Wordpress Introduction

WordPress Best Practices – A Primer

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WordPress is a free, open-source content management system (CMS) based on PHP and MySQL. It is one of the most popular CMSs in the world and is used to build and manage websites of all types, from small personal blogs to large corporate sites.

  • 63% of the top 100 fastest growing companies in the US (Inc. 5000) use WordPress.
  • Over 600 new sites are created every day using the hosted version of WordPress.org
  • Over eighty million new blog posts pop up every month.

One of the main advantages of WordPress is its ease of use. The platform’s user-friendly interface makes it easy for users with little or no technical expertise to create and manage a website. It also has a large community of developers and users who contribute to the platform by creating themes, plugins, and other tools.

Themes are templates that determine the layout and design of a website. WordPress has a vast collection of themes that are available for free or for purchase. These themes can be easily installed and customized to suit the website’s needs.

Plugins are small software programs that can be added to a website to add new features and functionality. For example, WordPress has a vast repository of plugins that can add features such as contact forms, social media sharing buttons, and e-commerce functionality.

WordPress is also highly extensible, so that it can be easily integrated with other tools and platforms. For example, it can integrate with e-commerce platforms such as WooCommerce or social media platforms such as Twitter or Facebook.

Another advantage of WordPress is its SEO-friendly features. WordPress is built with SEO in mind and has several built-in features that make it easy to optimize a website for search engines. For example, it has a built-in system for creating and managing meta tags, which are used by search engines to understand the content of a webpage.

WordPress is also highly secure. The platform is regularly updated with security patches and new features that help to keep websites safe from hackers and other malicious actors. However, it’s essential to remember that no software is entirely immune to security threats. That’s why it’s recommended to use a reputable security plugin and keep it updated.

Security is never something we should take for granted, though. WordPress is an open-source technology, and while it is inherently secure, there are steps you should always take to keep your WordPress installs secure:

  • Keep your WordPress software and all plugins and themes up to date. This will ensure that any known vulnerabilities are addressed.
  • Use a solid and unique username and password for your WordPress administrator account. Avoid using “admin” as your username.
  • Use a reputable security plugin, such as Wordfence or iThemes Security, to help protect your website from common attacks.
  • Limit login attempts to prevent brute-force attacks.
  • Use a security-focused hosting provider that offers built-in security features, such as automatic updates and malware scanning.
  • Limit access to your website’s wp-admin area and use two-factor authentication for extra security.
  • Use SFTP or SSH instead of FTP to transfer files to and from your website securely.
  • Regularly back up your website’s files and database to protect against data loss.
  • Use a Content Delivery Network (CDN) to help protect your website from DDoS attacks.
  • Regularly scan your website for malware and vulnerabilities using a website scanner tool like Sucuri SiteCheck.

One of the main disadvantages of WordPress is that it can be slow if not correctly optimized. Websites built on WordPress can become slow if they have too many plugins or themes installed or are hosted on a low-performance server. For example, using a CDN to serve images and videos can help speed up your WordPress installs, and caching is always recommended.

Website load speed directly correlates with conversions, but there are other factors we need to consider. For example, search engines and Google, in particular, favor fast-loading websites in their search results, so load speed directly affects your website traffic.

Some popular tools to check your load speed under real-life conditions include:

https://pagespeed.web.dev/

https://gtmetrix.com/

https://tools.pingdom.com/

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