The Definitive Guide To Keeping Your Website Manageable & Organized

Learn how to keep your website and web content manageable and organized to stay on top of your digital business presence.

The Definitive Guide To Keeping Your Website Manageable & OrganizedToday and more than ever, businesses are feeling the strain of trying to stay on top of things despite growing pressure from competition, information overload, rapid technology changes and demands on their time and resources.

To remain competitive in the Digital Age, your business needs a digital presence, but more importantly, you need a digital presence that will help you get better results online without adding more chaos and unmanageability.

Many businesses end up with a web presence that quickly becomes unmanageable not because of poor web design or lack of content organization and structure but because the business itself lacks digital planning and education.

In this guide, we explain what it takes to stay on top of your digital business presence and show you how to keep your website and web content manageable and organized.

The Definitive Guide To Keeping Your Website Manageable & Organized

Most of us struggle to stay on top of things. The more we try to keep things organized and manageable, the harder it seems chaos wants to fight back.

Keeping your business manageable is difficult!

(Keeping your business organized and manageable is difficult!)

Keeping your business organized and manageable is difficult if you lack planning and systems. The same thing applies to the digital aspects of your business.

Having an unmanageable web presence results in:

  • Web pages with outdated information.
  • Content not being regularly published.
  • Neglected web management and maintenance tasks.
  • Increased vulnerability and exposure to security risks.
  • Missed opportunities to market and promote your business.
  • Missed opportunities to get found online.
  • And more.

Having a manageable website, on the other hand:

  • Creates a better user experience for visitors and allows site users to find what they are looking for faster and more easily.
  • Helps search engines like Google to better understand what your site is all about and to index your site and pages faster and more accurately.
  • Allows you to stay ahead of online competitors who cannot manage their web presence.
  • Allows you to grow an effective digital presence that will help your business get better results like more traffic, leads, sales conversions, etc.

Getting a website built for your business is the easy part … you can build your own website or get someone else to build it for you. The difficult part is keeping your web presence manageable and organized so it can work for you effectively and deliver your business better results.

We’ve posted previously about the need to create order before progress. No business can progress online until some form of order has been established.

For practical purposes, we’ll use the model below to help create order and manageability in our digital business presence …

Manageable digital business presence model

(Manageable digital business presence model)

The model we’ll use to create a manageable digital business presence is built on five successive and integrated layers:

  1. Digital Plan & Strategy
  2. Website Planning
  3. WordPress Website
  4. WordPress Posts & Pages
  5. Digital Content

Let’s explore each of these layers in more detail.

Digital Plan & Strategy

“We can only see a short distance ahead, but we can see plenty there that needs to be done.”

Alan Turing – Computer Science Pioneer

As mentioned earlier, many businesses end up with a web presence that quickly becomes unmanageable not because of poor web design or lack of content organization and structure but because the business itself lacks digital planning and education.

Digital business planning comes before website planning. It asks questions about the capabilities of your business to manage and grow a digital presence.

Most businesses lack time and resources and operate under considerable financial strain. They want immediate results to meet their needs and objectives in the short-term. The reality, however, is that creating consistent results online requires strategic planning and the implementation of great systems and processes.

A sound strategic digital plan has a direct impact on your website but it’s not all about your website. It also needs to takes the short-term needs and long-term growth of your business into account.

Digital Planning, then, is the first step toward creating a manageable digital presence and begins with formulating a clear digital vision for your business and developing strategies for setting and achieving the overall goals and objectives your business has set.

Businesses need a lot more digital planning before building a website

(Businesses need a lot more digital planning before building a website)

You should have clearly specified digital strategies before getting your website built, and these should include various actionable plans, such as:

  • A Digital Systems Plan specifying the systems you will need to implement manage, measure, and improve your results online.
  • A Digital Organization Plan defining the kind of team you will need to assemble to help you run and manage your digital presence.
  • A Digital Vehicle Plan defining the type of digital vehicle(s) you will need to build to realize your digital strategy.
  • A Digital Management Plan outlining how you are going to manage your digital assets and processes (including outsourcing).
  • A Digital Marketing Plan outlining how you are going to promote your business online, who your target audience is, etc.
  • A Digital Content Plan that will help you define what type of information you will publish to reach your target audience and how you will create and deliver this information.

Providing detailed information on the above areas is beyond the scope of this site. To help small businesses plan an effective digital presence, we have published an e-book called “The Small Business Digital Manager.”

‘The Small Business Digital Manager’ looks at why most small businesses end up with an unmanageable web presence almost as soon as they take their business online and why this leads to poor results, and shows you how to be in control of your digital business processes and get better results online using a systematic and doable approach.

In addition to the book, we have also developed a comprehensive online course that will help you implement a practical and effective digital plan for your business.

Website Planning

As stated in the previous section, planning your digital business presence should be done before planning your website. Your digital plan will not only help you understand how you will be able to manage and grow your business online, it will also help you plan the type of web presence you will need to build in order to achieve your goals and realize your digital vision.

Digital business planning is important because planning your website involves different types of planning, such as:

Website Organization Planning

This involves not only planning the aesthetic components (i.e. web design, page layout, color scheme, etc.) and functional elements of your website (i.e. technical features), but also its structural form (pages, content, site navigation, etc.) taking into account how all of this will affect things like usability, user experience, SEO, etc.

