Powering nearly 60 percent of all websites that use a content management system (CMS), WordPress is the undisputed leader of web-building platforms. The open-source software makes creating and maintaining websites a breeze thanks to its clean code, timely updates, and third-party themes and plugins. If you’re planning to build a website with WordPress, you should follow some basic tips to improve its performance and online visibility. Here are some of the top tips for making a WordPress site better and more intuitive.
Change Settings to Show Excerpts
By default, your homepage will show your latest posts in their entirety. This means visitors can read your posts by visiting your homepage instead of the actual post URL; thus, there’s no real reason to visit these pages. You can change this by accessing Settings>Reading, and choosing “Summary” for the article feed option. Once enabled, your homepage, blog page and RSS feeds will show an excerpt of your posts. According to the Timmermann Group, your site should be catered to your audience in a way that amplifies traffic generation. This might mean changing the homepage and what other pages are displayed first as well as how visitors find your homepage.
Don’t underestimate the importance of cybersecurity when building any WordPress site. According to the cybersecurity firm Securi, malware infections affect more WordPress sites than any other CMS. If your WordPress site is compromised, you might lose your content, search rankings and traffic. Be sure you have a good security system in place before publishing your site.
Here are some ways to strengthen your site’s cybersecurity:
- Create a strong password
- Change your username to something other than “admin”
- Keep your WordPress installation up to date
- Use HTTPS
- Only download plugins and themes from trusted sources
- Enable two-step authentication
- Create and maintain backups of your site
- Hire a Professional Web Designer
You might feel inclined to use one of WordPress’ many available free themes. However, doing so may come back to haunt you. Free themes — and even some premium themes — are used by hundreds of other websites. To make your site stand out, consider hiring a professional web designer to create a custom design. They’ll work with you, turning your website’s vision into a reality.
Install a Contact Form
Rather than simply placing your email address in text form on your site’s contact page, download and install a contact form plugin. Content Form 7 is arguably the most popular at 5 million installs and counting. Using this plugin, you can instantly set up a contact page on your site, allowing visitors to create and send you emails via an integrated web form. This creates a higher level of professionalism and trust than displaying your email address in text.
Install a Caching Plugin
To speed up your WordPress site, you should install a caching plugin like W3 Total Cache or WP Super Cache. Caching, as you may already know, involves temporarily storing data on the visitor’s web browser. When the visitor initially visits your site, he or she will download the web page’s data. With a caching plugin, this data will remain stored on the visitor’s web browser. So, the next time they visit your site, they won’t have to re-download the data.
These are just a few ways to improve your WordPress’ sites performance. Most importantly, you should always continue to update it with new content. Your business and future plans depend on the success of your site so make a good first impression.