Whether you are building a website or are thinking about starting, WordPress is by far one of the most effective and practical website-builder available. WordPress offers a variety of functional plugins, user-friendly themes, quality website templates to help organize your content, and both options of shared and managed WordPress hosting. These features give WordPress its popularity as a Content Management System, and it is no surprise that more than 30 percent of all websites on the world wide web have been built and are maintained by WordPress.
What is WordPress hosting and what are the differences between shared and managed hosting?
Simply put, WordPress hosting is hosting that has been developed to fulfill the security and performance requirements that WordPress needs in order to work properly. WordPress hosting commonly involves simple one-click installs making it that much easier to launch your website and keep essential software updated.
Shared WordPress hosting: What is it?
Shared WordPress hosting is usually the cheapest type of hosting compared to managed hosting.
When using shared WordPress hosting your website shares a server with multiple websites. Some WordPress hosts give users the ability to automatically conduct software upgrades. Some hosts also upgrade the themes and plugins. This is a great advantage because maintaining a WordPress site that is constantly updated is a crucial step in ensuring the highest level of security.
Managed WordPress hosting: What is it?
Managed WordPress hosting offers all the features that shared hosting provides and more. With managed WordPress hosting you get:
- A website that runs faster due to higher hardware specifications.
- Greater levels of security as it offers firewalls designed specifically for WordPress, including routine malware and anti-virus scans.
- Automatically managed caching. Caching is very important when it comes to optimizing your WordPress site. Usually, a plugin is needed to manage cache, however, with managed WordPress hosting you get hassle-free automated caching.
- Staging sites that give you the ability to perform A-B split testing when you want to find what works best for your WordPress site.
Perhaps the only disadvantage is that managed WordPress hosting is much more expensive than shared hosting, however, in the world of online marketing and the internet in general, time wasted is money wasted. Anything you can do to save yourself time, from automatically updating WordPress software, handling the cache and maintaining a fast and responsive website, means that you save money in the long term.
As with all websites, before starting you need to brainstorm your ideas and have a clear plan of attack. Here are a few key questions you should be asking yourself before you begin creating your website:
- Who is your target audience?
- What is the purpose of your site?
- What will you be offering to visitors, potential customers and existing clients?
- What needs to be done in order to maintain an optimized, user-friendly website?
With these questions in mind, here are Ben Givon’s top 5 plugins that are a must when it comes to optimizing your WordPress website.
The security of your WordPress website must be a high priority when it comes to building a successful site that users will want to visit regularly. Keeping your site’s security strong ensures that malicious and damaging activity can be kept at bay.
WordFence security plugin is a brilliant plugin for security optimization for WordPress websites. Its anti-virus feature allows you to scan multiple areas of your website including SEO spam, plugins, themes and links that could be compromising your site’s security.
The WordFence plugin has a security tool specifically designed to help you keep close surveillance on any suspicious and malicious activity. The reports show information such as the exact date and time, and IP addresses.
Also, by paying for the premium version you gain access to exclusive features such as spam filters, two-factor authentication and much more.
SEO or Search Engine Optimization is what determines how easily a visitor searching for relevant keywords can find your website on Google and other search engines. It is one of the most important aspects of a website when it comes to exposing your content to your target audience. Slim SEO is regarded as one of the best WordPress plugins for optimizing SEO and Google rankings.
The Slim SEO plugin works to enhance meta tags and meta descriptors for search engine results pages and can create sitemaps for automated bots. Slim SEO is fully automated without the need for configuration.
Using caching on your WordPress site has a range of benefits for optimizing your website’s overall performance, from reducing loading times and server lag, and along with a CDN (Content Delivery Network) can also speed up download times.
The Broken Link Checker plugin does exactly what it says on the tin, it monitors the content on your website making sure that all hyperlinks and backlinks are working properly, and that there are no missing images. This is a simple yet very effective plugin because it helps to maintain your website’s professional and optimal user-experience.
Making sure that the content you publish on your website is marketed well enough for your target audience and visitors to access it and for it to gain the exposure it needs to increase traffic to your site.
The Sassy Social Share plugin allows you to share your content with more than 100 social media platforms including Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, WhatsApp, Tumblr, and Pinterest.
These five WordPress plugins help to optimize your website’s speed, user-experience, security, SEO, social sharing and much more. Using these plugins, some of which are completely free, can save you valuable time and effort, giving you the spare time to focus on other important marketing campaigns to help improve SEO and drive traffic to your site.