wordpress tips for beginnersAccording to W3Techs nearly 28% of all websites online use WordPress including The New Yorker, BBC America and Variety. The pros of using WordPress include the fact that it’s free, user-friendly and extremely versatile. A large array of available themes means that you can use it to create any website you like whether it be a blog, corporate or E-commerce site. Here are a few WordPress tips for beginners to help you get started on your first site.

1. Use A SEO Plug-In

If you’re new to setting up WordPress and not familiar with SEO you may want to use a plug-in like Yoast SEO or All In One SEO Pack in order to optimize your site. These plug-ins make it easy to update title tags and meta descriptions without having to alter any html code. Having this meta data in place is essential if you ultimately want organic search traffic. SEO Yoast will also automatically create a XML file which will notify Google every time you create or modify a page. This will increase the chances of your site getting crawled.

2. Pick A Host With One-Click WordPress Installation

WordPress installation was a bit of a fuss around a decade ago. Files had to be uploaded manually via FTP plus you also had to set file permissions and create a SQL database. WordPress installation couldn’t be simpler nowadays thanks to numerous WordPress web hosting services with one-click installation such as HostGator and Bluehost. It literally takes just a click in order to install and set up your website right away.

3. Choose Your Theme Carefully

Think carefully before you choose a WorPress theme. Themes with WYSIWYG interfaces and drag and drop builders such as Visual Composer are often recommended for newcomers or even seasoned site owners who want a fancy looking design without having to edit code. Unfortunately they leave behind messy shortcode which can make it difficult and time consuming if you wanted to switch to a new theme without Visual Composer. You would need to clean up the shortcodes throughout your site in order to get things working properly.

4. Optimize Your Permalinks

Make it easier for Google and humans to understand what each page is about by crafting relevant keywords and phrases for your permalinks. This setting can be adjusted in the left hand side bar under “settings” and “permalinks”. Set it to “post name” in order to customize the url for every page and post.

Avoid stuffing your permalinks with keywords and make sure that it’s readable for human beings.

5. Check Your Website Speed

A study from Umass Amherst shows that visitors are willing to wait just two seconds for a page to load before closing their browser. Pick a fast host with reliable uptimes in order to minimize slow speeds and outages. You can increase your site’s speed further by compressing large images and using cache and minifying plug-ins. Use Google’s PageSpeed Tools in order to check your speed and find out ways to make your site faster.

6. Back Up Your Files

Backing up your WordPress files is essential in case of a server crash. Having your files in order will also make it easier to change hosts in case you have to do so last minute. The easiest way to back up your file is by using a free plug in such as BackUpWordPress. Many WordPress hosting services will also back up your files for free.

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