When it comes to building a WordPress website, we must do our homework first and research to get consistent results. Having a professional and comprehensive website is vital from the business’s perspective. Unfortunately, we don’t have a magic wand for creating a good website that everyone will visit over and over again. Therefore, some key tactics need to be kept in mind for developing a WordPress site.
So, here we have a checklist to help make the process of developing WordPress websites smoother.
1. Having a clear-cut goal:
Every business is based on different ideas and hence serves a different purpose. Therefore, it is imperative to ensure that your website serves its true purpose and it is crucial to select the right web hosting platform. If you want your site to provide all the details and to entice global clients, you have to build it keeping that in mind. Any website without a clear goal will only cost time and money while providing little, if any, benefit.
2. Develop a page hierarchy:
The next step is functionality, such as email systems, E-commerce, membership functions, etc. Whatever your goal is, the client needs to know that. Plan according to your website’s goal. You want to build a framework for it, so it is in place when you’re ready to take that step.
3. Install a WordPress backup solution:
We have a backup for every other thing so why not for the website. No one knows what might will go wrong so it is better to be prepared in time. Should anything go wrong, you can always recover it. For that, you don’t have to pay a dime to some third parties to secure your website. All you have to do is just install WordPress backup Plugins and voila. You can easily integrate it with cloud storage services like Dropbox, Google Drive, Amazon S3 etc. You can even install BackupBuddy, a plugin to store your data in multiple locations.
4. Review your website not as a developer but as a visitor:
You have to check all your web pages and do a full sweep of every single piece of visual appearance, functionality and readability. You have to check the basic functionality of your website like:
- Navigation bar
- Contact info
- Social media
5. Secure WordPress Admin area:
From the security point of view, it is advisable to keep any trouble at bay. Being one of the best content management system, WordPress is often an easy target for hackers. You can have Sucuri firewall to make your site more secure and prevent any threat.
Explore other websites and pay close attention to things like text, navigation, images etc. Make a to-do list of things you should do and to avoid.
7. Setup Email for the WordPress site:
How often you miss your email notification? If your answer is most of the time then you need to have it resolved as sending and receiving emails from your WordPress site is one of the errors. You may get the notification but not of all emails. This is because when the sender’s email address doesn’t match the originating server, it is considered as an email spoofing.
SEO benefits of CDN:
- Low response time
- Increased website speed
- Fast web pages loading
9. Ensure that the WordPress website is SEO friendly:
Optimized WordPress websites are easy to find and you must ensure that yours is too an optimized site. WordPress does have a default SEO tool but it is not as comprehensive as you may want it to be. You can install plugins like SmartCrawl which will help you out with SEO and ensure that you have got page titles, meta titles, alt tags, keywords etc. It will also create a sitemap for you and send updates to search engines when it is available. Your website should be easily noticeable and have relevant contents for users and for that make sure that each and every blog post and the page has a featured keyword, images, meta titles for an improved UX. Yoast SEO plugin helps you write better content and takes care of all the technical optimization.
10. Check your robots.txt file:
You need to have a robots.txt file. It is a set of protocols which gives access to your site and is used to control crawling traffic. You can also block unimportant images, files, scripts if you think these resources will be of no significance. Through it, search engines will know which pages to rank and which ones to ignore.
11. Confirm Customization Functionality:
You have customized the site the way you want it to look and may have probably used a number of plugins to get the website work the way you wanted it to. Now, it is time to verify all that work has been done properly. Special features and plugins have the direct effect on the UX and need to be tested. Keep checking backend processes like the extra layer of security and site analytics etc. You need to ensure that all the plugins are working properly.
12. Be prepared for 404s:
404 is one of the recognizable errors encountered on the world wide web. This error message indicates that the visitor was able to establish a communication with the server but the server couldn’t find out what was requested. So, the same thing can happen with a visitor on your website and gets redirected to a “Page Not Found” or any error message. In order to improve your site, following steps will improve the U/X if something happens like this:
1.You can install the 404-page plugin to create a custom 404-page message and page design.
2. 404 to 301 plugin enables you to redirect the error messages to another functioning pages on the site.
13. Spam Comments:
Spam comments don’t offer anything relevant instead, can damage your website. Your WordPress website will not function properly with spam comments. So here is how you can clear spam comments from your website:
- Use CAPTCHAs to prevent automated spamming
- Disallow anonymous posting
- Disallow hyperlinks
- Use the “Nofollow” attribute
- You can use Akismet anti-spam services plugin to monitor spam comments.
14. Test Social Media Sync-ups in Real-time:
Through Social Media, we can be available round the clock. It is a huge part of everyone’s identity now whether personally or professionally. Therefore, one should align one’s WordPress website with social media. This could be done by automatic blog post promotions or in the form of live feeds, links etc. The process of testing for this is done manually. You have to check for the other functionalities. Social media help in promoting a website, so if you want to promote your contents you need to publish a dummy post to see if any notification goes up. If there are any social feeds, you’ll also need to check if new tweets or messages show up as they get published.
15. Internal linking:
Instead of randomly linking to posts, you can install the WP Optimize By xTraffic plugin to have a smooth site architecture and send a link to the appropriate pages on the website. You can link to pages deep in your website.
– Distributes page authority throughout the site
– Creates a clean site architecture
16. Review Cross-Browser Compatibility:
There are few things that you need to find out before testing your site so it can be cross-browser compatible:
– The browsing methods visitors use to viewing your site
– The latest versions of the browsers
– The most popular devices used globally to access sites
Cross-browser compatibility checks will account for all browser types across all devices. You need to make sure that your website will function properly across all the platform. There are plugins and tools available online to check your website’s cross-browser compatibility.
17. Testing the code’s W3C Compliance:
Code quality makes the website function properly and is important for the overall development of the website and there are certain standards like the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) that dictate which requirements need to be met in order for a website to be compliant.
18. Test the speed of your site:
Site load time is a deciding factor whether the visitors will stay or leave. It is a vital factor from the users perspective. Your website should not make users wait for too long as it will make them leave so you have to test your website’s speed prior to launching it.
Google’s PageSpeed Insights will help you in providing with recommendations and modifications regarding the website’s load time. You can install plugins that will optimize and increase the website’s speed. Plugins will help you in identifying areas where you can enhance the load time.