5 steps to enhance your WordPress business website

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Before installing the OptimizePress theme for WordPress

In this case, the maximum file size is 32 MB, so uploading the theme won't be an issue. If this number is too low, you'll get an error message when you upload the theme through WordPress. If that happens, you'll have to contact your hosting provider about increasing your limit. The other option is to use FTP.

To install OptimizePress, go to Appearance: Themes. This takes you to the Themes panel. Click on the Install Themes tab, then click on the Upload heading. Browse for the OptimizePress file (wherever you saved it-in my case, the Downloads folder), then click on the Install Now button.

The first step in activating OptimizePress for your WordPress site.

After OptimizePress has been installed successfully, go to the OptimizePress panel under General Settings in your WordPress installation. It's time to license the site.

Go to the OptimizePress site (not your theme) and copy and paste the URL for your site exactly as you see it in your browser. Click on Submit. This will generate a license key.

Copy the license key. Go back to your OptimizePress installation on your WordPress blog. Paste in the license key. When you do so, you'll see the message below.

Step 4: Modify Additional OptimizePress Configuration Settings

The next task is to set your site's permalinks. To do so, go to Settings: Permalinks. Note that WordPress is set to the default setting. Unfortunately, this isn't good for SEO. To fix that, enable the Custom Structure radio button. In the parameters box, type in /%postname%/. Next, click on the blue Save Changes button at the bottom of the page.

For SEO reasons, change the default permalinks settings in WordPress.

Next, go to the OptimizePress header on your WordPress site and click on SEO options. At the top of this section, you'll see a note about disabling the OptimizePress SEO options. You'll want to check that box if you've installed a plugin to take care of SEO.

Below that is a section to enter the title of your blog, the description and the keywords.

Keep going and you'll see a section that contains settings for the structure of your blog. This section, which uses shortcodes, offers several options: Page Title, Blog Post Title, Blog Author Pages Title, Blog Category Title, Blog Archive Title, Blog Tag Title, Search Page Title and 404 Page Title. Beside each section is the shortcodes that you can use. I typically leave all the shortcodes at the default setting. To save any changes, click on the blue Save Changes button at the bottom of the page.

Don't use the OptimizePress SEO options, either.

WordPress' Shortcode API offers functions for creating macro codes that can be added to posts or pages. OptimizePress uses shortcodes for a wide variety of graphical elements. This means you'll be able to build page layouts much faster than if you had to add graphical elements manually.

Step 5: Create a Static Page

One great WordPress feature is the ability to create a static page. Typically, when you build a blog, you see a number of entries on the home page, with the newest entries on top. But what happens if you want to create a page that comes up every time someone new visits your site?

This where the static page comes in. The static page could be a blog entry, a squeeze page or a sales page. In our case, that's going to be a squeeze page.

Shortcodes let you add graphics or other elements to pages automatically.

A future article will discuss the specifics of how to build a squeeze page. For now, we're just going to configure the settings. Go to Settings: Reading. In the Reading Settings panel, enable the Static Page radio button and choose a page to open as the home page.

Since I've already built an OptimizePress site, I've selected a page here. (These settings will change when we actually build a "squeeze page," which will make use of a Web signup form and an autoresponder.) Next, make sure you leave the Posts page option at "Select." This feature isn't used within OptimizePress.

Using WordPress, you can display a static page to anyone who visits your website.

To save your changes, click on the blue Save changes button at the bottom of the page. Your static page is now ready to go.

This article explained how to secure a WordPress blog and to download and configure an OptimizePress template. In the next article, you'll go further with your OptimizePress setup and build a squeeze page and a sales page, integrate an autoresponder and set up a basic blog.

This story, "5 steps to enhance your WordPress business website" was originally published by CIO.

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