Archive

March 2016

Browsing

Blogger has appeared in the industry as free blog creation and sharing services that is now almost a popular platform to users who fond of blogging. Blogger was launched in Aug 23, 1999; (16 years ago) by Pyra Labs that developed Blogger software and made it a marketable platform in the industry. Blogger was later bought by Google in 2003. Generally the blogs that are hosted at Blogger.com are addressed through the subdomain of blogspot.com.

Blogger.com is good for dummies but if you think for online business then Blogger is unfit and you have to consider a complete CMS like WordPress. WordPress is a versatile blogging platform that provides all the premium supports to create blog or site that matter your business.

Today in this guide I will teach you to migrate your Blogger hosted blog to self-hosted WordPress without losing any data and traffic. 100% uptime guaranteed!

Choose a Better WordPress Hosting

Before to migrate your site from Blogger to WordPress you must register a hosting account where you can install WordPress software and then transfer your Blogger hosted blog to WordPress including posts, pages, images, comments, permalinks, feed, authors and most important existing traffic.

There are lots of hosting companies available in the market but it’s crucial to find out the best and reliable hosting provider that you can trust and host your most beloved WordPress site.

WordPress team dealt with countless hosting providers than you imagine and in their opinion Bluehost represents some of the best and brightest of the hosting world.

Bluehost provides all the essential tools to install WordPress, create and manage your site with much comfort than any hosting provider does. It comes with premium features like WordPress Auto-Install — new WordPress version availability in 24 hours, unlimited disk storage, unlimited monthly data transfer, host unlimited domains on 1 account with 1 free domain register, 2,500 POP / WebMail addresses, 50 MySQL databases, free CDN services and much more.

I trust WordPress and all of my sites including thewildblogger.com are hosted on Bluehost and I recommend you to join at Bluehost to build a reliable and powerful online business with no worry.

To get you started here is a beginner guide

Note: Bluehost offers special discount for WordPress users (only $2.95/month) so don’t wait just go to Bluehost.com and register your hosting account with your existing domain name so that you can transfer your Blogger blog to WordPress.

If you’re a beginner to WordPress then here is a complete guide for Installing and Setting up your WordPress blog on Bluehost Hosting

Update WordPress Permalink Structure

This is an important step before to import your Blogger content to WordPress so that all of your existing traffic won’t see too many 404 error pages and they will be permanently diverted to your WordPress blog even they won’t know they’re reading content from self-hosted WordPress blog.

Blogger permalink structure format default as

http://www.example.com/2012/10/my-first-blog-post.html

In WordPress the custom structure looks like

/%year%/%monthnum%/%postname%.html

To add the above permalink custom structure head to Settings > Permalinks

Now choose “Custom Structure” and type following snippet

/%year%/%monthnum%/%postname%.html
Custom permalink structure
Custom permalink structure

Click “Save Changes” and you’ve successfully updated WordPress permalink

Read this tutorial to learn more about WordPress permalink optimization and available permalink tags.

Import Blogger Content to WordPress

WordPress provides a default Blogger Importer plugin which you can get at Tools > Import section in your WordPress account.  The default Blogger Importer can import only posts, comments and categories but you have still many other important things to import like pages, images that Blogger Importer can’t do so you can try another recommended tool like “Blogger Importer Extended

Blogger Importer Extended is a handy tool that can import everything you need to transfer your Blogger hosted blog to WordPress. Blogger Importer Extended can:

  • Import posts
  • Import pages
  • Import tags
  • Import comments
  • Import images
  • Import links
  • Convert formatting
  • Preserve slugs

I highly recommend using Blogger Importer Extended than Blogger Importer because you won’t lose any important data through migration process from Blogger to WordPress.

Before to use Blogger Importer Extended you have to install the plugin and activate on your WordPress site.

You can install the plugin in two ways (1) Installing plugin from your WordPress admin panel (2) Downloading plugin from WordPress plugins directory and uploading to your WordPress account and installing it.

If you want to use method #1 then access to Plugins > Add New Plugin

Search for “Blogger Importer Extended” and install it and activate the plugin.

Now go to Tools > Import section

Click on “Blogger Importer Extended” link

Blogger importer extended
Blogger importer extended

Click on “Ok, let’s go!” button to give authorization access to the plugin before importing your content from Blogger to WordPress

Ok lets go
Ok lets go

Now click on “Allow” to give Blogger Importer Extended to authorize your Google account

Allow app to authorize
Allow app to authorize

Now select your Blogger blog you want to transfer to WordPress

select your blog
select your blog

Click on “Start Import” button

Start import your blogger blog
Start import your blogger blog

Now the plugin will import your posts, pages, comments, images and links. You can see the overall progress in progress bar on right.

Progress of importing
Progress of importing

Note: If unexpectedly the plugin stopped working don’t leave the page or reload the page it will restart automatically in a few seconds.

When everything is imported successfully you can assign a new author name changing the existing name on your WordPress account.

Assign authors
Assign authors

Now all of your Blogger posts, pages, images, comments and links are uploaded successfully to your WordPress blog

Blogger 301 Redirect to WordPress

This is necessary step to redirect all your existing traffic from old blog format http://www.example.blogspot.com to new blog http://www.example.com. This is also important step to redirect Blogger post feeds to WordPress feeds, Blogger comment feeds to WordPress feeds, Blogger archives to WordPress archives etc.

A plugin “Blogger 301 Redirect” can do rest of the above tasks on behalf of you. You need to install Blogger 301 Redirect plugin on your WordPress blog using Plugins > Add New Plugin tool.

Search for “Blogger 301 Redirect” Install and activate the plugin

Navigate to Settings > Blogger 301 Redirect

Blogger 301 redirect
Blogger 301 redirect

Now check:

  • Do not redirect to homepage if page not found (Display 404 error page)
  • Redirect Blogger Post feeds to WordPress feeds (Recommended)
  • Redirect Blogger Comment feeds to WordPress feeds (Recommended)
  • Redirect Blogger archives to WordPress (Recommended)
301 redirect options
301 redirect options

Click “Save Changes”

There are two methods to do 301 Redirect (1) Using New Blogger Template (2) Using Classic Template

Method #2 is easy and recommended for everyone so better to go with second method

Click on Method #2 box and the entire snippet will be selected

Select snippet below
Select snippet below

Now press Ctrl + C (in Windows) or Command-C (in Mac) to copy the code

Go back to your Blogger account and navigate to Template section of your blog

Choose template
Choose template

Click on “Backup / Restore” button and Download your full template as a safe backup side

Download full template
Download full template

Now scroll the page down until you reach “Revert to classic templates” section

Click on “Revert to classic templates” and then “Revert to classic template” link

revert to classic template
revert to classic template

Now replace the entire snippet with the previous copied code

Save classic template
Save classic template

Finally save your template and you’ve successfully made a 301 redirect between your old blogger hosted blog and newly migrated WordPress blog to transfer traffic permanently to your new blog.

Congrats! You’ve successfully moved to WordPress platform from Blogger and you’re ready to optimize your WordPress blog for better SEO.

Site Feed

Site Feed provides blog subscribers via Feedburner or any other service to process your feed. If you have transferred your blog from Blogger to WordPress you must transfer site feed to WordPress feed url otherwise your existing subscribers can’t read through your latest articles published on your new blog.

Blogger will redirect all post feed traffic to this address.

To set new site feed URL navigate Settings > Other

Other settings
Other settings

Click “Add” for Post Feed Redirect URL

Now type your post feed URL

It should be http://www.example.com/feed

Site Feed
Site Feed

Click on “Save Settings” and you’re done!

WordPress SEO Setup

WordPress SEO is undoubtedly more versatile, strong and effective than any other CMS platform in the planet. By properly setting up WordPress SEO your site can gain 10X more traffic than your previous Blogger hosted platform and you can control your website’s entire SEO suites with plugin support.

To my view WordPress SEO (Yoast SEO) is the most versatile and effective SEO software which provides all the essential tools to setup your WordPress site environment with proper optimizations that search engines like.

I have written two series guides on WordPress SEO setup

You must read the first tutorial first then move on second tutorial

WordPress Security Setup

WordPress platform though very effective and manageable but it’s very risky (Hackable) platform than Blogger platform in terms of security issues. According to iThemes security everyday over 30,000 new WordPress sites are hacked due to vulnerable security structure.

iThemes security is a very effective and actionable security plugin from rest of the security tools in WordPress providing very special features like strong password generation, two-step authentication, user lockout, hiding wp-admin username and much more.

iThemes security is a free plugin but you can upgrade to premium to unlock all the advanced security features.

Read: iThemes Security Plugin Complete Setup & Installation Guide

WordPress Robots.txt Setup

Robots.txt is an important part for a website that gives search engines the specified way to access your site without crawling all the parts especially unnecessary parts of your site. Normally with WordPress installation a robots.txt file does not exist but you can generate a robots.txt using software or directly uploading a robots.txt file to your website directory using file manage or third party client software like Filezilla tool.

