You need to have an ‘About Us’ page
Your website visitors want to read up not only about your products/services, but also about the people behind them.
So make sure you have a great ‘About Us’ page, one that connects with the readers. Remember, it’s going to be your most visited page after your Homepage!
Don’t have too many categories
Having too many categories on your website is a strict no-no. It slows down your website considerably, something which you wouldn’t want. WordPress has a wonderful thing called “tags”. What it does is groups posts based on the keywords you set (manually) for your post. So it does (more or less) the same function as categories without affecting your site performance.
But this does not mean that you shouldn’t have any categories at all! Remember, the focus here is “too many”, so have categories but use tags as well.
Do not install too many plugins
You may get really excited when you see the huge number of plugins available to help your website, to the extent that you end up installing a lot of them. DON’T! Some are incompatible, and having too many plugins may decrease your site speed. So install only those plugins that you feel are absolutely necessary. Also, when you’re not using a certain plugin, delete it. Having inactive plugins not only make your site slow, but also attract malware.
Download themes only from reputable sources
If you conduct a Google search, there are thousands of websites offering premium WordPress themes. All of them look great, and they’re free too! But beware! Some of these themes may have malicious code, and once installed your site will become a prime target of hackers. Download premium themes only from reputable sources, like ThemeForest and WooThemes (to name a few).
Change your permalink structure
When a visitor is reading a certain post in your blog, by default the URL displayed is “YourWordPressBlog.com/?p=123”. Here, “/?=123” is your permalink. The problem with this default permalink is that the visitor (and search bots) is unable to see which post the URL is referring to. Not a very good thing for you! So change your permalink.
Many WordPress users think that once they’ve installed the WordPress software, themes and plugins, they’re set for life. And they couldn’t have been more WRONG! WordPress releases new versions every once in a while, and with each new version comes better features and improved functionality.
So make sure that your site is running on the latest WordPress version (3.8.1). If not, update. You can check your current version by scrolling to the bottom of any page on your dashboard. And in case you need to update, you’ll see a prompt to do the same.
And the same goes for plugins too! Update them regularly to avoid any hiccups in your site performance.
Always back it up
When setting up your WordPress site and working towards SEO, there’s a lot of work to be done – download and install software, choose a theme, write content, select plugins, check analytics, and so on. So much so that you tend to forget the most important task – backing up your website. Creating a backup should be your number one priority, and there are many plugins that help you do that. For a full backup, try VaultPress.
Creating a backup once a month should suffice, unless there are any major changes made to the site (in which case, it should be done immediately after the change).
Don’t crowd your sidebar
Your sidebar shouldn’t look like a jumble sale – a place where you’ll find links to everything (latest tweets, testimonials, Facebook fans, latest posts, contact details, ads, and so on). Have a clear idea of what your goal in each page is, and have only those links appear on the sidebar. It will help you give a cleaner and clutter-free look to your website, and also to direct your traffic to the desired page.
So keep only those widgets that are required, and get rid of the rest.
Rename the admin account
The first thing that you do when using WordPress is log in to your Admin account. And that’s also the first mistake that most beginners make. The username of the account is kept “Admin” (or some other standard name), which makes it a sitting target for hackers. So always change the username.
Also, keeping your username different from your account display name will provide more security to your site against hackers.
You need to be contactable
A ‘Contact Me’ page is extremely important. Your website visitors should have a way to get in touch with you in case of any questions, opinions, etc. It also helps in building a connection with the visitors to your site (provided you reply of course), which will eventually translate into long-term loyalty to your brand.
Deciding how you’d like your readers to get in touch with you is entirely up to you. You could either share your phone number/email ID, or have a contact form for the visitors to fill in. Top tip? Keep it simple!