I have this site for almost 2 weeks now. I’ve learned so much during this time. I have no idea it takes so much time to set everything up properly. Currently there are still two outstanding issues that I can’t seem to resolve. I have been reading a lot of blogs to find out the best way to tweak my site.

John Chow dot com in particular is the best of the bunch. He shared tips on how to make money online and he backed it up with results. What I find the most resourceful however is not how he makes money online (I’m sure it will be handy one day :-) ); but tips on how to improve my site. His e-book is a must read. Go to his site and download it for your own viewing pleasure.

Some Of His Tips That I Implemented

1. The favicon

I have implemented this in the past on my other site which I took down because of TOS; but I’ve never thought of creating one for this site. He did point out that making your own favicon is a unique way of branding your site and I couldn’t have agreed more. My icon is kinda fuzzy (I just don’t know how to create an .ico file from a jpg) so I will seek help from my brother who is the Everything-Eririn.net webmaster.

2. Subscribe to Comments

I thought this comes standard in wordpress 2.2 but I was wrong. The readers will get a notification when their comments are being replied to. This plugin can also be a useful advertising tool. There are readers who would just post comments and then disappear into thin air. The notification will entice them to come back to the site and perhaps they will check out other articles as well.

I have to tweak this plugin though. By default, the notification checkbox is placed below the submit button which makes no sense. When you are done typing a comment you would normally want to submit it immediately. If the checkbox is placed below the submit button, you will probably miss it completely. It defeats the whole purpose of having the plugin in the first place. Of course you can always have the checkbox checked as a default setting but I think this should be an opt-in feature. This article will show you how to make the change by adding a one-line code to your comment.php file.

3. Setting the Preferred Domain

I am not ashamed to admit that I wasn’t aware of Google Webmaster Tools until I read his e-book. It lets you specify which domain for Google to use. In my case, it’s either joefiro.com or www.joefiro.com. This allows Google to combine the statistic for both domain addresses into one instead of maintaining two separate statistics. When I did a google search on joefiro, it’s joefiro.com that shows up on the search. I did a google search on a few known websites, and most have www on the url. I guess I will use www because I think it’s more professional.

John also talked about how you can set this the preferred domain on your site. I encountered some problems and still working on resolving the issues.

4. Supplemental Index Issue

In his e-book, John said that lots of SEO masters believe that content that isn’t worthy end up in the supplemental index. And in wordpress environment, this is probably a duplicate content issue. Please read this article that he wrote for more details.

I also installed a plugin called WordPress Duplicate Content Cure. It adds the noindex, follow meta tag on the problem pages like this <meta name=”robots” content=”noindex,follow”>

I installed the SEO extension for Firefox and I ran a check on my site. I have 2 articles already in supplemental index; and one of them is the main site. Whaaattt? :-) I followed the instruction on his e-book to create the robots.txt file and uploaded it to my server. You can verify your robots.txt file from Google Webmaster Tools.

Prior Implementation (prior to John’s e-book)

1. Akismet

This plugin is the most useful of all. It detects spam on your comments. You need to get an API key from wordpress in order to activate this plugin.

2. Related Articles

I read some articles on the topics and everyone seems to agree that posting related articles at the bottom of your article is a useful tool to keep your reader around. It’ll give them a wide array of other articles to read from. I also used Wasabi plugin for this implementation. The one thing I had to do manually was to add the header Related Topics in the php files. Apparently the plugin only gives you the article with no header.

3. Google Sitemap Generator

This plugin generates an xml file that Google uses to index your site. You can name the file anything you want but the standard naming convention is sitemap.xml. You can also specify this file and its location in your Google Webmaster Tools page.

4. WP-Notable

This plugin allows the readers to submit your article to one of the many social bookmarking and networking sites. The original author didn’t include the stumbleupon on this plugin but I managed to find one that includes the stumbleupon. The bad thing is I don’t remember where I downloaded it from already. So for the time being, I will host the wp-notable plugin on my site. If you are the author or if you know who the author is, please post on the comment and I will kindly link back the plugin to the author.

Outstanding Issues That Need To Be Resolved

1. Title Page

John Chow wrote an article on how to make a custom Home Page title. After reading the comments I am not convinced using Optimal Title is the way to go. Modifying the php code turned out to be harder than I expected. I kept getting a parsing error.

2. Preferred Domain Name

I made the required changes to .htaccess. It worked well on Firefox but it didn’t work quite as well on Internet Explorer. I had to reverse the change and I will do more research before implementing this feature.

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