If you are running a small business, chances are, you’re using either a WordPress or SquareSpace website. I manage the Happy Melly website, as well as some of Happy Melly brands like Management 3.0 and Collaboration Superpowers. Each of these are WordPress powered websites that I have been developing as part of our creative agency Muuks Creative.
Today I wanted to share some of the WordPress lessons learned while creating websites over the last five years. And since it’s part of the Happy Melly Weekly Happiness Challenge, of course there are challenges sprinkled throughout to get your website up to snuff!
WordPress Tip #1: Choose a good web hosting provider
I value 24/7 support, daily backups, minimum downtimes, testing environment. For example Happy Melly and Management 3.0 use WP Engine and we have been very satisfied with their services.
WordPress Tip #2: Consider a CDN to improve loading speed
If your website gets a lot of traffic, consider a CDN or content distribution network for it to improve website loading speed. It’s a globally distributed network of proxy servers that is deployed in multiple data centers. You pay a CDN to distribute static content of your website e.g. images/stylesheets/scripts faster to your users.
WordPress Tip #3: Don’t forget SEO
You want people to find your website, right? Then, you don’t want to just focus on the content side of search engine optimization. Select a good WordPress SEO plugin like the free Yoast SEO plugin.
Happiness Challenge #1: Try to improve your website’s search engine visibility. Try to make a plan as to how you could publish more quality content which is aimed for your clients.
WordPress Tip #4:
Posts with images get more clicks across all social media than those without. With the Yoast SEO plugin you can define the image which is shown when somebody shares a link to your website on Facebook. Otherwise you often have ugly blank posts or perhaps your logo.
Happiness Challenge #2: Create a Facebook share image for your site which is used by Facebook if no other image is found from the source code of your page. You need to create 1200 x 630 image and set it up in your Yoast or other WordPress SEO plugin settings.
WordPress Tip #5: Accept your updates
We tend to make a habit out of ignoring WordPress’s update warnings across the top. Remember to approve your core WordPress updates, but also don’t forget to regularly check on your plugins. Update the ones you use and remove unused plugins. But, remember to do a backup before updating your site, just to be safe if something breaks during the update process!
WordPress Tip #6: Pay attention to the details
Remember to add a favicon — your favorite icon — to your website if it does not have one already. As you want to give professional look, this small icon on your browser tab is like the cherry on top of the cake. This icon is visible also if your customers create a shortcut to your website on their smartphones.
WordPress Tip #7: Enable your SSL
Add SSL — https:// instead of just http:// — your secure sockets layer that is standard website security. Google likes it and will rate your site better, meaning enabling your SSL may improve your ranking. Also recently browsers have started to notify users if the connection is not secure with the traditional http://, so another benefit is that it will give your site visitors more professional feeling when you have SSL enabled.
Challenge #3: Make sure your website is SSL-enabled and then share the link with the Happy Melly community.
WordPress Tip #8: Improve your security
Do not use “admin” as username, if somebody wants to break into your WordPress admin side and you use “admin” as username, then they only need to guess the password. Use strong alphanumeric passwords generated by WordPress, or use a strong password generator, I don’t recommend using any real words in your passwords. You can also Install a plugin which will limit the login attempts, like this one.
WordPress Tip #9: Boost performance with more memory
Add more memory for the WordPress installation to give a performance boost. Edit your wp-config.php file. Add this to the bottom of the file, before the line that says, “That’s all, stop editing! Happy blogging.”:
WordPress Tip #10: Get mobile ready
Make sure you have a responsive mobile ready site. In 2017 this is a no-brainer when creating a new website, but unfortunately there are still lot of older websites which do not work on mobile devices without pinching and zooming with your fingers.
Happiness Challenge #4: Test that your site looks good also on mobile devices
Bonus WordPress Tip: Sell something
OK, just one more… Monetize your website even further by adding a Woocommerce webshop and start selling your products or service.
Happiness Challenge #5: Brainstorm: What could you start selling through your website?
Do you have your own WordPress Tip to add? We’d love to learn from it, so tell us in the comments below!