It’s amazing that 2017 is already coming to an end. The count down begins and next thing you know, we will be diving right into 2018. So what should you do for your WordPress Website to get it prepared for the upcoming year?
There are a number of things that you should focus on as you start to get your website primed. In the video above I go into detail on each of the 5 basic steps that you should focus on. Make sure to start the new year off with a WordPress Powered Website that’s Primed for Speed, Security, SEO, Social Media Connection / Sharing and Email Marketing.
The 5 WordPress Preparation Steps for 2018
The title of this post and what I mentioned above already give you the gist of what I’m going to cover but make sure to actually implement these steps so you can give your website a chance to thrive in the 2018 calendar year.
No matter how slow you’re going, you’re moving significantly faster than those who never get started!
WordPress Speed, Optimization & Performance
WordPress is awesome because it empowers you to easily create content that you completely own and control. But the fact that it’s a Content Management System aka CMS, means that it can get bloated. The steps I recommend taking are:
- Use only the plugins that you absolutely need to use. Delete the rest so they don’t weigh down your website.
- Use a quality theme that gives you the functionality and style you’re looking for like EVO Pro which is an extremely well maintained theme and looks great on all devices.
- Optimize your database using a free WordPress Plugin called WP Sweep which will help you remove all the junk that can bloat your database and make it slow.
- Optimize your Images on your website by reducing their file sizes and using the right dimensions that your theme recommends. You can checkout this post where I talk about How to Edit your Photos for YouTube, WordPress and Instagram and you can also use a free WordPress Image Optimization Plugin called SmushIt to get the job done as well. I also like using some online tools as well. TinyJPG and JPegMini are both great options.
- Next you should use two plugins for improving the speed of your WordPress Website. One is WP Fastest Cache and the other is Autoptimize. Both work extremely well together and will significantly improve your websites performance.
- Finnally I recommend updating your PHP version to PHP7+ which is significantly faster than previous versions of PHP. This will help you to have a fast loading website that’s optimized.
The tips mentioned above will ensure that your website is primed for speed.
Keeping your WordPress Website Secure may seem like a full-time job. Indeed there are a lot of things you have to consider and prepare, but if you do it once and follow proper Cyber Security Protocols which sound more complicated than it really is, your website will be secure. Here are a few basics and in the video I highlight them.
- Create strong & unique user credentials for each of your accounts. Don’t recycle passwords!
- Your passwords should be 20+ characters.
- Use a Password Manager like Dashlane to get the job done.
- Use 2 factor authentication for an added layer of security.
- Use a combination of itheme security and Wordfence to secure your WordPress Website.
- Secure your hosting account and web server.
- Only use SFTP and SSH when transferring files to and from your web server.
- Use a VPN when not on a network that you control.
- Create a second user account with limited privileges.
Securing your website doesn’t have to be hard. Make it a habit and protect your brand. Also, make sure to take frequent backups of your website files and database.
The fact is, we all want our websites to be found online. Getting on page one of Google is not easy. People try and give up way to fast. If you’re committed to writing high quality content on a continuous basis and making sure that your content provides real value and substance, then in time, your articles will be found.
Since you’re using WordPress, there’s an awesome plugin you’re probably already using called Yoast SEO and I have a dedicated video on how to setup Yoast SEO and by using this plugin, you will take care of the basics. All you have to do is actually blog.
WordPress & Social Media
Besides SEO, you should be driving traffic to your website via social media platforms. There are two parts to this. Social Media Connection and Social Media Sharing. You want people to connect with you via your social profile pages so you will need to add those links to your site. You also want people to share your content with their connections, so you’ll need those links as well. In the video I share with you how I achieve this.
WordPress and Email Marketing
When you write a blog post or create a new YouTube Video, do you just hope people will find it or do you drive traffic to it? Hopefully you understand the value of building your email list. This is a way for you to control when people are notified that you created something new for them to view.
This will help you drive traffic to your website and not be dependent on an algorithm to do it for you. If you’re starting off, I recommend using MailChimp since they have a generous free option. I also have a video dedicated to how to setup MailChimp with WordPress using a free plugin.
2018 is right around the corner and now’s the time to prime your website for massive success in the upcoming year.