Three WordPress Secrets You Might Not Know

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Because WordPress is such a powerful platform for customizing blogs, many WordPress users don’t realize all of the many ways it can be put to use for them.

There are innumerable tricks, both large and small, that will make WordPress easier to use for authors and for readers, and a little research is likely to turn up a long list of ways any blog could be improved.

To help WordPress bloggers get the most out of their web presence, here are a few small tricks that can make a big difference for your blog.

1. Run A/B Tests

A/B tests, also know as split testing, are crucial to refining your web site and making it as effective as possible at hooking and retaining visitors.

An A/B test, in its essence, presents groups of users with two different options, and then determines which one they react more positively toward.

On a blog, the blogger might run an A/B test by giving a post two different titles, and then seeing which one users are more likely to click on. Or if your teasers include images, you could attach two different images to the teaser, and see which draws more users to click through for the full story.

To do A/B testing, simply download one of the numerous plug-ins that facilitates the process. They’ll give you the option of testing different titles, different teasers, different images, and many other post options.

Then use Google Analytics to determine which version, A or B, gets more love from readers, and adjust your blog accordingly.

2. Put Ads Inside Your Content

Ads can appear lots of different places on a site. The most effective place, research shows, is in the header, but ads within post content run a very close second to those appearing in the header.

Unfortunately, adding an ad to the content isn’t easy. Putting an ad in the header, footer, or sidebar is simple with WordPress’s theme editor, but putting one inside your content is a little trickier.

The key is to set a length—say, 150 words—after which you want the ad to appear, every time. Once that’s done, it’s a simple matter of adding some Javascript to calculate the length of the blog post and insert the ad at the appropriate point. This technique will omit the ads on posts shorter than that length, but it will work for all other posts, and it will definitely increase click-throughs on your ads.

3. Make A Static Page Your Homepage

WordPress is for more than just blogs.

Lots of sites that include static content and a blog are run off WordPress, and they use WordPress’s “page” feature to create static pages that don’t change as the blog section is updated.

That said, using premium WordPress themes doesn’t eliminate all the annoying parts involved in blogging. There are still some busy work tasks to be taken care of.

For many web administrators, these pages will make better home pages than the blog page (which serves as the default home page).
So if a web master would rather make a different page their home page, how would they do that?

WordPress SecretsWordPress Secrets

Easy. First, create two “pages.” One should be the new home page, and the second should be the new blog page.

Once that’s done, go to the dashboard, click “settings,” then “reading options,” and look at the top right corner. There will be an option that says “Front page displays…” By default, the front page will display the latest posts. Change this so the front page displays a “static page.”

On the drop down menu beneath this, select your new home page as the static page you want displayed, and your blog page as the page that displays the latest posts.

Voila! The blog now has a new, static home page.


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