Seattle WordPress Event: Business Websites, WordPress 3.0 and SEO for WordPress

On Tuesday, May 11 in Bellevue (Seattle), Washington, you can hear me (Mark McLaren) and two other WordPress experts talk about 1) WordPress for Business Websites, 2) the latest version of WordPress (3.0), and 3) Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for WordPress. It’s an evening event at Bellevue College, with plenty of time for Q & A and networking.

Anyone who wants to learn WordPress, or learn more about WordPress – definitely check it out!

I will be doing the WordPress Search Engine Optimization presentation. You’ll get all you need to take your WordPress website from the basic default level of search optimization to a truly optimized level using the “All in One SEO Pack” plugin for WordPress. The SEO techniques I’ll talk about work on any website. I’ll just be showing you how to apply them quickly and easily to your WordPress site.

To sign up now, visit the Seattle WordPress seminar website.

The event is called “Explode the WordPress Learning Curve: An Evening with the Experts”. Here are the highlights of this awesome WordPress seminar:

After An Evening with WordPress Experts, you’ll understand:

  • why so may businesses are choosing WordPress for their websites and blogs
  • how to leverage the power and flexibility of a WordPress website to increase sales
  • how easy it is to make the move to WordPress
  • 5 techniques for optimizing your WordPress pages for better search engine rankings
  • the key features of 3.0, the newest version of WordPress

What’s Included in this Event:

  • 3 “mini-seminars” from WordPress experts
  • 15-minute break with time for networking as well as time before and after the event
  • Extended Q & A panel discussion with the experts: Get your questions answered
  • Opportunity to meet the experts at the conclusion of the event
  • Time to visit the presenters’ tables and exchange information
  • Copies of all presentations
  • Additional information on useful tips, plugin’s, themes and resources for WordPress users

Feel free to contact me with questions about the event. For tickets and more information, visit the Seattle WordPress seminar website.

WordPress Tutorial – How to Change Your Theme or Install & Activate a New WordPress Theme

This WordPress Tutorial shows how to change your WordPress theme, and how to install & activate a new theme. It uses WordPress version 2.8.4 (the latest version) hosted on a third-party web host. You change a theme in the same way on a site.

Third-party-hosted (also called “self-hosted”) WordPress sites allow you to upload and install more themes through the WordPress Dashboard. You can find free themes by browsing with the Dashboard Theme Installer. Or you can find themes on the Web using a Google search for “free wordpress themes” or just “wordpress themes”. If you find a theme you like on the Web, you can download it to your computer and then upload it using the Theme Installer.

In addition to the thousands of free themes available, you can also buy “premium” themes, which have extra features like additional page templates and search engine optimization. There is a list of WordPress premium theme providers on the Business Blogging 101 Resources page.

As happens in this tutorial, some premium themes do not install well using the Dashboard Theme Installer. You may need to upload these themes to the /wp-content/themes/ directory using FTP software.

This tutorial shows how to delete a theme using Appearance > Manage Themes in the WordPress Dashboard. It shows how to find new free themes using Appearance > Install Themes in the WordPress Dashboard. And shows how to upload a theme  from your computer. It shows how to activate a new theme once you install it.

WordPress themes come in the form of a .zip file.

What are your favorite WordPress themes? Let me know and I will add them to my Resources page.

Note that if you have a fast Internet connection, you can play the video in HD by clicking the HD button on the player, and you can also click the button next to that to play in full-screen mode.

How to Change, Install & Activate a New WordPress Theme

Optimizing Your Blog for Search and Social Media

Shawn Hessinger at recently interviewed me about blogging and SEO: McBuzz talks Search Engine Optimization for your blog provides professional blogging services to market your business or organization on the World Wide Web.

Adding a blog to an existing website is still one of the best and least expensive ways to improve the overall search ranking of pages on your site! In addition to traditional search engine optimization techniques, engaging with members of a community that’s passionate about the same things you are passionate about (by commenting on blogs and sharing information and links) is another great way to improve the visibility of your site and bring new visitors. And using social media services like Twitter is another good way to connect with people and keep them interested in what you are up to.

WordPress Tutorial – How to Make a “Child” Page (Subpage) and How to Hide a Link in the Pages Sidebar Widget

If you have a “self-hosted” or third-party-hosted site instead of one hosted on, you may be able to use the Exclude Pages Plugin for WordPress to hide Child Page links that show in popup submenus under your main navigation links and any links that appear in your sidebar Pages navigation.

You can’t install WordPress plugins on sites hosted by That’s one of the main drawbacks to hosting with For those sites, this tutorial is still useful.

This beginner-level WordPress tutorial shows 1. How to make a “child” page or subpage of another page (a “parent” page) using the WordPress 2.7 editing interface. And 2. How to hide a link in the Pages sidebar widget, in other words, how to keep a link to a page from showing in the Pages sidebar widget by putting the page (post) ID number into the “Exclude” box in the Pages sidebar widget dialog box.

If you like this tutorial, you may also like: WordPress Tutorial – How to Make a Static Page Your Home Page & Hide a Double Home Page Link

Making “child” pages (subpages) is useful because you may not want all your pages to show in the main page navigation of your WordPress theme. In most themes, only “main” pages (pages that don’t have a “parent”) show up in the main page navigation. In some newer WordPress themes, child pages show up in a popup menu that appears when you roll over the main page link. And in some themes, sub-subpages show up in popup menus as well. These are sometimes called “cascading” navigation menus: sub-subpages show up in a popup menu when you roll over a subpage link.

The second part of this tutorial shows how to hide (or “exclude”) a link to a page that would otherwise appear in the links of the Pages sidebar widget. The tricky part of excluding a link is finding the page / post ID number. I show you how to do this.

Excluding a link is useful for a number of reasons. One is that when you make a static page your Home page in WordPress (by telling WordPress to diplay a Page as your Home page instead of displaying your blog posts), some themes will show the link to this static page as a second home page link in your main navigation. By making the Home page a subpage and excluding that link from the Pages sidebar navigation, you can eliminate the double Home page link.

In WordPress 2.7, you select a static page to use as your Home page using the Settings > Reading panel in the Dashboard. When you do this, be sure to create a new page to use as your Blog page. If you do not designate a page to use as your Blog page, your blog posts will no longer be visible.

How to Make a “Child” Page (Subpage) & Hide a Pages Sidebar Widget Link

WordPress 2.7 – So Much to Love!

Those of us with blogs hosted on have already experienced the new features of WordPress version 2.7. There are some great features. I’m looking forward to covering some of them in tutorials on Business Blogging 101.

WordPress 2.7 is now available for use on 3rd-party hosted blogs and websites.

Here’s a great post about Ways to Configure Your New WordPress 2.7 Dashboard.

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