Read: How to Create Optimized Robots.txt for Your WordPress Site

Choosing a Better theme for WordPress

After SEO and security setup you have still one more thing left that is activating a premium and  professional look theme on your WordPress blog that enhances better user experience and provides SEO endorsements as well.

If you want a premium and professional look WordPress blog theme then you can find the one from following resources

Themeforest: Themeforest is a giant resource of WordPress and other CMS themes and templates. You can all types of WordPress themes in themeforest.

MyThemeShop: MyThemeShop is also a great place to search for any theme for you WordPress site. Use MyThemeShop to buy themes with discount rate and promote their products as an affiliate.

Elegant Themes: Eleganththemes is also a great place to search for your desired theme for your website. Elegantthemes provide a great theme Divitheme which is a multi-purpose theme and can be used for any WordPress blog

Resubmitting your WordPress site to Google, Bing, Yahoo!

Now you have to re-submit your WordPress site to Google since Google had verified your Blogger hosted blog and it did not verify your WordPress blog that is now your blogging platform.

I have written a complete guide on WordPress site submission and verification with Google.

Read: Submit & Verify WordPress Site with Google Search Console

Bing Sitemap Submission

Note: Once you submit your site to Bing.com it will automatically published on Yahoo!

Conclusion

Moving a site from old platform to new platform is definitely a complex task and time consuming because the steps require proper patient and work. Blogger is really a better platform as it’s free and easy to create but in business mind Blogger is useless platform to everyone as it’s very limited to professional features and functions.

The above Blogger to WordPress migration process is quite easy to everyone (especially newbies) and you don’t need to have coding knowledge even not be a savvy enough to migrate your site. If you have found this tutorial helpful then don’t forget to share it with your blogger friends.

Categories and tags are integral part of a website that can help visitors to navigate through your entire site content and easily find the one they’re searching for. A Category gives the address of topic to an article and tags narrow the category list through filtering options. If a user can’t find a specific article under a category they might find it using tag search.

Both Categories and tags are useful for a website to boost user experience but they’re not so useful to display on search results pages in Google, Bing, Yahoo! and other search engines because the design layout of a website may not be optimized enough for category pages and this might cause bad effects on search ranking in Google and other search engines.

Today in this article I will discuss about indexing and noindexing issues for categories and tags in WordPress CMS. If your platform is different you can still follow some parts of this article and apply instructions on your website.

Category, Tag Indexing/Noindexing Issues for WordPress

There are countless argues about indexing category and tag pages in search engine results and still there is no clear evidence that which sites get the most benefit using categories displayed in search results and should a webmaster display category pages in search results for the prosper of his/her website.

Category vs tags indexing-noindexing issue
Category vs tags indexing-noindexing issues

Category and tag pages contain large scales of post URLs that provide users useful information on specific topics, reduce bounce rates, and help users to easily navigate content through your entire site. A category page provides links to number unique post URLs in specific topic and a user can get more valuable information from a category page than a specific post page.

In this concern a category page can achieve more inbound links than a static page and out ranks other blog posts in search engines within the same website.

If you run specific niche site or typical blog and provide content in specific industry then the right decision is to Noindex your category pages from search engine results pages since your blog posts can drive potential traffic to your site from search engines that converts and if your category pages out rank your blog posts then you definitely lost the better conversion rate, sales and money.

Again category and tag pages can create duplicate content issues (if they’re not well optimized) and get your site to be penalized by Google Panda.

Despite the countless drawbacks for micro niche sites to get category pages displayed in search engine results pages still there are number of top weblogs, news, magazine and portfolio sites index their categories in search engine results and their category pages rank higher for the top competitive search keywords in Google, Bing, Yahoo and other search engines.

Sites like Mashable, BuzzFeed, Tech Crunch etc. index their categories to Google, Bing, Yahoo and other search engines and their category pages rank higher for the top competitive search keywords that drive their site the most search traffic and traffic value.

The reason these sites index categories to search engines and never got penalized since their category pages are well optimized for search engines and display quite different and modified results than a normal blog post page with navigation system, different sidebar content, and content layout design etc.

Now let me ask you, do you run micro niche site or typical blog site in specific industry then you should definitely Noindex your category and tag pages from Google and other search engines for biggest benefit of your conversion rate and keeping your site away from all Google Panda penalties for duplicate content issues.

If you run such big site like News, Magazine or Portfolio site with over thousands of posts already published and each of your category page contains plenty of resource articles and your category pages are well optimized for positive search ranking then you can index your categories to search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo but you must Noinded tag pages since they put nothing value to your site’s overall SEO approach.

Note: You must not block search engine robots like Googlebot, Bingbot to access Category and tag pages using robots.txt file rather you should Noindex them so that still search engines can follow the links containing in your category and tag pages. Learn more about robots.txt optimization for your website.

Setup Yoast SEO to Add Noindex in Categories, Tags, Archives, Subpages of Archives, Author Archives, Affiliate Links and Attachments

In this tutorial I would show you how you can Noindex Category, Tag, Archives, Subpages of archives, affiliate links and author archives with WordPress SEO (Yoast SEO). If you don’t have Yoast SEO installed and setup on your WordPress site then read this tutorial to easily setup the plugin on your WordPress site.

Login to your WordPress site admin panel and navigate to SEO > Titles & Metas

Now click on “Post Types” and scroll down the page until you reach Affiliate links section

Note: If you already installed any affiliate link plugin on your site then you will find this section.

Choose “noindex” for Meta Robots

Affiilate links
Affiilate links

Now click on “Taxonomies” tab

Assign “noindex” for Meta Robots for Categories

categories - noindex
categories – noindex

Assign “noindex” for Meta Robots for Tags

tags - noindexing
tags – noindexing

Assign “noindex” for Meta Robots for Link Categories

Link categories - noindex
Link categories – noindex

Now click on “Archives” tab

Assign “noindex” for Meta Robots for Author archives

author archives
author archives

Assign “noindex” for Meta Robots for Date-based archives

Date based archives
Date based archives

Click on “Other” tab

Assign “noindex” for Meta Robots for Subpages of archives

Other settings - save changes
Other settings – save changes

Assign “enabled” for Add noodp meta robots tag sitewide

Finally click “Save Changes” and you’ve configured Titles & Metas for Noindexing Category, Tag, Archives, Affilite Links, Subpages of archives etc.

Search engine will follow this rule and remove all these pages from search results within 20 days from now.

XML Sitemaps Configuration

We still need one more step to do for better configuration XML Sitemaps in Yoast SEO. To configure XML Sitemaps simply click on “XML Sitemaps” and click “Post Types” tab

Assign “Not in sitemap” for Media (attachment)

Assign “Not in sitemap” for Affiliate Links

Post types - xml sitemaps
Post types – xml sitemaps

Now click on “Taxonomies” tab

Assign “Not in sitemap” for Categories, Tags and Link Categories

Assign not in sitemap for categories, tags, link categories
Assign not in sitemap for categories, tags, link categories

Finally click “Save Changes” and you’re successfully done, removing unnecessary categories, tags, archives, subpages of archives, author archives, and affiliate links from Search Engine results pages including all the search engines where you have submitted your website sitemap.

Use Google Removal URLs tool to quickly remove from Google search results

If you want your categories, tags instant removal from Google search results then you can use Google Removal URLs tools in Google search console account and request for temporary URL removal to Google.

Login to your Google search console account and access your site search console dashboard

Now navigate to Google Index > Remove URLs

Remove URLs tab
Remove URLs tab

Click on “Temporarily Hide” button; enter your removal URL click “Continue”

Temporarily hide - continue
Temporarily hide – continue

Click “Submit Request” to temporarily hide page from search results and remove from cache.

Submit request - google removal
Submit request – google removal

You will see the webpage has been added for removal.

Normally it takes 24 hours to take action.

Repeat the process to remove all your site categories, tags and archives pages from Google search results.

Use Bing Block URLs tool to quickly remove from Bing search results

To remove URLs from Bing search results page you will have to do the same thing you did at Google search console.

Bing Provides “Block URLs” tool to block a URL for 90 days before the cookies expired and the page may reappear on search results pages. Though you have assigned “Noindex” on categories so Bingbot will obey the rule and never display categories on search results pages even after 90 days period.

First of all login your Bing Webmaster Tools account and access your site webmaster account dashboard

Now access to Configure My Site > Block URLs

 

Bing webmaster - block urls
Bing webmaster – block urls

Choose “Page” as block type and enter your blocking URL and click “Block URLs and Cache” button

block urls and cache
block urls and cache

Instantly your URL will be added for removal from Bing search results pages.

Conclusion

Categories and tags play great role to separate your blog posts in different topics and assist your blog readers to read through their preferred articles using your site search. Categories and tags are important to classify your articles but they’re not so important to get indexed in search engines as this is not recommended SEO practice nowadays.

