FYI from January to December 2017 I’m writing about any big news & happenings in the Internet and WordPress worlds, new favorite tools to get more done faster and more easily, and website maintenance tips & best practices to keep your WordPress website happy and your website working as your reliable 24/7 salesperson. Because you should be focusing on your business (where your passion + the clients are!) instead of frustrated over your website.
How to Keep Your WordPress Site Happy This Fall
What’s up in da Interwebz?
AdWords + AMP
Do you advertise with AdWords for your business? Google has announced that come October 2017, you’ll be able to use AMP pages as your landing pages (the pages people land on when clicking on your AdWords ad).
This means your ads will be sending customers to fast-loading pages. Why is this wonderful? Because conversions fall by 20% for each additional second it takes for a website to load. So you’ve got a need for speed, baby!
Plus, ad rank and pricing depend on certain factors – including landing page experience (read: loading time).
THAT’s how big of a deal loading speed is!
Just remember: you must set up AMP for your website first – it won’t happen automatically.
What’s up in the WordPress world?
Alert: New Security Vulnerability
On September 26th, security agency Sucuri announced a security breach affecting WordPress 4.8.1– specifically, a source-based stored Cross-Site Scripting (XSS) vulnerability.
This vulnerability in your security might affect your website if you:
- Are still running WordPress 4.8.1 (you should be on WordPress 4.8.2 as of September 2017)
- Have installed the bbPress plugin with posting capabilities
- Have an account on your site with the Contributor role
Read more about it on the Sucuri blog here.
What to do if your website meets any of the above criteria? Update your WordPress core version to 4.8.2 TODAY to avoid getting hacked, as the 4.8.2 version has patched this vulnerability.
Yet another example of why it’s vital to keep your WordPress core version updated!
Setka Editor Plugin
If you’re unhappy with your theme, you’re gonna love Setka. It’s a plugin you use to create gorgeous templates for your blog posts – without code.
The idea behind Setka is helping your content stand out with innovative design that you can implement quickly (every day if you blog daily!) and without an expensive designer.
They’re looking to shake things up and leave the status quo behind, opening our minds to the possibilities of growing engagement through more visually appealing content on your website.
This plugin purportedly works with any theme (without breaking it!) and does some beautiful, innovative stuff, giving you so much flexibility that you could make each blog post have a different style and format if you wanted to!
I’m currently playing around with it, myself (they have a 14-day free trial so you can play before you buy).
See a video on examples for using Setka here:
Check out the free version of Setka and the paid one here. (The difference? Paid features include adding inline icons, custom styles and fonts, more pre-made styles and premium support from Setka.) You can also sign up here for a 14-day free trial of the paid plugin (no credit card needed).
WordPress Website Maintenance Best Practices for September 2017
Can’t spare an extra hour this month for thorough updates? That’s OK: follow the 5-minute WordPress checkup.
Do this in September 2017 to keep your WordPress site happy:
- Unless you’re on managed hosting that handles your security and maintenance, make sure you’re using a security plugin like Wordfence or Sucuri, and quickly run your site through a security filter like Sucuri’s: http://sitecheck.sucuri.net/ once a month to keep hackers out
- Check for broken links in yo’ sleep with the free Broken Link Checker plugin
- Check yo’ backups so you have a Plan B if disaster strikes (I like Backup Buddy and UpdraftPlus). Restore a backup every month to test that it has everything you need.
- 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 ;)
No matter how much time you have, it’s worth doing at least your updates to keep your WordPress website functioning well and glitch-free. This will help give you peace of mind and help you serve your customers much better.
Plus, a healthy, happy website makes Google like you more, and we all know how important that is for traffic and keeping those fresh leads coming in to feed your business!