As we explore deeper into 2024, WordPress continues to hold its position as the unchallenged leader in Content Management Systems (CMS), with its strength and adaptability driving the online world.
Based on the most recent data from W3 Techs, 2023 was an incredible year for the CMS, as the WordPress market share increased to 64%. This blog is tailored for agencies looking to arm their clients with the most innovative and effective WordPress strategies.
WordPress Best Practices for 2024
Ensuring your clients’ WordPress websites are functional, secure, and impactful involves a blend of strategic foresight and technological proficiency. Here are the key practices every agency should adopt:
- Mobile Responsiveness
Ensure your clients’ websites are adaptable to all devices. Select well-maintained WordPress themes and plugins to improve your website’s responsiveness to smaller screens—a benefit that conscientious WordPress developers are frequently credited with.
It is essential to test any changes in a local or staging environment to prevent users from having an uncomfortable experience while updates are being made. Maintaining these standards ensures a flawless user experience, highlighting the ongoing significance of mobile responsiveness.
- To dynamically adjust material, use media queries and flexible images.
- Use touch-friendly navigation to guarantee a user-friendly experience on tablets and smartphones.
- Conduct thorough testing on various devices to find and fix any usability problems.
- Reduce code and compress images to improve performance and speed up loading times.
- Quality Hosting
Guide your clients toward hosting solutions that promise reliability, speed, and scalability. Whether it’s shared, managed, or VPS hosting, the right choice will depend on the size and nature of the website.
It’s essential to match your hosting package to the needs of your website; WordPress-specific features guarantee dependable speed. Recommend hosts known for their strong performance and excellent customer support.
- Regular Website Backups
Ensuring regular backups of your WordPress site is crucial for safeguarding your data against any unforeseen issues or losses. Here’s why and how agencies should incorporate this practice:
- Security and Peace of Mind
Regular backups act as a safety net. In case of a security breach, update error, or accidental data loss, you can restore your client’s website to its last functioning state.
- Automatic Backup Solutions
Utilize plugins and tools that offer automated backup schedules. This ensures that backups are made regularly without manual intervention, saving time and ensuring consistency.
- Off-site Storage
Store backups in a separate location from your hosting server, such as cloud storage solutions like Google Drive or Dropbox, to ensure they are not affected by server issues.
- Regular Testing
Periodically test your backup files by doing a restore drill to ensure the backups are working correctly and the data is retrievable.
- Child Themes
Child themes eliminate duplication of effort and testing by utilizing the testing and effort in the parent theme. This reduces development time. They are crucial to effective and long-lasting WordPress website administration since they are an invaluable learning resource for theme creation.
Encourage the use of child themes for any custom website design work. This ensures that customizations are preserved during updates, providing a safe environment for modifications without losing the core theme’s robustness.
- SEO-friendly Practices
Checking off an SEO checklist before launching your clients’ WordPress site will pay off by guaranteeing a steady increase in traffic. Implement SEO-friendly structures and practices to ensure that your clients’ sites are discoverable and rank well.
A WordPress website’s user experience can be significantly improved, and SEO can be indirectly increased by using categories and tags effectively.
Effective Use of Categories and Tags:
- Though they have a limited effect on search rankings, categories, and tags help users identify suitable material.
- Connecting every post to its corresponding category page promotes reading through related items, and properly categorized material helps visitors find things on the website.
- Search engines can also identify thematic clusters of articles and indicate topical authority when categories and tags are correctly arranged.
- Classification procedures must be streamlined for websites to function as efficiently as possible.
Utilize powerful SEO tools and plugins, and keep abreast of the latest search engine algorithms and trends.
- Clean and Organized Code
Clean, well-organized code is easier to manage, performs better, and is less prone to issues. This can be ensured by the following:
- Follow modular development
- Adhere to standards like WordPress Coding Standards.
- Maintain a consistent naming convention.
- Prioritize readability through comments and proper indentation, facilitating collaboration among developers.
- Regularly update the WordPress plugins and themes, ensuring compatibility and security.
- Implement version control with Git for efficient code management.
- Prioritize user experience by optimizing site speed and minimizing unnecessary scripts.
- Regular Maintenance
Like preventive auto care, regular WordPress website maintenance makes problem prevention simpler, faster, and more affordable. Ignoring maintenance can lead to severe financial losses and lost productivity. Unmaintained websites are easy targets for hackers in terms of security.
Agencies should update WordPress core, themes, and plugins more efficiently by automating processes and utilizing tools. Performing a complete backup of the website, monitoring the dashboard for remarks and upgrades, and using the Site Health tool to get performance and security insights are all regular activities. A seamless and safe user experience is ensured by establishing frequent website maintenance.
- Greater Focus on Security
As WordPress powers a significant portion of the web, its popularity also makes it a frequent target for security threats. Agencies must prioritize security to protect client sites from data breaches, hacks, and malware. Some steps to keep a WordPress website secure include:
- Regular Updates
Keep WordPress’ core, themes, and plugins updated to the latest versions. Many updates include security patches that protect against known vulnerabilities.
