Whether you’re setting up your first website or have been in the WordPress game for a while now, it’s important to have a firm grasp of the essentials.
Making sure your website is well built, protected and optimised will help improve user experience, increase search engine rankings and drive up conversions.
Check out the 8 essential WordPress tips below to get started!
1. Choose your hosting
WordPress is a tool for creating and managing your website, but to make your website go live you’ll need a host.
There are a huge range of hosting options available. WordPress recommends Bluehost, SiteGround and DreamHost, but it’s important to do your research before choosing the right one for your website.
When looking for a website host, think about what you’ll need to power your website. Things like enough storage, reliability and speed are all essential – and 24/7 customer support is super handy.
Read up on reviews and get several quotes before making a decision. If you find you’re not happy with your host later on, you can always change, but it’s always helpful to start off on the right foot.
2. Pick the right theme
The WordPress theme you choose will determine how your website looks, but it will also have a bit impact on how easy – or painful – it is to set your website up.
There are thousands of free and paid themes available and it can be overwhelming to make a decision when you’re first starting out.
You can search for themes in the WordPress theme directory or by using a theme search engine like Theme Forest.
Google search can also be a good tool for finding themes based on particular keywords such as “best themes for photographers” or “travel blog themes”.
Most themes have a demo version that you can try out to get an idea of what it will be like.
Make sure you pick a theme that suits the type of website your building, as well as your brand image.
It’s worth investing in a well made theme – it’ll make building and managing your website that much easier.
3. Install an SEO plugin
If you want people to find your website on search engines like Google, you need to know about Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). SEO is the process of improving your website so that it ranks higher in the search engine results.
Installing an SEO plugin like Yoast SEO can help you better optimise your website for search engines. Yoast SEO analyses your content and keywords and offers suggestions for how you can improve your approach.
4. Get Google Analytics
Google Analytics is a free tool by Google that helps you gather important data about who is visiting your website, how they came to your website and what they do once they’re on it.
Having access to this data can help you develop strategies for getting more website traffic, reducing bounce rate and increasing conversions.
MonsterInsights is one of the most popular Google Analytics plugins, allowing you to access essential info right from your WordPress dashboard.
5. Limit the number of plugins you have
There are plugins for WordPress websites for just about everything you could think of. This can be very empowering, but you want to be careful not to have too many plugins installed on your website.
Having too many plugins will slow down your website which can impact user experience and search engine rankings.
Only install the essential plugins that you need to make your website run smoothly and effectively. If you stop using a plugin or replace it with another option, make sure you delete the old ones from your account.
6. Compress your images
Images are essential if you want to make an engaging website, but be careful when uploading images. When images aren’t optimised properly, they can slow down your website and drive up bounce rates.
You’ll need to compress your images to make sure they don’t take forever to load. You can download a plugin for this if you want to do it in WordPress. Otherwise, there are plenty of tools like JPEGmini and TinyPNG out there.
7. Streamline your permalinks
A permalink is the part of the web address that comes after your website name.
WordPress automatically creates permalinks when you make a new page or blog post, but the default settings aren’t always optimal.
Before you publish any page or blog post, it’s important to change the permalink to something custom and optimised for your website.
An optimised permalink will tell readers what’s on the page without them having to read it. It’ll also help keep your website content more organised and may impact your SEO.
To change the default settings, go to “Settings > Permalinks” in your WordPress dashboard. If you’re not sure what to choose, go with “Post Name” as it’s often the best in terms of SEO.
8. Protect your website
Unfortunately there are hackers and scammers out there who target WordPress websites. Make sure you’re doing everything to keep your site safe.
Keeping your WordPress, theme and plugins updated is a good first step, but it’s not enough. You should also get an SSL certificate which encrypts sensitive information on your site. There are also many security plugins available.
You should regularly backup your website in case something goes wrong. That way you’ll be able to get your website up again while minimising downtime.
Overwhelmed? You don’t have to do it on your own.
It’s natural to feel overwhelmed when you’re first starting out with WordPress. It can take a lot of time and energy to set up a website properly, and it’s easy to make mistakes along the way.
If you need help setting up your website, don’t be afraid to reach out to WordPress developers in Perth.
Having a professional on board can help make the process quicker and stress-free. Plus, you can be confident that you haven’t skipped over any of the WordPress essentials along the way! It’s the best way to get a high quality website that’s optimised for success.