Whenever I do a workshop on WordPress, I see the little flashes, the light bulbs that turn on when someone finally “gets it.” And it isn’t always something earth-shattering. Often it’s that tiny problem that’s been bugging you forever. You know—the one that when you solve it, life becomes a little easier.
Here 24 tips and shortcuts that might eliminate some of those bumpy spots in the road:
- When you do a return in a post or page, you always get a double space. If you want it single, simply press <shift> <return> on your keyboard.
- Creating a powerful password for your admin login is the first step in making your site more secure. The second is to change that password monthly.
- To get your readers to click through to your full post, stop it at exactly the spot where they will be most curious to read the next sentence. Every post has such a spot (or it should). To take advantage, stop the post there and insert the “read more” tag.
- If you have unused plugins or themes installed, and have not activated, delete them. This greatly beefs up site security.
- If you are looking for a WordPress developer to create your site, your first question should be: “Do you know php?” If they claim to be a developer (not a designer), but their answer is no, run!
- Don’t use a widget because it’s cool and shiny. Use it because it is useful to your reader.
- Whether it’s your WordPress blog or website, make sure that people are able to contact you. Don’t hide your contact info in size two font in the footer of the page. Make a separate, highly visible contact page.
- Remember, it’s WordPress. Capital W, capital P, no space between. If you land on a site and they call themselves a WordPress expert, but spell the name wrong, beware.
- When inserting a photo into your post or page, don’t forget the alt (alternate) tag. This is what Google looks for when it’s indexing images on the web and the big G doesn’t like a site with alt tags missing.
- If you have chosen to block search engines in your privacy setting during the construction of your blog or website, remember to turn it back on when you go live. Because that little sucker blocks them good.
- Keeping your plugins up-to-date is just as important as keeping your WordPress version up-to-date.
- Do you want to change your homepage to a static page rather than your blog? Can’t figure out what to do? Create a page for your homepage and one for your blog. Then go to settings >reading and change the settings on the “front page displays.”
- If you are self-hosted, back up your database and all your files regularly. Hear that? Back up, back up!
- Think about the theme you choose for your blog or website. Does it meet all your needs? Does it allow your site to grow as your business grows? Because if you decide to switch themes down the road, chances are it’s not a simple one-click process.
- If you fly off the handle or rant in a blog post, remember, the moment you hit that publish button, it appears on the web and to your RSS subscribers. If you are angry when you write a post, it’s always best to save it as a draft and revisit it later for one last look.
- Use a photo to provoke emotions in your blog post. Not only will you attract more readers, but they will remember your content longer.
- If you have only one row of tools when you are creating a page or post, simply click on the far right button, “show kitchen sink,” and you will get a whole second row of tools.
- If you are still using the default “admin” for your user name, it’s time to get rid of it. Create a new one, then delete the old one, assigning all posts and pages to your new user name. Otherwise you are giving hackers 50% of your login info.
- If you cannot find an option on your edit post or page window, check the tab “screen options” in the upper right corner. That feature may be hidden.
- To expand your editor window, grab the lower right, ridged corner and drag it.
- Be careful when you underline text. Readers still have a habit of thinking any underlined text is a link.
- Remember to turn off your comments on static pages. No one wants to comment on your about or contact page.
- Remove or replace the default blog tagline under your general settings. Otherwise, people will see that generic message that says, “Just Another WordPress Site.”
- And lastly, don’t be taken in by over-promises. Like most worthwhile things, WordPress has a learning curve.
Excellent tips! I have been using WordPress for a few years and I did not know tip #1. I’m so embarrassed to confess that, but thank you! This is awesome for new users and…well…me. 😀
Hey Candra, thanks, and when I first started using WordPress I got around this my going into the html tab and deleting the space… I confess, I used it for sometime as well before learning that trick!
A nice article Bob, All the points are important to follow. Thanks
Thanks, and you are very welcome!
