of thing). A basic package will do
2. Register your domain name.
3. Install WordPress - it's often just a one-click install, you don't need to really do anything apart press a button and make sure it gets installed in the right folder.

There are a whole bunch of tutorials on the web about how to use WordPress (I offer a free one myself called Pimp That WordPress Site which you can sign up to... http://www.janeandphilbert.com/its-time-to-pimp-that-website/

More importantly, WordPress has plugins that help you with SEO, but good results take time, energy and a knowledge of your niche and their keywords. If you have great content on your site, guest blog for bigger sites and get your name out there - that will drive WAY more traffic to your site than fiddling about with your title tags.

Hope that helps!

G x

CareerGirl01 Fri 08-Mar-13 11:33:03

Hi lemony have done all the setting up -hosting/word press etc. My site has loads of content. I need to SEO it don't I!??

CareerGirl01 Fri 08-Mar-13 11:33:30

Thought learning code might be useful going forward.

CareerGirl01 Fri 08-Mar-13 11:34:09

Lemony great advice btw thank you x

lemonygem Fri 08-Mar-13 12:49:17

Thanks very much : )

OK, first off, what are your goals with the site? Are you after more readers, more customers, more awareness, more people to connect with, more local business...? Thinking you need to optimise your site for search engines is all well and good, but you won't get far without knowing what you want to achieve from it!

Once you have that clear, you really need to consider the search terms (keywords or keyword phrases) you want to be found for. And while it's all well and good to want to be hitting the top spot for something like "photography" or "bookkeeping" (I have no idea what your site is about, by the way : )!!), you're not being specific enough and you'll be fighting every other photographer, photography website, places that sell cameras etc etc etc, and you'll probably lose. Badly.

That being said, if you try to optimise your site for "photography for small yellow polka dot jugs in Shrewsbury", you'll probably not see any results because not many people will search for that.

You need to hit the sweet spot between too general and too niche! Taking the photography idea, if you want to increase your photography of same-sex weddings in a particular area, one of your keyword phrases might be,

"Same sex wedding photographer Kent" or "Canterbury Gay-friendly wedding photography".

Search terms that are likely to be searched upon, but niche enough to appeal to your target market.

From there, you can start optimising your site.

1. Check you have nice permalinks turned on (Dashboard > Settings > Permalinks). Click the "custom" option and use "/%category%/%postname%/" in the text box. Save changes.
2. Install a plugin to help your SEO (Dashboard > Plugins > Add New, search for "WordPress SEO by Yoast", click "Install Now", and once unpacked, "Activate Now"). This shows up in every single post and page underneath the editor. You can add both the title (very important for SEO, also the blue header link in Google result listings) and the meta descripton (the blurb under the blue link in google result listings). There are also settings to help you in the Dasboard > Settings for the plugin as well as great help files at the main plugin website which you can follow.

That's the basics - I've also detailed some more in my blog whichyou might find useful! www.janeandphilbert.com/google-hates-you/

Hope that helps!

G x

CareerGirl01 Fri 08-Mar-13 14:25:49

Thanks again G. My site is an online magazine aimed at women in their 30s and older. Need more visits so I can start charging for ads and think about affiliates.

DolomitesDonkey Sat 09-Mar-13 06:14:02

Have a look at the wordpress themes on themeforest.net - plenty of magazine style themes there. smile

CareerGirl01 Tue 19-Mar-13 10:00:26

Thanks G. I've taken your advice but after switching all my content was blocked. This came up "You should update your .htaccess now." Is this why it's not working?

lemonygem Tue 19-Mar-13 16:16:43

Ah, if you need to update your .htaccess file, the changes won't kick in until you've manually changed it. Some web hosts allow WordPress to make changes to your htaccess file (which is essentially just a configuration file that tells your server how it should serve up your content to the public, e.g. whether it should give your pages "pretty" URLs like "www.yoursite.com/loads-of-great-info" instead of "www.yoursite.co.uk/index.php?id=7897897").

To access your htaccess file, it's easiest to do this through your FTP software. It will be in the main base root directory of your site, and it's just called ".htaccess". Download this and save it to your computer, and then save another version as a backup (htaccess2) in case things go pear-shaped!

Open up your version in Notepad (or Mac equivalent). Don't do it in Word, though, as Word as a tendency to add lots of crazy meta-tags and extra stuff to plain text files.

In your WordPress Permalinks section where you changed the custom permalinks (or if they haven't changed, change them now), there should be a section of code that will be given to you that you need to add to the htaccess. Copy this.

In the htaccess on your computer, copy this code block underneath everything else, save it and upload it back to the server. Refresh the permalinks page and everything should be golden. And if it isn't, just upload the back-up and come back here smile

Let me know how you get on!

Gem x

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now