Is WordPress Easy to Use For Beginners?

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Are you thinking about using WordPress for your next website, but aren’t sure if WordPress is easy to use? Well, if you are asking yourself that question, then you’re in the right place because I am going to try and answer that to the best of my ability. However, before you start to consume all of the wonderful content that lies ahead, please be aware that this topic is rather subjective and what’s easy for one person to understand might not hold true for you.

Ok, now that my little friendly disclaimer is out of the way, please feel free to enjoy the article and remember to share with your friends if you think I did a good job at answering this question!

Getting Started With WordPress

If you’re new to the world of web design and development, or if you’ve only had experience with platforms such as Squarespace or WiX, then WordPress might feel a little bit overwhelming to use at first. However, it is important to know that you will need to actually make an attempt to use the WordPress CMS before rushing any unnecessary judgements.

Before getting started and trying to learn how to do a ton of fancy tricks (which I know all of us want to do at some point) it is best to start off slow by first learning what happens after you install your very first WordPress Theme. I’ll talk more about themes in a separate article, but choosing an appropriate theme for your website is where you’ll want to start first. Using a prepackaged option such as a premade theme is an excellent choice for beginners and will make your life a lot easier down the road (trust me).

Building Custom Websites With WordPress

If you are wondering if it’s relatively easy to build a custom website with WordPress, well that all depends on how you interpret the term custom website. If you’re only trying to customize the look and feel of your new WordPress website, then there are plenty of tools to help you get the job done relatively quickly and easily. For example, many experienced WordPress users use something called front end builders and these modern web design tools allow you to customize the look and feel of your website while viewing it in real time.

If you choose not to use a front end builder, then you will be stuck with limited design options based on your choice of theme and you will be forced to try and manipulate your page layouts with the WordPress Block Editor (aka Gutenburg), or the WordPress Classic Editor and both of these options can limit creativity and workflow for those without development experience.

If you’re interested in trying a front end builder for yourself check out my following picks…

  1. Elementor
  2. Divi
  3. Fusion Builder
  4. WP Bakery Builder

I highly suggest you at least give a few of these a shot because they will make your initial WordPress experience a lot better than most. 

Oh, and in case you’re wondering, I am not affiliated with any of the following companies and they did not pay me to endorse their front end builders. Those are just the tools I am most familiar with using and I listed them in chronological order from my most favorite to my least favorite.

Is It Hard to Build An Online Store With WordPress?

If you’re also wondering if WordPress is easy to use option for building e-commerce websites, well, in my opinion, yes. However, there are some things inside this robust CMS that I think users should be aware of, so let’s talk about those and perhaps it will put you a step ahead of your competitors in case you want to build your own e-commerce store.

If you want to start selling your products right away on WordPress, then you’ll first want to install WooCommerce. This handy dandy little plugin will help you create product pages, let you upload product images, edit pricing, and much more. Basically, WooCommerce is an out of the box solution that will help you get your new E-Commerce site up and running in no time, and yes it is very easy to use.

Does WordPress Make It Easy to Accept Payments?

Accepting payments on your WordPress website is a relatively simple and straightforward process and only usually requires a few minutes of your time to setup. If you’re just trying to sell products that you have uploaded into your online store and require no subscription payment plans or split payment options, then you will probably only have to download a plugin that supports your payment processor.

If you haven’t chosen a payment processor yet and are wondering what options might be best for your WordPress website, then I suggest doing some research on the following companies. Each company listed has a ton of payment solutions that can be easily integrated into WooCommerce and shouldn’t be much of a headache.

Is Blogging Easy On WordPress?

WordPress was originally developed as a platform specifically for bloggers, so WordPress itself definitely caters to users who are avid bloggers and creating a blog is extremely easy to do with this platform.

Is Adding Users Easy?

Yes. In fact, adding a new user to your WordPress site is very straightforward and simple and it can be done in two simple steps.

  • Step One: Hover over Users on the left side of your WordPress Dashboard and select Add New.
  • Step Two: When you’re redirected to the Add New User page, just fill out the required information and set their user role.

step one of adding a new user to wordpresshow to add a new user to wordpress

After you have completed this process, WordPress should send your new user an automated e-mail with their new login information and password. That’s all there is to it. Easy as pie, right? This is one of the simplest things to do on WordPress and you can add as many users as you would like.

