How to improve my Wordpress blog

How to improve my WordPress blog

WordPress is one of the most popular and widely-used content management systems (CMS) in the world, thanks to its ease of use, flexibility, and vast array of features and capabilities. Whether you’re a blogger, a small business owner, or a part of a larger organization, WordPress can be a powerful tool to help you create and manage your website.

However, despite its popularity and versatility, many WordPress users don’t take full advantage of its capabilities. With so many different options and settings, it can be difficult to know where to start and how to optimize your site for better performance and higher search engine rankings.

To help you make the most of your WordPress site, I’ve compiled a list of essential steps and best practices that you can follow to improve your Google rankings, website speed, and overall user experience. From choosing the right theme and plugins to optimizing your images and content, this guide will walk you through the process of creating a high-performing and professional-looking WordPress website.

So, what are the 15 tips to improve your WordPress blog?

  1. Tune your Settings in WordPress
  2. Remove unnecessary code from the WordPress header
  3. Choose your Theme Wisely
  4. Remove unnecessary WordPress files
  5. WordPress Plugins
  6. Socialize
  7. Pick a good web host (like Siteground ;-))
  8. wow factor your site
  9. WordPress SEO Tips
  10. Make Your Website Accessible
  11. Security
  12. Working smarter – Tools for Bloggers / Web designers
  13. Streamline Your Web Design Process
  14. Call to Action
  15. Start a video blog

1. Tune your Settings in WordPress

let’s start with the most obvious ones. Before you write your first post make sure you check all your settings and change some of the defaults:

  • Permalink settings: set it to “Post name”
  • General settings: If you have an SSL certificate, make sure your WordPress Address (URL) points to the https version of your website. Uncheck membership “Anyone can register”. Adjust the tagline “Just another blog…”.
  • Media settings: Disable the checkbox “Organize my uploads into month- and year-based folders” to make it more manageable for backups in the future
  • Users: Change the default WordPress username. So don’t use “Admin” as a username for security reasons.
  • Appearance / Themes and Plugins: Delete unnecessary themes and plugins to reduce risks and vulnerabilities
  • Always update WordPress and plugins to the latest version
  • Remove all dummy content that is generated by themes and plugins

2. Remove unnecessary code from the WordPress header

These optimizations can really speed up your website and make it more readable for Google. Add the following lines to your functions.php file to remove:

  • WordPress version number
  • wlwmanifest link
  • Shortlink
  • api.w.org relation link

[vc_column_text]// ****** Remove stuff from WordPress Header START **** //
function remove_stuff_version() {
return '';
}
add_filter('the_generator', 'remove_stuff_version');
remove_action('wp_head', 'rest_output_link_wp_head', 10);
remove_action('wp_head', 'wp_oembed_add_discovery_links', 10);
remove_action('template_redirect', 'rest_output_link_header', 11, 0);
remove_action ('wp_head', 'rsd_link');
remove_action( 'wp_head', 'wlwmanifest_link');
remove_action( 'wp_head', 'wp_shortlink_wp_head');
function cleanup_query_string( $src ){
$parts = explode( '?', $src );
return $parts[0];
}
add_filter( 'script_loader_src', 'cleanup_query_string', 15, 1 );
add_filter( 'style_loader_src', 'cleanup_query_string', 15, 1 );
// ******************** Remove stuff END ********************** //
[/vc_column_text]

3. Choose your Theme Wisely

There are many free and premium themes available. Whatever you choose make sure it’s:

  1. Mobile Friendly and Responsive so it fits perfectly on various displays.
  2. Search Engine Optimized. This should be a priority.
  3. Well Supported. Make sure it has a forum and a helpful community.
  4. Compatible with popular plugins like Woocommerce (if you are selling products).
  5. Multilingual ready. This is important if you want to offer your visitors a language selector.
  6. Fast. I’ve spent a lot of time optimizing the loading time of websites. It is very frustrating when you have to conclude that is is not possible because your theme is just too heavy.
  7. Possible to select your own colors and fonts to make your site unique.
  8. Capable of selecting shortcodes, custom widgets, and forms so you don’t need to install plugins for every feature you need. Too many plugins slow your website down.

