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Best practices for agencies to manage WordPress websites more efficiently

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As an agency who develops and manages a large scale of WordPress websites, we know you will always be looking to improve internal processes. Afterall, streamlining allows you to become more efficient so that you can deliver the best results for your client.

Continue reading to learn some of the best practices you may have missed that could rock your agency.

The development workflow process

When designing any website, the development process is the most crucial. You want to get it right in the beginning so everything operates smoothly later on down the line. Here are the four best practices to help perfect your development process:

Best Practice 1

To develop a client’s website, you need to get your environments right. This means making sure you have a development, staging, and production area.

Having a development area means you never commit the deadly sin of developing directly onto the live site. While having a staging area, that’s a 90% replicated version of the development or production area, allows your account or QA team to do their thing. They will be able to add content or test how the site performs under actual use, without disturbing your team working in the development area .

Best Practice 2

Having your code history, being able to maintain your code and managing your development teams code submissions is essential. Software like Git will allow you to back up your code and manage your teams’ code edits by keeping a record of which users made what edit and when.

Best Practice 3

Use a framework like Roots. This allows you to bootstrap your development processes; such as theme development, plugin management and deployment.

Best Practice 4

Throughout the development process, businesses should be communicating their progress to their clients. Frequent communication clarifies goals, manages expectations, establishes boundaries and makes onboarding easier. Most importantly, regular and consistent communication builds trust with your clients.

Security

Security is everything and should be your top concern. Without developing a secure website, clients will never fully trust your business. That’s why you need to follow these practices to ensure your client’s website is secure:

Best Practice 1

You want to invest in a reliable WordPress host that you can trust to protect your client’s business. A secure hosting provider will protect servers against common attacks and keep the software up to date. If you go with a managed provider they could offer automatic WordPress updates, keep your network infrastructure in ship shape and help ensure you never experience downtime.

Best Practice 2

Regularly update plugins, themes and PHP versions. This will keep a website secure by bringing new patch updates that help prevent hacks. It’s important to remember that things can sometimes go wrong with these updates. Set aside some time to do this, so that there is allocation planned for fixing issues that could arise.

If you’re an agency that doesn’t handle the website maintenance side of things. Or if you perform maintenance as an ongoing service that is billed as part of the initial website build. Educate your client on the security importance of making these updates. Make sure they understand the complication of these updates if not handled by a developer. You can then offer this as an extra service that is dedicated to maintenance.

Best Practice 3

Harden your WordPress by using and installing security measures. Encryption software, SSL certification, HTTPS and firewall and malware plugins are all examples.

Best Practice 4

Incorporate login and allow features. For instance, limit login attempts allowed to enter a system. Likewise, automatically log out idle users on WordPress after a specific amount of time. You can also incorporate two-factor authentication and disable file editing.

Speed

When your client’s WordPress site is up and secure, you want it to be fast. Long load times can deter potential customers and annoy existing clients, which is why speed is so essential. Here are the best ways to optimise speed:

Best Practice 1

Optimise all images. All websites require images, and having unoptimised ones is the most common way to slow a website down. You want to ensure every image on your client’s site uses the minimum amount of resources to operate correctly.

Best Practice 2

Caching adds speed to WordPress websites by making frequently viewed pages load quicker. You can increase quickness by installing cache plug-ins, server-side caches, or content delivery networks.

Best Practice 3

Review how your database tables can be optimised, so that WordPress can take the data and understand it quickly.

Hosting

As stated in the security section, hosting is a powerful tool you can utilise to support your clients WordPress websites. Here is how you can get hosting right:

Best Practice 1

You know it’s essential to back up your server and database, but how much ‘backing up’ do you have in your process? Choose a hosting provider that gives you automatic onsite backup, but also make sure you have an offsite backup too.

Best Practice 2

Use a managed hosting service. They will configure your server for you, meaning you can crack on with delivering the website to the client.

Best Practice 3

Pick a reliable and trustworthy host. Do they have proof of providing a quality service through reviews? Can they provide you with 24/7 support? Knowing this means you can make sure as an agency you won’t be wasting time constantly fixing problems.

At Nimbus Hosting, we strive to provide hosting that allows your website agency to run smoothly and work more efficiently. Why not take our free trial for a spin in your next website project to see how it compares to your current hosting.


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