10 Oct WordPress Best Practices
There are a number of things that can significantly improve your WordPress site. This list is only part 1, but these best practices should be followed in almost every single scenario (I have yet to encounter a site that shouldn’t follow these rules). These WordPress best practices will help your SEO, site speed, and overall tidiness of your backend.
- Update all plugins – all the time. Big name plugins (ones that have a lot of downloads) are in constant development cycles to work with newer versions of WordPress and be more fast and secure. Updating the plugins will help ensure you’re not at risk, and will probably include UI enhancements. If you’ve edited plugin files (which you shouldn’t do), you may want to create a copy site and update the plugins before doing it on the live site.
- Pretty permalinks – the default permalinks (links to posts, pages, etc.) is to attach what’s called (in PHP) a get request to your URL (ie http://keganquimby.com/?p=1991). This looks ugly and doesn’t tell Google, or other search engines, the content of the page, post, etc. To change your permalinks go to Settings > Permalinks (more on this in a later post)
- Rename all media – pictures and all media often come without smart names. For example, a picture of a cat may come saved as 1234_js0nc.jpg. Renaming the picture to cat.jpg before uploading can significantly increase your SEO, and makes it easy to tell what the picture actually is.
- Mark comments appropriately – a huge problem for most sites is spam comments. I recommend installing a plugin called Akismet (it usually comes by default with WordPress) to help eliminate spam. But, you will ocassionaly get spam comments, especially on more blog oriented sites. Marking these as such is important for telling Akismet that it’s spam, as well as clearing it from your DB (after the 2 week waiting period).
- Get rid of error logs – there are a number of plugins that will create a database record for errors. This can add up really quickly, and cause massive amounts of storage to be wasted. I’ve seen this happen on numerous occasions, and it causes sites to slow to dial-up speeds. Usually the plugin will have some kind of “delete all records” link. Unless you’re doing something with them, I would recommend deleting them at least every month.
That’s all for now. More WordPress best practices to come!