6 Do’s and 6 Don’ts For Your Successful WordPress Website

If you’re like me, you may panic when you hear the word plan, whether a marketing plan or a business plan. I used to panic because I thought a plan was set in stone (like a commandment).
However, a plan is just a roadmap and sometimes when following a roadmap I can still get a little lost (and yes, I can read a map). Road maps or plans are allowed to be revised. I know it's such a shock - or maybe not to you.

As your business changes, this must be reflected on your website else you’re simply wasting your time and your web visitors time too.

The "Do" List

1. Do work out your business reason for having a website. Once you have, design your website around that. This does not mean that if you want people to sign up for a newsletter as a lead generator that you bombard them with a popup window a nanosecond after they've arrived on your website. It means that you’re strategic with leading your web visitors where you want them to go.

2. Do create content that tells your website visitors about the benefits your business offers WIIFM (What's In It For Me). If you find this hard, keep asking so what? For example, website care plans keep a WordPress website updated. So what? It makes it more efficient. So what? Customers are more likely to buy from a website that is quick and secure.

3. Do ensure your website is in your marketing plan. Social media can lead people to your website, away from social media platforms. Why? Social media platforms change so frequently that something that worked last week may not work this week. Once you have permission to contact them you are not relying on a social media platform.

4.  Do invest in some branding, whether it's a course or a branding expert. You may be surprised by what they discover about your business. When working with a branding expert they said to me “Oh, you’re an advocate for your clients.” They were correct. A branding exercise will highlight your values. Once you’re clear on your values will be easier to create content.

5.  Do plan long term for your website since it's a reflection of your business plan. You may have your website in your business plan as a resource. Remember that your website may need to be updated with your service, products or team members as applicable.

If you decide to rebrand that should be reflected in your website too. It can be very confusing if you go to a website expecting one brand and end up with something completely different. It’s enough to cause people to leave your website, and not come back.

6. Do think about a budget for your website. This includes the initial set-up and ongoing costs. I’m not asking about what you think you should pay, I’m asking what you can afford. If you think it’s going to be cheaper if you do it yourself, or get a friend or rellie to do it, I dispute that. Unpaid friends and rellies are fitting it around their work or they may not have much experience. If you pay someone to do it then you can ask for results. Note: If you pay for a website be sure to get a proposal or contract so you know what you’re paying for.

The "Don’t" List

1. Don’t try to do it all yourself unless you really, really want to. Find forums and groups to ask for help, and ask open-ended questions because you don’t know what you don’t know. If you decide to hire a designer, ask around for recommendations. Note: if you ask for web designers in a FaceBook group you’ll be flooded with replies. Make sure you’re specific that you want recommendations, not offers and explain what service you want.

2. Don’t assume it’s a “build it and they will come” website. They won’t. For all the overnight successes you hear about they are:

  • Rarely an overnight success
  • They have something cute or extremely relevant and someone famous gets behind it

This is part of the ”do have a marketing plan”. I’m writing this as someone who didn’t have a marketing plan or any kind of plan since my old business relied on referrals. Referrals are great but you can’t control them.

3. Don’t think a WordPress website is set and forget. There are technical updates to be done. In some cases, this can be a simple matter of performing a backup (always perform a backup before making changes, and backup EVERYTHING), and then pressing a few buttons.

4.  Don’t assume you can keep the same content forever. If you want people to return to your website you need to add some content regularly. It’s not quite the Little Shop of Horrors with the plant yelling Feed Me Seymour although it can feel that way.

One piece of content can be repurposed into other content. Blog posts can be split into quotes, turned into short videos, or audio created from them. Videos can be transcribed into blog posts, and also cut into smaller clips for socials. There are many ways to repurpose one piece of content.

5.  Don’t assume that your website is good simply because it’s been created by a designer. See our article Top 5 things we find missing from a website.  I wrote an article about it because some websites are missing items from the start, while others are slow initially, some become slow over time. If you add images to your website, please make sure that they are a reasonable size and are optimised.

6. Don’t forget that websites have to change with the times. I’m still finding websites that I can’t read if I access them from my phone, which is 2 years old. Some websites are still not responsive at all on mobile devices.
Websites have to be designed to be accessible on desktop computers, tablets and smartphones. They also have to work on modern browsers and across different makes of devices. Those devices themselves can change and so create the need for change on a website.
The loading time of a website has become increasingly important. New image formats are appearing such as webp, which are smaller than jpg and png images. This means the delivery of a website is faster.

If you have any questions about the above, feel free to join our free KISS Facebook community group where you can ask WordPress website questions:



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