Google needs the valuable articles from your site that can be displayed on search results pages for particular terms and you get traffic from that URL.

If Google finds lots of similar articles in their index from a single site then it would be crucial for Google to display the most relevant results from that site. So it’s recommended for every website owner to submit only posts and pages to Google search index except the unnecessary pages like archives, categories, tags and subpages of archives.

A robots.txt is great part of your website SEO as it controls search engine robots crawling and directs to specific path of your website you want search robots to access your site. In absence of a robots.txt a website does not seem to be properly optimized for better SEO because not all of your website files important to be indexed in Google and other search engines and these unnecessary files can cause bad effects on your organic search ranking even can lead your site to be penalized by Google panda.

So if you don’t have a robots.txt created on your site then you should create one and optimize for SEO. In this tutorial I will discuss about the basics and few advanced guides about robots.txt optimization for better search engine ranking.

[toc]

What is a Robots.txt file?

A robots.txt is a simple text file that remains in root directory of a website server and directs search engine bots right path to crawl and index content of the given website. The file consists of robots exclusion standard that is a protocol with a small set of commands that tells search engine bots to access your site by section and by specific kind of web crawlers such as mobile crawlers, desktop crawlers etc.

A robots.txt file contains instructions of specific format (Syntax) that can’t enforce search robots behavior but directs the search robots in specified way to access files that are necessary to show in search results and ignore those files are unimportant to show in search results, pretty simple. Absence of a robots.txt for a website tells search engine bots to index entire site resources like posts, pages, scripts, images, and everything resides in your website directories.

Different websites have different robots.txt files, suppose a robots.txt file for your root domain example.com is quite different than a robots.txt file for your sub-domain blog.example.com, and the rules that would apply for example.com would not apply to blog.example.com in addition each protocol and port needs its own robots.txt file; http://example.com/robots.txt does not apply to pages under https://example.com:8080/ or https://example.com/

Robots.txt Usages

Non-image files

For non-image files (web pages) a robots.txt file is used to control crawling traffic and to avoid pages that are unimportant on your site. You should not use robots.txt to hide your web pages appearing from search results since your pages can still be indexed by other pages that link to your pages and already indexed by search engines.

This is not a proven practice to hide URLs by robots.txt command rather you can use password protection or noindex tags or directives to hide pages appearing from search results.

Image files

Using robots.txt file you can prevent images appearing from search results though it cannot prevent other pages linking to your images.

Resource files

Robots.txt file has better usage to prevent unnecessary resources like CSS, JavaScript, Images etc. that are loaded with your website and don’t play any role in your website design and performance issues. If you think your site has resources that are loaded without playing any role in your website performances then you can block these resource files using robots.txt. However if the absence of these resources make Google and other search engines harder to read and understand your webpage then you shouldn’t block these resources.

Limitations of Robots.txt for Web Crawlers

Before using robots.txt file on your website you must know the risks related to limitations for a robots.txt blocking method. The following are certain limitations of robots.txt for your website

The instructions of your robots.txt cannot enforce the web crawler’s behavior to your site but you can direct web crawler accessing your site in specified way. Googlebot can understand and obey most of the robots.txt formats but still there are many other search engine bots might not obey the instructions on your robots.txt file. So to make sure all of the search engine bots understand your command you can use password protecting private files on server.

While Google will ignore accessing web page you blocked on robots.txt file but still those disallowed pages can be indexed from other places on the web basically from backlink provider site. So to stop those pages appearing from Google search results you should use other blocking methods like password protecting the files on your server or using the noindex meta tags or responsive header tags.

Robots.txt Syntax

To create a robots.txt file on your website you have to access the root directory of your web server and you can create one for your website. If you can’t access the root directory of your web server then you should contact your hosting provider or try using different blocking methods like password protecting files on the server or inserting noindex tags into your page’s header section.

A simple robots.txt file contains two key words

User-agent and Disallow

User-agent is a search engine robot like Googlebot; you can find most User-agents in the Web Robots Database.

Disallow is a command for User-agent that tells search robot to ignore accessing a particular URL or section of your website.

Google uses two types of search robots Googlebot for Google Search and Googlebot-Image for Google Image Search. For ad publishing through Adsense, Google uses the most popular search robot Mediapartners-Google that analyzes a website to match particular keywords for displaying most relevant ads based on content.

The syntax for an idea robots.txt file is as follows:

User-agent: [the name of the robot the following rule applies to]
Disallow: [the URL path you want to block]
Allow: [the URL path in of a subdirectory, within a blocked parent directory, that you want to unblock]

These two lines together are called single entry where Disallow rule only applies to User-agent(s) and you can create as much entry as you want and multiple Disallow lines can be applied on multiple User-agents, all in one entry.

If you want to set commands applied to all available search robots then insert asterisk (*) after User-agent: such as

User-Agent: *
Disallow:

The above robots.txt file tells all the search robots to index an entire site.

The following are the most used commands in robots.txt to block specific file(s) of a site.

Note: Directies are case-sensitive. For example, Disallow: /file.asp would block http://www.example.com/file.asp, but would allow http://www.example.com/File.asp. Googlebot also ignores white-space, and unknown directives in the robots.txt.

For pattern matching rule you can use following commands

Warning: Both Google and Yahoo support wildcards, but you really have to be very careful when changing a robots.txt file using pattern matching rules. For one line code mistake caused Aaron Wall (Founder of SEO Book) to lose $10K in profit by losing organic search ranking position in Google while Aaron removed his one of the top linked pages having a similar URL in the list of pruning URLs using wild cards in robots.txt. Read more about it.

WordPress Robots.txt File

Till now you have learned the basics and few advanced guides about robots.txt file that is used to control search robots crawling across your entire site. Now you will learn WordPress robots.txt file creation and optimization processes.

You can check your robots.txt file once it’s created on your website directory by typing http://yoursite.com/robots.txt on your browser and access it.

If robots.txt is already created then you will see something like

User-agent: *
Disallow: /wp-admin/
Allow: /wp-admin/admin-ajax.php

Otherwise it will return a 404 error page if robots.txt file does not exist and you have to create a new robots.txt file and save it on root directory of your website.

Creating a Robots.txt for WordPress

A robots.txt file is a simple text document (I already mentioned) so you can create a robots.txt file easily by creating a new Text Document on your desktop and naming the file as “robots” [all small case letters]

create new text document
create new text document
robots file
robots file

Now you have to save the robots.txt file on root directory of your website using “File Manager” on cPanel or FTP client software like FileZilla

Upload robots.txt with File Manger:

To upload robots.txt with File Manger simply login your hosting account and head to File Manger section and access to File Manger.

File manager
File manager

Now choose “public_html” and upload “robots.txt” using upload button

Public html
Public html

If you site is an “Addon Domain” then you have to access your website directory from “public_html” and upload robots.txt there.

After uploading robots.txt don’t forget to check if it’s stored on root directory appropriately by typing

http://yoursite.com/robots.txt on your browser and access it.

Once robots.txt is found on right path you’re successfully done!

Alternative of robots.txt creation

Alternatively you can create a new robots.txt using WordPress SEO Tools option

To create a robots.txt with WordPress SEO tools first of all login your WordPress account and then navigate to SEO > Tools > File editor

SEO tools
SEO tools
Tools - Yeast SEO
Tools – Yeast SEO

Now click on “Create robots.txt file”

create robots text with tools SEO
create robots text with tools SEO

You will see following Syntax

User-agent: *
Disallow: /wp-admin/
Allow: /wp-admin/admin-ajax.php

Now you can bring changes in your robots.txt file and save it.

Optimize Your Robots.txt for Better SEO

Now you have a new robots.txt file stored on root directory of your website so you’re ready to optimize the file for better SEO.

You can edit your robots.txt from WordPress SEO > Tools section or using a third party plugin Multipart robots.txt editor on your WordPress site.

If you use WordPress SEO then follow this process

Login your WordPress account and access to SEO > Tools

Now click on “File Editor” link and you can create an optimized robots.txt

Below are the most common practices for creating standard robots.txt for WordPress

User-agent: *
Disallow: /cgi-bin/
Disallow: /wp-content/plugins/
Disallow: /wp-content/themes/
Disallow: /comments/feed/
Disallow: /trackback/
Disallow: /index.php
Disallow: /xmlrpc.php
Disallow: /readme.html
Disallow: /refer/

User-agent: Googlebot-Image
Allow: /wp-content/uploads/

User-agent: Mediapartners-Google
Allow: /

Sitemap: http://www.thewildblogger.com/sitemap.xml
Sitemap: http://www.thewildblogger.com/sitemap-image.xml

In the above robots.txt format I used two sitemaps to be indexed by Google and other search engines that follow robots.txt syntax.

It’s not recommended to submit sitemap using robots.txt file because sitemap must be submitted in manual process from Sitemaps section in Google, and Bing for better indexing and crawling ratio. I have placed those two sitemaps in robots.txt for maintaining standard of a robots.txt file though I have already submitted those sitemaps at Google, Bing and other search engines in manual process.

