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12 WordPress site settings that are critical to your SEO success

WordPress is one of the most SEO optimized content management systems today. If you have a WordPress website, there are many things you can do to improve your SEO. But if you’re not careful, you could also hurt your site’s rankings without realizing it.

In this article, you will discover 12 parameters to consider if you want your WordPress website to reach its full SEO potential.

In SEO, security is an often overlooked but important consideration. Beyond general SEO settings, we’ll go over some necessary security settings that can help prevent negative SEO attacks.

SEO settings for WordPress

SEO settings for WordPress

Below are simple settings that should form the basis of all WordPress sites looking to improve their SEO efforts.

1. Set up homepage and blog settings

Before you start creating the pages and posts, you need to make sure that your homepage and blog pages are set up and ready to go. This may seem like a minor detail, but it is essential. Your homepage is the first thing people will see when they visit your site, so you want to make sure it makes a good impression.

Likewise, your blog is a great way to connect with your audience and build an engaged following. By setting up these essential pages before you start adding content, you’re more likely to end up with a successful website that people will enjoy visiting.

By default, WordPress has your last posts page as its homepage. You will need to select the “One static page” option and select which page is your homepage and which is your blog page.

2. Optimize permalinks

When setting up your blog, one of the first things you need to decide is how you want your URLs structured.

A scalable URL taxonomy will make it easier for search engines to crawl and index, and will also be more user-friendly. Therefore, it is worth taking the time to choose a permalink structure that will work well for your blog in the long run. There are several different options, so take the time to experiment and find the one that works best for you and your blog.

You can choose whatever structure works best for your site, but I recommend using a custom structure and staying away from a date-based structure. A permalink structure that uses month and day or day and name can create a convoluted site architecture.

3. Dynamic sitemap

A dynamic sitemap is an essential tool for any website. It helps search engines index your site and makes it easier for users to find the information they are looking for.

A static sitemap, on the other hand, is much less efficient, can be difficult to keep up to date, and doesn’t offer the same level of scalability.

Many plugins offer dynamic sitemap options with various customizations. So, if you are looking for the best way to improve your website’s SEO, a dynamic sitemap is the way to go.

4. Set up an automated image optimizer

To maintain a fast WordPress site, you need to have optimized images. The SEO benefits of having images optimized are many, from increased website speed to better search engine rankings. The easiest way to optimize your images is to use a plugin.

Many WordPress plugins will automatically optimize images as you upload them. While some are paid, many free options work just as well.

5. Set up default title and meta descriptions

Many SEO plugins offer default settings for titles and meta descriptions, ensuring that all new pages are optimized for search. It’s a lifesaver for large websites with many pages or teams unfamiliar with SEO best practices. By taking advantage of these tools, you can ensure that your website is visible and easily found by potential visitors.

In the screenshot below, I’m using Yoast to set my blog post defaults. In my title, I put a structured format to make it user-friendly.

For the meta descriptions, I’m pulling an excerpt from the beginning of the blog post. This is a simple default that anyone can deploy.

Protect your SEO with these WordPress security settings

Protect your SEO with these WordPress security settings

SEO is starting to become a crucial part of website security. Website security has always been important, but it is becoming even more so as the web becomes more of a part of our daily lives.

Websites are now used for everything from online shopping to online banking, and if a website is not secure, the consequences can be serious.

Google has penalties for websites infected with malware and those that may engage in social engineering. If your website is not secure, you could lose potential customers and Google search engine rankings. Website security is therefore an important part of SEO and should not be ignored.

Here are some simple tips to better secure your WordPress site.

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Although the SEO value of comment sections has been debated, there is no doubt that they can pose a security risk.

Spammers often use comment sections to add links to their websites, which may contain malicious code. Hackers can also attempt SQL injections and XSS attacks via online forms.

Therefore, it is essential to be aware of the risks associated with comment sections. If you choose to use a comments section on your WordPress site, monitor it closely and remove any spam or suspicious comments.

You should consider disabling the comments section if you don’t want to go the extra mile to secure it. Below is a screenshot that shows how to disable the content section.

7. Deactivate and remove XML-RPC

One of the most common security vulnerabilities in WordPress is brute force attacks on the XML-RPC file. By default, this file is enabled and can be used to access the WordPress site remotely.

However, it is also an ideal target for hackers using automated tools to guess username and password. Once they gain access, they can wreak havoc by deleting files, installing malware, or even taking over the entire site.

A simple way to protect against these attacks is to disable the XML-RPC file. This will prevent remote access to the site and disable certain features such as pingbacks and trackbacks.

SEO experts believe that the increased security outweighs the disadvantages. So if you are concerned about brute force attacks on your WordPress site, disable the XML-RPC file.

There are three ways to disable the xmlrpc.php file on WordPress sites.

8. Set user permissions

As a WordPress site manager, you need to ensure that the site is running smoothly and that all stakeholders have the necessary access. That said, not all stakeholders need access to all aspects of the site.

Setting user permissions allows you to give each stakeholder access only to the sections they need, which helps keep the site organized and prevent unauthorized changes.

