There are a lot of blogs out there, dedicated to all kinds of things. However, you surely notice that some of them are more successful than others. Did it ever interest you why that is so? What is the key to success when it comes to blogging?
Sure, the content plays a large role, but there is more to it than that. The answer is simple, and it is that successful bloggers have a few tricks up their sleeves.
Using WordPress by itself is not enough. You need to know how to use it right, and how to organize the additional ‘equipment’. So, today, we bring you four tips for making your blog more successful. Try them out, and the results should be obvious after a little while.
4 WordPress tips for running a blog”
Be careful with the plugins
WordPress currently offers over 49,000 different plugins for you to install and use. They do all kinds of things, and there is no doubt that you need them. However, keep in mind that you shouldn’t install all of them.
When it comes to choosing the plugins, it is much better to have only a few important ones. Otherwise, you will do more harm to your site than good, which is never in your best interest.
Now, you might be wondering why this is important, and how can the number of plugins affect your site?
Well, the answer is that adding them, especially many of them, can have consequences.
They will impact your speed, or they might have issues with another plugin. The worst thing that can happen is that they might even crash your blog, which is definitely not in your interest.
Including the wrong plugin just so you can have an extra feature that you might not really need can often damage one of the necessary ones. The necessary plugin might even stop working completely, and so you will use a much more valuable feature.
Now, imagine if that is a plugin responsible for your site’s security. Or worse, for your customer’s security. Your business might go down faster than the plugin, once the word gets around. Not to mention other ways that could damage your reputation, like very slow loading speeds.
This is a real possibility, since the more plugins you have, the slower you go. Visitors are in a hurry, and they will judge your site by several criteria. However, the loading speed is definitely one of the most important ones. Even your rank on Google might get a negative impact due to the slow loading speeds.
Which plugins to choose?
Obviously, you should not focus on a number of plugins, but rather on what they can bring to your site, and how they can improve it. It is far better to use only a few of them that truly matter, than 40 of them with unnecessary features.
You can tell which ones are important by asking yourself a couple of questions. Those are:
- Do you trust the source of the plugin? You should only use the ones whose origin you know.
- Has the plugin received an update in the last 6 months? The most important plugins require almost constant maintenance. If the developer abandons the project, then the plugin is no longer safe for use.
- What is the plugin’s purpose? Never install a plugin only because it is there. You should know exactly what it does, and how can it contribute to your website.
- How popular is it? You can also count on the opinion of other users, especially if they have more experience. A plugin that has a high number of downloads is obviously popular and has the trust of its audience. On the other hand, if it only has a few installations, it is probably only used by inexperienced users. That would mean that it isn’t quite as good or safe, so you should avoid it.
- What are the reviews saying? Check the impressions of the other users. You can’t always trust the description and claims of quality by the plugin itself, but you can see what are people complaining about.
We can even recommend several plugins that we found to be useful and helpful, so here they are:
- Akismet – helps you with fighting off spam
- WordFence – this one will help with improving security, which includes prevention of any virus or hacking attacks
- PrettyLinkPro – A plugin for those who are into affiliate marketing. It will make affiliate links
- Yoast SEO – It will improve the website’s SEO
Get a premium theme
Make your WordPress site interesting and leave a good first impression with a good theme. Choosing the right one might help you out a lot, which is why you should carefully think about which one to go along with. It is the foundation of your site, and you shouldn’t just pick anything for it.
There are thousands of them available in a special directory on WordPress. They are also completely free. Still, that does not mean that you should necessarily use them. Many of them can bring along a security issue. Also, their functionality often carried its own limits.
Premium themes, on the other hand, can save you from a lot of such issues. Using them will make your job much easier, especially if you don’t have to worry about even more problems. There are many of them that even carry their own plugins, so you don’t have to bother with looking for one yourself.
You can use them on several sites, and the best thing of all is that they are very affordable and cheap. As for where you can get them, we recommend MyThemeShop, Genesis, ThriveThemes, ThemeForest, and Elegant Themes. The prices are more than reasonable, and you will have plenty of choices.
Choose the best hosting for your site
Choosing a good, reliable hosting with much to offer is a crucial step when it comes to making a successful site. You wish to differ from the rest of them, which means that you will need certain resources, and every hosting provides you with different ones.
Every company claims that you will experience all the best if you only choose them as your host. However, the question is which one can actually give results, and help you accomplish the most?
You must have several things in mind when choosing a host. These things will help you make a good choice, which will work in your favor. Here is what you should check out before making a choice:
- Server type – Hosts offer several of them, and that includes managed WordPress, shared or dedicated hosting, VPS, and cloud hosting. Some of these packages are better for smaller businesses, while others are the only ones that large companies can settle for. It all depends on your situation, and what your plans for the future are.
- Disk space – Disk space is where all of your data will stay, and in that aspect, it is very simple to the one of a computer. Calculate how much disk space you might need before choosing a host so that you wouldn’t find yourself lacking. Alternatively, you also don’t want more space than you actually need, since the price will probably go up because of it.
- Security and SSL – You should make sure that your host will provide you with good security measures, and also that it offers SSL. It is important to keep both yourself and your customers safe from online threats. This is especially important if you will provide services that your customers will have to pay for. You don’t want to put their credit card info in danger because of bad security.