4. Remove unnecessary WordPress files

There are a few WordPress files that you can erase after setup. They are not required to run any part of your site, and in one case, they reveal the WordPress version you are utilizing, which might tip hackers off to any security vulnerabilities on your site. Use an FTP program (like FileZilla) to remove the following files from your web server:

  • wp-config-sample.php
  • readme.html
  • /wp-admin/install.php

5. WordPress Plugins

Although you should only install plugins you really need, there are a few plugins you really can’t live without:

  • an SEO plugin. The most popular one is Yoast but there many more. Make sure you understand all the settings of the plugin!
  • A caching plugin to make your website faster and to reduce the load on your server. W3 Total Cache and WP Super Cache are good ones.
  • Image compression. Pictures are the ideal additions to your article that immediately grab the users’ attention. Adding graphics helps you deliver the message much better than purely the texts can. They make your page look attractive, catchy and engaging. While being so helpful to make your site more appealing to users, images also take up a lot of storage space and slow down your website. But,  here’s good news– you can compress images with a simple plugin like WP Smush.

If you need a certain functionality on your website, check if you can implement it without the use of a plugin.

6. Socialize

There are many benefits of having social sharing buttons on your web site. You can generate backlinks to your site (SEO benefits), increase Brand Exposure, provide a good experience for your visitors by making it easy for them to share your content. Many sites have fantastic content but they have unsightly social sharing icons. It is essential that your website has social share icons in a convenient area and they fit your site design. Be thoughtful of which Social networks you choose for your site. If you only have recipes on your blog, you might reconsider a LinkedIn share option.

social sharing wordpress improvements

7. Pick a good web host

The first step is to ensure your site loads quickly because speed is an essential ranking factor for Google. If your site is presently not loading very quick (even heavy pages must load in under 1.5 seconds), you can call your host and ask why your website is performing badly on their server. If they can’t give you a particular reason you can be sure that their servers are sluggish and you should change web hosts. I understand this can be painful but it is really important that you start off with a good host. This website is hosted on Siteground. It is fair priced, fast, and recommended by WordPress.[/vc_column_text]

8. wow factor your site

WoW my WordPress siteDo you still have that boring slideshow on your homepage? Stop it! Everyone’s pushing toward video. It doesn’t take a lot to make a tiny, 10 second, B-roll footage, with no sound to impress your visitors.
Sprinkle Micro-interaction on your site. Micro-interactions are events with one goal in mind: to stun the visitor and create a situation that is triggering the user to take action. Whenever you interact with a website there is a particular response to it, this is a micro-interaction. Whether it is an animated button on a mouse-over or a beeping pup up chatbot form, make it interesting to the user.

9. 50 WordPress SEO Tips

Download the PDF checklist for free

  1. Use this on page SEO checklist when creating blog posts
  2. Choose a SEO-friendly theme for your website.
  3. Use a SEO plugin like Yoast SEO or All in One SEO Pack.
  4. Optimize your permalinks and post URLs for SEO.
  5. Use keywords in your post titles and meta tags.
  6. Use alt tags for images to improve image SEO.
  7. Create a sitemap and submit it to search engines.
  8. Use internal linking to improve the navigation and SEO of your website.
  9. Use external linking to increase the credibility of your website.
  10. Use social media to promote your website and increase its visibility.
  11. Use Google Analytics to track your website traffic and performance.
  12. Use Google Search Console to monitor your website’s search engine performance.
  13. Use Google Tag Manager to manage and optimize your website’s tags.
  14. Use schema markup to improve the rich snippets of your website in search results.
  15. Use a Content Delivery Network (CDN) to improve the speed of your website.
  16. Use a caching plugin to improve the loading speed of your website.
  17. Use Gzip compression to reduce the size of your website’s pages.
  18. Optimize your website’s images and videos for faster loading.
  19. Use a mobile-friendly responsive design for your website.
  20. Use structured data to improve the search appearance of your website.
  21. Use breadcrumb navigation to improve the usability of your website.
  22. Use a robots.txt file to control the crawling of your website.
  23. Use a .htaccess file to improve the security and performance of your website.
  24. Use a security plugin to protect your website from hackers.
  25. Use a backup plugin to create regular backups of your website.
  26. Use a spam blocking plugin to protect your website from spam comments.
  27. Use a contact form plugin to make it easy for visitors to contact you.
  28. Use a commenting system that is SEO-friendly and easy to use.
  29. Use a newsletter plugin to build an email list of your website visitors.
  30. Use a SEO-friendly SEO plugin to improve the SEO of your website.
  31. Use a SEO-friendly plugin to improve the SEO of your website.
  32. Optimize your images by compressing them and using descriptive file names
  33. Use a content delivery network (CDN) to improve website speed
  34. Use a caching plugin to reduce page load time
  35. Utilize schema markup to improve search engine visibility
  36. Use 301 redirects to avoid broken links
  37. Keep your website design simple and clean
  38. Use a responsive design for optimal mobile performance
  39. Use Google Search Console to monitor and improve your website’s performance
  40. Use keyword-rich anchor text for internal linking
  41. Use social media to promote your website and generate backlinks
  42. Use structured data to help search engines understand your website’s content
  43. Use title tags and meta descriptions to improve click-through rate
  44. Use header tags (H1, H2, H3) to organize content
  45. Use keyword-rich URLs
  46. Use alt tags to describe images for search engines
  47. Use Google Analytics to track website traffic and user behavior
  48. Use rich snippets to display additional information in search results
  49. Use Google My Business to improve local search visibility
  50. Use a sitemap to help search engines understand your website’s structure