What If I Need to Remove a User?

Removing a user from WordPress is quite easy, too! If you have to remove one or more of your users from your website, then the steps are very similar to the ones for adding users except instead of pressing the Add New option, you will just select All Users instead.

Here are the quick steps…

  • Step One: Hover over Users on the left side of your WordPress Dashboard and select All Users.
  • Step Two: When you’re redirected to the All Users page, just select the user you want to remove and press delete. You can also delete multiple users by selecting delete from the bulk actions dropdown menu (See the screenshot below if you are having trouble locating the dropdown).

bulk user remove dropdown in wordpress

Will I Need a Developer to Edit My WordPress Website?

This is a good question and one that has about two definitive answers. If you’ve opted to just install a template and replace images and text, then you will not require the assistance of an experienced developer to manage your WordPress website. This is usually almost always the case even if you’ve opted to hire a professional web designer to create something a little more custom fit for your needs.

In most situations, the only time you should have to hire a WordPress developer is if you decide that you wanted to add any special functionality to your WordPress website. Since special functionality can be a fairly subjective term in itself, let me provide you with a few real world examples.

How Difficult Is WordPress Maintenance?

Let’s move on and talk about website maintenance with WordPress! For many of you, updating and performing maintenance on the WordPress CMS will be as simple as clicking a button or two. In fact, the majority of users will only ever have to worry about updating their current version of WordPress, their active WordPress theme and whatever plugins that are currently active on their website.

Please be aware that in some cases your website might go down if you install a theme or plugin update that may not be compatible with your current version of WordPress, so always be sure to backup your website before performing maintenance on your website.

Also stay tuned because I will be releasing an article here in a week or two on How to Fix Your WordPress Website if this happens to you.

Using Plugins With WordPress

Hopefully by this point and time in the article you I will have explained enough about WordPress that will help you decide if WordPress is easy to use or not, but just in case you haven’t, let’s talk a little bit about WordPress Plugins. Plugins are tools that you can download for your WordPress website that allow you to add extra features without any prior development experience.

Are Plugins Relatively Easy to Use?

Most plugins are very straightforward and simple to use and usually only require minimal configuration. On a separate note, there are a few plugins out there that I have used in the past which require a great deal of patience and work to configure properly, but those kinds of plugins are usually very few and far between.

What Plugins Should I Consider Using?

The types of plugins you’ll want to use with your brand new WordPress site will definitely vary and will ultimately depend on how you want your website to function; however, I have prepared a small list of reliable WordPress Plugins that almost all website owners will want to start off with.

  1. YoastSEO – This plugin is a must have so you can submit your XML sitemap, write meta descriptions, and more.
  2. AutoOptimize – This plugin enables things like CSS and HTML minification to help improve website performance. Click here to learn more about website performance.
  3. WPSmush – This plugin helps make your website even faster by compressing your images.

Those three plugins (or some type of variation of them) are used by most WordPress site owners and will help you become familiar with the process of installing and using new plugins.

Moreover, let’s circle back to talking about finding specific plugins for your website’s purpose. If you’re not a developer and you’re looking to add something such as a photo gallery or slider on your website, then there is most certainly plugins available for those types of things. There are even plugins to help you build nice looking forms and triggered popups.

So, what plugins you decide to use will definitely depend on your specific tastes and how you want users to interact with your website, but fortunately plugins are one of the great things about WordPress and what makes it easy to use for beginners. I encourage you to go experiment with a few on your new WordPress website and learn what suits your website the best!

Conclusion

My overall conclusion is that WordPress can be easy to use and is a great option for users who aren’t well versed in the world of web design and development. WordPress has thousands of out of the box solutions that can make your WordPress experience extremely rewarding and headache free. Users mostly start to experience difficulty with this platform when they try to create custom solutions themselves or they try their hand at more complex development techniques involving CSS, HTML, JAVASCRIPT, or PHP.

That being said, WordPress is one of the best platforms around if you’re looking for an easy solution for building your next website. If you’re having trouble with WordPress and need help with more complex solutions, remember to contact me and I will be glad to help you fix any of your problems on your WordPress website.

As always, if you have something to add or want to ask me a question, then feel free to leave me a comment. I look forward to hearing from you.

