We have previously written about, how much should you spend on a WordPress site. If you are already familiar with this information, you know that one should spend a lot of money for this purpose. Any internet project needs constant attention and updating. And sites on the platform WordPress are no exception. However, there are ways to improve your website or blog without any financial investments.
In this article, we will discuss a simple, effective, and (most importantly) free methods to improve the performance of your WordPress site and amaze its users. You can adopt them all or choose the most suitable to begin work on the optimization of your site. This process can occur gradually and do not affect all aspects of project activities at the same time. But in the end you will come to the knowing that the process of improvement never stops.
Menus and Widgets
There are two types of site administrators on WordPress – first group is too fond of widgets and custom menu, other completely abandons these additional functions. As you know, the extreme position always has bad effect on the result. When there are too many menus and widgets on a site, content goes by the wayside, because it becomes difficult to dig under bright tinsel. On the other hand, lack the necessary menus and widgets significantly reduces the usability of the site.
The ideal solution, as usual, lies somewhere in the middle ground between these extremes. First of all, you should look at your site and analyze its functions sensibly. Do not be afraid to refuse those widgets and menus that do not carry the essential role or not used by users. Take a look at the performance of your web site analytics to accurately understand its weaknesses. Once you get rid of trash, the time for new experiments comes. Yes, you understood correctly, it is necessary to set the menus and plugins again, to test their effectiveness. Only by trial and error, you will be able to determine what your audience really like.
You can also read our introductory post about most useful WordPress Widgets. In this article you will find basic tips on setting up your site using the crucial tools. Start small, not being afraid to do the next steps to the ideal site!
Renew Old Content
How many old publications are there on your website? Observe the web analytics` metrics relating to publications over the year. The result may surprise you. Despite respectable for online content date, old publications can bring a lot of targeted traffic. Of course, this will occur only if the old content was really unique and interesting.
Moreover, you can breathe new life into old publications! It is always easier to work with the finished structure, only by changing or adding certain elements. Complement the past publication wuth some new links, replace images with more relevant, add sections that reveal more deeply the topic raised. All these methods will help you to increase the user’s attention to your content significantly. If readers will know that after writing a post, you can add a lot of useful information, they will be sure to return to read the publication. This will significantly improve behavioral performance of the audience of your website: the depth of page views and time spent on the site will increase by several times.
Furthermore, such a practice has a beneficial effect on the SEO performance of your WordPress site. Firstly, the search engines must take into account the improvement of your readers` behavioral indicators. Second, update of the hosted content will make the search engine robots to visit the pages of your site more frequently and will rank all the changes in the search results. Thus, over time, you will be able to count on the rapid emergence of your new materials directly in the search results for relevant queries.
Search Engine Optimization
Since we have touched upon the issue of SEO, let us consider the basic free methods to improve it, in addition to content updates. First of all, you need the Yoast SEO Plugin. Today it is just a must-have SEO tool for analyzing the components of your content and making live changes in accordance with the requirements of search engines. You can read the full guide about Yoast SEO Plugin in one of our previous publications. We note only that the work with the SEO will unnecessarily difficult without such a versatile tool, so it makes no sense to abandon the free features of Yoast Plugin.
Another useful aide comes from Broken Link Checker. You simply will not be able to keep track of the relevance of all links in your website or blog. Therefore, Broken Link Checker is ready to perform the boring work for you! You just have to remove or replace those references, which this plugin has found. And you should not remove it immediately after the first test, because the new broken links can appear at any moment.
You will find more tips on optimizing your site or blog on WordPress platform in one of our previous publications – Tips to Quickly Index Your WordPress Site By Google.
Speed Up Your Site
We have also discussed this issue in a previous article – How To Speed Up WordPress Site: 8 Simple Tricks. Now we will give focus on the most basic methods of optimizing your site speed on WordPress platform.
The first essential step to improve the speed of your site should be made by cleaning of unwanted plugins and extensions for WordPress. In this respect, we are back to the very first item on our list. If you still have not made the cleaning your WordPress admin panel, now is the time to do it.
The second important point is to set a caching plugin. In most cases modern WordPress administrators install a free W3 Total Cache Plugin for these purposes. It is really a smart choice. Plugins of this group will allow you to optimize your site speed at the connection to the server and the work with data. You can hardly somehow affect this important aspect of your site by other methods, so you are strongly advised to use the plugin of this category.
The third important step is to install a plugin in order to optimize the size of images. WP Smush or EWWW Image Optimizer will help you to effectively deal with too heavy pictures that slow the loading speed of your site. These plugins are also free.
Improve the Comments
Comments are the key to the hearts of your readers. If you create interesting content, they will always want to comment on. Do not deprive your users the possibility to take part in the life of a site via comments. Unfortunately, the standard comment system powered by WordPress is poor. Numerous plugins come to help, as always.
One of the most popular plugin for the organization comments on your WordPress site is Disqus. Most successful WordPress sites completely trust the comments systems to this plugin. It is useful for both users and administrators of the site.
Another popular alternative is Jetpack Plugin. Features of this plugin are quite universal, and among them you will find a ready comfortable commenting system for users of your website or blog on WordPress.
Change or Refresh Your WordPress Theme
Try to give your site a new life with a new design. A variety of free and premium WordPress themes is amazing. We encourage you to take advantage of our WordPress theme catalogue, to better navigate in this variety of options.
You can also breathe new life into an old theme by changing its styles. Many contemporary themes include comfortable editors for styles that do not require knowledge of CSS. If your theme does not have this functionality, you should seriously think about changing it to a more modern equivalent.
Successful email marketing campaign will also change your site in a better way. First of all, you need to think about the creation of an attractive subscription form on your newsletters and connect various methods of growing your subscribers list over time. It is also suggested to get acquainted with a selection of best email newsletters plugins for WordPress.
Build a Social Wall
Social wall is a unique selection of thematic social activities on one page of your site. You can collect all your entries in various social networks or to create interesting feeds from news and updates of popular and active communities on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and others.
Such a difficult task is easy to perform today. And all thanks to the unique Flow-Flow plugin. The plugin has a free version that you can try on your site right now. If you enjoy the opportunities provided and you want to expand the range of social networking features to work with, you can purchase th premium plugin version.
There are many ways to improve your site for free. We have brought to you the most simple and effective methods that can be used even by a novice administrator of the sites on the WordPress platform. Over time, you will discover new techniques to improve your web project for free.
We wish you undying commitment to the ideal site and infinite patience on this interesting but difficult path.