Maybe you’re using a free or premium WordPress theme, or maybe you’ve paid for a custom WordPress design. Any which way, you’re here because you know that the show isn’t over when you launch your website. You need to help it along its way. Show it some TLC, and check it’s doing ok out there in the world wide web.
Here are some tips to help you manage your WordPress website.
1. Back up (they don’t love you like I love you)
If you’ll excuse the Queen Bee lyric, but maybe it’ll help inspire you to back up your website when you hear the song.
Any WordPress professional will tell you that reliable back up is super important. And you don’t want to wait to learn the hard way. 63% of WordPress users have deleted files that were not backed up. Yeowch!
Hackers, human error, technical issues with your hosting company, any number of things could cause you to lose files, pages, and days of work.
If you install a free version, set up a reminder to manually backup about once every 30 days. You can do it by the full moon if that’s your thing. And then celebrate by listening to Lemonade.
2. Someone call security!
We’ve already mentioned hackers (boo, hiss). They’re an unfortunate part of the eCommerce landscape. The reality is that cyberattacks are expensive and put companies out of business. 43% of attacks are aimed at small businesses.
By default, WordPress themes have security measures built right in. But it’s the equivalent of a padlock compared to the vault-like security capabilities offered by a good security plugin.
We’re talking firewalls, virus scanning, file scanning, active monitoring, notifications when a security threat is detected, brute force login attack protection, blacklist monitoring, etc.
3. Update WordPress themes – help security and performance
Core developers at WordPress are hard at work fixing bugs, updating features, and tightening security. Make sure you’re not missing out on the benefits of their hard work.
If you’re paying for WordPress Premium theme, check you’re up to date with payments and that your license is still valid.
As a checklist, regularly update your
- WordPress core
- WordPress theme
4. Check everything after WordPress theme update
Any time WordPress updates, or the WordPress theme updates, there’s a teensy chance that it may affect the features, functionality, styling or layout.
Go through each page and make sure that everything is correct. Check menus, widgets and overall aesthetic is present and correct. Check especially on custom features and functionalities made especially for your website.
5. Keep it light
If your website is loading slower than an MP3 on Napster (if you know, you know) you can help by shifting some unnecessary cargo.
- Ditch unwanted plugins. Cheap developers sometimes simply reskin websites they’ve done before. Result: you end up with a whole load of plugins you don’t need. Not only does this add weight to your website, but it’s also an added security risk. Make sure you understand the functionality of each plugin on your site and if you don’t need it, get rid. If you’re unsure, contact a WordPress pro who can advise you.
- Empty the trash. Delete old pages, hidden pages, draft pages. There are usually a few draft blog posts stored unnecessarily, get rid of them.
- Optimize images for web. Check the weight of the file, anything above 600KB should be reduced in size, and use optimized image formats such as jpeg, svg for graphics and webp.
6. Optimize your site for search engines
This is the final plugin recommendation, we promise, but it’s an important one. SEO by Yoast is great, and there’s a free version too if your budget is tight.
It will help you optimize your site with keywords, allow you to add meta descriptions on all your pages (including blogs). It will check the readability of your content, and make suggestions on how to improve. It also checks for duplicated content and alerts you when a page needs updating.
If you need WordPress theme help, SEO advice or if you’re not sure where to start with your eCommerce website, we’re here. When most people hear ‘plugin” they think “Glade” and if that’s you, that’s ok! You’ve got enough on your plate. If you need assistance, get in touch and we’ll be more than happy to help you.