WordPress lowers the barrier of entry to starting a website or blog by offering free themes available from the official website wordpress.org. The highly user-friendly themes encourage users to go ahead confidently in creating sites in the simplest possible manner, even without knowing anything about web design and development. Anyone familiar with the basics of using a computer can use the themes that do not involve codes and other technicalities. The easy navigation of the themes facilitates intuitive navigation, and it is possible to set up a website in just 10-15 minutes. Although you might be suspicious about the quality of free themes, the reality is just the opposite. WordPress adopts a strict theme review process before uploading it on the official website, and you must download themes from the official website only and avoid unknown sources that offer similar free themes.
WordPress maintains high ethical standards by being completely transparent to users about its processes and offerings, and you can have an idea about the theme review process by accessing the checklist. Each theme undergoes testing for HTML and CSS, standard-compliant code and support, the standard features of WordPress as well as privacy, security, etc. Free WordPress themes allow developers to hone their skills because, during the audit of their code by the theme review team, they suggest improvements.
However, there are limitations of WordPress free themes that do not meet the requirements of commercial applications due to its limited features and functionalities, and the support available is also limited. Since there are lots of users of free themes, it is hard to find unique designs, as many others might be using your chosen theme. Free themes do not have any warranties, and this could put you in difficult situations at times.
Premium WordPress themes
For professional web development, you must use premium WordPress themes that you can buy from numerous third parties that sell WordPress themes and from the marketplace. Premium WordPress themes come with many more features and customization options with extensive support from the WordPress community that helps to keep websites updated and make it more powerful and effective. You can create a unique design for your website that sets it apart from the rest and makes it easy to pop its head above the crowd. From the plain and simple to the most sophisticated design, you get everything that you want to create the most splendid website that supports your commercial objectives. You can customize WordPress themes in the way you want at a much lesser cost than custom-built sites.
A word of caution
However, you must be careful in choosing premium WordPress themes as there might be issues with poor code, and complexities may arise from themes having too many features. The biggest problem could be that WordPress themes sometimes overlap the plugins domain and offer functionality that they are not supposed to offer. Buying WordPress themes from trusted developers like Big Drop or reputed theme shops can help to avoid the problem.
WordPress offers endless opportunities in customizing websites according to the needs of users and the scope of adding features and functionalities are limited only by your needs. You can make the site perform specific tasks that suit your business process by using WordPress plugins. Plugins make websites more flexible and help in performing tasks according to the requirement of the business process. You can create and implement any marketing strategy and reinforce SEO by using suitable plugins.
Plugins are the real source of power for WordPress websites as it allows enhancing the features and functionalities that add value to the business and impacts the outcome. Although you can install as many plugins as you want, you must exercise restraint because too many plugins can adversely affect website performance as there are chances of the plugins conflicting with one another. Being careful in choosing plugins and using it only with careful consideration about its compatibility with other plugins and the theme should help to avoid problems. At best, you should not use more than 3-4 plugins for the best website performance.
Increase the website visibility for search engines
Most WordPress themes are SEO friendly to varying degrees, and you can implement SEO right from the start. But to enhance the SEO capabilities, you must fall back upon suitable WordPress plugins. Since the visibility of websites matters most to search engines to rank it, you must improve the visibility by enhancing the SEO features of the site with the help of WordPress plugins. It means that instead of relying on the default SEO capabilities of the theme, you must enhance it further so that it easily draws the attention of search engines as well as searchers.
One way of doing it is to enhance the relevance of the website. By looking at the name of the title post or page as displayed in the search result, it becomes easy to understand what to expect from the site and how much close it is to what searchers are looking for. Making the title more expressive and explicit helps to uphold the relevance of the page, and plugins are available for adding the website name to the title. Since the website name reveals much more information, it helps users to understand how relevant it is for them. It increases the chances of clicking on the link that displays the title elaborately at the top of the browser.
More relevant website title
The website title created by using the general settings of WordPress themes might lack relevance, and there is always scope for making it more relevant by using some plugin that creates more room for experimenting with the title. As a result, your SEO efforts also get a boost because the higher relevance of the title enhances the website visibility and helps searchers and search engines to understand how much use it will be for them quickly. Inserting keywords in the title is one of the best ways to drive more traffic to websites. Keywords help searchers and search engines to quickly determine how relevant the site is in meeting their expectations by matching the purpose of searching. However, small and simple the change might seem; its impact is far-reaching in turn, improving performance.
Create more SEO friendly content
Besides creating high-quality content, you must also ensure that it has enough SEO friendly features and WordPress plugins can help you a lot in this regard. Plugins can tell you how much SEO friendly the content is by highlighting the areas of improvement so that you can make it friendlier to search engines. Although you must create content with the audience in mind, it must also be friendly to search engines. Plugins can evaluate content based on the chosen keyword and determine its likely performance while pointing out the shortcomings so that you can make the necessary improvements. Plugins give enough learning opportunities in content creation, which leads to SEO betterment.
How safe are WordPress websites?
The popularity of WordPress comes at a cost, and users must know that WordPress websites are prime targets of malicious attacks, as evident for reports of hacking of a large number of WordPress websites every year. But most of the incidents happen due to lack of alertness of users who either do not keep the sites updated or do not follow strong password protocols. The core WordPress software is secure enough to ward off the threats of cyber-attacks and hacking, and it is up to the users to reinforce the security by taking some right measures.
Use secure hosting
Even if you have the best security net for your website, breaches can happen due to the security vulnerabilities in the hosting service that you use. The hosting service provider should not only ensure round the clock surveillance of websites to detect dangers, but they must also have robust security for the database and install suitable firewalls that are impregnable. The hosting company should expand the security level so much that it should also be able to prevent DDOS attacks.
Backup your website
WordPress plugins not only improve the website functionalities but also help to protect website data by allowing users to backup all data by maintaining a regular schedule. Storing the backup files off-location ensures that it remains accessible in case of any eventuality and prevents the chances of getting infected.
Follow strong password protocols
Using strong and secure passwords for the hosting account, as well as the website, ensures overall security by denying unauthorized access. Following the basic guidelines like creating passwords, not less than 8 characters long, and using alpha-numeric combination together with uppercase and lower-case letters and special characters help to create strong passwords.
Be careful to change the default username in WordPress, which appears as ‘admin,’ and since it is well- known to all, is highly vulnerable to break-through by hackers intending to launch brute force attacks. Using a different user name by changing it immediately on launching the website reduces the vulnerability.
Following the best practices on the website, security should give complete peace of mind to WordPress users.