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Using WordPress To Create Mini Sites

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WordPress is not only a great blogging platform, it’s also a very flexible content management system and can be used to build just about any type of content driven website. One type of website which I love using WordPress for is the Mini Site. Granted, there are much lighter CMS scripts available which would do the job just as well however I always use WordPress as it’s quick and easy to install, it’s free, it is SEO friendly and there are thousands of plugins available which can enhance your site. More importantly, WordPress has thousands of themes available, most of which are free to download.

What is a mini site?

A mini site is basically a small website with about 5-20 original pages of content (sometimes more). Basically what you do is buy a domain name, throw up a quick design and write about at least 5 pages of original content about a subject. The main types of mini sites are

  • Information Mini Sites – A site which covers a specific topic and provides valuable information to the visitor. The webmaster can place adsense, amazon and other targeted affiliate links on the site in the hope that a certain % will click on them.
  • Product Mini Sites – A site which reviews and talks about one specific product. These type of sites are usually developed to target a specific affiliate program item. For example, in order to generate sales to an anti wrinkle site you would could build a 10 page mini site which discusses the causes of aging.
  • Tools & Helpful Mini Sites – Sites like Hot Scripts have thousands of free scripts available for download and you can build a mini site around a useful tool. For example, you could download a weight conversion script and build a mini site which lets visitors use this tool. Advertisements can be placed around the tool.

You can promote mini sites using adwords or some other ppc service however you should still get a little traffic through the domain name and the keywords on the site itself.

Although you may go back occasionally and update a mini site, the great thing about them is that once you have built them, you won’t have to spend much time on them again. You spend a few hours building the site and writing the content, you place a link to the site on some other sites you own to get it some traffic and you aim to make a little cash through it.

Individually mini sites don’t make much money but collectively they can be nice little earners. Let’s say you spend all day building a mini site and writing the content for it (say 7-8 hours), if that site can make even $0.50 a day that means the mini site makes you over $180 every year. The only costs are your hosting and the yearly $10 renewal of your domain name so it should be very easy to turn a profit even if you don’t reach your $15 a month target.

I’m a big fan of mini sites because you don’t need much time to maintain them ie. you don’t have to respond to emails every day and you don’t have to update them on a regular basis either, after building them you really don’t have to look at the site again if you don’t want to. This frees up your time to do other things (ie. including building more mini sites).

Of course, you should go back every now and then and check stats and perhaps add a page or tweak the site a little, particularly if the site is making you good money (note : mini sites are also a great way to test the water of a niche you’re not familar with).

Using WordPress to create Mini Sites

By now I’m sure many of you are interested in creating a mini site to see if you can make a little extra money. Here’s my 10 point quick quide to creating a mini site with WordPress.

