Best Practices to Prepare Your WordPress Site for Net Neutrality
Net Neutrality is likely to impact your WordPress site and e-commerce in a big way. It is a challenging landscape, but you can navigate this uncertain terrain by following some best practices!
If you don't live under the rocks, then you must have heard about the net neutrality debate. The consequences of this challenging decision are likely to affect everyone in the U.S including site owners and marketers.
Net neutrality has the potential to impact each business unit in a big way. In reality, industry experts have still got a lot to explore regarding net neutrality affects businesses. So, if you are a busy WordPress site owner and don't understand the impact of net neutrality then don't worry.
In this post, we will discuss this significant topic, and we will look at some best practices to prepare yourself and your site to meet this challenge.
In today's fast, competitive world, the concept of living without internet is something we shudder to even think about. That is precisely why the idea of net neutrality is highly critical. We say it because there is a regulation that may determine as well as possibly threaten your online traffic.
So before we go deep and discuss the best practices to prepare your WordPress site for net neutrality, let us first understand what net neutrality is?
Understanding Net Neutrality
The whole idea of net neutrality principle is to allow you the fundamental right to access and communicate all the content quite freely over the internet. It forbids ISPs to interfere with the available online content. But the idea is under threat after the re-appeal proposal by the Ajit Pai – the new Chairman of Federal Communications Commission and a former Verizon lawyer.
The FCC aim at killing the principle of net neutrality and controlling the use and access of the internet. This is bad news not just for marketers but also for site owners, especially online business owners. Every business on the internet must have equal internet access. The only factor that should differentiate a company is the number of efforts, put in by a business for developing an optimized and clean site.
But after the FCC ruling, unfortunately, this will not be a preference, and that is scary!
After the enactment of net neutrality, ISPs will privilege certain websites over the other. From a users' perspective, they would need to pay an additional amount of money to access the basic website with good speed. If a site holds no good relationship with an ISP, users' will suffer and pay extra to get on these sites.
So if you own a business WordPress site or any WordPress site, the game is now changing. Even though your business still requires to be seen by more people, who will eventually become your potential customers, this may not be the case, thanks to the net neutrality enactment!
In other words, there will not be level playing field on which small organizations or site owners get the same opportunity to be seen and heard as other government and large established corporations.
The Future of Your WordPress Website without Net Neutrality
Maybe you think that it is not a big deal. If there is going to be more control as to how the internet is used, what's so bad about it?
In that case, you might not have thought about the long-term effects of this new regulation. If you believe that control over the internet will add more quality or provide a level playing field to everyone, including more opportunities for established corporations, it is not that simple!
When we speak of internet control, we refer to the complete control by telecom giants over the internet and its access by users. This means that ISPs and government entities may call all the shots while deciding who will be heard and who won't.
Some of the effects of this absolute control include;
- Slowing down the content of the competitors
- Throttling the web traffic to a particular site
- Charging fees or money from specific companies, which are capable of paying for preferential treatment while pushing everyone else down.
Quite literally, this can quickly destroy the internet and the freedom we have today.
The concept of net neutrality is particularly critical for business owners. Without this principle, your online business has much higher chances to struggle when ISPs play the role of gatekeepers, controlling your business's online visibility.
Are you ok to let ISPs decide the amount of web traffic on your site? Is it okay to let them decide if your audience should come to your website or not?
Not! No business can allow the ISPs to decide the fate of their business. The web traffic on your site is the direct results of your SEO and marketing strategies. This helps you build your brand authority and enables you to outshine your competitors.
If the right target audience fails to approach your business, your WordPress site remains unseen to them. This will eventually impact the business revenue!
So; how can you avoid the nuisance of net neutrality enactment? What measures can you take to meet the challenge of net neutrality?
Well to assist you in this regards and to help you make your WordPress site capable of fighting off the net neutrality challenge, let us have a look at some best practices to go about.
Best Measures to Fight off Net Neutrality
Here are the best practices to achieve the old goal in today's new reality. To make the most of these practices, you would need to work with your marketing and SEO expertise so that your website remains least affected by net neutrality.
It is ok to hope for the best and leave it as it is but the better approach is to arm yourself with an active hope and stay prepared for the worst strategy. The foremost is to understand that your business is not helpless — all you need to be to start with some process and measures.
