WordPress is a blessing to many website owners out there.
If you are running an online business and having your own website, WordPress is one of the coolest options to have as your CMS.
There are many benefits to using WordPress for your business website. And If you are already using WordPress, you are most probably not making the most out of it.
While WordPress is a blessing to website owners, it can easily become a curse, if you do not follow some of the best practices.
Don’t be scared now. I share some of the basic stuff you need to pay attention to if you want to make the most out of WordPress and also to keep your website in top shape.
Let’s jump right in!
#1 Focus on the safety of your website
Your website is your online representation of your business. And you cannot risk it in any way.
And with WordPress there can be quite some gateways for the baddies to get it.
So you must be aware of the safety measures and precautions to take with your website.
If you find anything awkward, like an unusual error message, or a strange script or any other strange behaviour on your site, you must seek support fast.
Contact your hosting provider and do a thorough check!
For the same reason, you must only use up-to-date plugins on your site and also make sure all the plugins, scripts and themes on your website are updated.
In addition, make sure you have a backup system in place.
If you want to have more backups, contact them and let them know your requirements.
#2 Don’t compromise on themes
It is quite common for new website owners to hesitate to spend money on a premium theme.
You don’t have to rush this step – but unfortunately most website owners do rush this step.
There are loads of free and premium themes available in particular for WordPress.
If you are into using a free theme, you have LOADS of options in the WordPress theme repository.
You can browse through them – even filter them with your specific requirements – and choose the one you feel is best suited for you.
Or there are again, LOADS of options, if you are into paying for your theme (which I very much recommend).
I highly recommend and use Genesis framework for all my clients and as well as for my own websites.
You have a variety of their ready made themes.
And apart from Genesis, you have other options too like Thrive or Themeforest.
And, go even the extra mile to get your themes custom designed so your WordPress website doesn’t look similar to thousand other websites on the internet.
Having a customized theme is a great way to easily stand out!
Contact us if you want to customize your theme or to build your own theme.
#3 A good web hosting provider is crucial
To reap all of the benefits of WordPress it is highly important that you have a good website hosting provider.
A cheap hosting can completely ruin your WordPress experience.
While going with a host, make sure they provide you with all the conventional options to host a WordPress website.
And in addition, the server should be in top shape with good response time. If not, your WordPress website will suffer big time.
Remember, a super popular, mainstream company need not necessarily have the best hosting services.
Also a company that charges you expensive hosting bill need not be a superior quality one either.
So make sure you do your due diligence to pick the right hosting provider.
#4 Clutter is not gonna help
Website clutter has become unavoidable these days. A clean website has become rare.
In an attempt to monetize their websites or boost conversions, website owners throw a bunch of cluttering stuff on their websites.
Ads, pop ups, too many widgets, etc are some examples.
Clutter does the opposite of what a good and decent WordPress website would do to its readers.
Clutter makes people run away.
Especially, since more and more people are starting to use the internet in their mobile devices, cluttered website will leave a bad impression within a few seconds.
And in order to put up those ads, or widgets, you definitely use external scripts.
External scripts cause load to your website and they also contribute to the sluggishness in your website’s loading speed.
#5 Too many plugins ruin everything
While on the front end, it is the ads, popups and unwanted widgets that cause clutter, at the back end it is the plugins.
When it comes to plugins, WordPress is both a blessing and a curse.
On the one hand, you have a (bunch of) plugin(s) in WordPress repository for almost ANY of your website’s needs.
You can pretty much do ANYTHING in WordPress with the help of plugins.
That’s a blessing because you don’t have to know coding or have to do the dirty work to get some tricky stuff done.
At the same time, just because anything can be done by finding an appropriate plugin and installing it, WordPress website owners take that for granted.
Mesmerized by the abundance of options, website owners end up installing many plugins – most of which turn out to be unwanted.
A cool feature, or a simple thing doesn’t need a plugin. Also you don’t need multiple plugins that serve similar purposes.
#6 Pay attention to the bloat and jeopardizes – In short, maintain
A WordPress website is not something you build and launch one day and then forget about.
Even though, ideally you should just be focusing on the content of your website and its promotions, there’s something more.
Yes, over the time, as you publish content, as you install new plugins, as you make changes to the scripts, as people visit your website and leave comments, and as your old plugins keep adding to the bloat, so on and so forth…you need to work on maintaining your website too.
I know that could be an additional headache to you as you must be focused on creating and publishing content, and promoting it, and be busy with other things in your business.
However, leaving a WordPress website unmaintained is not just a pain but it can also prove to be dangerous.
Bloats seriously damage your site’s speed.
Un-updated plugins can jeopardize your website by being a gateway for malicious scripts and hack attempts.
Technical issues, if left unattended, not only ruin user experience but they can also jeopardize your site.
Which is why it is highly crucial that you do regularly maintain a WordPress website.
And to ease up your load on this, we provide a handy maintenance service.
#7 Embrace SEO and use a plugin
If you are like any other website owner, you hate SEO. It is not only complicated by perception but it is also ever changing.
So it can be really frustrating to implement something that you don’t understand into your website (and the content).
Plus the rules of the game keep changing.
But here’s the thing.
You just need to do the basics right. And then create content that’s genuinely useful while having knowledge about what your audience REALLY want.
To take care of the technical side of SEO and and to help you with content, you should make use of a plugin.
WordPress SEO is by far, hands down, the best SEO plugin that you can install for your WordPress website.
The plugin helps making SEO easier both for beginner and advanced bloggers.
Here’s some help with installing and setting up this plugin:
#8 Optimize your images
The internet is a lot visual today. There are more and more images (still and animated), infographics, videos and other forms of multimedia content that occupy the web.
It is not only a “trend” to embrace visual content but it is also very appealing to your readers!
I mean, it is user friendly to include images in your content. You can use images to get your point across, to illustrate, to present an example, to show how something is done, and also to entertain.
But you cannot be just uploading images blindfoldedly to your WordPress website.
Images need to be optimized in two ways:
- They need to be compressed and uploaded to your WordPress website so you don’t consume disk space as you add more and more images to your website. Also, uncompressed images contribute to increase the loading time of your web page.
- Your images need to be optimized for search engines – when you upload them and use them in your content, you need to add additional, optimized information like appropriate description, title and alternate text.
Here are two posts that will help you with these two ways:
WordPress is an amazing medium to represent your website. It offers various perks all for free!
Yet, you need to follow some basic, best practices so your WordPress website stays in top shape, well optimized and reader friendly.
The tips I’ve shared in this post should help you with that!