This article was originally posted on May 19, 2013 and has been updated.
Although WordPress web software is fairly easy to use and learn, there are some important guidelines that are better to learn before you get started. Here is a summary of some of the more important guidelines.
Where To Find WordPress Help
When working within WordPress, help is just a click away – Look for HELP in the upper-right-hand corner of every post and page.
Website Security – Maintain your site to keep it safe from hackers & malware:
- BACKUP often and ALWAYS before any updates. Take at least one backup a month and after you make changes. Use a plugin or the tools on your hosting server to take backups of your files and database.
- Delete spam comments
- Keep your password secure and difficult, and choose usernames that are not obvious (Please do not use ADMIN or 1234567!)
- Don’t share your password with other users. Create a new USER account for each person on your WordPress website. You should consider creating a new user account for yourself that is strictly for adding posts (EDITOR).
- Update WordPress core as needed
- Update themes as needed
- Update plugins as needed
- If multiple updates are needed, always update plugins first, then themes then your WordPress core files.
- If you have plugins or themes that are not being used, remove them from your site.
- Keep your own desktop/laptop computer up-to-date and free of malware.
- Only add plugins from reputable developers: read reviews and support logs before uploading a new plugin to your website.
- Use an anti-spam plugin – some of the newer security plugins include anti-spam protection or install a stand-alone plugin such as AntiSpam.
- Worried that you have malware on your site? Scan it for free at https://sitecheck.sucuri.net/. While this tool may not detect all malware, it may give you an idea if your site was hacked.
- Resize images BEFORE uploading them.
- Take time to fill in descriptions and alternative text.
- You can add a hyperlink to your image and link to a page in your website rather than back to the original image. Keep in mind though that mobile phone users scrolling down a page may inadvertently click on a photo link which will take them away from the page they are viewing.
- 750 pixels is a common width for a post image.
- 1600 pixels is a common width for a front page hero image.
- 200kB is the recommended maximum file size of any image. Over sized images cause slower load times.
- Irfanview is a good (free) image manager. It is easy to use and allows you to resize your images: IMAGE/RESIZE-RESAMPLE
- PicMonkey is a good free online image editor
Posts and Pages:
- When copying text from a word-processing program or another website be sure to remove the formatting first. The best way to do this is to post into Notepad first to remove any formatting.
- Use Chrome or Firefox browsers to take advantage of their spellcheck features; otherwise be certain to use spellchecker before publishing your page.
- You have one chance to change your permalink (URL), before you publish your page or post. Check your permalink (URL) before initially publishing your page to make sure it is “pretty” and useful. Sometimes WordPress assigns numbers to pages and sometimes you may not want your page link to be the same as your title. Use the “edit” button to make this permanent pretty permalink change.