WordPress powers more than 30% of the internet.
Since its release in 2003, WordPress has revolutionized the content management system (CMS) industry leading to a nearly 62% market share. For beginners, WordPress offers the perfect way to set up a website with minimal coding and design knowledge.
If you’re a new webmaster looking to level up your skills, here’s a closer look at seven valuable WordPress tips and tricks to make your site better.
1. Use Clean Permalinks
Permalinks are the permanent links you see whenever you access a webpage and come after the domain name. They act as the addresses for each blog post and page.
As you’re creating posts and pages on your WordPress site, permalinks are auto-generated, and you can change them. Typically, these auto-generated links aren’t as clean. It’s wise to be changing them before publishing your content.
Well-crafted permalinks are critical as they enable your visitors to understand what your page is about without them having to read the content. Additionally, clean permalinks help search engines to access your material better.
You can modify permalinks in the ‘Settings’ option on the dashboard where you’ll see a ‘Permalinks’ button. A top tip when editing permalinks is to focus most on the ‘Post Name’ option as it delivers the highest search engine optimization (SEO) value.
2. Get a High Quality and SEO-Friendly Theme
There’s a plethora of free and paid WordPress themes for you to choose from as you develop your site. Since there are many options, it’s easy to get confused. As you figure out what theme to go with, two factors should be critical – quality and SEO friendliness.
Always go for a theme that focuses on your industry. For example, if you’re running an eCommerce site, choosing a theme optimized for WordPress blogs may not be the best idea.
Before you settle on a theme, check out its live demo for a preview. That helps you better assess how the theme looks and determine if it has the quality and features useful.
Furthermore, a good theme is one that contributes to your SEO. That happens through the theme being responsive, meaning it will work great on various devices.
Being lightweight is excellent for a WordPress theme, as it means it won’t slow down your website. And a faster site can only add value to performance and SEO.
3. Keep the Plugins to a Minimum
While plugins on WordPress are necessary, you need to watch for when you have too many of them in play. To avoid plugin creep, only install those which you’ll actually use.
For example, it’s tempting to ‘collect’ a popup plugin just in case you will need it down the road. However, if you’re not actively using a popup now, you should install it.
When you have too many plugins, the extra code that’s tied to the plugins can weigh down your site, and that’s not good. Over 50% of mobile users (who are the majority traffic source at this point) tend to abandon a website if it takes more than three seconds to load. You don’t want that to be your fate.
4. Take Care of Your Redirects
Redirects can become necessary when you need to send users and search engine crawlers to a new URL. Anytime you carry out maintenance on your site, you’re changing and eliminating some things. You may alter the URL structure, delete some materials, or even migrate your site to a new domain.
Inevitably, you will need to direct users and crawlers to the new destination after making specific changes.
As long as you redirect WordPress page to another url following a plan, it won’t lead to a significant drop in your traffic. It’s when you implement redirects wrongly that your PageRank will take a significant hit.
5. Google Analytics Is a Must
Simply put, you can’t do without Google Analytics. WordPress alone does not give you adequate insight into the metrics that show how your website is performing. Without this information, you’re operating blindly.
Google Analytics helps you track how visitors interact with your website, and you need to install a plugin for it. You’ll then get access to audience, content, and behavior reports. Ecommerce reports are also available if you need them.
As long as you use a Google Analytics plugin, you’ll be able to view all the necessary data on your WordPress dashboard. That’s more convenient than having to access various dashboards and sites to check the same data out.
6. Get an SEO Plugin
Among the essential plugins you must have on WordPress is an SEO plugin. Your content alone won’t be enough to draw users to your website. SEO is a set of tools that can help you generate organic traffic to your site.
When you’re optimizing your website for SEO, a plugin becomes vital in directing your energies through data-driven feedback. For example, an SEO plugin can help analyze keywords and your content, enabling you to leverage the right approach. The plugin can also help you manage the more technical side of SEO so your website can perform better.
7. Get Your Web Hosting Right
WordPress is an open-source CMS and, as such, does not directly host websites. To aid beginner webmasters, the platform lays out a list of requirements for a good hosting provider.
There are several hosting plans, and the option you go with depends on the kind of website you plan to have. Some providers also offer WordPress specific hosting plans, and in some instances, these can be ideal as they are tuned to the platform.
Ensure you pick the right plan to avoid slow speeds, frequent downtimes, and crashes, all of which make your website unreliable.
The Right WordPress Tips and Tricks Can Catapult Your Site
When you’re starting out with a new website and have minimal coding and design knowledge, WordPress is an excellent CMS. However, unless your site stands out, you’ll drown in the noise. Look for essential WordPress tips and tricks you can use to ensure your website serves users efficiently while standing out from the crowd.
Having an outperforming WordPress website calls for continually being in the know with new tips and tips. You can look at our articles for ideas, tips, and tricks that place you on the bleeding-edge of technology and help you run your site better.