Keeping your website properly maintained can be a real challenge, especially if you aren't up to date on current internet trends. The web is constantly changing, and you need to adapt to the latest events not only to survive, but to thrive. Follow these tips to ensure that your WordPress website is performing flawlessly.
1. Make Sure Your Website Is Optimized for Mobile Users
Mobile internet trends are only growing, and each month more and more people use their phones to access the Internet. If your website is not easily viewable on a mobile device (or tablet), you are ignoring a huge chunk of users. The good news is that there are several popular WordPress plugins that will help you streamline your website for mobile users. It isn't incredibly difficult, it doesn't take a lot of time, and it helps your website perform better.
In fact, many of the newer WordPress themes are designed for mobile users. When thinking about a new theme, make sure you get one that is responsive. This means that no matter what size display the visitor is using, your website will format nicely to fit their screen.
If your website doesn't utilize these plugins or uses an outdated non-responsive theme, it is time for an upgrade. Taking care of your mobile users will help to maximize the performance of your website.
2. Update All of Your Plugins, Widgets, and Major Code Releases
As simple as this step is complete, it is often overlooked by many website owners and developers. The very first thing you want to do is to make sure that your website is using the latest and greatest version of WordPress. If you are using an outdated version, you lose many benefits and features of the new release and also leave yourself vulnerable to a host of internet security threats. The same holds true for smaller pieces of code like plugins and widgets. There is the potential for bugs and security holes to exist in these as well, so spend the time to update your code!
Don't Have Time? Our WordPress Maintenance Program keeps your site up to date AND backed up daily!
3. Respect Your Users’ Bandwidth
Bandwidth technologies are only improving with each passing day, but remember, not all of your users are on a gigabit fiber connection. This is especially true for mobile users. Keep this in mind when you are designing your pages. If your pages are loaded with ads, graphics, videos, and other bandwidth hogs, your audience might have to wait an intolerable amount of time for your content to buffer. According to studies, the ideal load time for most internet users is 3 seconds or less. Anything more could very well make your bounce rate skyrocket.
Tip: Use the free Google Page Speed Tool to see if you can improve your site's speed.
Many times a website is slow simply because of the hosting company you're using. GoDaddy, for instance, is notorious for having very slow servers. If your server is slow to respond, it could be because there are other websites on that server that are 'resource hogs' - they take up all the memory and disk space, leaving your website code waiting in line to get to your visitors. We have used Lighthouse Technologies as our host for many years with no problems (and they're fast, too!).
4. Add Value
There's nothing better than a repeat visitor - they're already familiar with your brand and understand your expertise. Creating ongoing content that teaches or demonstrates your products or services is a smart way to get them to return. Smart business owners know that a great content marketing strategy will get them more visitors and customers in the long run.
BONUS TIP: Create Social Media Accounts
You will certainly want to create social media accounts for your business’s website. There are many ways to drive traffic to your website including SEO, PPC ad campaigns, traditional print advertising, and television commercials. However, social media accounts are the latest trend and they offer benefits that older forms of marketing do not. Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and LinkedIn allow your business to communicate directly with your target audience. Additionally, when you create social media ads and content, users will be able to share your information with each other.