If you don’t know how to submit WordPress sitemap to Google then read this tutorial.

Affiliation

If you use affiliate manager in WordPress to manage your affiliate links then output a standard format using your domain name to refer third party URLs in this way

http://yoursite.com/out/bluehost or http://yoursite.com/refer/bluehost

Here both “out” and “refer” works as affiliate slugs and uses a 301 redirect to send traffic to specific site using your affiliate link.

These links may appear in Google search results if you don’t block them in robots.txt file.

In the above sitemap file I used Disallow: /refer/ because I use “refer” to send traffic to my affiliate links and I don’t want to get these links indexed and appeared in Google search results.

Also if these links get indexed in Google search results I may get a bigger penalty due to bad quality content by Panda. So it’s imperative to block your affiliate links in robots.txt file.

When you have created your optimized robots.txt syntax simply input them in Robots.txt section in SEO Tools

And click “Save changes to Robots.txt” and you have successfully updated your robots.txt

Update your Robots.txt file with Google Search Console

Now you have to update your robots.txt file using robots.txt Tester in Google search console. To do so simply login your Google search console account using Google account and access your site Search console dashboard

Now access to Crawl > robots.txt Tester

choose robots txt tester
choose robots txt tester

Replace the existing syntax with your latest robots.txt syntax and click “Submit” button
You can download the latest version of your robots.txt file, view uploaded version and request Google to update your robots.txt file.

robots txt Tester
robots txt Tester

Click the “Submit” button to submit a request to let Google know your robots.txt file has been updated.

submit your robots
submit your robots

You can check your robots.txt Tester page again and will see the latest version of your robots.txt file

Success to submit robots txt
Success to submit robots txt

Now Googlebot, Googlebot-Image will start obeying your robots.txt command and crawl your website the way you defined in robots.txt file.

Conclusion

A robots.txt file is an integral part of any website and in absence of this file a site does not seem to be optimized for better SEO. Robots.txt file can play great role in overall SEO configurations of your site, improve search results appearance, and search engine ranking.

Again there are major risks related to robots.txt optimization if you play wrong with syntax and uncertainly remove important pages from your site, just like Aaron Wall (A famous SEO on the planet) did a single line of code mistake in his robots.txt file and the reason he had to compensate for $10K by losing organic search ranking for one of his top linked pages.

So be very careful about your robots.txt optimization and be sure what you’re telling search engines to access your site.

WordPress is a powerful content management system which is used by many top most popular news, magazine, and video publication sites regarding CNN, The New York Times, The Herald Sun, The Nation, WNBA and other top sites on the web. The SEO configuration system on WordPress CMS is very strong and search engine friendly. So that you can easily rank for a website on particular topic utilizing proper SEO approaches regarding content optimization, website design, content navigation and better user experience etc.

The permalink structure for WordPress is very user and search engine friendly that can be optimized in any way you want.

Today I will discuss WordPress Permalink (Permalink link) structure settings with available tags, search engine friendly permalink structure and the best practices on WordPress permalinks.

Note: It is highly recommended that you follow this tutorial on the purpose of learning WordPress permalink optimization and applying on your new website that you did not publish on search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo etc. yet

If you have established website at least 6 months old and already ranked on Google and other search engines for particular keywords then please don’t change your permalink structure based on this tutorial’s instructions rather learn these permalink optimization tips and tricks and apply on your other weblogs and sites that are not released on search engines yet.

Hope that you understood.

[toc]

WordPress Default Permalink Structure

WordPress permalink structure is an imperative and most convenient setting prior to every SEO chores a webmaster perform across his/her WordPress website. The default permalink structure can be found and modified through logging in your WordPress admin panel and navigating to Settings > Permalinks trajectory.

The default WordPress permalink structure is not enough pretty and can cause bad effect on your website’s SEO score since the default permalink structure begins with

http://example.com/?p=N

Here N is the ID number of post or page. If you use this permalink structure for your website then the URL type would be

http://yoursite.com/?p=105

Here 105 is the ID number of your blog post and anybody can use this form http://yoursite.com/?p= to search for content across your site using different post IDs that can be placed right after this ?p= parameter.

The above structure works on all server environments but it doesn’t look nice enough.

Permalink settings
Permalink settings

This is the default permalink setting and there are still four types of other permalinks that are structured in different ways including Day and name, Month and name, Numeric and Post name parameters. Once you choose any other link structure you can see the custom structure as well of the exact permalink in “Custom structure” field.

This means if you want you can type a custom structure without choosing any default permalink option. To add a custom permalink structure you must know “how to form a custom permalink with available tags” in WordPress CMS and if you choose search engine friendly permalink structure then you have given an extra power in your static page URLs to rank better for specific search keywords in Google and other search engines.

Note: I will discuss about SEO friendly permalink structure a few paragraphs later, keep reading.

WordPress Permalink Structure Explained

So you learned about default WordPress permalink structure that is not a recognizable SEO friendly permalink structure and there are other types of permalinks that you can choose for your WordPress site.

There is also a custom structure field which you can use to build a custom permalink structure for your site but before to play with custom structure you must know how many available tags are in WordPress permalink settings how do they differ in a SEO point of view.

The following are the available WordPress permalink tags which you can use to build Pretty permalinks or Clean permalinks for your WordPress site. You can use only structure tags or a combination of structure tags to build your custom permalink structure.

But make sure adding any of these entities %post_id% or %postname% at the end of your custom permalink structure (e.g. /%year%/%monthnum%/%day%/%postname%/) so that each permalink points to an individual post.

%year% —The year of the post, four digits, for example 2004

%monthnum% — Month of the year, for example 05

%day% — Day of the month, for example 28

%hour% — Hour of the day, for example 15

%minute% — Minute of the hour, for example 43

%second% — Second of the minute, for example 33

%post_id% — The unique ID # of the post, for example 423

%postname% — A sanitized version of the title of the post (post slug field on Edit Post/Page panel). So “This Is A Great Post!” becomes this-is-a-great-post in the URI.

%category% — A sanitized version of the category name (category slug field on New/Edit Category panel). Nested sub-categories appear as nested directories in the URI.

%author% — A sanitized version of the author name.

Now I will create a permalink using /%year%/%monthnum%/%day%/%postname%/ slug in custom structure field. To add this structure head to Settings > Permalinks and type following code in custom structure field

/%year%/%monthnum%/%day%/%postname%/
Day and name in permalink structure
Day and name in permalink structure

Now save your permalink settings and check how it performs to output your post URL by creating a sample post navigating to Posts > Add New

Type your post title and carefully see the Permalink:

For my site it creates this

http://www.startingafoodblog.com/2016/03/19/start-food-blog-beginner/
day and name permalink for post
day and name permalink for post

Here

  • “2016” is year created by %year%
  • “03” is month created by %monthnum%
  • “19” is date created by %day%
  • “start-food-blog-beginner” is post name created by %postname%
  • “/” separates each parameter

Now if you understand the above correlations appropriately then you can create your own custom permalink structure effortlessly.

Suppose if you want to create a permalink that includes Year, Monthnum and Postname then you have to create following permalink structure

/%year%/%monthnum%/%postname%/

The output URL

http://www.startingafoodblog.com/2016/03/start-food-blog-beginner/

Here

  • 2016 is year generated by %year%
  • 03 is month number generated by %monthnum%
  • start-food-blog-beginner is post name generated by %postname%

Again if you want to include %category% in your permalink then your permalink structure would be in following format

Category and post name
Category and post name
/%category%/%postname%/

The output URL

http://www.startingafoodblog.com/food-blog/start-food-blog-beginner/

Here

  • food-blog is category generated by %category%
  • start-food-blog-beginner is post name generated by %postname%

Drawbacks of %category% in Permalink Structure

Including %category% in your permalink structure can provide both search engines and users a way to understand a blog post that belongs to a specific category they’re about to read but it has a drawback as well.

Since when you assign multiple categories for a blog post only one category will show up in permalink as categories are ordered alphabetically so that the category will show up in your permalink which is alphabetically ordered first and rest of the categories won’t show up but still the blog post can be accessed through other categories as well.

Suppose, you have written a blog post like “How to do Keyword Research for SEO” and you have assigned two categories for this blog post i.e. SEO, Keyword Research

The output URL

http://www.example.com/keyword-research/how-to-do-keyword-research-for-seo/

Here

keyword-research is shown as category but still there is another assigned category SEO is not shown because keyword-research is alphabetically ordered prior to SEO

You may want to display SEO in your permalink but you can’t do it as you can’t override automated system.

A plugin can solve this issue WP Category Permalink that allows you to choose which category shows up in the permalink.

WP permalink plugin
WP permalink plugin

Also the latest version of WordPress SEO includes an amazing feature to make a primary category from rest of the assigned categories for a blog post.

Make primary category WordPress
Make primary category WordPress

What is a Search Engine Friendly Permalink Structure?