The above is the obvious kind of website planning most people do when they think about getting a website. What’s not so obvious to many people until after their website is built, is …

Website Management Planning

This type of website planning doesn’t focus on how your website will look or what it will do, but on how you will manage it.

For example, let’s say that your business needs a website with:

  • Full e-commerce capabilities to sell products or services online,
  • members-only area where customers can view their order details,
  • private login section where resellers or affiliates can download confidential information such as price lists or marketing materials,
  • marketing blog for traffic generation where your staff members can post news and special announcements about your products or services,
  • backend administration area with individual logins and passwords that grants special privileges to different groups of users so only certain people can add or edit information, while only others can view reports, perform administrative tasks, etc, and
  • support helpdesk to handle customer issues and provide answers to commonly asked questions.

You could get a web developer to help you plan and build a web presence that integrates all of the above features and functionality, but they probably won’t help you with the planning involved in figuring out how you are going to manage all of the work involved in running and maintaining the above.

To figure out how you are going to manage all of the above, you will need to have a clear understanding of your business resources and capabilities, which is a function of the digital planning process and not the website planning process. Hopefully, you will get this done first before spending time or money getting your website built to avoid having an unmanageable web presence.

Website management planning also involves planning the integration and management of external services and features in your web presence.

For example, let’s say that in addition to all of the features discussed above, you also want to be able to monetize your website presence by allowing other businesses to advertise on your site or list services on a directory and that you plan to add various affiliate links throughout your web content.

This requires planning and systems. You would need to integrate the following systems with your website and manage these as well:

For all of the above reasons, when planning your website we recommend working alongside the specifications of your digital business plan.

Website Planning Process

(Website Planning Process)

We have created an entire training module to help you plan your website with detailed step-by-step tutorials, downloadable templates and checklists, and more. For more details, go here:

Important Info

Planning your digital presence and website is important. Even if you already have a website, we recommend checking out the above links and resources, as these provide essential information that will help you avoid making costly mistakes.

Let’s now turn our attention to a digital system that will allow you to build and run an effective and manageable web presence … all at minimal cost and without technical skills required!

The Definitive Guide To Keeping Your Website Manageable & Organized

WordPress

For just one moment, try to picture what it would be like to have access to a tool that lets you easily build anything online you want for whatever purpose you need.

Imagine too, that you can also add any function you like whenever you want and even turn this into something completely different, all with just a few clicks of the mouse, no coding skills or technical expertise, with minimal cost and without having to start from scratch every time you want to change or add things.

That’s WordPress!

WordPress is a powerful, flexible, and easy-to-use free software application that lets you build any type of website you like for any purpose you want, for commercial or personal use. You can start with a simple and basic website and add more functionality only when and as you need.

So … let’s think of WordPress as a digital ‘system’ that can help bring order and manageability to your digital business presence using three basic sublevels or subsystems:

  • Subsystem 1: Website
  • Subsystem 2: Posts & Pages
  • Subsystem 3: Content

WordPress can bring order and manageability to your digital presence

(WordPress can bring order and manageability to your digital presence)

WordPress Website

We provide hundreds of detailed step-by-step tutorials devoted to helping you understand all the benefits and advantages of using WordPress to power your website or blog.

If you’ve never heard of WordPress before, we recommend starting with our Introduction To WordPress tutorials.

If you know a little bit about WordPress already, the rest of this guide is going to help you understand WordPress from a different perspective. We’ll begin by exploring some of the features of WordPress that will make your web presence manageable and allow you to grow your business online in an organized manner.

WordPress Post & Pages

Posts and pages are the main ‘containers’ in WordPress that hold all of the content you want to display on your website.

Once your WordPress website has been installed and configured, almost all of the work you will do will involve using WordPress posts and pages.

To learn about the main differences between WordPress Posts and WordPress Pages and when to use each type, see the tutorial below:

Depending on the type of website you plan to build, modified versions of posts or pages called Custom Post Types may also be used.

For example, if you plan to sell products or services online, you would probably choose an e-Commerce theme for your website with posts that have been modified to display product or service information to potential buyers. Other custom post types used to display specific information in WordPress websites include testimonials, portfolio pages, real estate property listings, directory pages, forum pages, etc.

Some WordPress Themes also allow you to choose different post formats (e.g. videos, images, quotes, links, etc.) when creating a post to display specific types of content.

WordPress posts, pages and custom post types and formats not only help keep your website manageable, they also include features and functions that allow you to keep your information and data organized as well.

For example, as a website administrator, you can view, edit, and manage all of your posts and pages inside your WordPress dashboard using the Table of Posts and Table of Pages

The WordPress Table of Posts keeps all of your posts organized

(The WordPress ‘Table of Posts’ keeps all of your posts organized)

WordPress also provides features called ‘widgets‘ that let you organize information for users and visitors and display these on your site in areas like the sidebar, footer, and header sections. Widgets lets you group, organize, and display information on your site, like a menu of specific pages, or a list of recent or archived posts, links, content categories, tag clouds, etc.

To learn how to use widgets to keep your information organized in WordPress, see our tutorial series below:

Digital Content

Your web content is contained inside your posts and pages, which are contained inside your WordPress website.

The key to having an effective and manageable website with organized content, then, is to understand the main features of WordPress and how these all work seamlessly together …

WordPress: a system of systems

(WordPress: a system of systems)

WordPress: A Digital System Of Systems

If systems and processes bring order and manageability to your business, then think of WordPress as a digital ‘system of systems’ for bringing order and manageability to your web presence.

