5 WordPress New Years resolutions to give your website a happy new year

A new year brings new opportunity for you and your website. Follow the resolutions below in the new year to give your website a fantastic start to the new year.

Optimise your conversions

If you’re selling something, or looking for email signups, it pays to optimise your conversions. The less onerous the task, the more likely you will gain a conversion. It’s also true that the less onerous a task looks the more likely you are to gain a conversion.

For your WooCommerce checkout pages, that means install a plugin like the awesome and free PayPal Express which allows your users to buy your products without needing to enter any information.

For your email signups, try and avoid full screen popups as these increase your bounce rate and instead add email opt in to all your forms. You can also add price alerts to any products you are reviewing to give your users a further reason to sign up to your email list.

For your product pages, add videos of your products and as many images from as many angles as possible. Answer every question imaginable. The less doubt in a buyers mind, the more purchases happen.

Find good help

Everyone needs help now and again. For most WordPress site owners, this will mean finding good PHP and CSS developers. PHP developers can help you add new functionality to your site not available in a plugin whilst CSS developers can help you make your site look how you wish.

There are many places to look, including the likes of People Per Hour, but there’s also Hubstaff who offer their developer service for free to everyone.

If you’re looking for an affordable agency to help you, you can’t go wrong with WP Kraken or Codeable.io – both have hundreds of vetted developers with plenty of skills covering the full stack.

Optimise your site speed

Your site speed directly affects your conversions. With WordPress there are 3 things to watch for – firstly, you need decent hosting. If you don’t want the hassle of dealing with hosting optimisation yourself, you should check out WP Engine or Siteground.

Second and third come raw-speed optimisation. An invaluable tool to help is the free Query Monitor plugin. There are 2 key sources of slow page-generation speed in WordPress. The first is too many queries occurring and/or too much RAM being used. Both of these issues are caused by poorly coded plugins. Too many queries occurring will cause a large amount of CPU and RAM to be used by PHP. Similarly, a single query which returns too many rows (e.g. over 1000) will cause too much RAM and CPU to be used as PHP is working through those results. To identify the offending plugin, you can disable half of your plugins and check Query Monitor again. As a rough guide, pages should use fewer than 100 queries and less than 15MB RAM.

If you find you have slow queries, there’s a plugin I wrote called Scalability Pro which optimises the vast majority of slow queries.

Secure your site

There’s a great open and free movement called LetsEncrypt where anyone can get free SSL certificates for life. You can run a Google search for your hosting company name + LetsEncrypt and you’ll probably find a guide to setting up and installing your SSL certificate.

You owe it to your customers to keep their email addresses and passwords and any forms they fill private. You also owe it to your site – Google is ranking secure sites more highly in search results, and warnings are starting to appear in most browsers when users visit insecure sites.

Engage with partners and affiliates in your niche

If you’re looking to bring new traffic and conversions to your website, it can be really invigorating to find and engage with a suitable partner in your niche. If you’re selling and promoting pink dog collars, finding an affiliate in your area that promotes pink dog shoes can be a co-promotional bonanza. If you both plan a launch offer together, you can make a bigger splash in your market between the two of you.

If you have made any new years resolutions for your site, I’d be keen to hear them!

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Dave Hilditch

Founder at WP Intense
Dave has been programming since 6 years old and has been developing WordPress plugins, themes and websites since 2010. In the past he built the browse view technology for Skyscanner and now he helps clients with interesting website challenges.

He is always on at least one of his computers when he's awake, so get in touch and he'll get right back to you.
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