If you are thinking about starting your own blog, one of the most important things you need to do, apart from producing great content, is to choose the right CMS. In that case, your best option would be WordPress. Sure, there are other alternatives, but WordPress is by far the most powerful platform. In fact, it powers 34% of the entire Internet, which is an insane number, but it also goes to show that it has something to offer for everyone, and if you’re a blogger, it offers pretty much everything. From building your website or blog, adding specific functionalities and features, to publishing it, WordPress has all the tools that you will ever need.
For instance, it offers ready-made solutions for Ecommerce stores, as well as a ton of useful themes and plugins which enable you to customize your blog down to the very last detail, without having to know all the ins and outs of design, SEO, hosting, or coding. With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the best WordPress tips and tools you can use to make your blogging experience as smooth as possible.
1. Pick the Right Hosting Provider
To make your blog accessible to your potential audience, it needs to go online, and for that, you are going to need to pick a hosting provider. This may seem like a no-brainer, because you need something to keep your blog alive, and any solution can do that, right? Well, not quite. For example, if you pick the cheapest hosting provider, and your blog experiences a huge surge of traffic because you’ve been killing the content game, it might not be able to handle it.
According to Velvetjobs, you also want a provider that will enable your blog to load faster as well, and so far, the best solution has been Bluehost. It offers WordPress-specific hosting plans, which will spare you from much of the hassle.
2. Choose an SEO Plugin
SEO is what allows Google and other search engines to understand and rank your blog and its content, which means that it is absolutely essential. However, it can seem a bit too technical and complicated, especially if you are a beginner. Fortunately, WordPress offers a ton of plugins which allow you to add different functionalities to your blog that you would otherwise have to build from scratch. When it comes to SEO plugins, you should look no further than Yoast SEO.
According to Resumewriters, using Yoast SEO plugin has enabled them to boost their revenue by 23%, simply because they were able to improve their ranking in a relatively short time. Last, but not least, five million installations and 25,000 five-star reviews should be more than enough to convince you to start using this plugin.
3. Choose the Right Theme for Your Blog
As in the case of plugins, there are plenty of WordPress themes you can choose from, both free and premium. One of the best things about WordPress is that it allows you to try out a demo for each theme. Once you see how it looks and feels applied to your content, you can decide whether it’s the right choice for your blog or not. While getting a free theme might be tempting, premium ones are well worth the investment and will tick more of the right boxes. Always choose a theme which is responsive, because of Google’s mobile-first indexing, which relies on mobile user experience as a ranking factor.
Also, avoid themes that come packed with different features, because they can drastically cut down your site speed. Pick one which is sleek and streamlined, and then choose the plugins you will add to it down the line.
4. Make Your Images Smaller
Having great written content on your blog is a must, but in order to make your posts even more effective, you need to infuse them with some eye-catching images. While this is not an issue nowadays, you will run into another problem, and that is slow loading times. High-resolution images are usually to blame here, because they can take forever to load, especially on mobile, which is why you should try and make them smaller. And by smaller, we don’t necessarily mean downsizing them, but compressing them into smaller file sizes.
You can use Photoshop for this if you can afford it, but there are cheaper, as well as free solutions out there which can do more of the same, such as Kraken.io, which does a great job every single time.
5. Start Using Google Analytics
In order to see how your posts are doing, where most of your traffic is coming from, as well as to figure out if your marketing campaign is effective or not, you need to start relying on analytics tools, and the best one for the job is Google Analytics. It allows you to track a whole range of different metrics and captures plenty of insights that can help you improve your blogging efforts. Now, you can use the application itself inside your browser, or you can install a WordPress plugin called MonsterInsights which will enable you to make use of full Google Analytics functionality for free.
6. Stick with Less Plugins
As we have mentioned before, plugins enable you to expand the functionality of your blog or website in a relatively easy way. However, as useful as they are, plugins can slow down the performance of your website if you have installed too many of them, or if you have picked a theme which comes with a ton of pre-installed plugins. Also, too many plugins can turn into a serious security risk, especially those which aren’t updated very often or which have been discontinued. While plugins are reviewed by WordPress for security, you should also look at user reviews in order to inform yourself about their quality.
As you can see, WordPress makes things pretty easy for you if you are a blogger. We hope that these tips and tools will prove to be helpful and useful and that you will be able to grow your audience as a result in no time. Good luck!