What Is RSS Feed – And How To Make Use Of WordPress RSS Feed

earnextramoney-rssfeedThere are quite a few common questions about RSS feed, such as what is an RSS feed, where does an RSS feed come from, and most importantly, how to make use of an RSS Feed.

Here those questions will all be answered. This article is written primarily for a WordPress website owner who wants to fully understand and get the maximum benefit from RSS feeds.

Lets start with the definition of RSS; RSS originally stands for RDF Site Summary, which was then renamed Rich Site Summary, and is now most commonly known as Really Simple Syndication. The actual definition does not really matter, what matters is that we understand what it is.

An RSS feed might be considered similar to a news-wire service, that people can subscribe to, for free. Millions of people all over the world use this service to keep up to date with their favourite websites.
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Customising Your WordPress Settings

WordPress SettingsWordPress is a very powerful program, and it allows us to customise just about every single aspect of it. Customising your WordPress settings is not very difficult to do, all you need is a basic understanding of what these settings do, and what aspect of your website they control. All these customisations take place within the WordPress dashboard, under Settings.

As you add extra plugins to your WordPress installation, each one of these plugins usually gets its own menu entry under the Settings menu. So the more plugins that you have installed, the larger the overall size of your WordPress Settings menu.

Here we just be going through the main WordPress settings, the ones that are common to every new installation. So login to your WordPress dashboard to begin – and just to be absolutely clear here, you do this by navigating to the address www.yourdomain.com/wp-admin, and login using the user-name and password that you received when your blog was first installed.

Click the settings option which is normally down the left-hand side of the screen. You will see lots of different options below this, such as General, Writing, Reading, Discussion, and lots more.

For most of the WordPress settings, there is no need to change the default values. But it can be very useful to understand what they do, and what they mean, especially the ‘important’ ones. Also, realise that not every single setting is mentioned here, just the main ones. All of the other WordPress settings that you might see are fairly self-explanatory, and thus are not included here. You are free to change any of those also, as you see fit.

Remember to Save Changes. Within every page of WordPress settings, there is an option to “Save Changes”, usually located at the bottom of the screen. Make sure that you click this whenever you make a change that you want to store.

General Settings

  • Tagline: The main item to check here is the Tagline. In case you find that word Tagline confusing, it means your brief website description, in other words your slogan. Make sure to change this to something appropriate for your website, and do not be “Just another WordPress blog”.

Writing Settings

  • Size of the post box: this controls the size of the window for adding and editing posts. Usually it is easier to work on posts if you increase this to something larger, maybe 25 lines.
  • Default Post Category: It is nearly always best to change this to something other than the default value of “Uncategorized”. Forgetting to set the correct post category is something that we all do from time to time. If you do not use categories, then consider changing to something like “Additional Articles” instead of Uncategorized. To make such a change, from the dashboard go to Posts, and then Categories. Edit the existing Uncategorized one, and call it something more suitable.

Reading Settings

  • Front page displays: You may have noticed while surfing that some blogs display a blog roll (summary of recent blog posts) on the home page, and some display a static web-page. Well that front page view setting is controlled right here. Any existing page within your website can be chosen here as the front page of your website. You can instantly switch from one to the other at any time.

Privacy Settings

  • Site Visibility: This is an option to allow or prevent search engines from indexing your site. If you have just installed a brand new site and you want the site to get indexed, you should check this setting to make sure it is set to “Allow search engines to index this site”. Alternatively, if you have just installed a brand new website, and you do not want the website to get indexed until it is fully built, then set this option to “Ask search engines not to index this site”. Just remember to make a note of it, and be sure to come back and change this setting when your website is ready to be opened to the public.

Permalink Settings

  • Common Settings: The preferred option here is to choose Custom Structure, and to type in the following entry exactly as shown, including slashes and percentage signs:

/%postname%/ 

After you update, and depending on your version of WordPress, you may find that your setting reverts back from Custom Structure to Post name. This is quite OK.

And that concludes this look at WordPress Settings. Familiarise yourself with them, and don’t be afraid to make changes whenever necessary. After all, it’s your blog.

P.S. I invite you to sign up for my free email newsletter. You can receive regular emails with lots of top information just like this sent directly to your inbox. Read some more about it here WordPress Settings. Just enter your name and email address. Your privacy is always assured, and you can unsubscribe very easily at any time!

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How To Hide A Page In WordPress – Protect Your Downloads

Hide A Page In WordPressBeing able to hide a page in WordPress can be very useful. The most common use for being able to do this is in Thank-You-For-Subscribing pages. Many WordPress users like to capture email addresses of their visitors, and frequently offer something free in return such as a useful download or a free ebook.

Another common use for being able to hide a page in WordPress is when you want to sell something directly from your WordPress website just using PayPal or AlertPay. This typically would be something low-priced with infrequent sales, where it would not really be worth your while to make use of a secure merchant account.

The reason why we want to hide these types of pages is because they contain direct links to the download files. We want to make sure that only customers or subscribers find out about these pages, in a manner under our control. Under our control means that our customers are only given these web page links in direct emails from us, or from configuring Pay-Now buttons or Subscribe-Now buttons to send them there after any transaction is complete.

Create A Download Folder: Whichever method you choose to hide a page in WordPress, you will need to make a new folder in your website. The easiest way to do this is from your host’s cPanel. Login to cPanel and look for File Manager. When you click this, allow it to take you to your ‘Document Root’ folder of your website, and that’s where you want to be. Along the top is a button marked “New Folder” and that’s the one to click.

