Do you use WordPress? Today, there are tons of websites and blogs that run on the WordPress platform. However, merely building a WordPress-based site isn’t all that you need to do to connect with a huge audience and generate more sales. To lead your site to success, you should dedicate yourself to its management so that it remains up-to-date, relevant and secure at all times.
But, how do you successfully manage a WordPress website?
Since the management of a WordPress website is an ongoing task, it is important to know about the key areas that require the most attention.
Each of these areas require effective management. Managing a website that runs on WordPress isn’t going to be hard because you are not alone. Whether it’s about the management of the content or the coding, tracking the performance, doing backups or keeping your site safe against malware or phishing attacks, there are plenty of tools (both free and paid) that you can use for help.
Given below are some of the most important suggestions that you should follow to keep your WordPress site in top-notch shape.
Publish New Content Regularly
To keep your WordPress site alive and kicking, you should make sure it features lots of fresh content on a regular basis. When your website is new, you’ll most probably have a lot of passion to write and publish frequently. With the passage of time, however, this enthusiasm may vanish in air and ultimately you may stop publishing new content altogether. It happens to many people, and it can happen to you as well. Therefore, you should deal with this issue in advance.
One way to avoid this problem is by creating multiple blog posts or articles ahead of time and save them as drafts in WordPress. Most importantly, pick a suitable publishing schedule and stick to it.
Writing, editing and publishing blog posts isn’t always a one man’s task. If the visitors of your WordPress site expect you to publish more frequently, you may need to hire help from other professionals. Thankfully, freelance writers and virtual assistants are easily available for the job and you can hire them in minutes.
Use Comments Appropriately
Whether you want to use comments on your WordPress-based site or not is entirely your own decision, but enabling comments provides visitors or readers with an opportunity to express their opinions and concerns. If you are starting a blog or a community site, allowing comments is a high recommend because it makes readers feel that you really care about them and value what they think.
There are many ways in which you can use and manage comments on your site. To configure the same as per your specific requirements, you can go to ‘Discussion’ from ‘Settings’ in the admin section of your WordPress-based site.
On the ‘Discussion Settings’ page, you can define whether –
> Readers can comment > Readers need to log in before they can comment > Comments will be approved after moderation > Comments will be closed on older articles
After you have configured how you’ll want the ‘comments’ feature to function on your site, you should also clearly define how you’ll respond to comments. Replying to comments on your site is something that can easily suck up time and be a productivity killer. If you receive a good amount of comments, you can choose a specific time of the day to respond to them everyday.
Keep Your Version of WordPress Up-to-Date
If you want to run your WordPress site successfully, one of the most important things to do is to keep it up-to-date.
WordPress releases a newer version almost every couple of months to fix bugs, make security patches, enhance the existing features etc. You must have heard about WordPress sites being hacked. It’s important to note that running an older version is the most common reason for such unauthorized access.
Therefore, you should always keep an eye out for new WordPress releases and have your site updated quickly. While minor versions of WordPress are automatically updated, major versions will need manual update.
Keep Themes and Plugins Up-to-Date
Just like you should run the latest version of WordPress on your site, you should also keep the themes and plugins up-to-date. As soon as you log in to the Dashboard of your site, you’ll see notifications for latest versions of the WordPress theme and plugins you are using on your site, if they are available.
If latest versions are available, you can go straight to the Updates screen and install the fresh updates within minutes.
Use SEO Features to Attract More Visitors
When it comes to managing your WordPress site, SEO should be a top priority. Of course, SEO is a different and big topic, it’s crucial to understand it in terms of features and tools that WordPress itself offers.
For example, WordPress comes along with a function which allows you to generate title tags in the <head> section of your pages. Most WordPress themes will support this function. You can also override this function using a WordPress plugin. When you are adding links, WordPress provides you a title field where you can put keywords for search engine’s easy understanding and SEO benefits.
Here are some more WordPress SEO tips –
> Keep permalinks short, and include keywords > Use SEO-friendly themes > Create an XML sitemap for search engines > Add Alt text and description to images
Though WordPress offers a number of basic SEO features that you can use to boost the SEO of your site, you can also use several plugins for advanced SEO features and functionality. All in One SEO Pack, Infinite SEO and Yoast SEO are some of the most recommended plugins for the task.
Optimize Your Site for Speed
For successful management of your WordPress site, one of the core issues you need to deal with is site speed. Online users are highly impatient and once they land on your site, you should be able to grab their attention immediately. Most people on the web can’t wait too long for your site to load. So, you should take appropriate measures to make sure your site loads as fast as possible.
A fast loading site has multiple benefits. Users always like to visit a site that loads at an incredibly fast speed. It’s important to note that Google has now included site speed as an important ranking factor.
Here are a few tips to improve the loading of your site –
As mobile device usage continue to rise, having a fast loading site has become more important than ever. Unless your WordPress site loads instantly, you won’t be able to deliver a superior user experience.
Backup Your Site Regularly
Keeping your site backed up on a regular basis is an important part of successful WordPress site management. At any point of time, you should have a couple of backups of your site because you never know when things may go wrong. Backing up your WordPress site may sound burdensome but once you understand the steps involved, you’ll know that anybody with some technical knowledge can do it.
There are two ways of backing up your site –
Backup through cPanel: It’s easy to backup your site entirely or partially through the cPanel. Use the login information provided by your web host to log in to the cPanel. Then, navigate to the Files section. Click on Backup and then choose whether you want a full backup or partial backup of your website.
Depending on how often you update or make changes to your WordPress site, you can back it up on a daily or weekly basis.
Backup through FTP (Manual): First of all, log in to your FTP client with the username and password given by your web hosting company. Once you are logged in and connected to the remote server, navigate to the HTML directory on the right hand side of the FTP control panel. All you need to do is locate the public_html folder on the right hand side of your FTP control panel and then click and hold and drag it on the left hand side of the FTP control panel to start downloading it to your computer.
When your WordPress website is always fully backed up, you don’t need to worry about what may go wrong. In case, something bad happens to your site, you can easily restore it using the copies you have saved.
Protect Your Site from Hackers and Spammers
Hackers and spammers will always be there. As your WordPress website grows more and more, it also becomes vulnerable to malicious attacks. Keeping your versions of WordPress, themes and plugins is essential, but there are many more steps that you can take to keep your website well-protected at all times.
Here’s a quick look at what you should do –
> Download WordPress from official WordPress site > Download WordPress themes and plugins from trusted sources > Don’t use default usernames for WordPress admin account > Use strong passwords > Use SSL > Restrict access by IP address > Password-protect wp-admin directory
While you follow all these steps for enhanced security, you should also monitor your site on a regular basis for any kind of malicious attacks. It’s crucial to identify quickly whether you have been attacked so that remedial action can be taken on time. There are many plugins and tools that you can use for this purpose.
If you plan to build a site which grows fast, attracts tons of visitors and generates lots of leads, you should start to manage it effectively from day one. The tips and suggestions mentioned above are not too hard to follow, but they can take up a lot of time and effort. If you lack time or skills, you should hire someone else for the job. Hiring a WordPress virtual assistant could be your best bet because they are much cheaper.
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