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In this video I discuss:
- Setting up WordPress to be as secure and profitable as possible
- Exactly which plugins to install for maximum blog profit, and adjusting their settings
- Which settings to adjust for your new WordPress website for maximum profitability
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4.9 Transcript Below
Okay, now that we have stripped WordPress of all of the useless crap, we’ve got to set things up in their place – things that are actually good for our business and helpful. And we also need to adjust a handful of settings to make sure that your business can be profitable in the coming months as you add content and go through the rest of this training.
So (excuse me) Lesson 4.9, here we go! (And of course, I have to clear my throat 27 times before the video starts.)
So I want to make setting up WordPress as hassle-free as possible. We want your site structure to be optimized for SEO at a really basic level. We’ll get deeper into this later. Don’t – by any means – think that what we’re doing here is comprehensive SEO. It’s just kind of setting the stage for a very small aspect of SEO going forward but we need to do that.
Also, WordPress’ security vulnerabilities can be a total time-suck if you’re not careful. If your site gets hacked, if it gets injected with a virus – you could lose access. Technically, someone could delete your whole website if they wanted to. So we want to keep those security vulnerabilities as minimized as possible.
And none of this is going to be a concern for you after watching this video. So the goal of this video is whether you’re a beginner with WordPress or you’re super-experienced with WordPress, these are the practices that I have found to make WordPress as hassle-free as possible going forward long-term in your business.
So we need to install some plugins and set up your site structure for SEO – also known as your ‘permalinks’ which we’ll talk about here in a second.
So we need to install these plugins: we need to install Yoast and we need to adjust a handful of settings which we’ll do on camera. We need to install Easy Updates Manager for automated updates and security. Like I mentioned, we already have the updates set through Bluehost to kind of automatically update but we just are going to install a second layer just in case. And we need to install Wordfence. For security, it’s my preferred plugin. There are several security plugins – take your pick, really. And we need to install a Contact form plugin which you’re never going to guess what that’s used for and so we’ll use that to set up a contact form. And then we need to adjust your site’s permalink structure like I mentioned.
And it’s probably best that change your log in username – your log in nickname – because it defaults. Again, you really don’t want people to know your username. You all know mine which kind of sucks. I could change it if I wanted to but you’re just going to see it time and time again so whatever. So by default, if you post to your site, your log in is going to be your username that’s displayed to the world so we want to change your nickname and users.
So let’s just hop in and do it! So we’re going to start off and we’re just going to work our way down the list. I may have to reference back to this but it’s really quick and easy overall.
So we’re going to come over here to Plugins and we’re going to hit Add New. We’re going to type in ‘Yoast’; you’re going to hit Install Now, it’ll install; and I’m going to hit Activate. This is going to take us to our Plugins page. If you wanted to, you could kind of just keep installing the other plugins we wanted; but I’m going to kind of install one, set it up, install one, set it up.
So now what we need to do is now that you’ve installed Yoast SEO, you’ve got this little Yoast symbol down here on the left-hand side, I’m going to hit Dashboard and one of the first things that I’m going to do in Yoast is I’m going to click this General tab… I believe it’s in here… No, it’s Features tab. There we go. So under the Features tab, Advanced settings pages… this is going to unlock a world of hurt that could be very confusing; but again, I’m going to walk you through what you need to do. So the Advanced settings page, I just enabled that. I need to come down and hit Save.
And you might consider down the road looking through some of this and deciding what you actually use and what you don’t. Like personally, I never pay attention to the Readability analysis. And if you are writing really long posts, the Readability analysis can slow down how quickly you can type. It can make the editor very, very slow like when you get north of 3000 or 4000 words for a post.
So I do use Keyword analysis. And I just enabled the Advanced settings page. But you know, it’s just best practice. You don’t necessarily want to keep things enabled that you aren’t using because they’re just using resources on your server and possibly slowing down your website. So using resources on your server shouldn’t be that big of a deal unless it slows down your website.