Till now I have discussed about all the available permalink tags in WordPress CMS but I have not shared the most popular and search engine friendly permalink structures that are used by thousands of popular blogs on the web.

“Pretty” Permalinks or “Clean” Permalinks are the most popular and search engine friendly permalink structures that form URLs frequently visible to the people who click them, and should therefore be crafted in such way that make sense, and for sure not filled with unnecessary sneaky characters or incomprehensible parameters.

Pretty permalinks can include /%year%/%monthnum%/%day%/%postname%/ in permalink structure and the output URL is http://www.example.com/2015/03/15/start-a-food-blog/

I wonder that most of the top blogs around the web use the above permalink structure and they optimize their permalinks by choosing precise Postname for a unique URL

I have selected top 8 blogs around the web and tracked their permalink structures where most of the blogs use Year, Month, Day and Postname format in their permalink. There is no doubt these blogs publish dozens of posts a day so to avoid category mess up issues in post URL they ignored Category in permalink.

Category in permalink better suites micro niche sites and weblogs like ours.

You can see how the following blogs utilize better permalink structure for SEO with unique postname URL

  • Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2016/03/18/fox-news-trump-kelly_n_9502816.html
  • TMZ: http://www.tmz.com/2016/03/19/jared-fogle-targeted-prison-attack/
  • Mashable: http://mashable.com/2016/03/19/tax-season-freelancer/
  • Tech Crunch: http://techcrunch.com/2016/03/18/sexism-is-still-a-thing-at-microsofts-gdc-party/
  • Engadget: http://www.engadget.com/2016/03/19/netflix-reportedly-pays-90-million-for-will-smith-and-bright/

I have also discovered three blogs that use Postname only in permalink so this is also a popular permalink structure.

  • Business Insider: http://www.businessinsider.com/federal-reserve-economy-run-hot-2016-3
  • Gizmodo: http://foxtrotalpha.jalopnik.com/this-footage-of-a-fast-attack-submarine-breaking-throug-1765813296
  • Gawker: http://gawker.com/a-complete-list-of-donald-trump-s-business-disasters-1764151188

Now you can see a Pretty permalink is always search engine friendly format there is not argue in it. The most important thing behind a successful SEO for your website is content quality, content optimizations, website design, navigation system, and over 300 search ranking factors.

A permalink can’t carry everything in SEO but it can endorse a bit to your on-page optimization system.

.html in Permalink Structure

.html at the end of your permalink looks nice but people now ignored this format since it always ends up with .html in permalink telling both people and search engines it’s an HTML page with its URL format that is probably not necessary to show since WordPress produces web pages with HTLM, CSS, JavaScript and third party generated snippets like Google Anaytics, or Advertising Codes that every search engine can read and understand.

So it’s a rough idea about adding .html at the end of URL but a URL looks fresh and pretty cool enough ending with a Postname in permalink such as

http://example.com/category/postname

Again you don’t get any search ranking benefit with .html permalink format because Matt Cutts has said a permalink with or without .html or .htm can’t put SEO benefit on your Website’s organic search ranking.

If you’re still interested adding .html at the end of your URL then use following custom permalink structure

html permalink structure
html permalink structure
/%year%/%monthnum%/%day%/%postname%.html

This will produce following permalink for your webpage URL

html in permalink
html in permalink
http://www.example.com/2016/03/19/start-professional-look-weblog.html

Risky/Hackable Permalinks for WordPress!

May be you don’t know a permalink can cause hacking to your site if it’s not correctly formatted and contains hackable path in permalink.

A “hackable” permalink means a user might modify that link text in their browser to navigate to another section or listing of the weblog. This is how the default Permalink to a story might look in a default WordPress installation:

http://example.com/index.php?p=423

In contrast, the following is a well-structured, “Pretty” Permalink that could link to the same article, once the installation is configured to modify permalink

http://example.com/archives/2003/05/23/my-cheese-sandwich/

In Custom permalink structure

/archives/%year%/%monthnum%/%day%/%postname%/

One can easily guess the permalink structure contains date of posting, post name just by looking the URL. One might also guess that hacking the URL to be /archives/2003/05/ where he/she would get a list of all the postings from May of 2003 (pretty cool).

This type of permalink structure is Risky or Hackable permalink that is still practiced by many WordPress users.

It’s recommended that you avoid this type of permalink structure for the security of your WordPress site.

WordPress Permalink Structure Best Practices

Till now I have discussed most of the WordPress permalink structures and permalink tags in which you can choose any of your preferred formats and create a better looking and search engine friendly permalink for your Website.

To a SEO point of view I can say /%category%/%postname%/ is the best permalink structure for weblogs and /%year%/%monthnum%/%day%/%postname%/ is the best for news and magazine weblogs.

If you neither weblog nor news site suppose an agency site then use this permalink format /%postname%/

But for your blog section use /%category%/%postname%/ in permalink structure.

To learn more about permalink head to WordPress codex

Category Base and Tag Base

The default WordPress Category and Tags are generated in following formats

http://example.com/category/fashion

And

http://example.com/tag/fashion-blog

You can change the Category base and Tag by through Settings > Permalinks under Optional section

You will the Category base and Tag base are empty but you can change the name by typing any name you there

Suppose I have chosen category_base to be replaced category and tag_base to be replaced tag

Category and tag base
Category and tag base

So the output URLs for Categories and Tags are

http://example.com/category_base/fashion

And

http://example.com/tag_base/fashion-blog

You can use any parameter you want.

Conclusion

A permalink is what a visitor can access your website page typing the link on their browser also another weblogger will use to refer to your article (or section) and how you might send a link to your story in an email message.

If you run your blog with WordPress then setting up an optimized permalink structure is the first step of on-page SEO of your site. If you failed configuring a better permalink structure then you missed a little bit on SEO benefits across your site but you didn’t lose a lot, mind it.

An intelligent weblogger must choose a Pretty permalink that you shouldn’t ignore.Risky/Hackable Permalinks for WordPress!

CloudFlare has been in the CDN industry for over 5 years now and already grabbed a mighty position and strong popularity across the website owners on the web. The reasons CloudFlare is so popular now of their Free DDoS protection service that you may not get anywhere with a CDN provider that CloudFlare does provide. Also 76 data centers located around the world on bigger contents, towns and cities ensure higher probabilities of conveying your website pages as faster as possible to your target audience (no matter where they are) in less than seconds.

If your hosting provider suddenly went offline your visitors can still visit your site with CloudFlare’s “Always Online” mode since it stores a cached version of your static files and until you purge your cached files your site will be remaining online.

Plus so many premium features you get with a free CloudFlare account. I will now discuss about CDN for Website, CloudFlare CDN, CloudFlare features in addition with a visual comparison between CloudFlare and MaxCDN and CloudFlare Installation on a Website for free.

[toc]

What is a CDN for Website?

A CDN is a short form of Content Delivery Network is a system of distributed networks around the globe that delivers a website’s static resources CSS, JavaScript, HTML and Images etc. to a user based on geographic locations of the user, and origin of the webpage and a content delivery server.

This service is very effective for websites with high volume traffic in speeding up the delivery of content to the requested user in anywhere of the world near to the CDN server locations. The fact is that the closer the CDN server location to the user the faster the content will be delivered to the user.

A CDN service can be provided on the major contents of the Word including North America, European zone, Asia zone, Africa, Australia, and South America etc.

Look below image very carefully and you will see the Origin Sever is located in Europe but the webpage is distributed to the end users in major contents of the world with CDN Node services, so that a user who accesses to the site from anywhere near to the CDN server location will get faster speed of loading site content and other resources.

How CDN works
How CDN works

A CDN service not only provides faster page speed to a website but also can protect your site from malicious attacks like DDoS Attack, Brute force attacks, Spam comment attacks etc.

What is CloudFlare CDN?

CloudFlare is a free and powerful yet CDN service provider which is founded in 2009 in San Francisco, CA United States by Matthew Prince and his team. After official launch the CloudFlare had very few distributed networks (about 23 data centers) but today CloudFlare has 76 data centers (majorities are in USA and European zone) in all over the world.

Unlike other CDN service providers that only provide faster delivery speed CloudFlare provides both faster delivery rate and website security in many aspects. Once your site is a part of CloudFlare network your website’s all traffic is routed through CloudFlare intelligent global network before landing on your website pages. CloudFlare detects the traffic behaviors with its powerful technologies and only passes user if it detects a real traffic otherwise blocks user and never allows to land on your website.

CloudFlare CDN Features

Six ways a CloudFlare CDN Works to optimize your website speed and increase website security with its advanced features.

