Website Manager Documentation
Last Updated: March 25, 2017
In this document you will find the guidelines, training, and resources necessary to successfully complete your role. If you have any questions at all regarding this, please contact Raymond using Skype chat.
- What your position involves
- Your Workflow
- How to install WordPress
- How to setup WordPress
Maintaining MainWP How to setup CloudFlare
- Logo on every website
- Minimum of 3 posts
- Minimum of 5 links in the navigation bar
- Minimum of 4 pages
- Minimum of 1 post set as sticky
Blog Posting Guidelines
- Every post should have some type of media, either images or videos
- Backdate 1 or more of the posts, to ensure they do not show as posted on the same day
- Must contain either banner advert(s), newsletter signup, or introduction text
- Introduction text must be a minimum of 120 words
What does your role involve?
Welcome to First Element!
Your role while working at First Element will involve managing and expanding our network of blogs.
This includes, tweaking their functionality, making design improvements, creating logos, writing content, and more.
Your main responsibility is to make great looking blogs that look trustworthy to visitors. These blogs will not receive much traffic, and are by no means magazine quality, but it is important that visitors view them as legitimate websites.
I look forward to working together.
– Raymond Quintanilla, Founder of First Element
You will be working daily from Trello and Google Drive (with spreadsheets).
Within Trello, you can access your cards, to see which tasks are due earliest:
See a list of tasks due and their due date:
From this page you can also access the board for each task:
You will primarily be working in the Blog Management board, but your role also involves tweaking and improving clients websites, and each client has an individual board.
The blog management board is formed by 4 categories:
- To Do – this lists tasks you need to work on
- Site Errors – you can add cards here to list errors and assign ‘Raymond’ to them
- Done – drag and drop all completed tasks here
Each individual clients board is also similar:
- To Do – this lists tasks to be completed
- Doing – indicates a task that is in progress
- Done – drag and drop all completed tasks here
Please note that not all tasks are yours. If a task is showing under your “Cards” menu, or has your profile picture in the bottom right, it means it was assigned to you, therefore is your task. Otherwise it is not.
The To Do’ list is where the tasks that need done are stored, note in the screenshot below that I am assigned to these tasks:
To get the full detail about the task, click them, and it will popup with more information:
This task is related to a spreadsheet document in the Google Drive folder named ‘pbn_031114’. All spreadsheets are named ‘pbn_daymonthyear” of creation. This example ‘pbn_031114’ was made 3rd November 2014.
If there is a checklist, you can start checking them off as you complete each individual task:
If you half finish a task, or want to add a relevant note, you can scroll down and enter it under ‘Activity’:
With any board, once you have completed the task, drag and drop it in the “Done” list:
If you encounter any errors with setting up the sites, or for MainWP Maintanence (covered later), you can “Add a card” to the Site Errors category within the Blog Management board:
And then assign ‘Raymond’ to that card to look into it:
If your task also involved a spreadsheet in Google Drive, when it is completely finished (including any site errors fixed), drag and drop it to the ‘Completed’ folder within Google Drive:
How to Install WordPress
Using Softaculous (the best way if available):
Manually (if Softaculous or an auto-installer is not available):
How to Setup WordPress
How to Create a Logo
Needs to be presented in a PNG file with no background.
Add the Logo to the Website
There’s no single way of adding a logo to a WordPress blog, it entirely depends on the theme and how they’ve set it up. But here’s how you can do it on most themes.
Option 1 – Editing the Header
Start by navigating to the “Header” customization page. Find that by hovering over “Appearance” in the WordPress Dashboard sidebar navigation, then click “Header”:
Now normally, you can customise this by clicking “Add new image” and uploading the new image. Unfortunately, this is *literally* the header image and not always a logo, as you can see in the below example. So obviously we don’t want to upload the logo here. You can (and should) however upload a new image here. You can see the recommended size for it in the sidebar on the left, in this example, 450px height by any width.
In this case, as we can’t do this method for the logo, we need to resort to option 2.
Option 2 – Theme Options
Start by hovering over “Appearance” in the WordPress Dashboard sidebar navigation. Then look for something that says “Theme Options”, or some type of options link:
(If this doesn’t show up, then this method also won’t work for this theme)
Then you need to scan through all the settings to find some sort of Logo setting. I eventually found it under “Header Settings”, but it could easily have been under “General Settings” too in this example:
Then once you’ve found it, there’s a good chance they’ll show the image sizes if it needs changed. In this case it doesn’t, so all you need to do is click “Upload Image” and save the changes:
Option 3 – Site Identity
Navigate to the customize theme options page by hovering over “Appearance” in the WordPress Dashboard sidebar navigation, then clicking “Customize”:
Then follow the animated gif above to see how you would upload a logo:
Remember, if the “logo” option doesn’t show under Site Identity, it just means that this method is not available for this theme.
