Easy WordPress Challenge: How to Boost Your Site's Reach

Learn how to optimize your website's performance, reach, security, and layout to increase clicks, engagement, and sales.
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Instructed by Kristen Palana Design / Web Design
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  • Lectures 26
  • Length 2.5 hours
  • Skill Level Beginner Level
  • Languages English
  • Includes Lifetime access
    30 day money back guarantee!
    Available on iOS and Android
    Certificate of Completion
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About This Course

Published 2/2016 English

Course Description

Is your website performing at its highest level and gaining you clicks, sales, engagement, followers, and working hard on your behalf 24 hours a day?

This course is for anyone who is looking to get more out of their existing website, who would like an easy step by step plan of action for maximizing their website's impact, regardless of which tools, platforms, or themes they are using. 

In particular this course is for people who are NOT coders, professional web developers, or programmers who would like to learn easy, reliable, and measurable ways to boost their website's impact quickly.

In this course I use my own website's optimization as a case study and show the exact process I used during my website's tune-up to help YOU jump-start your progress. I specifically use WordPress and the Elegant Theme, Divi and the Elegant Theme plugin, Bloom (for opt-in forms), but you don't need to have my exact set-up to benefit from this course.

Let me help you tune-up and adjust your website so it can do the online heavy lifting for you 24 hours a day by showing you how to:

  • Diagnose and improve your website in the areas of performance, mobile, SEO, and security.
  • Increase engagement, clicks, and sales from your website using tried and tested methods for increasing impact.
  • Take advantage of web users' eye-tracking patterns backed by research to ensure your content is more effectively seen.
  • Collect more newsletter subscribers more quickly using one or multiple mailing lists and an array of custom opt-in forms.
  • Generate more social media shares (and more traffic) for your blog posts and other content.
  • Get more followers for your linked social media pages.
  • Take advantage of easy ways to make extra passive income using affiliate linking programs from your website.

What Students Are Saying:

"The 'Wordpress Website Challenge' is a clear, structured and easy to follow course, that gives you practical ideas to improve your website. Starting off with analysing the performance of your website, it takes you step-by-step through tips and recommendations, that can be easily put into practise. If you would like to improve your site - without going too deep into technology - than this course is the right choice for you!" -Michael Kimmig 

I'm a practicing award-winning multimedia artist and a former tenured Associate Professor of Digital Media and Program Director of Film & Digital Media at The American University of Rome (2006-2016). I'm currently a Visiting Associate Professor of Digital Media at the brand new American University of Myanmar in Yangon, Myanmar (Burma). 

Since 2000 I've been teaching students all over the world using my tried and true custom approach (turning complex information into something simple, memorable, easy-to-understand in as short amount of time as possible) to ensure that you get the most important, relevant, and useful information that can be applied immediately.

New bonus lectures and resources will continue to be added and timely advice will be provided in the discussion forum. I love to help and always respond to inquiries and discussions ASAP.

Please Note: All students who enroll in this course also will receive periodic free and discounted access to my other top-rated current and upcoming courses.

You have a 30-day, 100% money-back guarantee with no questions asked so you have nothing to lose. I make myself available so you will have access to me if you have questions or need specific feedback along the way.

Empower yourself now by enrolling in this easy to follow WordPress Challenge course and join our growing learning community! Click the "Take This Course" button in the upper right corner and let's get started optimizing your website and boosting its impact right away!

What are the requirements?

  • Students need a website that needs tuning up and a willingness to try simple tweaks that will prove to show real results over time.

What am I going to get from this course?

  • Boost clicks, engagement, and sales by making simple layout adjustments backed by research to be effective.
  • Use tools that will help diagnose and fix any performance, SEO, security, & mobile issues that your website may have.
  • Customize ads and opt-in forms to match content on various parts of your website.
  • Skyrocket the reach and influence of your website by creating strong content that works in harmony with social media pages to attract even more followers and clients.
  • Follow along with me as I tune-up my own website as an actual step by step case study. (I use WordPress with the Divi Theme.)

Who is the target audience?

  • This course will be most useful for students who already feel comfortable editing their own website in WordPress or similar CMS platforms.
  • This course is meant for entrepreneurs, bloggers, and anyone who manages their own website who would like to better undertsand how to communicate their messages and services more effectively online.
  • Advanced web developers/designers or very experienced online marketers may find this course too basic and should NOT take it.

What you get with this course?

Not for you? No problem.
30 day money back guarantee.

Forever yours.
Lifetime access.

Learn on the go.
Desktop, iOS and Android.

