Now, that you have started working with WordPress, do not get overwhelmed (as most of you do!). Just remember that you have made a wise and an intelligent decision. We are going to help you make your decision even wiser.
There are some very powerful tools at your disposal. They will enable you to communicate with the world. But since you are a fresher, you might not know how to use them. Here is a list of the top 10 WordPress tips and tricks for beginners:
To be simple, permalinks refer to URLs to go to your blog posts. These are extremely important! Precisely speaking, these permalinks will show how conveniently your posts show up in the search engines.
How do you set them?
You can set them up under the WordPress settings. You will see that your URL appears with a number. That is just not required! Thus, next you choose Custom structure and type /%postname%.html. That is it! Now, your permalink consists of your post name which can be easily searched for on Google, Yahoo and Bing.
How to create an intelligent URL?
Also, remember not to use too many keywords in your URL. Make a smart use of words by eliminating any unnecessary ones. Make sure that when you finalize a permalink, it is pleasant enough for a human being.
For a better understanding, take this as an example:
WordPress themes make your blogs attractive. They are the tools intended at making the customization of your blog easy no matter what you do. Therefore, give ample time pondering over it.
WordPress has a variety of default themes from which every other blogger chooses. You can choose from them, too. But that makes your blog just the same as those by others and I am sure that you do not want this. Right?
I, personally, would recommend you not to select from them. Get your own very unique, premium theme and get a different look to your blog. This will, definately, make your work catchy.
Themes are important elements and are an indication of one’s tastes and the content of the blog. Hence, it should always be in accordance to your blog’s niche.
You can always change your blog theme. It is not a lifetime commitment. However, if you are paying for a certain theme, even a single penny, then ensure that it is worth it.
3. Targeted Titles and Descriptions
When you use social networking websites such as Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn to share your posts and pages, they will require a title and description for what you are posting. Once posted, these services will pick up on these titles and descriptions. This will, then, go with the link that you have shared.
Now, when people search for something and your post appears (it will appear with the title and the description you have given), the title and the description will decide, for that person, whether to click on your post or not. For this purpose, your title and description play an eminent role.
Remember that page titles are an important element of the search engines and the descriptions are primarily aimed at the readers. Thus, design them in such a way that they are strong enough to encourage clicks.
Note: get a grip over what encourages clicks! For this, you need to make use of SEO optimization software namely, Scribe. This will prove to be a helping hand when editing titles and descriptions.
4. The Kitchen Sink Button and The Screen Options Tab
Since you are working here for the first time, you might not know about everything that appears on your WordPress page. Do not worry. We are here to help you.
You can notice a small ‘kitchen sink’ button on your WordPress editor. You click on it and a new row opens up at the bottom. This bottom row consists of an extra formatting and importing options. Use them to format your posts.
Next, you might have seen a tiny ‘Screen Options’ tab on almost every page in your WordPress administration. Clicking on it will enable you to turn on or turn off the elements that you want to use or those that you do not, respectively. This option will be seen on all the pages, but will vary from page to page. Also, it will depend on the plugins you have installed.
WordPress has plugins that can do pretty much everything and this makes WordPress simply amazing. But do not just start downloading ALL the plugins. For now, just install the essential ones i.e. the basic ones.
You can get Akismet and Google XML Sitemaps installed. The former already exists, but you need to get it activated. For this, you will need a Akismet key. This is aimed at reducing spams to its minimum. The latter is important, too. It is for the SEO which enables the search engines to find your blogs easily.
6. Sticky Posts
If you want some of your blog posts to be on top of all the posts, you can have it done on the spot. The date of the article would not matter anymore.
How to make posts sticky?
On your ‘Edit Posts’ page, you can see a ‘Visibility’ section. Click the ‘Edit’ link and then tick the ‘Stick this post to the front page’. Click ‘OK’ and you are done!
There is another way to do this as well:
Posts >> All posts >> Quick Edit
Next, tick ‘Make this post sticky’ and click ‘Next’ afterwards. You can have a sticky post.
7. Browser Cache
At times, you may make some changes to your website, but you may not be able to see them. Do not panic! You only need to clear your browser cache and you will get this problem solved.
In order to clear it, you have to press the SHIFT key and hold onto it while you click the ‘refresh’ button in your browser. Your browser cache is cleared and you can see the changes you made to your site.
8. Footer Area
At the bottom of your WordPress site, you can notice a footer area. It is very rare that people notice it, but it plays an important part in keeping your readers and visitors engaged.
This sometimes-forgotten-footer area allows you to add information about the owner of the website, any copyright message or maybe a link to some page. You can use premium themes to expand this area and then, you can give more information via this. You can add on a short biography or an opt-in to your email list, etc..
Remember that some people actually scroll down to have a glance of all such information and if your are really interested in getting people to visit your site more frequently, then you should make full use of this section.
You need to secure your passwords properly no matter whether you are a self hosted WordPress user or a free WordPress blogger. If your WordPress site is secured, you will find that your mind will be relaxed and at peace. That way, you will be able to focus on your aims: writing for your blogs and keeping the readers engaged. Hence, do not take this tip lightly!
You must have heard this: “If you cannot measure it then you cannot manage it.”
Track your visitors to improve your site. You can do it by using Jetpack stats and Google Analytics. The former is available only to free WordPress blog users. However, the self hosted WordPress users can benefit from the former as well as get the latter installed for further advantages. Google Analytics will also allow you to filter out your own visits which is indeed a must.
There must many things lacking in this article. We have tried our best to help the WordPress beginners. If you want to know anything that is not mentioned above, please leave a comment.