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With Christmas round the corner, we’ve compiled a list of our top 12 WordPress tips to improve your Google rankings and attract more customers in 2018.

1. Optimise all images

Images can increase the size of your website, leading to slower loading times. Compressing images could make them smaller by 30% – 80% without any noticeable difference to your visitors.

Using the right image format can also significantly reduce the file size and increase your site’s speed, something which Google places a huge emphasis on when it comes to where your website ranks.

2. Make the switch from HTTP to HTTPS

As part of Google’s long-term plan to make the internet safer, they have started to mark all HTTP sites as non-secure. They have revealed that the warning will become more prominent as time goes on to let users know that data is being exchanged on an unencrypted connection.

As a result, all website owners should aim to acquire the necessary SSL/TLS certificates and setup HTTPS on their web servers.

3. Implement website caching

Caching enhances the performance of your website without forfeiting anything in the process. When it’s used correctly, it can significantly increase the page loading times, decrease the load on your server, and provide a better user experience to your visitors.

Caching remains a bit of an enigma for many WordPress users and isn’t often utilised, even though it’s one of the most beneficial technologies available. You should understand why cashing it’s so important and consider implementing it in 2018.

4. Spam comment cleansing

As a WordPress owner, it’s likely you’ve received annoying spam comments at least once. Most of the spam comments come from automated spam bots and if you don’t moderate them you’ll find it can reduce your SEO score and significantly slow down your site.

If you’ve got a backlog of unapproved comments you should take the time in 2018 to clear them off your database. By leaving them untouched, it will weigh your database down, making your website sluggish.

5. Disable unnecessary plugins

Any plugins and themes that you’re not using should be removed from your site. Not only do they slow down your site, affecting its performance, but the fewer plugins you have, the fewer chances you’re giving hackers to access your information.

Find the time in 2018 to review your plugins. If your site can function without a particular one, you should delete it from the database. 

6. Optimise for local SEO

Millions of customers use search engines every day to find the best local businesses and services in their area. If you’re primarily targeting a local audience, you can help increase your chances of being found by utilising local SEO tactics.

Here’s some further tips on how to improve your chances of ranking highly within local search for 2018.

7. Invest in an offsite backup solution

Having both an onsite and an offsite backup solution in place is sensible to help protect your business and ensure the survivability of your data and your business reputation. When done right, a WordPress offsite backup can effectively restore your entire website straight back to its previous condition leaving your business and reputation intact.

8. Fix broken links

Broken links are bound to collect over time but leaving them unattended can drain on bandwidth due to forcing it to run pointless requests.

As well as slowing down your website, they don’t create a good impression to potential customers. Hence, you should make it a habit in 2018 to periodically check your site and fix broken links.

9. Be mindful of the signs you’ve been hacked

The consequences of a hacked website can be huge, with impacts on your reputation and finances. You might think only happens to other people, but the truth is anybody with a website can become a target and it’s not always obvious if you have become one.

For 2018, it’s important to learn the signs that your site has been hacked now to avoid presenting malicious content to your visitors without even realizing it. Take a look at these common signals that indicate your WordPress site has been hacked.

10. Regularly update your core, theme and plugins

When you own a website there’s a lot to monitor and maintain in terms of updates. Although this process can be time consuming, updates to the latest core, theme and plugins will improve performance and speed, usability and management, and compatibility, and security.

Failing to make the updates will leave your site vulnerable to potential attacks, which is why you need to make a plan for 2018 to undertake regular maintenance of your site.

11. Test the performance of your website

Whether it’s down to a bad hosting provider, poor code or too many unoptimised images, there are many reasons why your WordPress website is running slowly. As faster websites result in a better user experience, it’s worth the time and effort to investigate how to speed up your WordPress site if it’s become sluggish. You can check the current speed of your website here.

12. Consider outsourcing your website maintenance

All websites require regular maintenance to give you the performance, leads and sales you want. This can take up valuable time to keep on top of and can easily be overlooked in favour for client prospecting, strategising and other high-level tasks that will add to your bottom line. However, it’s not an area you can afford to ignore so you should consider outsourcing this side of your business in 2018 to maximise the security, user experience and performance of your website.

At WP Tech Support, we can handle all aspects of your website’s maintenance and security for complete peace of mind. Our great value monthly plans range from just £35 per month – a small price to pay to ensure your website stays up to date and secure. In fact, we’re so sure that you’ll love it that we will refund you if you’re not 100% happy!

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