Sharron-Idol – in her capacity as a geeky entertainer – brings you 15 useful WordPress tips for your WordPress website. Whether you’re an entertainer or you’re in another profession; this list of tips will help you to get the best out of your WordPress website.
1: Always Optimise Content For SEO
If you publish a piece of content without having put any thought into its SEO, then you may well have missed a golden opportunity. To increase your traffic, as well as to get your web-pages and content found by search engines, it’s essential that you SEO-optimise your written content and images.
A good idea is to install a WordPress SEO plugin like Yoast SEO. Yoast will help to increase your SEO game by giving you some helpful tips to make your content more likely to rank on Google. – However the Yoast SEO plugin isn’t the be-all and end-all solution by any means.
You can enhance the SEO-ability of your images by optimising them. – See further down the page for more on that.
2: Never Neglect to Backup a Site
This is one of my favourite nags/subjects; as any form of computing without backup always ends in failure. – And failure to consistently backup your site is like spending months writing a novel and never bothering to save it.
Creating a backup of your work, any work, is essential, so you don’t lose anything should the worst happen.
While some hosting companies, such as SiteGround and WP Engine, provide automatic WordPress backups, it’s always best practice to have your own, in house, backups.
Further Reading: –
See this link for more on creating your own backups.
See this link for more on creating your own backups.
3: Do Not Install Too Many Plugins
Think minimally when it comes to installing plugins. While the WordPress repository contains more than 40,000 plugins, you might feel like a vampire in a blood bank, or an alcoholic in a brewery, and want to try them all.
If you install too many plugins, it’ll cause your site to bloat and to run slower than a slug stuck in reverse… Maybe that wasn’t a good analogy: Since when did slugs evolve gears? – But you get what I mean.
Wisely choose the plugins that you install, and be sure to uninstall the ones not in use. Ask yourself if installing the plugin is necessary to the functionality of your site?
4: ‘New WordPress Installation? – Change The Default Permalink Structure Before You Add Anything
Surprisingly and rather unhelpfully; the default permalink structure in WordPress isn’t optimised for SEO. You’ll need to change your sites’ permalink structure from the word ‘go’ in order to get better article rankings.
This is fairly easy to do: To change the permalink structure in WordPress, go to Settings –> Permalinks – and select “Post name.”
If your site has old content, you’ll then want to redirect old permalinks to the new ones. The paid version of the Yoast SEO plugin has a redirect tool which you can use to generate redirects from your old permalink structure to new one.
5: Do Not Ignore WordPress Core, Theme, And Plugin Updates
Having and using an outdated version of the WordPress core is tantamount to telling a hacker your site’s password.
Plugins, themes, and WordPress sites that aren’t up-to-date present security vulnerabilities to criminal hackers, who exploit the opportunities.
Outdated files in both old WordPress core versions and also old plugin versions are traceable, and, basically, give hackers the opportunity they’re looking for.
Be sure to keep your plugins, themes and WordPress core up to date to the greatest extent possible.
Certain hosting providers, like SiteGround and WP Engine, will automatically update your WordPress site for you, making your life easier.
Plugins such as All-In-One-WP-Security also add to your site’s robustness against hackers.
6: Never Change a Page or Post’s URL After It Has Been Published
You might be tempted to change the URL of the article in question when updating an old blog post or page. – This is something you should not do – Because by changing the slug you are breaking all existing links that are already active on the internet: On search engines and in other people’s articles. Any old links, including all your backlinks and your search links will lose traffic and present a bad user experience that leads to the server generating a 404 error page, and your search-ranking plummeting as a result.
Be certain the post slug is the way you want it before you publish any article, and don’t change it at a later date. In addition, if you’ve installed Yoast SEO, it’ll give you tips for optimising the URL; such as removing “stop” words, and shortening the post slug.
7: Always Use Visuals
Images are always a good thing in an online article: They break up the monotony of the reams of text, and hold the reader’s attention. Studies indicate that content with a visual element gets 94 percent more views than content without. – The human brain processes images 60,000 times faster than it processes text. Therefore, it’s a good idea to include images within your content as deemed appropriate to gain readership.
If you’re not keen on paying for a stock photography membership, there are numerous amounts of free image options out there.
Unsplash.com supplies high-quality, professional imagery. Other options include Flickr.com, and more. – Just be sure to give attribution to the photographer if possible and when required.
Personally I have a rather large library of pictures that I’ve accumulated over the years; some of which are royalty-free images, some are pictures that I’ve taken as photographs, some are images that I’ve constructed online using software over time – a number of which I’ve used before now.
Whilst I realise that not everybody has their own picture library; it can often be a useful commodity to have. Now is never too late to start your own.
8: Resize Images For Web Upload
Images are often the culprit in the case of a slow site; and you should seriously consider optimising your images for upload by reducing their size.
This can be done either by using an editor like Photoshop or Paint dot Net, or a plugin to resize images – so those images aren’t taking up a large amount of space, and causing your site to run slowly because of bandwidth issues.