Wonderful Tips Bob! Liked it ….. Even I wasn’t aware about some of the points in it till now 😀 Thank you 😉
With WordPress, like so many things, it’s a constant learning experience. : )
Great article, Bob. There’s a lot of information to keep in mind here.
Hey Matt, thanks a lot… yeah, it’ all those little things!
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To avoid thousands of spam comments linking back to low quality sites, Go To Settings > Discussion and check the box next to ‘Before a comment appears’ An administrator must always approve the comment.
If you don’t do this, you’ll find thousands of automated spam links appearing on your site which link back to low quality spam sites.
This can do permanent damage to your domain authority
The argument has also been made that when comments have to be approved, it alienates the community. (Scott Stratten talked about this at length during one of his past BlogWorld sessions.) People like instant gratification. I think there are valid points to be made for both practices. I guess it depends on how fast you can moderate comments and how much spam you’re getting.
I’m with Allison on this one.. and often teach that same thing in my blogging workshops. If you have a good spam plugin activated, like Akismet or G.A.S.P. that will take care of lot of the spam. And with the latter there is a lot of control there.
Also, studies have shown you can lose up to 50% of your commenters when moderating. And there is nothing worse than someone who moderates their blog and takes there sweet time approving them. It’s very frustrating for a reader to spend time coming up with a thoughtful comment only to see that it’s being moderated. And as Allison said, instant gratification… people are looking for that and get frustrated easily.
Now I know there are instances where moderation is a must. For example, I had a client who ran a non-profit for abused women and children, and they had a blog. Made total sense. And if you HAVE TO MODERATE, I would experiment with the setting that moderations a readers first comment, then after that they are no longer moderated from that same person.
Thank you so much for this article! This is really interesting!
Glad to hear you found it useful.
excellent tips, but Id like to read more about security with WP
For security tips, and even help, I recommend both secure.net and wpsecuritylock.com. They both not only have great blogs but keep you up on things happening in the world of WordPress and security.
Also, I have a online class that expands a bit more into security in Jan. if you are interested.
Very informative and important tutorial for the WordPress user. Thanks for sharing 😀
Very usefull tips. Thanks for sharing.
This is a great post. I will have to share these tips with my clients. Thanks for sharing. 🙂
We create WordPress websites for clients; there are so many useful things to learn in your 24 tips above. Thank you for the great share! Such tips and tricks make our work faster for sure!
I regularly post on blogs across a range of topics, especially as a freelance writer, I did actually learn a few new things. Thanks for the tips.
I would also recommend those who are interested in marketing, read this article it really does contain alot of useful information: http://www.stickycontent.com/blog/measuring-the-value-of-successful-content.php
What is the best plug-ins for backing up from wordpress?
For example, I used WP-Backup but I couldn`t download my wordpress backup file !!!!
Hi Alireza, actually I use the premium plugin backup buddy as I have found it’s much more stable and reliable.
There are several other options for free backup plugins, and I just came across this post today that might be helpful for you: http://wpmu.org/free-wordpress-backup-plugins/
Thanks for this helpful link.
But I have another question:
Can you help me to find good free plugin for showing “About Author” box?
I use this one… http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/author-box-2/
Great tips, especially for those just starting to blog. I’ll be sure to direct my coaching clients to this post.
We just started our music production blog and your tips were really helpful!! Thanks for sharing!!
Good luck with your new blog!
I really like #1 because it solve a familiar problem i come across quite often. Great tips and thanks for sharing!
Yeah, that one drives a lot of people nuts. And when you figure it out, one of those AH-HA moments 🙂 Glad you enjoyed the tips!
I sure did! Thanks again.
I must confess, these are great tips for a better WordPress usage. I like the part of writing WordPress with “W” and “P” noted…
Thanks for sharing.
I am also using WordPress for my site and i really surprised by some of your tips and find what i am doing wrong in my site.
This is a great post. Going to share these tips with my friends. Thanks again and keep it up Bob.