Get rewarded.
Certificate of completion.


Section 1: Introduction and Welcome!

This lecture talks about what this course is, who it's for, and what you can expect to get out of it.


Please take a moment to make sure this is the right course for you.

This course is for anyone who is looking to get more out of their existing website, who would like an easy step by step plan of action for maximizing their website's impact, regardless of which tools, platforms, or themes they are using. This is a course particularly for people who are not professional web developers, coders, or programmers who would like simple and actionable advice to up their website's game.

Section 2: Taking Stock of Your Current Website and Making Sure It's Performing At Its Best

Before we go fussing around with your layout, sidebars, banner ads, opt-in forms, or anything else, let's take stock of your current website to see if it is performing as well as it should be. Use this free tool to diagnose your site and take its suggestions so your site functions at its best so your visitors will be guaranteed to have an optimal experience.


Please take a moment to tell us who you are, where your current website is at, and what you'd most like to get out of this course.

Section 3: More On Speed and Security For Your Site

Use this powerful free tool to help speed up your website and decrease your visitors' waiting time. It's available as a web tool or as a powerful WordPress plugin that can safely and quickly compress all your images in one easy go.

Also, click on the downloads/resources tab to get the excellent article: 10 Ways to Speed Up Your Website.


In the last lesson I spelled out a few reasons against purchasing an SSL Certificate for Your Site. In this Lesson (made the day after the previous lesson) I had a change of heart and ended up purchasing one myself. I'll talk about why it's a good idea to make your website more secure for you AND your visitors. Please click on the download/resources tab in this lecture to get links on where to get SSL Certificates and how to install. Please note that your web host may also offer SSL certificates as an add-on and can install them for you.

Mine, Bluehost does this, though since I had already purchased the SSL certificate from Namecheap.com, I ended up just installing it myself which took some back and forth with tech support as they needed to flip a few switches on their end. In the end though, I saved $150 ($50 over 3 years) by doing it through Namecheap vs. Bluehost even if the set-up was a slightly bigger pain. If you HATE these kinds of back-end tech things, you might consider just paying extra to save yourself a headache or two.

More Ways to Speed Up Your Site and Compress HTML, CSS, and JS Files
Section 4: Proven Ways to Boost Website Engagement, Clicks, and Sales Backed By Research

This course was originally inspired by an October 2015 blog post written by Justin Brooke, an entrepreneur who spent $30,000 over a year to test the most effective (ie. highest converting) blog layout. This lecture will get into his findings as well as discuss typical online viewers' habits so we can best use this data to effectively inform our own website layouts to help increase clicks, engagement, and sales.

I'll also talk about my own findings after following Justin's layout suggestions and how they have helped increase my own social media followers, course sales, newsletter subscriptions, and affiliate sales from my own online portfolio just by making a few simple layout changes.


In this lecture I'll share several options for easily moving your sidebar from right to left both with or without code.


In this lesson I'll show you a simple plugin you can install in WordPress that will make it possible for you to have custom sidebars on your site that match the content being viewed. For example, a sidebar that has an ad for your animation course showing up on a blog post about animation.

I'll then show you how to set up your custom sidebars and get them working on your site.

Section 5: Make Extra Income With Affiliate Links and Banners

In this lesson I'll discuss what an affiliate is and how you can easily become one to make extra passive income. I'll show you where to go and how to apply to become an affiliate as well as how to choose advertisers and how to get links that you can begin sprinkling inside your website or in your social media posts.


In this lesson learn how to create a deep link, namely a link to a specific product deep in your advertsiser's website to better customize your banner ads based on your target audience's interests.


This lesson comes from a tip I recently received from a successful Udemy affiliate and instructor that I am now also experimenting with myself. If you are a Udemy instructor and are also enrolled in the Rakuten Linkshare Affiliate Program, don't miss this smart and simple opportunity to potentially boost your sales.

Section 6: Get More Mailing List Subscribers By Making Some Simple Changes and Additions

This lesson gives a broad overview of how you might use your mailing list with one or multiple opt-in forms, specifically opt-in forms created with the Elegant Themes Plugin, Bloom. You may also decide to use multiple opt-in forms with multiple mailing lists to better tailor your content or reach very specific target audiences.

In the downloads/resources tab in this lecture please find links to sign up for Mailchimp (if you don't already have a mailing list) as well as more information on Bloom.


This lesson comes from inside my earlier Give Your WordPress Website a Makeover: Divi WordPress Theme course. I'm including it here for those not already familiar with how the plugin works and how to create custom opt-in email newsletter forms.

