WordPress is an extremely popular content management system (CMS) that features a reasonably intuitive user interface and extremely flexible styling options. WordPress sites make up over 30% of all websites on the internet, from small businesses and blogs to extremely large corporate sites. As popular as it is, it is still advisable to set up WordPress sites in the most optimal fashion.
WordPress-Centric Web Hosting
WordPress sites, like any other website, require their files to be hosted on a server in order for users to access the site. Ideally, you will want your WordPress site to be hosted by a company that specializes in managed WordPress hosting like Nexcess. What this means is working with a web hosting provider that handles all regular maintenance for the site, in terms of security and backups.
Using an Optimal Theme
A “theme,” in WordPress terms, is the collection of files that determine what your site looks like. Themes can be custom-made by a specialist or selected directly in WordPress, and themes are offered both for free and in a proprietary format. Regardless of which theme you choose to use, there are a few items you should keep in mind.
First, your theme should be coded as efficiently as possible, for search engine optimization purposes, as sites with a lighter load of code will load faster in a web browser. Second, your theme should be responsive, meaning that the style of the site shifts between desktop/laptop screen layouts and mobile device layouts, allowing content to be read easily. Most non-work-related web browsing is done by mobile device, so this is extremely important to keep in mind.
Again, site loading speed is key. The two easiest ways to accomplish this through content are to make the permalinks (or individual page addresses on your site) as logical and brief as possible and optimize images on your site. There are services you can purchase for WordPress that will automatically optimize your uploaded images by saving them in a smaller file format that keeps the same picture quality as the source file. This one regular practice can massively speed up the loading time for any page on your site.
Use SEO Help Where You Can
WordPress has a number of plugins available to help you boost your own search engine optimization. These plugins automate a lot of this work, such as adding feature images to news posts and assisting with meta information for search engines and also offer suggestions to you to help boost your optimization even further.
When you have a well-kept WordPress site, with regular security updates and a consistent content updating policy, you have a system that will allow you to grow a positive web presence over time, and a good foundation for your organization’s digital footprint. Even if you change your content platform in the future, these practices will help you keep a positive search engine presence as you transition to a new system.