CDN

CloudFlare designed its own CDN (Content Delivery Network) without the legacy in the last 15 years of services. CloudFlare’s proprietary technology has taken advantages of recent changes to hardware, web server technology and network routing, in the other words CloudFlare has built the next-generation CDN services ever.

network-map
network-map

CloudFlare CDNs are distributed through 76 data centers (Check CloudFlare global network) around the world and their CDN automatically caches your website’s static files CSS, HTML, JavaScript, Images etc. at their edge node so these files are stored closer to your visitors while delivering dynamic content directly from your web server. In addition CloudFlare uses a technology called Anycast to route your visitors to the nearest data centers. These are all resulting in a faster page speed; on average your website loads twice as fast for your visitors regardless of where they are located.

CloudFlare never charges any bill for bandwidth regardless if your site suddenly gets popular or suffers an attack you won’t have to be dreading your bandwidth bill. The configuration process is very simple (which I will discuss below) and your site will always remain online during CloudFlare installation on your WordPress site.

More about CloudFlare CDN

Optimization

Website performance does not mean just about moving static files closer to visitors but it also about ensuring better web performance in rendering web page content and resources on all devices your visitors use to access your site.

optimization-asynchronous-loading
optimization-asynchronous-loading

With CloudFlare’s advanced webpage optimization feature your website gets blazingly fast page speed on cross devices and browsers used by your visitors. The optimization features include Rocket Loader, Reduced Connections, Auto Minify, Local storage caching, and Cache header optimization that can provider super fast page loading performances across your website.

More about web content optimization

Security

Online threats range from nuisances like comment spam, excessive bot crawling to malicious attacks like SQL injection and Distributed Denial of Services (DDoS attacks). With CloudFlare advanced security protection your website will remain safe from all kinds of potential attacks that you may not know.

security-analytics-dashboard
security-analytics-dashboard

CloudFlare’s security ranges from Automatic learning of new attacks which is a system that automatically detects new attacks arise against any website on its network. Once CloudFlare detects that there is a new attack, it starts to block the attack for both the particular website and the entire community.

With advanced and highly equipped analytics dashboard you can simply navigate through your website’s security performances choosing between I’m under attack!, High, Medium, Low and Essentially off modes.

CloudFlare shows you a list of threats that have been stopped from reaching your website; you can narrow the results by sorting out threats type, country origin and severity. Till today CloudFlare protected websites against a range of threats: cross site scripting, SQL injection, comment spam, excessive bot crawling, email harvesters, and more.

Providing full armor defense or stopping the worst threats CloudFlare system will keep your site always online with 100% guaranteed security protocol.

DDoS Protection

Denial-of-service (DoS) attacks are on the rising and coming to an evolved complex and overwhelming security challenges for organizations small or large. DoS attacks are not any recent phenomenon or practices , the methods and resources available to conduct and process such attacks have dramatically increased and even developed to a distributed (DDoS) and more recently, distributed reflector (DRDoS) attacks—attacks that are simply not addressed to traditional on-premise solutions.

ddos protection - cloudflare
ddos protection – cloudflare

But thanks to CloudFlare’s advanced DDoS protection, provisioned as a service at the network edge, it alleviates DDoS attacks, including those that target UDP and ICMP protocols, SYN/ACK, DNS and NTP amplification and Layer 7 attacks.

Read following news about DDoS threats in Europe

DNS

CloudFlare is now powering over 35% of managed DNS domains, running one of the largest authoritative DNS networks in the world. CloudFlare’s DNS is to be fast, powerful and secure than any other DNS providers in the market.

Apps

Apps that are enabled on your personal device (Computer or Smartphone) expedite your process of chores and bring your more advanced and evolved results within shorter time. CloudFlare provides number of web analytics and marketing related apps that you can install no your computer or smartphone and track your analytics reports for any platform you want.

apps-illustration
apps-illustration

Learn more about CloudFlare Apps

CloudFlare CDN vs. MaxCDN in Performances, Optimizations and Pricing

So you have learned both CDNs CloudFlare and MaxCDN from a comparison chart and I especially dug deeper about CloudFlare CDN and features which are incredibly popular to 20+ million users across the globe.

To my sight CloudFlare is not only a CDN service but it’s more than website security service provider than professionals in the industry. Again MaxCDN is a complete and powerful Content Delivery Network that’s sole focus is CDN service that can speed up your website with advanced caching technologies.

Both services are winner but I will keep CloudFlare a step ahead due to its advanced security features in addition with its CDN services.

How to Setup CloudFlare CDN on WordPress Site for Free

Now I will show you all how you can setup CloudFlare CDN free on your WordPress site from two different methods (1) Basic Method and (2) Advanced Method. Basic method is easy enough and better for newbie users and advanced method is not so easy and it requires your tech skills to properly setup.

If you’re not savvy enough then follow Basic setup method otherwise proceed with Advanced setup method.

Basic Setup

To setup CloudFlare with basic setup mode you have to register CloudFlare from any of their partnered hosting provider sites. Check CloudFlare hosting partners.

After making sure your hosting provider is a partner of CloudFlare then login to your hosting account with username and password.

Now on cPanel head to CloudFlare section and click on CloudFlare icon

Cloudflare icon
Cloudflare icon

On next page you can login your existing CloudFlare account or create a new account inputting an email address and checking terms and conditions for CloudFlare.

Signup - basic setup guide
Signup – basic setup guide

After clicking on “Sign Up” button you will be given a link to setup your CloudFlare account providing your account details and personal details.

When your CloudFlare account is setup you can manage your website URL with CloudFlare from your hosting account.

Now click on “Manage” button to setup CloudFlare CNAME records over your existing website Name

My websites records
My websites records

Click on “CloudFlare” icon to activate CloudFlare with your site to point CNAME records from www.yoursite.com to www.yoursite.com.cdn.cloudflare.net

My websites active
My websites active

Your website’s CNAME records are successfully pointed to CloudFlare hosted CNAME and all your website traffic will be routed to CloudFlare network before landing on your web server.

You’re now more secured from potential malicious attacks and your site users will experience twice page speed than before.

You can view your website analytics reports from CloudFlare account or your hosting account’s CloudFlare section

Note: You don’t need to change domain nameservers after pointing CNAME records to CloudFlare hosted CNAME as you have configured CloudFlare from a hosting partner so your domain nameservers will remain unchanged.

Advanced Setup

In Advanced setup you can configure CloudFlare CDN with your WordPress website from your CloudFlare account and without any hosting partner’s support.

In this way you have to change your domain name servers and point to CloudFlare hosted DNS in a safe environment.

First of all login to your CloudFlare.com and click on “Add Site” link on top right of menu bar

Now type your domain URL in this format yoursite.com

Begin scan
Begin scan

Note: You can setup CloudFlare for multiple domains using comma separated domain names

Click on “Begin Scan” and CloudFlare system will scan your website for preparation.

Scanning started
Scanning started

If the status still shows “Scanning…” then click “Continue Setup”

Continue Setup
Continue Setup

On the next page CloudFlare allows you to setup A, AAAA, and CNAME records configured with CloudFlare hosted records, so that your origin server’s IP address will be hidden and your hosting account will remain more secured.

DNS records for mybestwikis
DNS records for mybestwikis

For ensuring maximum security make sure to activate CloudFlare on for all records pointed there. If you want to add any record then use above “Add Record” forms to add a new one.

Now click Continue to proceed

You have to select a plan many people have gone with Free Website with limited features. If you run small business website then go with it otherwise if you have bigger projects then consider choosing a pro plan.

Select a cloudflare plan
Select a cloudflare plan

On next page CloudFlare will provide you unique DNS which required changing from existing nameservers to CloudFlare hosted nameservers.

Change nameservers
Change nameservers

To change your domain Nameserver login to your Domain registrar account and head to domain section > Nameservers

Nameservers
Nameservers

Now replace your existing nameservers to CloudFlare provided nameservers.

After making changes go to your CloudFlare account and click “Continue” button

Zone Verified
Zone Verified

You will see your account status is pending, click on “Recheck Nameserver” and instantly your account status will be active after “Zone Verification” completed

CloudFlare Analytics

CloudFlare provides an improved and visual Analytics reports for your website performances to track Requests through CloudFlare, Overall Performance, Security, and Geography.

Analytics report
Analytics report
Performance
Performance
Security
Security

Conclusion

CloudFlare is really an incredible CDN provider for any content management system you operate. The main reason of enabling CDN with website is that lacking of web hosting performances. If you think your hosting provider lacks in 100% uptime and slow page loading issues then you should take support from a Content delivery network unless you want to lose traffic and user experience across your website.

CloudFlare can help you taking from slow loading to faster loading status but your deficit of your hosting provider performance can’t be solved with this. The only solution is to migrate your website to a trusted and reliable hosting provider that is Bluehost.

You can read this WordPress site migration process which is written for newbies and easily migrate your site from any host to Bluehost.com

Submitting a website to Google search engine is not any difficult task but it’s really difficult to create a highly useful website that is targeted for potential audience and rich with developed and informative content. Every day millions of new websites are created and published to the web but very few of them rise in the market in a certain period and majority fall down due to excessive competition density among the websites for search queries in Google and other search engines.

