Monthly Archives: July 2015

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WordPress Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

How Do I Set a Static Page as My Site’s Homepage?

The default WordPress settings display a feed of your most recent posts on the homepage, which is preferred by most bloggers. But if you are trying to build a non-blog website, a static page would probably work best. You can assign a static page to your site’s homepage by logging into your dashboard and clicking Settings > Reading > and clicking the “Static page” button next to the option titled “Front page displays.”

Is WordPress Secure?

WordPress gets a bad rap regarding security, with many webmasters viewing it as a target for hackers. The truth, however, is that most attacks on WordPress websites are the result of outdated software, poor username/password combinations, or the use of dubious third-party plugins or other software. Developers have made great strides to create a secure environment for WordPress, and as long as you take basic preventive measures to protect your site, it shouldn’t become a victim of hackers.

If you are worried your site will become the target of hackers, check out our previous blog post here for more tips on how to secure a WordPress website.

How to I Find The Page ID?

Unless you have your site set up to use the page ID in URLs, you may have trouble locating this information. However, certain plugins require users to input page IDs. You can find the page ID by clicking the Posts or Pages button and hovering over the post/page from which you would like to obtain the ID. In the status bar you will see something along the lines of “post=123,” with the number being the page ID.

Should I Use Hosted or Self-Hosted WordPress?

There’s really no easy answer to this question, as both hosted and self-hosted versions of WordPress have their own strengths and weaknesses. Hosted is great if you’re looking for a fast and easy way to get started. With that said, self-hosted offers far more features and customization options than its counterpart. For these reasons, we recommend using self-hosted WordPress if you are serious about creating a successful blog or website.

How Do I Use a Plugin?

One of that many reasons why WordPress is the leading content management system (CMS) is because it supports the use of plugins. But how exactly do you use a plugin? There are a couple of ways to accomplish this, one of which is by using the platform’s built-in plugin search tool. From within the WordPress dashboard, access Plugins > Add New > and search for the plugin that you wish to use. Next, click “Install Now,” at which point the plugin will download to your site’s plugin directory. Last but not least, go to your plugins and click the “Activate button,” at which point it should be ready to go!

Have any other questions about WordPress that we didn’t answer? Let us know in the comments section below!

Image attribution:

Flickr Logo

How to Use Flickr Photos in Your Blog

As the adage goes, a picture is worth a thousand words, holds true when blogging. Including photos in your blog posts will enhance your content by making it more appealing. This usually results in a lower bounce rate, as well as a stronger level of visitor engagement. But there are a few things you should know about using Flickr photos in your blog.

Flickr is one of the world’s largest depositories of images. Regardless of your post’s content, chances are you can find a relevant image for it here. While many Flickr images are copyright-protected — meaning the author holds ALL rights — others have limited protection. Flickr’s Creative Commons has tens of millions of images that bloggers can use for free. However, there are subtle nuances between the different categories that shouldn’t be ignored.

Flickr Creative Commons Categories:

  • Attribution — bloggers can use the image for personal or commercial purposes, and make derivatives of it, but only if they credit the author.
  • Noncommercial — bloggers can use the image for personal, but not commercial, purposes as long as they credit the author.
  • No Derivative — bloggers can copy and use the image for all purposes, but the image must be preserved in its original format.
  • Share Alike — bloggers can use the image under the same exact license that governs its work
  • Public domain — there are no copyright restrictions attached to public domain images.

Ideally, the best category from which to acquire images is public domain. Any Flickr images marked as public domain do not require attribution, and they can be used for both personal and commercial purposes. If you are unable to find a particular image under public domain, the next best category is arguably attribution. You can still use the image on your blog, even if it’s a revenue-generating blog, but you must credit the author.

How To Credit Flickr Author

Unless you are using a public domain image, you’ll need to credit the original photographer/author. Flickr doesn’t provide specific instructions on how to this, instead saying it’s up to the photographer.

This is up to the rightful owner of the images to decide, which on Flickr means the photographer. While we cannot represent the photographers’ preference for how to attribute their photos, we do recommend checking the copyright law for how to attribute properly, which generally could includes displaying the photographer’s name and link to the photo’s page on Flickr,” wrote Flickr.

