There are a few secret tips for a WordPress Website, that really are not all that secret. It just seems like the advice is scattered or not talked about very much too small business owners, service contractors, entrepreneurs, and DIYers. Yet this information is important to keep at hand, even if you are hiring a designer or developer to design your next WordPress Website. If you are a small business owner or entrepreneur and are wanting to try your hand at building your WordPress site yourself, or hiring a designer to build one for you, here is a few of those secret tips that may save you headaches down the road.
WordPress Website Theme
Make sure the theme is updateable. Sometimes, completely customized themes built from the ground up are not necessary and could be more of a headache than they’re worth. If you’re hiring a designer or company, find out if they use a child theme to customize or completely customize their own theme. If you have a falling out later, you may not be able to update that theme later on as WordPress Core updates.
If you are choosing the theme or plugins yourself, make sure you read the reviews in WordPress.org repository to learn how good or bad that theme or plugin might be and possible issues.
Make sure you use a child theme of any theme you pick. Child themes hold their customizations while its parent theme gets updated. Don’t know what’s meant by this? WP Beginner puts it like this: “A WordPress child theme is a WordPress theme that inherits its functionality from another WordPress theme, the parent theme. Child themes are often used when you want to customize or tweak an existing WordPress theme without losing the ability to upgrade that theme. In the past, there was no easy way of updating WordPress themes without losing all the custom styling and changes that you had made. This becomes chaos when all of a sudden you find out a widely used script in popular themes has a major exploit, and you need to update your themes ASAP.”
Try not to overload your site with too many plugins. If you have 50 plugins, you might have a chance to have a plugin conflict. This is where the coding of one plugin might affect or even block the functionality of another plugin. If this happens, you might have to disable all the plugins all at once and then turn each on one at a time to diagnose which one is the problem.
Always use a site protection plugin like Wordfence, Succri or Ithemes Security. It helps block out any wannabe hackers from getting into your website. “There are around 18.5 Million websites infected with malware at any given time each week. An average website is attacked 44 times every day, which includes both WordPress and non-WordPress websites.” WP- Beginner. WordPress accounts for over one-third of the internet. So, it does not take a rocket scientist to put two and two together and figure out that WordPress sites are a target for hackers.
Even if your hosting has backup in its plan, it’s best to also have an off server (or different server) backup as well. If the hosting service uses shared hosting, not only could your site become infected if it is ever attacked, but your backups as well. There are some good backup plugins and services out there like Updraft Plus or Backup Buddy.
If a WordPress Core update has come out, you need to apply the update. These are usually either security or functionality patches or improvements to WordPress. If you have used popular parent themes and plugins with good support, 9 times out of 10 you do not have anything to worry about when updating the core. If you have a very custom theme or coding, or a custom plugin, it is best to have a duplicate of your website set up to apply your updates and make sure your site does not break.
In the end, the biggest tip I can give is to have either you or someone in your company at least understand the basic ins and outs of the site even if you are not the ones who maintain the website. This way, if you have a professional maintaining the site and you and that WordPress developer has a falling out, you can handle the site either on your own or until you get another WordPress company. Knowing the basics of your site, like what theme you’re using, how to update, what plugins you have, etc. will also help you describe your website to the next WordPress company.