Day 2 – Mini Site Design, Plugins and More


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I hope everyone enjoyed yesterdays basic post on selecting a domain name to build a minisite on. Today I want to talk about the looks and feel of the minisite.

First lets start with a template. I use a program called Artisteer which makes it really easy to design simple great looking custom wordpress templates. Also there are a million free wordpress templates on all topics on the web. You can also pay for one on sites like themeforest. The thesis theme does really well in search engines and is simple to customize. But if I were you I would sick with a free theme for now you don't need anything more for a profitable minisite. I wrote about some great Free SEO friendly wordpress themes I found. Try and stick with a theme that is not too cluttered but still fits the topic of your site.

Next lets talk about a header. On minisites I think the header is very important, it is the first thing that the visitor often sees and if they are disappointed they might leave the site before reading anything. For my headers I will design simple ones myself or hire someone out for less than $10 you can have an amazing header done. Take a look at German Wine Glasses as a simple header and Portable Camping Shower for a more complex one. Both work well and tell the visitor what the site is about.

Last but not least come the plugins here is a list of ones I upload to every one of my sites

1. All in One SEO
2. Google Analyticator
3. Google XML Sitemap
4. Contact Form 7
5. PhpBay (More on this in a later post) (Affiliate Link)
6. YARPP Related Post Plugin

For specific sites I might use a few other plugins, but theses are the ones I will not build a site without. On wordpress I also make sure to change the permalink strcture to /%category%/%postname%/to make it SEO friendly and I set the home page to a static page in the reading settings tab.

Overall just make sure your site is easy to navigate, the colors are not to abstract and they go nicely together. I try and remember to KISS - Keep It Simple Stupid.

Tomorrow we are going to talk about content, so if you want to get a jump start you can start to do some research and write short 300 word or so articles on your domain's topics. I normally do not put more than 5 articles on a site unless it is a very competitive niche.

Related posts:

  1. Day 3 Mini Site Content
  2. Day 1 Mini Site Series- Selection, Setup, Research
  3. Minisite in a Week: Day Two Minisite Design

Comments

13 Responses to “Day 2 – Mini Site Design, Plugins and More”

  1. Poor Uncle
    September 28th, 2010 @ 9:49 am

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    Thanks for this series of posts. I know it is not easy to put all these into words. I am very grateful and thank you for sharing. I hope you will get a lot of traffic for these posts.

    One quick question…do you buy 1 hosting account per site? How much do you spend on hosting per site? My sites are very slow because I am too cheap to pay more than $4/month for hosting. :)

  2. dnclips
    September 28th, 2010 @ 10:14 am

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    Thanks for sharing this. Waiting for the next 3 parts…

  3. TeenDomainer
    September 28th, 2010 @ 6:03 pm

    Warning: Illegal string offset 'keywords_time' in /home1/theman37/public_html/teendomainer.com/wp-content/plugins/internal_link_building.php_/internal_link_building.php on line 103

    Poor Uncle I host with hostgator for $9.99 a month and my site are all fast and the support is great. I have had no problems with them.

  4. Poor Uncle
    September 28th, 2010 @ 8:23 pm

    Warning: Illegal string offset 'keywords_time' in /home1/theman37/public_html/teendomainer.com/wp-content/plugins/internal_link_building.php_/internal_link_building.php on line 103

    @TeenDomainer

    So, you only need to pay $9.99/month for all your sites in this example?

  5. TeenDomainer
    September 28th, 2010 @ 8:54 pm

    Warning: Illegal string offset 'keywords_time' in /home1/theman37/public_html/teendomainer.com/wp-content/plugins/internal_link_building.php_/internal_link_building.php on line 103

    Yep thats all I pay and I can have as many sites as I want. And if you click on the hostgator banner below and then sign up I will build you a free minisite.

  6. TeenDomainer
    September 28th, 2010 @ 8:55 pm

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    Use the coupon teendomainer at checkout and your first month will be .01 cents.

  7. Poor Uncle
    September 29th, 2010 @ 12:42 am

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    @TeenDomainer,

    That’s a fair deal. I’ve to figure out how to move my blog over from godaddy though. I’m a newbie. If I upgrade my hosting plan with godaddy to “Ultimate” which is only $7.99/month for a 12 month contract, would that speed up my blog? Do you host other websites with your hosting account for this blog?

  8. Day 3 Mini Site Content : Teen Domainer
    September 29th, 2010 @ 7:14 am

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    [...] We have come to Day 3 in this series, in-case you missed it yesterdays post was on Mini Site Design and Plugins. [...]

  9. Jay
    September 29th, 2010 @ 5:39 pm

    Warning: Illegal string offset 'keywords_time' in /home1/theman37/public_html/teendomainer.com/wp-content/plugins/internal_link_building.php_/internal_link_building.php on line 103

    I’ve heard that Google doesn’t like product feeds like phpBay. Are you using any special techniques (e.g., cloaking) to address this issue, and if so, what?

  10. TeenDomainer
    September 29th, 2010 @ 6:55 pm

    Warning: Illegal string offset 'keywords_time' in /home1/theman37/public_html/teendomainer.com/wp-content/plugins/internal_link_building.php_/internal_link_building.php on line 103

    @ Poor Uncle I host all of my sites on the one hostgator plan and they all work fast and load quick and I have had no problems.

    @Jay Yes phpbay does allow some type of cloaking and I have not noticed any problems in google. My sites do very well in google with very little work on my part. There is cloaking if you take a look at any of the sites I used as examples.

  11. Poor Uncle
    October 9th, 2010 @ 1:56 am

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    @TeenDomainer
    What tool do you use to create your headers?

  12. TeenDomainer
    October 9th, 2010 @ 9:04 am

    Warning: Illegal string offset 'keywords_time' in /home1/theman37/public_html/teendomainer.com/wp-content/plugins/internal_link_building.php_/internal_link_building.php on line 103

    @ Poor Uncle I use a program called artisteer which helps design the whole wordpress template. also pay people to make headers sometimes.

  13. Jimmy Tang
    October 20th, 2010 @ 10:42 pm

    Warning: Illegal string offset 'keywords_time' in /home1/theman37/public_html/teendomainer.com/wp-content/plugins/internal_link_building.php_/internal_link_building.php on line 103

    Hey Brian,

    What settings do you use for the All in One SEO ?

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