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The Problem of Default About Pages

One of the common problems that I find being made on many WordPress Blogs is the default ‘About Page’ being unchanged.

You’ve probably seen them as you’ve surfed around – you click on the ‘About’ link in the blog’s template and are taken to a page that says something like this:

“This is an example of a WordPress page, you could edit this to put information about yourself or your site so readers know where you are coming from. You can create as many pages like this one or sub-pages as you like and manage all of your content inside of WordPress.”

Do a search for the first few words of this message and you’ll find just under 200,000 examples of what I’m talking about. Surprisingly it’s not just new blogs that have it – I’ve seen quite a few established blogs with it.

This message is the default message that WP uses when a page in a blog’s template hasn’t yet been edited. There are variations on the message but they are only meant as a message to you as the blogger and they are not meant to be left up for your reader to read.

Editing these pages is simple. In your WordPress backend/dashboard hit the ‘manage’ tab and then hit the ‘pages’ tab. In the list of pages that you see there you’ll find the page that needs changing (in this case it’s the ‘About’ page). Click the ‘edit’ link and make some changes.

On an ‘About Page’ you’ll obviously want to share some information about you and/or your blog. For some tips on what to put on about pages you might like to read two previously written posts on the topic here and hear.

Alternatively – if you don’t want and About Page (while it can add a lot to your blog it’s not compulsory) find it in your blog’s template and delete it. All you do by having the default one is frustrate your readers. There’s nothing more of a turn off for a blog that doesn’t go to the effort of making sure all it’s menu items lead to useful information.

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. Mike says:

    I am probably guilty of getting excited creating a new blog but failing to update the about page. If it is not a personal blog, it is sometimes difficult thinking what you should write in this page.

    To be honest though, if you cannot write a proper “about page” you probably shouldn’t be writing on the topic.

  2. Martin says:

    I guess you can’t accuse me of forgetting the About page. It was the first thing I did when I started up.

    Mine is packed and even has a caricature of yours personally.

    Just makes total sense as everytime I visit a new blog I tend to head to the about page to get a heads-up about what the blog and writer is on about.

  3. Nick says:

    This was such an excellent post to see today! I’m actually in the process of rewriting my about page on my blog and came here specifically looking for advice on how to do so. It just so happens that you linked to two articles that I needed right now.

    Thanks!

    -Nick

  4. Hmmm…. I changed mine to say “Eventually I’ll get around to writing this…. ” when I first put up my blog, Maybe it’s about time to do something about it then.

  5. Rex says:

    Great tip Darren. Although I don’t use that page at all anyway.

  6. I agree about the poor impression it makes when you see that – it makes the blog look slapdash. And I’ve noticed that my ‘about’ page is one of the most frequently accessed on the blog – as soon as people find a blog, it seems they want to know who’s writing it, so it’s really worth spending 10 minutes to tell them that.

  7. Mike says:

    I totally agree. It adds credability to yourself by just adding that one page. You then actually seem like a real person on your blog. Not just a content generating website. I must say I thought of having two about pages (about your blog, and about you) was an excellent idea. I implemented it on my blog too.

  8. As well, your about page is usually a highly trafficked page, so you might as well make it great. Everytime I read a blog I am unfamiliar with my first step is to their about page. If it isn’t updated I don’t take them seriously. No offense intended to others, but it’s a bad first impression.

    If it’s not current, that’s understandable (we all forget), but if it’s the default page that came with WP, that’s pretty sloppy.

  9. Eitan says:

    I remembered to do that a few minutes before my site went “live.” Glad to see it’s a really common problem.

    In my case having an about page is pretty necessary. It allows the reader to get a feel for what my site’s about and also allows me to throw the old “don’t sue me” out there. Not that it works.

  10. Rob Lewis says:

    Ooops – guilty! Although I’ve recently updated my about page. The oversight happened when I changed from Textpattern to WordPress, in my somewhat lame defence.

  11. Another very common default issue are all the blogs at blogger which has two “links” called Edit-Me and another for Google News.

