Whether you’ve built a WordPress yourself or hired someone else to do it, I’ve found that there are common factors which always seem to be missing when I’m auditing websites.
These factors mentioned in this article are crucial for many reasons that can impact visitor site experience, your ranking in Google and potentially making your website vulnerable to hackers.
1. SSL Certificate
10 years ago I would only recommend clients purchase an SSL certificate if their site had a shopping cart. There was much debate on whether an SSL certificate would impact site speed negatively which only proved to be false as it allows a much faster connection for all modern web browsers. As of 2017 it was been widely known that Google would provide better ranking to sites which have an SSL certificate installed. If you’ve never heard of this before then simply type https rather than http before your domain in Chrome. If you see a green lock next to your address bar then you have on installed, if not then you need to get one.
2. Caching Plugin
A caching plugin can not only reduce stress on your server but also load pages much quicker to site visitors. WordPress caching plugins such as WordPress Total Cache and WP Super Cache are only two plugins that can be installed which allow caching on your server. Since page speed is improved not only will site visitors have a better experience navigating your website but this can also improve your Google search ranking.
3. SEO Plugin
There are several SEO plugins which provide benefits of on-page SEO which allows Google to better understand and index your website. Two popular plugins which ca be installed are YOAST for SEO and All-In-One-SEO.
4. Accelerated Mobile Pages
Have a blog on your website? Accelerated Mobile Pages or AMP allows your blog posts to load lightening fast on mobile devices. Google has given preferential treatment to websites that have AMP installed. There are many plugins are available that allow you to get AMP running on your website in only minutes.
5. Google Console Setup
I find many web developers and marketers familiar with Google Analytics however some still have no idea about Google Webmaster Tools or Google Search Console which has been around for close to a decade. This online tool allows you to submit your site to Google, provide security alerts about your website, allow XML sitemap submission which tells Google which pages to include in their search engine and other technical benefits.
Is your WordPress website up to date? Is it possible that your webmaster may have missed one of these critical factors that could be impacting your search ranking, security and user experience. Contact NexToronto to speak to a WordPress expert for a 1 hour full web audit. Our WordPress developers can login to your WordPress dashboard and provide insights that you can either pass along to your webmaster or hire a NexToronto WordPress developer to make these critical updates.