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.

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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 WordPress.com 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

Text Widgets, Digg 3-column vs. Blix 2-column WordPress.com Themes

A reader commented on the tutorial “How to Use a Text Widget to Customize a WordPress Sidebar” today to ask if the Blix theme supports text widgets. It looks to me like it definitely does. Has anyone else had trouble with this?

The same reader asked about adding a custom header to the Blix theme. The custom header can be changed in the WordPress Dashboard under Appearance > Custom Header. Not all themes support a custom header, but the Blix theme does. I have not created a tutorial showing how to do this yet. Sorry! But it looks pretty straight-forward. Hopefully not too hard to figure out.

One other thing I should mention: BE CAREFUL ABOUT SWITCHING THEMES.

If you have a 3-column theme like the one I use on Business Blogging 101 (Digg 3 Column) and you are using widgets in both sidebars – especially custom text widgets like I show you how to create in the “How to Use a Text Widget to Customize a WordPress Sidebar” tutorial – then you should be aware that, if you switch to a 2-column theme, all of your widgets from the second sidebar will be moved into the one sidebar.

If you plan to keep the 2-column theme, that’s fine! You would want to move them all to the one sidebar so that they don’t disappear. However, if you are just “trying out” the 2-column theme to see how it looks, you will have to manually recreate your text widgets when you switch back to the 3-column theme. Otherwise, they will all remain in the left sidebar.

How do I know this? I just did it myself! Oops! It took about 15 minutes of copying and pasting text widget content back into the second (right side) sidebar to put everything back to the way it was.

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