Anyone with a website, WordPress or otherwise, will receive and most likely hates the typical web developer prospecting email. Everyone will have had one at one time or another, or several times a day if you are particularly “fortunate”. So this post is the antithesis of that email. I am not messaging saying I can offer you a service. Instead, today is about 8.5 things you, yes you, can do to your own WordPress website in order to improve it; all of which is doable without hiring us! These improvements range from SEO rankings to basic security. So without further delay, here are our little enhancement tips:
1. WordPress AMP Project
As last week’s blog post focused on Mobigeddon, this tip won’t come as much of a surprise. Install a plugin called AMP. AMP stands for Accelerated Mobile Pages. The benefit of this is that it will automatically perform enhancements to make your pages operate better on mobile – the added bonus is that Google will rate an AMP site higher than it will a regular site in its mobile search results. This WordPress plugin takes all the hassle out of the process and will generate a quick substitute for a responsive site (although it is nowhere near as good as having a proper responsive site).
2. Yoast SEO
This is an ESSENTIAL tool for anyone who wants to improve upon the traffic levels their WordPress site receives. Using a simple traffic light system and checklists, Yoast SEO allows content managers to make quick, simple tweaks to their posts in order to better rate in search engines. These range from checking the frequency of your chosen keyword is optimal and the use of Heading 2 within the article itself. My personal recommendation is that if you take anything away from this page, make it Yoast!
3. Google Analytics
You need Google Analytics for tracking and monitoring the effectiveness of the time you have invested. Although the link given here will take you to the WordPress plugin, there are versions for other CMS’s.
Being by far the most popular CMS (Content Management System) on the web, WordPress does still have a major flaw. That is with this popularity so too comes a popularity for being the victim of hacking. Therefore, we advise installing Wordfence, the single most downloaded security plugin for WordPress sites. It won’t guarantee that nothing bad will happen to your site, but it will certainly prevent a number of malicious attacks. It is important to note that sites that have been hacked or that have known vulnerabilities are rated lower in search engines, so this isn’t as much a way to improve your SEO rating, it is a way to remove anything negating it.
5. W3 Total Cache
W3 Total Cache improves the performance of your site by reducing download times through caching. Caching is the temporary storage of data which enables the site to access the information quicker. As the theme from the previous four would suggest, this also has a positive effect on SEO ratings.
6. Google Sitemap Generator
Google sitemap generator is a useful tool to help Google index your site. Essentially think of it like drawing a map for your site. A crawler could just wander around your site and explore but it is liable to miss things. A sitemap ensures Google will index everything. And… that’s right it will also have a positive effect on your SEO.
This tip can be an absolute lifesaver. For whatever the reason, be it hack, natural disaster or a simple hardware failure – websites can and do go down. In those three examples the site may well be irrecoverable. Enter Snapshot, a simple to use plugin that creates automated backups of your site in places such as GoogleDrive and Dropbox. There is a premium for this. Although this is negligible compared to the cost of redeveloping and populating a website! If you decide to opt for our suggestion 8.5 then this is included free as part of the bundle. Note, Purr is in no way affiliated (beyond being a user of) with said bundle or any plugins listed.
8. Uptime Robot
Uptime robot is a really handy service to subscribe too. It is a free site that you register on and it will automatically send you alerts on your websites status. The good news is this means you are in a position to react if/when anything happens to your site. The bad news is you are likely to need some form of developer help to ascertain why the fault has occurred and to resurrect your site.
8.5 WPMU Dev
WPMU DEV is a collection of plugins all disguised as super heroes. It is a strong collection with Hummingbird minifying, compressing and caching pages in order to increase page speeds (which helps SEO). Defender does automatic scans and provides vulnerability reports so you can prevent rather than cure issues. SmartCrawl will generate automatic sitemaps and alert search engines of your new content (so no waiting for crawlers to find you). So all in all a very versatile tool, although the downside is that this does come at a premium. There are other additional benefits such as the aforementioned Snapshot plugin and that it does integrate with a load of other things such as MailChimp, various social media sites and Google Analytics. This is 8.5 as it is a good solution but there are several other plugins listed above which offer comparable services when combined.
So there you have it 8.5 ways to bolster down the hatches on your site and make it stand out amongst the competition in search engines. This is not a one stop fix to make your website run smoothly or dominate in the rankings, but it’s certainly a start and will give you a leg up on people who don’t make any enhancement efforts, although you will still be a step behind those who make a serious commitment to it too. There are a number of additional things you need to consider for further levels of enhancement. All of which start to venture more into techy terms and need to be discussed with your chosen developers, which we are sure will naturally be Purr :).Education, Internet, Optimisation, Website, WordPress