WordPress Set Up
Your WordPress set up will in many ways help to determine how successful your website is in the future.
How WordPress Works
Your Website is Built Like a Car:
WordPress Core Files = The Chassis
Your Theme = The Bodywork
Hosting = The Engine
Php Version / MySQL Database = Engine CPU
Images / Plugins / Functionality = Passengers, Luggage, Trailers…. everything that slows your car down!
There are several important factors to consider before you begin to build your new website & you should ask whoever builds it for you if they are taking these points into consideration.
Important WordPress Set Up Factors:
- Choice of Hosting
- Choice of Theme
- Choice of Plugins
- Loading Content
- Managing Content
For 2020 and beyond, there is one website metric that is more important than ever…… performance.
Little by little, Google is dragging all website owners kicking and screaming into the 21st Century, pushing them towards fast loading, high performance, mobile friendly website to represent their businesses.
The days of publishing something that looks like a website but doesn’t perform like one are long gone.
If you want search engines and your customers to take you seriously, you need to tick ALL the performance boxes, not just one or two…… so here is a comprehensive guide to set up and optimise wordpress to work like a finely tuned machine for your business.
WordPress – The Good, The Bad & The Ugly
WordPress is a great platform for any website, flexible, endlessly customisable, open ended and with a seemingly endless supply of functionality in the form of WordPress Plugins.
However, WordPress does have its issues too.
Left to its own devices and not managed correctly, WordPress can be susceptible to chronic weight gain!! If you don’t look out, your WordPress website will have its head in the biscuit barrel and before you know it, you’ll have a heavy old Hector on your hands.
It’s easier to set up WordPress to stay slim and fit than it is to lose the weight once its gained it!
Weight is important for websites because all the code in your website has to be delivered to whoever wants to view your pages.
Each time a request for one of your pages is made, the whole page has to be packed up and sent across the ether to their device.
While of course some users will be on superfast broadband, many won’t be. Spare a thought for the man stood in a field using a 3G mobile connection to attempt to read your page content. He needs to get the page loaded just as much as the city dweller with his 4 or 5G download speeds.
What makes this even more critical, is that Google use just that scenario – a man on a 3G mobile connection – to assess website load speed before they decide whether they will include your site in their all important search listings.
If your WordPress site is data heavy, it won’t get delivered to that mobile device in the field before the chap presses the back button and looks for a better alternative.
You may offer the best service, products, advice or whatever, but if your website set up doesn’t deliver the goods fast enough, it won’t matter….. Google will hate you!
Fast hosting is a necessity if your WP site is going to load quickly. Free and low cost hosting options are a mistake that many business owners make, thinking that good quality hosting isn’t very important.
Think of your web server as the engine in your car. You wouldn’t put a diesel van engine in a Ferrari would you? Not if you expected it to perform when you pressed the pedal hard.
A website is the same, if you want a high performance site, you need a high performance server.
Not all hosting companies provide the same quality of server, so it pays to choose wisely. Otherwise your website will be parked on a rickety old server, creaking at the seams, unreliable and slow.
Getting WordPress Right
Getting Your WordPress Set Up right is important.
WordPress Core is quite slim and efficient code.
However, it soon becomes bloated when you start adding Themes, Plugins & Addons, much of which you don’t need or won’t use.
Every bit of code adds to the overall size of the files that need to be sent and received. The more code you can trim the less data you will send and the faster your site will load on each request.