Many of these digital systems are built into WordPress itself in the form of features and core functionality, and other systems can be configured and seamlessly integrated with the WordPress platform to add new features and functionality, such as WordPress Themes and WordPress Plugins.

Let’s take a deeper look, now, at the three basic levels of WordPress described above and drill down into the other subsystems that exist within these.

Tip

We discuss many WordPress features that can put you in complete control of your website here:

WordPress Website

Starting at the highest level of order, in terms of organization, WordPress has a number of subsystems that allow you to control and manage all areas of your web presence:

WordPress Content Management System (CMS)

WordPress not only lets you build any type of website you can imagine, it also comes with a very powerful built-in Content Management System …

Want a manageable website? Use a CMS!

(Want a manageable website? Use a CMS!)

WordPress is, in fact, the world’s leading CMS application. The WordPress CMS provides an invaluable system for keeping your website manageable and your web content organized.

The WordPress CMS not only lets you easily manage your website and keep all of your content organized, it also stores all of your website data inside a database on your server, which allows you to easily backup and restore your data and perform tasks like global search and replace and other maintenance and upgrade tasks.

To learn more about the benefits of using the WordPress CMS, see the tutorial below:

WordPress Settings

Knowing how to expertly configure WordPress settings after the installation process is one of the keys to creating and running an organized and manageable website.

Many aspects of marketing and managing your web presence with WordPress can also be automated simply by choosing a good web hosting environment, knowing how to configure various core and plugin settings, such as traffic generation, SEO, and backups, and integrating these with external services to access statistical reports, social metrics, and more.

Some of the more useful WordPress system settings that are specifically designed to help make your website more manageable include:

Media

The WordPress media settings and WordPress media library allows you to store, manage, and organize your media files (e.g. images, audios, videos, etc.)

To learn how to configure WordPress media settings and use the WordPress media library, see the tutorials below:

Permalinks

Permalinks let you create search engine friendly URLs and help keep your content organized for search engines and visitors.

To learn more about the benefits of using WordPress permalinks and how to set it up, see the tutorial below:

Tools

WordPress provides various tools that allow you to add content to your site while browsing the web, transfer content from one WordPress site to another using export and import features, and more.

To learn more about the WordPress Tools section, see the tutorial below:

Users

WordPress lets you assign different roles and capabilities to users (e.g. Author, Editor, Administrators). This not only helps you to better manage your web presence, it also prevents other users from turning your site into a disorganized mess.

For example, if you assign users the role of ‘contributors’ or ‘authors,’ they can add to and help grow your site’s content, but they cannot edit or change the parameters that help keep your content organized, only ‘editors’ and ‘administrators’ can do this.

To learn more about assigning users different roles and capabilities, see the tutorial below:

WordPress Themes

Many website building applications nowadays use web templates to speed up the web development process. WordPress takes this concept much further through the use of Themes.

Themes provide an effective and efficient system for organizing your site’s web design and the layout of its pages and web elements. The basic concept behind using WordPress themes is that you can completely change (i.e. ‘morph’) the ‘look and feel’ of your entire website with just a couple of mouse clicks without affecting any of the underlying functionality or content that you have already set up for your site.

To learn more about using WordPress Themes, see the tutorials below:

WordPress Plugins

Another powerful type of organizational system for your WordPress website are WordPress Plugins.

Plugins are like ‘modular addons’ that plug into your website and instantly add all sorts of functionality to your web presence with just a few mouse clicks. Many plugins work right out of the box and some require configuring additional settings.

The basic concept behind using WordPress plugins is that you can start with a very simple WordPress installation and instantly enhance and expand your site to do just about anything you can imagine very inexpensively and without touching your site’s underlying code just by installing a plugin.

Plugins, therefore, not only add additional functionality to your site, they can also integrate complete ‘management’ systems and many of these will also automate most of the processes involved.

For example, earlier we talked about integrating various management functions within your website. With WordPress, this can all be done using inexpensive plugins that are simple to install and easy to configure and use.

So, to add a complete e-commerce management system to your website, just install a WordPress e-commerce management plugin. Want an affiliate management system to go with your e-commerce site? Then add an affiliate management plugin. How about a private membership area where your customers can download information not available to regular visitors? Just add a membership management plugin.

You can also add WordPress plugins for managing advertising banners on your site, keeping your website legally compliant, managing online courses and event registrations, running customer support helpdesks and training, running directories, tracking and managing content links on your website and adding loads of other functionality and enhancements.

To learn more about using WordPress plugins, see the tutorials below:

Site Navigation

The better you can organize how visitors and search engines find content on your website, the better the user experience and search engine rankings, which can translate to more traffic and more profits.

WordPress provides a number of management systems for keeping your site’s navigation organized. These include using custom menus, widgets, breadcrumbs, and adding both visitor site maps and search engine sitemaps to your website.

WordPress Posts & Pages

As mentioned earlier, WordPress posts and pages are the main form of ‘containers’ used to provide information to your website’s users and visitors.

WordPress posts and pages, however, also provide systems for managing and organizing your content and information. These include:

Unique Post/Page ID

Every post and page you create has a unique ID. This lets you perform a number of management functions, such as grouping and displaying certain posts or pages by ID, filtering out posts or pages from menus, etc.

