15 Lessons from WordPress WordCamp

WordCamp, a 2-day WordPress conference for users and developers in San Francisco is over. Attendees returned as better bloggers and the development and future of WordPress were highlighted. With a line up of top technology experts and blogging gurus, it was bound to be a success. I learned some useful lessons…

WordCamp schedule was impressive, with the first day focusing primarily on user topics and the second day primarily on developer topics. Moreover, every single speaker was a WordPress user.

WordCamp  Day 1

Blogging Pro has a round-up of events at Wordcamp Day 1 and says that Matt Cutts, the famous Google search guy suggested some valuable pearls of wisdom (and I have a comment on each)

1. Don’t put your blog at the root of your domain.
See how I hosted WordPress in an alternate directory

2. Name your directory ‘blog’ instead of ‘wordpress’.
Sounds more professional. I use “archives”.

3. In URLs, no spaces are worst, underscore are better, dashes or hyphens are best.
Latest reports suggest that Google is willing to treat underscores equal to hyphens

4. Use alt tags on images: not only is it good accessibility, it’s good SEO.
No doubt about that. Use Google Image Search for more traffic.

5. Include keywords naturally in your posts.
Keyword stuffing has a negative impact on SEO. Read the most important Search Engine Ranking Factors.

6. Make your post dates easy to find.
It is essential to convey that your particular news articles a year old. Do you want people spreading it as breaking news on Digg?

7. Check your blog on a cell phone and/or iPhone.
Cross-browser compatibility is essential. Does your site work on Safari?

8. Use partial-text feeds if you want more page views; use full-text feeds if you want more loyal readers.
The debate is never-ending. I got 12000 feed readers with partial feeds. Headlines are getting more important.

9. Blogs should do standard pings.
Many single click multi-blog pinging tools are available.

10. Standardize backlinks (don’t mix and match www with non-www).
Modify .htaccess to tweak this issue. Set your preferred canonical domain in Google Sitemaps.

11. Use a permanent redirect (301) when moving to a new host.
The safest SEO friendly way to redirect. This was an issue of concern when I moved from Blogger to WordPress, as Blogger did not allow this redirect.

12. Don’t include the post date in your URL.
Useful for Evergreen articles. But then Google news might not index you as the URL for each article must contain a unique number consisting of at least three digits (the year and month in my permalink fulfil the technical requirement).

13. When moving between hosts, wait until Googlebot and traffic begin to visit the new host before taking down the old one.
Valuable advice. But duplicate articles are a concern. Blogger to WordPress was a big task, but we turned out fine.

14. If using AdSense, use sectioning.
Contextually targeted ads pay better if ads are relevant. Tell the Googlebot which content is ad relevant. Use section targeting.

15. Use Feed Burner’s (now) free MyBrand feature to take control of your feeds.
Take control of your feeds. Google buys Feedburner and MyBrand goes free.

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About the Author: P Chandra is editor of QOT, one of India's earliest tech bloggers since 2004. A tech enthusiast with expertise in coding, WordPress, web tools, SEO and DIY hacks.