 

Why Link Farms Are Bad News

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This post is all about educating you about something called link farms. Search engine optimization has been a hot topic for quite a few years now and we all know that positioning yourself well on Google search results is not the easiest thing in the world to do, especially if you have a brand new website. However, instead of discussing other SEO optimization techniques, I have decided to talk about a blackhat SEO practice known as link farming and why you should avoid it at all costs.

I know many of you are probably chomping at the bit wanting the latest and greatest information that will help you take over the SERP, but making sure you keep up with Google’s Best Practices is just as equally important. Being mindful of what you should and should not be doing on your website can help you avoid unnecessary manual actions  from Google and help you to avoid losing your position in search altogether.

hyperlink icons representing a link farm

What Are Link Farms?

Link Farms are companies that do one thing and one thing only. Can you guess what that is? They sell backlinks and if you are familiar with Google’s Best Practices, or if you read our previous article on SEO, then you know that knowingly and willingly participating in link schemes is not an acceptable practice.

What Is a Link Scheme?

Google defines a link scheme as any links intended to manipulate a website’s pagerank or a site’s ranking in search results.

To provide more clarity on link schemes, I have provided you with a short list of examples below.

  • Link Exchanges
  • Link Farms
  • Private Blogging Networks (PBN’s)
  • Paid Advertorials With DoFollow Links
  • Buying Links
  • Selling Links
  • Offering Incentives For Links
  • Spamming Links in Comments
  • Low Quality Directories
  • Low Quality Bookmarking Websites
  • Using Software to Automatically Create Links
  • Buying Press Releases With Keyword Optimized Anchor Text
  • Site Wide Footer Links

The Consequences of Link Farming

Given the numerous amount of link farms available on the world wide web today, there is no way of telling how much they have actually impacted search results over the years, but we can have a quick look at some of the known and potential consequences of these practices to give you a better understanding of their overall impact.

  1. Link Farms can indirectly impact the rankings of non targeted websites
  2. Buying links from link farms or anywhere else may have a longterm impact on your Google rankings.
  3. Websites can be deindexed from Google Search if they are thought to be active participants of Link farming.
  4. While Link Farms may provide a website with short term keyword ranking improvements, the gains are usually short lived.

 

Why Do People Use Them?

As I was writing this article I thought it may be a good idea to give you my two cents on why people use these services, because I have a feeling many of you have already probably asked yourself the same question. I believe many people use this services without actually knowing they are against Google’s guidelines and they are misinformed by the companies actually pitching them the service. I also believe that many people participate in what is known as selective hearing.

For example, I am almost positive that tons and tons of people know that building up a solid backlink profile has the possibility to help them rank on their most desired keywords and they probably think that it’s a legit SEO service when in reality, it’s not.

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Reporting Link Farms to Google

If you believe a website is participating in a link scheme, don’t just sit there and let them get away with it! Do your part and take action. Remember, link schemes manipulate Google Search Rankings and their actions give others an unfair advantage.

If you think a website is actively participating in a link scheme, then please click here to submit a report.

Have anything you would like to add to this blog post or have you ever had any experience with a link farm? If so, tell me about it and feel free to share your experience. Hope to see you in the comments section. Until next time, take care!

 

What is a CDN?

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Many of you have probably heard the term CDN while browsing the internet or from talking to a digital marketing consultant. So what is a CDN and what exactly do they do for your website? Let’s talk about that.

CDN (Content Delivery Network) A CDN or a content delivery network is a group of servers that are distributed in several geographic locations that work together in order to serve your content as fast as possible to your users.

If you’re unsure if your website would benefit from a content delivery network or you just feel like learning more about them in the meantime, I encourage you to keep reading this article because I have provided you with some great information and additional resources about this topic that will not only help your current website, but will also help any of your future web projects. Enjoy and happy reading!

 

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Content Delivery Network Benefits

Connecting your website to a Content Delivery Network is definitely a good choice for most website owners (even if you have a small website) and there are several added benefits that come with connecting your website to a CDN. So let’s continue this topic by discussing some of these benefits and what they can do for your website.

1. Website Speed

As you probably have already guessed (and we talk about this a little more later on in this article as well) Content Delivery Networks can boost your website performance and speed by a great deal. Most CDNs will allow you to add browser caching to your website and it serving cached content to your users is one way this service helps to improve the overall speed of your website on both mobile and desktop versions.

