WordPress is the most widely used Content Management System (CMS) that allows you to be able to create and modify the code to your preference and needs. It is built with the user in mind utilizing simple coding structures and creates a user-friendly approach to the concept of web design. WordPress provides several benefits to the users and they include unlimited options of scaling for your needs and a global community of volunteers that grow the platform every day.
There are many things you can do to make your WordPress site perform and stand out amongst the crowd. Here are 10 of my top things to do with every site.
Optimizing your website for accessability
Technology is continually changing and, with it, the introduction of new features and new ways for people to interact with websites. New technologies have introduced a different approach to how we use voice assistants for helping people who are blind enjoy being online. Also, utilizing options like captioning for videos assist those who need hearing assistance. Today, you can optimize your site to integrate accessible options for everyone in the world. There are a number of plugins and websites that can help you to make your website as accessible as you can. Accessibility technology gives you a competitive edge and helps to boost your business.
Do not brush off the Backlinks.
In matters of building the authority of your page, backlinks are one of your most significant options. Backlinks have consistently been present in SEO as a means of marketing and building influence. The reason why you should not brush off or ignore the backlinks sent to you is quite simple. When an established site or company on Google sends a backlink to you, Google interprets this as a bonus for your website. Google analytics always trace the sites linked to trustworthy companies. It understands this as your business or site being of value.
Some of the other strategies you can use to develop quality backlinks are through the use of info-graphics, guest posting, or email outreach.
Get an SSL Certificate
Seriously, why wouldn’t you these days? A SSL or Secure Sockets Layer certificate is one of the easiest ways to help ensure that your website is protected and you take your site visitors security in mind. Security is an essential aspect of online communication today on all avenues. The digital media and sites also need protection due to the nature of the information shared.
SSL certificates makes sure that the connection between the web browsers and the web pages are encrypted. It helps in protecting you and the information that you share on your website. The advantage is that visitors to your pages are assured of their security, hence will boost their confidence while increasing your view rates. Plus Google will dock your ranking if you do not have a SSL certificate on your website.
Modify and Create Custom Permalinks
Permalinks are a part of the internet or web address that usually follows the domain name. Whenever you create any new page on your WordPress website, it leads to the automatic generation of a new permalink. The permalinks are default, and you need to customize them. These permalinks bring clarity and help your content tracing much easier through search engines.
When you modify the permalinks, you not only customize it to your preference, but you also help the visitors to your page to understand what the page entails. In the settings option, you can access the permalinks button and change the post name to customize your permalink.
Avoid using too many plugins.
Plugins are the features and functions when are building a website using WordPress. The flexibility and features they have allow you to integrate within the site gives an infinite room for scalability. However, limiting the number of plugins that you have on your website helps to de-clutter, enhance performance, and keep your site more secure. The problem of having too many plugins on the website is that it slows down, the codes the plugins come with make it bulky, and even a deactivated but installed plugin can cause security vulnerabilities.
It is imperative to only keep essential and activated plugins on your site at any give time. Please review your plugins to ensure that they are what you need on the site, are still being maintained, and functioning properly. It is also a good idea to audit them every so often to ensure that they are the best ones to do the job.
Compress the images on your site
Images take time to load on sites and the bigger they are, the more it will slow a site down. Having several uncompressed pictures will slow down the website performance the same way as the several plugins and sometimes even videos. You can always retain your images on the site if you decide to compress them.
There are several WordPress plugins and online-based tools that will compress the images that you want to add to the website. We all know that photos make the sites more engaging however, make sure that you compress them before using them on the website.
If you are very serious about your site, the views, and the ratings, you probably are already familiar with a number of Google Analytics plugins. You need to understand the WordPress independently cannot give you all this information. Google Analytics plugins like Monster Insights helps you in knowing and understanding the performance metrics of your site.
These plugins allow you to have access to the reports on audiences and content reports. The behavior reports will help you have a clear insight into how the customers are behaving on your pages.
For quick stats on your site visitors, I am fond of using Koko Analytics as it is privacy friendly and can be used with GDPR rules.
Install a SEO Plugin
For the success of your website, you need to install an SEO plugin. The Search Engine Optimization plugin helps in boosting your site in terms of ranking, especially in the search results. This plugin will help you in the analysis of your content and help in the technical management of your site.
There are several SEO plugins that you can be able to pick from, yet the best in the market that is highly recommended by most people is Yoast SEO. The plugin has a great reputation, highly supported, and used my many.
Create Regular Site Backups
The information stored on the sites is very vital for organizations. It is, therefore, crucial for you to have some kind of backing up being done of your website. The database and the site files always needs to have backups performed periodically. This strategy helps you in the eventuality of loss since you can be able to retrieve those backups that you have and restore them.
There are many numbers of plugins that can do the job for you. If using a plugin, make sure you send the backups to some place other than the server. Great places to send the backups is to a S3 storage at Amazon Web Services, Dropbox, or a Google Drive folder.
Many hosting companies have backups built into their hosting environment. Check with your hosting provider to see if they offer free backups and how long they keep the backups for. You want to have them at least keep 30 days worth of backups.
Monitor the speed and performance of your website.
Google’s free PageSpeed Insights tool can be very helpful in testing the performance of your website. The Google search engine has extensive use, so you should check your website performance using this tool. The tool can give you the ratings and suggestions on how to improve the speed of your website.
This tool also gives you suggestions on the types of files that are slowing down your site with suggested links to them. It helps you to manage the website effectively and free it up to improve performance.
If you are looking to test your site speed, I would suggest using a site like Web Page Test or GT Metrix. Both run more than 1 test at a time and then combine the results so you can have a more accurate view of how fast your site is performing.
Hopefully these tips and tricks give you at least one new idea and can help optimize and manage your website better.
Please leave a comment below on what your favorite WordPress trick is to make your site stand out better than the rest.