October 11, 2022

The Do’s and Don’ts of WordPress Website Development

There are about 200 million active websites out of 1.5 billion websites worldwide. So naturally, the competition is fierce to have your site stand out from the crowd.

One way you can help to take your site to the next level is through WordPress website development. But not using the features properly and to your best advantage could hurt your site.

A slow-loading or unappealing site, for example, could cause a high bounce rate (when someone leaves without interacting with your site). While it can seem tough to figure out WordPress development’s do’s and don’ts, it doesn’t have to be. Read this complete guide on what you want to implement and avoid when it comes to WordPress today!

The Dont’s

First, let’s take a look at the Dont’s.  When it comes to WordPress development, there are many considerations to keep in mind. Often businesses are so excited to launch their new website, that they might overlook the following critical aspects of running their website.

Buying Poor Hosting

Never buy hosting based solely on price alone.  It’s easy to be persuaded by amazing deals, but when it comes to hosting, you do get what you pay for. Going with a hosting company that offers cheap hosting plans could impact the security and speed of your site. Instead, do you research and go with a well-reviewed and trustworthy source.

Weak Passwords

Don’t allow hackers access by using weak passwords. Instead, use a long password for WordPress to keep them out, and change it over time. Some bots will automatically try to guess your password and username.

Not Using SEO

SEO is short for search engine optimization; it’s how Google can rank you in searches. SEO is excellent for organic (free) traffic to your site.

While organic traffic takes longer to build than traffic from paid ads, it’ll give you long-term results. Learn about on-page and off-page SEO since they’re both important for your site’s success.

Using Copyrighted Material

Never use copyrighted information on your site. This could lead to landing you in serious legal trouble and hurt your rankings on Google. Instead, always give credit to creators when it’s due.

Too Many Categories

Don’t use too many blog post categories, especially similar ones. Only use the categories that you need. Some categories might work better as tags.

Letting It Go

Don’t create your site and forget about it. WordPress updates its platform quite often, in addition to frequent updates to themes and plugins you might have installed on your website.

Don’t stay with old features when you could try exciting options. Never stay stagnant since you could miss out on better features. To keep your site current, update to the latest features and changes.

If you’re worried about the impact of making these updates, consider hiring a WordPress website maintenance company.

Not Changing the Default Title and Tagline

Every WordPress installation includes these core elements which help identify your site. It lets search engines and your audience know what they’ll find on your pages and should be one of the first things you update after installing WordPress. To make changes to the default tagline and title, go to your WordPress dashboard, then head over to Appearance > Customize and finally click on Site Identity.

Too Many Plugins

About 46% of websites take about six to ten seconds to load. That’s double what Google recommends. Larger websites will take 381% longer to load than smaller options.

While users tend to install plugins to enhance the functionality of their website, this could impact the site’s performance. Too many plugins could slow down your site and decrease search rankings on Google.

Before you install a plugin, ensure it is compatible with your theme. Decide whether you need a plugin and how it’ll benefit your site.

The Overuse of Widgets

Don’t overuse widgets that’ll flood your site. Widgets allow you to add images, text, and videos to your site which is vital.

But having too many could hurt navigation. Go through your widgets and only keep what’s necessary.

Installing Unknown Plugins

Never use unverified themes and plugins. Some of these themes and plugins could exploit websites. One of the most common causes of security breaches is outdated plugins.

Instead, check the reviews and ensure any plugins or themes you use are actively being updated and supported by their developers.

Ignoring Slugs

Page and post slugs are vital parts of your site. They’re resources for your site’s content that can be edited.

Slugs can be auto generated based on the title of your post. That doesn’t always lead to ideal titles.  Make sure to review the page slug before you go ahead and publish that new page or post. Strong slugs will help improve SEO. Include a keyword in the slug to attract visitors to your site.

Incomplete Pages

Never publish blank or incomplete pages; this could hurt your SEO. Search engines will penalize you for empty or short pages.

Visitors won’t like pages with a lack of content, either. Avoid using taglines such as Coming Soon.

Go through and delete sample content. Delete the sample post, pages, and comments.

The Do’s

Next, let’s have a look at the Do’s.  Think about the features you’d like for your WordPress website before you start development. The following list should be part of your checklist to help you identify key areas to keep in mind.

Choose Responsive Themes

Your WordPress site should be quick and easy for visitors to use. Ensure that it works on mobile, tablet, and desktop devices.

Check for images that’ll show up on non-desktop devices. If you’re not 100% happy with a theme, you could make some changes through a WordPress developer or coding.

Consider Premium Themes

Consider a premium theme since it’ll come with more bells and whistles. Free themes might not be updated regularly, putting you at risk of security issues. If the theme is not developed by an established developer, it could end up abandoned and not receive any security patches or feature updates.

Check reviews for each theme you’re considering and see when the last updates occurred. Many themes for your WordPress site will be a one-time fee instead of recurring charges.

Ensure that the font and colours you choose are readable for your audience. You don’t a theme with outdated fonts or harsh, unpleasant colours.

Have a Backup Plugin

If your site crashes and you lose everything, it’s good to have a backup plugin. Create a backup of your site over time and before you make changes.

There are paid and free plugins available. You could also hire someone to manage website backups for you.

Use Google Analytics

Connect Google Analytics to your site to track visitors. Check browser interactions, visitor data, site performance, bounce rate, etc.

Google Analytics could also help figure out what content and pages are working better than others.  Check top page and landing page reports for more in-depth analysis.

Implement a Security Strategy

WordPress websites are often the target of malicious activity.  That’s why it’s crucial you have a security strategy in place for your website.

The good news is there is no shortage of quality security plugins designed specifically for WordPress.  Make sure to use a security plugin that will safeguard your website against brute force attacks, SQL injection and other malware.

Use Friendly Permalinks

For SEO benefits, use friendly permalinks. Keep them concise on your site for the best results. Use relevant keywords to help visitors understand your page’s content. After your domain name, have each page listed accordingly.

Example: www.mysiteasanexample.com/about

Have Proper Content Groupings

Place similar content and posts together. Taxonomies provide context about your content for readers to find what they need quicker.

Taxonomy logically organizes content. This could include categories, pages, etc. The URL structure is how the URLs are organized to reflect the content within site pages.

They’ll include subdirectories within your domain. These subdirectories will include information relevant to each page.

Use Social Media

Social media is an excellent way to promote your WordPress site. It’ll help you stand out from other sites, too.

Ensure that you offer your potential customers relevant and helpful content. Think about pain points, and whenever you post to your blog, let your audience know through social media.

Research what competitors are doing and try to make your content unique. Remember that each platform might need unique content to help you stand out.

Seek Expert Help

Work with a WordPress developer or someone who will maintain your site. Having a fresh pair of eyes could help you identify any potential problems.

A WordPress expert will ensure that your site stays up-to-date and safe from security threats.

Better Understanding How to Have Strong WordPress Website Development

After exploring this guide, you should better understand how to have a solid WordPress website development plan. Take your time identifying the strengths and weaknesses of your site and how you can improve.

Are you looking to have a strong website that’ll attract customers, improve your site rankings, and will work strong? Then, book a call today!

From unlimited WordPress edits to keeping your site up-to-date, we’re your one-stop shop for your WordPress needs. If you have any questions along the way, we’re happy to help!


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