Tips for Customizing Your WordPress Website

WordPress is extremely powerful, and it can run on most types of sites. The platform is responsive, mobile-friendly, and best of all, not very costly. To be up and running on WordPress, all you need to buy is a domain name and hosting.

Once you have picked WordPress as your website building platform, chosen a domain name for your website, set up a hosting account, and installed your WordPress website, the next step would be customizing your website. If you’re not sure how to do this, then you can use the following tips to customize your WordPress website to reflect the needs and personality of your business.

1.     Choose a Theme

An outfit for your WordPress site, a theme styles your pages, blog posts, and images to make them attractive and easy on the eyes. A theme adds style to your site by applying fonts in WordPress, colors, and layouts.

The Theme directory of WordPress is the best place to find themes for your WordPress site. It is important to choose a theme that supports your objective for building the site in the first place. Also, don’t compromise simplicity and usability for an aesthetically pleasing website.

The theme you choose should ensure high readability, have a consistent font and allow plenty of whitespaces. Make sure you choose a theme optimized for both desktop and mobile viewing. Ensure it is compatible with all browsers, but, most important of all, choose a theme that supports all major plugins. This is important if you want to have control over your website.

Once you find a theme you like and one that fulfills the above criteria, download it. Next, go to the ‘Themes’ section of your WordPress site, select ‘Add New’ and upload the theme you just downloaded and saved.

2.     Install Plugins

Plugins are add-ons that provide your WordPress site with additional functionality and features. Installing plugins on your WordPress site is quite easy and can be done as follows:

·         Navigate to Plugins> Add New with your dashboard

·         Search for a specific plugin, or browse around

·         Click on the Install New button once you’ve found a plugin you want

·         The button text will change to ‘Activate’ once the plugin is installed. Select the Activate button

Once the plugin is installed, you will find new tabs on your WordPress dashboard that will allow you to make use of its functionality. A variety of WordPress plugins are available to you, including security, SEO, Page builder, speed enhancer, backup, forms, and anti-spam plugins. The following is a brief introduction to each of these WordPress plugins.

Security Plugins

Millions of websites are infected with malware each week, and an average site is infected more than forty times per day. This includes WordPress websites. A security breach can cause serious damage to your website and business. However, you can minimize this risk with a security plugin for your WordPress site.

The most popular plugins for securing WordPress sites are Sucuri and iThemes.  An industry leader in WordPress security, Sucuri offers a free basic security plugin that strengthens your WordPress security and scans your website for common threats. However, the real value is in the paid plans, which come with firewall protection for your website.

Previously known as Better WP security, the iThemes plugin is one of the best ways to protect your website. The plugin protects your website against hacks and unwanted intruders. The pro version of the plugin is highly recommended as it locks out bad users and provides strong password enforcement, two-factor authentication, and database backups.

SEO  

The purpose of installing the SEO plugins varies based on the user level. For newbies, it is a great way to boost the ranking of their website in Google search results. For advanced users, it is a way to automatically format Meta information on custom field variables. A good SEO plugin will meet the needs of both. An SEO plugin that fits that bill is Yoast.

The most popular and most recommended WordPress SEO plugin, Yoast, is a favorite of millions of users around the globe, including the most popular sites on the World Wide Web.

With the Yoast plugin, you get more visitors from Google and Bing. Additionally, you attract more visits from social media and increase the engagement of your readers.  We also recommend SEO Press.

Page Builder

You can create and customize great websites using a drag and drop WordPress page builder. Using the WordPress page builder plugin, you can create customized layouts for your website. When choosing a WordPress page builder plugin for your website, consider compatibility, features, responsiveness, and SEO.

A WordPress page builder plugin that will perform well for most sites is Elementor. A free and advanced WordPress plugin, Elementor has a quick drag and drop feature, which allows you to make instant page edits from your site’s front end. The plugin is mobile-friendly, allowing you to build web pages from any device.

Speed Enhancer

Speed is critical to the success of your WordPress site. Visitors will navigate away from your site if it takes too long to load.  The good news is there is a way around this, and that is using WordPress plugins designed to increase the load speed of your page (s). W3 Total Cache is the best plugin for this purpose.

The best plugin for optimizing your site’s web performance, W3 Total Cache, can improve the performance of your site by up to 10 times. Additionally, it can help to improve conversion rates and search engine rankings. To top it off, it can provide bandwidth savings of up to 80%.

Backup

Not installing a WordPress backup plugin could see one of your worst nightmares come true, which is your website—that you spent hours building—disappear in the blink of an eye. Therefore, the sensible thing to do would be to install a WordPress plugin on your site that allows you to easily backup and restore your site.

Choose a plugin that allows cloud backups, can handle your site, backups automatically, and supports migration. A popular backup and restore plugin from iThemes, Backup Buddy fits that bill perfectly.

By following these tips for customizing a WordPress website, you can ensure that your WordPress site is responsive, visually appealing, and optimized for achieving a higher rank in search engine results pages (SERPs).

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