Change the Tagline
By default, WordPress uses a default Tagline (aka description of our website) that says “Just another WordPress site”. Not changing this is a huge clue that someone doesn’t care about their website. So obviously, we want to change it.
From the WordPress Dashboard, find the “Settings” link in the sidebar navigation. Hover over it, then click “General:
You’ll be taken to the General Settings page with a number of options including “Tagline” as shown below:
What to change it to
You can either set it to blank i.e. remove the default text and leave it empty, do this 5-15% of the time. Or make up a short, snappy Tagline based on the website description.
So if the site description you were given is:
“Tips and advice for managing wordpress sites, useful plugins, great themes, and so on.”
You could make something up like:
“WordPress Tips for Bloggers”
Or another idea:
“Become a WordPress Expert”
It’s not too important. Just make it short and relevant to the website description. Basically think of how you can describe the websites purpose in 3-6 words.
Once you’ve decided, write it in the Tagline box, then scroll down and click “Save Changes”.
The video below shows you how to add posts and pages to WordPress:
Every blog should have a minimum of 3 posts, here is how to find content:
Post Image Sources:
There are so many different types of blog titles you can use, the media/content found will determine which is best. Here are some ideas and examples…
- How To – How to lose 28 pounds in 28 days
- Lists – 7 ways to lose weight when you’re over 40
- Checklists – First Time Marathon Checklist
- Reviews – Nike Free Run vs New Balance 420 Review
- Website Update – Welcome to the new website!
Created a Minimum of 3 Initial Blog Posts
Ordered 3+ blog posts from HireWriters
Received the articles from HireWriters
Included a minimum of 1 authority link
Friendly permalinks set
Set a category
Published all blog posts
Interlinked blog posts and pages (where possible)
Next we need to add some blog posts to the website. These should preferably be at least 500 words each, though it’s good to mix it up (sometimes less, sometimes more).
The other thing to do is to include a link to an authority site.
Here’s how to do the posts
First you need to plan out 3-5 blog posts to be written on the website.
There should be a “Topic” column in Trello for this site, this is the topic/keyword we want blog posts to be about.
That means the keyword (or similar variation of it) should be in the article title, and preferably only once within the article.
So if the keyword is “how to lose weight for first time pregnant moms”.
An example article title could be “7 Simple Tips For How To Lose Weight for First Time Pregnant Moms”.
You do not need to write the articles remember. Just plan out the article title, and a short summary for our writer to write it. Once you’ve done that, you need to pass it onto the writers. We’ll use HireWriters for that. How To Order Articles from HireWriters 1. Start by hovering over “Order Content” then clicking “Order Articles”. 2. Enter a description of the project, so what the article(s) is about in this case. 3. Select a category, not sure “Home and Family” is right, but closest they have. 4. Select an article length of “1001 word – 2000 words”. 5. Select “English-American” for the language. 6. For Writer’s Time limit leave it at “1 Day” by default. 7. And leave “Feature Your Project” as No, by default. 8. Select “General Writers” skill level By default there will be 1 article quantity, and the article tone will be set to “Professional”. 9. Leave it as just 1 article. Then in the special instructions we’ll tell them to split the 2,000 words between 3-6 pages. You specify how many, and make sure to change it up regularly. 10. Feel free to change the tone to the one which best suits the blog/article, here’s the options: Professional Friendly Funny Review Style Other 11. For the “Keywords”, enter the topic of the website you’re setting up. Next is the most important part: 12. Special Instructions Use and customize following template for special instructions… This task requires you to write the following blog posts for our website: 4 Blog Posts that are 500+ words Some blog posts can be shorter than the 500 word minimum, provided that there is a minimum of 2,000 words across all articles. Please proof read and edit your work before you submit it. Make sure it’s free of basic spelling errors and is easy to read. I will request revisions or reject your work if it has a large number of errors in it. Blog Name: [Insert name] Blog Topic: [Insert information about the blog] Author Persona: [Insert information about the “Author Persona”] Blog Post 1: [Article Title] – Summary: [Short summary of the article] Blog Post 2: [Article Title] – Summary: [Short summary of the article] Blog Post 3: [Article Title] – Summary: [Short summary of the article] Blog Post 4: [Article Title] – Summary: [Short summary of the article]
Publishing the Blog Posts
Next we need to get these blog posts published on our site.
