10 things to do right now for a better WordPress site

If you want your website to be successful and useful to your readers, there’s always something to improve. This article presents a checklist of 10 things to do right now to drastically improve your WordPress site quality, loading speed and usability.

Use a Caching Plugin

Caching makes dynamic websites a lot faster to load, so you should definitely implement it on your WordPress install if you haven’t already. Many free and premium plugins offer caching: WP RocketWP Super Cache, and more. My favorite and the one used on all my sites is W3 Total Cache.

Stay Updated

Every day, hundreds of WordPress websites get hacked because the site owner didn’t keep his install up to date. This includes the WordPress core and all plugins and themes you’re using.

Also – if you don’t use a theme or a plugin, always delete it from your server. Need help with upgrading? The Codex has an extensive article about it.

Optimize Your Images

Images are generally over 50% of the total weight of a web page. In order to increase your site loading speed and ensure a comfortable user experience on mobile devices, optimizing images is a must.

The easiest way to do is to install and use WP Smush. Available in both free and premium versions, this super handy plugin will reduce the size of your images without altering their quality.

For more information and additional tips, check out this image optimization guide.

Reduce Spam by using Disqus

Comment spam is definitely a nuisance. It adds valueless content to your site and can hurt your SEO because of the spammy links. While there are countless options to reduce comment spam (captchas, Akismet, etc.) the most efficient in my opinion is to use Disqus, a plugin that replaces WordPress native commenting feature by an independent, JavaScript based comment system.

Warn Your Visitors About Old Posts

One thing extremely annoying with blogs is outdated content. If you started blogging a few years ago, there’s no doubt that your blog features posts that are now completely outdated.

While the best solution to the problem would be to keep every post on your blog up to date, it can be a tremendous amount of work. In that case, the best you can do is to warn your readers that the post they’re reading is old and might not be up to date. If you’d like to do that automatically, you can find a great code snippet on WP Engineer.

Use a Modern Theme

A great WordPress theme looks good, but is also optimized for speed/SEO, and provides a great user experience to your readers. If you’re looking to create your own theme.

Look Out for Broken Links

Broken links are hurting your SEO and provide a negative experience to your readers.

To find out broken links on your site, you can either use this handy tool or even better, the Broken Link Checker plugin which finds broken links and allows you to remove them by a single click.

Always Keep Mobile Devices In Mind

In 2017, more than 50% of people are accessing internet from a mobile device. So it should go without saying that your site has to be well-optimized for smartphones and tablets.

Mobile optimization consist of mostly two things: Speed optimization, since sites are often accessed from WiFi connections which aren’t always the fastest ever; and responsive design, which ensures that visitors get a readable and usable site regardless of the device they’re using.

Use a Quality Server

To check your server speed, there’s a great tool called Pingdom. Simply enter your site url and Pingdom will let you know everything about your server performances: general grade, load time, faster than X % of other sites, page size and the number of requests. If your grades are low, you should think about moving your site to a better server.

I’ve listed below my current top 4 web hosting companies for WordPress.

NameProsPrice (Starting at)
WP EngineManaged WordPress Hosting. 100% made for WordPress!$29/month
VidahostGreat quality, very fast. Hosting CatsWhoCode. Super fast support.£2.99/month
HostGatorWordPress specific hosting. Cheap but still good.$4.99/month
KickassdHigh performance SSD hosting for cheap.$7.99/month
InMotion HostingCheap but still good.$4.99/month

Don’t Forget Promotion

Writing great posts should be the priority of a blogger, but promoting the content you’ve created should always come as the close second. Promoting your blog posts will attract new visitors and clients, and could lead some of your best articles to go viral.

  • Have a Twitter and a Facebook account for your blog, and keep them updated.
  • Promote your blog posts on different sites and platforms. Here’s a list of places to promote your content.
  • If you’re looking to get Facebook likes for your Facebook page, I suggest using either the paid like.
  • Build and maintain an email list. Mailchimp and SendInBlue are definitely the best current services to manage email lists.

Hope this list will help you to improve your WordPress website quality! Any other tip you’d like to add? Feel free to post them in the comments.

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