Insights from Bengaluru WordPress Meetup

Punit Kumar

WordPress is a Content Management System (CMS) which was initially released in May, 2003. This is a free and open-source CMS which is based on PHP and MySql. Although WordPress started out as a blogging platform, it has evolved to be the most popular Content Management System (CMS) in the world today. Its strength still lies in its ability to publish content and is hence the perfect choice for bloggers.

As of January 2015, more than 23.3% of the top 10 million websites now use WordPress. As of February 2016, WordPress is used by 59.1% of all the websites whose content management system we know. This is 25.8% of all websites. [Source: Wikipedia]

Bengaluru WordPress meetup was held at TechJini, Bangalore on 21st January, 2017. The group meets every 3rd Saturday of the month. The members include local WordPress developers, designers, and publishers who get together to share their knowledge and experience, and to meet other WordPress users in the area. This Official WordPress Meetup is open to all who love WordPress.

The topic for the meetup was “WordPress for Bloggers – How to setup and optimize WordPress for blogging”.

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The agenda revolved around how WordPress can be optimized for bloggers so as to help them create, publish and share content with their audience.

With no formal speaker for the meetup, this was an informal discussion. We discussed technical as well as writing challenges. Below are some insights from the Meetup.

1. Use of Permalinks
As a WordPress blogger, have you come across instances where your blog URL changes as and when you update the blog. If yes, then use of permalinks will resolve your problem.

Permalinks are the permanent URLs to your individual pages and blog posts, as well as your category and tag archives. A permalink is the web address used to link to your content. The URL to each post should be permanent, and never change — hence the name permalink.

Change the Permalink setting to Post Name and you won’t face the issue again.

Learn how to change the permalink setting here: https://codex.wordpress.org/Settings_Permalinks_Screen

Alternately, you can also use Redirection which is a WordPress Plugin. The plugin works same as WordPress handles permalinks. Redirections are automatically created when a post URL changes, and you can manually add redirections. You can also keep a track of 404 errors.

2. Slow Page Speed of Blog Page
In case your blog page has lot of images then it would surely result in a slow page speed. In simple words, page speed is your loading time of the page. Pages with longer load time result in lower website conversions as well as a low average time on the page. To solve your image size issue you can start with uploading an optimized image which is not heavy on size. There are many tools available which can help you to do so like: FastStone Photo Resizer, Picresize and JPEGmini. However, none of these tools will work as good as Adobe Photoshop.

Tips to increase your page speed:
(a) Try pagination
(b) Enable Compression
(c) Minify CSS, JavaScript and HTML
(d) Avoid landing page redirects
(f) Leverage browser catching
(g) Optimize Images
(h) Prioritize Visible Content
(i) Reduce server response time
(j) Eliminate render-blocking JavaScript and CSS in above-the-fold content

Test your page speed here: https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/

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3. Blog Backup
With world becoming digital, we started relying a lot on technology. We moved from maintaining hand written journals to writing online, because why not. Use of laptops/desktops and online space not only expands the tools that you can incorporate while you write but also gives you a larger audience. But in all this we do forget a simple fact – technology can also be a curse.

Taking backup of your website content/blog is very important. This will help you in case you lose some data while fixing errors or in case you forget to renew the subscription of your WordPress account.

While the process maybe time consuming, it is indeed a good habit so that you do not regret later. In case, your website hosting firm takes a back then you can relax and sit back; otherwise feel free to explore a bundle of WordPress backup plugins like Blog Vault, Backup WordPress etc.

4. Motivation for Bloggers
While blogging maybe a hobby for some; it is the source of bread and butter to others. So what to do when you have a writer’s block? Try writing non-stop without being affected by the surroundings. Keep a time dedicated just to write until it becomes a habit.

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5. Optimize your content for mobile
Your content might look great on web, but have you cared to check how it looks on a mobile platform? With everyone moving to mobiles and tablets the need to make your content mobile friendly has increased a lot. We have seen app makers to release their applications on web and mobile both so that they get a larger audience. WordPress for example has also moved to mobile and their app is available for you to use on your mobile/tablet.

To ensure that your content is mobile friendly, you can use another WordPress Plugin: Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP). This plugin aims to give a mobile optimized content which loads instantly anywhere.

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6. Upgrading your WordPress account
Your need will define on the type of WordPress account you choose to work on. While a VIP account may give you fancy features, but it is you who should evaluate and check if you really need all those features. Upgrading your account would also involve a jump in the cost that you are spending for your blog/site. So think wisely and chose what suits best to your budget and need.

7. Reach out to WordPress Community and explore the plugins
WordPress community is ever growing with lot of free and paid plugins. You get instant support from developers who dedicate some of their free time to make the community a better place. Reach out to folks or report the error you face and it would be surely resolved faster than any other CMS.

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The meetup ended with a healthy discussion on how for the first time technical and non-technical people had come and interacted with each other. The group also decided to continue the discussion online and have a more fruitful engagement next time.

We, at TechJini, enjoyed being the host for this meetup and we look forward to more such events. Drop in a mail to university@techjini.com in case you would like to be posted about future open events at TechJini.

Watch the entire album from the meetup on: Facebook.

 

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about the author

Punit Kumar