I’m possibly high off of too much Halloween candy intake (It’s only the 23rd…. I’m in trouble), but I’m excited to share my favorite tools- including a few recent gems I’ve found- in the next few posts. Stay tuned for “Best Integrated & Automated CMS Systems”…. (oooohhhh aaaaah).
This post is going to step away from the juicy content conversation and focus your attention on the technical side of blogging- namely how to get your site fast, secure and optimized. I’m assuming you are using WordPress, although I am seeing a few other options creeping in…. BUT, check out these shockingly impressive stats:
Amazingly Impressive Stats:
1. As of mid 2012, WordPress was on 72.4 Million websites.
2. By the end of 2011, it was estimated that around 20 to 25% of all new sites were on WordPress
3. Around 15% of the top sites in the world are on WordPress including Honda, Ford, the New York Times, CNN, BBC, National Geographic, the NFL, and many more.
Looks like I’m not going out of business anytime soon (“Fun Size” Snickers, anyone?), so let me share a few pro tips to make your WordPress site even more awesome.
There are three crucial Sâ€™s to blogging â€“ speed, security and SEO â€“ which can be easily optimized by blog plugins, or applications that allow customization. The sheer number of plugins can be overwhelming, so weâ€™re going to make it easy by telling you which three you need to install today:
WordFence: The best plugin to keep hackers out
Popularity comes with a price: WordPressâ€™s ubiquity means hackers want a piece of the action. Hackers make tools called bots that are designed to scour the web looking for WordPress sites with security flaws or holes in them. These holes can come from outdated versions of WordPress or any of the plugins that youâ€™ve installed, so itâ€™s crucial that you keep your WordPress and plugin versions updated.
Living up to its name, WordFence provides a complete antivirus and firewall solution for your site, including some amazing tools that will stop the large majority of hackers from getting in. If you donâ€™t think you need it, or are stalling on installing it, keep in mind that itâ€™s far more expensive to play clean up than adding this tool to your site.
Cloudflare: The best plugin for speed, security, and so much more
One of our favorite tools, Cloudflare, is so incredibly multifaceted that weâ€™ll just focus on two benefits of using it: greater speed and higher security. CloudFlare protects and accelerates any website online by redirecting traffic destined for your website to their optimized network instead.. CloudFlare then optimizes the delivery of your web pages so visitors get the fastest page load times and best performance.
In terms of security, CloudFlare blocks threats and limits bots and crawlers from wasting your bandwidth and server resources. The result is a significant improvement in performance and decreased spam and other attacks.
WordPress SEO by Yoast: The best plugin to optimize your search results
WordPress rocks at optimizing your content for search results, but this isnâ€™t enough on its own. SEO is an art form that many people try and fail at quite regularly. The best way to optimize your content is by hiring a company specializing in SEO (meeeeee!), but this costs a little bit of money.
If you can’t invest in outsourcing, you can do much of what the pros do by installing WordPress SEO by Yoast. WordPress SEO by Yoast is the most complete SEO plugin that exists today for WordPress users, incorporating features like a snippet preview and page analysis functionality that helps you optimize your pagesâ€™ content, images titles, meta descriptions and more.
I have a geek crush on Yoast (his cartoon characters get me every time), and reference him to all of my clients as “My SEO Guru”. I bow to Yoast, and the company (So, there is a “guy” Joast, but it’s actually a really cool company) is incredibly accessible. I recommend highly getting your finished site evaluated by Yoast for $500. I keep my received evaluation report on hand to this day as a Manuscript of What is Possible & All Things Good in SEO Land.
It also has some amazing documentation. Check out their comprehensive SEO tutorial.
We suggest starting with Yoast and then hiring a SEO company (hint: rhymes with “Letta Toes”) if you still arenâ€™t getting the results you want.
So, what do you think? Like vs. don’t like & why?
So far, my prediction that WordPress is taking over the world has not been disproved…. Do you agree? Leave a comment!