Let’s be honest, not all business owners are tech savvy, and not everyone can afford to have a developer on board to make sure your website is running flawlessly. You already know that as a business owner, the functionality of your website is crucial to drive traffic to, and convert sales. That’s why we sat down inside Strong Brand Social with web designer Julia Taylor, to find out the steps you should take to optimize your website’s functionality and protection, and the steps you absolutely must take to ensure your site is running smoothly.
Unsatisfied with her 9 to 5, Julia Taylor fell into the world of coding. Soon she became a self taught expert and created GeekPack where she now teaches newcomers to master the skill on their own. We brought Julia into Strong Brand Social to talk about website management for WordPress site owners. She even showed us a tutorial on how to apply CSS to your website, fast and simple.
WordPress is by far the most widely used site provider across all businesses, large and small. It is the best platform to use if your company is using or ever plans to use SEO or if your site has a lot of content, blogs or pages. The scalability of WordPress is unmatched, so your website can expand alongside your growing business. Although not as user friendly as platforms like Shopify, Woocommerce is WordPress’s ecommerce platform and it’s also a great option for online product brands.
Security and backups
The most widely used provider is also the most likely hacked. If you don’t update and backup your WordPress site, you will be hacked. To avoid this, you need to update and backup your site at a minimum of once a week. If you can swing it, aim to update everyday. There are three components to a WordPress site that need updating and protection: the core, theme and plugins.
The core is common across all WordPress websites, this is an update that every user gets. Theme and plugin updates are specific to your site, you choose these in order to customize your website. WordPress tells you when new updates are available, but for optimum mindless maintenance try these two free plugins for website backup and security.
- UpdraftPlus for backups: This plugin is free for WordPress and will backup your website automatically if set up correctly. After installing the plugin, you want to set up the frequency of your database backups. In settings change the frequency from manual to automatic so that the software can do the work for you. We suggest scheduling backups daily, but they do take up space on your server and remote storage. If you don’t have a lot of storage, schedule weekly.
- WordFence for security: With this plugin, after install you can run a security scan once. After the initial scan it runs every day automatically and it will alert you if there is a security issue or breach.
Hosting is important because it affects your site’s speed, and in some cases it can help with security too. Some of the better hosts do back ups for you, others don’t. SiteGround is a great budget host option, and FlyWheel is great if you want a fully managed hosting comrade. They do security backup and core updates.
Cascading style sheets– CSS
Cascading style sheets (CSS) is a coding language that styles a website. It’s the color, fonts, buttons, and aspects of a website that make you think “I wish I could do that to my own site.” Themes and plugins are a great way to make personalizations, but they add code bloat to your website which ultimately slows it down. The less plugins and extra software you can have, the better. This is where applying CSS steps in. It might be more advanced for some folks, but Julia made it easy when she shared her screen and showed us how to use the Inspect feature on Google Chrome to discover the coding of any site so that you can test and apply it to your own.
ClickFunnels– is it worth it?
ClickFunnels is expensive and not totally necessary, but it does work. WordPress can do everything that a conversion platform can do, but it takes a lot more time and effort. It involves setting up a whole lot of software and integrations. If you have a proven product, spending money upfront on ClickFunnels will save you time, and ultimately earn you more money.
If you’re looking for more coding and are interested in learning the basics, you can join Julia at Geekpack.co for a five day coding challenge. You’ll learn HTML and CSS and walk away with a two page website that you built from scratch.
In your corner,