WordPress can be tricky to use for beginners of the platform. You have to install the software, properly configure the site, and create content, just to start. In reality, the list goes on and on. If you’re a beginner, it’s easy to get overwhelmed with the amount of tasks you have to do to get your website looking as good, if not better than, your competitors’. Our advice: don’t succumb to the overwhelm. Even more important, as a beginner, don’t compare your WordPress site to sites that have already seen their fair share of hiccups and growing pains.
As a beginner, this is your opportunity to learn from the experts, and avoid the mistakes they made with their own sites. Don’t try to start where you aren’t; instead take notes from some of the most successful experts on WordPress this side of the web. In time, you’ll become a WordPress master!
If you want to learn more about blogging, check out this post for more information.
Are you ready for some free advice? Here are our top 20 WordPress tips for industry experts.
1. Kevin Muldoon, blogger and affiliate marketer
“Use a fast WordPress theme.
A design that has been coded badly, or uses images throughout the design, will add unnecessary weight to your page. Choose a design that has been optimized for desktops, tablets and mobile devices.”
2. Jeff Bullas, blogger, author, and strategist
“Thou shalt not install too many plugins.
As a WordPress beginner you may get super-excited to see the vast number of plugins available to help your website, to the extent that you end up installing a lot of them. A big mistake! Some are incompatible (and not to forget crappy too!), and having too many of them may decrease your site speed. So install only those plugins that you feel are absolutely necessary.”
3. Mark Forrester, professional blogger
“While there’s plenty more you can do (such as formatting your content, adding images, setting categories and tags, and so on), don’t feel like you have to do anything other than write and publish at this stage — there’ll be plenty of time to dive into how you can beautify your posts later.”
4. Tina Courtney-Brown, internet marketer, staff writer, and game designer
“The default URL structure in WordPress is ?p=123 – and this is simply not beneficial for SEO. To change it, click Settings, then Permalinks. The best option is by post name, or /sample-post/.”
5. Joost de Valk, owner of Joost.com, WordPress/web developer
“The only well written description is a handwritten one. If you’re thinking of auto generating the meta description, you might as well not do anything and let the search engine control the snippet.
Make sure it entices the reader to click through and make sure that it contains the focus keyword of your post or page at least once.”
6. Pauline Cabrera, digital strategist and web designer
“These three [plugins] (Related Posts, Popular Posts, and Latest Posts) help in keeping your blog site as organized as possible as it can help readers get to know what’s the latest, what’s trending and other posts related to what they are reading, further increasing traffic and subtly giving readers more reasons to stay.”
“Keep it simple. Yes, one of the best parts about WordPress is the huge selection of widgets to you can choose from when you create a page. However, don’t get too overexcited by the widgets when designing your site and add them all to your page.”
8. Adam Dince, director of earned media for e-business
“If your blog contributors have websites, ask them to link to your blog, or at least their author page on your blog.”
“WordPress, theme and plugin updates include new features and bug fixes. Bug fixes are important and if they are related to security, they are essential. Always run the latest versions. It only takes a few clicks.”
“Schedule your blog posts.
Starting and maintaining a new blog can be a daunting task, particularly when you don’t have much time. An easy tip for time management, is to set yourself an allotted amount of time each week, write your posts and schedule at the same time each week.”
“Be as concise as possible. A reader would rather read a shorter article that gets to the point then a long-winded epic. That being said, if you’ve written a 1,000 word masterpiece stuffed with fascinating, completely relevant and helpful content, where you’ve been as tightly controlled and clear with your prose as possible, search engines will prefer this to one that’s half the length on the same subject.”
“Breadcrumbs can help search engine spiders crawl your site and understand its architecture. So there’s a technical reason for breadcrumbs.”
“If you’re writing to educate, be it to share a personal anecdote or offer hard-won advice, it’s good to ask yourself: What’s the most important thing I want my reader to remember from reading this post? Crafting the answer into a post title automatically reinforces your most important point for the reader, making sure your message not only gets heard, but remembered.”
14. Simone Mccallum, social media and blogger
“Keep posting – don’t be discouraged if you feel like no-one reads your posts. Not everything will be wildly popular! The only way to write a really good post is to write one.
“Don’t waste your time going after highly competitive keywords with on-site optimization because you won’t be able to nab them.
So, how do you know if a keyword or keyphrase is competitive?
Take one of the phrases you found while conducting keyword research, type it into Google search using quotations (ex. “how to install Thesis Theme Framework”), and then look at the number that appears below the search box.”
“Chat plugins allow you to build an amazing live chatting system in just minutes. Supporting features like user lists, private chat, avatars, chat rooms, word filtering and so much more, there’s really not much these plugins don’t allow for.”
“Declutter your social sharing buttons.
Displaying every single sharing button, though, can be visually distracting, and giving readers too many choices might make it less likely they share your posts. Think strategically about the buttons’ lineup.”
Join and participate in the WordPress community.
“The WordPress community almost seems designed to be welcoming for beginners. And whilst some communities have achieved a degree of notoriety for drama and infighting, the WordPress community seems to be a rather placid bunch of people, cooperating for a common good.”
“In WordPress, Pages are different from Posts. While Posts are automatically listed on your blog,
You’ll want to have at least the following pages created so your visitors can learn about your blog:
“Understand where your site is hosted.
If you are a newbie on WordPress, I would suggest that you should check where you are hosting. You should have physical control over systems and networks which means a good backup plan. Take backups on a routine basis.”
We hope you learned a lot from these extraordinary WordPress experts. Do you have any tips for those just getting in the grove of using WordPress? Let us know in the comments section below!