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Think about the number of websites you visit every day. Try to ballpark a number, and then cut that number down to around 30%.
There’s a pretty good chance all of those websites are running WordPress.
It’s a pretty stunning statistic — that 30% of the websites online are powered by WordPress. But it’s true. And it speaks to the way WordPress has spread like fire thanks to its ease-of-use and expand ability. In terms of content manage systems, WordPress has a lock on the market to the tune of a 50% to 60% share. And it shows no signs of slowing down.
You’re probably here because your website runs WordPress. You’ve made the right choice! But it’s important to know that simply installing WordPress on a web server isn’t enough to make your website a smashing success. You’ll need to do more. And today, you’ll learn exactly what that “more” is.
The top 1,000 WordPress sites on the internet have a lot in common. And should you learn from them and employ the tactics that they’ve used to achieve greatness, your WordPress site will have a shot at being just as great.
Without further ado, let’s get into it.
They focus heavily on content
You’ve likely heard the phrase “content is king” so many times that your head wants to explode. You’re not alone in that sentiment. But there’s a reason that phrase became so widely used — it’s true. Your WordPress website is nothing without fantastic content that keeps people coming back.
One of the beautiful things about WordPress is how easy it is to add content. Once you run someone through the process once or twice, they usually get it. And that means you can spend far more time creating quality content and less time fumbling around with a more complicated content management system.
Make content that’s worth consuming and sharing. With it, your website is a resource. Without it, it’s just a WordPress installation.
If you’re solid on the content side of things, you can focus on some of the other aspects of your WordPress site. One of the first steps you should take is determining how WordPress works for you out of the box — and what your website can’t do that you wish it could. And then you can customize.
There are plenty of free themes out there you can try on for size, but there’s a good chance that, if you’re building a serious website, you might find them limiting. Not only that, but WordPress might not support some of the things you want to do (it’s rare, but it happens).
In either of these cases, it might not be a bad idea to hire a developer who can extend the capabilities of your WordPress website to encompass all of your wants and needs. All the other big WordPress websites are doing it. Why can’t yours?
They take advantage of the WordPress ecosystem
That’s not to say that everything advanced is out of WordPress’s reach. The community is full of talented developers who work wonders with the WordPress plugin system, and plenty of the world’s most popular WordPress sites use these plugins. Need a form for email signups? There’s a plugin for that. Want to give readers a way to share your content on Twitter or Facebook? There are plugins for that, too.
Explore everything the WordPress ecosystem has to offer and see what you can find to make your site even better. There’s a whole lot out there.
Search engine optimization is a priority
We’ve already stressed the importance of having great content on your WordPress site. And you may see a nice bump in traffic just by creating useful content alone, especially if people are sharing it. But if there’s anything that the world’s top WordPress sites have become good at, it’s optimizing every post and page for search engines. This process is called search engine optimization.
Do yourself a favor and set aside a day or two to read up on search engine optimization, which many shorten to SEO. Learn the ins and outs and what you need to do to optimize your content. When search engines like Google and Bing can more easily find your content, users can, too. And you’ll see a lot more incoming traffic as a result.
They implement responsive design
When it comes to browsing the web, we’ve come a long way from even a decade ago, when iPhones were a fairly new phenomenon. These days, a whole lot of people are looking at websites on smartphones and tablets, and they’re not going to have a lot of patience for sites that present poorly.
The best WordPress sites in the world have learned the importance of responsive design, which formats your website based on how someone is accessing it. It’s a rather fascinating thing to see — your website literally redesigning itself when someone looks at it on an iPhone versus, say, pulling it up on a PC. But website visitors these days expect it. And if your website isn’t doing it, those visitors might not come back.
You should also keep in mind that, more than ever before, websites have become legitimate digital assets, commonly given real-world values and traded as commodities. Even if you’re not sure whether you’ve ever consider the direct selling of your business, you should still make every effort to keep it future-proofed. What’s the harm in it?
They rarely go down
One of the best things you can do for your WordPress website has nothing to do with WordPress at all, but rather, how and where you host it.
The world’s top WordPress websites rarely go down. When someone wants to visit one of these sites, they just work. This is because the companies behind these sites have put a huge emphasis on uptime, which means they’re paying the money to keep their WordPress site on a high-quality host.
But hey, even those hosts can have issues sometimes. Which is why these top sites also take advantage of cloud backup options (Cloudflare is popular, but there are numerous others) which enable your website to stay online even if your web host goes down.
Keeping your site online as much as possible means you’re getting every single eyeball possible. And in a world where you’re competing with millions of other websites for attention, those eyeballs are extremely valuable.
Do what you can to keep your WordPress website up and accessible.