Anyways you’re a website owner and your operating platform is WordPress and you want to submit your new website to Google because you feel your site is properly fit and ready to publish on the web, right?

So this guide is only for yours because it teaches you how to submit and verify your WordPress website with Google search console in step by step methodologies.

Adding Property

The first step of adding a website to Google starts with property verification process which is very simple and newbies can perform it without any trouble.

First of all login to your Google Search Console account using Google account/Gmail account and click on “Add a Property” red button on right top of the page

Now type your full website URL in following format

http://www.yoursite.com

After that click on “Continue” button

Type your website URL as property
Type your website URL as property

Verifying Website to Google Search Console

Google offers two types of Website verification methods as follows

Verify your ownership with Google
Verify your ownership with Google

Recommended method:

In this method you have to download an HTML file containing a unique Google verification Id and later upload it to your webhost server using “File Manager” in cPanel or FTP client software like FileZilla.

As it’s recommended method so better to proceed with it and verify your website with Google search console.

Click on the link to download HTML verification file and login to your webhosting account

In account cPanel section head to “File Manager” and choose your website and click “Go”

File manager
File manager

Now select “public_html” folder

Public html
Public html

Click “Upload” icon

upload icon
upload icon

Browse your Google verification file

Browse file - file manager
Browse file – file manager

Alternatively you can use FTP software like Filezilla to upload your Google verification file to your website

Upload with FTP
Upload with FTP

When you have successfully uploaded Google verification file to your website click on “Verify button”

And you will see your website is successfully verified with Google Search Console

website verified
website verified

Alternate methods:

Alternate method can be applied for those users who can’t access to their webhosting account such as website hosted at another hosting account where you don’t have any access like sites hosted at Blogger.com, WordPress.com, Typepad.com etc.

If you use any the above accounts then choose “Alternate methods” and choose HTML tag

Add verification meta tag right before </head> section of your website

Submitting XML Sitemaps

As you have successfully verified your website with Google Search Console now you have to submit your website’s XML sitemap to Google so that Googlebot can crawl your website’s posts, pages, media, files, videos etc. things more easily and quickly.

To submit an XML sitemap for WordPress website you need to login your WordPress account and head to SEO > XML Sitemaps for Yoast SEO

XML sitemap Yoast
XML sitemap Yoast

Now you will see a button says “XML Sitemap” simply click on it and you will find your XML sitemap URL

Alternative

If you use any other SEO plugin like All in One SEO Pack then you have to activate and generate XML sitemap first from Performance section

Actiave Xml sitemap all in one seo
Actiave Xml sitemap all in one seo

After activating XML sitemap you will see a new section “XML Sitemap” is generated under All in One SEO plugin

Click on that link and you will be on XML sitemap management page where you can bring changes in your sitemap files, make your sitemap more optimized for organic search engine ranking.

View sitemap all in one seo
View sitemap all in one seo

To get your XML sitemap link click on “view your sitemap” link and you will see your XML sitemap file

When you have got your website XML sitemap URL then go to Google Search Console page again and head to Sitemaps section in your verified website account dashboard

Click on Sitemaps link and choose “ADD/TEST SITEMAP” red button on right top of the page

Submit sitemap
Submit sitemap

Type only the sitemap file URL except your website URL and click “Submit”

sitemap_index.xml

After that refresh the page and you will see the Sitemap file is pending submission. Your all website pages, posts and images will be indexed as soon as Googlebot starts crawling through your entire website.

After getting your Sitemap indexed you will see how many pages are in queue and how many of them are indexed.

Sitemaps submitted
Sitemaps submitted

If you want your pages instantly crawled and indexed then you can use “Fetch as Google” tool to request Googlebot crawl pages on instant. But you have limitations to request for instant webpage crawling per 24 hours period.

Updating Robots.txt File

Robots.txt is an integral part of any website that tells search engines which part of your website will be indexed and which part will be ignored. The sole purpose of a Robots.txt file is to block Search robots to index any specific path that you don’t want to display in Google search results pages.

It’s recommended for every webmaster to optimize Robots.txt file for better performance in Google and other search engines.

To optimize Robots.txt file you need to access Crawl > robots.txt Tester

Robots txt tester
Robots txt tester

Now you will see the default robots.txt Tester file which is not optimized enough and can index anything except one path

/wp-admin/

For WordPress you need to block many things suppose /wp-content/plugins/ /comments/feed/ /readme.html and many other files because they’re not expected to be indexed by Google and these files don’t play any role for SEO across your site.

This tutorial can help you out creating and submitting Robots.txt file for WordPress

Conclusion

Submitting a website to Google Search Console is the final phase of the website after initial launch when the site is fit in design and rich in content so that both search engines and users can utilize it appropriately.

You can only consider submitting your site to Google, Bing and other search engines when it’s ready to publish otherwise hold on and build a useful site for your target audience.

In this tutorial I just only focused on submitting and verifying a WordPress website to Google, and I will be publishing the more beginner guides in coming days.

Enjoy reading folks 🙂

WordPress SEO by Yoast is an evolved and powerful WordPress SEO suite that provides all the essential tools to optimize your WordPress website getting higher ranking in Google organic search results and other search engines. Unlike other SEO plugins Yoast SEO is very user friendly, effective and easy to setup on any WordPress blog or site. You don’t need to be savvy enough to configure the plugin and it is as easy as a newbie user can setup without facing any difficulty.

The new Yoast SEO version 3.1.1 is more improved in user interface especially providing more features in rich snippet checker, making primary category for categories, and catchy buttons in SEO setting options.

Today I will share a complete Yoast SEO V3.1.1 setup guide for WordPress users who did not try Yoast yet or newbies to WordPress.

Yoast SEO Features (Free)

  1. Increase your branding by showing your website’s name in the search results as well as show your company name or person as metadata that can be displayed in Google’s Knowledge Graph.
  2. Verify your website with Google, Bing, Alexa and other services by simply inputting individual Meta values
  3. Onpage.org indexability check is enabled
  4. Choose title separator from 13 different symbols to display separator between blog post title and site name
  5. Enable homepage SEO by providing optimized Homepage title and Meta descriptions (limit to 150 characters)
  6. Choose optimized post title template that looks catchy, user friendly and search engine friendly to get more organic search ranking in Google
  7. Taxonomies are set to default but you may want to change Taxonomies title template to separate post titles and taxonomy titles and make them indexable by choosing an optimized format
  8. Archives work to display Blog author bio to search results. If you want you can change Author Archives title template to any format you want but you have to understand parameters enough before changing title template
  9. Show your social accounts to search results pages by enabling social SEO
  10. XML Sitemaps can generate sitemaps for blog posts, pages, categories, and tags that can be indexed to search engines Google, Bing, Yahoo, Yandex and other search engines
  11. Enable breadcrumbs to let search engines find specific path of your blog post or page. Even users can easily navigate your site
  12. Focus keyword testing for blog posts and pages
  13. Edit robots.txt and .htaccess files using File editor tool
  14. Quickly change titles and descriptions of your posts and pages without having to go into the editor for each page
  15. Import settings from other SEO plugins or export your settings for re-use on another blog
  16. Search console is the new feature of Yoast V3.1.1 that allows you to fetch your Google search Console information. To get search console data you need to add Google Authorization code which you can get by clicking on Get Google Authorization Code button
  17. New Yoast SEO V3.1 includes another feature that allows you to make primary category of any specific category and make secondary category of other categories

Learn more about Yoast SEO V3.1

Yoast SEO Features (Premium)

Yoast SEO premium provides two important features that free SEO plugin does not provide

  1. URL Redirect: URL redirect feature allows you to enable custom URL redirect to existing posts or pages from broken URL. Suppose you have changed any category, or slug of your article now the article got changed permalink and the earlier permalink is broken URL or 404 error page. So if you don’t want to get users landed on the non-existing page you can make a custom URL redirect that sends users to the existing page and increases your website’s user experience. This also increases your website’s credibility by reducing 404 error pages quantity to Google and other search engines.
  2. Multiple Focus Keywords: Yoast SEO free version allows you to test your blog post’s ranking for one single keyword but if your article is categorized in two or three categories and you want to test SEO score for multiple focus keywords then you need to input multiple keywords that Yoast SEO free version doesn’t allow. But Yoast SEO premium version allows you to test your blog post SEO score for multiple focus keywords.

Read more about Yoast SEO Premium

Import SEO Settings before Moving to Yoast SEO

If you already run a different SEO plugin (may be All in One SEO, any other SEO plugin) then you have to migrate your existing SEO settings to new SEO plugin that is Yoast before configuring Yoast SEO on your WordPress site.

SEO Data Transporter plugin (made by StudioPress) allows you to transfer your inputs SEO data from one theme/plugin to another. It’s really difficult to switch themes or dump plugins in fact themes and plugins store their inputs SEO data differently that makes harder your SEO migration process. But thanks to SEO Data Transporter plugin that it can do rest of the SEO data migration tasks on behalf of you.

