- by Trish
If you feel your website is not really working for you and you’re tired of paying $400 monthly for a 3-page website, here’s what you can do.
Find a local (to YOU) web hosting company by either searching the internet for one (using the name of your town or city IN your search) or perhaps you know of one already. Most local web hosting companies now make hosting soooo inexpensive that you really do need your business website moved over to their control. Many are now realizing that you receive much better service from smaller companys.
Many of the smaller web hosts will move your site from your site’s present location AND they usually include your domain name registration as part of their yearly charge. At least, that’s what Hostupon.com does. So, how easy is that?
For this post, I will be sharing information on how to clean up a WordPress site that has been moved from one (very expensive host) to a new, local to YOU, web host.
The next step you will need to take is to change your WordPress login password.
Change Your WordPress Password
Now, you need to update your WordPress theme. My recommendation to you is to find a responsive WordPress theme that reflects your need. Example: if you are a veterinarian then you would search for, say, “responsive wordpress theme for veterinary” (without the quotation marks, of course). Search through several and make sure you are really satisfied with that ONE theme … then buy it!
Once you’ve acquired a zip file of your new theme, make sure you read through the creator’s notes. Some, issue zip files with like, say, ReadMe.txt files and more … along with yet another zip file inside which contains the actual theme. You will need to make sure to ONLY upload the theme file.
If you DO mistakenly try uploading a wrong file as the theme file, don’t worry … you won’t break anything, and after a lengthily attempt to upload your zipped file, WordPress will let you know something is wrong and that you need to make sure you have the correct file.
Never mind … I’ve made this mistake myself. It can be embarrassing but … thankfully … WordPress made it possible for such mistakes to NOT cause troubles.
Your new WordPress theme could cost you anywhere from, say $45 to $100. The reason it is recommended that we use a paid-for theme is that most times, paid-for themes are already optimized for quicker loading of your pages and posts, where the freebies might not be.
If you are familiar with coding, you could EASILY install a free theme, create a child-theme of that theme and tweak it so it will be better optimized. But for the sake of this post, I’m going to assume you do not know coding, be it CSS and/or HTML.
Now it’s time for you to decide what you want on your pages. You might find it appropriate to add more information in order to help inform your website visitors with EXACTLY what it is that you are offering them.
7 Important Pages Your Website Needs
- Home page: or loading page. This is where you need to inform your visitor within seconds as to what it is you are offering. Easy navigation is a must. WordPress offers this ability with a menu bar (or navigation bar, some call it) you can easily create inside your WordPress Dashboard under Appearance.
- About page: The less impersonal that you can be when operating a small business, the better chance you will have that your website visitor will contact you. Keep you information brief, and to the point. Using words only, you can let your personality easily shine through here. Be sure to include pertinent pictures of you (and anyone else involved in your business).
- Product(s) or Service(s) page: Describing your products and/or services in as much detail as possible will help your visitors determine whether you have what they need. Doing this right could help save YOU much time if and when your website visitors telephone your business simply to ask a question. Let this page bring your prospective customers to you and not just tire-kickers. So, if you already know that pricing will be an issue for most potential customers, seriously consider including this information too.
- Testimonials page: Great comments that you have received from your past and present customers are like GOLD, and they need to be treated as such. They deserve a web page of their own to sit on and can help add credibility to your product and/or service.
- Contact page: This can be handled by simply adding a Contact Form 7 plugin to your WordPress site.
How to Install and Setup Contact Form 7 in WordPress
This form makes it EASY to use for those who wish to contact you … and simple enough for you to install.
If you need your customers to come to your place of business, you might also seriously consider adding a Google map of your location to your contact page. Be sure to setup a Google My Business account in order to be able to do this.
Also consider including your full postal address, along with your telephone number on this page.
If you are selling products online, it is also advisable to include a disclaimer. You can also search for examples that you can tweak for your own use. Just be sure the provider of these pages have clearly stated that you can use by tweaking (adjusting, altering, etc.) for your own use.
- Blog: This is where you could offer posts, say, once every two to three months. Depending on how busy your business is, you might even want to outsource this portion. Blogs are becoming more and more necessary in order to rank high in search engines for your keywords. The more competition for your particular business, the more often you should post articles. Your articles MUST offer quality content AND must NEVER EVER be duplicated from other’s websites.
If you have a lot of Frequently Asked Questions that you could easily add to your website … well, add another web page with this title. You can easily shorten it to F&Q so that it will fit on your navigation or menu bar. If you do NOT have a list, start one so you can publish this type of page in the not-to-far-future. You will be glad you did!
5 Must-Have Plugins
When searching for a plugin to use, ALWAYS look to use plugins that have been recently updated, and those with the most users offering high-praise (4-5 stars), is advisable.
- Contact Form 7 plugin already mentioned above.
- Choose an anti-spam plugin that doesn’t require any action on the part of your potential commenter is advisable. This will slow down (if not stop) spam bots who auto-comment garbled comments to a massive number of unprotected blogs across the internet, in hopes many will stay unnoticed. Don’t let your blog be one of those.
- Install a security plugin. My favourite is Wordfence Security. This will offer your WordPress website the protection from most potential hackers … and believe me when I say, you NEED a security plugin!
- Choose a cache plugin. This will help improve your web pages and posts to load faster. The faster your pages load the better chance your site has to rank higher in search engine results.
- Using a broken link checker can save you a lot of agony trying to keep up with links that get broken, internal as well as external links. This type of plugin has saved me so many times, especially when I have deleted an outdated post that I had linked to from another post within my website. Websites with unattended broken links will suffer in ranking, so be diligent and install one on your blog.
There are way more plugins than this, and they will EACH depend upon YOUR needs. These are only my opinion as every websites must-haves.
Now, Let’s Optimize Your Images
A great way to make sure that your images do NOT slow down the loading of your web pages is to compress them. The best way I have found to do this is offered as a FREE online tool called Tinyjpg.
Always use images that you have the RIGHT to use. NEVER user other’s images or you WILL have to pay thousands of dollars. Here’s a post I direct all my new clients to read: https://www.eparrs.com/blog/when-free-isnt-free-at-all/ in hope of saving them thousands of dollars in potential lawsuits.
Pages verses Posts In WordPress: What’s The Difference?
How to Create a Blog Post in WordPress
How to Setup Pages, Menus, and Widgets in WordPress
Now all you need to do is add YOUR information to all of your pages, along with photographs, and your site is up-to-date and inexpensive!
Be sure to respond promptly to all email warnings and notices that your plugins send you in email regarding any website issues. In this way, you’ll be able to keep your website up to date and insure your site’s higher ranking.
Should you find this too much to handle when you are so busy running your business, consider outsourcing your website design and monthly maintenance … OR … only outsource your website’s monthly maintenance. You can do this simply by hiring a local freelance website designer where you find that you can STILL save, save, save.
I do hope that you will feel free to contact me with your website needs.
Please, do share this post if you have found it helpful.
Credit for Header: image by © Pkripper503 | Dreamstime.com – Losing Money Photo