For this, determine if your online channels are managed by any 3rd party providers or it self-manage. In the case of the latter, you will have to fulfill some responsibilities. You must know where your responsibilities start and when they end.
For instance, you would need a hosting provider for your site. The web developer or IT will handle everything associated with that hosting. Also, you may be directly responsible for how effectively your site operates on their servers.
So clarifying these responsibilities with your service providers is precisely where to start your site's protection from the direct effects of net neutrality.
Keep a Check on Your Website Pages Size
Fortunately, a business page doesn't put a strain on any ISP. This is unlike file sharing websites or streaming services as business sites usually contain images and text. In other words, if you have a business WordPress site, you own a small web page. This means your page will load quickly as well as fast.
But now you must meet some variation. First, you must know how your site is doing and for this, go to website speed test and check the size of your favorite pages.
You can also run this test on some competitors. In case the pages are of equal size or smaller, in comparison to competitors, you don't need to worry about it. But if any of your web pages are more substantial, you might run into trouble in future. Any website that contains larger pages is likely to pay an ISP to ensure that the site content loads faster.
But what exactly causes larger page size?
Well, images are the biggest culprit that increases the page size. However, you should also dig into the site's code and look for any other possible trouble there. Needless to say, if images can increase the page size, you can imagine the impact of videos on your page size.
It's Time to Keep Your Videos on YouTube Only
If you want to increase the size of the web page, significantly, keep videos on YouTube. This is the first reason why Comcast attempted to limit Netflix's bandwidth initially. You must be thinking that video marketing is the critical element of your marketing strategy, but there is no point to incorporate it if it compromises the web traffic anyway.
Video marketing is undoubtedly a hot new trend. But if FCC decides to charge for faster internet speeds, you will end up paying an additional amount for the posted videos of your site. Otherwise, be ready to suffer from excruciatingly slow website speed. So it is better to leave the hosting issue to YouTube and enjoy faster site speed.
Start Communicating With Providers
Another best practice to stay ready to face net neutrality without affecting your WordPress site effectiveness is to stay communicated with your providers. Make sure all of your providers follow a game plan, and you contact each one of them beforehand.
This may include but not limited to;
- Hosting providers
- Website developer
- CRM provider
- Box office/ticketing providers
- Transactional email and email marketing providers
- Any 3rd party donation or e-commerce provider
Don't feel shy about communicating with your providers. If you wish to stay unaffected by the net neutrality challenge and continue to have excellent and smooth web traffic on your site, then you must ask your providers, some basic questions. The more you engage with your providers, the more you will discover strategies to keep up with net neutrality.
Ask your providers the following questions;
These questions will help you strategize your measures to make it useful enough to fight out the impact of net neutrality enactment.
Link Building/Barnacle SEO
If you have an SEO or a proper marketing strategy in place to improve the ranking of your WordPress site, then you must be aware of Barnacle SEO. In reality, it is the art of using other and better-ranked sites to rank your site higher in the search engine.
This will particularly help in dealing with ISPs with the repeal of net neutrality as more significant sites are likely to have an easier time dealing with internet service providers spread throughout the country.
Develop Good Relationship with ISPs for Faster Speeds
Net neutrality means you must develop a good relationship with the ISP affecting you. Big business gets an advantage here as they can quickly pay them a large sum to ensure fast site speed. They may hire someone to provide a proper track of relationship with all ISPs.
However, small businesses will get the advantage of dealing with less ISP. It doesn't mean that you can save yourself from the net neutrality impact. While it is easier for big business to be on good terms with ISPs, your only bet is to keep your relationship positive and prepare to give out additional amount to gain faster site speed.
In the bottom line
Even though the nuisance of net neutrality hasn't impacted us, it is critical to your WordPress site, and you should not ignore the measures discussed above.
While you don't get many options to ensure open access to your site, except for paying more money to get your rights, all of these measures will only improve your WordPress site, either way. Still, if you are doubtful about implementing any these measures on your own, get the assistance of professional developers to help you guide through the process without losing what you already have!
If you find this guide helpful or if you have any idea how to save your site from net neutrality challenge, let us know in the comment section below!