To learn more about post and page IDs, see this tutorial:

Post/Page Date

Posts and pages can be organized and sorted by dates. To learn more about using this feature and some of its benefits, see the tutorials below:

Post/Page Status

Posts and pages can be organized and sorted by their status (e.g. Published, Draft, Private, etc.).

To learn more about using this feature and some of its benefits, see the tutorials below:

Post Categories

Post categories are a powerful management system for keeping your posts organized by related topics on your website. They also provide benefits for site visitors (easier navigation) and search engines (better indexing).

To learn more about post categories and their benefits as an organizational and management feature of your WordPress site, see these tutorials:

Post Tags

Like post categories, tags provide a system for managing and organizing content on your site at a more granular level.

To learn more about setting up and using WordPress tags, see the tutorials below:

Post Authors

Earlier, we discussed how WordPress allows you to assign different roles and responsibilities to users, giving them access or restricting access to various management features and capabilities on your website.

WordPress also allows you to have multiple authors for your posts. This not only provides certain benefits in terms of being able to search, sort, filter, export, and organize content on your site via post authors, it also adds a collaborative dimension to how content is managed and created in your digital presence.

To learn more about post authors, see the tutorials below:

Post/Page Settings

WordPress posts and pages include many additional settings that let you administer, manage and organize content and information on your website. These include built-in WordPress functions such as scheduling posts and pagespost excerpts, comments, featured images, and post revisions, as well as functions that can be added using plugins, such as SEO features, social sharing, custom fields, and more.

Web Content

The last level we need to explore is how to keep your web content organized and manageable.

So far, we have seen that if you create and follow a strategic digital plan for your business, plan your website with attention to important details like how you will manage things, and learn all you can about all of the WordPress features that allow you to easily manage, organize your digital presence and automate your marketing, then all you should be left with is planning, creating and publishing content.

WordPress provides many features inside your Posts and Pages that allow you to work efficiently and in an organized manner to create and publish content quickly and easily. This includes separate fields for adding and editing post titles and content, word counters, a visual content editor that lets you easily create, paste, or format text and insert media into your content such as videos, audiosimages, and image galleries, built-in features that let you add hyperlinks to internal content or external sites, eliminate distractions while writing, and perform various functions within your content editor, and the ability to perform additional tasks depending on what plugins you have installed (e.g. adding tables or adding scripts and codes to your content using shortcodes).

WordPress even lets you organize and present content that you have published in different areas of your site inside a new post or page.

For example, if you copy the URL of one of your posts or pages (or any WordPress site) and paste it into your content on a separate line, WordPress will turn the link into a reference like this:

Index Of WordPress Tutorials – WPCompendium.org

Go here for a step by step tutorial on how to do the above:

Now … what if you want to display a directory or a list of all of your content on a separate page or post?

Easy, you can use a plugin to create a site map for your readers like the one we use here, or if you want to create a nice visual content directory like the one we use here and throughout our site, then use a plugin like ContentViewsPro

Display other WordPress posts and pages inside a post or page using ContentViewsPro

(Display other WordPress posts and pages inside a post or page using ContentViewsPro)

For more details, see our tutorial on using post categories to improve WordPress SEO, user navigation, and content layout.

As you can see, with WordPress you can have a manageable website and organize your web content at a macro and granular level.

Tip

If you need help creating a content strategy or content for your business, we recommend subscribing to our comprehensive and 100% FREE content creation course:

Summary

Many businesses develop an unmanageable web presence because they do not start by creating a strategic plan to manage their digital business effectively and don’t implement systems that will allow them to get better results online in an organized and manageable way.

WordPress is more than just a web platform. It is a digital ‘system of systems’ with many powerful features that allow you to have a manageable website, organize your content at a macro and granular level, and help you manage your web presence effectively at minimal cost and without requiring coding skills.

If you find that trying to stay on top of your digital business has become too chaotic and unmanageable and you would like to start getting better results online, then we recommend beginning with just two simple steps:

  1. Download and read ‘The Small Business Digital Manager‘ to learn why small businesses end up with an unmanageable digital presence and how to turn things around, and
  2. Educate yourself as much as you can about the benefits of using WordPress to planbuild, managegrow, and automate your digital business. To help you do this, we provide hundreds of detailed WordPress step-by-step tutorials for FREE covering all aspects of WordPress.

We hope that you have found this guide on how to keep your website and web content manageable and organized useful.

The Definitive Guide To Keeping Your Website Manageable & Organized

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"This is an awesome training series. I have a pretty good understanding of WordPress already, but this is helping me to move somewhere from intermediate to advanced user!" - Kim Lednum

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Website Planning Process – Part 3

This is part 3 of our tutorial series on website planning. This tutorial focuses on planning a sustainable content marketing strategy for promoting your business online using your WordPress website or blog.

Web site DevelopmentAre you considering the idea of getting a website or blog built for your business?

Then this essential guide to planning your website is for you.

Note: This is Part 3 of the article where we provide important information on planning your new web presence.

