htpcbeginner.com has seen growing popularity in the recent times but like most people I made several blogging mistakes when I began. I thought it would help others if I think back and highlight some of the blogging mistakes I made, mostly due to lack of knowledge and research, when I started this blog. These are not mistakes per se but these are things that I would have done differently if I started this blog today. If it educates at least one person and changes his/her decision then the purpose of this post is served. So without further delay, let me share some of the blogging mistakes I made.
My top 5 Blogging Mistakes
Please remember that these were things that did not work for me and does not necessarily mean that it may not work for you. But these WordPress mistakes are things one should consider while starting a blog.
1. Not choosing the right permalink structure
Permalinks are permanent URLs that everybody use to refer or visit your site. The URL to each post should be permanent, and never change – hence permalink. If you read around you will find that changing the permalink structure will help with search engine optimization. Initially, I did not take the time to understand all of WordPress’s settings. So went with WordPress’s default permalink structure:
http://domain.com/?p=1150. Of course, I have since changed it to this:
This is one of the most basic and common blogging mistakes as most people leave permalink settings to default. If you would like to change your permalink structure, you may read my post on how to change to a SEO friendly WordPress permalink structure.
2. Self-hosting the blog
I wouldn’t call this a mistake as I still self-host many of my sites. But when I started this blog, I had no intention of working to grow and improve it until one post I wrote in April 2012 ranked first in search results and received nearly a 1000 pageviews a day. Since then my Intel Atom powered server has struggled to handle playing media, serving files, and running my Apache server. And, until my recent switch to the awesome Asus N66u router my wireless struggled too. These traffic drops and slowness are unacceptable for any growing blog, especially when Google includes page speed to rank results. So I switched to Linux hosting from GoDaddy and it has been smooth sailing since then. If you plan to blog seriously go for a reliable hosting service. (Note: I have now switched to Digital Ocean VPS, which as worked out to be faster, better, and cheaper than GoDaddy).
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Find out why it is rated the best wireless router in its class.
3. Not adding
www prefix to my domain
When I originally started this blog, I went with my default domain name configuration: http://htpcbeginner.com. While this has the advantage of being short may also cause problems while trying to serve static content from cookieless domains. For those of you who do not know, WordPress sets a cookie (in my case
http://domain.com instead of
http://www.domain.com it gets very tricky to serve static content without a cookie. Once a cookie is set at the root domain (
http://domain.com) that cookie is attached to all subdomains. The only way out is to use a completely different domain (example:
http://domain-images.com) to serve static content without setting a cookie. Some argue that serving images from a domain outside yours could adversely affect your rankings by Google.