WordPress Development Best Practices: Make Sites your Clients Love

Continual improvement is vital for WordPress developers. How many WordPress updates have you seen since you started WordPress development? As things change, you must focus on improving your skills and on the best practices to achieve results. 

To impress your clients, set up a WordPress development checklist so you can avoid continuous revisions from clients. All you have to do is to understand what makes a WordPress site great and how to execute a development strategy in the best possible way. Below is a list of WordPress best practices so you can create websites that your clients will love.


How to optimize the site for search engine traffic

How often do you see companies and small businesses searching for good web developers to optimize their sites? SEO has become the ultimate golden buzzword for owners and marketers alike. 

This is because website optimization is extremely important when it comes to search engine traffic. A site with code clutter, unresponsive scripts, and slow loading time can never get to the top of search engine results. 

Every small business wants to grow its organic reach. It’s possible if their website is properly optimized for search engine traffic. If you are just stepping into the web development world, then you can learn a lot from the mistakes of other professionals. 

In our line of work, research and preparation are paramount. You win the battle of web development long before you actually sit down and start laying elements onto the page.


The importance of backing everything up

Failing to back your work up could cause you to lose a site… and the client. If a client loses all the work on the website just because you never added a reliable backup plugin to a WordPress site, then it’s your fault.

It is extremely important to back up a WordPress site regularly. Some people would say that they can rely on their hosting provider and those are the people making huge mistakes. 

For years, I have been relying on a few major backup plugins including UpdraftPlus, and BackupBuddy. All you have to do is just set them up and forget about everything else. 

When you are developing a website, you must focus on backing up files that you have already created. It’s a simple process and it is one of the best practices every web developer should be focusing on.


Keep improving and tweaking

As technology evolves we have to evolve with it. Marketers and developers should find themselves at the cutting age, or risk becoming irrelevant. 

As a web developer, your life is very short unless you keep improving your knowledge and expertise. If you are mostly working on WordPress, then you must check their update logs to understand how WordPress has evolved over the years. 

I strongly suggest you keep improving your skills to make a website better according to the change in algorithms of major search engines. 

This is what I do on a usual basis. Whenever there is a WordPress update, I go out and check the logs to see what they have improved and what they have introduced in a new version. Once I know the major changes, I will note them down, update my website, and do a quick quality assurance check. If there is anything wrong with the theme, or plugin files, I update them accordingly. 

You must understand the goal (that is developing a website with efficiency), and that should empower you to take on any challenge.


Don't undersell yourself as a web developer

Now that you have the skill of developing a website from scratch, you need to learn how to sell your services. If someone asks you to make tweaks and optimize their website for search engine traffic, you should have all the knowledge and expertise to make that happen. 

Unfortunately, I can see so many new web developers underselling themselves as web developers. If you have worked so hard and developed excellent skills to develop and design websites, then you should not undervalue yourself as a professional. 

There are a few tips that you can work on to create a good impression on your clients. 

What’s of utmost importance is excellent communication. While talking to a client and proposing your scope of work, how you differentiate yourself from others is solely dependent on your communication skills. The early bird catches the worm, and the freelancer with the fastest response time catches the client.

Secondly, you must have a good portfolio to demonstrate your skill to prospective clients. Branding is key for every small business and even if you are working as a freelancer, you should have a well-designed portfolio to show your clients. You must provide case studies and give a detailed explanation of the projects you have worked on in the past. 

Lastly, your ability to take on challenges will take you from good to great. You know how to code, so you can solve problems. If you can compete and take on business challenges in the same way, you will be able to upsell your services. 

If you have a killer combination of all of these skills, you can easily sell your services with integrity. You should be confident in yourself and take pride in what you do.


Never sell yourself short!

My business partner Nick has always believed in providing the best client experience. When it comes to adopting WordPress best practices, Nick has been on point every time. You don’t have to push that hard when you are trying to show the professionalism you have got. 

You just have to stick to the basics. The practices are very simple. According to Nick, when you develop a WordPress site, focus on writing readable code. Even when the client asks his developer friend to take a look at his website, his friend should be able to read the code. Make it universal so it is understandable by other developers. 

You need to be reliable when developing a WordPress site. It should meet all WordPress standards. You must understand that every business website uses 10 WordPress plugins on average. If your developed site is not up to the standards, then you will start getting complaints about compatibility.

I hope all of the best practices listed above will help you in your WordPress development journey and help you establish a successful development practice. 

Picture of Tom Gaddis

Tom Gaddis

Attended the School of Hard Knocks. A former restaurant manager in Oklahoma, Tom always wanted to be self-employed and free from the butt-smooching of the corporate world. He wanted success bad enough that he picked up his family, including two small children and moved to beautiful Maui, Hawaii. Starting from zero, Tom embarked on building a local marketing consulting business. And promptly fell on his face! It seems Hawaiians were lovely people, until you tried to sell them something! But he persevered and learned from his mistakes. Today he's arguably one of the most successful in his niche and expecting to grow over 100% this year alone.

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