4 Crucial Things You Need To Know When Using WordPress

Have you ever wondered why some people succeed more than others when using WordPress as a platform for running their blog or website?

The answer is pretty obvious:

  • They know some tricks you don’t know.

It’s not just enough to use WordPress, you need to know some hacks that can often make all the difference.

The Top 4 WordPress Tips And Tricks

1. Use Plugins With Care

Use Plugins with Care
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Currently, there are over 49,000 plugins in the WordPress plugin directory.

While the use of plugins is a necessity as far as WordPress is concerned, we shouldn’t install all 49,000 on our site.

So, how many of them should you add?

Well, it’s always a better practice to install a few really important ones rather than making your site look like a dumping ground for all kinds of plugins.

But why care about the number of plugins?

In case you don’t know, adding too many plugins to a site comes with a price.

Some of the problems to expect include page speed problems, incompatibility with other plugins problems, and maybe even being entirely shut out of your blog.

Incompatibility issues will periodically make your important plugins stop functioning and/or produce errors because another plugin is forcing it to malfunction.

If that malfunctioning plugin is a security plugin, well, you can see the problem…

Most importantly, with too many plugins loading at once, your site slows down and assumes a snail’s pace. This makes your visitors hurriedly leave as nobody has time to spend waiting for a slow site to load.

Because of this, search engines like Google will penalize your site and your ranking will be affected.

Which plugins should we choose?

Selecting a plugin is not about quantity; you should focus on quality and importance. A few high-quality plugins are so much better than 30 mediocre plugins.

When choosing a plugin, make sure you answer the following questions:

  • Do I know the origin of this plugin? Plugins can be a source of security attacks on your site. Be sure the author is known before installing it on your site.
  • Has this plugin been updated in the past 6 months? Regular updates are very necessary when it comes to WordPress plugins. A plugin that has not been updated for over a year is most likely an abandoned one. You should avoid it.
  • What’s the plugin all about? There should be a description describing the plugin and what it does. You shouldn’t just install it because it is available. You need to know what functionality it adds to your site and/or what problem it takes care of.
  • How many people trust it and how many downloads does it have? One tip that shows you the importance of a plugin is the number of people installing it on their blog. If you find a plugin with just 20 installations, there’s probably a reason that no one else is using it.
  • What are the reviews about the plugin saying? Take the time to look at what people who have used it are saying. The more 5-star ratings a plugin enjoys, the more you should trust it.

Here are four plugins you should definitely be using:

Check out: How many WordPress plugins are too many?

2. Get A Premium Theme

Get A Premium Theme
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The beauty of your WordPress site lies in the theme you use.

This is a good reason why you should carefully select the type of theme or template to use as that will act as the foundation for your site.

Several thousands of free themes are available in the WordPress theme directory. But just because they’re free doesn’t mean you should use them.

Remember that they are limited in their functionality and a lot of them are prone to security issues.

However, when you go for premium themes, you save yourself a lot of headaches and make things relatively easier. Some of those premium themes also come with special plugins that help make your work effortless.

Quality WordPress premium themes are affordable, and most of the time, you can use them on multiple sites.

You can get one at Genesis, ThriveThemes, MyThemeShop, Themeforest, or Elegant Themes for a really reasonable price.

Check out: Free WordPress Theme vs. Premium WordPress Theme

3. Use The Best Hosting For Your Blog

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Hosting plays a significant role in making your site stand out. If you want something different from the rest, you need to go for a reliable, tested, and result-oriented web hosting service.

There are a lot of web hosting companies out there which claim to give you results, but are they really true?

To get the right web hosting company for your blog, there are a few things to look out for:

  • Server type: There are shared, managed WordPress hosting, cloud, dedicated, and virtual private servers to choose from. While some of those packages are suitable for small-to-medium businesses, bigger businesses may require something different.
  • Disk space: Just like the hard drive space in your phone or computer, this is where your data is stored. Before choosing a hosting company, be sure they provide enough disk space or that the disk space can be upgraded when the need arises.
  • Bandwidth: This is important because websites are all about getting traffic. The bandwidth deals with the level of traffic that can be safely handled. Make sure your host can handle your traffic needs.
  • SSL + Security: A good hosting provides the building block for your growing blog. Ensure it offers free SSL (Bluehost & SiteGround offers) & provides security so that you don’t need to get into mumbo-jumbo of handling a hacked blog.