How To Plan Your Website – Understanding The Process – Part 3

So far, we have covered the following areas of the website planning process:

  • Step 1 – Your Website Goals
  • Step 2 – Naming Your Website
  • Step 3 – Managing Your Technology
  • Step 4 – Your Website’s Target Audience
  • Step 5 – Keywords
  • Step 6 – Define Web Site Categories
  • Step 7 – Create Your Content Strategy

How To Save Money And Avoid Problems Building A New Web Site With This Web Site Planning Process

(Website Planning Process)

You’re almost done with the initial website planning work. In this phase of the planning process, we are going to set up an initial content publishing schedule, decide what types of content you will create for your website, and decide who is going to do what on your site.

Step 8 – Create Your Blog Or Content Publishing Schedule

You need to publish content regularly in order for your business to grow online. A content publishing system is the most productive and effective way to plan, schedule, and track your content creation and publishing process.

Create your content or blog publishing schedule

(Creating your content publishing or blogging schedule)

Now that you have created an initial list of content ideas, the next step is to set up an initial blogging or content publishing schedule.

Important Information

Although this step may not seem to be connected with the process of building your web site, by creating a content publishing schedule and then thinking about what types of content you will need and who will be responsible for managing all of this (see Steps 9 and 10 below) will help you understand what kind of additional services and resources your business will need to have in place immediately after your site has been built.

Practical Tip

Content Schedule Tips:

Tip #1 – Publish Consistently

Adding fresh content on your website or blog regularly is very important for building an online audience and for increasing your site’s results in search engines.

This is the step where you actively market and promote your business online using content, and so it’s essential that you create a habit of writing and publishing content about your business regularly.

Make a commitment to add a new post each week or fortnight to your site. Decide on a specific weekday and time that you will sit down to create your posts. Allow 1-2 hours to create and publish (or schedule for publishing) each content item.

Now, commit to making this into a regular habit. Monitor your activity and if necessary, adjust your schedule accordingly.

Remind yourself when you sit down to plan or write your content that you are investing in your business.

Tip #2: Use Content Scheduling Tools

If you are going to publish content on a regular basis (and you should!), having content scheduling tools can help keep your workflow organized.

You can use simple spreadsheets to help schedule and track the content planning and publishing process, or use a WordPress plugin.

Spreadsheet-Based Editorial Templates

You can easily create a simple editorial content master template to help you schedule your content creation using a spreadsheet program …

Blog content template created using spreadsheets

(Blog content template created with spreadsheets)

Use the spreadsheet to plan your content production and publishing schedule. For example, you can add the following columns to the spreadsheet:

  • Date: Type in the date you plan to publish your content. Tip: You can use color-coding to indicate when your content has been published. Additionally, you can create another column to record 1) the date your content needs to be created by, and 2) the date your content is scheduled to publish on your site or blog.
  • Author: Who will write or create this content. (See Step 10 below)
  • Content Type: What type of content you will be creating for this topic. (See Step 9 below)
  • Category: If you are publishing content to your blog, enter the blog post category you will publish this item under.
  • CTA: What is this specific item of content designed to help you sell or promote? Enter your offer or call-to-action here.
  • Headline: Enter your blog post headline, article title, etc.
  • Description: Enter a brief description or purpose of the content in this column.
  • Kwd: The main keyword phrase your content is targeting.
  • URL: Once you have published the item, record its URL here. This will make it easier to find the content URL when promoting your content (e.g. on social media, emails, etc)
  • Short URL: Add a shortened version of the content’s destination URL for promoting on Twitter, or tracking your campaigns.

You don’t need to have all of the above columns. You can keep things simple by creating a basic spreadsheet with just these essential columns:

  • Publish Date
  • Content Writer
  • Content Type
  • Category.

If you want to create an Editorial Calendar to help you plan new content every month, just search online for “free calendar” or download a free calendar template from WinCalendar.com

WinCalendar - Calendar maker

(WinCalendar – Calendar downloads)

WordPress Editorial Management Plugins

If you want to work directly from WordPress, here are some useful content scheduling plugins you can install:

Editorial Calendar – WP Editorial

Editorial Calendar

(Editorial Calendar)

Editorial Calendar is a Free WordPress plugin that makes it possible to see all your posts and drag and drop them to manage your blog.

The Editorial Calendar gives you an overview of your blog and when each item will be published. You can drag and drop to move posts, edit posts right in the calendar and manage your entire content publishing schedule.

Editorial Calendar - WordPress editorial plugin

(Editorial Calendar – WordPress editorial plugin. Above image taken from plugin website)

For more information about this useful plugin, check out the plugin’s web page here:

Edit Flow

Edit Flow

(Edit Flow – WP plugin)

Edit Flow is a modular editorial workflow plugin that allows you to collaborate with your editorial team right inside WordPress.

Key features of the plugin include:

  • Calendar – A month-by-month look at your content.
  • Custom Statuses – Define the key stages to your workflow.
  • Editorial Comments – Allows private discussion via threaded commenting between editors and writers in the admin section.
  • Editorial Metadata – Track important important details.
  • Notifications – Receive timely updates on any content that you are following.
  • Story Budget – View your upcoming content budget.
  • User Groups – Helps you organize your users by function or department.

Edit Flow

(Edit Flow. Screenshot source: Edit Flow site)

To learn more about this plugin, check out the plugin’s website here:

Oasis Workflow – WordPress Plugin

Oasis Workflow

(Oasis Workflow – WordPress plugin)

Oasis Workflow is a powerful feature-rich WordPress plugin that allows you to automate your WordPress editorial workflow using a simple and intuitive graphical user interface (GUI).