So you know, you can click through and play around in here. You can set up your Webmaster Tools verifications through here which is really handy. Google Search Console – if you want to set up – is going to be super, super handy for your website. Google Search Console and Google Analytics combined can be really helpful for your website. So you can do that on Yoast – that’s really handy. I might actually add a video to this section to do that.
So we just want to come in here and now that you’ve enabled Advanced, you see all of these stuff over here. So we want to click Titles & Metas; and we want to hit Taxonomies; and we want to come down here to the Tags taxonomy and we want to change this to noindex; you want to hit Save Changes.
Of course, sometimes you’ll get errors like that. Just refresh the page, it’s not that big of a deal. I’m going to come back into Yoast. I’m going to come back into Titles & Metas. Sorry about that. It’s a great example though. Sometimes funky things just happen. They don’t really mean anything usually. So I’m going to come back into Taxonomies; I’m going to go Meta Robots, noindex; and hopefully it works this time. There we go.
So what you’re doing there – just to give you a heads up – I mean, you can just follow the actions and have no idea what you’re doing. It’s the correct thing to do; but by default those tags pages on your website can begin outranking content that you actually really want to rank. And the tags pages aren’t really valuable to drive traffic to usually and they’re hard to optimize for conversions and value. So we just keep the search engines from indexing them which means… ‘indexing’ I may have explained it up to this point… but indexing is just being included in the search engine in their database.
So if you are indexed, it doesn’t mean you’re on page one. Indexing and ranking are two very different things. But if you’re indexed, that means you’re included and people can find your site through Google if they search your brand name; or potentially – if you do have rankings – by searching a certain keyword and finding you on page one. So the reason you’re doing that – long story short – is because those are fairly worthless pages that compete against pages you may actually want to rank.
So we need to do it again for another type of page. We want to click Archives and we… under the Author archives settings… we want to hit noindex. That’s also a best practice. So these are just kind of setting up the stage for SEO down the road.
All these other settings don’t really matter too much. Like I said, I may make another video where we verify Google Search Console – stuff like that. But another nice thing is Yoast SEO automatically creates your XML Sitemaps so you can see XML sitemap functionality enabled. So you can also enable a user sitemap. So these are all the advanced settings. If you want to research some of these, you can; at the same time, if you don’t want to adjust anything else, you’re fine. You can just move on. You don’t need to dive into these weeds and start navigating all of these. Everything we just did is enough. That’s sufficient. And then as you learn more and you have more time, you can Google and play with these things if you want to.
So we’re going to go back to Plugins, Add New. The next one we talked about was Easy Updates Manager. So I’ll show you how to install that and set it up really quickly. Again, it’s this one right here. I’m going to install… I’m going to activate.
And this one, you actually just have an easy to access Configure box right here. If you didn’t want to access it here… you notice – unlike Yoast – it didn’t create its own kind of navigation menu… so we want to come in here in Settings. A lot of the time… and actually, it’s not even in here… so a lot of the time when you hover over Settings, you will get an option for a plugin if you don’t see it add a menu option for itself.
But it looks like the only way that we can… Tools… it’s not even in Tools… so it looks like the only way that we can access that particular plugin’s settings is from the Plugins page, hit Configure. And so… I’m just going to close this out. And you can see by default it’s got All Updates… all of these things… just leave this on. I’m going to turn on Major Releases, too. I will leave Development Updates off – there’s just not much of a reason. And then we want to hit Enabled for Automatic Plugin Updates, Automatic Theme Updates – enable both of those. And then you have the individual updates if you wanted to change the settings for each of those – I don’t. I want everything to be automatic. And so… I’m going to just click no thanks but good luck. And all of these save automatically so you don’t need to hit a save button – at least in the version of that as I’m recording this. In the version of the plugin, I should say.
So that’s it for Easy Updates Manager. What we just did by installing and setting this up was, again, we have kind of a second-tier. If for whatever reason Bluehost default automatic updates don’t act quickly enough, now we’ve got a second layer of protection. Technically, this isn’t necessary; but I just figure, why not? Again, you can’t… I shouldn’t say that… you can go overboard with WordPress security but it’s something you do want to take seriously.
