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 of the best 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 Making a Website. If your website is already up, these four simple 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 if you want to schedule posts ahead of time it’s good for the posts to be in your timezone. Otherwise you’ll risk publishing your blog post at the wrong time, which can lead to embarrassing results!
You can change your timezone by going to your WordPress Dashboard:
- Click on Settings (it’ll be one of the options towards the bottom.)
- Next, click on General.
- 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.
- Remember to save your changes at the bottom of the page.
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.) I don’t know about you, but I don’t have thousands of friends 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 your WordPress dashboard:
- 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.
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 in your WordPress Dashboard
- Go to Settings.
- Then go to Discussion.
- Below are the settings I use for this website. You can change your settings to automatically approve comments from users who have already left you comments, to make things easier.
4. Change your permalinks
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.
In your Dashboard
- Go to your Settings
- 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 Best WordPress Tips For New Website Owners, my site link will automatically be http://www.stylishink.com/best-wordpress-tips-for-new-website-owners/.
5. Update Your Website
This should have probably been the first tip! But you should ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS keep your WordPress website updated! You see those little numbers at the top next to the little circle? Yeah, that means you have updates to install to your WordPress. Whether it be WP specific updates, plugin updates, theme updates, if it tells you to update don’t just leave it there! It only takes a minute to click a button and update, and it will prevent your website from being hacked.
Not to mention if you’re running a store such as WooCommerce and you don’t keep your plugin updated you could be missing out on a lot of customer orders.
Best WordPress Tips
I hope these simple WordPress tips have been useful for you. If you are a WordPress veteran, you probably already know these tips. If you need help with the settings mentioned above or any other WordPress settings, please leave a comment. And if you have any essential WordPress tips for new users please share them with us!