WordPress Basics Every Site Owner Should Know: Part 2

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wordpress basics

Continued from Part 1

The Function Of The Sidebar

The sidebar is a feature on a WordPress site that is supposed to showcase consistent content throughout the site. This is somewhat like a marquee or billboard for the website, where you can put advertisements, special announcements, popular links, and more. Many website templates will include a search bar in the sidebar so visitors can easily find what they need on the site. Your sidebar will show up on most of the internal pages of your website, unless you have it coded otherwise. If you have a business that offers free quotes or consultation, putting a contact form in the sidebar may be a good idea for you.

The Difference Between Tags And Categories

Tags are essentially labels you can put on your posts to associate similar posts with one another. Categories are folders on your website that posts go into. A category could be linked to a tab on your menu, or it could be left as just a “category” in your sidebar, footer, etc. Tags used to be incredibly popular in the SEO world, thought to help Google crawl websites and rank specific pages properly. However, tags have recently caused problems for many site owners because they create false duplicity. In other words, programs will register some posts as duplicate content in the website because they are tagged with several different words. As a result of that, many SEO companies have turned away from tags to focus on other internet marketing solutions.

The Need To Update…Or Not

You’ll be given plenty of opportunities to update to newer versions of plugins, widgets, and even WordPress itself. Don’t do this without first backing up your site entirely. A lot of plugins in particular will update without being fully compatible with the newest version of WordPress. If they do not work properly, you’re stuck with a fractured site. Many web developers will not do any updates at all until a site just stops functioning properly. In other words, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

Hopefully these WordPress basics will get you where you need to be with your website. Feel free to explore your site even further so you can control it like a pro. Of course, if you need further assistance, you can always ask your web designer for more information to help you navigate through your dashboard correctly.

Christopher Bower is a Member and Marketing Director of Detroit Internet Marketing, LLC and brings over 20 years' experience in marketing and online marketing. His education includes Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Marketing, and has been involved in both national and local marketing in Chicago, South Florida and Michigan.

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