Driving WordPress

3 bundled actionable tips for agencies and the accomplished beginner!

Clean tips for driving WordPress more efficiently
– from start to finish…

SOFTWARE FOLDER | BUSINESS (Draft copy – subject to edit)

Tips for Driving WordPress Websites More Efficiently

WordPress From Start to Finish

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Starting a new WordPress website from scratch will present you with a number of questions with multiple answers and alternatives. 

Such as ;
Which website hosting provider should you use?
To…

…is there a plugin that will allow you to receive online payments?

So, to help make the process of choosing a direction to start  a solid, purposeful WordPress website. We have broken-down the type of website business you may have, or intend to build, into 3 types.

Website types:

a) Critical Mission (ie. app, SaaS, or e-commerce store) 

b) Information Content Priority (business, agency website)

c) Personal blog / website

With the desired intention of matching the most suitable WordPress “plugin stack” or plugin suite, with a website hosting provider for your specific type of business.  The following are 3 ‘bundled’ WordPress tips, for the 3 types of possible websites you may decide to build. 

This is all to coincide with the 3 phases towards your website building and promotional venture.

Phase:

1) Find suitable website hosting 

2) Install and set up WordPress “Plugin Stack”

3) Generate website traffic and monitor performance

You see, we understand only too well, what it is like to be up and running, only to discover that you then need other components, or rather, ‘plugins’ to complete your intentions effectively.

And then, it’s a matter of seeking alternative plugins and integrations; without raising compatibility issues. 

This can be very time-consuming and sometimes disappointing, especially if what you choose forces undesired compromises or simple not available for your specific set up.

 This is why we felt providing loose, but actionable tips, using reputable services that we actually know about, will serve as a useful guide. You can always find your own comparative services where applicable.

Nonetheless, this post will serve as an overview and reminder of the necessary steps and what to take into consideration when starting a WordPress website from scratch. 

So let’s cut to the chase!

Table of Contents

Tip No.1

Affordable website hosting for your specific needs

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Business type:

Critical Mission WordPress Site

If your business is more than 99% reliant on your website being online in order to be operational. (i.e. performs an integral function necessary to carry out its primary purpose) 

Nexcess, a Liquid Web company, is experienced in providing services for “critical mission” websites. 

This type of website includes; Apps and eCommerce stores that normally allow some form of conversion related function. Whether it be an online payment, a member login, subscription, or the trigger of an automation, such as; an order, product-on-demand and delivery…

It is critical for this type of website hosting to be robust enough to deal with audience spikes and other website management  tasks. Which is why we choose Nexcess for this type of website.

Business type:

Online Course Business and Agency Website

Now, this one is a little tricky, because it depends on the extent that your website will need to be accessible to a large number of users at the same time. 

Now, the following, as is usual in the industry, provides a tiered number of hosting plans, where the most intermediate of the plans available are generally suitable for most websites.

Siteground, in case you haven’t guessed, is also an officially recommended WordPress web hosting provider, alongside the often mentioned Bluehost.

However, if you are looking for a sturdy hosting provider for something more along the lines of an online course, serving videos and other power hungry features. You may do yourself a good turn by taking a look at agency oriented solutions such as Flywheel and Kinsta.

Business type:

Blogging as a primary feature

Now, if your requirements are relatively basic, and you intend on running a monetised blog or business website, with some e-commerce functionality. Although Bluehost is a popular candidate, the hosting we would currently recommend is Siteground

This is for a number of reasons; besides the relatively competitive pricing, Siteground is well equipped with essential features and add-ons for most website types.

With the Grow Big plan for example, you get sufficient power and features for a tenable period of growth. Plus, there are the occasional enhancements and newly added features to enjoy.

Tip No.2

WordPress Plugin “Solution Stack”

Over the years, well, since May 27, 2003, WordPress has truly evolved into a complete website and blog building platform, and to some extent a marketing ecosystem. 

stripe logo 300
paypal 300 copy

How to Receive Online Payments?

