Website building can seem complicated with all the themes, plugins & coding, especially for a beginner. We wanted to write a blog this week that contained tips that we wish we knew when we built our first website!
Choose a good hosting platform
It might seem like the easiest option to choose a hosting provider based on price, but you need to do your research to find out which hosting providers are going to make your site run fastest. For example, some hosting providers may use one server for thousands of websites, therefore slowing them down. Do plenty of research when choosing. We recommend TSO Host because they are based in the UK so are easy to contact and there is a live chat facility on the website that gets you answers quickly. The team will even do certain tasks for you if you ask nicely!
Create website previews before you start building
Once you’ve bought your domain, added it to your chosen hosting provider, installed WordPress & chosen a theme like The 7 Theme. It can be tempting to just start creating pages and building on site. For someone who has built many websites and knows the page building elements well, this could be an option. We recommend laying out your pages offline to start. Whether that’s drawing on paper, using canva, dreamweaver, Adobe XD or even illustrator. It will help you massively and save time when building to have something visual to refer to. It’s also a great way to be able to see the user journey & site map if you design the layouts first.
Use short URLs
For each page that you add to your WordPress site, you’re given the option to choose a URL for each page. People will generally click on a shorter URL than a longer one because it’s easier to read and decipher what the page is about. If you already have your website built and are going back to change the URLs for each page, make sure you relink all of the buttons, tabs or text on each of the pages to the new URL. Otherwise, you’ll have lots of confused customers trying to navigate their way around your website!
Download Yoast SEO plug in
This handy little plug in will make on-page SEO seem easy! This incredibly powerful and FREE tool will analyze any post, page, or product and give you clever intuitive advice to help your content rank in search engines. It also grades your performance for the chosen keyword(s) across the site and across your meta tags. Yoast SEO will also give you a readability score for your content and advise you on how to dumb it down or improve the reading age of your content.
Compress your images
Images are one of the main things, along with videos, that can cause a web page to load slowly. Therefore, compressing the image to a smaller file size will reduce the amount of time it takes for the browser to load the page. This, in turn, reduces the overall page load time. It is recommended that a web page loads in under three seconds, and page speed is a ranking factor for Google. We suggest using Smush, a plug-in that automatically compresses the images as you load them onto the site!
Make sure its mobile friendly
It’s the worst feeling when you realise you’ve spent all week building the perfect website, only to open it on your mobile and it all be wonky and not at all how you intended! To use WordPress like a pro, you need to make sure your site is mobile-friendly, meaning it displays correctly on a desktop, laptop computer, and a mobile device, like an iPhone, Android, or Blackberry, or tablet (e.g., iPad, Kindle, Galaxy). Many designers and developers all agree that mobile-friendly is the “best practice” for all websites, since nearly 60% of all online searches are now carried out on a mobile device. The easiest way to make sure your site will appear mobile-friendly is to use a WP theme that automatically ensures this. Most new themes meet this requirement.
Use a spellchecker
Even the best speller make mistakes. It is such a kick in the teeth when your website has been online for a month and you suddenly spot a spelling mistake or grammatical error. We recommend using Grammarly! It’s free and it automatically gives you changes to make and suggests alternative words.
Back-up your site regularly
Backing up your site’s database and file structure is one of the most important aspects of maintaining a WordPress site. We recommend Updraftplus because it has created a nice free backup plug-in for beginners, as well as a premium version for those looking for extended features.
Keep it secure
With roughly 33% of all websites using WordPress, hackers look for WordPress sites with poor security. Make sure you keep your plug-ins, themes, and WordPress itself scrupulously updated. Be sure to use strong passwords and add a good security plug-in to your site.
Keep a WordPress Guide
Building a website, particularly in WordPress can become overwhelming. We recommend keeping notes of every technical process you do. It may mean that it takes you longer to do the first time, but when it comes to making updates or building another website, you’ll find things a lot easier!
You might think it’s easy to remember everything, but as your website grows, you’ll need greater functionality and capabilities for your users and customers. Thus, as you add more capabilities, you’ll need to add processes, and adding processes means remembering more steps. The steps you write down and add to your notebook will become your Holy Grail of WordPress.
If website building isn’t your thing, guess what?….we can help! We can build a beautiful & bespoke website for you! Contact us here for more information or to get a quote![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]