WordPress is a blogging platform that is loved by many due to its numerous customization options and sleek interface that resembles a professionally-made website. So, you’ve made the decision to jump on the WordPress bandwagon, but are confused about where to start. This post will discuss three tips that you can use as a beginner to build your first WordPress site from the foundation up.
1. Add a Theme Easily
A theme spruces up your WordPress site while announcing to the world your essence and unique individuality. Adding a theme is simple if you know where to start. First, a theme is basically a collaboration of the different colors, sidebars and fonts you will choose for your site. It helps to know a bit of CSS which will help you make changes to your themes later on. If you don’t, that’s not a problem, because you can download a theme and install it. After downloading your theme of choice, unzip it and upload it into the themes folder. Themes are stored in the Appearance section of your sidebar, which is found on your dashboard. Themes are free and number in the thousands. If you want to use a paid theme, check out choices such as Genesis and Thesis, which are easy to customize and use.
2. Clean Out Your Sidebar
Your typical sidebar tends to be stuffed with all sorts of media and debris that may make the site look cluttered and disorganized. You probably won’t even notice all these attributes adding up until one fateful day when you’re browsing through your WordPress site and it’ll resemble one of those loud, spammy sites. You can start by paring down your sidebar to support only the barest essentials. Here are the sidebar staples you should aim to have:
A share button to help your readers share your content via their social media circles
- A sign-up box for your mailing list
- Links to your recent posts
- Links to your social media profiles
The idea here is to provide just the right amount of widgets to ensure interaction without confusing your readers with an explosion of things.
3. Clean Up Permalinks
These are what Google uses to find your content and rank your site. If you don’t spend some time to work on your permalinks, you could be missing out on a huge opportunity to attract more traffic to your site. Keep your post descriptions short and to the point, and eliminate keywords that have no impact on search engine optimization. One way in which you can do this is to test out a couple of keywords using the Google AdWords tool to give you an idea of words that are being used most in people’s search terms. This acts as a signpost that Google bots will use to direct the correct traffic to your site.
There are numerous other tips you can use instantly; some include posting content that is relevant to your blog’s main subject, scheduling posts to go up at a particular time and editing images to acceptable sizes to help your site load faster. The idea here is to learn as you go along so that you don’t get overwhelmed with all the information and tutorials coming your way. Have fun with these tips, and feel free to tweak them to find out what works for you.
Erik Gaandt is a PHP programmer and WordPress enthusiast. He understands the importance web hosting has on a sites search engine rank. He enjoys sharing his insights on various blogs. Read more about webhosting reviews.