The best practices: Managing your WordPress site

08.06.2022 73 0

Through time and no matter all the choices available in the market, WordPress is the number one CMS (content management system) out there, beating the competition by a lot. The reasons are several, but to start, WordPress has become a synonym for an easy and slick website builder.

If you consider that building a website is not exactly the easiest task, then you could understand better WordPress’s popularity. It’s an open-source platform so it’s free and you can use it for commercial or other purposes. Due to the functionality, it provides, both experts and newbies can use it. And none of them needs to write a single line of code if they don’t want to. But to get the best out of it, you should follow these important practices that will enhance the management of your WordPress website.

That’s why today we have for you the best practices for managing your WordPress site.

Backup it!

Cybercriminals never sleep. You can get an attack at any hour. Some hacks can easily break your security and block or hijack your website. In such a case, you don’t want to lose everything.

Besides, data loss can occur due to many different causes. Risky practices and human errors are some of the most common. But issues can also emerge during or after regular processes like updating or installing software. And yes, malware and criminal activity, as we mentioned, are threats too. Don’t let errors or criminals bring your website down! Protect it and avoid risks. This is easily the most important tip we can give you about managing your WordPress website.

There are plenty of plug-ins that can automatically back up your site. There are paid and free options. You can get very efficient and affordable choices. Or you can even manually back up your site by downloading the whole content in an archive and getting the database file separately. The main objective is to be ready in case of an event to restore everything as soon as possible. And the key to doing that is to have a proper, safe and efficient backup.

If you are a fan of cloud services, you can also check our Backup-as-a-Service (B-a-a-S). It is a quick and convenient way to back up your precious data in the cloud.

Build a complete strategy to back up your website. Currently, backup is a security practice nobody should skip. But it’s also important to consider not to have just a backup. Experts recommend having more reliable copies, stored in different media, and kept in different locations. If you want to go deeper, check out this article “Is the 3-2-1 backup rule still valid?”.

Content is the king

You have probably heard it before, and it is still 100% true. Think about your personal experience. Well-written content can engage you and make you interact (share, like, comment, etc.). This happens to your audience too. Such content also can increase traffic and search engine rankings. If users like your content, they will keep your brand in mind and they will get back. The more time they invest in enjoying your content, the better brand/website awareness you will have. And this is a solid base for building trust between them and you.

All these benefits are gold for your website. To get them, there are a few best practices that you should focus on.

• How suitable is the content for your visitors? You need to provide value with every post, not just put it to fill the website. Think about who the target is, and what it needs, and anticipate trends relative to it.

• Make clear what is your expertise or selling point via content creation. Provide tips, give your opinion, generate discussions, answer users’ doubts, etc. to prove to users that you know about your business.

• Pay attention to every detail of the article. Not just to have a well-written post, but you need to take care of the repetition of the keywords, the SEO score, metadata, Readability score, put pictures or videos. A perfect post will position you better in search engines and will give you a competitive edge over your rivals.

• Social networks. Make it easy for your visitors to comment and share your posts through social networks. This will significantly improve your reach. Just keep in mind that there are many “trolls” so enable a banning list for those visitors and clean the language with “swear word censorship.”

• Generate new content regularly. To offer new content or to keep it updated over time is a very good sign for regular users and search engines. Fresh and updated content shows your website is relevant. Besides, it always can get more audience to your site.

• Check internal and external links. Broken or dead links affect the SEO of your website. A single typo in the URL of a link you inserted to offer interesting content will misdirect your audience. After some time, Internet pages get deleted so their links will lead your audience to nowhere. Monitoring all links regularly is an essential part of your site maintenance. This checking can be made manually or through different plugins.

Be mobile-friendly

This is not new advice but still, you can find websites that are not comfortably used through the users’ mobile. Sometimes it’s just the result of a lack of testing. Website developers try their best but sometimes they don’t check the website as users do (different devices). Don’t forget that the number of smartphones has skyrocketed, and it seems to stay that way in the future. If users search your website and it’s not responsive, meaning not properly adjusted to mobile use, this won’t allow a proper interaction. As a result, you can lose potential clients. Choose wisely the theme of your WordPress site.

