WordPress is an excellent site building tool and once it is setup properly, you can concentrate on adding great content to your site. WordPress will then take care of the rest, including all of the linking, creating pages, sitemap etc. If you need more convincing, read my article on “Advantages of Using WordPress for Affiliate Sites”.
The big question here is how do you set up the site?
The way I like to build a website is to have a homepage and some main pages. The main pages cover the various sections of the niche. I’ll then add content to the site, with each article fitting nicely into one of the sub-niches covered by a main page. Here is a diagram I created a few years ago to explain how I structure a website:
You can see from the diagram that the homepage links to the main pages, and a sitemap. You will of course want to add some of the following: privacy, disclaimer, terms & contact us pages, and these will also be linked to from the homepage. The articles on the site then link to the related main pages, so that the content on your site is linked together by topic. WordPress makes this type of site very easy.
The homepage is obviously taken care of, though you do have a choice – do you use a static homepage, or the recent posts as a homepage? Everyone has their own idea of what they want their homepage to look like. I personally prefer a static homepage, or at least a homepage that I can control, so that I can make sure it acts as an “information centre” guiding visitors to the content they are searching for. However, what about main pages? How do you handle the main pages in WordPress?
Many people teach that you use “pages” in WordPress to hold your main page content, however, I use posts. if you are confused, read this article on the difference between posts and pages. In fact it would be more accurate to say I use the category pages as my main pages. The category pages in WordPress usually show all of the posts in the category, but I modify them slightly. For my category pages I’ll:
- Create a “sticky post” for each category, so that the same post is always shown at the top of the category page.
- List the other pages in the category as plain text links to the “post” page created by WordPress.
- Remove the potential duplicate post page (the one that WordPress created for my sticky post) using a redirect.
You can see this in action on the website I have been building for my WordPress for Affiliate Sites members. Here is the diabetes site.
Across the top of the site you can see links to the “home” and “glossary” pages. These are pages (not posts) in WordPress. Underneath this, you can see three menus: Conditions & Disease, Diabetes Treatment and Diabetic Pets. Each of these categories represent main pages, but they are also “super categories”. If you put your mouse over the top of these, a sub-menu opens showing a number of other categories. Every category on this site is a “main” page on the site.
To illustrate the point, click on any of the categories.
The page you get to is a category page in the eyes of WordPress, but a “main” page in my site model.
You can see the “sticky post” at the top of the category page, and this post will never change unless I change it. In a traditional WordPress setup, this post would be replaced when I next published an article to this category. However, on this site, any new posts to this category will just be added as a link at the end of the page.
When you do things this way, posts are pigeon-holed into one category or another, so that these category pages (my main pages) become themed to a high degree. The pages they link to are all in the same category, and of course, all of those pages link back to the main page.
If you would like to learn how to create sites like this, my WordPress for Affiliate Sites course teaches everything. During the course I have videoed the entire process, from start to finish, so anyone can follow along.