Whether you are looking to build a personal blog or create a professional website for your business, one of the best software options available is WordPress.org, an open source CMS that powers 33% of the web, and is evolving to become even better. Keep these 4 tips in mind for building a WordPress website.
Tip 1: Choose a WordPress Managed Hosting platform
There are plenty of excellent website hosting providers, and sadly some that offer a poor quality service. Hosting types can include shared hosting, VPS, cloud hosting and more. But for a WordPress website we recommend that you consider using a Managed WordPress Hosting provider.
-- Hosting network is optimised for WordPress websites which can be better for security and performance.
-- Daily backups and website restore option managed by the hosting to give you peace of mind if something goes wrong.
-- WordPress support staff on hand to help with questions you may have.
-- Security and Malware scanning managed by the host.
It'll cost more than some other types of hosting, but it will simplify building and running your website, as you can leave out some plugins like caching plugins, security plugins and backup plugins.
Checkout our help doc for more info about Website Hosting and Email Hosting.
Tip 2: Choose a good theme and be sure to setup a childtheme
On the WordPress theme repository you'll find thousands of options to choose from. Besides that there are also thousands more available on countless other marketplaces. But beware, some themes can be problematic or even worse, can contain code that is not safe.
If you are browsing the repo at https://wordpress.org/themes/, then look for themes that have a lot of active intallations, with mostly 5 star ratings and a last updated date in recent months. One of our favourites is GeneratePress.
If you looking elsewhere, then check for similar stats and have a read through any support forums or issues lists.
Once you have selected your theme, you also want to setup a childtheme. This is a very important step that most people overlook. Without a childtheme, if you make any code edits to the main theme you have selected, then when you update it in future it will overwrite your changes.
Have a read on the WordPress Codex at https://developer.wordpress.org/themes/advanced-topics/child-themes/ for the steps to creating a childtheme for your website.
When we create a WordPress website for you we always create a custom childtheme that contains style and functionality code specific for your website.
Tip 3: When choosing plugins, less is better
Although one of the great features of using WordPress is the countless plugin options that you have, this can also be one of its downfalls. Many developers and agencies may disagree and say otherwise, but the reality is that every plugin you install and activate adds extra loading time to pages, increases security risks when not maintained, and may not play well with other plugins.
WordPress is evolving faster than ever before, and some plugin developers are unable to keep up with frequent WordPress releases, and so incompatibilities often arise. Some plugins may not have been updated in years, which really is a worry if installed on your website.
Besides all that though, plugins do allow for so many great features to be added to your website, but our suggestion is that you only install what you need. And remember that each plugin must be kept up to date, which means time to test updates, reconfigure settings changes, and being able to restore your website if an issue with a plugin install or update breaks your website.
We provide some great support options for clients on our hosting services, read more at Support Packages for WordPress websites.
Tip 4: Plan your content and add new content often
Right from the start you should plan the content for your website. Think about what is the most important content for your website, and how you can best display this to your viewers. Typical website content includes text, images, and video. It also could include PDFs, audio and downloadable files.
Often when someone lands on your website, you only have a few moments to capture their attention, and then lead them to an action you want. This might be reading about your services, or filling in a web form, or picking up the phone and calling you, or joining your email newsletter list.
Keep this in mind when you setup your menu navigation, when optimising your images for page speed, when you create your home page (which is likely the most common point of entry to your website), when you plan the layout of your other pages, and when you add actions like buttons and forms into sections.
Think about the kinds of information that potential customers and clients are looking for. Depending on your business this might be details about your services or products, it could be prices or answers to common questions, or where to find you, or your opening hours. It could be testimonials and reviews, or to look at your portfolio.
Also it is worth remembering that Google (and other search engines) are indexing the content on web pages so that when people type search phrases, a list of relevant websites are listed on the search results pages. So if you are hoping to appear for some of these searches, then include a range of relevant keyword phrases in your text content, but only in a way that is easy and interesting to read.
Adding fresh content to your website regularly by blogging can be an effective way to broadcast news, information and events about your business. It also shows search engines like Google that your website is alive and active and growing in size.
At Tiong Creative we help clients plan their content at the start of building a website, and also offer support in managing and promoting content. If you are looking to grow your website, then read about our new content growth services.
Looking for help with building your WordPress website?
At Tiong Creative, we help small to medium business create and manage websites, so that you can focus on growing and running your business. Our team handles website maintenance and content management, so if you'd like to worry less about keeping your website up to date and running well, then we'd love to chat.
For information about our range of services, visit our services helpdocs.
Our clients enjoy working with us, read what they have to say at Tiong Creative testimonials.
... thanks Featured Photo by Pixabay from Pexels