Some of the many useful features of this plugin include the ability to configure your workflow using an easy drag and drop designer interface and simple process/task templates.

Oasis Workflow

(Oasis Workflow – WordPress editorial plugin. Screenshot source: plugin website)

This plugin also offers role-based routing, lets users view their current assignments and sign off on their tasks once it’s completed, process history for auditing purposes, task reassignment, due date and email reminders to help you to publish your articles on time, and an out of the box editable workflow to help you get started.

Oasis Workflow also has a “Pro” version that includes additional functionality, such as allowing you to set up multiple workflows, copy workflow and copy steps, auto-submit, revise published content and much more.

To learn more about this plugin, visit this site:

Step 9 – Establish What Type Of Content You Will Publish

What kind of content will be published on your website?

(What type of content will be published on your site?)

Once you have set up a content creation schedule, the next step is to decide what kinds of content you will create to publish on your website.

Are you planning to publish articles, videos, audios, slideshows, product reviews, multimedia presentations, etc.?

Knowing what kinds of content you plan to create for your website or blog is useful because this helps you understand what other technologies and resources you will probably need to purchase or budget for in order to create your content. This could include buying video screen capture software for videos and multimedia presentations, slideshows, etc.

Step 10 – Assigning Roles And Responsibilities

Who will handle all areas of running your site?

(Who is going to be responsible for all areas of running your site?)

The last step in the website planning process is to decide who will be responsible for managing the various areas of your site and content and assign these to your human resources, or consider outsourcing.

There are many roles and responsibilities involved in running a successful business web presence.

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Who will decide what content gets written/published on your site?
  • Who will create the actual content (e.g. fact-checking, writing and rewriting, sourcing and creating graphic content and logos, videos, audios, newsletter content, training content, FAQs, etc.)?
  • How will you communicate what needs doing to others? How will people communicate with each other?
  • Who will be responsible for the actual scheduling and publishing of content on your site and update any outdated content?
  • Who will promote and market your blog with search engine optimization, online advertising, social media marketing, video marketing, etc.?
  • Who will maintain and upgrade site software, install new applications, customize web templates, provide technical support, etc.?
  • Who will be responsible for setting and monitoring the budget for all of the above areas (including budgeting for the cost of building your site)?

Who will be responsible and accountable for all areas of your site?

Depending on the size of your business, it may be just one person doing everything (i.e. you), or a small team of people who also have to juggle other areas of your business, or perhaps even some outsourced help.

If you don’t know the answer to the above questions before getting your website built, you could end up spending a lot of time and money on a tool that will not only not help you grow your business, but cost even more of your valuable money and time.

Useful Tip

Tip: Don’t Focus On People When Assigning Responsibilities, Focus On Processes

Create a document (e.g. flowchart) outlining exactly who will do what in terms of looking after the processes involved in managing your website and content creation.

Focus on documenting which roles should be responsible for the processes involved before assigning names to responsibilities or making people in your team accountable for managing these. This will help you understand how much responsibility and work is involved in each part of the process, explain why you are asking people to take on additional responsibilities, and assist you in planning the allocation of resources accordingly.

Congratulations! You have completed all of the sections of the site planning process. You are now ready to begin exploring options for getting your new site built.

How To Plan Your Business Website: A Practical Primer For Non-Technical Business Owners

(Source: Pixabay)

Tip

Hopefully, now you have a better understanding of the web site planning process and how WordPress can help you build a better business online. See other posts on this site or contact us if you need information or assistance with website development.

Please consider subscribing to this site, as we will be posting lots more content, resources and practical tips for small businesses on how to develop and implement a successful web marketing strategy.

Additional images: Blogging, Laptop, Workstation, Business Startup.

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"These tutorials have so much information and are easy to understand. If you use WordPress or plan to in the future these will help you with everything you need to know." - Valisa (Mesa, Arizona)

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Website Planning Process – Part 2

This is part 2 of our 3-part tutorial series on planning your website or blog. This tutorial covers doing preliminary research for cost-effective website development.

Web site DesignAre you considering the idea of taking your small business online?

Then this detailed guide to planning your website is for you.

Note: This is Part 2 of the article where we provide important information related to planning a business website.

Understanding The Website Planning Process – Part 2

In Part 1 of this article, we’ve looked at the following areas of the website planning process:

  • Step 1 – Your Goals
  • Step 2 – Your Website Name
  • Step 3 – Managing Your Technology
  • Step 4 – Defining Your Target Audience

Website Planning Process

(Website Planning Process)

As you can see, in Part 1 we have established the foundations for planning your business website. If you have been following the process, you would have a clear idea of your site’s goals and objectives, established your website name, decided on the technology platform you will be using and defined your target audience.

At this point, many people begin building their website. We suggest, however, that you go through the planning process presented below, as we will now discuss content planning and reviewing effective content publishing and management strategies. Having all your initial planning completed before you start building your website or blog will help you save time and money.

Step 5 – Keyword Phrases

(List the main search keywords)

(List the main key phrases)

Now that you have a clearer idea of who you will be targeting with your website, the next step is to identify the main keyword phrases that you will want online users and search engines to associate with your site. This will help search engines connect your website with your target readers.

Ideally, you will want to focus on key phrases that have “low competition” and a reasonable number of people searching for these keywords every month. Depending on your situation, you may also want to focus on keywords within your target industry that have some level of commercial profitability.

