WordPress is used by many notable companies; generally, it’s market share and other statistics are mind-boggling. Once you join the ranks of WordPress users, how can you become as efficient as possible so that your time with the CMS is well-spent?
- WordPress by the names & by the numbers
- Tricks to boost your efficiency
- In conclusion…
WordPress by the names & by the numbers
WordPress is, without question, one of the most powerful and respected content management systems that exists. After all, it has made a bigger mark on online marketing than just about any other brand – in the same general league as Facebook and Twitter. The CMS’s free, user-friendly interface, along with the thousands of plugins and themes (many of which are free) have made putting together a website or blog accessible to marketers and businesses.
Customization is still a route that many businesses take; however, as Craig Smith of DMR notes, WordPress makes it possible for small companies to better compete with established enterprises. “WordPress is such an impressive web platform that even some of the larger sites on the web have built their sites on it,” he says, “and a number of established web developers have switched to WordPress as their CMS of choice to build on.”
WordPress is open source, and that can raise eyebrows among those who feel more comfortable with locked-down proprietary systems. However, as indicated above, many household names use WordPress. To make it clear that this tool has been embraced by notable media entities and mega-companies, here are twenty brands using the CMS, courtesy of WPBeginner:
- BBC America
- Best Buy
- ESPN Product Blog
- Facebook Newsroom
- Ford Social
- MTV News
- The New Yorker
- Nokia Conversations
- PlayStation — official blog
- Sony Music
- Star Wars — official site
While it helps to look at WordPress in terms of big-name users, it’s also clear how strongly accepted it is by looking at the numbers. Here are key statistics compiled by Smith:
- WordPress was founded in May 2003.
- As of March 9, 2014, the CMS was supporting 76.5 million blogs.
- Worldwide, more than a quarter of websites (26%) were using WordPress, as of June 29, 2016.
- 5 billion posts and 3 billion comments have been published, as of June 26, 2015. Every month, 59.3 million posts and 48.4 million comments are added.
- As of 2015, the number of new WordPress sites going online every single day was 50,000.
- Each month, 409 million people view WordPress blogs — accounting for 22.3 billion page-views.
Tricks to boost your efficiency
WordPress may be popular and very mainstream, but how do you get the most out of it? Time is critical in today’s economy. Here are a few tricks to become more efficient within the platform from Jake Rocheleau of DesignM.ag:
- Make the admin panel your comfort zone.
All of the sections of the WordPress backend includes various features with which you can become more familiar. The default settings hide some boxes, but you can make them visible by clicking “Screen Options” in the upper right-hand corner.
Actually, there are more critical menus within the left sidebar. Look at the sub-menus within Appearance, Tools, and Settings. It helps to explore these upfront, since plugins sometimes place additional menu options within that list.
It’s important to take it seriously when you see a new release within the admin section (or via email) because of security, but releases also introduce new features, explains Rocheleau. “There are plenty of websites online which talk about WordPress updates and how you can utilize new features to their fullest potential,” he says. “All of the various settings & menus will be important whenever installing a new WordPress website.”
Essentially, the features within these menus can make your use of WordPress more efficient long term. It’s wise to create a sandbox to test them out, though. You can use a local PHP/MySQL server or generate a hidden subdomain to install WordPress, play around with settings, and try out new themes or plugins before introducing them to your actual site.
- Learn to swat the bugs.
What do you do when you run into error messages or similar issues? Look it up. Typically, forum users on WordPress or Stack Exchange will have posted about the problem previously.
As you become more familiar with PHP bugs, you will better understand what errors mean without having to search. Problems often arise from little snippets within a plugin or theme, some of which isn’t discussed online.
You can also use trial and error via the user interface. Are your page titles not populating correctly, or are the widgets empty? “These kinds of problems often require checking many solutions to ultimately unearth the culprit,” notes Rocheleau.
- Find treasures by digging into WordPress media.
There is an entire industry of WordPress blogs and news sites. These resources discuss themes and news, rate plugins, and provide how-to guides.
Yes, WordPress is simple to use, but it is also as sophisticated as you want it to be. For instance, one interesting field is Custom Post Types. Explore the CMS, and it will both become more efficient and improve the quality of your blog or site.
Read an article or two each week to sharpen your understanding, and you will empower yourself to continually improve your installation and web presence.
Here are a few blogs that can help:
One way things can quickly become inefficient is simply by embracing too many plugins and features. Don’t make your site messy and excessively complicated. Latency increases with additional components added to your site. Be minimalist. Your theme files should also be well-organized so you can read them quickly.
“One of the biggest reasons for a slow-loading website is a reliance on too many external files,” Rocheleau comments. “Plugins often require their own CSS/JS files which get included into each page as a separate HTTP request.” That means your site slows down, in turn hurting user experience and SEO.
Note that you don’t want to shy away from intricate themes or using a variety of CPTs because you are focused fundamentally on simplicity. But at a core level, keep it contained to optimize your efficiency. You want to be able to put up blogs as quickly as possible, and for maintenance to be a breeze. Keep everything straightforward and clean so you know your site well and can fix any issues that arise immediately.
- Expand your tool belt.
Here are five WordPress tools, such as code generators and cheatsheets, that can help you with management:
Along with the admin UI, you can get much more technical, in turn enhancing your efficiency. Pick up a bit of PHP coding, and you can tweak themes, develop plugins, and rework the default functions.php file.
Even just based on the above, you should be able to achieve more efficiency within WordPress. Beyond your CMS, though, you need a high-performance infrastructure with guaranteed performance. The Total Server Solutions cloud boasts the highest levels of performance in the industry. Build your cloud now.