Enjoy 🙂

  1. Decide on the subject – The first thing you need to do is decide what the mini site is about. If you are trying to make money from a certain affiliate product then clearly the site has to focus on that product for affiliate advertisements to convert well. If you’re struggling for ideas I recommend choosing a subject which either :
    • You are knowledgable about
    • Has a high PPC price on related keywords
    • There is a lot of information freely available on the web which you can put into your own words and make it original.
  2. Register a domain name – Register a suitable domain name. A domain name which has the subject name in it is great but related keywords are fine too. One hyphen is ok but I wouldn’t personally recommend any domain name with over 2. Info or com are my favourite domain extensions for mini sites but org, net, biz and country specific domains are fine too.
    It’s important to have a hosting account which lets you host unlimited domains. I’ll assume you do so go ahead and create a new account for the domain name you just registered.
  3. Upload WordPressDownload WordPress, upload it to your new site and install.
  4. Find a suitable theme – Find a good WordPress design. I prefer simple minimalist designs for mini sites as you don’t need many of the extra features which many complicated designs have however it really is up to you. There are hundreds of great WordPress galleries on the web where you can search for templates but I believe the official theme directory is still the best place to start your search.
  5. Set correct PermaLink structure – Go to the permalinks page in the settings area of your WordPress admin panel. First make sure your htaccess file is editable so that you can update it from the WP panel. Then choose ‘Custom Structure’ and set your permalink to /%postname%/. This is more SEO friendly that the default ‘http://www.minisiteexample.com/?p=123’ and it does not mention the date either. This permalink structure will generate a URL similar to ‘http://www.minisiteexample.com/sample-post/’.
  6. Remove Comments, Trackbacks & the date – Some may disagree with me on this but I think it’s important to remove comments and trackpacks from a mini site. Comments & Trackbacks requires moderation and moderation requires time, time is something you don’t want to waste on a mini site after you have designed it. If you left comments on and switched moderation off then you will likely get a lot of spam. Save yourself a lot of time and energy and switch comments and trackbacks off. It might be worth removing the comment area and trackback coding from your template as well (depending on how good the template is).
    Likewise, I think you should remove the date from your post area. Do you really want to highlight the fact the site hasn’t been updated in 6 months!
  7. Add Content – Most people agree a minimum of at least 5 good pages is needed for a mini site but I think you’re better having at least 10. Write an introduction article about the subject/product and then go into more depth in the other articles. Most SEO experts agree that you should keep the content on the page to underneath 1000 words so spread your content across your pages accordingly. I don’t recommend copying content from anywhere else, the key is to be original. If you are using some sites for reference then you should put the facts into your own words and feel free to link to the original source if necessary.
  8. Create a front page – I recommend using a dedicated front page for your mini site instead of just listing blog posts in chronological order. Place an image on the home page too. If you’re mini site doesn’t have many pages then you should link to them all on the home page. If not, link to the most important articles and link to the rest from a sub page or even a sidebar.
  9. Add affiliate advertisments – Adsense is one of the most used ad networks used on mini sites but you will make much more money if you advertise a related product or company on the site. Don’t just plaster ads everywhere, be smart about it. Write a review about a company you are recommending and deep link affiliate links into your content. If it’s done right many visitors will not even realise that you created the site specifically to promote a company.
  10. Get Incoming links – For this guide I will assume that you don’t have much money to spend on advertising so it’s important to get some incoming links (which helps with SEO too). Exchange links with related sites to get some traffic to your mini site. You should either create a links page or add a blogroll/partners section to your sidebar and place the links there. If you have other mini sites you should also place a link to your new site on them too (and vice versa).
    You can also submit articles to blogs and article directories too. For information mini sites I prefer to keep that content on my own site rather than submit it elsewhere but this technique works well with product mini sites as the return is usually higher through targeted affiliate ads.

I could have added a few more steps but that’s pretty much it. Once you have developed a few you’ll get an idea of what works and what doesn’t. Although I do think you shouldn’t spend too much time on mini sites after you have developed them, you shouldn’t walk away from a good thing either. As I said earlier, mini sites are a great way to test the water so if a site is getting good traffic and making you money you might want to develop it a bit more and add more content and promote it more.

Overview

Mini Sites are a quick and easy way to boost your portfolio. They can bring in a little extra cash every month if they are developed right and you can promote and link to your other websites on them too.

As a blogger the biggest problem I have with developing mini sites is time. I’ve got several mini sites ideas which I hope to develop in the next few months however in the last week I’ve just not had the time to start them because of the time I spend on blogging and maintaining my other sites. Perhaps I should set aside one day a week to develop them, what do you think?

I do currently have a few mini sites and some of them are making over $50 a month. In the coming weeks I’ll maybe show you one of them to help illustrate how they work but if I’m completely honest, I’m a bit concerned that some visitors will not look at these sites as inspiration but will instead simply copy them , something which happens a lot unfortunately and a reason why many affiliate bloggers are very vague when explaining affiliate techniques (ie. most don’t show their sites which make money because they will get copied – monkey see, monkey do!!).