There are many tools you can use help you look for great keywords, including free keyword tools.

If you have a Google Adwords account, for example, you can use a keyword tool like the Google Keyword Planner Tool.

The screenshot below shows that more people are searching each month for “overseas adventure travel” (over 18,000 searches per month) than a key phrase like “singles adventure travel“, which gets less than 1,000 searches a month …

Keyword Planner Tool - Google AdWords

(Keyword Planner Tool)

According to the Google Keyword Planner, however, the number of sites competing against one another for visitors searching for “singles adventure travel“, is higher than sites trying to rank for a key phrase like “overseas adventure travel“. This may be because one set of keywords relates to a more targeted audience (i.e. “singles” looking for adventure travel) while the other is more generalized, or because there is more money to be made selling adventure travel packages to singles, etc..

Doing keyword research can also help you understand the profit value of certain keyword phrases. Typically, savvy advertisers will promote keywords aimed towards ”buyers”, rather than key phrases that are more suited for users who are just browsing or researching information online.

For example, users searching online for the term “colour printer minolta” are generally not as ready to invest in a color printer as people who search for “konica minolta magicolor4750DN review”, so if you plan to sell or review colour printers on your website, you would want to aim for longer, more descriptive and more targeted key phrases (called “long tail keywords”), hopefully with a high monthly search volume and low to medium competition.

It will help your website, therefore, to have some highly searched keywords in your content. However, don’t invest too much time doing keyword research for every post you plan to add to your site, especially when you are just starting out.

Make a simple start. Make a list of the “top” 5 keywords you want your site to rank well for in the search engines, make sure that these keywords have a decent search volume and then use these keywords naturally in your content (i.e. plan to write for people, not search engines).

Once your site starts to bring in visitors, you can then review actual data like keyword searches used by visitors to find your website from analytic tools and use the information to refine your keyword research.

Practical Tip

Keyword Research Tips

Tip #1: Avoid building your advertising or content marketing campaigns on keyword phrases that show extremely low to no monthly searches, or that have no commercial intent. There’s not much point ranking #1 in Google for key phrases that no one is looking for. Also, if you type a key phrase into Google and nobody is advertising products for it (i.e. no Google advertisements show up), then that keyword most likely has no commercial value or is unprofitable.

Search keywords that have no competition for advertisers may be unprofitable

(Search keywords with no competition for advertisers are often unprofitable)

Tip #2: Use tools to help you research keywords and generate content ideas. Below are some useful free and paid keyword research tools you can use:

Free Keyword Research Tools

Keyword Planner

Keyword Planner Tool

(Google AdWords Keyword Planner Tool)

The Google Keyword Planner lets you explore hundreds of keywords and keyword-based advertising ideas (e.g. pay-per-click advertising), analyse competitive keyword history, see how a list of keywords could perform in ad campaigns and even create a new list of keywords by multiplying several existing lists of keywords together.

For more information about the AdWords keyword research tool, visit the site here:

If you don’t have access to a Google AdWords account, use the FREE tool below to help get your initial keyword research started:

Ubersuggest Keyword Tool

Ubersuggest keyword tool

(Ubersuggest)

UberSuggest is a free keyword suggestion tool that essentially lets you perform the same function as typing your subject into the Google search box and seeing what topics or ideas come up.

This useful tool saves you time going go through the alphabet from A-Z to discover keyword suggestions related to your subject:

Discover new content ideas with the Ubersuggest

(Discover new content ideas with the Ubersuggest keyword tool)

To use this free tool, visit this website:

Paid Keyword Research Tools

The keyword research tools below will help you not only uncover many profitable keyword phrases and long-tail keywords to use when planning content or a pay-per-click advertising campaign, but also analyze your competition’s keywords and formulating a content SEO strategy for your site:

Market Samurai

Market Samurai Keyword Research Tool

(Market Samurai)

Market Samurai is an inexpensive tool that provides not just keyword research but also additional content research tools, plus excellent training tutorials on how to perform SEO keyword research.

To learn more about this software tool, visit this website:

SEMRush

SEMRUSH Keyword Tool

(SEMRUSH)

SEMRush lets you add the URLs of your competitors and it will then give you a list of all the keywords that the site is ranking for, making it easier to find short-tail and long-tail keywords that you can then target for your own site.

For more details about this software tool, visit this website:

Keyword Spy

Keyword Spy

(Keyword Spy)

Keyword Spy is an SEO tool that’s primarily used for researching keywords. Use Keyword Spy to view competitor keywords and to research keywords for your own site.

For more details, visit this site:

Step 6 – Define Website Categories

Define your site categories

(Define your site categories)

Decide on specific areas within your niche market that people may want to know more about and create a list of “categories” for all the topics that you plan to write content about.

For example, if you run a travel agency, your categories could include topics such as: “business travel”, “luxury travel”, “romantic destinations”, “family holiday destinations”, “travel accommodation”, “travel discounts”, “cruises”, “air travel”, “Latin America,” or any category of travel-related services you offer.

Aim to create an initial list of about 3 – 10 categories. You can always add more categories to your site later on.

Tip

Website Category Tips:

Tip #1: Use WordPress For Easy Management Of Your Site’s Categories

WordPress offers two commonly used ways of grouping and organizing content on your website or blog (WordPress calls these taxonomies): “categories” and “tags”.

