European Beer Bloggers Conference 2014: Supercharging your blogging with WordPress
SUPERCHARGING YOUR BLOGGING
European Beer Blogger’s Conference 2014
Slides at: https://speakerdeck.com/dbspringer
WHO KNOWS WHAT THIS IS?
WHO KNOWS WHAT THIS IS?
(Nothing to do with whales)
I’M ALSO HERE WITH
On the injured list :(
WordPress runs on > 22% of all websites!
Check it out at:
WHAT IS WORDPRESS?
• WordPress is a free (as in beer) and open source blogging tool and a
content management system (CMS) based on PHP and MySQL.
• WordPress celebrated its tenth anniversary on May 27, 2013.
• Two ﬂavors: WordPress.com and WordPress.org.
• WordPress.com is the cloud version of WordPress, supported by
Automattic and is the simplest, most secure way to start web-
• WordPress.org sites are self-hosted, running on the site’s own server,
and the site has complete control over the code and experience.
Anyone can access and download the open source core software.
• “Get your hands dirty, and host
your website yourself.”
• On your own to ﬁnd a host.
• Maintain everything yourself.
• Full control over customizations,
• No registration is required.
• Install custom themes. Build
your own with PHP and CSS.
• Install plugins to extend your
• “Focus on your content, we’ll
handle the rest.”
• Free + paid upgrades.
• Top hosting/security/backups/
• Personal support.
• Register on WordPress.com
and agree to ToS.
• Choose from hundreds of
themes (but not your own).
• No plugins (lots built in).
WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE
BETWEEN .COM & .ORG?
WHAT DO I MEAN BY
SUPERCHARGING YOUR BLOG?
• Simple tips to add a lot of
value to your blog.
• The four “spheres” of
THIS IS NOT A TALK ABOUT
• How to write a great blog post.
(I’m here for that too!)
• How to use WordPress.
(Come chat with us!)
• The ﬁner points of implementing what I discuss.
(“Wisdom becomes knowledge when it is a personal
experience” -a teabag told me that.)
How many folks here are using
ADDING MEDIA TO POSTS
• Adding images, video, and audio stimulates your readers’
minds, giving them something more than text to dig
through, and a reason to come back.
• Media breaks up the text, improves the ﬂow, and makes a
long post seem much shorter and more enjoyable to read.
• “Show don’t tell.”
“A picture is worth 1,000 words.”
MEDIA IN WORDPRESS
• “An agency by which something is
accomplished, conveyed, or
• In WordPress this includes any rich
way of displaying information in
Is anyone here using images in
(Is there anyone here that isn’t?)
• You’ve probably got lots of
experience with this. But!
Since WordPress 3.9:
• Drop directly into the
editor, no need to open
• Resize the image in-editor.
• See galleries live in-editor.
• Support for imgur images
How about audio and/or video?
• Since WordPress 3.6 we’ve had
built-in support for
MediaElement.js audio and video.
• Consistent HTML5 *and* Flash
• Backﬁlls support for IE6-8 and
adds extra media types for Firefox,
Opera, & Safari.
• Just pop in a link to your audio.
• I recommend you embed!
• Super-easy to embed videos, images, audio, and
other content into your WordPress site.
• Just paste a supported URL is on its own line.
• For instance:
(AN AMUSING HISTORY OF WHAT WAS POPULAR)
How many folks have updated
their theme in the last few years?
NEW TRENDS IN THEMES
• Responsive. (Mobile friendly)
• Excellent typography. (Easier to read)
• HTML5. (The new standard of the web).
• Retina support. (Look great on Apple devices).
• Inﬁnite scroll. (Never hit ‘next’ again).
• No more Flash!
GENERAL THEME UPDATES
• Since WordPress 3.4 the customizer has been built
into the ‘Appearance’ menu.
• New in WordPress 3.9 is a combo of a slick new
all-in-one theme browser, theme previewer, and
• Now you don’t have to commit to changing your
theme until you’re 100% certain it looks awesome!
HOW TO FIND A THEME
• Keep in mind: not all themes are created equally.
• Never, ever do a Google search for free themes
(you’re inviting yourself to a malware party).
