As a WordPress website owner, there’s a lot to think about. The biggest mistake I’ve seen repeated, especially by small businesses, is that they set up their website and then forget about it. Your website is your storefront to the world. It’s best to keep it fresh.
If you’ve found your website in a funk, are considering revamping it, or are redoubling your efforts to produce content, here are some things to think about as the person in charge of your WordPress website.
This isn’t so much an issue of actual WordPress user roles and permissions, as it is about staff and resources. As a WordPress website owner, there are actually several roles and responsibilities you need to keep in mind. If you’re a superstar, you might be able to do them all yourself. However, if you’re planning on hiring someone to do all the things listed below (and do them well), expect to pay them handsomely.
A better approach would be to split the workload amongst people you trust, who are good at particular pieces of your website pie. Maybe even keep a couple experts on standby for the occasional heavy lifting.
2. Content Management
In the WordPress world, and the world at large, content is king. You should have a standard approach in format (how you write), messaging (what you write), and schedule (when you write). This way, your publications are clear and consistent.
Formatting (Style Guide)
Do you have a style guide and best practices established for your site? Smart companies are starting with the web and working from there. Using web friendly fonts and establishing logotypes with variations is a smart idea. You can ensure they work well on mobile, desktop, tablet, and even print and packaging. This will establish a consistent look and feel across all mediums.
Then there are the words themselves. Are your writers following the same guidelines so their published content is consistent no matter who the author is? If it’s just you, you can write in whatever style you want, but remember that your voice establishes the tone of your company and your brand. Different authors write differently. Newspapers have long known this. Don’t be so quick to think that removing the author attribution from your WordPress theme is a solution—people like to know who wrote what they’re reading.
How often are you going to publish content? “I’ll publish when I have something to say,” might be your approach, but that is not good enough. For your website to have a lasting impact, you’ll want to establish a schedule and stick to it. There’s room for experimentation in here, but having a plan is the foundation. If you start publishing daily articles, do you have a plan for when the idea well runs dry?
3. Measure Results
You’ve invested a lot in your website. The best way to leverage it to its fullest is to measure and track your results. Here’s what you should be measuring and considering:
- Your SEO rankings
- Your competitors and their SEO rankings
- Social media efforts (Are you effectively moving followers from your social media feeds back to your website?)
- Email marketing efforts (Are emails being opened? Are readers clicking and heading to your website?)
- Using analytics to the fullest (Don’t just look at visitor numbers. Use an analytics tool to pinpoint any areas on your site that are disrupting the user experience and fix them.)
4. Website Maintenance
Software moves fast. It is never a set-it-and-forget-it type of situation. Besides features and bug fixes, keeping your WordPress software updated is paramount to security.
When updates to WordPress or your plugins and themes are available, do you hit the update button then hope and pray, or do you have a plan? Do you have the ability to roll back the code (and data) if the changes break something? Do you have a staging site where you can run the updates first and see if anything is broken before doing it for all of your visitors? Do you have time to do all of this yourself? Do you need to hire a professional to maintain your WordPress website for you?
5. Website Support
There are lots of things that could go wrong here, lots of pieces to the web puzzle. First, there’s your domain name provider. Are you keeping up with the registration? When is your next renewal payment due? There’s no greater headache than losing your domain name.
You also have to stay on top of your hosting service. Did you make the right choice? Can your host handle your web traffic? When you have an issue, do they provide reliable support and solutions?
You may also have to retain a contract with someone to do maintenance and maybe keep an agency at arm’s length for development needs. There are several reasons why your website could break or go down, including internet outages, expired DNS or secure certificates, and host-level upgrades to the operating system, PHP or the web server. It’s a good idea that every WordPress website owner has someone they trust on standby for when things go wrong.
Who you gonna call?
Here at WebDevStudios, we specialize in design & development—whether you’re starting from scratch or need a fresh new look. For updates and security, our WordPress support and maintenance division, Maintainn, partners with top-tier hosting companies for rock-solid performance. The company also keeps your site up to date and secure. We even have a website design studio established to cater to small businesses with smaller budgets.
However you decide to build a team, whether it’s you alone, a support staff you create, or a group of various companies that you hire, make sure that as the WordPress website owner you’re always proactive and not reactive. Have the right people in the right places where they can succeed and help your site (and your business) flourish.
Also published on Medium.