Backend matters!

There are aspects, like the content or design, that your visitors can directly see. But you can make tweaks also behind the curtains.

• Limit access to your website. You can configure which IPs can access your admin control. You can put an extra password to the wp-admin directory as well.
• Create roles and limit their actions. You can disable access or hide every component of your WordPress (dashboard, plugins, media, comments, appearance, posts, pages, etc.). Only you, the Administrator, will have total visibility. The others will see and be able to use only what is necessary for them to work.
• Provide easier navigation with better website menus. The more comfortable and easy experience you can offer to your users, the better. Make them visible and clear.
• Customize the login page. Remember, every detail counts. The Login page is the face of your site. You can go with the one you get by default, or you can improve it. For instance, you can replace the WordPress logo with your business logo. You can also change the background and get a solid colour, or an image related to your brand. It’s worth trying! Different plugins can help you with this and some include even more features for you to get the best out of your login page.
• Add two-factor authentication for the login page. Strengthen security for your users and website. Some users know how to create hard-to-crack passwords, but not all. Two-factor authentication will protect everybody by adding a step for users to authenticate their identity, for instance, through confirmation on an alternative device.

Keep everything up to date

Check the version of WordPress regularly, this is another useful practice for managing your site. The same goes for plug-ins and themes. You can’t let vulnerabilities thanks to an older version of some of them. Outdated versions also can lead to slow loading times and poor general performance.

Updates provide benefits for you and your website. Security is an important one. They will provide the latest fixes for bugs, patches for vulnerabilities, new features, compatibility, better performance, a smoother experience for your users, and a higher position in the search results.

As you see, keeping your website, meaning all its different components, up to date releases a positive chain reaction. Constant monitoring and the automated update feature that some software offers can help you to accomplish this task.

Optimize your images and videos

Successful websites always care about having a visual impact on users. The goal can be reached by its design, videos, and images. These elements are strategic, but they can become a heavyweight for your website loading time. And to have a sluggish website is not good for users’ patience and search engine rankings.

Basically, by optimizing, we mean to get the best quality with the least possible bytes and pixels. When you reduce the size and weight of your media file that has a positive impact on the website’s speed. There are plugins that can help you with this task, but you can also do it by choosing the proper dimensions and formats (JPEG, PNG, WebP, etc.). In the case of videos, you should compress them and choose not only light but also popular formats for users not to have problems reproducing them (MP4, WebM, HTML5, MKV, etc.).

Always optimize your images and videos before you upload them to your site.

You can also cache them. You can either use special cache servers, that will facilitate the process and keep a copy of your content closer to your users or push the users’ devices to cache the content for further use. This will reduce the work for your servers and offer faster service.

Another option is to use the “Lazy Load” images. This is a method to instruct your site to open only the images that are required by the user while scrolling, not all of them at once and immediately.

Add TLS/SSL certificate

Security is a very important asset both for website owners and users. Especially, due to the increase in cyber criminality. A TLS/SSL certificate or a Transport Layer Security / Secure Sockets Layer is a digital certificate used for encrypting the connection between a user (web browser) and a website (server) and for authenticating the identity of the websites.

There was a time when the SSL certificate was a must for websites involving money transfers, and payments in general. But currently, not only money but personal information and privacy are also at stake. So, all websites must consider adding a TLS/SSL certificate to get trustability. This certificate will keep the Internet connections secure avoiding the risk of criminals reading and altering information exchanged between websites and users.

For users to visit a site that shows the padlock icon in the address bar means security, to be in a trustable site. This is a good sign for search engines too.

Besides, remember that Google can flag as “not secure” websites without a TLS/SSL certificate. And that flag can sink your traffic.

Conclusion

Now you know, WordPress, the platform itself, won’t do everything. The improvement you do, following these best practices for managing WordPress will directly impact the performance of your site! Keep in mind these tips for managing your WordPress website. Don’t waste time! Start implementing them today and get better results and a nicer, and more secure experience for your users.

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