Optimize Your Wordpress Site

Wordpress has become the go-to platform for both beginners and professionals, and for good reason. In fact, Wordpress now powers roughly 25% of all websites. Pretty incredible indeed!

So you've built your Wordpress site, it's looking great, but now it's time to optimize it so that it's lightning quick, SEO friendly, and secure.  

Speed

Speed is incredibly important and can be the difference between making a sale or not making a sale for many customers who visit your site. Even a second or two in extra waiting time can deter potential new customers. 

Here are a few great ways to speed up your Wordpress site:

1. Hosting

Hosting is very important when it comes to your Wordpress site. If you are going to spend your money, wisely it starts here. Sure, you can buy cheap hosting from many hosting sites like GoDaddy, Bluehost, Host Gator etc., but you're going to get cheap results. It's important to choose a hosting company that specializes in Wordpress hosting. I highly recommend WP Engine as an extremely reliable, fast and secure Wordpress host.  

WP Engine Hosting

2. Plugins

Plugins, and sometimes lack there of, can make a huge difference in how your site runs. Having too many plugins running can make your site sluggish, but having the right plugins can speed up your site.

  • W3 Total Cache - W3 Total Cache improves the user experience of your site by increasing website performance, reducing download times via features like content delivery network (CDN) integration. 
  • WP Smush.it - Resize and optimize all of your images with the incredibly powerful and 100% free image smusher, brought to you by the superteam at WPMU DEV!
  • WP Minify -  WP Minify grabs JS/CSS files in your generated WordPress page and passes that list to the Minify engine. The Minify engine then returns a consolidated, minified, and compressed script or style for WP Minify to reference in the WordPress header.
  • WP-DBManager - Allows you to optimize database, repair database, backup database, restore database, delete backup database , drop/empty tables and run selected queries. Supports automatic scheduling of backing up, optimizing and repairing of database.

SEO

SEO doesn't have to be difficult, and I have found the best way to manage your SEO is with a good plugin. Gone are the days where you need to do everything manually. Yoast SEO is a great plugin that can help you optimize your Wordpress site. The plugin gives you complete control of how your site is displayed on search engines like Google while analyzing each page and giving suggestions and optimizing your content to create a completely SEO friendly Wordpress site.

Security

Just as important as the other areas listed above, security is also at the top of the list. Having a secure site is important, especially when users are creating accounts or placing orders with their credit cards. There are several ways to increase security, but the first step to a secure site is secure hosting. Much like speed, your host can be the difference between a secure site and a vulnerable site. Secondly, there are many plugins available that can help with your site's security.

  • WP-Engine - Not only does the host offer fast and reliable service, but also excellent security features tailored specifically for Wordpress. They offer great features like disk write protection and limitations, backups, restricted plugins that could make your site vulnerable and many other features.
  • Wordfence Security - Secure your website with the most comprehensive WordPress security plugin. Firewall, malware scan, blocking, live traffic, login security & more.
  • Jetpack - Jetpack Protect allows you to protect yourself against traditional brute force attacks and distributed brute force attacks that use many servers against your site.

By addressing these areas, you will have a fast, secure, SEO friendly Wordpress site you can be proud of and your visitors will definitely appreciate it! Have any other suggestions? Leave your tips in the comments below.

David Zoppi