If you’ve never used WordPress before, the platform can be intimidating. Learning how to optimize your website can be a daunting task. But this guide will help you out and make the process much easier.
Those of you who have been using WordPress for a while might need some guidance with your current site or if you’ve had failed sites in the past. Regardless of your situation, this guide will help you succeed.
In this blog post, I have shared a few essential things or settings to do with your WordPress website.
These tips will not only help the newbie website owners but also those webmasters who have been using WordPress for a while but never thought about optimizing their websites.
Let’s get started!
#1 Choose a premium quality theme
For those who don’t know, your WordPress theme decides how your website will look. In other words, the theme is the face of your WordPress website.
The best thing is that there are dozens of themes available for you to use for your WordPress websites. But at the same time, not all of them are good.
You need to take some time to check the quality of your shortlisted WordPress theme.
Throwing out your hard work, time, and money because you picked the wrong theme is a big mistake.
There are tens of thousands of themes out there. Not all of them are offered directly from the WordPress theme directory.
If you are hiring a WordPress to build your website, he can also help you to pick a reliable WordPress theme for your website.
Here are a few tips for you to choose the right WordPress theme for your website:
- Always make sure that the theme is responsive (mobile-friendly).
- The loading speed of your shortlisted theme must be optimum (a maximum of 3-5 seconds).
- Check out the GTMETRIX score of your shortlisted theme here https://gtmetrix.com/.
- Try to pick a theme that will need fewer customizations.
- The support of your theme developer must be good. You can check the reviews or feedback from the existing users of that plugin.
- The last updated date of your theme should not be too old.
Recommended post: 7 Things to check in your WordPress theme for your website development
#2 Install SEO plugin
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is an important strategy that helps you bring in more traffic organically. This is crucial in today’s competitive online world.
Content alone can’t bring people to your site. As a matter of fact, it doesn’t matter what type of website you have or what industry you are in, SEO should always be a top priority.
Plugins like Yoast SEO makes optimizing your site easier when the time comes.
Yoast SEO is a great option for your content editing and technical SEO needs. It can analyze the most important keywords and tune your content to that approach.
Yoast SEO can also help you write optimized content, define meta tags, and handle robots.txt and sitemap files.
Most professional WordPress developers trust Yoast SEO to optimize their clients’ websites for search engines.
#3 Don't use too many plugins
There are dozens of great plugins that you can use with your WordPress to extend its functionality. You name the feature and you will find a suitable plugin for it.
But installing too many plugins on your WordPress can affect its performance. Therefore, you must make sure that you do not use too many plugins for your website.
Here are some of the essential plugins that you may need for your corporate website:
- WPForms (for adding different forms to your website).
- Yoast SEO (for search engine optimization of your website).
- W3C Total Cache (to optimize the loading speed of your website).
- All in One WP Security (to secure your website).
- Easy WP SMTP (to configure SMTP on your website).
- Really Simple SSL (to run your website on secured server layer – SSL)
For an eCommerce website, you may need some of the additional plugins such as:
- WooCommerce PDF Invoices & Packing Slips
- YITH WooCommerce Wishlist
- Custom Product Tabs for WooCommerce
You can also consult your WordPress developer to minimize the usage of plugins on your website.
#4 Compress the images
Just like the plugins, the excessive usage of images can also make your website perform low or load slower. So, does this mean that you shouldn’t use high-resolution images on your website?
No, you can use them. In fact, you must use them to make your website look attractive.
Especially if you have an eCommerce website, it’s likely that you may have to use hundreds or even thousands of images on your site.
But when you use a lot of high-resolution images on your website, do make sure to use a compression plugin.
There are several great WordPress plugins that you can use to optimize the size of the images on your website. One of such great plugins is “EWWW Image Optimizer”.
Most professional WordPress developers rely on the “EWWW Image Optimizer” plugin to optimize the images of their client’s websites.
If you’re using WordPress and want to reduce the size of your images without affecting quality, check out EWWW Image Optimizer. It’s easy to use and can compress your images on the fly or in bulk. Compressed images look just as good as uncompressed, so you don’t have to worry about making compromises when it comes to image quality.
#5 Use Google Analytics
Website development is not a one-time process. You need to keep improving your website regularly. But to know how you should improve your website, it’s important to understand & learn the users’ behavior on your website.
There are some crucial statistics that you should know about your website. Such as the average time that the users spend on your website, the traffic sources from where the users are coming to your website, which page is most visited, how many conversions or goals (like leads, sales, etc. ) were achieved.
The Google Analytics plugin can provide you with performance metrics such as bounce rates and site visitors’ behavior.
With Google Analytics (or any other analytics plugin for that matter), you can also get insight into your site’s performance.
#6 Modify the permalinks
Did you know that a website’s permalink is the part of the web address that comes after the domain name? It’s a web address for each individual landing page and blog post.
WordPress automatically generates a new permalink every time a new page or post is created, but these defaults need to be changed before publishing.
Customizing the site’s permalinks is an excellent way for all webmasters to provide their visitors with a better understanding of each webpage and what those pages have to offer.
Customizing the permalinks can also help you to optimize your website for search engines.
#7 Pay attention to the security
WordPress is very popular. But it’s also common for hackers to target WordPress sites.
Don’t neglect to update your WordPress version when a new one comes out, but without additional precautions, you won’t be able to keep your site safe.
The first step toward securing your WordPress website is to update your WordPress version, which will help combat bugs and hackers.
However, this is not enough.
You also need to take care of other security measures such as firewalls and antivirus software.
Here are some of the best ways to secure your WordPress website:
- All the plugins and the theme of your WordPress site must always be updated.
- It’s important to use a plugin or a theme from the reputed developers only.
- The necessary file permissions must be taken care of to avoid hacking. You can also consult your WordPress developer to know more about it.
- Setting up a lockdown for your WordPress website is also crucial to stop hackers from entering your website.
- Renaming the default login URL of your WordPress is important because every hacker knows that the default admin URL of all the WordPress sites is /wp-admin/