Furthermore, never settle for free hosting that bombards you with ads and is hardly able to provide customer support. With as little as $3 to $15 per month, you can comfortably host your site on a trusted server.

One trick here is to buy your hosting package during festive periods like Christmas, Black Friday/Cyber Monday, Halloween, etc. because there are always a lot of promos going on during those periods.

Also, buying for a longer term (2+ years) helps you to save more money in the long run.

Check out: How To Buy Web Hosting With A Free Domain Name For Your WordPress Blog

4. Dare To Explore

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A lot of the tricks on WordPress are discovered simply by exploring the site.

You should never be afraid to play around with your dashboard to see how things work.

A word of caution though: Always backup your site before you start experimenting in case anything goes wrong If you are not sure what to do, go check out some tutorials.

Through these tutorials, you can handle minor things like permalinks settings, customization of plugins, customization of themes, scheduling routing backups, and more.

Just go onto YouTube and type in “WordPress tutorial” to find some great ways to enhance your WordPress knowledge.

Having a mastery over your dashboard will help you maximize your efficiency and overall success rate with the platform.

Getting Used To the WordPress Dashboard

The WordPress dashboard lets you control all of the “behind-the-scenes” details of managing your blog. Once you get used to the dashboard, you’ll discover it’s incredibly easy to navigate and use.

First, let’s look at the dashboard’s home screen.

Once you’re logged in, you’ll be welcomed by WordPress with some quick links to help you get started. You’ll see something like “Howdy, (your name)” on the top right side of your WordPress dashboard.

The next section you’ll see is the At a Glance section. Here you’ll see the total number of pages, posts, comments, tags, and categories for your site’s content.

At a Glance
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Here, you’ll see the WordPress theme you’re currently running, the number of running widgets, and your current WordPress version.

The Recent Comments section shows you all of your recent comments. In this section, you can moderate comments, edit, reply, send them to trash, or mark them as spam.

In the Plugins section, you’ll see the recently updated, most popular, and newest plugins from the WordPress plugin directory.

If you look at the second column to your upper right, you’ll find the Quick Draft section.

Quick Draft lets save a draft of a post right from this screen. However, you won’t enjoy all of the useful formatting options like you do in the main WordPress post editor.

Quick Draft
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Furthermore, if you look at the Quick Draft section, you will see all of your recent drafts. Your five most recent drafts will be visible here.

The last section you should know about is the WordPress News section. This is where WordPress displays all the recent updates from their official project and the WordPress Planet feed.

WordPress News
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If you’d prefer to customize the sections that show on your WordPress dashboard, just go the Screen Options tab which you can see on the top right side of your screen.

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Click the down arrow, and you’ll now see checkboxes for every section usually included in the WordPress dashboard. To remove or add any of the sections, just tick or untick the checkbox beside the section you’d like to show or hide.

If you return to the home dashboard, you can also expand each of these sections by clicking the arrow to the right. Also, you can drag and drop the boxes to change the order.

Apart from the WordPress main home screen, the left-hand navigation menu is another major part of the WordPress dashboard. The navigation menu provides links to all of the WordPress administration screens for pages, posts, comments, the media library, appearance options, users, plugins, settings, and tools.

If you ever need assistance, just click the Help tab located beside the Screen Options tab in the upper right corner.

WordPress Help
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Click the down arrow to expand, it, and you’ll now see useful information that will walk you through the navigation, layout, overview, and content of the WordPress dashboard. From here, you will equally find a link to the WordPress.org Codex documentation and support forums.

Tips To Maximize WordPress Success

WordPress is a lovely platform to work with.  But to make it a truly great experience, you must be familiar with the concepts mentioned in this post. Always remember to continue adding in knowledge and updating yourself on the latest happenings in the WordPress world.

You can also download WordPress eBook from ShoutMeLoud store.

Now I’m curious to hear from you: What are the things you do to master the WordPress platform? Could you share these tips and tricks with us? I bet a lot of people would love hearing what you do to make WordPress work for you!

Like this post? Don’t forget to share it!

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Authored By
A Blogger, Author and a speaker! Harsh Agrawal is recognized as a leader in digital marketing and FinTech space. Fountainhead of ShoutMeLoud, and a Speaker at ASW, Hero Mindmine, Inorbit, IBM, India blockchain summit. Also, an award-winning blogger.