Go to “Posts” then “Add New” in the WordPress Dashboard menu:
Enter the post title in the top text box:
After a couple minutes, it should show a permalink like above. You can then click Edit and change it like shown. Permalinks should be kept short, so people can actually type in the URL to visit it easily:
Inserting an authority link
Next we need to add a link to an “authority site”. That just means a hugely trusted website about the same topic as our site you’re setting up.
If it was a sports website, you could link to BBC Sports as an example. Or if it’s a website about a business in London, you could link to the London Chamber of Commerce.
It’s not that difficult, just make sure it’s a hugely trusted website in that industry, that people would know the name of.
As for adding the link, it’s simple…
Highlight the text you want to link and click the “Insert/edit link button”:
Enter the URL you want to link to, then click “Link options”:
Check the “Open link in a new tab” checkbox. Then click the blue “Update” button in the bottom right corner:
Add Image(s) / Video(s)
Every post should have an absolute minimum of 1 image or video. Preferably 2-3.
It’s really simple, you just paste in a YouTube video URL, or click the Add Media button at the top, like you can see here:
Adding Internal Links
Internal links are where you link the different posts and pages on the website together. It’s a very natural thing for websites to do, since they want people to read their other posts and pages.
Here’s how to do it…
Highlight the text you want to link to another post or page. Click the “Insert/edit link” button:
Type in the name of the page or post you want to link it to, then click it when it comes up as a choice:
Finally, click the blue “Apply” icon to save the link:
Remember you can go back and edit old posts to include additional internal links. Each post should have at least 1 internal link.
Set a Category
Every post should have a category set. Any legit blog would do this, so we want to fit in.
Choose one of the categories from the list, or click “Add New Category” and create a new one to choose:
Publish or Schedule the Post
Now we want to either publish this post, or at least schedule it.
You can do that from the Publish box in the top right:
Click the blue “Publish” button to publish it or…
It’s HIGHLY recommended that you don’t publish all the articles at the same time. But instead schedule them to publish randomly over the coming 1-2 weeks.
So publish 1 today. The rest spread over the next 1-2 weeks.
To schedule them, click the blue “Edit” link next to “Publish immediately”:
Change the date, then click the blue schedule button:
Create a Minimum of 4 Pages
Create each of the pages
Set a friendly “slug”
Order content for each page
How to Create New Pages
Start in the WordPress Admin Dashboard. Hover over the “Pages” navigation item, and click the “Add New” link. You can also view the other pages on the website by clicking “Pages” in the nav menu, or the “All Pages” link:
Type in the title of the page in the first box. In this example I just used about us, use the simple guide below for tips of what to name pages…
What Pages to Create
There are a number of different types of pages you can create, use the below ideas to help with this:
- About us – Write about the website, team, author, or all
- Contact us – Explain why people should contact them and include contact form
- Events/ Workshops – For dates put “in 2 weeks” or “this sunday”, explain what the event is about
- Advertising – Have information about advertising on the site and a contact form
- Why we created XYZ – Explain the backstory of why the blog was created
- FAQ – Answer frequently asked questions about the topic / website
- Tips / Ideas – Have a contact form with information about how to send an article tip in
- Resources – Useful advice, links to useful authority sites/videos, book recommendations
Do not use the exact same page name on every website either. There are many ways of saying the exact same thing.
- About, About us, About this website, About [sitename], What is this, Who are we
- Contact, Contact us, Get in touch, Talk to us, Contact me
Next you want to customize the permalink for the page so it’s a better link. By default it’ll be the title with hyphens replacing the spaces:
Basic Tip for Permalinks
The trick to permalinks is to keep them short for typing in, but keep in the important words.
For example, if the page title was “The Best Books To Read in 2016”, the permalink could be something like “the-best-books-read-2016” by default I believe. But that’s ugly and un-necessary. A better permalink would be “the-best-books-2016”. Or even “best-books-2016”.
Keep it short while still being clear what the page is about. That’s the main goal.
For the “About Us” page, it’s not necessary to have the “us” part in the URL, so it makes sense to shorten it down to just “about”. Obviously make sure to remember the trailing “/” is at the end.
