WordPress has become a crucial tool for modern website creation. Plenty of businesses big and small use WordPress to design and optimize their websites. However, optimizing these websites is a monumental task that requires SEO and web design expertise. It’s a task best suited for experts in the field, which is why so many website owners enlist the help of web development companies to optimize their WordPress sites.
There are countless factors that determine the rankings of your WordPress website, and they all have to be optimized properly. If you’re wondering how web development experts do this, we’ve compiled a detailed list below.
What makes WordPress so special?
As one of the most-important content management systems of our time, WordPress gets a lot of buzz in web development circles. It provides a simple and effective framework for website design. It makes it easy to edit and optimize pages while giving you centralized control over your website’s content. It’s also free for both personal and commercial purposes, making it easily accessible for most users. The open-source element is just icing on the cake.
It should be no surprise then that over 70 million sites were created or managed by WordPress. Many WordPress users don’t have particular web design experience, as it’s not a requirement. The program’s UI is incredibly intuitive and includes thousands of pre-made themes that users can implement. However, this accessibility has its downsides. Plenty of websites are created by laymen and small business owners that have little experience in website building. Even those that know their way around a website might not know enough about SEO to apply its best practices.
One of the reasons WordPress has become so ubiquitous is its affinity for good SEO when used correctly. The problem is that there are too many variables to take into consideration when optimizing your website. It’s unlikely that anyone but an expert in both SEO and WordPress will be able to maximize a site’s rankings. This is where web development companies come in. They can contribute to your SEO significantly by shaping your content and making navigation a smooth experience. There are multiple ways to achieve this.
Limiting dynamic elements
For all its simplicity, WordPress can actually create some attractive and complicated websites. Other than the basic themes, you can introduce plenty of dynamic elements to a website. Everything from sliders to social icons is an option, and you can even choose high page sizes to fit all the information snuggly. However, this may not benefit the website’s load speed or server stability.
Think about those extra shiny elements and how much load they’ll put on the server. This is especially problematic if you use them on just about every page. You might have an attractive website, but it won’t function as well as you’d like. Users may encounter bugs and crashes if the website is filled to the brim with elements.
Creating a good balance is crucial for website design. A web development company will be able to gauge the limits of your server and design accordingly. They’ll know how many elements can be used on a page without slowing it down significantly. For particularly feature-rich websites, experienced developers can implement a more efficient framework. Bootstrap and Foundation can handle a heavier load of website elements while not buckling under pressure. With the right combination of framework and element balance, you can create an attractive website that will also function properly.
Reducing image sizes
Speaking of elements that can slow a website down, images and videos are at the forefront of this problem. They’re some of the heaviest items you can have on a page, and optimizing them isn’t easy if you don’t know what you’re doing.
Limiting image sizes depends on the type of image. Full-screen image backgrounds should be limited to two thousand pixels in width. If you have a large photo that is intended to cover quite a bit of the page, you shouldn’t choose one that’s over 1MB. For displaying smaller images, you should limit it to a lower number. The general consensus is that keeping an image to a 300KB maximum will help you avoid page load delays.
There are a few different ways to reduce image sizes for your website pages. Compression helps keep the image at a respectable quality while limiting the size significantly. Some developers make the switch to PNG files to help optimize pages. The process depends on the other aspects of your website and how they will interact with an image. This is why it helps to have an expert hand guiding you through optimization.
Using caching plugins
Adding caching rules to your website elements is another common problem for WordPress site builders, and it can upset the balance of your pages. The good news is that expert web developers have a wide variety of tools that they can use to optimize these pages with caching in mind.
This is accomplished with the help of advanced caching mechanisms which are available in numerous WordPress plugins. Some of the most notable examples include W3 Total Cache and Varnish. They can simplify caching considerably with their caching mechanisms. In turn, this helps improve your website loading speeds significantly.
Improving meta data
Meta data is a key element of your website’s SEO. It tells search engine crawlers what a particular page is about and how it relates to the content. The relevancy of your pages depends on how well the meta data is constructed. After scouring the title, search engine crawlers check the meta title and meta description to determine the relevancy of the website. Plus, users can see meta data in a snippet when it appears on the search engine results page.
It’s important to incorporate keywords in meta data without overdoing it. Main keywords should be featured in the meta title and description at least once. However, choosing the correct keyword and its placement can be challenging in some cases.
Experienced web developers can optimize your web pages for certain keywords. This necessitates creating good meta data that will rank higher on SERPs. Good meta data should summarize the topic of your content while also drawing the attention of search engine crawlers. If you want the best possible results, you might have to consult a website development company.
Testing page load times
There are numerous ways you can improve page load speed, but you shouldn’t take them at face value. Before you make any changes, it’s crucial that you test page load times. This allows you to analyze the effects of particular elements before you alter them. You can cross-reference these effects and decide which ones you want to keep and which ones you want to remove or alter.
It’s key to remember that not every page should have the same exact load speed. This metric depends on the type of page and what kind of content it features. The size of the page is one of the primary factors to consider. Whether the page uses static or dynamic content can also influence page load speed. The state of the cache is also a factor.
Across the web, you’ll see plenty of tools used to analyze page speed. These include WebPageTest and PageSpeed Insights. Alongside these tools, a website owner should enlist the help of a web design agency to assist with the analysis. They can break down the results and optimize your website’s design and SEO rankings.
Choosing search engine friendly themes
WordPress is famous for its themes, but you should keep in mind that they aren’t all created equal. Some are better for particular purposes, while others can be useful in specific situations. Take SEO for example. Certain themes aren’t perfectly suited for optimizing your website’s rankings, while others make optimization a breeze.
The effectiveness of a theme depends on how much code it involves and how responsive it is. The more code that is needed for a theme, the less content and keyword density you’ll have. This affects how search engine crawlers view your website.
Response and speed are also factors you have to consider. A fast-performing theme will provide a better user experience and increase the website’s rankings, as crawlers value page speed quite a bit. Using a responsive theme eases the workload for the server while providing you with the same quality of layout and site experience. Consult web developers to understand which theme would best suit your website.
There’s no shortage of ways that a web development company can help your website thrive. WordPress is a simple tool for website building, but it doesn’t do the brunt of the work when it comes to optimization. For this task, you require solid SEO knowledge and a knack for clever website design. In most cases, the most-efficient move is to hire outside assistance that specializes in the optimization of WordPress sites. By finding a web development company to handle optimization, you can divert more resources to other parts of your digital marketing strategy.