So next thing we want to setup is Wordfence – speaking of WordPress security. So you can see Wordfence right here. 3,081 reviews with a solid 5 stars. So it is like one of the leading security plugins. Bulletproof Security is also a really, really good one. You can see it’s really highly rated. But I’m going to… Wordfence will pop up here, so I’m going to hit Install. You can see there all kinds of options. Again, if you want to use a different one, that’s fine. But… I guess it didn’t click correctly… Install Now. So we’ll install Wordfence, we’ll activate it… maybe. There we go. Don’t know why things aren’t clicking. Again, weird things happen. You just deal with them. They don’t even faze me anymore. I’m going to close this, I have no interest in going through their tour right now. You can if you want to – again, to get to know your site – I’m going to hit End the Tour.
And now we’ve got all of this Wordfence Security stuff setup. So this is really helpful. It’s going to help protect your site across the board. In my experience, its default settings are more than good enough and I just kind of… you know… leave it the way it is. But you can – again – go through and take a look at everything. You can scan whatever you want, see if you have viruses or anything that are detected; but this is almost in a lot of ways… it’s an oversimplification because it does a lot more… but this is like having a virus protection software installed on your website. And like I said, that’s an oversimplification; but at the same time, it’s pretty valid broadly speaking.
Wordfence also, I think, helps with stopping brute force. I mentioned those earlier where people have robots that come and just try to log in repeatedly. So you can Click here to configure and… I can’t remember which one… so they say based on their test this (Apache + suPHP) is the best one. If you get an error message here… I have before… frankly, if I get the error message in this, I’m going to move on. I’m not advanced enough to code this stuff. But we’ll go ahead and hit Continue now; we’ll hit Download .htaccess just in case we need a backup; and we’ll hit Continue; and we’ll see what happens.
Okay, cool. So “…installation was successful! Your site is protected to the fullest extent!” Right now, the Firewall Status is in Learning Mode which is pretty cool. So now you can see Wordfence is all set up. And like I said, in my experience, its default settings are really, really, really good. So, that’s Wordfence.
And now, we want to go ahead… so we want to come in here and install a Contact form plugin. So again, we’re going to go Plugins; we’re going to use Add New; and we’re just going to put ‘contact form’ and we’ll see what comes up. I really don’t have a preference here. So you really could – no exaggeration – use any of these options we can see. I’m typically going go to go for the one that looks like it’s really highly-rated and is updated really frequently. Two weeks ago is good enough. So, whatever. I’m just going to install Contact Form 7. I’m going to install that; I’m going to activate it just like all the others; and let’s see… it did not create a menu option either. So I guess the only other place we can access… oh, there! It created its menu option. It just created up here. Sorry about that.
So Contact form 1, I’m going to hit Edit. Again, you can pretty much leave the defaults. And this will vary. This will vary. If you install a different contact form plugin, you’re going to see something differently here and you’re going to have to figure it out on your own. This will come into play in another video soon; but right now, we’re just setting up the Contact form.
So this is the form that people would see whenever we embed the contact form on the page. So you can see <label> Your Name (required), Your Email (required). Subject, required. Your Message, required. So just a really basic one with a submit button and that sends it.
I want to hit Mail. It defaulted to my WordPress admin email which I actually need to update now because while I was off-camera, I created an email@example.com. Again, if you want to do that, you can just set up a Gmail. Nothing wrong with that. So if I wanted to do like firstname.lastname@example.org or whatever – I could have done that; but I prefer to have… you know… my domain name on it. It’s just official. So email@example.com. The From [your-name] wordpress@ruetattoo… so I’m just going to go ian@ruetatoo. Subject… “[your-subject]”… I mean none of this really matters too much. Reply-To: [your-email] and then the Message Body, who it’s from.
So that’s good enough. I just wanted to make sure that the email address it sends to is the email address I wanted to send to which is the RueTattoo one. And nothing else matters. You don’t have to mess with any of this stuff.
So the next thing we want to do is adjust our site’s permalink structure. And if you’re like, “Ian, you barely set up a contact form. What do we do now?” Again, that’s in a future video.
