Hi website enthusiasts! Today, I have a nice big newsletter explaining some of the best actions you can take this month to maintain and improve your website. In the Bright Art Media newsletter, I have broken these down into URGENT and BEST PRACTICE. If you are not getting the newsletter yet… you should subscribe! How else can I keep you up to date consistently?

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Software Update

A major new software version (version 4.7) was released in December 2016. Once third party software developers have had a chance to adapt their own software for compatibility, you should always update your website to the latest version availability.

You can schedule your update now, or subscribe to a website maintenance plan to keep your website updated without having to worry about falling behind.

Reasons To Update

Security: WordPress powers 27% of the worldwide internet. This makes the software an popular target for hackers, malicious code distributors, and data thieves. WordPress is constantly analyzing security risks, updating to higher standards, and improving the security of their code. The longer your website is out of date, the better chance it might fall victim to new vulnerabilities.

New Features: WordPress is constantly adding new features that make it easier, faster, more convenient, or just possible in new ways, to manage your online needs. Third parties are constantly developing new applications to take advantage of these updates. Adding these features can improve your efficiency and performance online.

Speed: Performance improvements often mean improvements in page speed, which is one factor in how search engines rank your site.

Compatibility: Since third parties update their own software in step with the core website software, you should update your entire website to maintain the functionality of any third party software you have installed, and keep everything running at peak performance.

Bug Fixes: Bugs exist in all software, and they are corrected in each new software release. Although specific bugs may not have affected you directly, you never know when these minor corrections will help you avoid a major headache.

PageSpeed News

If your website takes a bit long to load, it may be time to check your page speed and implement some enhancements. I can test your page, diagnose main issues, and recommend efficient ways to improve performance.

Normal improvements include:

  • Improve server response time by changing host provider
  • Enable compression
  • Leverage browser caching
  • Optimize images for faster delivery

Page speed improvements are not one-size-fits-all, because every website is different. In addition, page speed is only one factor in your customer’s experience on your website. Some very popular websites have a low page speed ranking!

SSL Certificates

Google has been moving towards forcing website owners to have SSL certificates of some kind by rewarding sites that have SSL, and penalizing websites that lack SSL. There are different levels of SSL certificates available, and you can even get and SSL certificate for your website for FREE!

The free certificate comes from Let’s Encrypt, and since it relies on your host’s configuration to work, it only works with compatible hosting providers. I can help you make the transition to a more secure website, with the added search engine ranking from Google. Please contact me to talk about what is involved with this transition.