WordPress is known for being one of the top platforms used to create websites and blogs. Maria Sharapova, The Rolling Stones and John Grisham are three of many famous groups/individuals that have used WordPress to launch their own personal sites. Although the site has proven beneficial to millions of people worldwide, it can be a bit confusing at first. Based on my own personal experience, I was extremely lost and blown away by all the different features and settings WordPress has to offer. I have compiled a list of the most important tips and tricks to make the most out of your time spent on WordPress.
When you create your WordPress account you are asked about finding a host. Picking a host is very important, the host site will allow you to share your work with the world. I recommend Bluehost to anyone new to WordPress. Bluehost has a partnership with WordPress and offers the cheapest rates.
Choosing the right wording in your domain is very important. This is how your site will be identified when searched in a search engine. Domains are best kept short and to the point.
There are many themes to choose from when creating your site. When you find a potential theme for your site you can either “View Demo” or “Live Demo,” to see how it looks. Once you have a theme picked out, I highly recommend customizing your page and making it unique. This will attract readers/viewers and give them an idea of your style.
In order to stay well organized it is important to only keep the absolute essential tools you need in the sidebar otherwise it will become messy and confusing. Good organization will allow you to navigate much quicker through the application and save you a headache or two.
I also recommend creating monthly/ yearly folders to store all your material. These folders make it easy to know where your work is at all times.
Social Media is important for two reasons. The first being increased traffic to your blog/website. Most of the time, more exposure = more revenue. The second reason being that your viewers/readers can connect with you on a much more personal level. They can now put a face with the blogs/writing.
An SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is crucial in developing a successful website. An SEO plugin is what allows for your website to appear in search results based off keywords and content. Yoast is the recommended SEO plugin for WordPress users. The link below offers more in depth information and recommendations for your personal SEO.
Comments are a useful tool that allows you to know how your audience views your work. Comments can be managed by simply going to your Settings, finding the Discussion section, and selecting the options you’d like. Enabling comments can help create a community feel on your site.
Making a practice blog is much more helpful than you would think. It allows you to learn the formatting and different features that WordPress presents when making your blogs. Once your blog is completed you are given three different publishing options. These options are Public, Private and Password Protected. For your first blog I would suggest making it Private. You can change it to Public whenever you’d like.
I know this one may sound a bit farfetched… but surprisingly enough, I forgot to hit save multiple times when editing my page. It isn’t difficult to go back and re-edit everything, but it is certainly upsetting. Save yourself the time and hassle by making sure to click the Update or Save Changes button before exiting out of the page.
Pictures are great attention grabbers. These pictures can tell a story just as much as the words in your blog do. Without pictures, blogs are often viewed as bland and boring.
Pictures and images are essential for any successful blog, but too much of a good thing can quickly turn bad. Images that are selected must be selected carefully because they can potentially slow down the web speed. The more images presented, the slower the site runs. These images must also be compressed so the site runs fast and smooth.
“Google Analytics is a web analytics service offered by Google that tracks and reports website traffic, currently as a platform inside the Google Marketing Platform brand.”
Much like comments, Google Analytics helps measure your sites success and tracks how people interact with your site. You can see what triggers the most clicks and where viewers spend the most time. This valuable info allows you to tailor your site to the viewers/readers needs and wants.
Keeping your WordPress page up to date is crucial in keeping viruses and hackers out. On top of that, there are three ways to take even more preventative action against viruses and hackers. The first is to back up your site regularly. This serves as a safety precaution if things turn south fast. The second way is to get an SSL certificate. These certificates track login and payment information. The final way is to install a security plan. You know what they say, better safe than sorry.
The WordPress selling feature is often overlooked by blog and website owners. Anything from artwork to services can be sold on WordPress. If you are an individual who is talented enough to create a work or provide a service that leads to an income stream, do it!
Need help with your blogging strategy? Give the StoneFish team a call for a free consultation!