Category: Wordpress

SEO Simple 3 Column WordPress Theme

I finally finished the 3 column version of SEO Simple WordPress Theme.

The layout is such that the post area appears to the left of the screen and two sidebar columns are at the right. This provides a bit more space for adding more links and adverts and other bits and pieces.

You can see the regular and 3 column themes in action here. I have added a theme switcher so that you can toggle between them both.

UPDATE: This theme is outdated. Sadly, I do not update it anymore. I hope everybody who used it enjoyed it. The download link has been removed permanently.

At last, I have finished the beta version of my first WordPress Theme called SEO Simple.

The goal of creating this theme was to play around with CSS so that I could get the title of a post followed by the post text to appear straight after the HTML body tag.

The reason for this is that there is less code for the search engine spiders to chew through before they get to the meat of your page. And when they do, they are greeted with a nice H1 tag with the post title, and then the post text – instead of going through your page header, navigation, etc..

Is it worth doing this? I reckon it is. I’ve seen websites that are listed in the SERPs with their navigation text as the description of their website. And this has been very frustrating when it has happened to me! I also think that every little helps when it comes to getting your pages ranked.

I guess that it’s important to remember that this theme is implementing on-page SEO, and at present, this seems to be no-where near as import as off-page SEO in the form of trusted links. What I’m trying to say is that by using a theme like this, you probably aren’t going to rocket to a number 1 position straight away.

It was also worth doing because I’ve wanted to do a WordPress theme for ages, and I got a chance to do the type of theme that I like to use – one with a really simple and clean layout. This means that it should be easy to hack to your liking if you want to use it.

Even the XHTML and CSS validate, which I am pretty chuffed about

I’ll be updating this theme on an ongoing basis. I plan to release a 3 column version with one of those spiffy 2 column right-hand sidebars as soon as possible (because I want to start using it myself!). Update – This is done and you can download it below.

Thanks go to:
Cre8d Designs Useful resources for creating a WordPress theme.
Floatutorial for helping me to get the content and sidebar in the right order.

UPDATE: Due to this theme being heavily outdated, I’ve decided not to offer it as a download anymore. I might, however, re-create an SEO-friendly theme in the future.


SEO Simple
How To Change The WordPress Default Category

I get a fair amount of traffic here from people who are searching How To Change The WordPress Default Category.

They get directed to my How I Set Up WordPress post which does not explain how to change the default category … instead it is referring to the fact that I rename the default category at the start of setting up WordPress before adding any content.

If you want to know how to change the WordPress default category then you need to:

  1. Select Options from the main menu.
  2. Select Writing from the sub menu.
  3. Change the value in the Default post category drop down list.
  4. Click the Update Options button at the bottom of the page.
  5. Done.

I can sympathize with all the people who want to change the WordPress default category. Allthough it sounds like it should be a simple task, I spend a good 15 minutes hunting around the admin panel trying to find out where I could make this change.

I guessed that it should be in the Mangage > Categories section of the Admin panel. But it’s not there.

I would recommend that you do not rename the default category once you have started adding content to your blog because it has the potential to change your permalink URL’s which is not a great idea.

I’m going to develop a WordPress Theme that is tooled up for SEO!

One of my goals for last year was to develop a WordPress theme from scratch. All of the WordPress themes that I use are usually hacked to the way that I like them, or used straight out of the box – like the one I use here – Andreas 08 3 columns ver 1.

So I failed to do it last year. Probably because it wasn’t such an important thing to get done.

However, after being inspired by DaveN’s post about using CSS, I’ve decided that I’m going to develop a WordPress SEO template/theme.

The idea is that I want to use CSS to jig the content so that the article text is read first by the search engines. This will mean that any navigation and sidebar text comes after the article text and will not interfere with SERP results or text in the listings. Sometimes my listings, especially Yahoo! seem to have navigation text in the page description.

Anyway, let’s see how long it takes.

WordPress SEO Template/Theme
Really Simple Sitemap

Really Simple Sitemap was my first go at creating a plugin for WordPress. It was inspired by these 2 useful posts by SEO Blackhat and WageRank.

