Like a lot of people, I started out with LiveJournal. I've also dabbled with tumblr, for about two seconds I had a Vox account, and a few years ago I registered my own Blogger - which I still continue to use.
Since Blogger, I have also become a user of WordPress, which very quickly became my go-to for blogging needs. The most difficult thing about WordPress is how incredibly sharp of a learning curve there is in learning to use it.
So today, I'm sharing six things that I recommend doing to all WordPress blogs - whether they're freshly made, or just looking for a quick face lift!
- 1. Deactivate and then delete all of the plugins you don't like, or aren't using.
Benefit: Not only will your blog run faster, it will also be more secure! One of the most well-known ways of compromising WordPress blogs are through deactivated files that haven't yet been deleted, so cut your chances from the get go and get those files gone.
2. Change the default settings on your Permalinks page
Benefit: Your posts will rank higher in SEO.
WordPress default (for some reason) is to file your posts by /year/month/date/your-post-name. Change it to just /your-post-name and your content will automatically become more likely to be crawled successfully by Google's search index program.
3. Limit yourself in categories, not Tags
Benefit: Your content will be easier to discover.
Think about your categories as genres, and your tags as ways to narrow those genres down. This will allow your reader to discover more content (via category), yet still find specific content when they want it (via tag).
4. Make WordPress work for you and your content!
Benefit: You can spend more time writing, promoting, and networking.
Install an Editor's Calendar plug-in to schedule posts ahead of time, find social network plug-ins so your content is automatically published to Twitter, Google, and Facebook, and automate as much SEO as you can! Make your blog "work for you" and you'll cover more ground in success in a shorter amount of time.
5. Remove your beginning widgets, and start fresh
Benefit: Your blog will have a cleaner, more customized look
Removing your starter widgets will allow you to decide the flow of your website that you'd most like your reader to follow. What is more important to you for your reader to see first: Instagram photos? Your pins?
Also, remember to remove the "meta" widget. Not only do you not really need to display it, if you do, you'll basically be showcasing a direct link to your admin panel to those who may use it for not-so-nice purposes.
6. Start adding META information to each image
Benefit: Increased ranking in Google Image Search
When you upload post photos or graphics, type in some keywords or even an image caption into the various ALT values that are there. Google will scan through your keywords whenever someone searches with Google Images, and can potentially be a great source of traffic if you nail the right words!