WordPress and Social Media for Small Organizations

WordPress is a great platform for creating blogs but also creating websites for churches and small organizations.  What is good about creating with WordPress is the variety of themes, plugins and options that you can use to make a great looking and functioning website.

What makes WordPress a good option for small to medium churches and ministries is the ability to create pages and menus within the wordpress CMS. (Content Management System)  Most people may assume that wordpress, because it began as a blogging platform only works as a blog.  I have found that the combination of pages and posts provide a user with options to create a robust website which will hold your company, church or non profit’s content. Pages can be set up like normal web pages creating places for tell your story, describe your services, hold content like media and photos.  Posts are created on the blog feature for your site and can be used to communicate the most current content that relates to you organization.

The ability to blend posts and pages together in a dynamic website also helps your website show up on search engines.  Adding social medial sharing buttons allow people to interact with your content and share on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Linkedin and many other sharing sites.  Older sites that are created as a “static” html site need keywords and meta information to drive searching but with wordpress you are not only able to use keywords, and meta info to SEO you also use tags and categories to drive people to the particular content they desire.

Creating great content using wordpress gives you the ability to draw people to you using social media.  People love to share articles and information to others that they find meaningful.  When you post an article about your service or ministry, you create a product that people want to share.  When they share your article or blog people who want to read the post will visit your site.  Social Media increases your audience as friends share with other friends.  For ministries that wish to grow and communicate their story to others, social media sharing is the most effective and cost efficient way to go.

Don’t be afraid to share your content as an organization.  WDA, Worldwide Discipleship Association, has provided great resources to churches for almost 40 years.  They began to develop a website as disciplebuilding.org which featured wordpress and utilized social media.  By creating great content on their blog and giving aways some of their materials for free, people hear about them and want more of their services.  Inbound Marketing, creating great content and sharing that content on social media will help you build influence and have greater impact.

Learn more about WordPress at wordpress.org or wordpress.com (hosted wordpress blogs)

Get Started with WordPress

Take time to look over the many templates you can use with wordpress

Set up a Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin Account

Don’t forget to learn more about Inbound Marketing….(more on that here later)

7 Essential Things All Bloggers Should Be Doing | Vandelay Design Blog

Great post by Vandelay Design Blog

7 Essential Things All Bloggers Should Be Doing | Vandelay Design Blog.

With the number of blogs online growing every day, it is increasingly difficult to stand out and achieve success with your blog. In the end, many bloggers that start out with high hopes and expectations wind up deciding that blogging really isn’t worth their time. Those who have some patience and a plan to achieve specific goals with their blog will have a much greater likelihood of long-term success.

In this post we’ll look at 7 things that you should be doing to set yourself up for success and to avoid common pitfalls. The topics covered here should prove to be helpful for bloggers who are just getting started or for those who have been feeling like their efforts haven’t been producing enough results. Here are 7 things that all bloggers should be doing.

More Here

Take the WordPress Users Survey, win over $3,000 in prizes | WPCandy

Take the WordPress Users Survey, win over $3,000 in prizes | WPCandy.

The folks over at WPCandy have a users survey that you may take a few moments to fill out. Doing so will enter you into a drawing for over $3000 grand prize.

Here are the details:

Today we’re happy to announce the 2010 WPCandy WordPress Users Survey, as well as a WordPRess giveaway valued at over $3,000.

WordPress is used every day by bloggers and professionals all over the world—but how and what for? Just who is using WordPress? This survey aims to compile survey data on these sorts of questions into a report for the benefit of the community.

By participating in this quick WordPress Users Survey, you will get three things:

  • Access to the final survey report in January. Just make sure you include your email with the survey. It will only be used for the one-time email delivering you the survey report.
  • Entered to win a $3,000 grand prize. More on this below.
  • The satisfaction of contributing to a community-driven endeavor that will benefit everyone. Also know as the feel-goods.

The survey will be available through December, and the final report will be created in January.Take the 2010 WPCandy WordPress Users Survey today!

Take the survey for a chance at over $3,000 in WordPress prizes

Such a project just wouldn’t be as much fun without a massive giveaway, right? That’s what we thought.

Increase Your Website’s Results with Less Work | Tips

Increase Your Website’s Results with Less Work | Tips.

Increase Your Website’s Results with Less Work

“Want to increase your website’s results with less work? A simple way to do this and get higher conversion rates, more subscribers, more members, and more sales, is by using the 80-20 rule.

