Apart from having a good idea, and making it work, running a successful WordPress website takes a bit more than just publishing your content or selling products and services via a webshop. You need to get the most out of WordPress in order to maximize the potential of your website. You’ve picked the right name, organized the content, and took care of all important functionalities, but now is not the time to sit back and relax. Just the opposite. WordPress is a great platform that offers more than most users need, and you should take advantage of that. This does not mean that you have to work hard all the time, but working smart, and recognizing the critical areas that can help you improve your website is critical.
Where do we start?
Maintaining a successful business needs constant work. And we are not talking only about online business. In order to be better than others you need to work more, and to work smart. Think of your WordPress website as an offline store. If you are a blogger, think of it as a corner shop selling newspapers, and if you are an e-commerce shop, think of it as a store in a shopping mall. If you sit all day and wait for the customers to walk up to you, you are doing it wrong. At least in the beginning. People need to hear about you, they need to know what your products and services are, when can they visit, what are your prices, and why should they stop by your store, and not the competition across the street.
At service 24/7
The Internet never sleeps, and neither should your WordPress website. Your website should be able to work at its peak all the time. Keeping your page speed high and loading time low is one of the key factors. These are also important ranking factors, so keep in mind that a slow website can impact both your traffic and your search engine rankings.
Do not cut corners with your hosting
There are a lot of ways to keep your website at the top of its game. Making sure that you have a good hosting that is not holding you back is the first step. Picking the right hosting provider, and a plan that suits your needs is crucial. Take your time and see which plan is best suited for your website and start your search. Make a shortlist of the best providers that offer a variety of plans, and have special ones for WordPress hosting, something like Hostinger. User reviews are very helpful because they can give you a good insight and a firsthand experience about the good and the bad of every hosting provider, plans, and their functionalities. The important thing is to pick the best one for you, and not cheapskate on a couple of bucks that can hurt you in the long run.
Update, update, update
Your WordPress plugins and themes are updated regularly by their developers, and you should take an advantage of that. As developers try to compete by making their plugins work faster and better, so should you. Your WordPress website depends on the speed of the theme that you are using, as well as plugins that provide you your much-needed functionalities. By keeping them up to date, you are making sure your website is working at the top of its game. Of course, some plugins can keep everything updated for you so that you do not need to worry about forgetting about keeping things fresh. On the other hand, outdated plugins and themes can compromise the security of your website and take a lot of unnecessary space.
Pick a good theme
With more than 11,000 available WordPress themes that offer ready web design from the get-go, one of the most important things is to pick one that is suited for you. WordPress theme will define the look and feel of your website, so you should not be hasty with this one. Besides looking nice, a good theme needs to be fast, light, and secure. The good thing is that even the best themes do not cost much and that their number is growing as we speak. Even if you are on a tight budget, looking to pick a free theme, there are a lot of good ones so don’t be afraid to find the best one for you. Themes work out of the box but can also be modified in case you like the design, but there are some small things you need to change.
Security above all else
A secure website is like a safe and secure brick and mortar shop. As you would pick the best security system for your offline store, and make your visitors feel safe, you should do the same with your website. WordPress offers security features and tools on a basic level, but security is never good enough. Apart from regular updates, SSL offers a must-have for your website, and you should look for a hosting plan that includes SSL as a standard option. By encrypting the communication between users and your website, you are keeping the precious data safe, and making sure your rankings are not affected by the lack of SSL. Regular backup is also very important and can be easily managed via WordPress plugins. This way you are making sure you always have a copy of your website waiting in case something unpredictable happens.
Optimize your content
Images on your website can sometimes affect your speed and loading times because they are unnecessarily big and take a lot of space. By using plugins that can go through your WordPress, identify all the images, and optimize their size you can improve your performance fast and easily.
Optimization also means that you should keep all your links up to date and fix the broken ones. Nothing says bad things about your website like 404 errors. If you don’t track your links and have many dead ones, your rankings and user experience can suffer greatly. This extends to affiliate and download links, which can also impact your rankings in search engine result pages. The good thing about WordPress is that there are more than 50,000 plugins that can help you with whatever you need. And make no mistake, if you have a problem, there is a high chance someone else already faced it, and others made a plugin that can help you fix it.
WordPress – A successful starting point
With more than 35% of all websites around the world running on WordPress, you should not worry about making the right choice. There is an army of developers behind WordPress, and an army of people developing themes and plugins, further improving the looks, feel, and functionalities. By following the steps above, you will make the best out of WordPress, and let your website and users benefit from it, keeping your business successful, and your website one step ahead of the competition.