Also, you should regularly check user permissions to make sure they are still accurate.

WordPress provides a great summary of what each role can do.

9. Ensure all users have secure passwords with 2FA

Having secure passwords and enabling two-factor authentication (2FA) are effective ways to make a WordPress site harder to hack.

Hackers who attempt brute-force login attacks use large password lists that contain millions of the most common passwords. Having a complex password can help make these password lists ineffective.

If a hacker were to gain access to your password, enabling 2FA can help act as another method to prevent hackers from accessing your site.

Many security plugins offer 2FA settings.

10. Set up limit login attempts

A brute force attack occurs when an attacker tries to guess a user’s password by repeatedly entering different combinations of characters. One way to prevent brute force attacks is to configure your WordPress site to limit login attempts.

This security measure will block an attacker’s IP address after a certain number of failed login attempts, making it more difficult for them to access your site.

11. Auto-update plugins

Unfortunately, many people don’t realize that their plugins can pose a security risk. If a plugin is outdated, it may be vulnerable to known exploits. This is why it is ideal to use auto-update plugins.

12. Set up recurring backups

You shouldn’t overlook a solid website security plan in today’s digital age. One of the best ways to protect your site is to make sure you perform daily backups. If your site is hacked or suffers another security breach, you will have a recent copy of your site that you can restore.

While many plugins offer this service, it’s often best to find a WordPress host to handle backups. This way you can be sure that your backups are taken care of regularly.

Wrapping up

Wrapping up

As your site gains more visitors, it will become increasingly important to ensure that its foundation is solid. Applying the settings mentioned in this article is essential to start SEO on WordPress. By following these tips, you’re taking an essential step towards creating a scalable website that will grow with your business.

The opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land. Staff authors are listed here.

John McAlpin directs SEO strategy for Cardinal Digital Marketing, an Atlanta-based SEO agency focused on serving healthcare businesses in the United States. Currently based in Colorado Springs, McAlpin is deeply engaged in the local and national SEO community and has a strong background in technical SEO, web development, and digital marketing strategy. McAlpin also provides freelance web development services for WordPress hosted sites.

How many plugins should I use in WordPress?

How many plugins should I use in WordPress?

As the CEO of a programming company, I can confidently say that having 20 plugins is a pretty good number. The upper limit would be 30 plugins. Anything over 30 is too much.

How many plugins do I need in WordPress? You should install as many WordPress plugins as you need to run your website and grow your business. On average, it is quite common for a business website to have at least 20-30 plugins. If you’re using WordPress to its full potential and have plenty of advanced features, that number can easily reach 50.

How many plugins is too many mixing?

The consensus within the team seems to be around four, but with the caveat that in a typical session there would be between none and two plugins on most tracks, but a handful of tracks would need them. what’s more.

How do I mix only 5 plugins?

How to Create Great Mixes: Using ONLY 5 Plug-ins

  • Make your instruments fit together in a loaded mix with EQ.
  • Find the right compression setting for each track in your session.
  • Use Reverb and Delay to give each element the right amount of space in your mix.
  • Sweeten your mix with saturation.

How many plugins is too many?

Too many plugins can lead to security breaches on your site, site crashes, poor performance, slow loading speeds, and more. A good rule of thumb is to never exceed 20 plugins. If your site is hosted on shared or budget cloud hosting, try not to use more than 5 plugins.

What are the top 5 plugins you typically use with WordPress?

Best WordPress Plugins

  • HubSpot.
  • WooCommerce.
  • WPForms.
  • All-in-one SEO.
  • Yoast SEO.
  • Jet pack.
  • Elementary.
  • Full cache W3.

What are the WordPress default plugins?

Default Plugins With DreamPress, your default WordPress installation includes some plugins from Automattic, the main software developer behind WordPress.com, such as Akismet and Jetpack. Akismet is an anti-spam service that monitors comments on your posts and pages.

How many types of WordPress plugins are there?

There are over 59,000 WordPress plugins to choose from. It is therefore extremely difficult for new users to find the right plugin for their website.

Can I use two plugins in WordPress?

To add multiple plugins from your computer to your WordPress site, simply click the Choose Files button, then select one or more plugins from your computer to upload and bulk activate on your site.

Can I use 2 SEO plugins?

If you install and configure two SEO plugins on your WordPress site, they will conflict. And the search engine has no idea what SEO plugin parameters it should consider. So, to increase the visibility of your website on search engines, you only need to install one SEO plugin.

How do I add multiple plugins to WordPress?

Why WordPress is the best CMS?

Why WordPress is the best CMS?

At a glance, here’s why WordPress is the best CMS in 2021: it’s packed with built-in SEO improvements. It’s easy to customize (even if you’re not a developer) Mobile optimization is super simple. You don’t need to become a security expert.

Is WordPress the most used CMS? WordPress.org. WordPress.org is our number one choice for the best CMS platform. It is the most popular CMS software in the world and it powers around 43% of all websites on the internet.

Is there a better CMS than WordPress?