• The best free themes are in the ofﬁcial WordPress.org
repo. They’ve been vetted by a community committee.
• The themes on WordPress.com are the cream of the
crop and typically available in the .org repo as well.
(makers of the über-popular Genesis theme)
• Elegant Themes
• Graph Paper Press
• Array (formerly Okay Themes)
WHAT TO LOOK FOR
1. A design you like. Your design should project the image you want, be it
professional or fun. There’s more to a theme than visuals, but it’s the only
thing your readers will see!
2. Responsive. Mobile device usage is quickly becoming users’ primary reading
device! Don’t lose readers to a bad mobile experience.
3. Functionality. A theme is functional if it does what you want it to do. Do you
want to display a lot of images? Are you primarily news/text focused? Don’t
think they’re interchangeable!
4. Regular updates. It’s important that designers update their themes regularly
to ensure they work with the latest edition of WordPress.
5. Documentation. Should explain exactly how the theme can be used and
point out common problems that arise for the theme.
WATCH OUT FOR
“KITCHEN SINK” THEMES
• It’s tempting to get a theme
with scores of great
features built-in, but what
happens if you want to
• A good theme will be
“lean and mean.”
How many folks have accounts
on Facebook? Twitter? Google+?
How many folks auto-post to
THE DEATH OF RSS
THE NEW SOURCES
WordPress has two great options to share your content
• Share your site’s posts on several social media networks automatically
when you publish a new post.
• Just publish the post as usual, and you’ll see it show up on the services
• You can opt-out from any of the Publicize services for any speciﬁc post
• Multiple authors can conﬁgure their settings individually on your site.
CONNECT YOUR GOOGLE+ PROFILE!
You’ll get the cool author snippet when users ﬁnd your posts on Google.
• Give your readers the ability to easily share your content with Twitter,
Facebook, and a host of other services.
• Adding to your Sharing Enabled Services is as simple as dragging the
button from the Available Services area.You can conﬁgure services to
appear as icons, text, or both.
• Some services have an additional option letting you display ‘Ofﬁcial’ buttons
that show the number of times the post has been shared in real time.
• If your blog is on
• We handle all of the
infrastructure for you, just
focus on writing posts.
• Self-hosted folks, the rest of
this is for you.
COME TALK TO US ABOUT
(I DON’T WANT TO PUT EVERYONE TO SLEEP)
(content distribution network)
• Page speed optimization
• Hosting types
• Google Analytics
WHAT IS JETPACK?
• Plugin that provides a suite of modules for your site.
(WordPress.com folks already have these features!)
• We spend a lot of time developing sweet features for
WordPress.com, this is our way of making sure everyone
gets to use them.
• Uses WordPress.com cloud to take load off your site.
• It’s free! Connect it to your free WordPress.com account.
THAT’S A LOT
HERE ARE MY FAVORITES
• Related Posts
• Site Monitor
• Get valuable stats like page views, visitors, click details, and more!
• Can be run side-by-side with Google Analytics.
• Check your stats on your site, WordPress.com, or through the
WordPress Mobile apps.
• Keep your readers engaged by showing them more of *your*
posts they will be interested in.
• Related content is automatically generated based on the content
of the post and any tags or categories if they exist.
(Must have at least 10 published posts for related content to appear.)
• A post’s featured image will appear as the thumbnail.
• Reduce the load on your
site by loading images from
the WordPress.com CDN.
• Acts on images in posts,
pages, and featured images
• Your images will load fast
wherever your readers are!
• Receive notiﬁcations from
Jetpack if your site goes
ofﬂine — and when it
• WordPress.com servers will
start checking your site
every ﬁve minutes. If it
looks like something’s gone
awry, we’ll ﬁre off an email
(This one has no image, so here’s a cool dog drinking a beer)
• One of the few Jetpack features
that requires a subscription.
(Starts at €5/mo)
• Automated backups with easy
• Daily security scans with one-
• Help from the WordPress
• You can actually use VaultPress to
transfer your site to a new host!
ONE LAST THING:
GET A SITEMAP PLUGIN!
FIND YOUR LOCAL MEETUP!
LOOKING TO SWITCH?
Come chat with us at the WordPress.com booth!
Slides at: https://speakerdeck.com/dbspringer