If you have any questions, as always, fire when ready 🙂

Kevin Muldoon is a professional blogger with a love of travel. He writes regularly about topics such as WordPress, Blogging, Productivity and Social Media on his personal blog and provides support to bloggers at Rise Forums. He can also be found on Twitter @KevinMuldoon and .

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8 WordPress Plugins Beginner Bloggers Should Have

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Beginning a WordPress blog is an exciting new adventure. Not only are WordPress blogs a wonderful way to showcase the many ways you express your creative self, but they’re a great place to begin your business. The digital age has proved just how lucrative a career online can be, which is why so many ambitious creatives and entrepreneurs turn to WordPress.

Within the realm of WordPress, plugins allow users to add a number of different extended software programs to their website. They enhance the functionality of your site and add exciting features that engage site visitors in a myriad of different ways. There are over 55,000 third-party plugins within WordPress’ directory, giving you plenty to work with as you customize and brand your blog. But what are the must-haves among such a vast collection of add-on software?

Let’s walk you through the basic WordPress plugins every beginner site-maker should have, regardless of the content that will soon inhabit your unique domain.

Yoast SEO

Yoast SEO has become one of the most popular WordPress plugins for novices and seasoned site-makers alike. Yoast boasts the most comprehensive search engine optimization solution, packed with an impressive selection of features and tools to improve your on-page SEO. Add meta tags, create sitemaps, and optimize your site for Google, social media, and more.

OptinMonster

When it comes to conversion rate optimization plugins, no software performs better than OptinMonster. Designed to allow users to convert bouncy visitors into interested email subscribers and paying customers, OptinMonster works hard so you don’t have to. By giving you the power to personalize campaigns to users, OptinMonster makes you more money. OptinMonster is a valuable tool for bloggers, eCommerce entrepreneurs, and new business owners.

Sucuri

When building your blog, security should be at the forefront of your mind. Sucuri is one of the leading security WordPress plugins that offers DNS-level network firewalls, and intrusion/brute force prevention, as well as malware and blacklist-removal services. By sending all of your website traffic through their cloud proxy, Sucuri is able to scan every single request and decide whether or not traffic is legitimate and what traffic can successfully pass through.

MemberPress

MemberPress gives you the key to building online communities and membership sites via WordPress—so it’s really no wonder why it’s one of the essential plugins to date. Not only can you create subscriptions and manage content available to users based on their subscription plans, but you can even incorporate a number of popular payment solutions and online store features with ease.

Akismet

While everyone wants their site to receive traffic, nobody wants the traffic to be dominated by spam and bots. Akismet’s number one job is to filter out and delete spam comments that can hurt your site’s legitimacy.  Akismet is lauded for its 99.4% accuracy rate that gives you the peace of mind you need to tackle unwanted content on your blog.

Nivo Slider

Whether you’re an artist showcasing your one-of-a-kind pieces or a graphic-design lover who wants to add some stylish flair to your site, Nivo Slider gives you the power to display an interactive image slideshow on your site that draws visitors in. Add a splash of creativity with the visual wonder delivered by the Nivo Slider’s crisp on-page clarity and allure. It’s easy to navigate and comes with a comprehensive design structure that is truly user-friendly.

MailChimp for WordPress

MailChimp is one of the world’s most popular email marketing services that allows users to manage subscribers, send emails, and track the fruits of your labor in bulk. It is an absolute must-have plugin for WordPress webmasters and business owners and it’s completely free to add to your blog. If you’re looking to spruce up your eCommerce site, opt for the premium version, instead.

Loginizer

Designed to prevent third-party hackers from running a brute force attack on your blog, Loginizer is another security essential worth lining up on your plugin list. Loginizer works by blocking an IP address after a maximum number of login attempts has been reached. The plugin also allows you to blacklist or whitelist specific IP addresses. Venture into higher-level security features like two-factor authentication, reCAPTCHA, Passwordless login, and more to bolster your site’s safety. 

