A better idea for your first WordPress website!

By John L. Wood

There are three important fundamentals it comes to a website besides hosting and a domain name. If you want a website that has a chance of ranking on a search engine you need it to be fast, mobile first, and the hosting to be enabled with SSL, or “Secure Socket Layer”. These conditions need to be met regardless if your website is hosted by a company like Wix or uses any number of modern content management systems. I just happen to focus on WordPress because as a CMS, it is one of the easiest platforms to use when it comes to leveraging content.

Regardless of age or platform, all three items listed are requirements Google imposes on a website if it wants to get and/or maintain placement on it’s search pages. Even though not every website owner needs the visibility of a search engine, these three fundamentals are important to the success of most websites.

I see many new websites still being developed that slow and not hosted with SSL certificates (https:). Worse, I see a lot of “Do it yourself” websites that are not even mobile responsive, much less “mobile-first.

In support of addressing these three issues, I have recently moved my servers to a speed-enhanced web hosting platform that allows deployment of SSL certificates. My offer to anyone that wants a small business website is to consider my “Sacramento WordPress Incubator” program. It is pretty simple, you get everything you need, SSL hosting and a fast loading website featuring a professional mobile-first theme starting at $349. This package includes your first year’s SSL hosting, with an option to extend. If you choose not to extend, you are able to move your website to the website host of your choice. I can even help with that.

Why should your website be fast?

How fast a web site loads is often ignored, particularly when it comes to mobile browsers. The reason having a fast website is so important is because in most cases, the intended audience is very stingy with their time. If your website takes too long to load, visitors simply move on. “Bounce” is the technical term for when a visitor does not click a link, visit another page, or immediately leaves a website. If your website has a high bounce rate, Google thinks something is wrong. Would you send people to a broken elevator? Well Google says why should it send traffic to a broken website?

Why is mobile first so important?

If is is more likely your website will be visited by someone using a mobile device, doesn’t it make sense the website should be responsive to mobile browsers? Of course it is. A website needs to “fit” a mobile device in a way that enhances the visitor experience. Google has been penalizing websites that are not mobile-first since 2016, yet DIY and some webmasters, still create using code that is not mobile device friendly!

I though SSL, (https:) was only for eCommerce websites?

Google has recently mandated that all websites need SSL hosting. It doesn’t matter if you don’t have a web store or host sensitive information. This is sort of like Star Trek where Picard says, “Make it so”, and someone gets it done. Don’t ask why, just get SSL on your website, especially if you want to build a strong, organic or paid search engine presence.