Bloated? Need to get in shape quick?

We have a 5-Step plan to get your website fit for 2017

Over the Christmas period everybody indulges a little too much, so we all start January trying to get fit again. Your website also performs better in greater shape so why treat it differently? We’ve complied a 5-step plan to help your website get fit for 2017

1. Make sure WordPress & plugins are up to date

The first and most important thing is to make sure your site’s up to date. More often than not if you’re not a developer or you aren’t familiar with WordPress updating can be scary but it’s extremely beneficial.

You’ll probably have noticed that sometimes you receive emails saying WordPress has automatically updated itself, which it will do for minor updates. But when it comes to major updates like the recently released WordPress 4.7 “Vaughan” WordPress is asking you to update it.

Plugins don’t update the same way WordPress does, they require you to update them. There are a few exceptions to this rule where plugins can update themselves automatically but it’s usually something you need to turn on.

Making sure WordPress and your plugins are up to date also ensures that your site is as secure as it can be as developers often patch in security fixes for issues in WordPress and its plugins. It also means you get access to the latest features WordPress and the plugins offer.

If you don’t want to worry about having to do this why not have a look at our hosting and care package offers so we can handle all this for you.

2. Install a cache plugin

So you’re site is up to date, but is it running as fast as it can?

There are various ways to get your site running faster but the easiest and most user friendly way we’ve found is simply using the standard WordPress caching plugins. The one we decided to use is W3 Total Cache which to date has over 1 million + installs.

Each site will require it’s own set up within the plugin so we won’t go into details but enabling options such as minifying and database caching are a great start.

At the end of last year we spoke about how we sped our site up so if you want to take it further than caching take a read.

3. Install an SSL Certificate

Just a few years ago SSL Certificates were only required if you ran an e-commerce website or handling customer information online, that’s all changed now.

Back in the Autumn Google confirmed that from January this year they will start to flag some sites as “not secure” if they don’t have an SSL Certificate installed. They’ll be starting with websites that transmit passwords or credit card details then all other sites will be looked at. If you do have an SSL though Google have previously stated you will receive a rank boost. You can read our full blog post on Google’s statement here.

To avoid your site being marked insecurely and to boost your ranking why not get in touch?

4. Make sure you’re mobile ready

Sticking with changes Google are making, is your website optimised for mobile?

If your website isn’t optimised for mobile (meaning it doesn’t load quick or isn’t mobile friendly) Google will be penalising you. Make sure your content is accessible to everybody easily, no matter what device they might be on.

We’ve been building responsive sites for years now, so why not give us a call so we can talk about how we can improve your website for the mobile future.

5. Write blog posts or add a blog to your site

Blogging is something that we always advise our clients to do. Whilst writing may not come naturally to all of us it will drastically help your website.

We discussed this in a post early last year and how a blog can draw more traffic to your site due to posts being shared on social media, it can help improve your search rankings because you’re showing them your website is active with relevant content and it shows clients you know what you’re talking about.

It’s easy to start blogging within your existing site, all you need to do is make sure you have a blog page set in WordPress, have it added to your menu and start adding new posts.

So with this 5-step plan in place your site should be fit and lean for 2017 leaving you to reap the benefits.

Written by Luke Reid Webbie

Luke is an aspiring Front-End Developer who also enjoys WordPress theming. Luke is eager to expand his knowledge & take in as much code as possible.

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