All you have to do next is enter a name for your folder, and do not use something obvious like “thankyou” or “thank-you”. Instead make up some bizarre name that nobody has any chance of guessing. Use a combination of letters and numbers.

Make The Folder Hidden: You need to keep this folder and contents hidden from any searches by marking it as “nofollow” and “noindex”. The nofollow option is not strictly required, but I usually leave it in there as a belt-and-braces approach. To do this, create a very basic index.html file. Open up Notepad, and copy in the following lines:

<html>
<head>
<meta name="robots" content="nofollow,noindex">
</head>
<body>
</body>
</html>

Then save the file using the name “index.html”. This file will need to be uploaded to your new hidden folder next. Back in cPanel, move into that new hidden folder by double-clicking it, and look for the “Upload” icon along the top. Click this, choose the index.html file that you just created in Notepad, and that’s done.

If you want to use a different index.html file, perhaps a more elaborate one, you can do that too. Just edit it using Notepad, and make sure to add a new line: “<meta name=”robots” content=”nofollow,noindex”>” between the <head> and </head> tags.

Any files that you upload to this folder from now on can be considered to be ‘fairly’ well protected.

Next comes the web-page, and the strategy for either ThankYouForSubscribing or HereIsYourOrder remains the same.

Hide A Page In WordPress Method One, Static Page: With this method, you use HTML editing to create your new web-page, then upload this web-page to the hidden folder. As long as you are careful about letting anybody know about it, it will remain hidden and protected. It’s nice to make this page resemble the theme of your website, so a common trick here is to view the “Source” of any existing page in your WordPress site, copy this to a new HTML file and edit the contents appropriately.

There are two main drawbacks to this method:

  1. A reasonable amount of HTML knowledge for editing will be required. It’s not as simple as adding in a small snippet of code, instead you will have to strip out a lot of the existing code, and replace with something new.
  2. This new web-page will no longer be ‘in sync’ with the rest of your WordPress website. If you make any changes to the theme, the appearance, the sidebars, etc., this file would need to be manually updated each time. It will continue to work fine if it never gets updated, but many of us prefer to have everything ‘just perfect’.

Hide A Page In WordPress Method Two, Hidden WordPress Page: This is my preferred method. We make use of a plug-in to hide the page, but the page is still part of our WordPress theme.

Within WordPress, go to Plugins, and Add New. Search for “Easy Noindex And Nofollow” and the top one listed should be the correct one (created By Ivan Kristianto). Install and activate that one. The way that this plugin works is that from now on, whenever you create or edit a page or post, there are extra options on the screen to mark as nofollow and/or noindex. If you already have another plugin installed that includes this function, then its OK to use that instead.

Next create a new page within WordPress, choose your preferred style such as with or without sidebar, and add the required content and the download links. Before you publish, click each of the two options “Add noindex” and “Add nofollow” to turn those on. Also, if you have All-In-One SEO installed, or something similar, you should click the option: “Disable on this page/post”.

Finally, check your menu and sitemap. The new page may automatically get added to your website menu, and also to your sitemap. We need to make sure to prevent this from happening, or else it will not be hidden.

Find the post id of the page just created, as follows: click ‘Pages’ in WordPress, and let your mouse hover over the title of the page that you just created. You will see the full id of this page in the status bar or in a pop-up. There will be a number within that id, just after “post=”, and make a note of this number.

Then manually go through the settings of all sitemaps and menus, and look for the option to “Exclude the following posts or pages”. You must add in the number of your new page into every one of them. Remember, you may have more than one sitemap, and more than one menu.

Using this method to hide a page in WordPress, the main disadvantage is that we have to go through and look at all the plugins manually.

If you are wondering if these methods are totally secure or hacker-proof, well the answer is no, they are not. These methods are cost free though.

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Links In WordPress – A Really Simple Guide

Links In WordPressWhenever you are working on your WordPress blog and adding new content, its often nice to be able to refer to some other websites. For example if I was talking about searching on the internet, I might mention the names of websites like Google or Yahoo.

It is even nicer to be able to provide a direct link to these site from my WordPress article, and to make this link clickable. This is known as a hyper-link. Today I will demonstrate how you can do this yourself, i.e. how to add links in WordPress, or more technically, how to add anchor links in WordPress.

Obviously if you want to try this, you need to go into WordPress yourself, then edit any of your existing posts, or create a blank temporary one. I mentioned Google as an example, so let us continue with that one. Type in the word Google into your article. Then highlight it by dragging the mouse across it or even by double-clicking it.
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WordPress And Google And Sliced Bread

earnextramoney-wordpressandgoogleWordPress is the greatest thing since sliced bread! There, I have said it. I completely love this totally free platform for publishing on the internet. WordPress and Google combined are the next greatest thing since that, like maybe the toaster.

The technical term for WordPress is a CMS, or Content Management System. What does this mean in layman’s terms? Well, it is a system that allows you to manage your own content on the internet. Content can be anything such as text, videos, images, most sorts of multimedia objects are allowed. WordPress allows you to display everything just the way you like it, and if you change your mind and decide that you need to modify something, its no problem to go back and make adjustments.

And the greatest thing about WordPress is that Google just loves it. With WordPress sites, it always seem to be easier to climb the ranks in the search views, thus get noticed and attract visitors to your website.
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