Now that you have a running WordPress site, you need to make sure that known glitches are minimized and everything runs smoothly. There are certain guidelines that can you follow and features or tools that you can use to increase your site’s functionality.
Spam is the use of electronic comment systems to send bulk messages, generally for the purpose of advertising. How do you make sure the comments on your posts are protected from spammers? Akismet comes to your rescue! Akismet is a world class spam filtering system which filters your comments for spam as they come in. You just need to register for an API in the Akismet website and install the WordPress plugin and Akismet would do the rest of the job.
In recent versions of WordPress, the latest version of Akismet is generally installed. However, you can always search for ‘Akismet’ in Plugins > Add New in case you don’t find it in your list of installed plugins. In case you are not able to find it, visit the plug-in page on WordPress and follow installation instructions.
If you activate the plugin, you would notice that it requires an API key to start the work.
To get the API, head over to the website of Akismet and click on ‘Get a WordPress Key’.
Choose the ‘Personal Plan’ with $0-120 / yr.
Sign up with your WordPress account to get access to Akismet. Enter your details and choose how much you would want to contribute to Akismet per year. Click continue after filling in your details.
You would then be taken to a new page which would have your new Akismet Key. You would also be mailed the details to your email id which is connected with your WordPress account.
Put this key in your Plugin options and update the options.
Congratulations, you are good to go. Spam would never bother you again.
Set Permalink Structure:
A permalink is the URL structure that points you to a certain link in WordPress (or any other site for that matter). The default structure if you look carefully is something of the form http://mysite.com/?p=<page_no> where <page_no> is 1, 2, 3… That might not look appealing for everyone. Thankfully, WordPress allows you to change the permalink structure as you wish.
Go to Settings > Permalink to change the permalink structure of your site.
In the screenshot, I have selected the one which is also followed by Blogger and many other blogging platforms, which include the month and name of your post. You can also make a custom structure for the permalink in any way you wish. Click ‘Save Changes’ after you are satisfied.
Google XML Sitemaps:
A sitemap protocol allows a webmaster to inform search engines the URLs that are availabe for crawling. A sitemap is basically an XML (Extensible Markup Language) file containing the information.
Generally, there are many plugins which do the trick. One such plugin can be installed by visiting the its page here. After installation, activate the plugin for it to start the work.
You can sit back and relax as the plugin does all the work and generates your sitemap as you put in more posts.
If a post of yours comes in Google Search, Google Authorship allows the author’s name and profile picture in the Google + profile to appear in the search results. To make this happen, you need to register for Google Authorship and link your Google + account to it.
First, you need to head over to Google and create a G+ account. After setting it up, add your site to your contributor links.
Now, you need to verify the authorship before your name and photo start appearing in the search results. There are two ways you can do so.
The first one is to verify it through email. If your website is webriti.com, you can add an email linked to the domain name to your G+ account and verify the email address. However, if you use a subdomain (like example.wordpress.com), getting an email address would not be possible. There is another way to verify it.
The hard way is to add a link to your G+ account with a rel=author attribute attached to it in the HTML of your blog. For example, you need to add the following into your site.
<a href=[G+ Profile URL]?rel=author>Google +</a>
It usually takes about 24-48 hours before the Authorship is set up and the name and photo start appearing in search results.
To confirm if it is working, Google has provided a Structured Data Testing tool, which will allow you to check if you have set up Google Authorship correctly.
WordPress is an open source tool and the best minds in the world are working on it to make it better. As the updates are rolled out, make sure you update WordPress to the latest version. An alert on top notifies you if any new version is available.
However, after you update, make sure all the plugins are working. You can activate the website under maintenance mode to ensure your readers don’t see anything until you have verified everything is working properly.
Backing Up Website:
You must know that everything in this world is not 100% hack-proof and you can never know when something bad happens. To ensure that you are safe from such miscreants, you should take periodic copes. To do that, you can make copies of your WordPress directory. To take backups of the posts, you can go to Tools > Export in WordPress Admin. Such periodic backups would ensure that you never have any data loss.
To monitor traffic and other analytics, the best tool available today is Google analytics. To register your site, sign up to Google Analytics using your Google Account. On adding your site, you would be provided with a small snippet of code that you need to manually enter under the HTML <head> of your website. That would set Google Analytics.
To monitor traffic, log into your Google Analytics account and select your site.
There are many default aspects regarding which Google Analytics would provide you data, what’s better is that you can actually manually decide which properties you want to monitor traffic for.
A Favicon is a shortcut icon, associated with your website, which appears on the browser’s address bar. If you don’t really bother about it, WordPress displays a favicon by default which is not really great. You can either make a favicon on your own, or generate one using one of those online generators. To change the favicon, you can go to the images section of your theme and upload the new one.
That’s it. If you follow these guidelines, you would be one step closer to making your WordPress website a fantastic one!