If you’re wondering how to start a blog, look no further than the most popular publishing platform on the market, WordPress. With more market share than all other content management systems combined, there is no question which CMS is best for bloggers both new and seasoned. The reason why 27% of the internet is powered by WordPress, is because it has the simplicity to support blogging for beginners and the capacity to run massive corporate sites.
At all levels, WordPress offers an extremely user-friendly platform for content creation. For those looking to generate a professional and high functioning website, WordPress offers a variety of themes, plugins and features to achieve any visualization or function you desire for your site to have. On the same hand, templates can enable WP rookies to simply input their data and/or drag and drop content to create attractive, user-friendly and high performing blogs.
If you’re a beginner and want to know how to blog, outlined below are the Ten Commandments for WordPress blogging basics for beginners.
1. Thou Shalt Have A Great About Us Page
As much as it’s important to outline what your blog is about, visitors also want to know about the creator. It doesn’t matter who you are, the “About Us” page is important as it helps differentiate your blog from those that cover similar topics. It helps them to not only connect with your page but also you. Your “About Us” page should be unique, informative and genuine because it’s one of the first pages a new visitor will click on.
2. Thou Shalt Change Your Admin Account
After successfully installing your WordPress blog, go to the Admin Account and rename it. A mistake that beginners often make is failing to rename the default Admin name which makes a site an easy hacking target. It’s important to rename the username and ensure that it’s different from the display name of your account.
3. Thou Shalt Have Only Necessary Categories
One of the main WordPress basics that you should keep in mind is that your site shouldn’t have numerous categories. Only have a few categories that are relevant to your page. Extra categories may confuse or repel visitors. Having unnecessary data on your site will also create more information for browsers to scan when loading your site. Slow load speeds are also another major red flag for internet users that can quickly lose your blog potential loyal followers.
4. Thou Shalt Only Download Themes From Verified Sources
There is a wide range of websites that offer WordPress themes. Premium themes offer the highest level of autonomy and customization. However, many free themes or free versions of premium themes still offer premium quality designs and overall functionality. It’s important to choose themes that are dependable and regularly updated to suite the most recent versions of the necessary plugins that all WP sites utilize. Some of the reputable sites that you can download premium themes include WP Explorer, WooThemes, and ThemeForest among others.
5. Thou Shalt Avoid Installing Many Plugins
If you are learning how to blog, one of the few and interesting features that you may come across are plugins. Plugins give you the capability to add functions and features to your WordPress site as if you were a professional developer. However, don’t get overexcited with them and install multiple unnecessary plugins. Only choose plugins that are compatible with your site and theme. Extra plugins will quickly slow down your site and generate a bulky admin panel that will be harder to navigate.
6. Thou Shalt Avoid Overcrowding The Sidebar
If you are learning how to blog, it’s important to know that your sidebar should be well organized and spacious. It shouldn’t be overcrowded with social media posts, adverts, contacts and testimonials. The sidebar should clearly outline the vital aspects of your page. It should be junk-free and have links that only direct users to relevant information.
The default permalink that is displayed on the URL when a person is reading your blog makes it difficult for search bots and readers to determine which post is being referenced by the URL. The default permalink usually ends with – “=123” and this doesn’t help to create distinction when it comes to posts. You can change the permalink structure by going to settings which is found on the dashboard and then the permalinks section. There are about six options and you can select the option that suits your posts.
8. Thou Shalt Ensure Your Site Is Updated
This is among the top WordPress basics that few people ignore. A lot of users usually think that after they have installed the software, that’s it. However, WordPress usually upgrades the software including the plugins and themes constantly. Each upgraded version has improved features as well as functionality. WordPress allows for updates to ensure that it continues to stay atop the cutting-edge of publishing platforms and web design. Always ensure that the WordPress site you are using is the latest version. You can check the version of your current site by scrolling down to the bottom of the page. Note that if there is a new update, there will be a clear prompt ushering you to do so.
9. Thou Shalt Back Up Your Site
One of the common blogging basics that most people tend to ignore is creating a backup of their site. When you set up a WordPress blog and especially if its SEO oriented, it’s necessary that you back it up. This should be one of your top priorities during the installation process. Note that you cannot fully rely on your site’s hosting company for complete backups. There is a wide range of plugins that can assist you in establishing a successful back up version of your site.
10. Thou Shalt Have a “Contact Us” Page
It’s important for readers to be able to get in contact with you if they have any suggestions, opinions, questions etc. Building a brand requires a certain level of engagement with your audience. One of WordPress blog basics is to ensure that you have a “Contact Us” page. This helps to help you to build a personal connection and generates loyal subscribers. The Contact Me page could have an email address, your phone number, social media profiles, a contact form and a subscribe function to gather an email list and generate as many points of contact with your viewers as possible.
Don’t play the guess and check game and miss out on significant viewership when you launch. Hit the ground running by following these essentials of blogging on WordPress.