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HeadSpace2 ~ a quick guide for the WordPress beginner

WordPress

There’s plenty of good information on using the HeadSpace2 plugin with WordPress, but not so much for the beginner – those who are starting a new blog, unfamiliar with WordPress. This quick guide will share some tips and links to help get you get started with HeadSpace2.

Step 1: Why use HeadSpace2? Site Sketch 101 answers this with Andrew Kolyvas’ SEO Tips: Tricks For Your WordPress Blog which details not only why HeadSpace2 is necessary, but also why it should be chosen above over popular SEO plugins for WordPress such as All in One SEO Pack.

Step 2: Installation. Next we need to grab the plugin, install it and activate it. Head over to Urban Giraffe, the Headspace2 plugin homepage for a good overview of the plugin and details on installation, which is simple and straightforward.

Step 3: Preperation. Now HeadSpace2 is active, there’s one very important step that most other guides miss. You need to prepare your themes header.php so that HeadSpace2 can perform its SEO magic on the all-important ‘title’ META tag. Your theme header.php will contain the following line of code:

<title><?php bloginfo('name'); ?> <?php if ( is_single() ) { ?> &raquo; Blog Archive <?php } ?> <?php wp_title(); ?></title>

Which produces the following HTML in your Head tag:

<title>Blog Title &raquo; Blog Archive &raquo; Post Title</title>

As HeadSpace2 uses the php wp_title() function to insert your specific SEO title meta data, this means that your title will always have “Blog Title » Blog Archive »” appended before your HeadSpace2 title. Ugly stuff, and not very SEO. We need to strip <?php bloginfo('name'); ?> <?php if ( is_single() ) { ?> &raquo; Blog Archive <?php } ?> <?php wp_title(); ?> and replace with <?php trim(wp_title("")); ?>. This will ensure HeadSpace2 is unhampered and will only use the title data you want to use.

Step 4: Settings. With that done,you can now venture into the settings, and it’s likely that you will quickly become overwhelmed by the myriad of options and configurations available. To get you familiar with using HeadSpace2 I recommend Cenay Nailor’s HeadSpace2 video tutorial, and then take a look at this quick guide to HeadSpace2, which although very short, is in my opinion the best guide to start you off using HeadSpace2.

Step 5: Removing Duplicate Content for SEO. Tom Lambert has written an excellent guide on using HeadSpace to remove duplicate content from your blog which will allow you to select which pages should be indexed by Google et al. and help boost your search engine rankings. One important note though, Tom talks of a ‘No Index/No Follow’ HeadSpace2 page module, but with the latest version of HeadSpace2 this is now called the ‘Meta Robots’ page module. Also, I would include “Author Pages” as a page that needs to be “noindex,follow”, along with Tom’s recommendation of Archives, Categories, Search and Tag Pages.

posted under WordPress
2 Comments to

“HeadSpace2 ~ a quick guide for the WordPress beginner”

  1. Avatar April 29th, 2010 at 5:15 am Tweets that mention HeadSpace2 ~ a quick guide for the WordPress beginner -- Topsy.com Says:

    [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Szezam. Szezam said: HeadSpace2 ~ a quick guide for the WordPress beginner: There’s plenty of good information on using the HeadSpace2 … http://bit.ly/cqqaOH [...]


  2. Avatar May 23rd, 2010 at 3:25 am Tom Lambert Says:

    Hey thanks for the kind comments Russell and thanks for the heads up about the nomenclature change. I’ll have to correct my page as soon as I get a chance.

    Nice overview on HS2 – I have nothing to do with the project, but I like to see the word spread. I’d encourage everyone who uses the plugin to make a small donation to the plugin author. He’s very responsive and keeps it up to date, which I imagine is no small task. [okay, done preaching :-) ]


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