20 Useful WordPress Tips and Tricks For Beginners (2024)

If you’re new to WordPress, you’re likely searching for ways to make the most out of this powerful platform.

In this article, we’ll share some of the most useful WordPress tips and tricks for beginners. Whether you’re setting up your first website or looking to optimize your blog, these practical suggestions will help you navigate WordPress with ease.

From choosing a good theme to optimizing your site for search engines, these beginner-friendly tips will offer everything you need to build a successful online presence.

Dive in and find out how to get the most out of WordPress with these useful tips and tricks.

20 Beginners WordPress Tips and Tricks

Below are some of the most essential WordPress tips and tricks for beginners:

1. Choose a Fast and Reliable WordPress Host

Choosing a fast and reliable WordPress host is the unsung hero of your website’s success. Think of it as the foundation of your house.

A strong foundation leads to a strong and secure structure; the same is true for your website. A reliable host offers minimal downtime, ensuring that your website is always available to visitors. Speed is also crucial. A slow-loading website frustrates users and hurts your Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

Look for a web host with a track record of reliable uptime and fast server response times. Many providers provide WordPress-specific plans, which often include features like one-click WordPress installation, built-in caching, and automatic updates.

We recommend checking out Bluehost, which is hands down the best hosting option for WordPress. In fact, it ranks top on our list of the best cheap WordPress hosting providers.


2. Choose the Right WordPress Theme

WordPress offers more than 12,000 free themes in its theme directory that you can use to improve the appearance of your website. Moreover, you can explore many high-quality themes in third-party marketplaces like ThemeForest, MOJO Marketplace, etc.

WordPress.org Free Themes Repository

However, most high-quality themes are premium and pricy. But the price is reasonable, so there’s nothing to worry about.

So, are you hurrying to install a theme instantly?

Hold on! You’re committing the same mistake that most beginners do. They select a theme based on its look or pricing.

So, before you choose a website theme, ask yourself, “Why are you building this website?”

It can be a blogging website, an online store, a business website, or anything else for you.

Furthermore, when selecting a theme, you should also consider browser compatibility, mobile friendliness, and responsiveness.

Instead of focusing just on the look or price, choose a theme that is consistent with your purpose and considers other elements.

Additionally, WordPress allows its users to preview the themes before making the final decision. So, before activating the theme, see the live demo.

Astra, Neve, and Kadence are among some of the minimalist WordPress themes you can check out for your website.

3. Install an SEO Plugin

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is vital for the success of any website. Without SEO, your site will not rank high in search results, which is not ideal for building your audience. Unless you’re an actual IT expert, and even then, you’ll probably need some help with your SEO.

Installing an SEO plugin will make your life easier and your website more successful. These plugins assist you with on-page SEO, keyword optimization, XML sitemap creation, schema markup implementation, and other SEO tasks. It streamlines the SEO process and boosts search engine rankings.

You will find many popular plugins for SEO in the WordPress plugins directory, but we recommend using Rank Math. It’s easy to use and has many powerful features in its free version (especially for on-page SEO), making it a plugin worth looking into.

Rank Math SEO Analysis

Further Reading: Rank Math vs Yoast SEO: Which Is Better For SEO?

4. Install Google Analytics in WordPress

Google Analytics is a must-have tool for WordPress website owners. It shows you where your users are coming from and what they’re doing on your website.

It will only start tracking your website’s visitors when you install it. That is why it is important to have everything set up before launching your website.

Google Analytics Overview

This way, you’ll have all of the historical data necessary to track and compare the progress of your website.

Installing Google Analytics on your WordPress site is a breeze. There are two main methods: using a plugin like MonsterInsights, which shows beautiful reports right inside your WordPress admin area. Alternatively, manually add the tracking code to your theme’s header.

For a WordPress beginner, we highly recommend plugin methods.

5. Edit Your WordPress Permalinks

Permalinks are permanent links, such as the URL of your website or the addresses of your individual posts. WordPress automatically creates permalinks when creating a new post. However, the default settings are clunky and not SEO-friendly.

If you leave the permalink settings as they are, you’ll end up with the date included in the permalink. This is less than ideal, especially for SEO. To customize your permalink settings, go to Settings » Permalinks.

From here, you can choose your new permalink structure from a number of options. We recommend the Custom Structure setting. It’s the most SEO-friendly.

Permalink Settings in WordPress

Ensure to save your changes at the bottom of the page!

Further Reading: What Is a Permalink in WordPress?

6. Make Sure Your Site Is Indexable

By default, your WordPress site should be indexable. However, you should verify this to ensure that Google and other search engines will index your website’s pages since WordPress offers the option to discourage indexing.

