WordPress is the unquestioned leader when it comes to a Content Management System for creating a website. Let’s look into some of the tips and tricks that will help you get the most out of it in this multi-part series.
The topic of Content Management System (CMS) is something that every business owner (or anyone who operates a website) should be paying close attention to. If you need a refresher, here are a couple articles to read up on. This one ranks three of the top CMS options (WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal), and this article goes into detail about why WordPress is by far and away the most popular CMS option.
So, if you’re like the webmasters of the approximately 25% of all websites in existence, you’re using WordPress. That’s great! But how do you take your site from a glorified blog to a shining example of web mastery? We’re compiling a list of helpful tips and tricks to help you on your way.
Tip #1 – Adding Voice Search Capabilities
That’s right! WordPress gives you the option of giving your website’s visitors the option of searching for content with their voice and microphone. All you have to do is go here to download the official plugin, and you’re on your way. Please note, however, that the plugin is only functional with the Google Chrome browser, but it does work with both the desktop and mobile versions of Chrome. Also, it’s worth mentioning that there have been many reports/reviews of it being a bit buggy – something to be aware of.
Tip #2 – Let Visitors and/or Subscribers Post Content
This is obviously up to each individual site owner (social media and giving everyone a voice has revolutionized our daily lives, but the results aren’t always pretty), but if you want to allow more than just comments on your site, here are several plug-ins which allow you to do just that. You can allow any user to submit a blog/style content (the complexity of which is up to you), or limit it to just a certain subset.
Tip #3 – Add Snazzy Before/After Slider to Your Photos
We absolutely love this feature, and depending on your business (carpentry, real estate, cleaning services, etc.), it can really make your site stand out from the competition. Using this nifty plugin called TwentyTwenty, you can add the ability to have images come with a slider. You can use this for before and after purposes (showing off a new kitchen remodel, for example), or to even have a pixelated version that visitors will have to manually slide over to reveal (perhaps if you’re showing a still from a movie but you don’t want to give away any spoilers). You can grab it at the link above.
Tip #4 – Customize Image Formatting
Staying in the realm of fancying up images, older versions of WordPress (3.9 and previous versions, to be precise) allowed you to customize the margins and borders with ease. That functionality was removed in versions after 3.9, but this plug-in (aptly titled “Advanced Image Styles”) brings them back in a snap. Pick custom borders with colors (as well as setting adjustable widths) as well as the margins. It doesn’t sound like much, but it’s a bit of extra functionality that will go a long way toward making your visual content more unique and more closely matched with your overall aesthetic.
Tip #5 – Apply SSL for More Security and Better Google Rankings
SSL (which stands for Secure Socket Layer) is defined as:
“The standard security technology for establishing an encrypted link between a web server and a browser. This link ensures that all data passed between the web server and browsers remain private and integral.”
Without going into too much more technical detail, it should be seen as a necessary step to increase the security of both your data and that on your site, as well as those who visit your site. While WordPress is huge and secures millions of websites around the world, they are not impervious to breaches and attacks – back in 2014, it was found that over 160,000 WordPress sites were being unwittingly used in Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks. While the pingback issue that left them susceptible has since been fixed, it is still worth noting.
Using the Domain Mapping plugin from wpmudev will not only allow you to quickly apply SSL, it can also force the use of secure http (https) among a host of other beefed up security options. And web security is one of those things it’s hard to have too much of.
Bonus Tip: Use Total Server Solutions
Our cloud infrastructure is such that your website is fully optimized for WordPress from day one. Give us a call or email us to get started today!