Learning WordPress: 10 Tips for Success

Lesson 7: 10 Tips for Success


10 tips for success

How can you encourage your site's visitors to keep coming back? Like any new tool, there will be some trial-and-error involved. But there are definitely ways you can set yourself up for success from the very beginning.

We’ve boiled it down to our top 10 tips for creating a polished WP site:

#1. Try to engage your users with every post. One of the best ways to interact with users is to reach out to them directly. At the end of a post, ask them to comment. Say something like: “Have you ever had this type of experience?” or “What do you think?” Give them a chance to weigh in and then follow up in a thoughtful way. 

#2. Inspiration leads to quality content. It's easy to get stuck while writing new posts, especially if you're trying to do it consistently (like for a blog). Make inspiration part of your writing routine; go out for a walk, or listen to a new podcast. When it's time to sit down and write, just do it! You can always go back and edit later before publishing.

#3. Wait to publish pages that you haven’t finished yet. You’ve probably visited a website before that has a page with no information on it, such as a blank “Contact Us” section. Hold off on publishing incomplete pages, and make sure your website’s in good shape overall before launching it. This will make a better impression on your visitors.

#4. Pay attention to your SEO and analytics. It’s a good idea to learn a little bit about “SEO,” or search engine optimization. Use categories and tags, and do some research about “keywords” in order to rank higher in search engines. To see if your content is getting noticed and shared, check your WP analytics. While you don’t have to be an expert on these topics, they can give you a sense of how to attract more visitors. 

#5. Don’t install too many plugins, and keep them updated! Plugins can add nifty features to your site—but if you install too many complex ones, your website might start to slow down. Be sure to select ones with plenty of high reviews and consistently install updates. To get a sense of some of the free ones that are out there, watch the video below. (Keep in mind that tons of new plugins come out every year; you can watch more reviews of recommended ones on YouTube). 

#6. Enhance your website’s security. Speaking of plugins, you should have at least one for security which protects your site from cyberattacks! A security plugin will continually scan your website and resolve any issues automatically. Common choices include iThemes Security and Wordfence.

#7. Don’t neglect your social media. These platforms make it possible to grow your site without having to spend a lot of money—but you do need to spend the time! Develop your social media accounts by posting new content. If you find yourself getting burnt out, check to see where your visitors are coming from and concentrate on those platforms.

#8. Weigh advertising options. You can potentially “monetize” (or make money from) your site through paid advertising. Of course, you don’t want there to be too many ads, as this can be distracting for users. One easy way to monetize your site is through Google AdSense, which makes it so that you don’t need to input the code for the ad to show up on your webpage.

#9. Join a WP bootcamp or community. Udemy (a website which offers courses) has a highly rated WP Bootcamp; it walks you through the steps of building different sites. A course like this one might be a good way to see if you’re interested in web design or helping other people build their websites, too. In addition, there are a number of WordPress communities. They’re great for answering questions, in-person meetups, or just generally broadening your skills. 

#10. Have fun with it! In some ways WP is sort of like owning a car: you can decide how much you want to start tinkering under the hood. Many people enjoy trying out new features and finding solutions to problems that pop up. Making your own website can be both fun and challenging. As the co-founder of WP Matt Mullenweg once said, “It’s good to be in a role when you can learn something new.” 

There are many websites and videos out there designed to help you with WP. That’s because there’s so much to learn! The possibilities are endless when it comes to what it can help you create.