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Are you doing these 9 things with your WordPress website ?

by Martin

October 9, 2017

Managing a WordPress website can take time out of your day to keep maintained and healthy. Are you doing any of these 9 things in your WordPress website ?

1. Updating your WordPress Core Files and Plugins

WordPress can be a beast at times and requires some regular TLC to keep it ticking.
Did you know there are over 46,000 plugins available for WordPress ?

With all of these plugins leaves you vulnerable for nasty little hackers to find exploits in these and take advantage of trying to slow down or break your site.

A very strong recommendation is to check each week for new plugin releases and check their compatibility with other plugins as well as the latest stable release of WordPress.

Keeping on top of this will reduce the chances of letting in the bad guys and fix any improvement to the plugins.

2. Optimising the loading time of your website

Did you know…

For every 1 second delay in page load time, conversion rates are decreased by 7% ?
So that’s less sales or leads to your business!

We live in busy times and don’t have time to be waiting for a simple page to load.
We need to do everything we can to reduce page loading time and much of this can start with optimising how your website loads.

See for yourself by entering your website into the following page speed tests:

  • What to look out for when running tests:
    • Website Caching & CDN
  • Many website hosts should provide this facility to serve static content quicker.
  • Minifying Scripts
    • Where possible try to reduce the load of scripts by minification. (Please note that this is not always possible with 3rd party scripts loading that you don’t have control of.)
  • Optimising images
  • (more on this below)

One thing to keep in mind is not to become too concerned if your score is not 100.

In some cases depending on what 3rd party scripts are loading it may not be possible.

3. Optimising Images

You probably spend so much time finding the right images for your blog post & page content, right ?
You spend time resizing them ready for posting, but did you know that on many mobile devices your fantastic images could be deterring visitors from viewing all of your content because it takes longer to load ?
A simple solution we use at Impact is Smush it !
Use this fancy plugin to help reduce image size but keep quality on your existing images and everything you upload moving forward.

4. Run regular tests

Have you run your own test on your important enquiry forms ? or tested the sales order process ?
When was the last sales or lead ?
As weird as it sounds but with the multitude of devices we have to access your website as well as required updates to run some things can break !
We recommend as a minimum to regularly test your main website features.
For example:
  • Sign up to your own newsletter
  • Buy one of your own products
  • Sign up to become a new paying member
  • Make sure you get that email with the download
  • Test the job application form
  • Check the language is still translating
  • Carry out that stockist search
  • Apply for your own job

5. Run regular security scans

In the past 5 years security threats have risen drastically with websites being attacked and hijacked all around the world.
Don’t think you have to be a big brand name to get attacked.
Your website could assist many bad guys with the ability to run scripts and malicious code for them without you even knowing!
So it is a good idea to protect yourself with choosing a good host that has the correct protection as well as running regular scans for infectious files.
(Yes, it is starting to sound like your old windows computer with Norton Antivirus or McAfee.)
We now need to carry out similar tasks for your website.
Some great 3rd party solutions we recommend are:

6. SSL Protection

If your website has a data capture form (which it should have !) then from October 2017 if your site is not protected by an SSL certificate it will be flagged as NOT SECURE by Google Chrome.
If you don’t have an SSL then the first thing to do would be speak to your current website host as they may have suitable solutions to offer which will be compatible with their setup.
Alternatively depending on the level of cover you require they can be obtained from many 3rd party companies such as:

7. Renew your paid plugins

As you may be aware, WordPress uses plugins and many paid plugins in some cases.
The companies and developers who release these plugins spend further time and resources ensuring compatibility and security threats are overcome with releasing regular updates.
To benefit from these updates a regular payment is required (normally an annual payment) so please ensure you keep on top of this as outdated plugins could become problematic with the website if prolonged.

8. Take Regular Backups

Websites go down, they get problems and sometimes the quickest method of recovery to minimise any further downtime is to restore a website backup.
Some example cases of a website going down could be from:
  • Updating the WordPress version
    • It decides to not play ball with the plugins
  • Updating a particular plugin
    • It again decides not to play ball with the other plugins or WordPress
  • You update some code in the site
We recommend:
  • Taking a backup before updating anything (e.g WordPress, Plugins, New Code)
  • Daily backups to be taken automatically of your website including database
Some great tools that can be used to backup and restore your website:
Furthermore, also speak to your website host as it may be an option they can provide with less hassle.

9. Who’s got your back when sh*t hits the fan?!

In many of the tasks set out above there can be times when things may not go to plan or further investigation may be required.
If this becomes the case who do you have on hand to assist you with additional support ?
We recommend having a company on hand for those sticky times to take the weight of your shoulders with other projects you are probably working on at the same time.
Worst case –
If in doubt, give Impact a shout ! 
If you struggle to get help then feel free to give Impact a shout on
020 3355 8747
(9am – 5pm Mon – Fri) or

Did you know….

The Impact Media team help our clients save over
5 hours per week by:
  • Running regular website tests
  • Updating and maintaining the WordPress core code
  • Updating and maintaining plugins
  • Paying the renewal fees on many plugins
  • Take regular backups
  • Manage 24 / 7 Website monitoring
  • Be on hand when sh*t hits the fan!

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