Discover long tail keywords, organize your keyword lists, import CSV files from Google Keyword Planner, write optimized web content, and plan a winning content strategy for your website using a powerful software application. Watch this video to see how it can revolutionize your SEO efforts.

10. Make Your Website Accessible

Preferably, everyone should be able to read and interact with any website on the web. It shouldn’t matter if they have a condition that affects their abilities or what hardware and software they use. This is the primary tenet behind the principle of website accessibility. The fact is that millions of users have special needs that can make it challenging and sometimes impossible for them to use certain sites. Keep this in mind while developing your website and try to implement some of these tips to make your site more accessible.

  1. Provide alternative text for images and other non-text content. This helps users with visual impairments understand what the content is.
  2. Use clear and simple language. Avoid using jargon or complex words that may be difficult for users with cognitive impairments to understand.
  3. Provide clear instructions on how to interact with forms, buttons and other interactive elements on your website.
  4. Include skip links that allow users to skip over repetitive content and go straight to the main content on your website.
  5. Use ARIA roles to help screen readers understand the purpose of different elements on your website.
  6. Provide keyboard navigation for users who cannot use a mouse.
  7. Use clear and descriptive labels for links and buttons.
  8. Test your website for accessibility using tools such as WAVE and aXe.
  9. Regularly review and update your website to ensure it remains accessible to all users.

Make Your Website Accessible

11. Security

Security is a topic of substantial significance for every single WordPress site owner. Google blacklists thousands of sites daily for malware and phishing each week.

These easy security tips help you keep your website safe:

  1. Keep WordPress updated.
  2. Use a strong user password and set the correct permissions.
  3. Use a good web host. Siteground takes extra measures to protect their web servers against common threats.
  4. Get an SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate. This makes it difficult for someone to steal information.
  5. Limit Login Attempts by a plugin to avoid brute force attacks. Login LockDown is a popular plugin.
  6. Make backups regularly. you never know…

12. Working smarter – Tools for Bloggers / Web designers

Focus on your strengths! Instead of attempting to be a guru in every topic, focus on the parts you like and do best and collaborate with other professionals who can fill the knowledge gaps efficiently and effectively. Fiverr and Upwork are great platforms to outsource tasks.

Use (free) tools that make your working life easier. This is about robotization. Tools to consider:

  • Use Grammarly to Improve your writing. It is available as a Firefox and Chrome plugin.
  • Automatically publish content on social media with the Social Media Autopublish plugin.
  • Use Google PageSpeed Insights to examine the usability and speed of your site.
  • Use a Keyword tool like Keywordtool.io to find long tail keyword opportunities.
  • Always use Google Analytics to track your progress while doing updates on your website.

13. Streamline Your Web Design Process

This is probably not your first web site and probably not the last one you will build. Streamline your process by making a document in which you record all the steps you take to make a fast, Search Engine Optimized, beautiful website. Communicate these steps with your client so they feel comfortable with you managing the project.
Ensure the client is aware of what you are accountable for and what they have to do to make the project a success.
Ask in-depth questions prior to developing the web site (have a web design client questionnaire). This minimizes the amount of interaction needed so you can develop the site at your own pace.

14. Call to Action

A call-to-action (CTA) is a guideline for the visitors to get an instant response, usually using a verb like “learn more” or “buy now”. The key to an effective call-to-action is to present customers with engaging factors to act immediately instead of delaying the action. A CTA can be an easy non-demanding request like “pick a color” or a much more demanding call like “Buy now before the offer ends”. Think about what you want your visitors to do when they are on your website.

15. Start a video blog

YouTube is considered to be the second-largest online search engine. People put billions of searches on YouTube each month. 100 hours of video are submitted every minute. It’s larger than Ask, Bing, Yahoo!, and AOL altogether. So if you have trouble ranking on Google you might want to make a video with the same keywords you use for your article. After that, embed your video into your blog post.


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