This lecture talks about the benefits of the Bloom plugin for creating opt-in subscribe forms. I also show you how I made mine and the various settings and features of the plugin.


This lesson talks about which opt-in forms have worked the best for me and how I use them with my mailing list.

Section 7: Driving More Traffic to Our New and Improved Websites: Easy Ways to Get Started

In this lesson I'll talk about some ways you can boost traffic to your website for free so you can better test to see if these tweaks and additions are leading to more engagement, clicks, followers, and sales. I'll also show one way I use social media to better drive traffic to my blog posts and how I am able to connect better with my "tribe" by making my posts more discoverable.


A day and a half after I recorded the previous lecture, my simple social media shout-outs to Facebook pages and groups sent my website a decent spike in traffic, resulting in more course sales, Facebook page likes, and newsletter subscribers. Here are some recent results.


We live in an age where we are bombarded with a ton of information coming at us from multiple channels. The average web visitor only spends 7 seconds browsing any given web page. This is why it's SO important that you choose the right words that will help grab attention and get people interested in your blog posts, articles, books, courses, videos, and anything else you might have on offer. Enter my good friends, the headline analyzer tools! Make sure to check out the links in the resources area of this lecture.


Here are some more ideas for sending traffic to your website and building an audience.

Section 8: Don't Forget the Power of Color Psychology For Boosting Clicks and Engagement

This sample lesson comes from inside my courses Web Snax: Super Simple Recipes for Easy Website Design and Give Your Wordpress Website a Makeover: Divi Wordpress Theme Spotlight. It talks about how and why I choose particular colors and color groups for my own online portfolio website and the power of color psychology to evoke human emotion and influence behavior. Please note I have an entire course on just this one subject called Life Hack With Color Psychology: Increase Your Influence. (Sorry, had to give it a little plug.) :-)


Online Learning Podcast: Episode 121 With Kristen Palana

This interview with top Udemy instructor, John Colley is full of some of my very best secret color tricks for making an impact, getting your content noticed, and boosting engagement online.

The podcast is aimed at other Udemy instructors, but my color tips can be easily used by anyone with a website or someone who uses text and images online, in presentations at work, etc.

From the program notes, we discuss pretty much in this order:

  • Introductions and a brief rundown of some of the courses I teach on Udemy and their descriptions.
  • How imaging and color psychology can impact your business
  • What color psychology can mean across borders
  • How gender can affect color choices
  • How to use color to affect the way people think about you
  • How to use color to make your courses more effective
  • How to use color in your lectures/websites/presentations to have a positive impact
  • Where you should use color in your Udemy lectures or presentations
  • Why you should avoid rainbow colors in your text
  • Why you should NEVER (almost never) use pink in an online course or work presentation.
  • Why red and orange can invigorate your audience in the right doses.
  • The importance of hierarchy in your online text
  • Why you need to avoid lack of contrast on your webpage
  • Why its easier to read black text on a white background
  • How to make course images stand out
  • How to make your images stand out to get promoted by Udemy
Section 9: Conclusion

Use the discussion area here to check back in and tell us how your website is doing now and what else you plan to improve moving forward.


Thanks so much for taking this course! I hope to see you in my online classroom again soon.

Section 10: Appendix/Optional Resources:

This is a big list of free resources you can use for your projects.

Section 11: Bonus: Freebies, Discounts, and Special Offers

Students will learn more about my other courses, eBooks, staying in touch, and more.

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Instructor Biography

Kristen Palana, Professor, Award-Winning Artist, & Digital Do-Gooder

My goal is to empower ordinary people to do extraordinary things.

I'm an American/Portuguese multimedia artist and educator recently based in Rome, Italy and a tenured Associate Professor of Digital Media at The American University of Rome where I also co-founded its Film and Digital Media Program. I have over 15 years of university teaching experience in North America, Europe, Africa, and Asia. Since July of 2016 I live and work in Yangon, Myanmar and am a Visiting Associate Professor at American University of Myanmar.

Besides teaching tens of thousands of students at Udemy and other online platforms, I'm also a Course Facilitator for the UN-mandated University for Peace (Costa Rica) through their Centre For Executive Education.

My work is exhibited internationally and online and has received a number of awards. I received my MFA from Pratt Institute in Computer Graphics and Interactive Media and also hold a BFA in Painting from Massachusetts College of Art and Design.

I love taking complex topics and making them simple. I'm currently researching 21st century learning methods and technologies and am enjoying exploring the world of online teaching and connecting with diverse groups of students from all over the world.

What can I help you with today?

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