So, how should you credit the author? Look at the image’s description to see if the author has included attribution instructions. Some authors may ask you to link back to their homepage when using their photos. Others may request that you simply link to their Flickr account. If there are no instructions here, though, something along the lines of “Creative Commons 10th Birthday Celebration San Francisco” by tvol is licensed under CC BY 2.0″ should work.

What’s your preferred method for crediting the author of a Flickr photo? Let us know in the comments section below!

Simple Yet Effective Ways to Promote Your Blog Posts

Can’t seem to gain any traction with your blog? Check out some of the promotional techniques listed below!

Add Images

Don’t underestimate the value of images within a blog post. Studies have shown that Internet users respond to content with images with a higher level of engagement when compared to text-only content. It will generate more comments, more Facebook “likes,” more tweets, etc.

But adding images to your blog posts has a second benefit that often goes unnoticed: the images will be indexed by Google Images and Bing Images. So the next time someone searches for a keyword related to the image in Google or Bing, they may discover your blog post. Just remember to follow the basics of image optimization, such as renaming the file name to something more relevant, using alt text, and using the appropriate file extension.

Leverage The Power of Social Media

When it comes to promoting blog posts, nothing holds more value than social media. Creating a Facebook update with a link pointing back to your new blog post can send tons of traffic to it, many of whom will share the link on their own accounts. When done correctly, this can create a viral effect in which one user shares it with another user, who then shares it with someone else — and the cycle repeats.

If you really want to take advantage of social media, add some basic sharing buttons to your blog. Granted, users can always like or share your blog post by logging into their Facebook account, but you can make it easier for them by adding these buttons to you blog. Rather than leaving your site to “like” a post, they can simply click the button. It doesn’t get any easier than that!

Stay on Top of Trends

A third way to promote your blog is to publish content that’s currently trending. By definition, trends come and go, which is why it’s important to act fast when you notice a trend that’s relevant to your blog’s niche. Whether it’s a news story, current event, viral video, etc., give your perspective on the trend by writing up a short post. You can then share it on social media using the appropriate #hashtags.

There are dozens of ways to find trends, but one of my personal favorite tools is This simple, free-to-use tool reveals trending Twitter #hashtags from the past 24 hours.

Quote Relevant People

How can quoting relevant people yield more traffic to your blog posts? It serves a few different purposes. For starters, there’s a chance the person you quote will notice your content, linking to it from their own website. Second,, search engines will notice that you are quoting an expert, possibly boosting your blog’s search ranking as a result. Third, your blog’s visitors will view your site as being a leading authority figure since it contains actual quotes.

What methods do you use to promote your blog? Let us know in the comments section below!


Targeting Long-Tail Keywords With Your Blog

One of the most common mistakes new bloggers make is trying to target broad, generic keywords. Conventional wisdom should lead you to believe that such keywords will yield more traffic since they have a higher search volume. While it’s true that broad keywords usually have greater search volume than narrow keywords, this doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll reap the benefits of increased traffic by targeting them.

What is a Long Tail Keyword?

Long-tail keywords are usually three or four keyword phrases that are more specific than a single keyword. One of the benefits of using them is users who enter more specific keyword phrases are usually closer to making a purchase since they already know exactly what product or service they are seeking.


The problem with trying to target broad keywords is the massive amount of competition they have. For instance, searching for the broad keyword “health tips” on Google will reveal a whopping 876 million results. If you narrow down your niche to a keyword such as “health care tips for middle-aged women,” however, you’ll notice there are only 49 million results. That’s a pretty substantial difference, attesting to the power of a narrow, long-tail keyword.

With fewer sites competing for the respective keyword, you’ll have an easier time achieving a top rank in Google and other search engines. Many bloggers and webmasters invest countless hours of hard work into building their websites, only to discover that it’s not ranking well in the search engines. In cases such as this, the root cause of the low rankings isn’t caused by a low-quality website or lack of content, but rather it’s caused by too much competition. You have to remember that competing sites have probably been sitting comfortably in Google’s index for quite some time, and in order to boost your site above them, you’ll have to spend a great deal of time, resources and energy on SEO.