- Quality Hosting
Choose a host known for strong security measures, including regular backups, malware scanning, and firewalls.
- Implementing Security Plugins
Use reputable security plugins to add layers of protection, such as two-factor authentication, brute-force attack prevention, and regular security scans.
- Web Accessibility Compliance
Respecting accessibility guidelines promotes inclusion, complies with legal requirements, and improves user experience.
- Give priority to semantic HTML5 markup to be compatible with screen readers.
- To ensure smooth interaction, use keyboard navigation—optimize material for visually impaired viewers by including descriptive alt-text.
- Keep your design responsive across a range of devices.
- Use themes and plugins that are accessible.
- For non-text content, provide text alternatives.
- Test usability with a variety of user groups.
Ensure your clients’ websites adhere to accessibility standards like WCAG & ADA , making them usable and accessible to all users. This not only broadens the audience reach but also reflects positively on your clients’ brand values.
WordPress Website Trends in 2024
Revolutionizing the way we think, create, and interact online, WordPress trends for 2024 promise a future where websites are more than just pages; they are experiences.
- AI and Machine Learning Integration
Incorporate AI and machine learning functionalities to offer advanced features like personalized content, automated customer service, and intelligent analytics.
- Agencies can use these technologies to improve user experiences, maximize content, and simplify processes.
- AI and machine learning foster efficiency and creativity in various fields, from chatbots and personalized content recommendations for better consumer engagement to automated data analysis for well-informed decision-making.
These functionalities are becoming more widely included in WordPress plugins and themes, giving agencies access to the power of intelligent automation. Adopting this trend can significantly enhance the user experience and operational efficiency of your clients’ websites while also future-proofing websites.
- Voice Search Optimization
Prioritizing compatibility with voice search queries is now essential due to the surge of voice-activated devices. This involves adapting content to natural language queries and ensuring the site’s information architecture lends itself well to voice navigation.
For agencies looking to maintain their competitive edge and stay in step with the changing habits of internet consumers, they must adjust to this change.
- Core Web Vitals
Incorporating Google’s Core Web Vitals ensures your clients’ websites offer fast, responsive, and stable user experiences. In this context, optimizing website speed using tools like WP Engine Speed Tool and implementing proven tactics to ensure improved user engagement and search visibility is essential.
- Headless and Decoupled WordPress
In 2024, the growing popularity of Headless WordPress—a decoupled architecture separating the front and back end—will continue to pick up significant steam. Separating content administration from the UI gives agencies the unmatched freedom to utilize various front-end technologies and still take advantage of WordPress’s powerful content management features.
This approach allows for a more dynamic and scalable front-end development while maintaining WordPress’s robust content management capabilities.
- Dark Mode UI
Because of its many benefits, Dark Mode UI for WordPress websites is becoming increasingly popular. It provides an alternative look for the website, reduces eye strain for users, and can save on-device battery life.
- Improves the user experience by providing a less cluttered, aesthetically pleasing design.
- Increases accessibility by giving users sensitive to intense light or visually impaired a high-contrast alternative.
- Ensures that gadgets remain mobile, prolonging the life of their batteries, and lowering the quantity of light emitted by pixels contributes to energy conservation.
- Sustainability in Web Design
Sustainability is becoming a significant focus across industries, including digital. For WordPress sites, this means optimizing for energy efficiency, reducing carbon footprints, and ensuring that websites are as environmentally friendly as possible. Trends and practices include:
- Efficient Coding
Cleaner, more efficient code means faster loading times and less processing power required, which in turn means less energy consumption.
- Eco-friendly Hosting
Choosing green hosting providers that use renewable energy or carbon offsetting to minimize the environmental impact of web hosting.
- Optimized Images and Videos
Ensuring media is appropriately sized and compressed to reduce file sizes, leading to less data transfer and faster loading times, thereby reducing energy use.
- Multilingual and Localization
For clients looking to reach a global audience, implementing multi-language and localization features makes their websites accessible and relevant to users from different linguistic and cultural backgrounds.
This trend is quite helpful in reaching out to diverse markets, customizing material for different user tastes, and improving SEO results in various geographical areas. Natural WordPress capabilities such as language packs, site language, and language switchers make it easier to set up multilingual websites quickly and easily.
As we look towards 2024, it’s clear that WordPress remains a pivotal CMS, offering a wide range of features and capabilities. By adopting the above best practices and trends, you can ensure that your clients’ websites are not just up-to-date, but leading the way in digital innovation.
How to Make WordPress Websites More User-friendly Across Devices?
Employ responsive design to optimize content and layout; test extensively on various devices; use media queries and flexible images to adapt information dynamically, and improve accessibility and consistency across devices.
How Can Agencies Help Clients Capitalize on WordPress Trends?
Agencies should stay informed about the latest WordPress developments, advise clients on the best strategies, and implement solutions that align with their specific goals and needs.
What Makes WordPress a Preferred Choice for Client Websites?
WordPress’s ease of use, flexibility, wide range of plugins and themes, and strong community support make it a versatile and reliable choice for various types of websites.