Every month in 2017 I’m covering any big news in the WordPress world, new favorite tools, and maintenance tips & best practices to keep your WordPress happy and your website makin’ that moolah for yo’ biz.
Let’s begin, superhero!
Keep Your WordPress Happy: Essential Tips – April 2017
What’s up in the WordPress world?
Thousands of Sites Hacked via Home Routers
Weird news: thousands of hacked home routers are trying to hack WordPress sites. So be sure you’re running proper security measures:
- The Wordfence or Sucuri security plugins
- A strong password
- A username that is neither “admin” nor your website name
- Another great tool is the WP Limit Login Attempts plugin, which protects you from brute force attacks by blocking IPs temporarily
Big WooCommerce Update
The super popular e-commerce plugin WooCommerce has released a BIG update: its 3.0 version – but don’t update yet!
It’s been breaking a ton of websites (and with Mercury retrograde since this week, well, you know what that means!). Wait until they work out all the kinks before you update WooCommerce itself as well as any WooCommerce extension plugins you may have running on your website (and when you do, definitely do it in a staging area a.k.a. test site first in case something breaks!)
If this is your first time hearing about WooCommerce, it’s a plugin used to sell both digital and physical products on your website. Read this post on how to sell products on your website if you’ve never done it!
New favorite WordPress tools
Favorite Events Plugin
After trying out 4 competitors, I ended up preferring the Event Organiser.
It lets you set up recurring events for free (many plugins only offer this in their paid plan), display your events in different ways (as a full monthly calendar, events list, and more), lets you set up a registration system, and lots more options – all in their free plan.
So if you run a regular Facebook Live, yoga class, or anything in between, you may wanna give this one a trial run!
Give Your SEO a Boost
Even if you don’t blog that often, keep your site current in Google’s eyes with recurrent social media sharing to show up higher in search results.
I run many SEO sites for various brands, and the blogs running this plugin fall on page 1 or 2 of Google results as opposed to the sites that don’t, which show up on later pages (which nobody sees).
Use the free Revive Old Post plugin to automatically Tweet your blog posts for you, bringing you continual traffic and hopefully leads – plus, show up higher in Google, which is always useful for potential lead generation. I recommend having the plugin Tweet out your content at the very least once daily – several times per day is great on Twitter, as each Tweet gets phased out after about an hour or less.
Of course, a holistic SEO strategy that includes high-quality informative content, keywords and other best practices (the free plugin Yoast can help tremendously) is your best bet for a strong online business – and keeping current in Google’s eyes is an important component.
Your Monthly WordPress Maintenance
Have 5 minutes? That’s okay! Got 30? Even better! Either way, we can help keep WordPress happy and your website humming along helping your biz grow.
Here’s what you need to do this month to keep your WordPress happy:
- If you’re not on managed hosting that handles your security then make sure you’re using a security plugin like Wordfence or Sucuri, and once a month quickly run your site through a security filter like Sucuri’s: http://sitecheck.sucuri.net/
- Check for broken links automatically with the free Broken Link Checker plugin
- Make sure your backups are running smoothly so you have a Plan B if disaster strikes (I like Backup Buddy and UpdraftPlus). Restore one every month to ensure they’re working properly and you can rely on them if needed.
- Haven’t gotten a message through your contact form in the past few weeks? Test it!
- Haven’t gotten a new subscriber in a little while? Test your opt-in forms! And work on increasing your website traffic and optimizing your social media traffic while you’re at it if you want to convert visitors into more signups ;)