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6 simple things every WordPress website needs to succeed

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WordPress is one of the world’s most popular website platforms. It was estimated that, in 2019, WordPress powered 34% of the internet. If you have chosen to create your website using WordPress, then you are off to a great start! However, have you considered that using WordPress is just one step on the path to a successful website? Here are some other steps to achieving greatness with your WordPress website.

1. Responsive theme

Unless you plan on using the WordPress default theme or building a bespoke theme, then you need to find a pre-built theme to run your website on. WordPress themes are collections of templates and stylesheets that alter how the frontend and admin area of your WordPress website look. A quality theme will always be responsive by catering for mobile, tablet and desktop users.

Our favourite pre-built WordPress theme is Uncode. Uncode is designed to be user friendly, and highly flexible, not to mention its impressive performance. We’ve used it on lots of websites recently, and its remarkable depth of features helps us meet and exceed our clients’ expectations. It’s also great for beginners, as the visual editor allows admins to see their updates in real-time.

2. Security plugin

With over 75 million websites around the world using WordPress, it’s no wonder they are a popular target for hackers. It would be much less efficient for them to find individual WordPress websites to target. Instead, they find security vulnerabilities in the source code and use them to attack lots of different sites at the same time. A good security plugin should detect failed login attempts and blacklist repeat offenders to protect your website from bots.

Our absolute favourite freemium WordPress security plugin, iThemes Security (formerly known as WP Better Security) is a great way of protecting against some of the common vulnerabilities targeted by hackers. With brute force protection, file change alerts and strong password enforcement, we recommend this quality plugin to all our clients.

3. SEO optimisation

Search Engine Optimisation is essential for you to appear higher in Google rankings. Despite it being possible for someone to pay for an ad and appear above you, your website should always be optimised for search engines so it can reach its full potential. WordPress has a range of SEO plugins available. A good SEO plugin should optimise your meta titles and descriptions, as well as generate a sitemap for search engines to reference.

Our favourite, along with many other design agencies, is Yoast SEO. This freemium plugin has great features, such as keyword optimisation, readability checks and internal link suggestions. All these features help Google understand what your page is about and where to put it in the search rankings. Ultimately, it helps your WordPress website get more relevant customers.

4. Analytics script

Tracking user behaviour is a powerful tool to help you understand exactly how your website is performing. Analytics scripts can track anything from what pages your users have clicked on to how far down the page they have scrolled. This data is invaluable and you should analyse it frequently to get an in depth understanding of where you can improve your users’ experience.

Our favourite analytics scripts are Google Analytics and Hotjar. Google Analytics is used by the majority of websites because of its comprehensive range of reports. It tracks various statistics about your users, such as their location, how long they spent on each page, where they discovered your website, what device they viewed the website on and whether they have visited your website previously. Hotjar tracks similar statistics, but can also create a recording of where the user clicks on your website, to give you even more vital information about your website’s usability. Please remember to include an appropriate Privacy Policy that complies with all your local data protection laws.

5. Live chat support

Live chat software is an increasingly popular way to increase sales, solve customer problems and cut costs. You can add a live chat popup to the bottom of your website so, when a customer has a problem, they can open the popup and begin talking to one of your live chat agents. Your agent can then try their best to suggest a product they may wish to purchase, or what to do if they would like a refund, for example.

Our number one live chat plugin is LiveChat Inc. This premium plugin is great for all businesses, with personalised plans to suit your needs. Its comprehensive range of features includes default responses to save time, personalised greetings for your customers and theme customisation to fit your site. Many businesses have reported large increases in sales since adding the Live Chat plugin to their site.

6. (Optional) eCommerce plugin

If your business is planning to sell products online, then an eCommerce plugin is vital. It’s estimated that by 2023, 27.9% of all retail spend will be via eCommerce. You need to be prepared for change and understand how consumers will behave in the near future. By adopting an eCommerce store, your business can stay one step ahead.

Our favourite eCommerce plugin is WooCommerce. It has a range of useful features that every modern eCommerce store needs. Its features include PayPal and Sage Pay integration, coupons and vouchers, stock control and product add-ons. With WooCommerce, you will be able to manage your store with ease.