With the reality that WordPress now powers around 40% of all websites, as well as the fact that it is inarguably the most accessible and affordable platform for those starting out, it is important impart some words of wisdom that will save time, money and frustration going forward. So, here are our top tips for your WordPress website.
- Watch theme demos, before deciding on your theme
The first thing WordPress will ask you to do is choose your theme. Take advantage of viewing theme demos before you make this decision. Just click “view demo” or “live demo” for any theme that takes your fancy.
- Hide your site until its ready
Within WordPress there is the option to hide your site from the search engines. This is very useful during the build process, if you still want your website to be online, but don’t want total visibility. To do this, you should visit Settings. Next to Search Engine Visibility you will see a tick box next to “discourage search engines from indexing this site”. You should check this box. Remember to uncheck the box when you want to be fully visible!
- Find your image quality / loading time balance
When it comes to images that you choose to embed in your WordPress site, you want to find the right balance between size, quality and loading time. Too low quality and they’ll look terrible, too high and you’ll compromise load times, which as we all know are crucial. It will take some time to find the right balance but, setting a rule for your site early on is a fantastic idea. In addition you should always compress your images and videos for faster loading. ImageResize, and Optimizilla are excellent free tools.
- Utilize categories and tags properly
Categories and tags will be your friend when it comes to keeping your content organized and later on helping users to navigate your site smoothly.
- Don’t go plugin crazy
While you will certainly need some plugins and find that some are absolutely vital, if you overload your WordPress site with plugins you will compromise loading times.
- Always keep updated
Check for and implement updates from your WordPress dashboard on a regular basis to ensure smooth running.
Make sure you submit your site to local and relevant directories such as this one. This helps search engines such as Google to index your site quicker.
- Do regular backups
Imagine you accidentally delete some vital code, or your site gets hacked. The sheer panic! Well, if you have backed up your site you will be absolutely fine. UpdraftPlus is an excellent plugin that you can use for backing up.
- Make sure you use title tags & alt text
If you want the images you add to your site to not only look the business, but also attract the business, you’ll want to make sure you use title tags and alt text. Google and other search engines rely on these to understand what your image is showing, so make them clear.
- Manage comments
Comments can be a great way to interact with your users, but can be infiltrated by bots if you are not careful. You might also wish to disable comments for some material. You need to navigate to: Settings, then discussion to control your comments options.
- Add social media sharing plugins
To facilitate the smooth sharing of your material via social media, you can add buttons via plugins for people to share via the major social media sites, which can help drive traffic.