  12. Simply amazing. People just don’t pay attention. Now, where was I…

  13. Peter says:

    Darren,
    Do you think more static blog pages (contact, privacy, etc.) are useful on blogs?
    I have noticed that they are being recommended for AdWords landing pages and I was thinking they may also be important to the general SE ranking algo’s.

  14. Ed says:

    This also happens in blogspot when they leave the edit me link.

  15. Phew! This is one mistake I didn’t make! :)

    I’ve seen this a lot on Blogger.com where people don’t edit the sidebar. I figure they are still learning about how to do it all and in a few cases where I’ve known the person I’ve helped them edit their template to fix it. Making the blogsphere a better place. :)

  16. ryan says:

    this is perfect! i was trying to figure out how to change the about section but couldn’t (even though it was right under my nose). i did what the author ended up doing and google’d the default text in the about page. which led me here! brilliant!

  17. I’ve got a template showing how to write your “about me” page here http://www.becomeacertifiedcoach.com/how_to_write_bio.htm

    Many people have found it helpful.

  18. Chip says:

    Hi, could you look at my About page and tell me if the structure is OK? I took the The Technosailor Self Importance Test and guess what, they say I am like Darren Rowse :).

    I found this discussion while trying to improve my About page and I decided to ask for an advice from you.

    Thanks in advance!

  19. Edie says:

    Do about page in wordpress is so easy :)
    Thank you for tips.

  20. Loved the post! I needed to go back and change up my “About Me” pages! Thanks for the information.

  21. Scott says:

    Great post that page that has slipped my mind. Writing it, however, is almost harder than the blog content. Thanks for the tips.

  22. I struggled to think of anything to put on my about page for about a year before I thought of just deleting it.
    I left it there because I hadn’t actually questioned whether I needed one in the first place.

  23. I agree about the poor impression it makes when you see that – it makes the blog look slapdash. And I’ve noticed that my ‘about’ page is one of the most frequently accessed on the blog – as soon as people find a blog, it seems they want to know who’s writing it, so it’s really worth spending 10 minutes to tell them that.

  24. I have always hated writing about pages … I finally broke down and wrote one for my new photography blog this morning … it was like pulling teeth. LOL

  25. Hi Darren, the default blogspot “about me” page is not so enticing, and it’s not within the same colour theme with my blog, so I would rather skip it.

    I would rather put it in the post. Would anybody know how I can back-track the date for blogspot? Coz I dont want it to appear as my current posting.

    Thanks!

  26. Hi Darren,

    I’ve found a rather crude way of getting the “about me” posting date to be a much earlier date.

    Simply edit the earlier posts of your blog – the one which is not so popular, and replace it with your “about me” posting. Walla! The date will be as per your earlier post, and it won’t kick in as a new post.

    Nash
    Save, make money & invest online!

  27. Paul says:

    Nash Dadameah,

    There is an easy way to change the date on Blogger blogs. At the moment it is only available on Blogger in Draft so, select “Make Blogger in Draft my default dashboard” at the top of your Dashboard then go to the post editor.
    Click on Post Options and a drop down window will open. Under “Post date and time” Automatic is selected by default. Click on “Scheduled at” and you can enter any date or time in the past or future.
    Future dates are useful if you want to write a few posts and have them automatically publish while you are on holiday.

    Paul

  28. Paul says:

    Darren,

    I have just been reading your articles on About Me pages and am now convinced that I should stop dithering and make it a priority. Thanks for the nudge.

    By the way I checked on “This is an example of a WordPress page” in Google and it came up at 1,590,000 pages

Trackbacks

  1. [...] Darren over at Problogger posted on the problem with the default About pages in WordPress. This is an oversight that most novice bloggers, and many established bloggers make. One of the first things you should do when starting up your blog is to write a good about page. Write a little story about yourself, and be sure to include a contact form if the user has questions. Don’t leave the default page – it looks very sloppy! [...]

  2. [...] However, as Darren Rowse at Problogger has outlined this in his post The problem of ‘About’ Default pages, you have to remember to take it out when you start your blog for real, and while the dummy ‘Post’ and ‘Comment’ are easy to remember, don’t forget the ‘Page’ as well!! [...]