WordPress Best Practices

WordPress is a terrific content management system for most business websites. It’s easy to use even for non-technical people. I love to deliver sites to clients that use WordPress because I know it will be easy to use and will be updated with all the latest tools for years to come.

Here are some best practices to follow with the underpinnings of you WordPress site.

Mind Your Permalinks

Permalinks are the URLs of each of your web pages. Once you’ve set them, you really shouldn’t change them. So, give a glance at the permalink BEFORE you publish a page or post.

If you  change permalinks after content is published the URL will change. This means search engines may not find the content if they have already indexed the old permalink. Visitors coming to your site via search engines will end up on your site with an error message saying the post could not be found. You want to avoid that!

Keep Software Updated

WordPress, plugins and themes all need regular updates. These keep you safe from hacks and other security issues.

This can be as easy as a click in your dashboard, but proceed with caution! Always back up your site first, so you can restore it if something goes horribly wrong. Better yet, have this work done by a developer who is familiar with common pitfalls and how to avoid them.

Remove Unneeded Plugins

Sometimes you try something that you don’t want. Other times, plugins are no longer maintained and you need to use a new one. Don’t let old, unused plugins clutter up your dashboard.

Also evaluate carefully before you install a new plugin. The wrong choice can slow your website and, worse, make you vulnerable to hacks.

Delete Carefully

You may want to delete posts or pages because they no longer serve a purpose. That’s a good idea, but you need to proceed cautiously. Since the search engines have indexed your site, deleted content on your site will render the infamous 404 pages: page not found. You need to have a plugin that will replace the page with a 410 deleted content header so search engines know the page has been deleted.



Get Great SEO with WordPress

More than 40,000 search queries are performed on Google every second, generating to several billion searches per day. Safe to say, many people find information online with Google searches.

Your WordPress website is well suited for great online visibility. Mastering search engine optimization (SEO) takes time and effort, but it can be done.

Check Your Privacy Settings

The first step in online visibility is ensuring that your privacy settings are set to allow your site to be indexed by Google. Go to Settings, scroll down to Privacy, and make sure your site is marked as Public. If your site is set to Hidden or Private, search engines won’t be able to index it, and you will not show up in search results.

Focus on Great Content

Google’s goal is to help its users find the most relevant, useful information. If ranking well is a priority for you, your site content should include plenty of useful, original, well-written content that addresses your audience’s common needs. Publishing great content on a regular basis is one of the best ways to appear in search results.

Link, Link, Link

Links improve search visibility. There are several important types of links:

  • You link to your own content, within your site and from other online sites
  • Other credible sites link to your website
  • You link to credible sources within your content

Use social media sites to spread the word about your site. Encourage people to share your content.

Plug In Yoast

There are various SEO tools available to use on your website. Get the most of them with Yoast. This plugin can help ensure that your content, meta descriptions, tags, and other assets are all optimized for search.

Be in it for the Long Term automatically notifies Google about every page that you update or blog post that you publish. It can take Google up to six weeks to index new sites and site content, so patience is needed.

As new content comes online, some content will become more visible while other content will sink in the rankings. Rankings can change by the hour. Like the stock market, keep your sanity by tracking the big picture rather than every increase or decrease.  Follow best practices for website visibility and you will succeed.