Are you going to start your own WordPress website? Or have you been running a WordPress website for a while, but are you not achieving what you want to achieve? Maybe you are missing useful plugins? In this article we will provide you with essential information and tips about WordPress. We will inform you about the advantages, but also the practical tips about working with WordPress.
WordPress is currently the most used Content Management System (CMS) worldwide. WordPress is used in 33% of all websites worldwide and 60% of the websites that use a CMS is a WordPress website (Source: WordPress market share). WordPress is used for garden-variety websites, blogs, but also for well-known websites such as Sony, Playstation and Disney. In the Netherlands, for example, Radio538, Emerce, Frankwatching, and Autoblog.nl use the WordPress CMS.
It is not without reason that WordPress has such a large worldwide market share. WordPress offers many benefits as a CMS, it’s suitable for both beginners and experienced users. Even extensive features can be made by developers in WordPress, making it suitable for even the most demanding marketers. Here are a few advantages at a glance:
Have we convinced you of WordPress? Great, then we will get started with these handy tips! As said, WordPress is the most used CMS in the world and offers many benefits. It, unfortunately, makes WordPress – and thus WordPress websites – sensitive to hackers. The first 5 tips that we are going to give you are therefore focused on safety.
Immediately change the default Admin username to another name. You make it very simple for hackers when you have password combinations with the standard name Admin on yoursite.nl/wp-admin. Because once they are into the system, they can adjust everything and then you can wave goodbye your website if you have not made a backup. Whereby the step by step way to change WordPress name:
– Go to “users” and create a new user with full Admin rights. Give this user a unique name that is not associated with Admin.
– Log in with the new user in the WordPress environment.
– Delete the existing user Admin.
There are several free plug-ins that help protect your WordPress site. The basic variants of these plug-ins are often sufficient to prevent the worst problems. IThemes Security, for example, offers this protection in the free version:
– Excluding unauthorized users based on an irregular number of login attempts.
– Absence mode: ensures that people cannot log in between certain times.
– Strong password generation mode: forces users to use strong passwords.
– 404 detection: if a bot starts looking for weak spots in your site, this gives a lot of 404 reports. After all, the pages do not exist and iThemes Security will immediately block this.
– Detection of file name changes.
– Adjustment of login URL, so that hackers do not know where they can log in.
Another interesting plug-in is Wordfence Security, which also offers many possibilities with the free version.
In order not to have done all your work on your website for nothing, it is advisable to use a WordPress Backup plug-in. For example, if you have adjusted a number of things that were not useful afterward? No problem, restore your Backup from the previous version. There are various Backup plug-ins available in WordPress, such as Updraft WordPress Backup.
Do you want to know for sure that you scare off bad guys and hackers? Then use the Google Authenticator. This app – which you may already know from the “two-step verification method” in your Google account – creates a unique code every 30 seconds. At the user level, you can set up a link per user with your own unique link.
If you do not use Yoast SEO yet, do this as soon as possible! This plug-in has been around for more than 10 years, and has gotten better and better. The SEO Plug-in helps you to improve the findability per page as well as possible. Yoast SEO ensures at page level that you:
– Easily add titles and meta descriptions. And that they are above all not too short or too long.
– Put enough texts on your new page.
– Your focus keyword appears sufficiently in the text, but also in the title.
– You can indicate whether or not the page should be indexed by search engines.
– You can see how the layout will look like via a snippet.
In addition, there are many other features that help your website become more findable, such as:
– You can easily create a sitemap via Yoast SEO.
– Have you already registered your website with the Google Search Console (formerly Google Webmaster)? You can set up verification within a few steps via the Yoast SEO plug-in. Once your WordPress website has been verified you can submit the previously created sitemap to Google.
– Don’t feel like adjusting titles and meta descriptions per page? This can be done in bulk via the Yoast SEO plug-in, which saves a lot of extra work.
Do you no longer use your plug-ins? Have you tested a number of plug-ins that did not suit your wishes? Then inactive them or even delete them. This prevents entries from being created to your website. You also prevent administrators from accessing your WordPress website because it’s no longer properly updated by the administrators.
Is your website a few years old? Or have you just changed the menu structure? It could well be that you have a few broken links. Broken links are a major irritation for users, but Google won’t appreciate this either. Certainly, if pages have a high Page Authority, it is a shame that this is lost to a 404 report. Use a “broken link checker” plug-in so that you can solve possible problems with 404 pages as quickly as possible.
A homepage with 20 MB of images? This is a bad SEO strategy. The page will load slowly and as a result, your visitors will leave your site early. Google also considers page speed to be of big importance and punishes you mercilessly for slow-acting pages. One of our customers had a homepage of 20 MB and after we – together with the customer – optimized the images, the average position “suddenly” increased by 5 places!
As indicated at the previous point: Google will favor fast website compared to slower websites. So make sure that your images are not too large and are reduced with special plug-ins. There are also plug-ins that help with caching so that the website loads faster.
Who doesn’t want to know how many visitors there are on their WordPress website? Through which channels do your visitors come and which pages do they view? You can easily make this clear through Google Analytics. You can place the Google Analytics pixel/tag on your WordPress website in a few ways:
– Directly in the source code via the editor.
– Via a headers & footers insert plug-in.
– Use Google Tag Manager where you put the Google Analytics code.
One of the most common mistakes with WordPress websites is not applying headers. They are also called heading tags and are so-called H1s, H2s, and H3s. In fact, this indicates the subject of a text, new paragraph or part of the text. Not only does it ensure better readability for visitors to the website. It is also a fundamental component for good findability.
Note: use only 1 H1 heading tag per page.
The General Data Protection Regulation (AVG) has been in force since May 2018. Much has been written about this law, but in short, it means that you must provide visitors with clarity about which personal data you measure and/or which information you store. As a proud website owner, this also entails responsibilities. Consider for example:
– Provide a clear cookie statement. Which cookies are placed and how do they function?
– Place a privacy statement in which you state which data you collect and with which tools.
– To make life a little easier for you, we recommend working with Cookiebot. This tool collects and classifies all cookies that you collect on your website. Cookiebot also has a WordPress plug-in that is easy to use. Cookiebot can also be automatically linked to your cookie statement page, which saves a lot of work.