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Looking for the best WordPress tips for beginners? You have come to the right place.
WordPress is a powerful CMS with more than 455,000,000 active websites. According to W3techs, WordPress has 61.8 % of the CMS market share.
That’s a damn lot. Isn’t it?
So if you are new to WordPress and want to grow your network, I welcome you to the club.
I am writing this guide for WordPress beginners, but some tips will also help people who have been using WordPress for a long time.
Remember that the more time to take to build the foundation for your website, the faster you will reach your goals.
So let’s get started!
1. Choose the right web hosting
WordPress is an open-source CMS (content management system). It’s a tool to create and manage a website. If you want to start an online business, you can use WordPress to build almost any website. You can make a personal blog, an e-commerce store, or a business website.
To be able to create a sustainable online business, you will need a reliable hosting company. Also, it will be essential to choose a hosting plan that will give you enough resources to handle your traffic.
Having a lousy hosting can cause potential issues like slow loading time, crashing, and downtimes.
So, which hosting companies can you choose?
The answer is simple.
WordPress recommends these three web hostings:
You can choose any one of them as it will be a matter of personal choice. I prefer to use Bluehost because it gives me everything I need, and whenever I have issues with my blog, there is always someone available to solve my problems. They are among the best hosting providers for new bloggers.
If you create an account with Bluehost, they will offer you a free domain for the first year and a free SSL certificate. The usual price is $7.99 per month, but you will get a discount when you purchase through the link below:
2. Pick a quality theme
While choosing your theme, it will be better if you make use of theme demos. This will give you an exact idea of the way the theme will look.
There are endless options you can choose from in the WordPress theme directory. You can also select themes from resources like Themeisle, which has nearly 46,000 themes.
Please bear in mind that there are other places that you can get themes for a low price. But, I won’t advise you to buy from them because the cheap theme will cause you all kinds of issues down the road.
Kindly do read reviews and ratings before you decide to go for a theme.
The performance of a theme is far more important than the aesthetics of a theme.
Why is that so?
Because a theme that performs well will give you a higher ranking on Google, increasing user experience.
No one likes a slow website. Isn’t it?
That being said, how will you know if the theme you are choosing is appropriate?
Well, there are some essential things to consider when you are choosing your theme:
- You should strive for simplicity. A clean and simple theme is the best choice.
- The theme should be responsive to any device. It has to be a mobile-friendly theme.
- It should be compatible with most browsers.
- It should be able to support almost all plugins.
- It should be SEO friendly.
- It must have high ratings and reviews.
If you don’t want to invest money on a theme, it’s completely fine. A premium theme will make an impact after your blog starts to get significant traffic. Till then, you can use free themes.
3. Install Google analytics
If you want to track the performance of your website, Google Analytics is the best option. Google Analytics is perfect for monitoring performance, recording data, and giving insight into how people interact with your website.
The easiest way to install Google Analytics is by using a plugin. There are many Google Analytics plugins out there, but to get the best results, you will need the best one.
So, I will suggest you use MonsterInsights. It has both a free and paid version. This plugin has more than 2 million active installations and is the most popular Google Analytics plugin right now.
Do give it a try, as the free version will be enough.
Once you have installed the plugin, you will access all your data directly from your WordPress dashboard. You won’t have to bounce back between multiple sites and platforms.
This is indeed, very cool.😋
Now let’s talk about SEO, shall we?
4. Install a plugin for SEO
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is crucial for the success of any blog since traffic is the lifeblood of any online business.
I know you don’t have enough time to learn everything about SEO. So, an SEO plugin can just help to optimize your blog posts and bring more traffic.
Having a proper SEO strategy will help you to survive in this highly competitive industry. You can have any type of website with all the bells and whistles, but without SEO, your business will be doomed.
Therefore, SEO should always be your top priority if you want to have a long term sustainable online business.
As I mentioned for WordPress themes, there is a lot of option for an SEO plugin, and it can be a hassle to decide which one to choose.
Therefore, I will advise you to use the Yoast SEO plugin. It has both a free and paid version, but the free version will be just enough for you.
Right now, Yoast SEO has more than 5 million active installations. Pretty impressive, isn’t it?
This plugin will take care of all basic SEO, handle technical implementations, create XML sitemaps, and much more.
5. Limit the number of plugins you are using
Plugins are essential to add functionality to your WordPress blog. The most critical plugins are Google analytics and SEO plugins. But if you want to make your life easier, there are other plugins that you might consider.