WordPress gives you great control over the management of your categories. It also lets you easily create new categories and match your posts to different categories to help keep all of your content organized.

Use WordPress to easily manage your site's categories

(WordPress makes managing categories easy)

Tip #2: Use Categories To Improve Your SEO Rankings

Targeting the right keywords in your category names helps to increase your site’s SEO rankings.

WordPress allows you to create search engine-friendly URLs that include your categories as keywords (great for SEO, so remember this when planning your category names …

WordPress categories can increase your SEO rankings

(WordPress categories help to increase your SEO)

Tip #3: Categories Can Improve Your Site’s Navigation

Categories allow users to navigate more easily through your site’s content.

With WordPress, every category you create becomes its own category-specific searchable webpage.

This allows your visitors to find all posts published under that category in one place …

Using WordPress categories improves site navigation

(Use WordPress categories to improve ease of navigation on your website)

If you need help with using WordPress post categories, refer to this step-by-step tutorial:

Step 7 – Create Your Content Strategy

Formulate your content strategy

(Formulate a content strategy)

Now that you have researched your keywords and added a list of categories, the next step is to create your content strategy.

Organizing Your Website Pages

Your website should have standard pages like Home, About Us, Contact, legal pages, and product / service information pages and any additional pages specific to the needs of your business (e.g. a staff directory page linked to your About page, FAQ, etc.).

Your website may also need special pages or sections, such as a members-only section for customers, private access pages for resellers or affiliates, and so on.

Tip

If your business provides a number of services, don’t list them all in one page. Instead, create a separate page for every service you offer. This allows search engines to better index and rank your website and web pages and creates multiple landing pages (i.e. entry points) for visitors to find and access your website.

Create separate landing pages for each service your business provides

(Create separate landing pages for each service your business provides)

Many businesses make the costly mistake of lumping all of their services in one page. If you want to, you can have a main ‘Services’ page which lists all of your services with links from each service pointing to their own separate page for more details.

Organizing Your Web Content

You will need to create and content to every page you plan to have on your website as well as create and publish new content on a regular basis to attract visitors, educate prospects, train clients, etc.

Ideally, your web content plan and content marketing strategy should be defined at the digital business planning stage before your website even gets built.

To learn more about the planning process we recommend for keeping your website and web content organized as your business grows, see this tutorial:

Tip

Content Strategy Tips:

Tip #1: Your “Fixed” Website Content

Make sure that you have content for all of your “fixed” website pages already written before you begin building your website, especially if you plan to get someone else involved in the process. This will help to avoid additional costs caused by delays or unpreparedness.

Here is a basic checklist of the content you will want to have already prepared before you start building your website:

  • The name of your business and brief business description.
  • Content for your “Main Page”.
  • Content for your “About Us” page.
  • Content for your “Products/Services” page(s).
  • Site Categories.
  • Contact Details (e.g. business address, email, telephone numbers)
  • Images (e.g. staff photos, etc.). Image formats = .jpg, .png or .gif.
  • 1 – 10 initial blog posts to be used as “seed content” for your site (saved as Word document or plain text file).
  • List of all URLs and additional contact details to be included in your site (e.g. “Resources”, etc.
  • Media files (e.g. videos, PDF reports, price lists, etc.)
  • Also, check that all links you want to add to your website are working and all other details like spelling, phone numbers, etc. are correct.

Tip #2: Create A List Of Web Content Ideas

Here is a “quick” method you can use to help you begin writing a list of content topics for your site.

Write down 10 keywords, and for each keyword, create a list with one content idea you can add to your site.

You can also easily write a post about each of the following topics:

  • Your products or services
  • Your company and the people in it
  • The latest industry news – what’s big news in your industry right now?
  • A networking event you have attended
  • Customer tips
  • Reseller training
  • What area of your products or solution could you educate prospective customers about to help eliminate sales objections?
  • What problems do you or your services help your customers solve?
  • What reviews can you provide to help more prospective customers buy again from you?
  • What are common FAQs you get all the time from interested visitors and prospective customers?
  • etc …

Once you have created this list of content topics, continually add to the list on a regular basis.

Tip #3: Learn How To Run Out Of Web Content Ideas

We provide our clients and subscribers with comprehensive training email on how to develop a content marketing strategy, how to promote your business with content, and ways to never run out of new web content ideas.

Infinite Web Content Creation Email Training Series

(Never run out of web content ideas)

The “Infinite Web Content Creation” training series is specially designed for WordPress website owners and covers the following areas of the content creation process:

  • How To Create An Effective Digital Content Strategy
  • Content Writing Tips
  • Effective Copywriting
  • WordPress Content Posting Guidelines
  • How To Never Run Out Of Content Ideas
  • Outsourcing Your Content Creation
  • Time-Saving Content Creation Methods

Enter your details in the form below to subscribe now and start receiving training content immediately!

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The Website Planning Process: A Cost-Saving Primer For Business Owners

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This is the end of Part Two

To continue reading this tutorial, click here:

Images: Planning, Social Media, Blogging.

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"I love the way your email series "Infinite Web Content Creation Training Series" is documented and presented. It is very absorbing and captivating. The links and tutorials are interesting and educational. This has motivated me to rewrite my content following the concepts I am learning from the email series." - Mani Raju, www.fortuneinewaste.com

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