Are you thinking about launching a WordPress website?
Luckily for you, building a website these days, especially on the powerful content management system (CMS) WordPress, is easier than ever.
In fact, you don’t have to have any coding, technical, or website development knowledge to get a fully functioning, good looking website up and running in what seems like minutes.
However, just because you can get a WordPress site live and ready to go quickly doesn’t mean it’ll be successful.
That’s why you should take a look at this handy checklist, complete with the essential needed to make your WordPress site a success.
That way, when you do go live, you’ll stand out from the competition and give users the best experience possible.
1. Reliable Web Hosting
Web hosting is one of the most important parts of running a successful WordPress website.
After all, a good web host such as Bluehost (which is officially recommended by WordPress.org), can improve your site in many ways.
For instance, expect to see better SEO, more traffic, increases in speed and performance, and even more sales when you use a reliable web hosting provider..
But most importantly, your web host will be responsible for maintaining your site’s data and keeping your website up and running at all times.
With people coming to your website day and night, from all over the world, it’s important they be able to access your site 24/7.
That’s how you’ll build a good reputation, a large following, and a loyal customer base.
There are many different types of WordPress hosting available: free, shared, VPS, dedicated, and even managed WordPress hosting. And, knowing which one is right for you is going to take some research.
In the meantime, consider investing in a web host that has the following features:
- 24/7 support
- Automated backup services
- Uptime guarantees
- Scalability so you can grow
- Built-in security features
- Easy to use cPanel or Plesk
- Staging environment
- SSL certifications
- Built-in CDN service
In addition to choosing a reliable web host to help you maintain your site’s loading speeds, there are some helpful WordPress plugins designed to give your site an extra bump in performance:
2. Search Engine Optimization
Optimizing your website for SEO is a must these days. After all, there are 1,890,943,170 websites spanning the globe right now. And that number continues to tick upwards.
And, with more SEO agencies popping up all over, complete with airtight SEO proposals designed to rank even the lowest of website on the first page of Google, it’s high time you put some energy into your own site’s ranking status.
SEO involves keyword research, meta descriptions, internal and external linking, optimized images, proper content structure, and so much more.
When combined, all of these SEO best practices can help you rank higher, get more traffic, generate more leads, and even sell more if you run an eCommerce shop.
To help you with onsite SEO, Yoast SEO is one of the best WordPress plugins available.
This free WordPress plugin helps you create an XML sitemap so popular search engines can easily crawl and index your site.
Plus, it helps analyze your site’s content for SEO best practices (such as proper keyword use, content structure, and image optimization), and even shows you what your content’s search engine snippet will look like in real time.
Other helpful SEO tools you can use to help you rank higher and publish better content include:
- SEMRush: get insight from competitors to improve your SEO efforts
- Google Keyword Planner: for finding out which keywords in your industry are trending
- Broken Link Checker: to check for broken links on your site that can affect your search rankings
- Pingdom and Google Page Speed: to test the speed and performance of your site
Did you know that 51.77% of all site traffic comes from mobile devices?
It’s not enough to have a great looking WordPress site. After all, if your site doesn’t render on small devices like smartphones, laptops, and tablets, you’ll lose a lot of your site’s traffic.
When it comes to choosing a WordPress theme for your newly built website, it’s essential you pick one that’s responsive by design.
And, while most WordPress themes come mobile-friendly, it’s always a good idea to double check before launching your site, especially If you own an online shop and rely on m-commerce sales.
4. Social Media Integration
There’s no denying the fact that social media can have a profound effect on the success of your WordPress website.
Think about it. Every time someone shares some of your site’s content, whether on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, or even Twitter, your site’s content is reaching new audience members.
This is how you build strong relationships with your followers, engage with your target audience, and expand your brand.
WordPress has plenty of free and premium plugins to help you add social media icons to your website:
Adding to this, you can use a handy tool like Blog2Social, Hootsuite, or CoSchedule to automatically share your site’s content to popular social media platforms in an effort to expand your brand’s reach.
5. Killer Content
Lastly, though it may seem obvious, publishing consistent, valuable, and highly authoritative content on your WordPress website is what’s really going to garner you the most success.
Luckily, WordPress comes as an extensive, easy to use, and highly customizable blogging platform that anyone can take advantage of.
With good blog content, you can drive more traffic to your site.
Not to mention, you can increase your site’s search rankings, position yourself as an authority in your industry, and even develop stronger, longer-lasting relationships with site visitors.
In order to make the most of your site’s blog content, follow these best practices:
- Create fresh, new content for your target audience to draw interest from Google and site visitors
- Focus on creating strong headlines (80% will read them, but only 20% will read the rest of your content)
- Create actionable content that encourages people to do something like subscribe or buy
- Address pain points and offer unique solutions
- Interact with your site visitors in blog comments or on social media to build relationships and establish trust
- Add visual aspects like infographics, images, and video content
And lastly, aim to publish blog content on a regular basis for those that have come to rely on your information, and those that are checking you out for the first time.
In the end, building and launching a WordPress website isn’t all that hard to do.
But, as the competition rises in industries across the board, even experienced website owners are finding themselves having to be a little more creative when it comes to standing out in the crowd.
Take this checklist to heart the next time you get ready to launch a new site.
While it may not have everything you need to be an overnight success, the points mentioned are enough to get you started on the right track for sure!