WordPress Maintenance Resources – December 31, 2014


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Why “Maintenance Monday”? These are both unexciting words on their own, but they are also very necessary parts of life. If you see them as “negative” words, just remember that two negatives makes a positive. Or something like that.

Here are the highlights from this month’s collection of WordPress maintenance tips and resources. This is not exhaustive by any means; in fact, I prefer to keep it short so you don’t get exhausted!

If you have any questions or need help integrating any of these resources, please contact me.

Security

WordPress Maintenance Resources to help keep your website secure

Akismet caught 12,204,897,000 spam messages in November. Now there’s a valuable plugin!

The Top WordPress Backup Plugins in 2014 – I’m sticking with BackupBuddy for my websites and clients, but there are some great options available. So there’s really no excuse to NOT have a backup of your website.

Do you hate website forms that use the reCaptcha utility to make sure you are not a spammer or a robot? If so, you’ve likely had trouble deciphering the distorted pairs of unusual words. Many users report that they will leave a form that has the old reCaptcha on it unless they absolutely have to submit the form.

Google has recognized this problem as well (and that robots have become too smart for this technology) and has recently updated reCaptcha with a “No CAPTCHA reCAPTCHA.” As a user, all you will need to do is check a box. Nice. I will be looking to update all the WordPress websites I maintain with this new option. Here’s a new WordPress plugin.

Performance

WordPress Maintenance Resources to help keep your website optimized

10 WordPress Lazy Load Plugins To Make Your Site Faster – Faster website pages means more visitors will stay on your website, and the search engines will improve your ranking. Lazy loading technology means that images and videos only load when they actually show up in the visitor’s browser window. That means your website will load much faster. I will be experimenting with these soon. Does anyone have any favourites?

WordPress On-Page SEO: How to Do it Perfectly – If you have Yoast’s SEO plugin installed, you may already be following these tips. But this is a very nice, quick overview to help optimize each page.

Part of optimizing the performance of your WordPress website involves creating content that visitors can read. While this is somewhat subjective (what one reader finds easy to read, another finds difficult), there is always room for improvement. The Non-Writer’s Guide to Writing for the Web provides some great tips for writers of all skill levels. I’m especially interested in the readability scores. Writing for a grade 10 reading level seems like a good idea to me – unless you are writing for scholars, of course.

Education

WordPress Maintenance Resources to help you manage your website

WordPress Comment Moderation: A Guide For Beginners – Typically when I set up a new WordPress installation, I set comments to be moderated. I occasionally wonder if it’s the best option, but I have seen enough comment spam to make me want to stop as much as possible. This article does a great job of outlining the pros and cons, includes some moderation settings suggestions, and a few plugins.

And speaking of Comments, if you are ready to go beyond basic moderation, here’s another article that features WordPress Plugins to Increase Audience Interaction and Engagement.

Here are some free WordPress tutorials (expired link) for new users – a nice reference as you get familiar with managing your WordPress website.

If you find any of these resources useful in your small business, please leave a comment.

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