Joomla. Joomla is a popular CMS software and open source WordPress competitor. It is a solid, versatile and flexible CMS platform with a large community of users and developers. Joomla lets you do a lot of things that WordPress can do, and more.

What is better then WordPress?

Website Builder Alternatives to WordPress

  • Square space. Squarespace is a powerful platform that provides everything you need to start a website, including domain registration, hosting, themes and templates, eCommerce, and support. …
  • Wix. …
  • Weebly. …
  • Jimdo. …
  • IONOS. …
  • WebNode. …
  • Mozello. …
  • SITE123.

Is WordPress still the best website builder?

For all the above reasons, our experts rank WordPress as the #1 website builder and content management system for business owners, bloggers, web developers, and web designers. Cons: You will have to manage your own website, which means you will have to learn a new system.

Why is WordPress the best CMS for SEO?

WordPress works well with Google and other search engines, offers plenty of themes and plugins for advanced SEO optimization, is fast and mobile-friendly, community supported, secure, and easy to learn. In short, WordPress is the perfect CMS for SEO and building websites that rank well.

Why WordPress is the most popular CMS?

1. It’s open source and free. This is probably the main reason why WordPress is the most popular CMS. First of all, it’s free to download and use, so you save money right off the bat.

Is WordPress still the best for SEO?

Our clients often ask us if WordPress is good for SEO. The answer is yes! Once known primarily as a blogging platform, WordPress has built a reputation for providing a solid SEO foundation as a CMS – and for good reason. It’s no coincidence that WordPress sites tend to rank well on Google.

How do I SEO my WordPress blog for free?

The Best Free SEO Tools for WordPress

  • Pingdom speed test. Pingdom Speed ​​Test is a simple tool that allows you to measure your site’s loading time exactly, down to the millisecond. …
  • KWFinder. …
  • Chrome Developer Tools. …
  • Alexa. …
  • Google Keyword Planner. …
  • Google Trends. …
  • Keywords everywhere.

How do I start SEO for my WordPress site?

Which keywords have more traffic?

When looking for the best SEO keywords that will bring you the most traffic, it’s best to use long-tail keywords. This is because short tail keywords target a mass audience while long tail keywords target a niche demographic.

What keyword is most searched for?

Which keyword ranks fastest?

Long-tail keywords give you the ability to rank faster and faster because they are more specific and, in turn, have lower search volume.

How long does it take to rank a keyword?

According to several sources, the average time for websites to rank on Google through optimization techniques (SEO) is around three to six months. It’s true – jumping to the top of Google results usually takes between 90 and 180 days, depending on how competitive your industry is and how popular your keywords are.

Which keywords are the best to target?

The best keywords for your SEO strategy will consider relevance, authority, and volume. You want to find highly searched keywords that you can reasonably compete for based on: The level of competition you face. Your ability to produce content that exceeds in quality what is currently ranked.

What keywords bring in the most traffic?

In order to determine which SEO keywords to use, you will need to strike a balance between search volume and keyword difficulty. To improve your chances of ranking high and increasing site traffic, opt for high/low volume Keyword Difficulty (Competition) scores.

What is the best keyword strategy?

The best keyword strategies rely on highly relevant keywords, which are keywords that are closely related to your business or associated with your industry. Once you know the keywords you want to bid on, the next step in your keyword strategy is to create text ads that incorporate your keywords.

How long does it take for Google to index my site?

It takes between 4 days and 4 weeks for your brand new website to be crawled and indexed by Google. This range is however quite wide and has been challenged by those who claim to have sites indexed in less than 4 days.

How long does it take Google to index a new 2021 page? Submit URL for Indexing This process can speed up the indexing of this URL if it needs all the needs for the page to be indexed. Usually it takes up to an hour to index the page if all goes well. If this does not happen, you need to analyze why Google decided not to index this page.

How long does it take for Google to pick up SEO?

The short answer is between 4 and 12 months. The longest answer relates to all the factors we discussed that relate to your SEO strategy. If you target low competition keywords, you can start seeing results within 4-6 months.

How long does it take for SEO to work on Google?

While it’s absolutely accurate to say that there’s no definite answer to how long it takes before you start seeing organic improvements in your SEO efforts, most experts on the subject matter agree that it usually takes four to six months: “Typically, websites can see results in 4 to 6 months.â â SEO Mechanic.

How long does it take to rank SEO?

According to several sources, the average time for websites to rank on Google through optimization techniques (SEO) is around three to six months. It’s true – jumping to the top of Google results usually takes between 90 and 180 days, depending on how competitive your industry is and how popular your keywords are.

How often will Google index my site?

Depending on how busy your site is, you should expect Google to crawl it every four to thirty days. Sites that are updated more regularly tend to be crawled more often, since Googlebot tends to search for new content first.

How long will it take for Google to index my site?

It may take time for Google to index your page; Wait at least a week after submitting a sitemap or index submission request before assuming a problem. If the change to your page or site is recent, check back in a week to see if it’s still missing.

How often does Google crawl for SEO?

This is one of the most common questions in the SEO community. Although it varies, the average exploration time can range from 3 days to 4 weeks depending on a myriad of factors.

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