WordPress is an easy and popular blogging platform to use. The millions of people using WordPress software to run their personal and business blogs prove it. A WordPress website can be set up to serve just about any purpose.
There are thousands of new WordPress websites put online every day. Chances are, though, you won’t ever see most of them — and neither will anyone else. Putting a blog online is the easy part. Getting people to visit and interact with that blog is another story. There is a tremendous difference between just launching a blog and launching a successful blog.
Whether you’re launching a blog as an outlet for your own personal thoughts, or as a way to earn more money, we’ve got you covered. Following are some tips to help make sure you get started right and give your WordPress website the best possible chance for success, right from the start.
Research Reliable Web Hosting
The single most important part of putting any website online is going to be finding reliable web hosting. The right web host will contribute to the success of your sight in several ways.
First and foremost, you’ll want a host with an uptime guarantee. Most reputable hosts these days will guarantee that your site will be online upwards of 99% of the time. It should be obvious that if your server is not online, nobody is going to see your site.
Second, you need to make sure the host you choose has servers and connections that respond quickly. Statistics show that most web surfers will leave a site if it does not load within about three seconds. That doesn’t give you much time to get their attention. Your hosting server needs to be powerful enough to process content quickly and the connection to the internet must be fast enough to deliver it even quicker.
Third, you need to make sure the host you choose provides a control panel and level of support that you’re comfortable with. If you know your way around computers you might not need very much. If you’re not familiar with how things work under the hood, you might need a bit more help from your host’s support staff. It’s important to make sure you’ll get what you need before you sign up and get your new WordPress website set up.
Use A Responsive, SEO Friendly Theme
Assuming you’ve found a good host and installed WordPress, the next step will be to go through the vast selection of WordPress themes and install one on your new blog. Again, it’s worth doing some research to see what you’re getting.
At the very least, you should look for a theme that is “responsive”. This means that the theme will automatically adapt to browsers on different devices, such as tablets and cell phones. Search engines like Google will give priority to sites that are responsive when users run searches from a mobile device.
It’s also worth running some searches and looking for reviews of the theme you want to use to see how it fares with search engine optimization (SEO). Most themes aren’t going to give your site a big boost when it comes to SEO, but a badly designed them can hurt your chances of getting good rankings in search results.
Install Helpful WordPress Plugins
There are several helpful plugins that every WordPress website should have installed. They will help with site speed, user experience, and SEO results.
The Yoast SEO plugin is one of the most popular SEO plugins for WordPress. It will tune the output of your site to keep everything in line with Google’s current best practices for SEO. In addition, the plugin makes it very easy for you to customize what it does if you need to, sitewide or on individual pages.
WordPress Cache Plugins
Cache plugins can give your site’s load times a significant boost. The gain in speed will improve user experience as well as SEO results. There are several cache plugins that have proven to be popular with WordPress site administrators.
Accelerated Mobile Pages
Accelerated Mobile Pages, or AMP, is a project designed to create specially coded web pages that will respond and load faster on mobile devices. In WordPress, AMP plugins will automatically create a second, AMP version of each of your posts. Google will give these pages priority in searches that are run from a mobile device.
No WordPress website should be without a plugin that makes it easy for readers to share content on social media. There are plenty of social sharing plugins that will allow you and your readers to quickly and easily share content on any of the major social networks. Nothing will help your blog grow like engaged readers who spread the word by sharing your content. Do everything you can to make it easy for them.
Tweak Your WordPress Permalink Settings
The default WordPress settings for permalinks are not optimal for SEO purposes. You’ll find the options for permalinks under the “settings” section of the menu in your WordPress dashboard.
Of the predefined options, you should set your permalinks to either “Month and name” or “Post name.” Either of these options will get some of the keywords from your post titles into your site’s URLs, which will help SEO. You can also use the “Custom” URL structure to add in categories or tags if you think it makes sense. Be careful not to go too far though.
Promote Your Blog Any Way You Can
Promoting your blog is essential for success. You should promote your new WordPress blog, and each post you add to it, on all of your social media accounts and anywhere else you can think of. Encourage your readers to share too. You’d be surprised how many more people will share your content simply because you ask them to.
If you follow all of these tips, you’ll have your new WordPress website in shape for maximum exposure right from the start. Don’t forget though, no website is going to take off on its own. You’ll still need to do plenty of promotion to get the word out. Having this solid foundation, though, will make it much easier to grow your audience.