WordPress and other CMS tools allow small business owners to edit their own content, create new web pages and maintain their own sites. This can save an owner hundreds over the course of the year and also allow their websites to stay interactive and fresh, which is important for viewers and search engines alike. However, maintaining your own website does take some knowledge and skill to learn. There are three main things you may want to learn over time:

1. Basic HTML

2. Image Editing

3. Tracking

This blog post will cover the first one, HTML. The next two will go over the importance of image editing and tracking.

maintaining WordPress websitesBasic HTML

If you have a CMS website, such as in WordPress, you may not need to know HTML or use it on a regular basis, but when you do need it, it comes in handy. This will prevent you spending hours trying to make something work right or having to hire your web developer to make the changes for you. Here are some scenarios why it is important to know a little bit:

  1. Pasting in code from another website, blog, PDF or Email newsletter. Even though WordPress has a “Paste as plain text” icon (2nd row, 5th icon), you may forget to use it or it may not always strip all the extra snippets of code out. This causes formatting errors on your site. With some HTML knowledge, you can easily remove any offending snippets when transferring content from Word or Google Docs to your CMS.
  2. Make your Content Easy to Read. When creating a blog post or web page, you want to make it easy for people to consume. This means using formatting (bold, italics, headers, colors, etc.) to make your content easy to read/digest. MTECH creates specific styles (h1, h2, h3, h4) for your text, but you need to understand when/how to use them. WordPress does have easy buttons to use, but sometimes you need to go into the code to make sure they are being applied correctly.  Take control of the way your content looks by souping it up with some <b> and <h2> tags.
  3. Pasting in Blog Articles from Other Sites. Your blog will contain original articles, but it also can contain the introduction of an article from another blog or website. By knowing a little bit about HTML, you can edit articles that come in and provide links, etc…
  4. Pasting in 3rd party code, such as YouTube embed code and/or Paypal code. If you want to put in a Youtube or Vimeo video into your site, it helps to understand a little HTML so you can center the video and/or know where to place the code. In WordPress, all code needs to be pasted into the “Text” tab – not the visual tab. Also, sometimes it is helpful to paste in Paypal code and take out extra spaces or center the “buy now” buttons.

MTECH, as Your Digital Shepherd, provides WordPress training and basic HTML training services. Contact us at marcy@mtechbd.com for details.