It would be an idea to use a WordPress plugin that optimizes images for you, such as Short Pixel Image Optimiser or WP Smush.
If you’re a SiteGround customer then you’ll find that SiteGround will offer you a multi-purpose plugin – without charge – that accomplishes this and many more SEO-&-minimising-type functions directly from their server.
9: Create A Child Theme – Don’t Customise A Parent Theme
If you’re customising a theme, doing so could result in a whole lot of problems if you modify the installed theme directly.
The safest way to edit a theme is by using a child theme, which takes the functionality of the parent theme. A child theme allows you to make changes without ruining the original theme’s code, ensuring the modifications aren’t lost.
10: When Editing or Making Changes, Use a Staging Environment When Possible
– No! – Staging environment; not ‘stage environment’.
– I apologise; the illustrator’s new.
Let’s imagine that you want to test a theme, plugin, or custom code on your active site. It may well be unwise to make these changes directly to the live site; particularly if you’re unsure of the outcome of making the changes. — Your readers and customers won’t be too happy when they find that you’ve crashed your site, yet they wanted to make a purchase, seek information, or even claim a refund.
Before you deploy any changes to your live site, it would be best practice to use a staging environment to test the result any changes before going public with them.
Quality hosting providers like SiteGround and WP Engine offer free staging environments. There are also a number of plugins that enable testing environments. It’s also possible to set one up yourself, from scratch.
11: Never Use The Default ‘Admin’ Username
By default, after WordPress is installed the username is “admin,” – which is suicidal in terms of security. – Hackers can easily guess that name and then take control of your website instantly.
The good thing is that, during WordPress installation, you’ll be given the opportunity to change the ‘admin’ name to something else.
If you’re already past the point of installation and need to change your default username, ensure that you’ve done it or you’ll inevitably end up hacked..
12: Always Use A Strong Password
Many people create a weak and crappy password because they don’t want to forget it. – A good password should be random and complex, not predictable and simple.
The thing is; the easier your password is for you to remember, the easier it is for hackers to perform brute-force attacks and guess your password.
A strong password should include a minimum of eight characters, and use at least one uppercase letter, at least one lowercase letter, at least one number, and at least one special character.
If you need help coming up with a near-hack-proof password, try using a strong password generator.
13: Be Selective About Who Gets Admin Privileges
Giving someone admin rights is like entrusting them with the keys to your car. – It’s extremely important that you don’t give admin rights to the wrong person or you’ll end up getting stung. You should only give admin rights to site owners, business partners, and developers who work with the backend of the website.
To change user roles and permissions, you can use a plugin like User Role Editor.
14: Don’t Accidentally Block Search Engines
There is a particular WordPress setting that can impair your site’s ability to be found by search engines. If you’re ready for your site to be found by a larger audience, you’ll want to ensure that a certain box isn’t checked within your Settings.
Here’s how to find out if the box is checked in your installation: – From your WordPress dashboard, go to Settings -> Reading. Make sure that “Discourage search engines from indexing this site” is not checked.
When this selection is checked, it suppresses the site’s pagerank, telling search engines not to inspect the site’s content.
15: Use Good-Quality Hosting
Perhaps there’s something to be said in wanting to keep costs low, but using poor hosting for your WordPress site is like purchasing cheap fuel for a supercar. Your WordPress site represents your business, your brand, your portfolio, your business, cashflow, lifeblood, and image.
Poor performance and downtime reflects poorly on you and your business; and it could eventually end up costing you more money than you’re saving in the long run.
You want your hosting provider to be tailored to WordPress and to provide great service, prompt attention to their customer, and to always be at the forefront of technology. Unfortunately the majority of hosting companies these days are losing these qualities. – The reason for this is that a company known as Endurance International Group are buying up hosting companies, dismissing their experienced existing staff, and replacing them with their own staff who seriously don’t appear to have a clue about quality of service or even of how to run a hosting company.
When looking for a hosting provider, be sure that they offer services for caching, above 98% uptime, security, amazing customer support, and more. Avoid companies owned by Endurance International Group ( EIG ) at all cost: Believe me; they are useless with a capital U. – I’ve seen good quality hosts become totally incompetent after EIG’s takeover.
Click or tap here to read a constantly updated article on the matter and identifying EIG-owned hosts; which you should avoid at all costs.
SiteGround’s hosting packages, as well as WP Engine’s pricier premium WordPress hosting platform, are built and optimized for WordPress. SiteGround’s Go-Geek package includes more storage-space, and also includes a staging area.
If you’re looking to migrate to high-quality hosting, SiteGround offer free migration of an existing WordPress site, a free domain, and an exclusive caching plugin; enabling superior performance.
Personally, I; Sharron-Idol, as a >2-year-long-customer of theirs, can vouch for the fact that SiteGround provide around 99.97% uptime or more.
If you’re choosing hosting you can seriously do a lot worse than choose SiteGround.