Remember to Publish these pages so we can set them up with the navigation menu. We’ll go back and edit these later to add the content.
You can also find content to use in posts and pages using the WayBackMachine, this video explains how:
Setup a navigation menu
Created a navigation menu
Added 5 links to the menu
Another important thing to do is make sure the website has a full navigation menu. An instant giveaway that a website isn’t really used is because their navigation sucks. Almost all proper websites will have a navigation menu with more than 3 links.
Here’s how to do it:
That is all there is to it, now the navigation bar you set should be showing on the site.
Please remember: You do not need to add 5 pages to the site. Once you have created posts, you set them to a category, you can also add these categories to the navigation bar.
Adding sticky posts to blogs
At least one post on each blog must be set to sticky, this means it always shows at the top of the homepage. Here is how to do it:
Backdate Blog Posts
It looks bad when a blog only has 3 posts for example, but all of them were posted on the same day. Instead of this, we backdate our posts up to 3 months. Here is how to do that:
Customize the Sidebar to Look Like a Real Website
3-5 widgets added to the sidebar
Sidebars need to make the site look good by making it look like a real site someone has put effort into, and not showing how inactive it is.
This means the following widgets should not be used, ever:
- Recent Comments
They are too un-natural for a real blog to use.
There are 7 types of sidebar widgets we are going to use a lot, at least 2 of them must be on each blog, these are:
- Banner Ads – real adverts used on the web
- Newsletter Signup – to get email updates from the site
- Welcome / Introduction – shows background behind the site or author
- Top posts or page – a list of a few of the top posts or pages to read
- Recent posts – a list of 5-10 recent blog posts
- Author bio – A short snappy intro and photo of the blog author
- Social media links – Link to their Facebook page, Pinterest, Instagram, etc
The following is a list of other acceptable sidebar widgets:
- Categories – A list of links to different categories of posts
- Search – A box to search the website
- Hire me/us (Text widget) – Personal ads linking to pages about hiring or working with the blog owner
How to Customize the Sidebar
First, hover over “Appearance” in the navigational sidebar of the WordPress admin Dashboard, then click “Widgets”:
From here you can drag and drop widgets from the list of “Available Widgets” into the sidebars list on the right. Usually the main sidebar will be called “Primary”, but the names can differ. In another example I’m looking at now, the main one is called “Right Sidebar”, since we’re customising the one on the right. If you have difficulties figuring out which one is which, try adding widgets and previewing the site to see if you can see them. You can also remove widgets from the sidebar by dragging them away from the box.
Here’s how it’ll look:
For some types of widgets, for example:
- Welcome / Introduction
- Banner Ads
- Newsletter Signup
By default, these won’t be listed under “Available Widgets”, and instead will need manually added through the “Text” widget option.
Here’s how to set them up…
How to Add Banner Ads
Here’s the code for adding the banner ad:
< a href=”http://WEBSITE.com/” rel=”nofollow”> < img src=”URL of image” /> </a>
And the website to find them at is Moat.com.
Make sure to use your common sense here for what size images will look natural.
This size would be perfect for the ad in a sidebar. It’s not too big, doesn’t take up a huge amount of space, but will still very easily stand out on the page:
This, while not terrible, is not a great size for a sidebar. It’s very long and will detract too much from the user experience, something a real website owner wouldn’t want to do because it would lose them a lot of traffic in the long term:
And this example obviously wouldn’t work in the sidebar. Somewhere else, possibly. But the sidebar is really narrow and long, so a wide image like this will obviously not fit well:
Verdict: Stick to more square banner advertisements
Creating Opt In Forms
There’s a couple ways of creating opt in forms, depending on whether you want to create a real one, or just a quick “fake one” to give the appearance of being real.
Here’s how to do a “fake” one:
Create a Welcome / Introduction Widget
A great way to introduce the website is to start with a basic introduction / welcome message in the sidebar on all pages. Not everyone will first visit the homepage, some people will find a blog post instead, so we want this on every page to welcome the visitor to the website and explain what they’re getting themselves into.
By default, there is no “welcome widget”, instead we use the standard “Text” widget. That’s this one:
(Drag this into the sidebar to use it)
Then you’ll be able to fill it in with a “Title” and “Content”, and click “Save” to save it:
One thing you may want to take a note of is this option below “Automatically add paragraphs”. If you’re typing in multiple paragraphs, for example… This is now a separate paragraph, you’ll want to tick this box to display them automatically without manually having to write code.
