Quick tips for running your site smoothly

Managing a website requires you to focus on many elements. You have to think of making your site appealing to visitors, easy to navigate, SEO-friendly and secure. If you miss any of these points, you end up with flaws or glitches that slow everything down and discourage people from visiting your site again. The following are some tactics that help you run your website more smoothly.

Ensure your site is well optimized and has a good loading time

This is necessary for both retaining visitors and SEO purposes as Google uses site loading speed as a ranking factor. There are several ways to improve your site's speed.

  • Optimize images by using smaller ones and resizing images with large file size.
  • You can download plugins like Wprocket, W3 Total Cache, WP Fastest Cache to enable caching.
  • While some plugins are necessary, others just take up space and memory on your site and slow it down. So you should only use limited number of plugins that are necessary.
  • If your site is large with heavy traffic, a basic shared hosting account might not be sufficient. Consider upgrading to a more robust hosting plans as a dedicated server provides greater resources and your server response time wont get affected. For more details on hosting plans click here
Web security

Security & Updates

Security is an increasingly important issue as many sites get hacked daily. WordPress sites, in particular, are often targeted by hackers. It's not only large sites that hackers target; even the smallest sites are vulnerable. Here are some strategies to keep your site as safe as possible.

  • Use a secure password: This tip is simple but often overlooked. It's more convenient to use your birthdate or your pet's name as a password, but it's making your site vulnerable for someone to hack your site. Use a long and complex password that includes upper and lower case letters, numbers, and characters.
  • Buy an SSL certificate and implement https protocol: Web addresses that start with https are more secure as it encrypts all the data, preventing anyone from intercepting content. Matt Mullenweg, Founder of WordPress, recently announced that for certain WordPress features to work, all hosts are required to have HTTPS. Google also favours Https sites, so this is also a good SEO strategy. Doing this is especially important if you handle financial transactions on your site as it builds up customer trust drastically and lets them know that their financial information is in safe hands and is untouchable.
  • Limit access to your site: Only provide access to your site to people who need it. Don't be too quick to give users with admin access. Be specifically careful about allowing users to upload files to your site, which is a common way that hackers gain access to a site.
  • Keep your scripts, plugins and other features up to date: It is important to update the themes, scripts, and plugins you use, as security bugs in any one of these can be a way for the hacker to get in and compromise your site completely. To check if any updates have arrived and are available you can go to the 'Update' section on the dashboard and check the number of updates available. But make sure that the updates are safe and you have a backup file just in case. You can even use DesktopServer, by ServerPress to install your WordPress in a virtual server and then test your updates one by one.
Improve UX and User-Friendliness

UX or user experience refers to the overall ease and user-friendliness of your site. As you think about making your site run smoothly, it's also important to think in terms of visitors perspective. Consider the needs of first-time visitors who aren't familiar with your content or layout. Make your menus and search functions intuitive and easy to navigate. You must make sure your visitors can easily find what they're looking for on your site. Make your pages and categories relevant and easy to identify. Have a search function that's easy to see and use.

Reduce clutter. Too many images, videos, ads, popups, and other elements make your site cluttered and difficult to navigate. Focus on essentials such as informative content and calls-to-action. Make your site responsive. As more visitors access the internet on mobile devices, make sure that your website is mobile-friendly. Responsive design ensures that your site is easy to navigate on all devices. Have contact information that's easy to find. Make sure it's easy for visitors and customers to communicate with you, whether by phone, email, or live chat. This information allows you to provide better customer support and gives people a way to inform you of any problems on your site.

August 3, 2017

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