Targeted Traffic

Another reason why you should target long-tail keywords is because it yields more targeted traffic. If you run an e-commerce website that specializes in aftermarket truck parts, for instance, you’ll have a higher conversion rate and generate more sales by targeting keywords like “aftermarket truck parts” instead of “car parts or “auto parts.” Users will see your website listed in Google after searching for “aftermarket truck parts,” at which point they’ll click it to check out your inventory. If visitors click on your listing after searching for “auto parts,” there’s a lower chance of them making a purchase since they probably weren’t shopping for aftermarket parts.

So, how can you identify profitable long-tail keywords for your blog? Think about what you are trying to accomplish with your blog and choose keywords that are relevant to your blog’s demographic. Ideally, the keywords should have a moderate amount of searches with minimal competition. But most importantly, they should flow cohesively with your blog’s content and objective.

Google’s Adwords Keyword Planner Too

I also recommend using Google’s Adwords Keyword Planner Tool. Found at, this free-to-use tool will reveal a plethora of information about prospective keywords for which you are trying to rank, including average bid prices, competition, and other related keywords. Note: you’ll need an Adwords account to access the Keyword Planner Tool, but you don’t have to actually spend money. Sign up for a free account and you are good to go!

Do you target long-tail keywords with your blog? Let us know in the comments section below!

WordPress vs Joomla

Whether you’re blogging for recreational or commercial purposes (or both), one of things you’ll have to consider is the content management system (CMS). While you can technically create a blog using nothing more than Notepad, the right CMS will make a world of difference, streamlining the process of creating and managing your posts. Today we’re going to take a closer look at two of the most popular and widely used blogging platforms, WordPress and Joomla, revealing which one comes out as the winner.


Originally launched back in 2003, WordPress has become the single most popular CMS. While the exact number of WordPress sites remains unknown, some reports indicate that up to 75 million websites run this platform. Why do so many bloggers and webmasters prefer it over other content manage systems?

There are a number of benefits associated with WordPress, one of which is its simple, easy-to-use interface. It literally takes less 5 minutes to set up WordPress, at which point you can begin crafting new blog posts. From within the admin dashboard, you’ll see a column of self-explanatory options on the left-hand side, such as “Posts,” “Media,” “Links,” “Pages,” Comments,” “Appearance,” Plugins,” etc. Clicking on any of these links will take you to the respective page where you can adjust your blog’s settings.

Arguably, one the most attractive features of WordPress is its use of interchangeable plugins and themes. Rather than modifying your blog’s code to implement a new feature, you can simply download and active a plugin. A plugin is a file or set of files that’s designed to perform a one or more functions, such as displaying social media widgets, enabling browser caching, creating contact pages and more.


On the other side of the fence if Joomla. It may lack the numbers of WordPress, but it’s still a popular CMS that’s used by millions of bloggers. Joomla was originally launched in 2003 and has since been download more than 20 million times. Much like its WordPress counterpart, Joomla also has an extensive depositories of free and paid plugins (called extensions), as well as interchangeable templates. If you want to add a new feature to your Joomla blog, you should first see if there’s an extension available for it. If there’s not, you’ll have to code the feature by hand.

Joomla also creates SEO-friendly links by default. Instead of seeing new posts and pages created with generic URLs like, URLs will reflect the page’s title, such as

Which Should I Choose?

In terms of usability, most bloggers will agree that WordPress is easier to use. The dashboard just looks and feels natural, making it easy for first-time bloggers to get their foot in the door. And because it’s used by so many people, WordPress offers a greater variety of themes and plugins. WordPress also has pretty strong tech support and an enormous library of help files and forums, enabling you to get answers when you get stuck.

You really can’t go wrong with either WordPress or Joomla. They are both two powerful and versatile blogging platforms, but if I had to choose one as the winner I would say it’s WordPress.

Do you prefer WordPress or Joomla? Let us know in the comments section below!