For those of you who have experience with Wordpress websites or blogs, what is the best advice you would give to someone just getting started? Do you put ads on it from the start? Do you prefer pages or posts? Just any kind of advice that maybe you learned along the way.
Pages are good for static pages that are informational; like Contact Us or About Us. Posts are like articles.
I put ads on mine after I have several posts up. I think if you are going to apply for affiliate programs in which you sell stuff (like Amazon or Share a Sale), you should have a few posts up so they can judge your site; unless you already have those programs.
I personally liked started out with a theme which I bought, because it already basically had certain features. But it's not necessary.
One thing I regret with one of my blogs that I recently had to fix is that it was not organized well; meaning the categories were too numerous and complicated, not navigable. So, my advice would be to keep the menu and navigation simple but helpful. That's a biggie for Google they say; that a site is navigable.
Thanks for the input, I was a bit confused with posts vs pages. Pages seemed more organized, but some reading said google likes posts more.
Simple, Thanks, I will keep that in mind.
Google doesn't care whether you use pages or posts - however, Nate is right. The main reason for using posts rather than pages is that Wordpress is designed to showcase posts first and foremost, and therefore setting up effective navigation is much much easier if you use posts - especially once the site becomes large.
Ok my concern was the fact that when using pages they end up at the top, so "child" pages can be viewed in a drop down category, however with posts you just have to keep scrolling. Maybe I'm missing something, but just scrolling through multiple posts seems more difficult than going straight to something in a drop down menu. I guess drop downs would become too full over time.
I started out my first blogs using pages for the same reason, and ended up having to convert them al to posts because pages were too limiting!
You don't have to keep scrolling to see posts - you can create Categories and Sub-Categories to put them in, then create Menus for the Categories and sub-categories (similar to the way you can create child pages for pages). You can choose where to put the menus - along the top navbar, or in the sidebars, or even both.
The advantage of using posts is that you'll find many features of Wordpress are set up to display posts, not pages - sliders, for instance, often can't display pages but can display posts from a specific category. There are plugins which will create automatic menus from post categories but not as many for pages. And so on.
Yes, plugins are important but I wouldn't worry too much at first. Worry about getting some content up there first!
As for ads - some people suggest you shouldn't put ads on your blog until you've got good traffic. I think that's nonsense. If your ads are genuinely helpful to people and not "in your face" (as all good ads should be) then there's no reason not to include them from day 1.
Ok I guess I need to read a bit more on how to do all of that with the categories. I knew you could make them and I have them, but had no idea they could also have sub-categories or a menu for them. I need to learn about sub-categories and work on placement for the menu once figuring out how to make it. Lots to learn, but it's a journey. Thanks. I really needed to be pointed in the right direction on where to start.
The rule of thumb with monetization of sites is to wait until you have 30 visitors a day before you apply. Also ensure you have quite a few posts up before requesting Adsense monetization/ads.I agree that site navigation is critical, as is the visitors' overall ease of experience on the site. Hope that helps!
Use a theme that is fully responsive. You can purchase, but you don't necessarily have to. I use a theme called Oprum that I customized, but it's very easy to use and it's already fully responsive across all devices - looks great on the phone, my desktop and tablet.
Plug-ins are your friend - and there are tons of great ones. You can do a search for them and find them that way and most are rated and reviewed. Many good ones are free and you shouldn't need to buy premium ones.
If you haven't yet, check Udemy for courses. Every month they run specials where you can get any course(s) for ten bucks. You can find amazing courses there with videos, texts, and a lot of support. I've learned a lot signing up for courses there.
Ok, I didn't even think of that. I guess I do need to make sure it will work well on all devices.
I know very little about the types of plug ins but I guess I will need to learn.
Definitely going to check into the courses. Thanks for reminding me!
My best advice:
1. You must pick a subject and stick to it. It can be a broad subject area but you must be strict about it. If you want to write about random subjects, stick to HubPages because a blog won't work.
2. Don't invest in a theme until you're sure what you need - start with a free one (my current favourite is Hueman). You may think you know what you need but trust me, as the site develops and you learn more about Wordpress, you'll discover otherwise! There's a very good chance you'll change your theme at least once as the blog ages.
3. If you want to do something special with your blog, chances are someone has designed a plugin to do just that - so search on Wordpress.org for one. However, don't go mad with plugins because every plugin slows your site down just a fraction. Don't be afraid to use the ones that do essential tasks, but don't go "plugin happy" as you can ruin your blog's load speed.
4. As you're a Hubber you already have an Adsense account so you can use it immediately. However, be sure you don't annoy your readers or upset Google (even though Google owns Adsense, they get upset if you use ads in the wrong place). So, NO advertising banners across the top of your blog, ever - keep them in your sidebar and footer.
Precise information. Thank you, that was exactly what I was looking for. So would you put ads in before the article has many posts or would you wait?
Plug ins seem to be something everyone mentions so I guess I need to learn which ones may be relevant to my site.
Marisa gave excellent advice derived from extensive experience... except for this banner ad part - which is mostly right.
There are two problems with top-of-page/post banner ads;
1. If you use drop down menus and the drop down overlays the banner ad - Adsense will be upset and if brought to their attention will insist that you move the ad. (same with ads directly below page/post title)
2. Most wordpress themes put the page/post title first then the banner ad - Adsense views this as misleading and will insist you change the layout. (there is no problem if the banner ad is above the title) - I had this problem and was given a limited time to correct it or lose adsense.
That was the correct part of Marisa's advice. With that said... top page banner ads are my top performers. I highly recommend them, but... and this is important - drop down menus cannot overlay them, and if the banner ad is below the page/post title, you must identify it as an ad.
My solution, (my banner ads were directly under the title), was to precede the banner ad with "Sponsored ad" in a 10 pt. gray tone. It is obvious to see and meets adsense requirements.
ps. all sites are different and Marisa's may be less suitable to banner ads than mine are, hence her advice - but they work great for me - and my method of use passes muster with Google/Adsense.
pss. Google/Adsense offer advice for `best use` ad placement and top page banner ads are one of the top recommendations. (you just have to place them correctly)
psss, footer ads are my least performing ad units. I have tried multiple ad formats and they still don't do as well as banner and in-body ad placements - for me.
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