Want to learn about other ways you can improve the speed of your website? Click here.

2. User Experience

The website speed enhancements also come with a side benefit as well, and that is a better user experience. It is common knowledge that people get annoyed when they have to sit around for a website to finish loading and slow load times lead to increase bounce rates and user drop offs. When you’re building out your website, always try to remember that improving the UX of your website will help you to gain, retain, and increase your user base.

3. Extra Layers Of Security

Most CDN’s also come with additional security features such as Firewalls, Bruteforce Hacking Protection, DDos Protection, and more. These security solutions can help you to protect your website or web applications even further than what normal web hosting companies might offer you and I definitely think they are worth looking into if you value the security of your platform.  I won’t be discussing the different types of security exploits in this article, but if you’re interested in learning about them, Cloudflare has some great information on these topics and I encourage you to check out any of the following links if you want to find out more.

Bruteforce Hacking Explained

What Is a DDos Attack

What Is a Firewall

Will a CDN Improve My SEO?

The short answer is yes. SEO experts have known for quite some time now that speed is definitely a performance indicator when it comes to Google’s ranking algorithm and they have even started measuring your website’s performance on mobile, so connecting your website to a CDN can definitely help your website with its search engine optimization. Let’s also not forget that CDN’s all usually have built in caching features which is another metric that is checked by both Google Page Speed Insights and GTmetrix.

Are There Any Downsides?

To be quite frank, there aren’t any real downsides to having your website connected to a Free CDN that I know of. However, once your website starts scaling or you want to add things like a cookie free browsing experience, some Content Delivery Networks will make you pay for additional features.

Enterprise CDN Solutions Are Expensive

If you have an established website in need of enterprise CDN solutions, then you might eventually have to start shelling out some additional cash. In case you’re not familiar with said features we are discussing, here is a quick list. Now for most of us, including the average WordPress user, we will never need an enterprise CDN Solution, but for those of you who do, please take time to read further.

  • Even Faster Paint Metrics Some CDN’s can even improve page load times even further for mobile devices on slow networks.
  • IOT Security – If you’re concerned about IOT Security, many CDN companies offer this type of security solution when you pay for one of their Enterprise plans.
  • Increased Scalability – Many Content Delivery Networks also offer some type of additional scalability package if your website has periods of frequent traffic.
  • Custom Nameservers – Another added benefit of many paid CDN solutions is that you can have the ability to create your own custom nameservers.

Are CDN’s Only For Websites?

The answer to this question is no. CDN’s are available for websites, web applications, SAAS applications, and even native iOS mobile applications. Since this article is more targeted towards website owners, that is all I am going to say about this for now; however, feel free to do a quick Google search if you’re trying to look for a CDN solution that is unrelated to improving your website performance.

What CDN’s Do We Recommend?

If you’re wanting to get serious about your website’s performance, then I highly advise you to take the plunge and connect your website to a content delivery network. Setup is usually virtually painless and usually takes like than 10 minutes, so what’s not to love about that? You will be able to get better GTMetrix Scores, improve your overall SEO, and you’ll be able to wow your users with how fast your website is with the help of a CDN.

Here’s our list of trusty CDN Providers we know and love.

Cloudflare

BunnyCDN

MaxCDN

KeyCDN

Akaimai

As always, I hope you guys get a lot of value and insight from this article and I want you to check back soon to read about an upcoming article I am writing about setting up your CDN for WordPress. Hope to see you all soon, and remember if you want to comment on this topic or have any questions for any of us here at Digital Brain Food, leave a comment!

What Type Of Website Will Work Best For You?

a website that is mobile responsive

Are you wanting to build your own website or have a professional web designer build one for you, but don’t know which platform will work best in your case? In case you’re unsure, or your web designer hasn’t consulted you on this topic, we will try to help you figure it out.

Before you try and make a decision, be sure to ask yourself the following questions

 

What Is Your Website Going To Do?

Although this is the first question, it is also the most important one in this list, too. Before you go out and hire a web designer or web developer to create you a brand new website or before deciding to take on the task of building it yourself, you need to have a clear idea of what exactly it is that you want it to do.

 

Will You Be Buying Or Selling Products Online?

