10 Tips to Improve WordPress Functionality
There are many ways to improve WordPress and here are some of them.
We live in an era where every business vies for the consumer’s attention, and the best way to grab their attention is by enhancing the customer experience. Your website is your identity on the internet and to establish your reputation; you need to ensure that your website keeps your visitors engaged for at least more than 15 seconds. This is possible only when your webpage loads faster, the navigation is seamless, and your content is engaging. With WordPress, you are assured of good customer experience. However, we recommend that you review the functionality of your website to keep it updated.
If you are new to blogging or online business, these ten tips will help you to improve the functionality of your website or blog, and thereby, enhance the experience of the customer. Have a look at these tips to make sure you are on the right track:
1. Review Hosting Solutions First
This is the first step to enhancing the functionality of the website. There are multiple hosting options available, which are either cheap or high-priced. Depending upon your budget and the following checklist, you can choose the right one for your business.
- Managed vs Sharing hosting – most companies prefer to have a dedicated WordPress optimized servers with high speed, advanced security features, and personalized customer service support. However, if you own a small business or a blog, we recommend that you opt for a shared hosting as a starting point. It is a cheaper option as well as easy to upgrade.
- Security – websites are prone to hacking, so we recommend that you select a hosting option that performs regular backups of the site and is less vulnerable to hacking.
- Fast loading – we say it always, your website visitors do not have the patience to wait for the page to load. So, choose a hosting option that has a caching system and a high page loading speed. Ensure that it does not take more than two seconds for the page to load.
2. Get a Responsive Design for Your Website
With more users shifting from desktop to handheld devices, website owners are now focusing on making the design of the website mobile-friendly. This means that the website should fit all screen sizes without disrupting the experience of the user. WordPress, by nature is not responsive. However, with free and premium responsive WordPress themes available, you can make your website mobile-friendly.
3. Keep it Simple!
Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder, but your website visitors may not believe in it if they find your website confusing. What may appear as a beautiful design to you could potentially disengage your website visitors. People prefer certain elements of the website to remain the same. So, ensure that your website has a clean design that helps the visitor to engage with your website for a long time without causing them frustration.
4. Use Content Delivery Network (CDN) for Speed
You can now deliver your static website content such as images or CSS faster than your web server by using CDN. CDN is a content delivery network located around the world that work together to deliver the content via several servers. While, most CDNs such as Amazon S3, Max CDN, and Media Temple CDN are paid, you can use free CDNs such as CloudFlare and Jetpack to deliver your content in high speed.
5. Select Only Necessary Plugins
While plugins are crucial for enhancing the customer experience of a website, you have to consider the fact that too many plugins can pose security issues, unnecessary crashes, and a host of other technical issues, which can have adverse effects on the functionality of the website. We recommend that you review the plugins used in your website currently and deactivate the plugins that are not adding value to the website.
6. Choose the Right WordPress Theme
How can a WordPress theme affect the functionality of the website? Well, there is a connection between themes and its functionality. There are several WordPress themes available. To begin with, choose themes with minimum CSS and JS files, as they are fast to load. Also, ensure that the themes are frequently updated and are bug-free with no security issues, the company that creates the theme provides timely customer support, and as mentioned above the themes are mobile-friendly.
7. Optimize Widgets and Images for Faster Loading
Like plugins, unnecessary images, widgets, and images can affect the loading speed of the page. It is important to ensure that your webpage is below 100 KB. So, the best option is to delete unwanted images and videos and reduce the image size. You can use a plugin called WP Smush to reduce the image size and to increase the loading speed of the website.
8. Never Ignore the Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
SEO is important for getting traffic to your website. While it may seem like an easy task, it is not that simple as it appears. SEO is a long-term, continuous exercise that requires lot of investment in terms of time and skills to master it. While there are several plugins available to boost your website’s SEO, Yoast is one of the most preferred SEO plugin used by every WordPress user.
9. Ensure Seamless Navigation
Navigation within the website is one of the most important criteria for a good website. A complex navigational process can often be complex and annoying. To increase the site usability, add the navigation panel at the top of the page, and an Ajax-based search box just next to the main navigation panel to enable the visitors to search for things in your website directly.
10. Keep Your Website Updated! Always.
A good website is the one that is error-free and secure. Review your website periodically to ensure that the latest plugins and theme updates are not compromising the security of the website. Watch out for potential malware and vulnerabilities and try to fix them before they affect the functionality of the website. An updated and safe website always adds value to customer experience.
With over 30% websites using WordPress as the content management system, the website builder has made tremendous changes to remain updated, secure, bug-free, and functional. With several plugins, and upgrades available at your disposal, ensure that you use them to the best of their ability to keep your website updated and to improve customer experience.