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Posts Tagged ‘best wordpress pulugins’

to return to ”Website Development With WordPress: Adding WordPress Plugins You Will Need” please click here
or to return to the tutorial index please click here.

A Sitemap is an XML file that lists the URLs for a site and allows a webmaster to inform search engines about URLs (yes, the www.yoursite.com/whatever) on your website that are available for crawling. It allows webmasters to include additional information about each URL: when it was last updated, how often it changes, and how important it is in relation to other URLs in the site. This allows search engines to crawl the site more intelligently. Sitemaps are a URL inclusion protocol and complement robots.txt, a URL exclusion protocol.

It is also important to understand that Sitemaps supplement and do not replace the existing crawl-based mechanisms that search engines already use to discover URLs. Also, using this protocol does not guarantee that web pages will be included in search indexes, nor does it influence the way that pages are ranked in search results.

But to my experience, this is a must. This is the fastest way to notify google about your website and changes and should seriously aid in your SEO process. To elaborate, please take a look at our article about Making WordPress Search Engine Friendly.

Sitemaps are particularly beneficial on websites where:

Some areas of the website are not available through the browsable interface, or webmasters use rich Ajax, Silverlight, or Flash content that is not normally processed by search engines. The webmaster can generate a Sitemap containing all accessible URLs on the site and submit it to search engines. Since Google, MSN, Yahoo, and Ask use the same protocol now, having a Sitemap would let the biggest search engines have the updated pages information.

So, let’s work on a way on how to automatize this process, which is a very simple task in wordpress.

Google Webmaster Tools

Google Webmaster Tools

Although this is not mandatory, as we wan’t to be shure our sitemap es being posted, we will need a google webmaster account. The url for registration is http://www.google.com/webmasters/. Once your account is created, you should create a record for the site you wan’t to work with, and via the google authentication methods, confirm the site ownership. I personally recommned the script placing in your website root modality, as I have done this process various times and this choice has proved to be the one that never fails.Now, we should install our XML sitemap automation.

For this, we will include another plugin in our installation, a plugin called Google XML Sitemaps.

XML Sitemap Generator

XML Sitemap Generator

This plugin will generate a sitemaps.org compatible sitemap of your WordPress blog which is supported by Ask.com, Google, MSN Search and YAHOO. Please download from here (http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/google-sitemap-generator/), decompress and install this plugin by uploading the resulting forlder into the ftp://yourwebsite.com/wp-content/plugins folder.

Once this process is complete, you should activate the plugin. In the plugins section of your wordpress admin panel, please activate this plugin. All settings are pretty self explanatory and you should not have to meddle with them much, but in the configuration page (the link in the plugin detail in the plugins section) for this plugin you should add your google account info for google notifications to be done automatically.

Some features about this plugin :

  • Post Priority (this is especially useful, even more so if you have Popularity Contest enabled)
  • Auto-detects the sitemap location
  • Options to include or exclude specific content types (example, posts, categories, archives, tag pages, etc)
  • Easy to change the frequency for robots to re-crawl pages (example, Daily, Monthly, Yearly, etc)
  • Easy to change the priority level for each content type
  • And many more.

Finally, we should test our reporting of news to the google services. To do this there are two procedures. Manually, forcing the update, and automaitcally, allowing the plugin to perform the update. Automatically, the plugin will perform the update anytime your wordpress website is updated (you can configure which parts of the website to report – tags, posts, comments, etc.).

To revise your results, please log into the webmaster tools area in google, click your website and in the left panel click on Site Information>Sitemaps. There you should see the google sitemaps and the amount of indexed urls you have.

to continue to ”Website Development With WordPress: Adding your first Entry” please click here.

to return to ”Website Development With WordPress: Making WordPress Search Engine Friendly” please click here
or to return to the tutorial index please click here.

Plugins are small scripts that can extend WordPress to do almost anything you can imagine. There is a directory in the wordpress.org (http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/) website where you can take a look and find literlly thousands of them, whom can improve your worpdress experiencie in almost endelss ways.

In this small section I will discuss only two of them I consider ver important for you to implement. Further options are also considered, simply google “wordpress plugins” and you´ll find thousands of people recommending diferent solutions for your wordpress website. I’ve tried these and recommend them.

First of all, Backup !!!

Yes, you need a copy of your content and don’t want any problems with damaged or lost information. Although your host may have a backup implementation, it is never wrong to simply secure a copy of your information.  This is a simple plugin to help you automate the process of backuping your wordpress database to ensure there is no content loss.
Please download, extract wp-db-backup.php and upload it into /wp-content/plugins/ and activate it under the Plugins menu. Then Click the Manage menu in your WordPress admin area. Click the Backup sub-menu. When activated, this plugin will look for other tables in the same database (this can solve a general backup of the website). You may elect to include other tables in the backup.

Now simply select how you’d like the backup to be delivered:

  • Save to server : this will create a file in /wp-content/backup-*/ for you to retreive later
  • Download to your computer : this will send the backup file to your browser to be downloaded
  • Email : this will email the backup file to the address you specify

Click “Backup!” and your database backup will be delivered to you.

When having the database backup emailed or sent to your browser for immediate download, the backup file will be deleted from the server when the transfer is finished.
Only if you select delivery method “Save to server” will the backup file remain on your server.

Additionally, our website will need a contact form. This is very easy to implement.
Download WordPress-Ready Contact Form v.2.0WP. This plugin has a form overview page to allow you to confirm the plugin’s general configuration, a set of extensive security features to countermeassure spammers and forgers and a form set-up error management to help ensure you set-up critical parts correctly. You can also customize the style of your forms to match your template (see our “Installing your chosen design theme” section for this set of articles).
WordPress-Ready Contact Form v.2.0WP

WordPress-Ready Contact Form v.2.0WP

This plugin is simple to install and can be done in a matter of minutes. The following steps will guide you through the process:

Unpack the *.zip file and extract the /wp-gbcf/ folder and wp-gbcf_readme.txt file. Using an FTP program, upload the /wp-gbcf/ folder to your WordPress plugins directory (Example: /wp-content/plugins/). In the sub-directory, /wp-gbcf_themes/, using FTP or your server admin panel, change the permission of the CSS theme files to 666, but you’ll only do this if you’ll want to edit them. Open your WordPress Admin panel and go to the “Plugins” page. Locate the “Secure and Accessible PHP Contact Form” plugin and click on the “Activate” link.

Once activated, go to the “Contact Form” page and select the “Configuration” link on the sub-menu. If you need help, review the “Form Configuration Instructions.” You won’t be able to enter the URL yet, though. Once configured as much as you can, go to the “Write” page and click the “Write Page” If using a default page template give it a name like “Contact Page,” for example. Now go back to the “Configuration” page and add the URL of your newly-created form page. “Save” your changes. Now go to “Manage” and click on “Edit Pages” link on the sub-menu. Then locate your contact page an click on the “Edit” link to the right of it. With the page file open, add this code <!–gb_contact_form–> to the text area and “Save” the page.

To style your form, select the “Styling” link. There you may select one of the ready-made themes (designed for specific popular WordPress themes), use no theme, or create your own using the style sheet editor provided.

to continue to  ”Website Development With WordPress: Planning your strategic sitemap” please click here.