So for the permalinks structure, we want to come over here, we want to go Settings. And in your General Settings, you have all this stuff. Like I said, I want to change this to firstname.lastname@example.org. And nothing else. We don’t need to change anything else. You wouldn’t even need to change that if you had the original admin email set up correctly when you installed. I did not because I just forgot the plan for that. So you have all of these settings over here which again you might go through at your own leisure. You have your Writing settings, you have your Reading settings, and all different kinds of things; but the thing we want to adjust is Permalinks.
So typically, I’m just going to set permalinks to the Post name. That is really helpful for SEO because if you are putting your keywords… which again we’re talking about soon… actually we’re getting to keywords in the next section… if you are putting your keywords in your title, they will automatically then be inserted into your URL slug. An example of a URL slug is like RueTattoo.com and if I had a post titled ‘Laser Tattoo Removal’, my URL would be RueTattoo.com/laser-tattoo-removal. So this right here is my URL slug.
And if you have set your permalinks correctly, whenever you title your posts… because you’re going to put the keyword that you’re aiming to rank for in your title… whenever you do that, you are also automatically going to get keywords in your URL slug – which are also really good for SEO. So that’s why we adjust permalinks to the Post name. It’s just because it helps with SEO.
So the last thing that I want to do (I mentioned earlier) is I want to come into Users and I just want to change the way my user profile presents to the rest of the world. So I’m going to go Edit and you can see right now it is defaulting (like I said it would) to my username that I use to log in and I personally (for security reasons) don’t want the world to know. So I’m going to type in ‘Ian’. ‘P.’ as my Last Name. Because personally, I learned the hard way… I don’t typically like to use my last name for my niche sites… it makes them really easy to hunt down and all kinds of stuff. So I just don’t do it.
And then you can also change your Nickname to whatever you want it to be. And then you want to change Display name publicly as. And now you have the options: your first name, your complete name, and your nickname. So I’m just going to select ‘Ian’. But totally up to you. And email@example.com is the Email for this subscriber.
If you want a profile picture (as soon as I update this, it’s going to change – this is the profile picture that’s associated with firstname.lastname@example.org), you will need to set up a Gravatar account if you want to assign your profile picture. It’s the only way to do it.
So you would just click this link, you would go through here, and you would create an account for that email address that you have associated with this user. So if I set up an email address or a Gravatar account for email@example.com, it will automatically start displaying whatever profile picture I set up on Gravatar. (I don’t know why. That is such an archaic way for profile pictures to work in WordPress but it’s worked like that since the beginning.) Don’t need to fill up anything out… I’m going to hit Update and now you can see that my name will be displayed publicly on my posts as Ian.
Alright, so that’s it. We did it. We did everything here.
We installed Yoast and set it up. We made it so that the Tags archive is not showing. (Or the… what is it called? The tags… here we go. Whatever. The Tags taxonomy. That’s what I’m looking for.) So we set it so that the Tags taxonomy is set to noindex. We set it so that the Author archives are set to noindex so the search engines will not archive those in a way that will compete with our website and the things we actually want to rank.
We installed and set up Easy Updates Manager. We installed and set up Wordfence. We installed a Contact form plugin. I think mine was called Contact Form 7. Again, it just doesn’t matter which one you use as long as it’s highly rated and regularly updated. So you really can’t go wrong. But just know: you might have to figure out some settings and that’s just part of this territory. Again, you just have to be willing to learn things, research them on your own, and figure stuff out.
And then we went ahead and we adjusted the permalink structure – that’s very important for SEO. And we also adjusted the nickname so that our username is not publicly displayed to the world. And of course, I did a couple of extra things like update my email address now that I have firstname.lastname@example.org set.
So, that’s it for Lesson 4.9.
In Lesson 4.10, we’re going to keep going with this. We’re going to start getting the site set up, start populating it with some core content, and stuff like that – here within the next couple of lessons – and you’re going to have a website up, running, and ready to go!
So if you have questions, as always for registered members, it’s free to post them in the Facebook group and myself or someone else in the community will come along to help. And I will see you in the Facebook group or I will see you in the next video. Talk to you then!