The first place to start is to open an account with PayPal or Stripe. There are others, however, these are the most apt for most cases.

With regards to receiving online payments, the powerful eCommerce WordPress plugin solution, Woocommerce, provides users with the ability to take full command of their online stores all by themselves. 

This is also where AI powered solutions like StoreBuilder by Nexcess challenges the ease of setting up a full functioning store.  

Which now takes us to the actual building of your website.

 Now, whilst you can get quite lot of satisfaction through using WordPress’ “Gutenburg Blocks”. A great many web designers and development agencies prefer the ubiquitous drag and drop visual page builder.

Drag & Drop, Visual Page and ‘Theme’ Builders

Whilst, WordPress.com itself is an all-in-one solution for the actual construction of your website, and is where you’ll find the official WordPress platform. Access to all things WordPress from here, Including managed hosting.

So, there it is, WordPress.com in a nutshell, is all you need.

No, I was kidding….

How about the popular page builder plugins and themes?

Now, this is where things get hot from a content creation and publishing perspective. 

This is where you start implementing your visual branding and tone of voice. And the beauty of the sometimes called wysiwig, “What you see is what get” drag & drop visual editing method, has not only taken-off, but is becoming pretty much a standard.

Even some of the major hosting services partner with WordPress web developers and offer their wares as part of their web hosting service. It makes sense too.

All in all, the advent of visual editing in WordPress has changed the way many users think about building practical websites fast.

So far, according to Software-Folder, there are 6 contenders to watch for and they are listed below:

Top 3 WordPress Visual Page Builder Suites

Top 6 WordPress Visual Page Builder Suites

MOST RECOMMENDED

Tip No.3

Marketing, Advertising and Analytics

Once your site is up and running, it’s all about generating traffic from here on. And yes, this can be the hardest part, where you may have to spend on testing and trying out different means of reaching an audience. 

You will need to attract an audience that is receptive enough towards helping make your business sustainable.

To do this efficiently, relying on a hunch, or what you think you know about your audience may not usually cut it. There are a number of things that analytical data will tell you that may surprise and contradict what you may at first think.

Now, I’m going to let you in on a very handy set of tools that will help you bypass the initial intricacies with using google analytics. Of course, you will still need to set up a Google Analytics account. 

However, the following tools will help streamline the process of connecting your WordPress website, as well as one tool in particular, Whatagraph, which will help filter your data into a clear, informative and digestible format. 

Whatagraph will also automate the delivery of your professionally formatted reports, delivered directly to the inboxes of your clients and other team members. 

Other Analytics and Site Monitoring

A recently popular WordPress plugin analytics solution you may already be aware of, is MonsterInsights

But, did you know that Google’s very own SiteKit, although currently not as elaborate and informative in the same way as the others mentioned, at least not currently. Provides pretty much all you need for relatively basic, but meaningful monitoring of your websites performance, right from your WordPress dashboard. 

As a ‘GoogIe’ WordPress plugin, I expect to see more from SiteKit in the future.

Now for the more elaborate solution, Oribi, which looks pretty good so far. However, a little pricey I reckon for most of us. 

Oribi is amongst the first of its kind to take ai technology to a next level in marketing. This all-in-one marketing analytics tool with the aim of empowering users with insights and suggestions for making smarter, data-driven decisions. ( BTW: You can try Oribi for free.)

The List

Please note (Updated August 2021): The amounts displayed here are only to show an estimate of what you can expect to pay, based on the plans we suggest, minus any special offers. 

SUMMARY

Okay, so besides the regular initial stuff you’ll need for starting a new WordPress website these days. The most essential tools for constructing the foundation for your content and branding are the visual page builders.

For a while now Thrive Themes, now more commonly known as Thrive Suite has been a keen favourite of ours, although it is not the easiest to get started with at no cost. 

To get started with Thrive Suite be sure that you are serious about going all the way with building real conversion focused  web content. Because it does have a solid collection of tools; from lead management, quizzes and headings, to streamlined courses, unique eCommerce stores and high converting landing pages. 

 

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