4 Crucial Things to Consider When Building on WordPress
By Dan Tighe
Despite being a HubSpot partner agency, we often deal with quite a bit of WordPress websites.
Whether it is migrating an entire site to or from WordPress, simply moving over the blog and landing pages, or even developing a new site for a company, our team has seen a lot.
Like every website platform, there are the pros and cons to working on WordPress in various areas that often get overlooked; Areas that can get a little technical, however, can also be key to the success of your website.
In this article, I want to focus on how WordPress users can get started on the right path or even correct it when considering having their company’s website on WordPress.
Before I do, however, let’s start with the basic most fundamental question people usually have for us; “What is WordPress and how is it different from HubSpot?”
My fellow IMPACTer Vin Gaeta explained the two best:
"WordPress is a free website and blogging platform that allows you to get a website up and running with minimal investment. WordPress is the most popular content management system (CMS) available and accounts for 25% of websites on the entire internet. (Source)
HubSpot [on the other hand] is a company that makes inbound marketing software for businesses. When people refer to HubSpot, they are usually referring to HubSpot's marketing software -- an all-in-one solution that allows you to build landing pages, create SEO-friendly blog posts, launch email marketing campaigns, track analytics, and much more from one dashboard.”
If you truly want a deep dive comparison between the two platforms, I would highly suggest checking out the full article, but in a nutshell, HubSpot has almost every tool you will need to accomplish your marketing goals (including web design).
In WordPress, however, things are very much focused on just getting your website up. You will need to use third party plugins, integrations and softwares to really match the power of HubSpot in terms of marketing.
If you’ve already weighed the pros and cons and chosen WordPress as your CMS of choice, here are four things to consider when building on the platform:
4 Things You Must Consider When Building on WordPress
1. Picking The Right WordPress Theme
Over the past couple years, WordPress has become even easier to build on with the development of more efficient themes.
As a marketer, you want to pick theme that not only looks nice and fits your brand, but is also easy to use fulfills all of your needs. It’s important to understand how it operates on the backend in WordPress.
Does the theme come with pre-built modules? Is there a visual builder to help make quick updates? These are important questions you should really evaluate before purchasing.
Divi Theme by Elegant Themes, for example, offers a fast and easy solution to building an incredible website.
With similar style template builder to HubSpot, the most entry level marketers will be able to make on the fly templates and edits without the need of a developer (in most cases because everyone loves having a developer on hand, especially me).
2. High-Quality, Secure Hosting
Proper hosting, is NOT be something that should be taken lightly or overlooked. Not having proper hosting can cause serious damage to your website, such as the potential of being hacked.
I’ve seen horror stories and corrupted websites because of this. We’ve even seen websites that take 20+ seconds to load because of poor hosting; A true digital marketers worst nightmare.
If you think about it proactively, hosting easy to implement and will save countless headaches in the future.
WP Engine is definitely one of the best, most secure solutions that we recommend here at IMPACT.
Using a trusted host like WP Engine will give you high-security hosting, and will even alert you when there are vulnerabilities on your current WordPress platform.
Along with quality hosting and a good theme, should come an SEO tool that you can grow your organic reach.
With WordPress, having the ability to edit and tweak your core SEO elements is not built in. You need the proper plugin.
When you begin working in WordPress, every high-impact SEO element you will use to optimize your website would have to be done in the source code every page. This can be technical and increase the time it take to optimize website pages.
Having a plugin like Yoast SEO, fortunately, helps you establish highly optimized website pages and blogs on every page. The best part, it’s completely free! You just have to install it to your current WordPress portal.
Once you download and install the plugin, you will have the ability to edit everything from your URL to your your meta descriptions.
4. Analytics Tracking
Unlike HubSpot which has built in analytics, WordPress doesn’t come with built-in analytics and visitor tracking.
No matter where your site is built, it is essential to have the ability to track and measure your website performance. Having insight into the performance of your site, such as geographic and demographic characteristics of your audience can help you validate your target audience and help you mold stronger marketing campaigns.
That being said, one of the most important steps before launching a WordPress Site is to make sure you have your Google Analytics Account properly set up and added to your WordPress portal.
This will help you keep track of all your most important data that will help you everything from sessions, bounce rates, page load speed, and so much more. Having this data help you make more educated digital marketing decisions in the future.
Along with Google Analytics, Google Search Console should be another top priority that will really monitor and maintain your site’s performance.
Having Search Console set up will help Google understand what areas of your site should or should not be indexed and when to crawl your.
This tool can also help you identify potential errors across your website and any 404s that should be taken care of.
The Final Word on WordPress
Most companies ramping up their content marketing will most likely choose to start their efforts on WordPress, but when you do, it is important to make sure you have all your bases covered.
Making sure you have the proper tracking tools, SEO plugins, themes, and hosting will not only set you up for success, but will also cause less problems in the future.
Feel free to leave a comment below if you have any questions.
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