Really Simple Sitemap basically lists all of your published posts so that a user (or search engine) is never more than 2 clicks away from any post on your blog – See my Sitemap for an example.

I reckon that using this plugin would be especially useful if you are considering stopping the GoogleBot from indexing your archives, categories feeds, etc… with a robots.txt file.

Here are the instructions to get it working:

  1. Download Really Simple Sitemap then unzip it and save it to the plugins folder of your WordPress install.
  2. Activate the plugin.
  3. Create a page and call it Sitemap (or call it whatever you like).
  4. Add the following text:<!--rs sitemap--> This text will be replaced by your sitemap.
  5. Use the Options->RS Sitemap to set the ordering of your posts, show or hide private posts, and show or hide pages.

All of your published posts will then be output as links in the order of most recently published.

If there is enough interest in this plugin, I may add some extra functionality like sorting options.

I would be keen to get some feedback, so please leave a comment – including any extra functionality you would like to see included.

Really Simple Sitemap only works with WordPress 2.1.x.
Current Version: 1.2.

Updates 20 April 2007 (V 1.2):

1. Made the code more efficient so the database is only hit if the post or page requires a sitemap.

Updates 13 March 2007 (V 1.1):

1. Added an Options page to set ordering of posts, showing or hiding private posts, and showing pages.

2. Default table prefix is no longer hardcoded.

NOTE: As this project is outdated, the plugin can no longer be downloaded. Maybe I’ll create a new plugin in the future.

As you may be able to see, this is the first post for my new blog – Internet Wealth Master.

Coincidentally, Darren Rowse has started a new group writing project about writing lists for blog posts.

So I thought I would write my first post by taking part. My list is about How I Set Up WordPress.

Now when I set up a blog, I have a checklist of stuff to work through which I use in an attempt to try and get it right first time.

Over the months I have found that as I refine this list, I can get a WordPress blog set up pretty quickly.

So here is the list. I’ve tried to put it into an order of importance too!

  1. Change Permalink Structure – This is very important for SEO. It tidies up your URL so that it is relevant to your content and easy for search engines to read. I set my permalink structure to /%postname%/ – Apparently it appears more accessible to search engines if you do not have such a deep file structure like /%year%/%monthnum%/%day%/%postname%/.
  2. Set WordPress Template – Next I will upload and select the WordPress template that I want to use.
  3. Configure Title Tag For SEO – This is more important than uploading your WordPress template, but can not be done until you selected the template you want to use. To configure the title tag, you will need to hack the header.php file of your wordpress install. You need to find the line that will probably look like this :<em><title><?php bloginfo(’name’); ?> <?php if ( is_single() ) { ?> » Blog Archive <?php } ?> <?php wp_title(); ?></title></em>What I want to do is set the structure of this code to spout out something like this:The Post Name | About 3 or 4 Keywords About My BlogSo I will change it to something like this:

    <?php wp_title(“”); ?>
    <?php if(wp_title(” “, false)) { echo ” | “; } ?>
    My Blog Keywords

    Substitute My Blog Keywords for the keywords of the blog.

  4. Set the Blog Title – This is taken care of during the install, but I like to remind myself of it in case I want to change it
  5. Set the Blog Tagline – I don’t always make the Blog Tagline appear on the blog, but it is something I like to check off the list so then I don’t get ‘Just Another WordPress Blog‘ appearing anywhere by accident.
  6. Delete the Default Page – and while I’m at it, I will get rid of the default post and comment.
  7. Change Default Category – I always change my default category to something that is general and topical for the blog subject. If I set up a blog about cars, then I would probably change the default category to Cars.
  8. Set Up Some More Categories – While I’m at it, I will set up some more categories now.
  9. Install Plugins – Now I like to get tooled up with my favorite plugins. These include:
  10. Set Text Box Size for Writing Posts – This is just a personal thing I like to do. I generally use the web interface to manage my blogs and I find that 20 lines are the perfect size for writing my blog posts.

And that’s it.

My checklist does extend to some other stuff, but what you see above is what I generally do as soon as I have completed the WordPress Install.

How I Set Up WordPress