WordPress is the go-to for start-ups looking to create a presence online, be it an online shop, a simple brochure webpage or a digital portfolio.
It’s free and it has all the basic customizable and marketing options a small company needs in its early stages. As the bar for digital user experience is being set ever higher the need to stay ‘in the loop’ is an increasing one.
This is a list full of information I wish someone had of told me when I created my first WordPress. Enjoy.
1. Don’t install too many plugins
Installing too many plugins can impact the performance of your site, but there are many plugins that are extremely valuable to have.
There are currently 53 active plugins available on WordPress beginner. Technically speaking it isn’t the amount of plug-ins you have that will slow you down it’s the amount of badly coded and developed plugins you have.
If you just install the plugins you need and stop yourself from installing all the others, no matter how enticing they sound, you can make sure that you are keeping tabs on the plugins you have and the consequent performance of your website.
If you download numerous plugins and your site starts to slow it will be a long process to find which plugin is doing the damage.
2. Make sure you do have these plugins
This plugin flags spam and tracks it/trashes it accordingly. This is probably the most popular plug in on WordPress and ensures your desktop doesn’t fill up with spam and irrelevant data.
It’s is amazing how accurate Akismet is, something I definitely wish I knew about before I let my inbox flood with comments from the Prince of Nigeria and his friends.
If you have a blog on your WordPress (and you should if you want to maximize the content on your page), this is a must-have plugin.
It will allow you very easily to tailor the meta-data and descriptions of each blog post and will demonstrate how strong your SEO rating for each post is as per your own guidelines and keywords.
This is a valuable plug for all start-ups who presumable want to get their name ‘out there’.
For example if you want your Website to be the number one hit if someone was to Google “Raw Vegan Green Grocer Melbourne” you can tailor your options to ensure that your SEO was optimized for those keywords. Essentially, this plugin will make sure you get the most SEO out of the content you have.
This is the small time marketer’s dream. It will track your website’s outbound links, page views, downloads and clicks with lots of metadata that you can then use to suit your won personal agenda. It will allow you to access very valuable information that you otherwise wouldn’t be able to.
This plugin turns your blog into an elegant mobile theme. Google now takes into account whether or not a website has mobile capabilities when delivering it’s results, those with mobile capabilities ranking higher than those without.
3. Check, double check and then check again
40 per cent of Internet uses will abandon a website if it doesn’t load properly the first time. So make sure you know that your website loads correctly.
You should set up 404 Error email alerts to keep updated and manually read through all the content to check for spelling errors or failed links. While you’re at it, back up your WordPress too; Back Up Buddy is great for this.
WordPress is a priceless tool (quiet literally) for any start-up company. You don’t need to be an expert; all you need is a computer and a dozen informative YouTube tutorials.
This being said, WordPress is considered a very basic platform. There are other programs out there that are far more powerful and far harder to use.
Perhaps when you have grown in substantial proportions as a business you will require the aid of a digital agency to manage your website on a platform like Sitecore, or Kentico CMS.
But for now, be content knowing that you know more about WordPress than I did when I first started using it and I don’t doubt you will continue to learn.
April Lipson is the Human Resource Manager at Loud & Clear, an independent digital agency in Melbourne. When April isn’t helping personnel you can find her sipping the finest coffees across the city.