What to write in the “welcome box”
There’s a few different approaches you can take with this welcome box, you can use your own imagination here. But let’s get you started.
Here’s a short, snappy website intro:
Title: Welcome to XYZ.com
Content: On this blog you will find the latest trends in design, ranging from DIY training videos, to inspirational galleries and photos.
This is super short, and straight to the point about what the website is about. You can even include a link below to the about page. That requires a little code, like this:
<a href=”/about/”>Learn more on our about page</a>
You can obviously (and should) customize this code to change the text of the link (Learn more on our about page), and the page it’s pointing to (website.com/about/).
Here’s a longer example:
Title: Lacking a huge design budget?
Content: Bad home design sucks. But who has the money to invest in luxury design aka design that looks really good?
On this free blog, I’m going to share with you, the inside secrets to great interior design on a small budget.
This isn’t about cheap junk that looks good but falls apart in 2 months… it’s the secret tricks interior designers use to get the best stuff at the lowest prices.
Whether you are into modern, contemporary, or traditional design, we will be able to help you.
To learn more about this website, <a href=”/about/”>take a look at our about page</a>.
You’ll need a little originality here to write something yourself, but it’s not too complex, just write a basic description of what the website is about. Use the description you were given to help with this.
Another thing you can do is to explain why the domain is completely different to the topic of the website. If for example we bought a domain called ferrarifanatic.com and made it into a website about internet marketing, you could write in the sidebar:
Title: Welcome to Ferrari Fanatic
Content: This blog is about the dream of buying a Ferrari from internet marketing money, and the journey it takes to get there as a marketer.
Or a more complex example:
Content: Welcome to phonecovers247.com! Your online resource for home design news, trends, and inspiration.
We have been sharing design advice and inspiration since 2009, starting with just phone covers, but evolving into general design at home.
Whether you are looking to create a contemporary, modern, or traditional space, you’ll find plenty of useful content on the blog.
There’s a lot of room here for creativity. Do your best and it should be fine.
If you want to customize it further, here’s some quick formatting code tips you can use to do more:
<strong>Text here will be bold</strong>
<u>Text here will be underlined</u>
<em>Text here will be in italics</em>
Creating an Author Bio Widget
This is another type of widget that is extremely similar to the welcome / introduction widget above.
It’s a text widget again, like this:
(Notice for anything completely custom, we use the “Text” widget since it allows us to insert any text or HTML code.)
Now, what we’ll be writing this time is relatively simple. It’s just an introduction as before, but instead of being to the website, it’s to the author of the website.
Here’s an example:
Title: Welcome to The Watch Collector
Content: Hey, there! My name is John Smith and I’m obsessed with time pieces. Ever since I was given my first watch, I’ve been an avid collector. Now I’ve got 27 real swiss watches and constantly adding to my collection. On this blog you’ll see which brands to buy, what watches I like, and I’ll even show you what I’m buying.
The other thing we’ll always have is a photograph of the website owner.
Here’s the code you’ll need to insert the image:
<img src=”image url” alt=”Description of image or name of author” />
Uncheck “Attempt to notify any blogs linked to from the article”.
This setting is under Settings -> Discussion:
Customize the SEO settings
After you’ve installed the plugins
through MainWP, you should have installed one of the SEO plugins onto the website. Now we need to customize the settings for that plugin to make the website look more legit.
All in One SEO Pack
First, navigate to the All in One SEO Pack settings area by clicking “All in One SEO” in the WordPress Dashboard sidebar navigation:
Scroll down to the “Home Page Settings” area, this is what we need to customize:
Start with a homepage title. There’s a max of 57 characters here. Usually it’ll just by the site title. Then you may want to add something extra to it like a mini tagline of what the website is about. (Look at the image below for extra advice with this)
The title “WordPress.com: Create a free website or blog” is an example of how the title looks. If you use a mini description in the title tag like “Create a free website or blog”, make sure you mix up the separators. The separator is the thing you use to separate the the site name and tagline, like “:” in the example above, and “-” in my example from the previous image.
Next complete the description box. This is just a short 160 character description of what the website is about. People will see this in Google when the website comes up so treat it as something people will see:
Once you’re done, scroll down and click the “Update Options” button.
Other SEO Plugins
If the SEO plugin you’re using is not one of the above 2, you’ll have to figure out the options yourself. You’re looking for the exact same thing though. “Title tag” and “Meta Description” for the homepage of the website.