Thank you for checking out our Top 5 list on how to setup my WordPress site. Our goal is to help educate folks that are maybe new to creating a WordPress website and some testing tips.
# 5 – Hosting
If you are thinking of creating a website for either personal or business use, your domain name and hosting company matter. There are 100’s of different domain name registers and web hosting companies. Stick to the top names as support system matters. We recommend Bluehost, SiteGround, or GoDaddy.
If at all possible, register your domain name with the same hosting company. It makes things easier for you and the hosting company to resolve support issues.
Many of the top hosting companies now offer specific WordPress hosting configurations, choose these options for the least amount of technical trouble. The hosting company offers these configurations after numerous customer experiences and testing.
If you are still looking for some guidance on building a website, we recommend leveraging the gig economy at Fiverr for a freelancer that specializes in website building.
# 4 – Staging
If staging is a new term to you, it really means getting your application or website prepped for production use. Staging environments typically mirror production environments setups but have limited access and for developer and testing use.
So let’s say you have a domain name and web hosting company setup. You even have a theme and content picked out. Therefore, you will want to be sure everything looks visually pleasing and too your liking before you push it out to the world. There are a few ways we recommend you do this. It really depends on how big of an audience you currently have and the ramifications of a failure.
- Leverage the block editor and default preview feature in WordPress.
- Leverage the Save draft vs Publish feature if you need to still edit or proof-read.
- If available from hosting company, purchase or use a staging environment.
# 3 – Themes
Themes are at the core of the visual representation of your website. WordPress uses themes to create a unified visual appearance of how your site looks and the navigation. Themes are a required use in WordPress and there are 1000’s to pick from. Some are free and some are paid.
There are 4 main things you need to think of when picking a theme for WordPress.
- WordPress and PHP version support with your web hosting company.
- SEO (Search Engine Optimization) driven to help you rank higher in search engines.
- Top of the speed test rankings (MOBILE AND DESKTOP) for WordPress for your consumers time.
- Integration for eCommerce or other marketing tools your site needs to generate income.
Each of the above items can be tricky to navigate, be sure to check out Fiverr to hire a specialist that can get you on the right path if needed.
# 2 – Updates
Overtime your WordPress system will have updates that need to be installed. Many of these updates are security or bug fix related. It is advised to either turn on auto-update or check for updates on a daily or weekly basis. Most updates take less than a minute.
If you are using plug-ins like most people are, you will want to run a quick smoke test of your site after the update. Head out to your main production site and load a few pages.
If you see some performance issues, you will need to spend some time trying to diagnose. This diagnoses can be difficult and take a while. If an issue is found, you can try to restore a backup from your web hosting portal (if your web hosting provider offers) to fix this short-term.
For a long-term fix…you can try fixing yourself by trying to change different settings, themes, or plug-ins, contacting your web hosting support or theme/plug-in developer, or if that all fails…hire a freelancer at Fiverr.
#1 – Speed Test
Speed matters! It definitely does in regards to websites.
Out of most of the testing you will be doing on your website, running a speed test on your page load on mobile and desktop devices will be a frequent thing. Let me explain why.
Many search engine companies realize that a majority of website visits are now on mobile devices vs traditional desktop. Search engine companies will actually score your website higher if the speed test is great or good. They are even checking for usability as the clickable areas on a screen are much smaller than a desktop.
If your website takes more than 3-4 seconds to load up, your chances of losing revenue is higher. Consumers are now living in an on demand world and something that takes too long will flip the human brain into doing something else. If your website takes longer, look at removing some images, streamlining code, or breaking your main page up into smaller chunks of information.
Companies offering speed tests
There are free and paid companies offering loading times of websites. We recommend these 2 to begin with.
If your site is still experiencing performance troubles, you can look into some performance plug-ins for WordPress. Be advised though that some of these settings could really change the visual or flow of your site. Look at using a plug-in that uses Website Caching and maybe even streamlining CSS and JS.
Experience Matters and Learning Opportunities
Now that you have gone over top 5 list for how to test my WordPress site, please be sure to leverage the gig economy to help get your site setup and humming. We recommend leveraging Fiverr as you can get freelancer help in many specific areas from people that know exactly how to fix and quick.
Maybe you do not want to hire a freelance yet, if you are looking to educate yourself more in any of the above WordPress or Web Design areas, Fiverr offers reasonably priced packaged courses.