Here We Go: WordPress Q&A

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Last night I taught my first class through The Influence Network! For an hour, I went over WordPress 101 and we covered A LOT. I talked for 40 minutes straight (while experiencing some audio issues) and then took questions for the remaining 20 minutes! I thought I’d share some of the questions (along with my answers) because I bet all you readers could benefit as well!

  1. How do you convert a plugin to a widget? If a plug-in is meant to work as a widget (as most are), it will automatically appear in the “Available Widget” section under Appearance > Widgets. There are times, however, that some plugins aren’t meant to be widgets and they will have a specific area in the dashboard where you can change settings and utilize it.
  2. How do you pick a theme/template? How do you know where to start? I usually start over at I like Themeforest because you can search by subject (ie: blog, retail, non-profit, etc) but then you can also search keywords or buy plug-in. For example, if I want to use WooCommerce as an eCommerce solution – I can search WooCommerce and see which themes are extremely compatible. You can also mouse over the thumbnails and see a preview of each theme before clicking into it and digging deeper.
  3. Can you explain how to edit a widget code? Since most widgets start off as plugins, you can go into “Installed Plugins” and click “edit” underneath the plugin that you’d like to alter. This will take you to the specific code for that plugin. Beware – if you make changes and then update the plugin (which most often do), all your changes will most likely be erased.
  4. What are the pros and cons of organizing the permalinks various ways? Google reads left to right so you want keywords closer to the front (vs the back). Using the default permalink structure should be avoided since it just numbers pages/posts. For best SEO practices – you should just structure your links like: I use the year and month in my permalink structure (as you can see in your browser) so my readers know if it’s relevant but this isn’t the BEST when it comes to SEO.
  5. If you’re already using is it an easy switch to wordpress.orgThe formatting might stay nicer (with categories especially) but you’ll still need to establish your domain/hosting and move the content.
  6. Do you prefer Genesis? I have seen great blogs/sites in Genesis but I really love Standard theme.
  7. What plugings do you think people should stay away from? In the world of WordPress, I tend to stay away from anything that is rated poorly or hasn’t been updated in 90-120 days. Also, make sure it’s compatible with the most recent version of WordPress!
  8. What are your top 5 plugins? 
  • Akismet: No more spam comments!!
  • Contact Form 7: I use this for all contact forms. Easy to use with a shortcode.
  • Easy Recipe: Embed an easy “printable” recipe in your post!
  • nRelate: Add thumbnails under your post so your readers can see related posts
  • Visual Editor: Allows you to use MANY shortcodes to create awesome layouts

Feel free to ask any questions in the comment section below! I’ll be answering them throughout the day!

February 6, 2013