First Things First – The Lucky 13 WordPress Must-Do’s When You First Begin
1. Compress Images With ShortPixel
Site Speed is of utmost importance when it comes to getting you some Google Love. Image compression is an extremely important aspect of turbo-charging your site load speed. The gang over at ShortPixel has made this very easy to do. If you run into any problems whatsoever, they are easily corrected by simply contacting their tech support. They make it really easy. Just click on the little robot in the lower-right corner of their site and you will be instantly linked up with a person who will be happy to help you with whatever issue you are experiencing.
|1.||Compress Images With ShortPixel|
|2.||Plugin Pain Relief|
|3.||Short Jokes – Short blog posts are a joke|
|4.||Safety Nets – Set Up Redundant Backups|
|6.||Don’t Use A Host That’s Toast|
|7.||Set Up Permalinks Correctly|
|8.||Contact Sport – Help Your Readers Get In Touch|
|9.||The Good, The Bad And The Ugly Of Social Media|
|10.||General Who? General Settings|
|11.||Best Theme – Use A Powerful Theme From A Reputable Company|
|12.||Cold Hard Cache|
|13.||Don’t Be An Image Rustler!|
2. Plugin Pain Relief
Plugins cause pain! Only use plugins that you really need.
Always make sure any plugin you use has a ton of excellent reviews.
A good rule of thumb is to keep your plugins to under twenty. When you have more than twenty plugins on your site, they begin to feud with each other. That is never good.
Never try to use more than one plugin that does the same thing. For instance, when I first started, I was trying to use an XML Sitemap along with my Yoast SEO plugin. That’s redundant and totally unnecessary. Yoast does a great job of it in addition to everything else it does. And, Yoast even brought it to my attention. In a much nicer way, they put up a warning that essentially said, “Hey dummy, we’re already doing this for you. You don’t need that other one and having it installed too could potentially screw up other stuff.” That was enough for me. I deleted it.
You must monitor your site for plugins that need an update done on a daily basis. I had two updates waiting for me when I woke up this morning. One of them, I just updated two days ago. I suspect they probably discovered a bug or security breach and fixed it with the new update. Not keeping your plugins up to date can wreak all kinds of havoc on your site that you don’t want or need.
Always take a quick look at your site before you update to make sure everything looks okay and then take a quick peek again after you update. This is another reason you have multiple backups for your site. If a plugin update crashes your site, you can just roll it back to before the update. Voila! Your site is up and running again in no time at all. Again with The Law of Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy.
3. Short Jokes
Stop it with the short jokes already! Seriously though, short blog posts are a joke you don’t want to have on your site. In 2019, there was a study done that indicated 1,705 words was the happy medium for blog posts and how well the Google algorithms liked them. Anything under 300 words is trash. The majority of my blog posts are at least 1,700 words. Some are twice that. Don’t be lazy. Spend the time to churn out good, high-quality posts of at least 1,700 words. It gets easier with practice. Trust me.
4. Safety Nets – Set Up Redundant Backups
If you are using WPX Hosting, you already have an awesome backup set up. Any major issues with your site can be fixed instantly by contacting them and asking them to roll your site back to before the issue started. Once more, we incorporate The Law of Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy.
In addition to your WPX backup, you should have a redundant backup in place as well. I recommend using the Updraft Backup/Restore plugin. It is quite handy and very easy to set up and use.
5. High Security
If you needed a security detail, would you rather have your local mall cop or an entire Secret Service Security Detail. I know, your answer is “Duh!”, right? Of course we would all rather have an entire cadre of highly trained professionals who do it day in and day out.
When it comes to the security of your website, make sure you aren’t just guarding your domain (see what I did there?) with the local mall cop. Use the WordPress password generator to password your site. You can find it by clicking in the upper right corner of your WordPress backend where it says, “Howdy!”. Select “Edit My Profile” and scroll down to the password. Click the button to generate a new password. Once it has done that, copy the password and paste it in the box at HowSecureIsMyPassword.net to see how many years it would take a computer to break it.
If you use the one WordPress generated for you, you will be quite happy. If you use something like dog123, you will eventually be very sad. There are assholes out there who spend their entire days trying to break in and steal from others. Don’t be one of their victims.
If you want absolutely crazy high security, go over to LastPass.com. You can generate a 50 character password there that is virtually indestructible. Probably overkill, but hey, ya never know! This blog is potentially going to be your livelihood and has the potential to produce a totally awesome income for you. You don’t want to mess around, right? Better to be safe than sorry.
6. Don’t Use A Host That’s Toast
Here we go talking up WPX Hosting again. Why? Because they are really that good. That’s why. I’ve used shit hosting companies. What a pain in the ass! Save yourself time, hassle and quite possibly a fat stack of cash by not trying to reinvent the wheel. I already hit all the bumps in the road for you.
