Are you new to WordPress? If so, WordPress tips for beginners is right up your street.
I’ll be honest this was a tough one for me this week, I think mainly due to my technical background. When I start using something new like, recently for me, SocialBee I have an idea of how software should work. Or how I would make it work.
So I feel like I had a bit of a leg up when I started using WordPress. Like I missed the ‘beginner’ stage, but I still want to help any rookies out there. I know not everyone reading this will be brand new to WordPress but there still might be a few things on this list that you’ve not thought about.
So I’m going to kick off with my own WordPress tips for beginners, then share a few from some other bloggers.
Don’t be scared of it
My first tip would be don’t be scared of it. There is very little real damage you can do via the WordPress dashboard especially if you take regular backups (this is a tip that comes later from my fab virtual assistant Kelly).
Don’t spend hours banging your head against a brick wall
Some people just don’t get the tech side of things – and that’s ok.
The wonderful Aby Moore hates writing blog posts directly into the WordPress editor, so she writes them elsewhere and gets her virtual assistant to copy them into WordPress.
I know not everyone can afford the luxury of having a virtual assistant every month, but that’s not to say you can’t pay them to do one-off jobs.
You’re probably sat there thinking, ‘no actually Kim you just want us to pay YOU’, but think of it this way. You can either spend an inifinte amount of time making sure your blog has that little green padlock in the address bar, or you can pay me (or someone else) £20 to get it done in an hour.
I’ll let you decide whether or not you think that’s good value for money.
Usernames and passwords
One of the bigger WordPress tips for beginners is around usernames and passwords. When you first set up WordPress, make sure that there is no username ‘admin’, there shouldn’t be but if there is get rid of it ASAP. Back in the day, all WordPress installations came with a default ‘admin’ username, which makes it a security risk if a hacker ever sets their sights on your blog.
When you set up a new user, make sure that the username you use to log in is different to the display name. So many people do this (even me when I started), so it’s usually a hacker’s next guess at a username.
Make sure you use complex passwords, ideally they should be at least 12 characters long with upper and lowercase characters, numbers and special characters.
If you’re worried about not being able to remember passwords, use something like LastPass to remember your usernames and passwords. All you’ll need to remember is the master password (which should also be secure) but it’s much easier than a random passord for ALL your online accounts.
WordPress tips for beginners – from the blogging community
I decided to get help from other bloggers, too. I asked them what their WordPress tips for beginners were and this is what they said.
Ensure you have download all the plugins you need at the start www.anklebitersadventures.co.uk
Keep it simple to start with and don’t try add lots of widgets and plugins at once as if it goes wrong you will have to start all over again. Best to master one thing at a time. Always download a backup of your site if you make changes and are happy with them.
Install Wordfence. Seriously. And get rid of jetpack- absolute bloater of a plugin, half of which you don’t really need anyway! Oh, and learn about the difference image size and file size/format as fast as you can to avoid clogging up your space and slowing your site to a crawl. https://actualar.co.uk
Download a spam filter plugin like Akismet straight away – you will be amazed at how many bots leave spammy comments on your blog & it takes a lot of time to delete them all only to wake up to loads more! https://www.sophiesnursery.com
Make sure that you have added all of your social media handles correctly to your theme and any sharing plugins that you use.
If you have big goals for your blog – maybe you want to showcase your writing / promote your business etc – and aren’t just doing it for a bit of fun, then consider buying a theme from the outset rather than using the free ones available. Yes they can be a bit £££ but it can get frustrating when free themes don’t look how you want them to look (which is what I found as I’m not particularly techy!) and you end up wasting a lot of time fiddling with stupid little parts of your site with nothing to show for it! Pipdig is very popular for themes, but also try Etsy for cheaper alternatives x www.onlyteethin.com
Do not forget to enable the SSL certificate, to avoid getting penalized by google.
I would suggest using CCO stock photos if you’re not great at taking photos or don’t have any that look right for your post. You don’t want poor quality images to put people off.
Learn about alt text on images from the start. I didn’t realize until 6 months into my blog with about 400 images I had to go through and fix! www.welshmum.co.uk
Don’t include the date in your post urls, that way you can repurpose and republish old posts in the future.
Use up to 15 tags for each blog post to help your content become more discoverable. Many themes let you hide these so they don’t have to show on-page.
Start interacting on social media. The best place for a blogger to start in my opinion is Twitter and by reaching out and chatting to fellow bloggersyou will find your tribe and these people will be invaluable on your journey. You can muddle along together when you don’t quite understand things (DA, how do you get Pinterest referrals, why does WP keep crashing?!), share tips and articles on how to improve and start sharing opportunities if the time comes to start making some money.
I would say, plan your menu structure so that it’s super easy for your readers to find more of your amazing content. Keep them on your blog for longer!
Whatever name you’ve chosen. Google it to make sure you aren’t one of many that are very similar. I once had a start up brand come to me for promotion and they’d named their brand/site the same as Matalan’s summer range. They were never going to get Google hits on it and in fact it would be impossible to get it on Google page one for about a year.
WordPress tips for beginners – verdict
There’s quite a variety of tips in this post which shows how different bloggers, with different experiences have different problems.
If you take nothing else from this post today, make sure you set up regular backups of your blog. There is virtually nothing you can do to your website that a backup can’t fix. As far as I’m concerned of all the WordPress tips for beginners in this post, this is that stand out one.