Are you creating content for your own website? If so, one of your most powerful tools is WordPress.
Since it was first created in 2003, WordPress has taken the internet by storm. Today, WordPress is a content management system that powers 30% of websites online!
In today’s digital age, WordPress has also given freelance writers an opportunity to earn money writing about their passions. When Taylor McCaslin was a college student at The University of Texas at Austin, he learned WordPress as a way to freelance and help pay his way through school.
“It was a way to leverage my love of technology, making money doing something that I would have done in my free time anyway,” he said, according to Laurence Bradford at Forbes. “I freelanced to pay my way through college as a first-generation, lower-middle class student from East Texas, and graduated with zero debt.”
Whether you want to help finance your education or create a unique website of your own, understanding WordPress can be very valuable.
Read on to learn 7 tips to discover how WordPress works.
1. Improve your SEO by using the permalink feature.
One of the most important parts of owning a successful website is to help generate traffic online. Search engine optimization (SEO) is a general description of a process website owner’s use to help increase their ranking in search engine results on the Internet.
Fortunately, WordPress kept this in mind with its software, too.
The permalink field in the WordPress software offers an effective way for you to help guide these search engines to your content.
But how can you do this?
Think of the permalink as a street sign to your website. You should create a permalink to a web page by using the keywords in your article or title to help these search engines find your content.
For example, with “7 Tips to Discover How WordPress Works” you might consider shortening the URL permalink to include: “yourwebsitename.com/discover-how-wordpress-works”.
The permalink editing function should be on your checklist of to-dos before publishing your content to your website.
2. Download WordPress Plugins to completely customize your website.
WordPress is a great tool to help you create your own website, but WordPress plugins help you completely customize things. Think of WordPress plugins like applications for your iPhone.
These plugins are downloaded and integrated with your existing WordPress software. There are more than 48,000 plugins and each can allow you to do something unique.
Want to sell things on your website with an online store? The WooCommerce plugin has you covered. Looking for ways to grow your company with job boards? There’s a Job Manager plugin to make this easier for you.
3. Add a background image to your website with the Customize feature.
One way to help your website stand out while making it easier on the eyes is to add a background image to your home page.
According to a study by Skyword, having content like high-quality images can increase your page views by 94% when compared to those websites that don’t.
This is one of the easiest things you can do as you learn about how WordPress works.
Find the Appearance tab in WordPress and click Customize. There is a ‘Background Image’ option. Click on that to bring it up and either upload a file or add a picture from your media library.
You can also adjust the image as it appears on your web page by using directional arrows to preview it. Once you have it just right, click ‘Save & Publish’ to make it live on your website!
4. Include video content by using YouTube or Vimeo.
Video content is becoming increasingly more important on the internet. So much so that a Cisco study found that video content will consume nearly 80% of internet traffic by 2020.
When first learning about how WordPress works, you may be concerned about the challenges that come with adding video to your website. But the good news is that it can be done in a matter of minutes.
Instead of loading videos direct to your website, which can slow down page loading speeds, upload your videos to a website like YouTube or Vimeo. Once you have done this, copy the link to that video and paste it into the content editing feature of WordPress. Be sure to paste the link where you want the video to appear in your blog or article.
You can adjust the size of the video by clicking on the ‘Text’ tab of WordPress and changing the height and width of the video box. Once you have gotten your video the way you want it, save your changes. Adding video content is that easy!
5. Help control comment spam on your website with Akismet.
When you write blog content, there will be times where users will leave comments below your work.
Comments by readers can start a great discussion and can help you generate more traffic on your content. But as your website gains more popularity, one of the challenging aspects of this can be the comments left by spam accounts on your website.
They can draw attention away from your content and disrupt productive discussions. But with the Akismet plugin, there is a way to help you monitor these unwanted comments.
One you download Akismet, it actively monitors comments for spam. Want to take it a step further? You can use a manual approval feature that allows you to approve comments before they are posted to your website.
6. Add yourself as an Admin User in MySQL for added security.
As you continue the WordPress development of your website, there is always the potential that your website is hacked. This can happen for any number of reasons despite the precautions you take to prevent it.
One good way for you to ensure you are prepared for this threat is to add yourself as an administrative user in the WordPress MySQL feature.
To do this, you will log in to the phpMyAdmin of MySQL and locate your WordPress database. Follow this list of step-by-step instructions to help you add yourself as an admin user.
This way if something unexpected comes up, you can still have access to your website through WordPress.
7. Add a navigation menu to make your website easier to use.
An important aspect of your website user’s experience is the ease of navigating your content. One of the ways that you can make things easier on your users is to include a navigation menu at the top of your website.
In WordPress, you can edit the ‘Menus’ section by accessing the ‘Appearance’ tab while you are in the software. Once you are there, you can choose the web page titles you want to appear on your menu. You can also adjust your menu’s structure by dragging and dropping your page titles in a different order.
Preview the menu to see how it looks to your users. With a bit of trial and error, you can make your menu what you want it to be.
Understanding How WordPress Works
At first, the thought of creating your own website may seem challenging, but WordPress makes it easier than ever before to do it.
By taking advantage of these 7 tips, you can create a unique resource of information with engaging content.
Now the only thing left to do is begin building your website!