To get started with SEO Data Transporter simply install the plugin on your WordPress site and navigate: Tools > SEO Data Transporter

Click “Analyze” to see what records and elements are compatible, and click “Convert” to make the conversion.

SEO Data Importer
SEO Data Importer

SEO Data Transport supports number of themes {Builder, Catalyst, Frugal, Genesis, Headway, Hybrid} and Plugins {Add Meta Tags, All in One SEO, Meta SEO Pack, Platinum SEO, SEO Utimate}

There is another process of migrating SEO settings from All in One SEO to Yoast SEO

Navigate to SEO > Tools > Import from other SEO plugins

Now choose “All-in-One SEO” and click “Import” button

Import SEO settings
Import SEO settings

Your SEO settings will be migrated automatically

Yoast SEO Configuration

So you’re ready to configure Yoast SEO on your WordPress blog right? I will clarify each setting for Yoast SEO configuration in comprehensive way so that new users can understand the setups.

Yoast SEO: General Settings

In Yoast SEO General Settings section you need to provide information about you, your website, webmaster tools verification etc.

General

In General section you can start Yoast SEO tour by clicking on “Start Tour” button. This will explain all the functionalities of this plugin but here we will do a complete SEO setup and you don’t need to take the tour spending more time.

Your Info

Your website name is set default in “Website name” input area but you can change your Website name here or choose any alternative name that you want Google to consider

Yoast Setting general
Yoast Setting general

Company or Person

This data will be shown as metadata in your website and it is intended to appear in Google’s Knowledge Graph. You can either choose Company or Website. If it’s company then provide a company name and upload company logo otherwise provide your name as Person.

Webmaster Tools

In webmaster tools you can verify your website with Google, Bing, Yandex and Alexa by using site verification ID. If you verify your site with file upload method then forget about it.

Webmaster tools
Webmaster tools

Security

The advanced part of SEO is disabled by default with Yoast SEO since blog Authors and Editors won’t be able to do stupid things with advanced options only admin have rights to bring changes anywhere in blog post or page using Advanced SEO part. So keep this default

When you’re all done click on “Save Changes” and general settings are done!

Titles & Metas

In titles and metas section you can bring change in title template settings for blog post, page, categories, tags, archives, author etc.

General

In general section you can select title separator from 13 different symbols. This symbol will be shown between post title and site name.

Title seperator
Title seperator

Homepage

In homepage section you can bring changes in Title template and Meta description

Title template is set default to

%%sitename%% %%page%% %%sep%% %%sitedesc%%

This means your site title will display in following format

Your Site – Site Description

If you want to display only site name then remove everything except %%sitename%%

But it’s recommended to keep Title template default for providing a comprehensive Homepage title to both search engines and users

Homepage settings
Homepage settings

In Meta description template provide a short description (not more than 150 characters in length) that tells about your website and services

Post Types

Now click on “Post Types” to bring changes on title template for blog posts, pages, media etc. on your WordPress site.

The title template remains default as

%%title%% %%page%% %%sep%% %%sitename%%

This means after post title or page title the sitename will be displayed and a separator will divide post title and sitename.

Exaple:

How to create a website with WordPress – The Wild Blogger

To many webmasters and SEO gurus this format is not search engine friendly as it elongates your blog post title and every time it will display broken title for longer post titles in Google and other search engine results pages.

Post Types - Yoast SEO
Post Types – Yoast SEO

So it’s better to remove your site name and keep blog post and page title single as it will give you more spaces to write longer, comprehensive and improved post titles for SEO

So remove everything except

%%title%%

For posts, pages, media (images, videos) in Post Types

Taxonomies

In Taxonomies section you can bring changes in Categories and Tags title template which remains default as

%%term_title%% Archives %%page%% %%sep%% %%sitename%%

This means your category title will be displayed in following format

WordPress Archives – The Wild Blogger

This format is rich enough as it tells search engines about a specific Archive file “WordPress” under a website “The Wild Blogger” which is a brand name of our site.

So if you remove site name then the Archives file will be messed up with millions of other WordPress Archives in Search engines and it won’t be identifiable to People that which site acquires this specific category. So only your brand name can differentiate the Archives file to users.

Taxonomies
Taxonomies

It’s recommended that you keep “Taxonomies” settings default.

Archives

In Archives section you can bring changes in “Author Archives” and “Date Archives” title templates also change Special pages titles like Search pages and 404 pages.

The title templates for Author archives and Date archives are improved enough and you don’t need to change anything here in addition for Special pages the title template for Search pages and 404 pages are suitable for any WordPress site and if you want to change Search page and 404 page content you can do so from themes settings section of your WordPress site.

Finally click on “Save Changes” and Titles and Metas are successfully modified for SEO.

Social

In Social you can enable your social channels like Facebook Page, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram etc. to inform Google about your social profiles, so that if anyone searches your website name Google will also display your social profiles as well.

Social - yoast SEO
Social – yoast SEO

Click on Facebook tab and you will see that Facebook Open Graph meta data is enabled. You can add a default image that will be used if any certain post or page does not contain any image or featured image.

Social - Facebook Yoast
Social – Facebook Yoast

You can also get access to Facebook insights by adding Admin’s name and Facebook user ID.

Read this article for gaining access to Facebook Domain Insights

In Twitter settings enable Twitter card for Summary or Summary with Large Image

In Pinterest settings add your Pinterest verification code

To add Google+ page for your business ad Google+ business URL

When you’re all done simply click on “Save Changes” and social account is setup properly

XML Sitemaps

In XML sitemaps Yoast SEO provides you an auto generated sitemap which you can submit to Google, Bing, Yahoo and other search engines.

XML sitemaps
XML sitemaps

You can limit the Max entries per sitemap changing the default value 1000

Exclude from Sitemap

If you don’t want anything indexed in XML sitemap suppose “Affiliate Links” then click on “Post Types” can select “Not in sitemap” for Affiliate Links

When you’re all done click on “Save Changes”

Advanced

In Advanced section you can enable Breadcrumbs that will be displayed in Google search results pages and Google can identify the right path a blog post or page.

Breadcrumbs - Yoast SEO
Breadcrumbs – Yoast SEO

Breadcrumbs normally remain disabled so choose “Enabled” and Sava Changes

Note:

Breadcrumbs may not be displayed on your theme if Breadcrumbs code not embedded properly or your theme doesn’t support Breadcrumbs. So in this case you can install a plugin called Breadcrumb NavXT

Later add following code in your themes single.php file right after <main id="main" class="site-main" role="main">

<div class="breadcrumbs" typeof="BreadcrumbList" vocab="http://schema.org/">
<?php if(function_exists('bcn_display'))
{
bcn_display();
}?>
</div>

If you don’t find the right path of adding above code then contact your theme designer to know where to add Breadcrumbs snippet to display Breadcrumbs before blog post title.

Permalinks

The default permalinks setting for WordPress is not better fit for SEO because the structure looks not only ugly but also complex for search engines to crawl because it contains unwanted characters that search engines ignore.

The following structure is the default permalink structure for WordPress

http://www.thewildblogger.com/?p=123

Here 123 is the ID no of post or page.

But you can customize permalink structure and create an equipped permalink that search engines like

To customize Permalink simply navigate Settings > Permalinks

Permalinks settings
Permalinks settings

Now choose Custom Structure and replace the existing snippet with following

/%category%/%postname%/

Read more about WordPress Permalink structure

Tools

Yoast SEO provides your three tools

Bulk Editor: A tool allows you to quickly change titles and descriptions of your blog posts and pages without going to the editor for each page.

File Editor: Allows creating robots.txt file and bringing change in .htaccess file

Import and Export: Easily import other SEO settings or export SEO settings

Recalculate SEO Scores: Recalculate SEO scores for all of your blog posts and pages.

Search Console

Search Console is a feature that allows Yoast SEO to fetch your Google Search Console information from your Google account by authentication process. If you want Yoast SEO to fetch Google Search Console information then click on “Get Google Authorization Code” and allow app.

Allow app
Allow app

Then you will get an authorization code which you need to copy and paste on the authorization code field and click on “Authenticate” button

Search console SEO
Search console SEO

Now choose your profile and click “Save Profile”

Search console
Search console

You will see the current profile is set to your website.

Extensions

In Yoast Extensions you can get 4 other top popular Yoast premium Extensions that can improve your website’s SEO performances and drive you double even triple hold traffic from Organic, Local and News searches.

Yoast Extensions
Yoast Extensions

If you want to buy any of the extension then click on “Get this extension” for any extension you want and download the extension Yoast official website.

Conclusion

Yoast SEO is definitely a brilliant SEO tool which empowers millions of WordPress sites to get better ranking in Google organic search results. Yoast SEO provides your website an extra layer of security and improved performances so that your website always remains fit in indexing content to search engines regarding Google, Bing, and Yahoo etc.

If you get this Yoast SEO plugin setup guide helpful then please share it with your blogger friends and social followers.