Whether you’re new to WordPress or you’ve been using it for a while, there’s no doubt it’s the most flexible, versatile CMS to hit the market. WordPress powers over 74 million websites, provides customizable user roles, and it’s free!
WordPress is easy to customize, SEO friendly, and is supported by major webhosts. In fact, WordPress is so affordable to customize, Mango Matter dubs WordPress “the most budget friendly CMS option available today.”
If you want to get the most out of your WordPress installation without dipping into your budget, here’s how:
- Set custom permalinks
Years ago, URLs generated by content management systems weren’t search engine friendly. That’s why permalinks were created.
WordPress gives you a variety of options for permalink structures, but for SEO friendly links, you’ll need to enter a custom structure.
Navigate to Settings > Permalinks and click the radio button for “Custom Structure.”
In the text box, type ‘/%category%/%postname%/’ (without the quotation marks) to make your permalinks SEO friendly.
- Don’t organize media by month and year folders
By default, WordPress will organize all of your files into separate folders based on the month and year the file was uploaded. Unless you change it, you’ll end up with thirteen media folders each year you run your website. After five years, that’s
If you’re only working inside the visual editor, the extra folders won’t be a problem. However, if you use SFTP or your file manager to access your files, this will be a huge obstacle.
To retrieve a file via SFTP, you’ll need to remember the month and year you uploaded it. Or, you’ll have to sift through all of your folders until you find it.
To avoid this headache, navigate to Settings > Media and uncheck the box that says “Organize my uploads into month-and year-based folders.” All of your files will now be stored directly in the /wp-uploads/ directory.
- Delete and replace uploaded images through your media library
When you upload an image via the media library, WordPress automatically creates multiple thumbnails. If you replace an image through SFTP, the thumbnails won’t be replaced, which can affect your posts.
If you need to replace an image, you can delete all thumbnails through SFTP, but make sure you upload the replacement image through your media library so your thumbnails are correctly regenerated.
- Create a custom 404 page with humor
Hopefully you don’t have a bunch of broken links, but if your visitors ever land on a 404 error page, make them laugh with a custom design.
- Swap out your Keys and Salts after an install
Years ago, it was required to generate unique Keys and Salts for each new WordPress installation. Today, automatic installers do it. Except, some automatic installers use the same Keys and Salts for all installations. This is a security nightmare.
If you’ve never changed your Keys and Salts, your WordPress websites aren’t secure!
If you automatically installed WordPress, you need to change your Salts and Keys right away. Generate new keys from this official WordPress website, and using SFTP replace the old keys in your wp-config.php file.
While the keys are already difficult to break, changing them often makes it even harder. How often you want to change them is up to you.
It’s also a good idea to change your admin password at the same time. Changing your Salts and Keys will log all users out, including anyone who has gained unauthorized access to your admin account. If you change your password, they can’t get back in.
- Know how to edit your admin account directly in the database
Knowing how to edit your admin account directly from your database will be one of your biggest assets.
For instance, if your website gets hacked through the front end – meaning someone hacks your WordPress username and password – they might delete all of your user accounts and lock you out. However, you can create a new admin account and delete the compromised account directly through your database.
Here’s a thorough guide on how to use MySQL to accomplish this.
- Create a child theme to avoid wiping out customizations
If you edit your theme files directly, upgrading your theme will wipe out your customizations. A theme upgrade replaces all core theme files, including CSS files. The only way around this is to create a child theme.
Some themes come with a child theme, but if yours doesn’t and you don’t want to create your own, ask your theme’s creator to make one for you.