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5 blogging mistakes I made when I started this blog

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:

Blogging Mistakes - Permalink Settings
Permalink Settings

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 poweredIntel 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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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 htpcbeginner.com) in the visitors browser. Cookies increase the size of the request, although marginally. Attaching cookies all requests can quickly increase the size of the total request and there by reduce page speed. By serving static content such as images, CSS, and javascript files from a cookieless domain one can reduce the size of the request (a separate post on how to do this is coming). If your domain name is 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.

Serve Static Content from Cookieless Domain
Serve Static Content from Cookieless Domain

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About the author

Anand

Anand is a self-learned computer enthusiast, a part-time blogger, and a Food Scientist by career. He has been blogging since 2010 on Linux, Ubuntu, Home/Media/File Servers, Smart Home Automation, and related HOW-TOs on htpcbeginner.com and smarthomebeginner.com.

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