Tweaking your WordPress Website

I’m constantly making changes to my website in ways you probably don’t notice. Like when I changed my site so that, from a code point of view, both sidebars come after the content. On the surface, there was no difference for you, but if you were visually impaired and were using page reading software (reads the text out loud) you would have to listen to all my sidebar stuff before getting to the posts.

Another way I’ve made subtle changes is with various plugins. Most make it easier to add or manage little items like my RSS feed, comments and site statistics.

Today, I want to point out a couple of head-smacking tips that you may want to consider using. First, if you use images in your post, make sure you always link to the page (default is the image itself). Be sure to include some text to help the site advertisement widgets have something to relate to. No words = no ads.

Second, optimize your image page and gallery. Sarah has some very useful information on Theming Your WordPress Gallery which I’ve used to improve the user experience, and the search engine results.

One issue was people find my site by using image searches. Great, but once they find the image, how do they get to the original article? Simple, follow Sarah’s tips.

Another big area which is something you will see and appreciate is improved search. WordPress default search kinda sucks. It sorts the results by date, newest first, and interface wise it doesn’t have any of the cool things we’re used to when we search in for instance Google.

Yoast has a post that explains how you can make your search experience suck less. It requires a few plugins and some work on your search.php template file, but it will make you and your users happier in the end

Other areas I’ll be looking into changing are discussed at SugerRae who gives us 8 tips for Pimping Your WordPress Theme for Humans.

When we talk about ?pimping? a WordPress theme, at least in this industry, we?re often talking about making it more SEO friendly.

Be sure to check out each of these sites and put their knowledge to good use. If you find any more great advice or have some of your own please, please, please post it here.

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