Whether you realize it or not, the chances are pretty high you’ll have already used a WordPress (WP) powered website today. WordPress is a Content Management System (CMS) that provides the backbone infrastructure for around 37% of websites globally – and some 65% of all CMS sites.
While WP started mostly as a blogging platform, the CMS has developed and expanded considerably since its launch in 2003 and is now so comprehensive that it’s become the website management tool of choice for some of the world’s largest companies, including BBC America and Sony Music.
However, while WP certainly has a lot of power under the hood, the onus still lies with web administrators to make the most of its capabilities and ensure the success of a website.
Below are a few tips to help you maximize the potential of WP and build and run a successful WordPress site.
Rule 101 – quality web hosting is not an optional extra
When setting up a WP site, it can often be tempting for web admins to try to cut corners and costs by choosing a budget web host. While it’s true some hosting services can be bought cheaply, you should avoid letting your decision become based purely on price alone.
The quality of your hosting service can affect everything from your site security to its speed of delivery and the amount of support you can expect when (not if) things go wrong. Ideally, you should try to find a trusted and recommended provider that specializes in WP hosting.
Think about your content, then search for a relevant theme
One of the biggest advantages of using WordPress as your CMS is the vast choice of pre-built themes. Again, you shouldn’t just let price be your overall swaying factor when it comes to themes.
The old saying, ‘You get what you pay for’ applies equally to WordPress templates, and, in general, a premium theme will come with far better security, design, and build features than those offered free of charge.
You should also search for themes that have been built around your site’s subject as these will come with features that will make your life easier further down the line.
Remember site security
While it might be tempting to consider your site or blog to be below the radar of hackers, actually quite the opposite is true.
Indeed, evidence shows that poorly protected, smaller sites are frequently targeted by hackers who use them as a staging platform to launch much bigger, coordinated attacks such as the distribution of malware or Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks.
To have the greatest level of protection, you should ensure you always update WordPress and any associated plugins when prompted.
Alternatively, you could enlist the help of a website management company that will look after the running of your site and its protection for you – click here to learn more.
Choose your plugins wisely
Another huge advantage of using WordPress for your site is the massive range of plugins that are available to install that can increase the functionality and usefulness of your site.
However, while plugins undoubtedly bring huge benefits, you should make sure you only install ones that are still current and are still supported for the version of WordPress you’re running.
Also, as mentioned above, make sure you update plugins when prompted to avoid potential security issues.