May Second two thousand sixteen

The Seven Series: Seven Things You Should Actually Update in WordPress

The Seven Series is our weekly list of seven CMYK tips covering digital, design, small business, and general life survival skills. 

When we create a digital platform for our clients, we always think about building it in a way to (1) empower the clients and give them full access over their own content (it is your site after all) and (2) optimize workflow so that you don’t need to update multiple things multiple times. This is something we know our clients are incredibly grateful for and appreciate. When you first get your CMY site – all shiny and new – you most likely keep it fresh with updates. However, as time goes by, if you don’t create a proper plan and invest the time for updates, no matter how slick your site once was, you may no longer feel it reflects you. This is why we strongly urge clients to use the tools we give them.

In creating your content management and update plan, these our recommended Seven Things You Should Actually Update in WordPress:

1. Content, content, content
Your site should be a destination. In order to ensure people regularly visit, make sure your content changes. This might be updating images, products, case studies or copy. Another great way to keep content fresh with minimal effort? Integrate your social feeds into your site from the get-go (like what we did here). That way when you update Instagram or Facebook, your site content updates as well.

2. Passwords
We recommend changing your password regularly. We know, we know. We all have way too many passwords to remember. But by changing up your log-in password to your CMS, you add an extra level of safety against potential hacks or breaches. We especially stress this if you have your email listed on your site as bots are known to troll through, mining for hackable data.

3. Comments
Comment sections can be great, especially if you have an engaged audience. But comment sections can become junk pile very quickly. Clean you comment sections regularly, deleting negative posts and spam. Another option – which is our standard recommendation – turn off the ability to have comments completely. Except in very special cases, it is not worth the hassle.

4. Images
Shoot a new product? Expand your services or locations? Add an employee? These are all great reasons to update your images. But even if you don’t have a milestone to publicize, we encourage you to add new images to your site to keep it looking and feeling current. Of course, make sure you follow the digital style guide so that images are sized properly. This ensures your site’s design is being used to maximum effect.

5. WordPress plug-ins and themes
Depending on your needs, there may be various Wordpress plug-ins into your site. WordPress is an open-source ecosystem, meaning all of the products and plug-ins are constantly evolving to get better and more efficient. Updating your plug-ins may help improve your platform. But a note of caution: updates may impact other aspects (like the layout) of your site. Update only when you are absolutely sure it is necessary and when in doubt, check with us (or the person who built your site). We can let you know the best course of action.

6. Just another WordPress theme
If you are using a WordPress template, make sure you remove the “Just another WordPress template” tagline. This will show up in Google searches and on your site. People often forget it’s there – until it pops up in a search. Swap it out under General –> Settings for messaging that is more inline with your brand.

7. Your Blog
This goes back to our point on content. The key to a successful blog is consistent content. At the onset, we recommend creating an editorial calendar with schedule post dates. If you keep your posts consistent, you give people a reason to visit your site, plus additional material to push out via social. This way you have more ways to get in front of your users on a regular basis.