Top 5 things to review on your WordPress website this year

A new year is a great opportunity to take a fresh look at your website. While some of these items are things I’ve recommended in the past, these are still the building blocks creating the foundation for your website, your website performance, and the overall health your website needs to stay healthy.

Here are the five MOST IMPORTANT things to review on your website in 2019:

Hint: These should all be YES answers!

IS YOUR WEBSITE MOBILE RESPONSIVE?

A mobile responsive website is mandatory at this point. This means the view of your website changes on each device, but it’s one website that moves, not two different versions. You are losing SEO ranking if you are still in a fixed design website. It is working against you! Google has a tool here: https://search.google.com/test/mobile-friendly

Even if you have a mobile responsive site that was designed five years (2014) ago or more, you need to test it to make sure it’s still working properly. It might be slow to load and there could be out of date features that need to be changed or removed. Check your site speed at https://gtmetrix.com/

DO YOU HAVE AN SSL CERTIFICATE?

An SSL certificate (Secure Sockets Layer), makes sure that all data between the visitor and your website remains private and secure. This is the difference you see between an HTTP:// and HTTPS://. In July of 2018, Google decided we all needed this. If you don’t have this now, your site rankings are dropping. Many hosting companies now offer SSL for FREE. Still not sure if you’ve done this? https://www.sslshopper.com/ssl-checker.html

HAVE YOU REVIEWED YOUR HOSTING PLAN?

Is your hosting plan doing what it needs to for you? How much are you paying for your domain name each year? It’s good to open these accounts annually and assess what you have and to check on your payment methods. Has your credit card expired? Are you paying for things you don’t need? Are you paying for things that other companies are offering for free? Not to get too in the weeds, but your WordPress site needs to be running on PHP 7.2 or higher. If your hosting company doesn’t offer that, you need a new host! Make sure you are checking on your hosting company every now and then. Don’t know who your host is? Use https://www.whois.com/ to look it up by entering your domain name.

ARE YOU BACKING UP AND VIRUS SCANNING YOUR SITE?

Maybe your hosting company is offering backups now. They may also offer to monitor your site for a fee. However you do it, get a backup system in place that backs up your site every day for at least 30 days. My care plan offers 90 days of backups. I had to rescue nearly a dozen websites that were hacked last year. One client that didn’t have a back up was lucky I had a four-year-old laptop in the closet with a copy of her design. Her website was so badly hacked we needed this old copy or her design what lost. There are online scanners available for free. Here’s my favorite virus scanning tool: https://sitecheck.sucuri.net/

ARE YOU UPDATING YOUR WORDPRESS, THEME & PLUGIN FILES ON A WEEKLY BASIS?

Did you know that a majority of the websites that are hacked are because they were not being updated? Security is not on just one thing. It’s complicated. Your site files must be updated on a regular basis and looked at frequently. Even with an eye on things, nothing can be completely safe. The very least you can do is work to reduce the risk of a security breach and you do that by maintaining your website platform. The best defense is a good offense.
Here are instructions to do this on your own https://webcami.com/keeping-your-wordpress-site-updated-is-critical/
If you don’t have time to do it, I have a service to do it for you https://webcami.com/web-design/wp-care-plan/

I am always here for you if you have any questions about this information.  I want you to get the most out of your website and making sure you are taking care of these five items will go a long way in making your website work for you!