Whether you post once a week on your WordPress blog or daily, there is nothing more satisfying then pushing that ‘publish’ button and sending your words of wisdom out to your loyal readers.
Formatting done? Check.
Photos placed? Check.
Ready to hit publish? Check—er, wait.
Is there something you’ve overlooked? Is your post ready for all those eager eyes? Sure, you can always go back and edit, but, damn, don’t you want those first sets of eyes to be happy eyes?
To help you with these questions, here’s a handy 7-point checklist for you before you hit ‘publish’.
1. Did you check your spelling and grammar?
There is nothing worse than your first comment being, “Didn’t you mean ‘they’re’ instead of ‘their’”? Or discovering that a misspelled word has distracted your readers from your important content. So when you think it’ ready to go, read it one more time. You’ll be surprised the things you may have missed. And spell check won’t catch all of them. (They’re vs their is a good example.) Here’s a little trick: read your post backwards, from the last word to the first. Those typos and misspellings will jump out at you.
2. Did you double check your links?
One tiny error can ruin your hyperlink and send your readers off to the land of 404-page-not-found. And it’s so easy to do. By previewing your post and clicking on the links, you are likely to avoid that email from a reader letting you know that “the link in the second paragraph isn’t working.”
3. Are your photos too big?
When I say big, I mean in file size. Watch the first time you preview your post. Is that photo loading like a turtle with arthritis? If so, you may consider optimizing the original image and uploading it again to your post.
4. Are you happy with your permalink?
When you create the title of your post, depending on how you have your permalink set, the URL for that post becomes yourdomain.com/name-of-the-post-goes-here. But sometimes you might want to change the permalink to something shorter (you will notice the option to edit this under your post title). Before publishing your post is the best time to do it. If you do it later, after your post goes out, any inbound link to that post is broken.
5. Did you add an alt title to your image?
When you uploaded the image, did you fill in the “Alternate text” (sometimes called the alt title)? This is the place to put in a few friendly keywords for the image to help you with your SEO. Google frowns on missing alternate text. And a lot of software out there for sight impaired readers depends on it.
6. Is this post set for your theme functions?
This is a common one. Your theme may pull in recent posts to a part of your homepage by category. So did you check that category? Or maybe your theme only shows thumbnails by inserting an image into the featured image option. Did you do that?
7. Do you really want to send this to the world?
And last, but not least. Do you really want the world to see this? If it is a rant post, check the tone. Is it too rude? Did you come home last night after a few cocktails and share with the world how a particular brand pissed you off? Or did someone at the event rub you the wrong way? If so, take a deep breath and here’s an idea. Sleep on it. Things have a way of looking totally different in the light of day. Remember: once you send a post out, it’s there. Even if you delete it a few minutes later, the damage has already been done.
So here they are. Seven pieces of advice to keep in the back of your head before you publish that next post.
Any other things you’ve forgotten to do before hitting “Publish”?