If you are in the midst of learning WordPress development, chances are you have been inundated with information. While building a website can be very exciting, there is a lot to learn in a short amount of time. That’s why we’ve taken the time to lay out 8 tips to help you get started.
1. Change the Title Settings & Reading Settings
When you first setup your WordPress site, you will want to take a look at the title settings. This includes the timezone and taglines on your page. Changing these will help you organise your posts for both you and your readers. The time zone setting will help you schedule your posts as well. Taglines will give your readers a sense of what the site’s about.
The reading settings will help differentiate the post page from the front page – if that’s something you want to do. It’ll also help you organise where the latest posts will be shown, which is helpful to anyone coming through your site.
2. Secure Your Site
The number one thing that concerns WordPress users is security.
Hackers target poorly secured WordPress sites to nest viruses, so staying secure is important. Some simple tips to get secure is to continuously update your site and themes. Be sure to delete plugins you aren’t using too.
When it comes to plugins and security, a simple tip is don’t use so many! Not only do numerous plugins slow down your site, they allow hackers various ways into your site. Free plugins are also a no-go. By setting automatic updates for your core site, plugins, and themes, you can avoid a lot of headaches when it comes to security.
3. Learn About SEO
As you are learning about WordPress development, SEO will come up more and more.
SEO, or search engine optimisation, is basically what any site at the top of a Google search uses to get to the top of the list. Keywords, relevant search terms, and other important factors play into having good SEO, so be sure to read up on the subject.
4. Find the Right Theme
Part of learning WordPress development involves the themes of your site.
Choosing your theme is important since it adds as much to your site identity as your content. There are many themes to choose from, but going simple is usually best.
Once you’ve chosen your theme, feel free to discard the unused themes. These will only take up space, which will slow down your site. And you probably won’t use them anyway, so why keep them around?
5. Shorten Your Permalinks
One of the best things you can do to enhance your site as you are learning WordPress development is to shorten your permalinks. Long permalinks are clunky and difficult to remember. By shortening them to something more digestible, you can create a much simpler site to read and navigate. You’ll also make it easier for your visitors to share the site page if the permalink is shorter.
6. Name Your Images
If your aim is to get onto Google’s radar, and you want to use images to help your chances, those images will need a better name than DSC5554789328.jpg. Instead of using whatever file name your camera gave to that photo, describe – shortly and sweetly – what the photo is. This makes it much more likely to pop up into Google’s view.
7. Don’t Cheat Google – It Knows
This is the “bad SEO” part we mentioned earlier. There are certain blackhat techniques and bad SEO tactics that Google doesn’t like. Keyword stuffing, for example, is one such tactic. That’s where you take whatever you want to be seen at the top of the page in Google and aggressively stuff it onto a page. Google knows that you’re doing this – no matter how sneaky you think you’re being.
8. Keep Your Site Running Quickly
Having a fast running site is important to your visitors. Using plugins like W3 Total Cache makes sites load a lot faster by taking the load off of your server. Faster load times = happier visitors.
9. Make Your Site Your Own
The most important thing you can remember when learning WordPress development is to make the site your own. This can be done by using many of the great plugins offered through WordPress, and by simply experimenting with your site to see what works best for you. By following the tips above, your site is sure to take flight in no time.