Having been using WordPress for decades, I wanted to share Useful Tips to Customize Your WordPress Site. These few tips will help you avoid making the same mistakes that most people make. WordPress is a great platform that allows you to create professional-looking websites easily, but there are certain things you may need to change to make your WordPress website stand out.
These are small things that will make a lot of difference in your WordPress site. Here are ten tips that you can apply right away, to make your WordPress website looks professional.
Remove the ability to leave comments on static pages
By default, when you install WordPress, comments are allowed on both pages and posts. It is not necessary to keep the ability to leave comments on the static pages like the „Contact“ page or „About“, for example. Fortunately, it is very simple to remove the possibility to comment on the pages.
- Go to Pages – All Pages
- Then select “all pages” (or those you want to change).
- Choose from the menu „Group Actions „, „modify.“
- Click the „Apply“ button.
- Now, in the menu that appears, select „Reject“ for comments
- Click „update“
And now, there’s no more room for feedback on your static pages! This makes your website appear more professional to the visitors.
Remove Unused Plugins from Your Host
It is possible that your host will install some plugins by default. Some of these plugins may be useful for you. It is common for many WordPress users to allow these plugins to sit on the dashboard without activating them.
If a plugin is not useful for you at present, delete it from your dashboard and install only the ones you need. Plugins occupy space, and may even interfere with other plugins that you activate.
Delete sample pages or posts that come with your WordPress Themes
I have seen websites that are still having sample pages or posts that come with the theme. Search engines hate sample posts or pages with dummy content. Delete every sample that came with the theme; or, you can choose to rehash it so that you will free more unused space on your dashboard.
Remove the „uncategorized“ or „unclassified” categories.
By default, every article you publish is in the „uncategorized“ category or „not rated“. It is for you to change the setting, but often that change is often overlooked. Posting in Uncategorized makes you appear amateur and visitors will see you as unprofessional. You don’t want to appear amateur before your audience.
So you can change the default category to something other than Uncategorized by following these steps:
First, if it does not already exist, create the category you want to use by default. For example, this may be the category you use most often. To do this go, to „Articles> Categories“; then go to „Settings> Writing.“
Now select the category that you created in „Category default items“.
Name your default categories with a name like ‚General‘. This appeals better to the audience and is more professional than having your posts classified as “Uncategorized”.
Resize your images
WordPress allows you to send images very easily, but only a few people optimize the images. Often the images are displayed in full size and then resized in the publication. This can slow down your site, especially if you have many images uploaded. We have all seen images that appear gradually when you visit a website.
A better solution is to use images that are already in the size you desire. If your blog images are always 500 pixels wide, resize them BEFORE you put them on your site. And you do not need Photoshop to resize your photos! You can use the software you probably already have on your computer (like Windows Paint or Mac Paintbrush). Then you can save your image with the new dimensions.
To improve your SEO, it is ideal to name your image with your keywords rather with random numbers that search engines cannot understand or interpret accordingly.
There are many ways to optimize images and it is highly recommended for better SEO.
Remove the link to the picture of your media file
Now that your image is the right size, and you have given it a name that will help you improve your SEO, you can insert in your article or your WordPress page.
By default, when to insert your image, WordPress will link the image to the media file; that is, a page with only the image (like this http://smartyouth.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/nom_de_mon_image.jpg). Also, by default, this link opens in the same window. In fact, when your visitors will click on the image, they will end up on a page with only the image, which could make them want to leave.
Most of the time, it serves no purpose to link the image to the media file. The only time this can be interesting is when the image of your article should be available for better a better use (to be able to read, for example).
So, when you insert an image, select „None“ for the „link“. Now your visitors will not have any link to click on your image, but they will stay on the page to read your article. Also, do not select „File Page attached.“ This will display your image on a page of your website and will bring nothing more to your visitors or search engines.
Remove SPAM comments
Spam comments are common nowadays. You must be vigilant if you allow comments on your WordPress website. Spam comments may be comments unrelated to the post and that link to a spam site. It is common to publish one-word comments such as nice especially when they are the only comments we receive. But to give a professional look to your website, it is essential to guard against spam comments!
You can use plugins like „Akismet“ or „Anti-Spam Bee“ to help you make guard or sort out comments.
It is necessary to regularly delete these spam comments (even if they are not published on your site) since they take up space in your database.
Choose an avatar
It’s always nice to see a face rather than a grey man. This will help you convey a professional and consistent look wherever you leave a comment. You can go to your wordpress.com account to link a picture with your email address so that every time you post a comment to this address, your image will appear. This is also applicable to your posts too. Some themes allow you to display your picture in Author Bio. Having a blank image is not professional. Set up your avatar so that you can display your image to the public.
Change your permalinks
You have to change your permalinks, because, by default, WordPress uses the number of the article as permanent URLs for your articles. To improve your SEO, it is important that your keywords are present in the URL of your articles.
This is one of the criteria considered by search engines to determine if your article is relevant to the keywords you’re targeting. You can change your permalinks in „Settings> Permalinks“ and select the „Post name“ box. This will allow you to get URLs that look attractive and neat.
Change the author name
The author is automatically displayed in many posts in a majority of WordPress themes. The problem here is that the author’s name by default is the WordPress username. This can give valuable information to potential hackers and thus make your site vulnerable to attacks! You can either choose not to display the author or, if your theme will not allow you to do that easily, or you have several authors on the blog, change the name displayed to the visitors.
To change your name, go to „Users> Your Profile“ and enter a „Nickname“. Then you can choose a nickname for „Display name publicly as“. Your WordPress username is no longer publicly displayed, and you can choose an alias that you like. But it is highly recommended you edit your theme to delete or simply change the link associated with the author, because your username will still appear in the default link.
These are ten Useful Tips on How to Customize Your WordPress Site. As you have probably noticed, many of these „issues“ are default settings for WordPress. All you have to do is know how and where you can change them. And by doing that, you would have customized your website without leaving anything that will make you look unprofessional. These are very simple to do, and you can accomplish them with a few clicks. Put these few tips into practice and the difference it will make will surprise you.