To check this, go to Settings » Reading. From here, make sure that the “Search engine visibility” option is unchecked. If it is checked, unchecked and click on “Save Changes”.

Search Engine Visibility Settings in WordPress

7. Easily Set up Redirects in WordPress

If you’ve been working on your website for a while, you may want to change URLs or merge content from time to time.

However, deleting it may result in a 404 error on older content. Plus, there are also SEO considerations, such as how to notify search engines that the content has relocated.

This is where 301 redirects come into play. This allows you to instantly redirect readers to new articles while informing search engines that the content has moved.

WordPress does not include 301 redirects automatically. However, many redirect plugins are available that are simple to configure and use. With 301 redirects in place, you can make sure your site performs optimally even when visitors try to go to pages you aren’t supporting anymore.

Search Result For Redirection Plugins in WordPress.org Plugin Directory

8. Compress Your Images

You must have heard about compressing images as a great SEO trick. In fact, images are amongst the heaviest components of a webpage, and you need to optimize them to maintain your site’s performance and SEO. A slow website can create a negative user experience and a tremendous amount of loss. And that cannot be good for you.

So, you must always compress your images and videos. There are various online tools available to compress images, like Kraken.io and Optimizilla. You can also install image optimization plugins for WordPress to ensure your images are as visually stunning as possible without slowing down your site.

For image optimization and compression, we recommend Imagify. With Imagify, you can either optimize images as they are uploaded or use the Bulk Optimization option later on.

Imagify - Image Optimization Plugin

In addition, Imagify can convert images to newer image formats like WebP.

For more, check out our complete Imagify review.

9. Add ALT Text to Images

Search engines do not see in the same way we do. Instead, they must rely on the image’s ALT text to know its content. ALT text just contains a brief description of the image. They help search engines in finding out how the image relates to your website and content, which can improve search rankings.

Adding ALT text is straightforward. When you upload a new image, WordPress gives you the field to add alt text. Simply type in an accurate description within the corresponding field, save your changes, and you’re good to go.

Adding Alt Text to Image in WordPress

10. Limit Login Attempts

Being the most popular CMS on the internet, WordPress also attracts users and hackers alike. It’s a good idea to add some safeguards to your site with another layer of security.

By default, WordPress allows unlimited attempts to log in to your site. One way to protect your website from brute force attacks is to limit the login attempts to your site. You can do this with plugins like Login LockDown, Limit Login Attempts Reloaded, etc. These WordPress plugins let you limit the number of failed login attempts a user may make.

11. Add a Facebook Thumbnail Image

By default, when you share your WordPress post on Facebook, the platform automatically picks up an image from your articles that might not be the most eye-catching or relevant. This can affect your click-through rates and overall engagement.

However, the good news is that you can easily set up a custom Facebook thumbnail image for each post or page! This allows you to showcase the most relevant and visually appealing image specifically for Facebook.

If you are using popular SEO plugins like Yoast SEO or AIOSEO, it provides a dedicated Social tab within the post editor where you can upload or choose a custom Facebook thumbnail.

Yoast SEO Social Tab

This simple step can significantly improve the visual impact of your shared content on Facebook, potentially leading to more website traffic and engagement.

12. Create a Custom 404 Error Page

Intentionally, you never want visitors to land on a 404 page. But the reality is that it happens, and when it does, try to keep users on your website.

Every WordPress theme comes with a default 404 page that says nothing about your site. That is why you can create a custom 404 page that lets your visitors know that while they arrived on the wrong page, they still land at the right website.

To create a custom 404 page, we recommend SeedProd. It’s one of the best WordPress page builders that allows you to quickly build custom pages and landing pages and even complete WordPress themes without writing code.

SeedProd - Best Drag and Drop WordPress Website Builder

Simply install and activate the SeedProd plugin. For more details, check out our guide on how to install WordPress plugins.

Upon activation, simply go to SeedProd » Landing pages and then click on the 404 Page option.

404 Page Option in SeedProd

Next, choose the 404-page templates among the available options and start customizing it through its drag-and-drop interface.

SeedProd 404 Page Templates

Once you are done, click on the Save and Publish button at the top.

13. Backup Regularly

Data loss can be devastating to your website and is surprisingly often. Installing new plugins, changing themes, or just performing updates are some of the riskiest tasks. Furthermore, there is the ever-present fear of cyberattacks and hackers wreaking havoc. As a result, maintaining a regular backup is one of the best WordPress tips and tricks we can give you.

Although most hosting plans provide a backup solution, they are not great. The backup intervals may be long, and the data is most likely kept alongside that of all their other users, making it an easy target for hackers. Getting data restored is also a challenge.

