Your WordPress To-Do List - Web Kaizen™

Your WordPress To-Do List

To do list typed on the vintage typewriter

WordPress makes building your web site a breeze. Make the most of the publishing platform’s power by checking off these 6 tasks on your WordPress to-do list:

Use Google Analytics

If you complete only one task on your to-do list, make sure it’s this one. Why? Because even if you’re doing everything perfectly with your new site, without Google Analytics reporting the facts to you, you’ll never be sure. GA provides far more insight into what your users are doing – and not doing – than any other traffic plugin. Plus, it links seamlessly to other Google tools like Google Ads, Google Tag Manager and more that you may not use today, but are likely to use tomorrow.

Install plugins judiciously

There are so many cool plugins available to bring your WordPress site to the next level, it’s tempting to install as many as you find as quickly as you can. Big mistake! Activating many plugins at once can tax system resources and impact performance, making your site slower to load. Worse, some plugins don’t play nicely with others or with particular themes. If you’ve installed many plugins recently, it can be hard to sort out which ones are the troublemakers.

Plugins can also be buggy. Do your homework first – use only highly-rated plugins with good documentation. It’s a good idea to kick the tires too. Test them before you deploy them on your live site. Ensure those you choose are compatible with your version of WordPress.

Don’t install plugins you don’t need. Most create records in WordPress’ database to fatten it unnecessarily. Some of these data are retained even when the plugins are uninstalled, so think twice before installing them in the first place.

Update WordPress religiously

WordPress does an excellent job of discovering and fixing problems as they are identified by its users and developers. These fixes can enhance performance, close vulnerabilities and enhance capabilities. Why wouldn’t you want that? Take advantage of automatic background updates and you’ll never have to worry about updating your installation.

Use a favicon

You’ve seen them: the little icons displayed on the browser tab right before the URL that subtly brand a web site. They’re important to establish trust with return users who associate your favicon with your site. Your favicon can be a modified version of your logo. There are many sites that will generate a favicon from your logo or other art for free.

Keep your theme

Your theme, like your logo, enhances your branding. You wouldn’t constantly change your logo as it would confuse your customers, and the same logic applies to your WordPress theme. While it’s tempting to switch to that shiny new theme, keep in mind the consequences.

Themes, like plugins, create additional settings in your WordPress database that can lessen its responsiveness. More importantly, users who frequent your site only to discover it’s changed each time won’t find it easier to navigate or more trustworthy. They may simply get confused. They almost certainly won’t immediately associate the new theme with your brand. Pick a great theme and stick to it. Your customers will thank you.

Use permalinks

Permalinks are a great way to optimize your web site for search engines and to demystify where a link leads. By default, WordPress structures permalinks to include an ID number, resulting in a URL that means nothing to your site visitors. Instead, use a human-friendly URL that includes keywords or phrases that are more informative and memorable to site visitors.

You should change your permalink settings (depending on permissions) to use the post name in the URL by default, or customize each permalink to maximize its effectiveness.

Following just these 6 recommendations will help you increase traffic, spur engagement and measure both effectively. They’re a great place to start as you build your brand and your WordPress web site.

Greg Norton

Your WordPress To-Do List

was written by me, Greg Norton – also known as webzenkai. I’ve got more than two decades’ experience building effective websites and powerful email campaigns that yield results. Feel free to contact me regarding this article or anything else you find on this website.

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