April 13, 2021

5 Ways to Improve Your New WordPress Blog

So, you’ve gotten a brand new WordPress blog and you’re up and posting. You smiled at the one page setup. You worked through what categories you wanted, where to store and how to display images, and you may have installed a few plugins, but you’d like to know if there’s more out there that could help you to get traffic– and get your results listed better on your favorite search engine.

Well, you’re in luck– today’s Wednesday Tech Help is for you. I’m going to suggest five plugins and configurations to leverage your content and time to get you better and richer results in search engines.

  1. Permalinks – Which gives you more information: /?p=1132 or /2007/01/17/5-Ways-to-Improve-Your-New-WordPress-Blog ? And if you see the difference, you can bet the search engines do too. So, just navigate (in your dashboard) over to Options > Permalinks. Once you’re there, select something other than the first option. I used “By Date and Name”. When you go to change this, you will need to do one of two things. You’ll either need to copy the code that is provided at the bottom of the site to your computer with a file name “.htaccess” and then ftp it up to your site, or you’ll have to make the “.htaccess” writable so that WordPress can do it for you.
  2. Add Meta Tags – Add Meta Tags is a great little plugin that takes data from your post and stuffs it into the page’s meta data. Why is this useful? Because you want that meta data at the top of your html page to have as much custom content to your page as possible. So, instead of being stuck with the same description across the site (which makes all of your search results show up the same!), you get the first part of your content in the summary!
  3. Google Sitemaps – Google Sitemaps Plugin will create an XML file of your data so that Google will know where to go to get content. This is in addition to Google reading your pages and following links, and will make sure Google sees all of your content. To configure it, you’ll have to make the file on your FTP site, make it writeable by the system, configure the plugin, and then go point Google at your file.
  4. Captcha From ProtectWebForm – Captcha From ProtectWebForm is an alternative to Akismet and works in a different way. I’m sure that you’ve all entered a captcha at some time– the weird image that you have to type letters or some kind of math problem?– but what this does that’s unique is to not show that Captcha if the location that the page visitor has come from is not spam. So, only spammer see the image and have to fill in the blank. Many of you probably didn’t even know I was running it!
  5. Post Regularly and Save Often – The best way to get a search engine or other bloggers to write about you is if you have at least one new post a day. Have a big topic? Break it up, make it a series, do a summary first and then take it a little at a time. As I was writing this post, I accidentally had the wrong part of the browser highlighted, hit the backspace key and lost it all! If you’re doing your posting on a web page and not using something like Microsoft Windows Live Writer, then make sure that you save from time to time– also so you can see formatting.

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7 thoughts on “5 Ways to Improve Your New WordPress Blog

  1. Wow so much here! Thanks to you I’m glad I at least know what FTP stands for!

    Love the sounds of Captcha…wish Blogger people had that, I get soooo tired of filling in numbers/letters for spam catchers!

  2. Mary, but I hope it will not prevent You from commenting on my blog for good? 😉

    MIN, this .htaccess thing – I do not understand, although I know that I have something like that within my domain (sveana.com). By the way, You are, all of you, welcome to visit there, just add www. before it.

    Mary, what did You say about backing from commenting? 😉

  3. .htaccess tells the web server (apache?) how to resolve the url when it comes in. This file takes what would otherwise be a directory path, and instead uses it to access the database. I’m new to the whole thing, so if I use big words it’s because it is descriptive as I can get!

  4. Of course I’ll still come to your blog, Ann! I didn’t say it annoyed me to the point of no return, just that it annoys me! A necessary annoyance, unless blogger users could install this captcha!

    I did back off from commenting, but yesterday or the day before (can’t remember) I killed time reading/commenting here while I waited for Windows Live Writer to download…twas fun. Besides, I wasn’t that far behind you…and I wasn’t commenting to win any competition!

    PS, I visited your site and emailed you about it! Wow!

  5. It’s actually a combination. I’m in the process of helping someone (who comments here regularly) set up a new self-hosted wordpress blog and since I’m going through the exercise I’m working through the things that need to be done. However, I also stopped by your site and saw the permalinks thing and it reminded me of that point. If it’s any consolation, it took me quite a while to change and realize the benefit of changing my permalinks.

    Let me know if you need any assistance or would like other pointers.

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