 

With these 8 must-have plugins, you’ll be well on your way toward creating the WordPress blog of your dreams. What are other beginner-level plugins you use on your WordPress blog or recommend to novices? Let us know in the comments below!

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ONE by TemplateMonster – Ultimate Subscription Service to Fulfil Any Web Design Task

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ONE by TemplateMonster is the one and only subscription service that provides web designers and developers with the ultimate selection of high-quality digital products and services they can use to streamline their workflow. Every professional webmaster knows the true value of quality web design items in their work. Having a collection of the right tools and web design elements in a toolbox, one can focus on the creation of impressive and competitive digital works without having to worry about extra designs, extensions or graphics that are needed to complete your projects.

As a rule, all quality web design items are pricey. So, it may cost you or your client a pretty penny to launch a stunning digital work from scratch. However, thanks to services like ONE by TemplateMonster, provide you with unlimited access to a series of quality web design tools that you can use for your own digital works without any restrictions.

ONE is the ultimate subscription service delivered by the giant digital marketplace for $19 per month. As soon as you subscribe to the service, you are provided with the unlimited access to the ever-growing collection of 8500+ best-selling digital products including premium-quality web themes, plugins, and graphics, all of which are accompanied with expert 24/7 support. Apart from its best price in the market, there are plenty of other reasons to subscribe to the service. Let’s review them in more details.

What’s ONE?

ONE is a real time-saver for everyone working with web designs. This is a handy subscription service that provides you with unlimited access to a range of high-quality digital products from TemplateMonster digital marketplace.

Subscribing to the ONE, web designers and developers can get literally everything they need to streamline their workflow and create sites that will make every client leave fully satisfied.

All digital items from the subscription are intended to be handled by the users of different skills levels on their own. For example, most of the premium WordPress themes that are added to the subscription are enhanced with the drag-and-drop functionality that allows you to achieve the desired look and feel of your site’s layout as you simply work in the intuitive visual mode.

With the ONE, webmasters also get a bunch of plugins and high-quality graphics suited to be used for a number of purposes.

ONE Toolbox

The giant marketplace took special care to include only the best items into their subscription. You will see it by yourself when you browse the gallery of items that the ONE delivers. All items from the subscription service have proven to be in great demand among TemplateMonster customers due to their high quality and the value they deliver to both expert and beginner webmasters.

The best-selling digital items from the subscription service cover more than 25 different product type. This makes it hard not to find the ideal solution for any type of online project that you need to create. No matter if that’s a corporate site, a business startup project, online portfolio or a personal blog that you would like to bring to the web. ONE delivers all the designs and tools that you may need in a single subscription.

Subscribing to the ONE, you are provided with unlimited access to the collection of 8,500+ digital products for different purposes and topic-specific online projects. If you browse the gallery, then you will come across the best-selling themes compatible with the latest versions of popular content management systems and eCommerce platforms. If you follow the latest industry news, then you should know about such popular themes as Monstroid2 WordPress theme, Woostroid2 WooCommerce theme, Eveprest PrestaShop theme, and StoreFlex OpenCart theme.

By now, there are 4,000+ best-selling themes being included in the subscription, with more than 1,000 of them being high-quality WordPress items. While using the subscription, you can get unlimited downloads of landing page themes, ready-to-go eCommerce solutions, online portfolio web projects, stunning blogging themes, multi-purpose web designs, and so much more.

One of those best-selling web themes is their include extended developer license, which allows you to download and install such themes for an unlimited number of times.

Alongside with a wide choice of best-selling themes, the ONE subscription includes a number of premium-quality Jet Family plugins for Elementor page builder, as well as high-quality graphics to spice up the visual presentation of your web projects. A website creator needs to have an all-inclusive pack of illustrations, icons, animated banners, and fonts always at his disposal. Using ONE, you can access it all and even more for an unlimited number of times.