What’s the 80-20 rule? Also known as the Pareto principle, the 80-20 rule states that 80% of your results comes from 20% of your efforts. Specifically to your website, 80% of your desired results comes from 20% of your website’s elements. The rest of the 80% of elements give you only 20% of your desired results, yet they take up the majority of your site.”

READ MORE at webdesignledger.com

When a wordpress plugin breaks your site

As I have been making the transition from a basic html site to a wordpress driven site, I have tried different wordpress plugins. Since I am also a fan of the apple iphone, I wanted to make sure that my posts and pages would show up well on these new platforms. First I made sure my portfolio would fit on each screen and also took time to make sure that my portfolio plugin wasn’t flash based. As Apple and Adobe were not getting along well. As I tested I realized that my portfolio would work well yet would run over the side bar when on the iphone and ipod touch. One good thing about using a WordPress theme that allows customization I was able to select which pages I create show what type of sidebar. Also since switching to WordPress I was able to borrow a computer and access my site online and make adjustments on the fly without having to go home to my computer or need to use any design software.

So what happens when a plugin breaks your site?  In the case of my portfolio plugins, I needed to adjust my layout and avoid flash for picture.  I also had difficulty with how a mobile plugin worked.  This plugin created a special theme which actually kept me from accessing the pages as I had designed them. The plugin didn’t have a way for a user to go to the actual webpage and see it as originally created.  One benefit of the iphone browser was that it can show a website as created and not need a special mobile interface. The good thing about using WordPress and plugins, was that this wasn’t a problem as a designer.  All I needed to do was disable the plugin.

Whether you choose to use a plugin for mobile or not make sure that you test it so that you still have a good experience with your site. While all sites will have a better experience on a laptop or desktop, as we move toward platforms such as the iphone, ipad, or netbook market, it means we need to test on each of these when possible.

Test, Test, Test is the part of the game for a web designer. Hopefully your issues will be easily remedied as mine were.

SEO – Search Engine optimization- don’t forget the basics

Sometimes the most basic things can be overlooked when setting up a website.  I recently was called by a client who needed someone to help the site be seen when doing a Search Engine query.  The website that they were using has been designed by someone else and I was able to come in after the design was completed and optimize the site for web searches.

Making the transition to a new website can be complex but doesn’t need to be something that is overwhelming. I began with the basics, looking at the meta data, then looking at how the site was structured, creating a sitemap xml file then began to see if the new site had been submitted to the search engines.  Most of these tasks are not hard for a web designer once you know about submitting sites to google, yahoo, ask etc.  The other thing that a web designer would need to know is how to set up a google analytics account and set up goals for the site. This way the customer will be able to see not just how many clicks the site may get, but see how people are interacting with the site.

Setting up a google analytics account requires a gmail account and the ability to place code in your webpage.  These thing are not complex but cannot be missed for any web designer no matter if you are just beginning and create sites as a hobby.  While there plenty more task that can be done to improve visibility on the web, the basics have to be done first. Get a good book on SEO and keep up to date as things do change.  But unless you do the basics first all the other work, such as crafting content that usees good keywords, coming up with content people want to ready, will not nearly be as effective.

Next and the hardest part is creating content that people want to read and doing so on a regular basis.  But that is another blog.

here are some links  you may find helpful

Google Analytics

http://www.google.com/analytics/

Google Webmaster Central

http://www.google.com/support/webmasters/?hl=en

Yahoo! Submit Your Site

http://search.yahoo.com/info/submit.html

Ask – Webmasters

http://about.ask.com/en/docs/about/webmasters.shtml

Free Sitemap Generator –

http://www.xml-sitemaps.com/

Extension for Dreamweaver – Sitemap Everyday

http://www.adobe.com/cfusion/exchange/index.cfm?event=extensionDetail&extid=1180538

Site Redesign for Georgia Moon

Georgia Moon Bakery wanted to redesign their site to focus on cakes.  The new site is www.georgiamooncakes.com.  This site was based on a static design but has been updated to a wordpress based site.  Features include multiple photo galleries to help customers see cakes on the portfolio page as well as on the description page.  The site also uses a contact page where there was a email link on the old site.  The site design is also featuring a sidebar which shows new cakes featured in latest posts or uploaded to the media library.

Georgia Moon Cakes Website

Atlanta Arts Network Website

The lastest website for the Atlanta Arts Network features WordPress 3.0 and has sidebar widgets which publish both twitter and facebook feeds.  The other pages will be a place for general information about the network.  The main page will be a place for ongoing information and the events calendar uses an embedded google calendar.  The resources pages used another sidebar option in order to show links  and present a text/html box for information for that page only.