7. Set Up Your Permalinks correctly
This is really important. And, it’s very important that you do it right in the beginning. This is one of those things that can really wreak havoc if you try to do it down the road. Changing this after your site has been up and running for a good bit will break all of your links. Broken links and their respective 404 error code pages suck rocks.
When you create a page or a post, WordPress is going to automatically create a URL (Uniform Resource Locator) also known as a link or web address for you. The default selection WordPress has set up for this sucks. It used to serve a purpose by increasing load speed. But, that is no longer true. Now, it’s just a pain in the ass and one more thing.
One of these days, they will hopefully figure that out and make this a non-issue. But for now, we still need to go in and fix it ourselves each time we set up a new WordPress site.
In your WordPress Admin area, scroll down to “Settings” on the left and then on down to “Permalinks.” Select “Post Name.” This will create your links with your post name in them. This is good for your SEO.
8. Contact Sport – Help Your Readers Get In Touch
It’s very important that your readers can easily get in touch with you. If you will notice, you see my email address with my name in it at the very top, right corner of any page you are on. Athemes understands how important this is and makes it extremely easy to do in their themes.
In addition to this, I have installed a plugin called Whatsapp Chat. You’ll notice the red button on the lower right corner of your screen that follows you as you scroll down. You can message me from there at anytime. It instantly shoots a WhatsApp message over to me. How cool is that?
You know who I am and how to easily get in touch with me. That’s extremely important and your website should incorporate the same.
9. The Good, The Bad And The Ugly Of Social Media
Be careful here. Social media can be an absolutely huge time-suck. And, the return on investment usually sucks. I have over 15,000 followers on Facebook. I posted a new blog post there yesterday and seven people read it. Seven! That’s one in every 2,143 people who have already expressed an interest in my brand. That tells me one thing. Facebook isn’t showing it to very many people. Why you may ask? Because it’s an external link that takes them off Facebook. They don’t want anyone leaving Facebook for obvious monetary reasons.
It’s the same thing with all the others too. Social media outlets used to be a great way to drive traffic. That is no longer true.
I used to think I was creating backlinks by posting my blog posts to these social media outlets. That isn’t true at all.
10. General Who? General Settings
Inside your WordPress admin area, and scroll down and on the left you will find a “Settings” section. Below that, you will find a “General” area. Click on “General” and fill that information out. This is important. Spend a little time coming up with a good Site Title and Tag-Line. It’s going to be what people first see when they land on your site. I recommend you insert your WordPress Address and your Website Address like this: https://www.advancedynamix.win It’s important they are both the same.
11. Best Theme – Use A Powerful Theme From A Reputable Company
There’s a ton of free themes out there. Some pretty good and some really bad. Athemes is cool because you can start building with their free version and then when the time is right, you can upgrade to their paid version. That is exactly how I did it. I use their Rocked Pro theme and love it. I am considering switching it for Astrid. Astrid is another theme from Athemes. When testing the two demos, Astrid is about a second faster to load.
You hear a lot of people talk about how fast the Astra theme is but I ran it side-by-side with Astrid from Athemes and Astrid from Athemes won each time by quite a bit.
12. Cold Hard Cache
A caching plugin is another must-have. I use W3 Total Cache. It works pretty good but it is pretty intense to get it all figured out. Paying a professional may be better idea when it comes to setting this one up. I think I spent a week or two learning how to tweak this plugin. I could have written another dozen blog posts in that time. That definitely would have been a better way to spend my time.
I chose W3 Total Cache because it had excellent reviews and it was free. After I had already had it all set up, I later learned about WP Rocket. It too has great reviews and is only $39. Next time, I will give it a whirl.
13. Don’t Be An Image Rustler!
Cattle rustling was illegal in the days of the wild west (it probably still is in some places). Image rustling is definitely a no-no. You have a few different choices when it comes to obtaining images for your website.
The best option is to create your own. Steve Chou is an awesome guy I have learned a ton from. He is the proud owner of MyWifeQuitHerJob.com and also of BumbleBeeLinens.com. He is one more example of building a multi-million dollar business and quitting a six-figure job. Steve has put together an absolutely phenomenal blog post here that describes creating photos for your website in great detail.
Your next option is using an image stock company such as iStockPhoto or ShutterStock. Be aware though, these companies are extremely pricey. Probably not the best solution for 99% of us when we are first starting out.
The third option is one I use often in addition to creating my own. Pixabay and Pexels are two places you can download high-quality photos for free. I use these a lot to create memes from quotes I love. If you are part of the 15,000+ members of my Facebook page, I’m sure you have seen some of the memes I’ve created this way. I just upload the photo to the ImgFlip Meme Generator and create a high quality meme in a matter of minutes.