12 WordPress Tips That Will Make Your Life Easier
As a beginner WordPress user, it can feel pretty overwhelming trying to build a website from
scratch. With so many options, settings, and customizations available, it's hard to know where
to start and which ones are really worth your time.
After building over a dozen WordPress sites of my own and working on even more for clients,
I've learned some key tips along the way that can really simplify things and make the whole
process much easier. These are my Top WordPress Development tips for beginners that will
save you time, money, and frustration as you build out your site.
- Choose a good web host that supports WordPress and provides automatic updates
- Use a pre-made theme to save time on design and focus on content
- Install essential plugins like Yoast SEO, WP Super Cache, and Google Analytics
- Write compelling content organized with headings and bullet points for better
- Utilize categories and tags to better structure your site and optimize content
- Create an editorial calendar to schedule and plan content more efficiently
- Use images generously and optimize them for faster load times
- Make regular backups either manually or with a plugin like UpdraftPlus
- Enable SSL certificate for better performance and SEO rankings
- Keep your site updated, especially core WordPress, themes and plugins
- Limit use of widgets and customizations to avoid errors after updates
- Learn shortcuts and tips to speed up your workflow in the WordPress dashboard
Let's get started making WordPress your best friend instead of your worst enemy!
Choose the Right Web Host
Your web host is one of the most important decisions when starting a WordPress site. Not all
web hosts are created equal, especially when it comes to WordPress support. Here are a few
things to look for:
Optimized for WordPress – The web host should provide WordPress-specific tools,
settings, and optimizations for best performance.
- Automatic updates – The ability to automatically update WordPress core, plugins, and
themes with one click is huge. This saves you so much time and headaches.
- Quick caching – Your web host should utilize caching like Varnish, Memcached or Redis
to speed up load times.
- Server resources – Look for adequate resources in terms of server space, bandwidth,
RAM, CPU, etc to support growth.
- Top-notch support – The best web hosts have 24/7 customer support in case any
issues arise. Live chat is my preferred way to get help fast.
I recommend hosts like Bluehost, SiteGround, WP Engine or Dreamhost that check these boxes for effortless WordPress management. Take your time selecting a host because migrating to a new one later is a big pain!
Use a Pre-Made Theme
One of the biggest time sinks when starting a new WordPress site is figuring out the design.
Between colors, fonts, layouts, images and more, it can take weeks to get a custom design
That's why I strongly recommend starting with a pre-made WordPress theme. The best ones
have beautiful modern designs that are responsive for mobile devices. There are thousands of
free and paid themes to choose from at places like:
WordPress Theme Directory
- Elegant Themes
Look for themes that are well-documented, regularly updated, and have good reviews. Take them for a test drive to make sure the options are easy to use and modify.
A quality theme will save you a ton of time and money on the design process so you can focus
on creating great content! You can always customize it more in the future.
One of the awesome things about WordPress is the thousands of free plugins available to add
extra functionality to your site. But with so many choices, it's tricky to know which ones to
Based on building many WordPress sites, here are some of the must-have plugins I always use:
- Yoast SEO – The best free SEO plugin for optimizing content with keyword research,
XML sitemaps, social meta tags, and more. It's a huge help for improving Google
- WP Super Cache – This caching plugin generates static HTML files to speed up your
site dramatically. Faster load times equal happier visitors.
- Google Analytics – Essential for connecting WordPress to Google Analytics to track
important site metrics like traffic, conversions, etc.
- BackUpWordPress – Makes daily, weekly, and on-demand backups of your WordPress
database and files in case disaster strikes. Peace of mind.
- Akismet – Blocks spam comments and fraudulent form submissions. No more sorting
through viagra ads! Made by Automattic, the same company as WordPress.
I install these on every new WordPress site I work on. They provide a ton of value for minimal
effort. Don't go plugin crazy though — too many can slow down your site.
Write Great Content
At its core, WordPress is a content management system. If you want an effective site, you
need compelling content that engages visitors. Here are some tips for creating great content:
Create an Editorial Calendar
One of the hardest parts of managing a WordPress site is staying on top of creating fresh
content consistently. An editorial calendar can be a big help.
Schedule posts and publication dates – Plot out posts for the upcoming
weeks/months so you know what to work on.
studies, videos, etc.
into content themes.
responsible for each post.
Revisit your editorial calendar regularly to look ahead and tweak as needed. This will help you
maintain a steady stream of fresh content more easily.
Images make content much more engaging, shareable, and enjoyable to read. But posting
huge uncompressed images can slow down your site. Be sure to:
down anyway. Resize to something more reasonable like 1000px x 600px.
80% with no visible quality loss.
Don't over keyword stuff.
user scrolls down to them.
Properly preparing your images will make your pages load significantly faster. Faster load
times equal better visitor experience and engagement.
Back Up Your Site
One of the scariest things that can happen when running a WordPress site is losing all your hard work due to some mishap or hack. That's why regularly backing up your site is a must. Some backup tips:
Manual backups – Download and save full WordPress database + file system backups
locally via cPanel or other methods. Do this once a week.
the cloud. This way your backup happens automatically without you having to
main site crashes entirely.
properly when needed.
Taking just a few minutes to set up backups can literally save your site someday. It gives me
peace of mind knowing there's always a recent backup ready in case of emergency.
Install an SSL Certificate
For better security and performance, all websites should be served over HTTPS using SSL
(Secure Sockets Layer). Some reasons why:
- Encrypted connection – Protects user data and privacy by making the connection
- SEO rankings – Google favors sites with HTTPS, giving them a boost in search results.
- Speed – Enables more efficient use of HTTP/2 and other optimizations for faster
- Trust – Users feel more confident in sites secured with SSL. Can increase conversions.
Thankfully getting an SSL certificate installed is quick and easy these days. Most web hosts make it a 1-click install. Just go into your WordPress dashboard or control panel and follow the prompts.
For maximum coverage, use a wildcard certificate that covers your main domain plus unlimited subdomains. It's a small investment that pays off in safer, faster site and better SEO.
Building a new WordPress site doesn't have to be a long, complicated process. Following the
tips above will help simplify things dramatically so you can launch your site faster.
The key things to remember are:
- Choose a quality WordPress web host
- Start with a pre-made theme
- Install essential plugins like Yoast, Super Cache, etc
- Create great content organized with headings, images, lists, etc
- Use categories and tags to structure your content
- Plan out an editorial calendar for content creation
- Optimize images for faster loading
- Backup regularly either manually or with a plugin
- Install an SSL certificate for better security and SEO
- Stay on top of updates for everything – WordPress, themes, plugins, etc
- Avoid too many customizations that could cause issues
- Use shortcuts and tips to speed up your workflow
WordPress may seem overwhelming at first but becomes much easier once you learn the basics. Follow this guide and you'll be building high-quality sites faster than ever! If you don't have the time or expertise to implement all these WordPress best practices yourself, you may want to hire a WordPress development company to handle it for you. They can take care of the hosting setup, theme selection, plugin configuration, content population,
SEO optimization, backups, troubleshooting, and ongoing site maintenance. This frees you up to focus on your business while leveraging the skills of WordPress experts.