There are currently over 60 million websites running on the WordPress platform worldwide. Most web designers prefer this platform for its ease of use to their clients. In fact, the software is so easy to use that you don’t even need a designer to get started. Here are a few WordPress tips to get your site running with optimal results.
I am going to assume that by now your WordPress website is set up and you have gone through most of the basic settings. If you have not set up your website yet please check out my previous post How to Start a Website. If your website is already up, these four WordPress tips will be very useful if you set them up properly.
1. Set your website to your local time zone
By default, WordPress is set up to the London, UK time zone. Some people might not care much about this, but for me I like to schedule posts ahead of time. Therefore, I need my articles to post in my time zone.
You can change this by going to your WordPress Dashboard. Click on Settings, then click on General. Next, click on the dropdown menu for time zones. Initially you will see all the UTC times. If you don’t know what yours is, keep scrolling and you will find a list of countries and cities. Select the city closest to you. I live in Florida and the closest city listed in my time zone is New York. Therefore my time zone is set to New York.
2. Check search engine visibility
The ultimate goal of every website is to gain traffic. (Unless you just want to be cool and have a website just to have one. Yes, people do that.) I don’t know about you, but I don’t have thousands of followers (yet) for me to be telling them to come to my website daily.
You eventually want to be found through the search engines. Make sure that you are not blocking them from coming to your site! To check on this setting go to Settings, then click on Reading. At the bottom of this page you will see Search Engine Visibility. Make sure that Discourage search engines from indexing this site is not checked.
You may be wondering why WordPress even gives you the ability to block search engine access to your site. I design a lot of websites and put them online on a development site to show my clients the progress. I don’t want my development sites indexed by search engines
3. Moderate your comments
Once people start finding your website, you’ll start receiving comments. Unfortunately this also means that spammers will try to leave comments on your site. You should install a comment spam plugin. I use the free plugin Anti-Spam for all my sites. However, there will be some spam comments that still go through every once in a while. For this reason you should moderate your comments. This stops all comments from showing up on your website until you approve them. This also prevents the internet trolls from leaving derogatory or disrespectful comments.
You can modify your comment settings by going to Settings, then Discussion. Here are the settings I use for this website.
4. Change your permalinks
Last but not least on my list of of WordPress tips is to change your permalinks. Permalinks are the links you will use to access pages on your website. The WordPress default for these links is something like: http://www.yourwebsite.com/?p=123. This is not ideal for search engines, and doesn’t look very appealing to people either.
Go to your Settings and then select Permalinks. I have mine set up to Post Name. This way the name of my posts becomes the website address or URL for them as well. So for a post named WordPress Tips For New Website Owners, my site link will automatically be http://www.stylishink.com/wordpress-tips-for-new-website-owners/.
I hope these WordPress tips have been useful for you. If you need help with the settings mentioned above or any other WordPress settings, feel free to leave a comment. And if you have any essential WordPress tips for new users please share that as well.