43 thoughts on “4 Crucial Things You Need To Know When Using WordPress”

  1. Vishal Jaiswal

    Sir, Can you tell me about any single software name, which will be the best for designing WordPress theme.

  2. Sumit Dadwal

    Hey Harsh!
    Big fan bro. Your articles are just great. I learnt a lot from your site. Thanks. Great Post!

  3. Some premium plugins like Visual Composer make it easier to build nice and sleek pages for your blog.

  4. Yes, we should always try to use less number of plugin on our website or blog. You can even replace the two or more plugins with a single plugins. For example:

    You can use Yoast for SEO and Sitemap purpose
    You can also use WP Security for security and block spam. There is no need to use akismet.

  5. These were some of the best tips, I am quite new to WordPress but will surely learn a lot with your tips.

  6. Amit Raghuvanshi

    Sir , Great Article..
    Thanks for sharing your knowledge.

    In my opinion Elementor is the best plugin for page editing.

    Regards
    Amit Raghuvanshi

  7. Vishal Malik

    This is a nice post about WordPress. Currently, I am using Blogger but now want to move to WordPress.
    So, How can I move posts from Blogger to WordPress.

  8. Freddy Junior

    hey Harsh!

    I love the WordPress platform!

    I’m a web designer and this is the platform I use for all my clients. I just love everything about it. And since it is an open source platform, we can play with it and customize to our likings (if you really know how to, of course).

    I think one of the most important parts here is the Web Hosting. You must take your time to choose the right hosting plan for your website. If you don’t give the hosting great care, you will have problems in the long run as your site traffic increases and everything gets very heavy to load on your site.

    Having a good and reliable hosting plan will allow you to do more on WordPress. For instance, you can have way more plugins with a good hosting plan, and I’m not talking about the cheap bluehost or hostgator plans!

    I use a service called wpxhosting for my internet marketing blog, and right now I’m using about 46 plugins!

    And my blog loads insanely fast!

    So, the hosting matters tremendously!

    Just sharing my 2cents here!

    Thank you for another valuable blog post man!

    Cheers! 🙂

  9. Emma Williams

    Than you for writing this article on wordpress . These tips are really helpful for me to understand better about wordpress hosting and plugins

  10. Well written Author Harsh, this article explained most of the aspects of wordpress I was in search of . Thanks for writing it down.

  11. Hey Harsh,
    Very Informative article. Thanks for sharing. I am following every instruction you shared in this page. And this all things matters. When I change my hosting provide I have experienced lots of improvement. Thanks again.

  12. Hi Harsh,
    Thank you for the tips you gave us. i am using wordpress from last one year and Now i know the secret.
    Thanks

  13. Hy Harsh,
    This is a very helpfull post for newbies i am your regular reader keep doing good work
    thanks

  14. dharmendra kumar

    Hey HARSH,

    I am a .net developer and now i am trying to develop a word press site, am learning a lot from various blogs like yours one,

    Thanks for sharing such a useful information like that, it’ll help the developers like me and more than me.

    Keep sharing

    Thanks

  15. Dear Harsh
    Thanks a lot for sharing this amazing post . This article helps me alot. By reading this article I learnt many new things about WordPress plugins, hosting and lots more.
    Thanks & keep it up.

  16. Thanks for sharing this good kind of information.
    I am also using WordPress but I don’t know about these things.

  17. Hey Harsh,
    excellent post as always.
    can you tell me specific wp-plugins which are most useful for link building.
    i am really having poor links on my blogs.

  18. I am right now exploring a lot with my website. I coded my own website’s homepage. I did not have any knowledge on Coding. It took 2.5 days to do that. I still love to explore WordPress​! 😇😇

  19. You might have heard that excessive usage of anything may put a severe damage, similarly if you are going to add unnecessary plugins to your site will definitely mess up everything in your site. As of premium themes, you should always go for original themes instead of free or nulled versions. They are always risky, as many people may bypass your security and steal your credentials or they may also hack your website, so if you are working on a business website or earning website, please do not use the free version of premium themes. I have plenty of experience in the area of web development and we have used many such themes and plugins, so we know very well how people inject malicious code in theme files or plugin files and once you will activate that plugin/theme the malicious code will execute and your site will get in to a deep trouble. We have seen many of clients coming back to us and requesting to identify that malicious code and remove that it from theme/plugin file.

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