WordPress is a staggeringly popular CMS (Content Management System) that runs almost 20 million websites around the world and approximately 2.75 million blog posts are published using WordPress every day. Alongside security and a plethora of supporting apps and plugins that make site development a lot more efficient, the huge user base means it’s not too hard to find support from the WordPress community at large. Here are a few tips to help you navigate the world of WordPress and maximize the success of your website.
- Get a good host for your website
WordPress might be an amazing content management system, but it does not offer to host your site; you have to find somewhere to host your website. There a few minimum hosting requirements that WordPress asks for, such as MySQL version 5.6 or higher and PHP version 7.3 or higher and HTTPS support (a secure version of Hypertext Transfer Protocol), but quite honestly, that isn’t hard to find these days. Most modern hosting platforms will meet the appropriate hosting spec for WordPress, so what you need to focus on is a robust platform that won’t lead to slow loading times or crash should you start to drive significant amounts of traffic to your website. You quite often get what you pay for, and hosting is no exception.
- Choose the right design template
A website lives or dies on its first impressions, and most visitors will decide if they want to stay or not in the first few seconds of arriving at your site, so design is critical. WordPress is a CMS first and foremost; the design is entirely up to you. WordPress offers a repository of free templates that are very easy to download and install using the design dashboard, but these are designed with simple blogging in mind. If your ambitions are more about profitability (eCommerce, real estate, etc), then you can look at something like Themeforest to provide a pre-designed template, or you could get a professional, specialist WordPress agency to do something even more special and give you a significant competitive advantage. Don’t forget to make sure that whatever template you go for, it’s fully responsive for mobile phones as this is how the majority of users are likely to view and interact with your website.
- Don’t forget to test your user experience
It might be easy for you to navigate around and interact with your website, but that’s because you designed it. It’s very important that you think about your user experience (UX) as without proper testing, you may frustrate and put off potential customers. You need to make sure that your navigation is easy to follow and that your calls to action are easy to identify (and not easily distracted from). The best way to test this is to get real people (friends, family, colleagues) to take some defined actions while you observe their experiences and tweak your design accordingly.
A robust, fit for purpose hosting plan that doesn’t slow down when you get busy, allied to fabulous user experience, and a beautiful design will go a long way to ensuring that your WordPress project is a resounding success.