As it’s been announced by the team standing behind the ONE subscription service, the collection of best-selling themes, plugins, and graphics will be expanded with 100 more items every month.

All digital items from the subscription service are ready to be managed even by beginner webmasters taking their first steps in the web design and development field. Whenever you need any kind f assistance on how to work with the chosen digital item, you can always rely on the professional assistance of the 24/7 support team that will help you solve any sort of issues.

Why Choose ONE by TemplateMonster

With all that being mentioned, let’s make a clear statement about the top reasons to use the ONE subscription service by TemplateMonster.

  • With the ONE subscription, you can download all best-selling digital products from the marketplace without any limitations or restrictions.

  • Whenever you need any kind of extra assistance of additional services like template installation, website customization, security or the speed tweaks, and even complete website creation, you can order it from from the ONE team for an extra cost. TemplateMonster has experts engaged in all aspects of website creation. They will gladly help you make your digital works more efficient.

  • Additionally, you can always rely on 24/7 expert technical support. A team of skilled customer care professionals is always ready to solve any sort of issues in a phone talk or via live chat.

Pricing

As it’s been already mentioned, the service will cost you $19 per month, which means that you will get $229 nilled yearly. As soon as you purchase the subscription, you can go ahead and start downloading themes, plugins, and graphics without any restrictions. When your subscription expires, you can pay $229 once again to continue using all advantages of the ONE by TemplateMonster.

Final Words

ONE by TemplateMonster is a must-have subscription service for everyone working in the web design and web development field. It delivers the ultimate toolbox of 8,500+ best-selling digital items that have proven to be in the biggest demand in the TemplateMonster digital marketplace.

The subscription service delivers an ever-growing collection of best-selling web themes for all types of CMS and eCommerce platforms. You can also work with a number premium-quality Jet Family plugins for Elementor page builder. The latter will be especially appreciated by the avid WordPress fans. Additionally, the subscription service includes a constantly growing collection of the high-quality graphics that you may feel free to personalize and use on your own website.

All items that are added to the subscription service can be downloaded for an unlimited number of times. Additionally, the gallery expands with 100 new core items every month. Whatever kind of assistance you may need in order to streamline your workflow, you can always rely on the professional help of customer support team 24/7.

Paying $229 per year, you get an impressive toolbox of digital items that would cost you thousands of dollars when purchased separately. If you think that ONE by TemplateMonster is exactly what you need to bring your creative digital projects to live, then don’t miss your chance to subscribe and get unlimited access to more than 8,500 high-quality best-selling digital items from the marketplace.

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Achieving High Standards: 10 WordPress Education Themes to Get a Smart Website

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Everybody understands that knowledge is power. There are always even more questions to be discovered. One of them really concerns thousands of people. What is the quickest way to launch a highly-professional website without applying lots of efforts? When you possess one of the best education WordPress themes, you do not need to have extensive coding skills. There is no need to hire a specialist from a popular web-design agency and pay him or her a heap of money. You can easily make others start taking your educational services seriously by means of the online-project created on the base of the ready-made solution.

We have chosen the most impressive WordPress business templates that include a bunch of instruments and elements. Each of them is capable of helping you provide your target audience with enjoyable and efficient user-experience. Are you ready to create a decent online-presence here and now? In this case, let us present 10 splendid themes that really worth your attention…

Educat – WordPress Theme

Educat - Education WordPress Theme
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In order to create an informative and engaging education website, you need something like this impressive template. You can easily accomplish such a difficult objective by means of this aesthetically-pleasing ready-made solution. It has 71+ variants of the homepage, custom slider, galleries, and multiple color variations. In addition to this, you have a chance to choose between full-width and boxed theme layouts.

Teddy Academy – WordPress Theme

Teddy Academy - Primary School Elementor WordPress Theme
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You can promote your primary school on the Internet using this marvelous ready-made template. If you have a busy schedule and cannot afford to start your online-project from scratch, you definitely need to opt for this template. Thanks to a wonderful Elementor Page Builder, it is absolutely possible to build your website without having web-development knowledge. It also has a fully-responsive design which means that your visitors can catch up on reading being on the move.

