We host over 60 websites for clients who use WordPress.
In our opinion, WordPress is the still the best choice for lead generation business websites due to the functionality you can add through plugins and themes.
It’s also pretty easy to use for blogging and content creation making it great for SEO.
That being said, 9 out of 10 websites that are hacked are WordPress.
WordPress sites can also perform sluggish and become bloated with too many plugins that conflict with one another or are unnecessary.
The speed of bigger WordPress sites often pale in comparison with simpler CMS’s like SquareSpace, Wix, and Webflow.
However, the other CMS’s just can’t compete with the ease of use combined with SEO and scope of functionality that the size of the developer community enables for WordPress.
If you want to make sure your site has the latest technology, WordPress is a safe bet.
You need to set it up right though otherwise you’ll create a ‘Frankensite’
(this is a joyous term coined by our Web Dev Manager, Sasha Kevac, for sites that are a mish-mash of ill thought out styles, content and plugins)
At North Shore Digital, we’ve invested a lot in 2022 to improve our WordPress hosting and technical infrastructure in order to improve speed, security and technical optimization for SEO.
Here are the 6 top things we recommend:
- Pay for Fast Hosting
Previously our hosting environment at InMotion was good. It was LAMP-based and pretty quick. It was hosted across multiple IPs on SSD VPS servers with decent specs: 12GB RAM / 10 core / 150GB disk space for 60-odd websites. Sites were pretty easy to maintain and optimized individually via CPanel.
What we decided to do though was up our game.
We moved all our sites to Cloudways cloud-based hosting over a couple of months in January and February this year.
We did this because they promise scalable performance, better speed and uptime for websites.
We created 3 new servers located in Toronto, Canada that we are able to scale up or down to suit the needs of our clients.
There is no Cpanel but we get the ability to easily create staging sites and the speed and uptime of sites is now much better.
If you have a WordPress website, pay the extra and get fast hosting. Don’t settle for basic WordPress shared hosting.
Note: there is a difference between wordpress.com (a site that hosts your website and offers an all-in-one solution like SquareSpace versus wordpress.org (a site that offers you the CMS to port to any hosting of your choice. Go with wordpress.org for business websites and pay for professional hosting.
Use an agency like us to do managed hosting and website maintenance…
- Get Managed Hosting
Managed hosting means you have a team monitoring the site 24/7 to ensure if anything happens, it goes back up.
A bit like having roadside assistance for your car, although you at least know when your car breaks down.
Who is checking your website all the time to make sure its up and working as it should?
Managed hosting is well worth it for peace of mind.
- Pay for Website Maintenance
Website maintenance is crucial for WordPress.
You can’t just set and forget WordPress sites.
WordPress sites are like hungry beasts always needing fresh updates, scanning for malware, and pruning of spam.
Every day, there are 100s of new updates available for WordPress core, themes and plugins.
We do these updates for our clients and ensure if anything breaks or a style changes, we fix the problem so you can have the safest latest versions on your website.
The hacked websites are normally the ones with tons of outdated plugins.
You have to keep on top of this.
In addition to the updating of software, our website maintenance also includes easy backup and restore functionality, 24/7 uptime monitoring, security vulnerability scan and alerts as well as monthly reports to put your mind at ease that your website is in safe hands.
We give you an easy to look-through report that showcases your website health and all the work we’ve done in the past month to keep it safe and working.
We’ve just added all client multipage sites to CloudFlare Enterprise.
As an agency we get advanced technical support for our websites at Cloudways, our hosting provider.
We also qualify for a discount bundle on sites that we add to CloudFlare Enterprise.
We do this without passing on extra costs to our clients.
It’s worth it for the extra speed and security.
Here’s a short video about CloudFlare if you are new to it and want to understand how and why to deploy it:
It’s magic that happens behind the website without you even realizing or being concerned with it.
- Remove Spam with Akismet
We also signed up to the paid version of Akismet and added it to client sites.
Spam is affecting so many sites in terrible ways.
You have to try a few tricks to beat the bots and humanoids who spend forever sending you contact form submissions about SEO, chatbots and the latest greatest new website software.
I’m talking about you, Eric Jones. We know who you are. Actually we don’t and that’s the problem!
Akismet is tough to implement for all WordPress websites.
It doesn’t work with Divi, for instance. For that reason, you need more tools in your toolbox…
- Sign up for Google Recaptcha Enterprise (GRE)
This is new from Google. Version 2 had the checkbox. Version 3 was invisible but didn’t work and was buggy. This is their latest effort.
I’m searching for a solution that stops spam and also doesn’t make humans tear their hair out figuring out which pictures have a donkey in it or something silly like that.
Is that too much to ask? I don’t think so. And neither do Google apparently. GRE promises to do both.
It only asks you to do a silly challenge if there’s a high probability you are a bot. It uses machine-learning to track suspicious bot-like behaviour and also uses a global database to filter out the bad guys.
Watch this short video for an explanation:
If you have any questions about WordPress hosting or the technical side of websites, get in touch with us here.
Hosting is available as a standalone service if you are looking for professional help with ensuring your site is secure, safe, up-to-date and fast.
It’s also included for all our WordPress clients on full-service marketing plans.
Andrew Jackson lives on the North Shore and does SEO and digital marketing for a living. He is passionate about footy, DJing, craft beer, and of course, his family. He is married with 3 lovely daughters.