This article is for WordPress newbies who are overwhelmed stepping into the WP universe. I hope that it gives you a bit of guidance and assurance.
WordPress is one of the most powerful and easiest to use web site publication tools out there. It’s fast, easy to learn and very rewarding. However, due to its popularity, it’s also heavily targeted and exploited by hackers and bots. If you are a “newbie” in site ownership, then here is a list of tools you should get to optimize your web site performance. Although there are numerous applications for just about anything you need, these are the best WordPress apps, in my opinion and experience. Keep in mind that if you need help with WordPress or WordPress SEO, reach out and let’s see how I can assist you. Oh, and feel free to visit my WordPress portfolio here!
WORDPRESS TIP: When evaluating what plugin application to install, go with the one that has a high download number and high satisfaction rating. You want to get WordPress plugins that are very popular, and very well rated. This typically means they will stick around for awhile and be kept up to date!
Two applications you can’t go wrong with are Sucuri and Wordfence. You must have a good security app running, and take some time to properly configure it so that you can learn how it works with your web site. These are your best line of defense, necessary because your site will get poked quite a bit. There are some differences between these two plugins, but in general they are easy to configure and they are extremely powerful security apps.
I personally recommend using your web site’s control panel (cPanel) backup. This way you not only backup the entire site, but also your site’s emails, non web site related files and everything else.
Yoast SEO is a very popular SEO plugin, but I think that SEOPress does a much better job for both general SEO as well as Local SEO configuration. Yoast offers a ton and is widely endorsed by the web developer community, but it has had a few hiccups in the past when they released updates that caused site issues. SEOPress is a smaller company, but one that has a fantastic interface and does a great job in hand-holding during the setup process.
There are numerous powerful editors out there, though perhaps the best ones I personally like are Elementor for WP and Divi for WP. Both of these editors are very powerful, light in the output files they generate, and have a huge online community if you need to poke around for a solution.
Although not as important, caching does play a critical part in keeping the workload off the server’s CPU. Caching is the process of creating assembled web page files that are strictly code and graphics. Non-cached web sites use page code, design code, graphics, and database. Constantly pulling info out of the database is server intensive, while cached files are already built out. Think of it as already assembled burgers, ready to be grabbed, vs. custom burgers that will take a little extra time to be assembled. WP Super Cache and WP Fastest Cache have been my go-to tools and you can learn more about them here.
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Setting up the above plugins should make site ownership and maintenance a breeze. I am a Boston and Cambridge SEO & Designer guru, so contact me if you need assistance in web design, SEO or WordPress maintenance in general. Good luck and have fun!