If you have decided that you’re going to be launching an e-commerce business that involves you selling your own products online, then you have one to two reasonable choices (Note: there are several e-commerce platforms out there, but they are geared towards already established businesses) and those two choices are WordPress or Shopify.

 

Will You Be Drop Shipping Products?

You have probably heard of the term drop shipping, unless you have been living under a rock for the last few years. Either way, if you are considered utilizing drop shipping as your go to business model, then you probably want to think about learning more about Shopify because their platform has tons of tools already readily available that will make drop shipping your products of choice a breeze.

 

What Is Your Budget?

This seems like a no brainer question, but it is still one you should be asking yourself because it is extremely important. If you want a website that can be completely customized to fit your style and vision, then you might think about using either WordPress or Shopify rather than Squarespace, Wix, or Weebly. If you’re going to be strictly selling products and budget isn’t an issue, then click here to learn more about Shopify, but if you’re thinking about selling courses, memberships, or you just want to create a website for your online business, then click here to learn more about WordPress.

If budget constraints are an issue for you at the moment, or if you want to get a website up rather quickly, then I suggest you start contemplating on whether you will use Squarespace, Wix, or Weebly. All three of these platforms come with easy to use website builders that require no coding experience; however, they do have their limitations, so be warned.

 

Will You Be Blogging Or Uploading Content?

Are you thinking about branding yourself as a social media influencer, consultant, or industry expert? If that’s your angle, then you’re going to want to have a content management system that lets you publish content, post courses, and allow you to create a subscription payment system for your loyal audience. If this is the type of website you’re looking to create, then your go to platform will definitely be WordPress.

 

Static HTML Websites

Static HTML websites are starting to be used less and less as other more convenient website building platforms become available. For example, WordPress allows you to create online stores, launch blogs, sell courses, and just about anything else. However, if you’re into wasting countless hours on your computer coding HTML, CSS or Javascript, then a static HTML website might be right for you.

However, I did forget to mention that static HTML websites are great if you love experimenting with purely custom effects and if you’re looking to build a website with very few web pages. I say this because any time you want to add content or make an edit to one of your web pages, well you will have to actually edit the HTML source code which can be extremely painful and tedious if you’re inexperienced or if you don’t have much time on your hands.

WordPress Websites

Now, let’s get into the WordPress CMS for a bit (and yes I know some of you are going to say it isn’t a real CMS, but we all know that is debatable) and go over what this website platform can do. First of all, WordPress is great for people and business owners who are looking to utilize blogging as a tool to gain additional inbound web traffic.

Furthermore, WordPress is also a great platform for launching an E-commerce business, too. To be honest, there isn’t much that you probably can’t accomplish with WordPress, but that still doesn’t mean that it is the best platform for you.

Getting a professional web designer to build a WordPress website that looks stunning and has amazing functionality can be a bit more costlier than having a designer build you a website on Wix or Squarespace and you will most likely have to learn a thing or two about updating plugins and themes.

 

Shopify Websites

The Shopify platform is great for building and launching online stores and it comes with loads of plugins just like WordPress. However, if you don’t like paying monthly fees or if you don’t have an extra few hundred dollars in your budget every month, then you should probably think twice about building your E-commerce website on this platform.

That being said, yes, Shopify is a little pricey; however, it is still a solid platform to use when it comes to building your online store and it definitely has some great marketing tools that will help you reach your target audience. So, if you’re serious about starting an E-Commerce business, then you might want to weigh the pros and cons of Shopify.

 

Squarespace Websites

Squarespace tends to be a platform to use if you want a simple, run of the mill website that requires little management or development knowledge. However, I do want to point out that if you plan on building an extensive amount of pages or creating a blog to try and gain additional inbound traffic, then this platform is probably not for you.

This is a platform that is great if you’re working with a tight budget or if you want to try and build a website yourself. Most businesses and startups usually launch their first website using this platform, but eventually either outgrow it or decide they want to build something more custom to achieve their branding goals.

 

Wix Websites

As most of you know, WiX comes with their own website builder just like Squarespace does, but the same principle that applies to Squarespace applies to this website platform, too. If you want something quick, easy to manage, or if you’re on a tight budget, then you might also want to consider WiX as well.

I hope this recent post has helped you make a decision about what type of website you want to build or have designed and if you have any additional questions regarding this topic or want to share your thoughts, please feel free to leave a comment down below.