Rainbow Colleges – WordPress Theme

Rainbow Colleges - E-Course WordPress Theme
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Make sure to check this vibrant theme if you want to experience a highly-intuitive process of website-building. By means of this expressive solution, you can build every single type of website dedicated to learning. You will be provided with an excellent WooCommerce integration – in other words, you can easily start selling different educational materials and sources directly on the website. Its design comes in wide and boxed versions and five predefined color schemes.

Edukid – WordPress Theme

Edukid - Kindergarten & School Education WordPress Theme
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Edukid is a stunning template that can assist you in building your school or university website in the easiest manner ever. The creators of this first-class solution took care of the technical aspect which means that you can enjoy playing around with multiple elements without any coding skills. You will get an excellent learning management system plugin that will provide you with various benefits. There are also infinite courses, events calendar, compare and wishlist features, social media settings, and eye-catching hovers.

Cedar High – WordPress Theme

Cedar High - University WordPress Theme
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If you specialize in education and want to share some important details about high school education, you certainly need to choose this remarkable template. You can enrich your website functionality with online-booking appointment system with the help of the dedicated plugin. Furthermore, each visitor will be happy to browse an attractive online-project that has a fully-responsive design adaptable to all screens and devices. Whatever you would like to craft, you are free to customize your future website in a way your soul wants thanks to a great Elementor Page Builder, four blog layouts, and multiple header variations.

Softtech – WordPress Theme

Softtech - IT Education Multipurpose Creative Elementor WordPress Theme
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You should consider choosing this amazing theme if you decide to build an online-presentation of your university, kindergarten, and online-courses. From different pre-made pages to Cherry Plugins – you are going to get all the necessary tools to make your website better. Feel free to modify your design using a multi-functional Elementor Page Builder. There are also different social options that allow getting a reliable and reputable website.

SkIllum – WordPress Theme

SkIllum - Online Courses Elementor WordPress Theme
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This bright and impressive template will assure people of developing their mind and skills on your courses. You can present all the essential details about your courses, including upcoming events and teachers. You are not required to write even a single line code. For the reason that it is possible to build your content, make it look dynamic, and express your innovative approach using a great Elementor Page Builder. Moreover, you do not need to waste your time searching for some relevant images – they are already waiting for you in the package.

Educor – WordPress Theme

Educor - Education Courses Elementor WordPress Theme
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Educor is a well-favored template that can be used for numerous educational purposes. This means that all educational academies and specialized learning centers can be promoted by means of this superb solution. It has everything you need to craft an engaging online-project and impress your audience. In general, you are free to take advantage of the excellent contact form, various pre-designed pages (that allow showcasing your program, concept, and prices), bonus images, and useful plugins.

Cleveries – WordPress Theme

Cleveries - Education Kids Elementor WordPress Theme
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You can promote your educational services without breaking a sweat using this modern and trustworthy theme. It is possible to boost your business thanks to a wide range of pre-made pages that allow describing your classes, events, activities, and teachers. Its mobile-first design will turn out your online-project into a perfect digital piece for both small and big screens. There is also a great commenting system that allows sharing thoughts on your institution.

Education Pro – WordPress Theme

Education Pro | LMS & Education WordPress Theme
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There is no need to invest loads of time and energy if you have such a wonderful template as this one. Its design can be called the right balance between aesthetics and content. You can easily create attention-grabbing galleries and filterable portfolio layouts that will capture even more attention. Each visitor will be ready to get in touch with your team thanks to a great contact form.

From now on, you know how it is possible to create an original educational website in the quickest way. In our opinion, each of these incredible templates is capable of making your audience grow bigger and bigger every single day. For this reason, do not be afraid to make your choice and start building your online-project right now. Thanks for reading!

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