Thankfully, there are several WordPress backup plugins available to do regular or ad-hoc backups.

14. Add SSL Security

Installing a Secure Socket Layer (SSL) certificate encrypts the data your site’s users send and receive, rendering it inaccessible to hackers. It’s so essential that Google considers it a requirement that can affect your search ranking. Furthermore, Chrome and other browsers alert site users before granting access to sites without SSL security, so unprotected sites are seen as less safe.

A Site Secured by SSL and HTTPs

An SSL certificate can be purchased in a few ways: automatically with the purchase of a domain, as an add-on, or via a WordPress plugin. Most hosting plans now include free SSL certificates for each domain hosted inside the package. Your certificate is generally associated with your domain automatically, but you may have to assign it using the domain’s settings.

You can also use a WordPress plugin like Really Simple SSL to add an SSL certificate to your site. If you buy your SSL certificate separately, you need to connect it to your domain and then update WordPress settings.

15. Install a Security Plugin

When it comes to managing your WordPress website, one of the top priorities should be security. We’ve previously covered adding SSL to keep bad bugs and hackers out, but there’s more to it than that.

The next WordPress tip you’ll need to complete is to install a WordPress security plugin. While some free options are available, many premium ones offer extra security features to help you increase your website’s security.

Wordfence, for example, offers a firewall and other security measures to keep your site secure from data breaches. The free version provides a strong layer of security, including Brute Force Protection, Login Security, File Change Detection, and more. However, the premium version includes additional security protections for your site.

16. Manage Your Comments

You already know that allowing users to leave comments on your posts helps you to communicate with them and establish a community. However, the internet is filled with users who use comments to spam. Many users use your comment section to promote their website, which harms your site.

As Google crawls your comments, spammy ones might have an impact on your domain authority.

You may manually manage your comments through the WordPress admin, or you can use a free plugin like Akismet to filter them before they appear on your site. Additionally, you can also disable comments on the entire site or just specific pages/posts.

Disable Comments on Future Posts

17. Update Your Themes and Plugins

This WordPress tip is not new, but it is so crucial that it should be included in any list of best WordPress practices! Now is a great time to audit your themes and plugins to make sure they are up to date and working properly.

Update WordPress Themes and Plugins From WordPress Dashboard Update Screen

While it may seem painful to go through all of the sites you manage just to update these things, it is essential to both site performance and security. Outdated versions may have flaws that put the site in danger, and think how much longer it will take to fix a malware-infected site.

18. Fix WordPress Email Deliverability

By default, WordPress sends emails via the PHP mail() function. However, many WordPress hosting providers block or limit this function to prevent abuse.

This means that you and your users may not be able to get email notifications from your WordPress website. Some of these notifications are crucial, such as forgotten password emails and new user registration emails.

To fix this issue, you need to use an SMTP plugin. We recommend WP Mail SMTP, which allows you to send WordPress emails using the correct SMTP protocol. In fact, it is ranked top on our list of the best WordPress SMTP plugins.

Best WordPress SMTP Plugin

19. Set Up Cookie Notifications

Cookie notifications have become an expected part of web browsing in recent years. That is due to a European regulation known as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which requires users to be informed about how their data is collected and used.

While these notices are not required for users in the United States, most websites now provide them in accordance with European legislation.

Cookie notifications are so common that many themes include notification banners as default. You just customize and enable them. If that’s not the case, you may use a cookie consent plugin to enable customized pop-ups.

This allows you to create your own notification and allows visitors to change cookie permissions or accept default settings.

Cookie Consent Example

20. Optimize Your Website Speed

No one enjoys waiting for a website to load, and unfortunately, slow loading times can hurt your website’s traffic and search engine ranking.

To keep your visitors happy and Google on your good side, consider optimizing your site speed. Luckily, there are several ways to optimize your WordPress speed and performance, as we saw above. For example, use a fast host and compress your images.

However, using a WordPress cache plugin like WP Rocket helps you implement 80% of web performance best practices without touching a single line of code.

WP Rocket: #1 WordPress Caching Plugin

WordPress Tips and Tricks – Conclusion

In conclusion, mastering WordPress as a beginner can be an incredibly rewarding journey, unlocking a world of possibilities for creating and managing your website.

The 20 tips and tricks we’ve covered provide a solid foundation to enhance your WordPress experience. From understanding the importance of choosing the right theme to optimize your site’s performance and security, these insights are designed to streamline your workflow and maximize your site’s potential.

By leveraging these strategies, you can ensure a smoother, more efficient process as you build and grow your online presence.

For more, check out these other helpful resources:

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