- Bandwidth – data traffic is how websites work, and that is why that you can send and receive as much as possible. Many hosts won’t put a limit on bandwidth, but there are also some of them that might do so. Make sure that you pay attention to this, and everything else that a host offers before making the final choice.
Also, do not choose a free hosting. Your security will remain minimal, the features as well, and you will have constant ads to deal with. Plus, the customer support is not something that you will find useful or pleasant.
Instead, pay $3-$15 per month, and enjoy security, safety, and quality.
Another piece of advice is to wait for discounts if you can afford to wait. Major holidays and similar festive periods are a great time for getting a hosting for cheap. So, if you are willing and able to wait until Christmas, Halloween, Black Friday, or another holiday, it might just pay off.
Another way to save money would include buying longer term. If you go for two years, or even longer, you will pay more now. However, when you do the math, you will see that it is much cheaper that way.
|Web Host Provider||Pricing||Speeds||Special Mention||View Review||Visit Web Provider|
|$3.95 or $4.95 for Cloud||Very fast||Best Cloud Hosting||Review||Visit HostGator
|$3.92||Very fast||Best Shared Hosting / Cheapest||Review||Visit A2 Hosting
|$3.95||Fast||Best Beginner Web Hosting||Review||Visit Bluehost
|$3.95||Fast||Best WordPress Blog Hosting||Review||Visit Siteground
As for our recommendation of a good host, we suggest trying out HostGator, A2 Hosting, Bluehost, and Siteground. They all provide you with great packages, but they also all have their own strengths and weaknesses. For example, HostGator will provide you with the best Cloud hosting that you can find. Also, if you choose a 3-year plan, you will end up with the same price as the shared hosting. However, you will have much better speeds, as well as reliability.
Siteground is great when it comes to support, and it is especially good with WordPress. Bluehost is definitely the most affordable option, while A2 hosting often gets to brag with their great speeds and unlimited resources. Read our Bluehost Review.
Explore a bit
WordPress is big and complex, and you won’t learn everything there is to learn in one afternoon. Instead, explore it, try different things out, and see what happens.
Only remember to always backup the site before trying out something potentially risky. You don’t want to lose everything that you have been working so hard for because of one bad experiment. Instead, with a good backup, even if something goes wrong, you will easily restore your site completely, and everything will go back to normal.
There are many tutorials that you can find and try out online. They will help you familiarize yourself with the WordPress, and how everything works. This includes customization of themes and plugins, permalinks settings, as well as scheduling backups, and much more.
These tutorials can even be found on youtube, where you can see how everything works. By following the steps, you will learn how to do these things yourself, and it is all for free. And, of course, the more you learn about how to manage WordPress, the better your overall results will be.
Get used to the WordPress Dashboard
With the knowledge of how the dashboard works, you will easily control everything on your site or blog. It is very easy to navigate and use, and all you need is a little practice. Once again, the more you learn, the better for your site. Let’s see some of the things that it has to offer.
- We will start with its home screen.
- When you log into it, you will see several quick links that will help you with starting your WordPress. On the top right side, you will have a welcoming message, that will say “Howdy, -your name-“.
- Then, there is an “At a Glance” section, where you can see the number of comments, posts, tags, pages, as well as different categories of your site.
- You can also see what theme is running at the moment, but also the version of your WordPress and the number of widgets currently running.
There is a section by the name of Recent Comments, which will show you just that. You can use it for approving comments, as well as edit them. You can also reply to them, mark them as spam if necessary, and even send them to trash.
After that, there is a plugin section. You will see which plugins got their updates, which are the new ones, or the most popular ones.
Then, there is a Quick Draft section. You can find it at the upper right second column. In there, you will find drafts of different posts. What you don’t get here are multiple useful options when it comes to formatting. Those are only available in the main editor of your WordPress.
This section will show you your five most recent drafts, but if there are more than that, those won’t stay visible. Finally, there is one more section worth mentioning here, and that is the WordPress News. Here, you can find all the newest updates that concern the official projects, as well as the WordPress Planet feed.
You can also customize which sections you will see on your dashboard. You can do that by going to the tab that says Screen Options. This one can be found on the top right part of your screen.
You will find the down arrow, on which you should click. Then, you will get every section that the dashboard includes. By each of them, there will be a checkbox, which you can check or uncheck. Doing so will add or remove a section of the dashboard.
After that, when you return to the dashboard’s home screen, you will discover that you can also expand the remaining sections. Simply click the arrow that is pointing to the right. You can also change their order, which you do by a drag-and-drop system.
Except for this main home screen, there is also a left-hand navigation menu. It is a big part of the dashboard, and there are a lot of useful options there as well. It will provide you with links to the administration screens of WordPress. They will lead to pages, posts, as well as comments. Then, to the media library, users, appearance options, settings, plugins, and also tools.
And, if you ever find yourself in need of some assistance, there is a help tab as well. You can find it just beside the Screen Options that we talked about earlier.
You can expand this section by clicking the down arrow. That way, you will find even more useful info that can help you with learning layout, navigation, overview, as well as all the dashboard’s content. There are even links to WordPress.org Codex documentation, as well as support forums that are available.
WordPress is a great platform, and it can make managing your site a lot easier. There is a lot of work for you to do if you wish to truly enjoy its full potential, but it is all a part of the learning curve. Updating your knowledge is as important as updating your site, and with more practice, you will receive better results.