Last Updated on March 4, 2023 by Awais Aftab
A new year indicates a new chance to discover WordPress suggestions and the finest practices to make your finest websites yet!
I know you’re going to take on some extraordinary work next year, so before you get too insane with new customers or preoccupied with projects, take the time to make your existing sites and workflow shine!
Here are seven WordPress ideas and best practices to think of in 2021:
1. Constantly make website updates in a test environment.
This first suggestion earned the primary spot on my list for a very essential reason: You ought to keep it in mind for whatever else we’re going to speak about.
When you make changes directly to your live site, you run the risk of something triggering your site to crash. And if your website is tied to your company, downtime is crucial to avoid at all times, as that could mean a loss in sales.
To remove this unneeded risk, you can utilize a test environment to update your WordPress site. For quick fixes, a staging website would work well. If you’re evaluating functionality or a brand new site style, I suggest a regional environment. If you haven’t dealt with a test environment previously, Regional is a free app that’ll assist you get started in no time. Download Local here!
A screenshot of Regional by Flywheel.
For the staying best practices, I motivate you to attempt them in a test environment before pressing to production!
2. Get to know the Gutenberg editor (WordPress 5.0).
WordPress 5.0 was launched at the end of 2018, which introduced the Gutenberg editor. Even if you’re preparing to utilize the Classic Editor Plugin for a while (which will be supported till December 31st, 2021), it deserves getting to know our new pal Gutenberg this year.
I recommend establishing a regional WordPress website running version 5.0, so you can securely try out the new editor without any risk to your genuine website.
If you’re a content developer, try producing a new post with Gutenberg so you can see how it feels to utilize blocks. You might likewise get a couple of originalities for formatting future posts!
If you’re a designer, you can import a copy of your live site into your local environment, and after that upgrade to WordPress 5.0 to do some troubleshooting. This will enable you to see how your site’s existing material responds to Gutenberg, so you can put a strategy in place to update the live website. Make your personal with aleph website
3. Update your themes and plugins.
This WordPress pointer is nothing brand-new, but it’s so important that it deserves including in any finest practice list! Now’s the best time to audit your styles and plugins to make certain they depend on date and running like they need to be.
While it may feel tiresome to go through all the sites you handle just to upgrade these things, it’s incredibly crucial for both site speed and security. Outdated variations might have vulnerabilities that put the site at risk, and picture just how much more time it’s going to require to fix a site with malware.
Benefit: Upgrading styles and plugins for your customers is a continuous service you can charge for, to earn recurring revenue. If you haven’t started this rate structure yet, I highly advise it! This guide to repeating earnings can help you start.
4. Ensure your sites are mobile-friendly.
This finest practice also isn’t brand-new, however it remains exceptionally crucial: Your website needs to be fully responsive and mobile-friendly.
If you’re using well-kept WordPress themes and plugins that are up to date (which, according to the last pointer, you must be!), there’s a good opportunity your site instantly carries out quite well on smaller sized screens. (Thanks, WordPress developers!).
If you’re running a customized website design, nevertheless, you may have to think a bit more deliberately about ensuring your site is mobile-friendly. And once again, if you identify any modifications you require to make, evaluate them in a local environment or staging website initially. Otherwise site visitors might come across a quite odd experience on your website while you’re in the middle of updates!
5. Add SSL certificates to every site.
There was a time where SSL certificates were just considered important for certain types of websites, like eCommerce stores or online bank websites that were dealing with sensitive customer information. Today, nevertheless, having an SSL certificate on your site is considered a best practice, even if you’re simply constructing a personal blog.
Google has even begun flagging websites without an SSL certificate as “not secure,” which is definitely not something you want showing up on your site.
If you do not have an SSL certificate set up, start with your hosting supplier. Numerous will in fact supply SSL certificates (a common advantage of managed WordPress hosts). Flywheel uses Easy SSL, a free certificate powered by Let’s Encrypt, for each site. This guide to SSL will help you find out more.
6. Find your favorite tools.
This pointer is all about assisting you have a more productive and effective year when it pertains to developing websites for customers. Among the very best methods to enhance your workflow is to streamline the variety of WordPress themes, plugins, add-ons, apps, extensions, and so on that you use.
Sure, there will constantly be brand-new obstacles to resolve and distinct site requirements, however do a little audit of all the tools you use. Does there exist any overlap? Can you streamline?
For instance, when it pertains to WordPress styles, do you have a single framework you always start from? Or maybe a theme business you trust? Or does every brand-new site style require a lot of research study time to identify a brand new service?
If you haven’t found your preferred tools yet, that’s okay. However, make 2021 the year you increase effectiveness by specifying your go-to alternatives, so investigating a custom-made option is the exception, not the rule. wordpress metabox
Conserve time with Flywheel’s Plan function.
Tip: If you host your sites on Flywheel or use Regional to develop sites, you can save a Plan with a theme and set of plugins to create future websites from. It’s a terrific method to speed up set-up time, once you have actually discovered your favorite tools!
7. Include your clients in the design and development process.
There’s almost nothing worse than making a ton of development on a task, just to discover the client isn’t delighted about a major part of it. This year, focus on client feedback routinely throughout the task, to make sure everyone is constantly on the same page!
When you’re onboarding a new customer, make the effort to be familiar with their service, what they like/dislike about other websites, and their goals for the year. Using a customer survey can assist standardize that procedure so you don’t forget anything in the first stage of a task!
Once the task is in motion, check in with your client throughout different phases, consisting of wireframes, mockups, advancement, etc. If you’re using Regional to build the website, you can even send clients a link to the website on your machine, giving them an opportunity to preview a working variation.
Read also: WordPress custom meta box image upload
What are the top 3 things that slow a WordPress site down?
As the most popular content management system on the internet, WordPress powers more than 40% of all websites. However, as with any technology, it’s not immune to slowing down due to various factors. Here are the top 3 things that can slow a WordPress site down:
Bloated or poorly-coded plugins: WordPress plugins can add significant functionality to your website but can also cause significant slowdowns if not optimized for performance. Poorly-coded plugins can add unnecessary bloat to your website, while others may execute resource-intensive tasks that can slow your site down.
Large images and unoptimized media: High-quality images and videos can enhance the visual appeal of your website, but they can also contribute to slow page load times. Large images, in particular, can cause significant performance issues. To speed up your WordPress site, ensure that all media files are optimized for web use and properly compressed.
Cheap or poorly-configured hosting: A fast and reliable web hosting service is crucial for a speedy WordPress site. However, cheap or poorly-configured hosting can significantly slow down your site. If you notice significant slowdowns, consider upgrading to a better hosting plan or switching to a more reliable web host.