Some of these plugins are:
- Caching plugin
- Security plugin
- Bookings plugin
- Forms plugin
- Back up plugin
For sure, you don’t need all for them. You just need the ones that will benefit your readers and your blog.
6. Safety should be your priority
As I discussed above, WordPress is among the most popular platform website builder. Since it is so common for people to use this platform, it will be more prone to attacks from hackers.
Therefore, the security of your blog is a must when it comes to running an online business.
The word Security might sound a bit scary. But believe me, it is not that difficult to secure your blog. Let me show you how.
First, you will need to update your WordPress and plugins whenever a new version comes out. This will prevent issues from bugs and hackers.
The best thing about WordPress is that there are plugins for almost everything that you will ever need. If you want your WordPress and plugins to be updated without you having to log to your WordPress dashboard, then you will need a plugin to do that for you.
The plugin that you can use to automate your updates is the Easy updates manager plugin.
The next step that you can take to increase the security of your website is to get an SSL certificate.
The hosting services mentioned above will usually provide you with a free SSL certificate, so you won’t need to spend extra money on this.
The final step is to back up your WordPress site.
Have you ever thought that if something goes wrong and your content gets lost, what will you do?
It sounds scary, isn’t it? 😣
For backup, you can use the UpdatPlus WordPress Backup plugin, which has over 2 million active installations, and it has a free version.
If you don’t have a backup for your blog, it’s time to do it, my friend. Yes, right now.
7. Set up your Gravatar
What is a Gravatar?
Gravatar stands for Globally Recognized Avatar. It provides a picture of your WordPress account.
Whenever you create a new post, an image will appear to create a clear identity of the person who made the content. This is useful, especially when a blog has multiple authors.
So whenever you are posting a comment on a website, your Gravatar will give you credibility.
Have you ever noticed blog comments from people who don’t have any Gravatar? What was your point of view when you saw comments from such people?
It seems a bit odd, isn’t it?
Usually, Gravatar is already integrated with WordPress. All you need to do is go to your WordPress dashboard, click on the user, and head over to your profile.
8. Modify your permalinks
A permanent link is a part of the web address that comes with your domain name. Every time you create a new blog post, WordPress automatically creates a new permanent link.
A useful modified link is precious for your blog because it will usually give your visitors an understanding of the page they are visiting without reading the content.
The best type of permanent link contains your domain name and the keywords of your blog post.
To modify your permanent links, go to the ‘settings’ option from your dashboard. There you will see the ‘Permanent links‘ button. The ‘Post Name’ option is the one that you should choose.
9. Learn how to use Headings and Meta tags
Headings and meta tags appear on search engine results whenever a user is searching for information.
H1 is used for the main heading and H2 for all other headings, including the conclusion. If ever you have to add a subheading to the body of your content, then you can use the H3 tag.
These tags are essential as they have SEO benefits. Also, it will help your readers to know what your content is all about before deciding to read your content.
Tip: Creating a header that will intrigue people is what will make people read your blog posts.
10. Manage your comments
Comments are great for you and your readers as it helps you to interact with each other.
You need to moderate comments as you don’t want to have comments from all kinds of websites. Google crawls your content and comments. Therefore, it’s essential to remove all spammy comments.
You can do this manually or use a plugin. I prefer to use a plugin as I don’t have enough time to filter through all the comments.
Currently, I am using the free version of Anti-Spam bee.
11. Use featured images
A featured image appears as a thumbnail next to your blog post. It usually appears whenever your link gets shared on social media or in Google search results.
This is important as visual tends to attract more people than just a title post. A good practice will be that whenever you are creating a new blog post, add a featured image and a good description in the alt text.
12. Compress your images
Images will, at a certain point in time, slow your website. But it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use images. I will encourage you to use as many pictures as you can on your website.
But you will have to compress them because a fast loading website is suitable for both visitors and SEO.
I will recommend you to use the Smush plugin. I use this plugin because it automatically compresses all my images without using any other software.
Final thoughts: WordPress tips for beginners
WordPress is continuously changing, developing, and growing. It means it is not a platform you can just set and forget. You will always need to keep up with the latest changes and actively manage your platform.
Here is a quick recap of the things discussed above:
- Choose the right web hosting.
- Pick a quality theme.
- Install Google Analytics
- Install a plugin for SEO
- Limit the number of plugins you are using
- Safety should be your priority.
- Set up your Gravatar
- Modify your permanent links
- Learn how to use Headings and Meta tags
- Manage your comments
- Use featured images
- Compress your images
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