Website Checklist for a Responsive User Friendly WordPress Website

Launching a WordPress website? This Handy Website Checklist will Help You Make Sure Your WordPress Website is User Friendly and Responsive.

 wordpress development services

Design Elements That Determine Whether or Not a Website is User-Friendly

When you search for WordPress themes for new websites, the first criterion should be that it is search engine friendly. Any website design must have all the necessary elements that make it easy for search engines to crawl and index – equally important it should be easy for your users to navigate. If you want your WordPress website to appear in Google Search, then you had better make sure your checking all the necessary elements that will get you there. By following this WordPress website checklist, you can make sure that your website is User-Friendly and Search engine loved.

 

It’s impossible for small business owners to know everything especially when it comes to website design. However, you don’t have to be a developer to make sure that your WordPress website is a success – you can simply follow this website checklist.

Just like anything else, with website design there are literally thousands of elements to take into account, in this article, we’re going to simplify and distill this list down to the essential design elements that constitute search friendly web design.

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1. Your WordPress Site Should Use Responsive Web Design

responsive wordpress theme

Since the time mobile devices started gaining popularity, the signs were clear that mobiles were going to be the most popular device for searching the internet. Now, with Google’s mobile-first policy it is no more a choice but a necessity to create mobile-friendly websites. For businesses, it is now a one-point agenda – to gain high ranks in mobile search because the rate of conversion from mobile searches is almost 50%. For local businesses, the figure is even more attractive as 78% searches result in some purchases.

Responsive web design is not the only way of creating mobile-friendly websites; however it is Google’s preferred method and that should mean a lot to you if you’re goal is to rank in Google.

Responsive Web design is the approach that suggests that design and development should respond to the user’s behavior and environment based on screen size, platform and orientation. Using responsive design helps to create a single website design that is capable of adjusting to various screen sizes without any deformity or distortion.

The web developers at Quantomco Marketing Toronto stated that WordPress is the best CMS that you can use to create the most SEO friendly responsive website.

 

Use This WordPress Mobile First Website Checklist Prior To Launch

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  • CHECK YOUR SPEED SCORE
    Use a tool like Google Pagespeed Insights, GTMetrix , and Pingdom to see how quickly your site loads and what you can do to make it even faster. If at all possible, shoot for a loading time below two seconds.
  • CHECK RESPONSIVE DESIGN
    Mobile is bringing in a lot of traffic these days and having a site that looks good on mobile devices is a must. To ensure an optimal user experience, test your design on different gadgets (both phones and tablets) and platforms (Android, iOS) and/or use something like MobileTest.me
  • USE GOOGLE’S MOBILE TESTING TOOL
    In addition to manual testing, Google also offers a mobile testing tool with lots of helpful feedback. Just input your URL and it will run a full analysis of your site.
  • VALIDATE HTML MARKUP
    To avoid incompatibilities, use tools like W3C’s Markup Validation Service to check all pages of your site adhere to web standards
  • TEST SOCIAL SHARING FUNCTIONALITY
    Check whether social sharing is in place, working properly, and includes the right platforms and profiles.
  • CONFIRM FORM MESSAGES AND REDIRECTS
    Make sure your users are receiving personalized confirmation messages and not generic WordPress responders.
  • Install The AMP Plugin for Mobile First Indexing

    Google is giving prime real estate to AMP pages in mobile search results, and if you don’t have AMP on your site, you’re not getting any of that traffic. This plugin adds support for the Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) Project, which is an open source initiative that aims to provide mobile optimized content that can load instantly everywhere.

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2. Lots of Good Content Should Be a Priority

content Writing Services

By creating search engine friendly websites, you declare that the design elements you have chosen are most conducive for crawling by search engines. Although search engines can crawl different media, the text is the most effective media for search optimization. You must have more textual content to enable better indexing of pages by search engines.

  • Make sure that every page of the website has some textual content even if it is a short product description of 120- 150 words; however optimally you will have a minimum of 300 words.
  • Users love videos, but when it comes to search engines, having text-based transcription of videos and audio is a good idea.
  • Use text as permissible in the page titles and Meta description. Use the Yoast SEO plugin to guide you.
  • Do not commit the mistake of using text on images for relevant content/information because the search engines do not crawl upon text imposed on images. For conveying necessary information, use pure text only.

 

Use This Pre-launch WordPress Content Checklist as a Guide:

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  • REPLACE DUMMY CONTENT
    Check your site for placeholder text (such as Lorem ipsum) and make sure that you have actual high quality content that is going to speak to your customers.
  • PROOFREAD
    Nothing says “unprofessional” more than spelling mistakes and poor grammar, so double check all text on the site and then check again.
  • FORMAT WRITTEN CONTENT
    Layout is important! To lay out out content effectively online, avoid big blocks of text, use paragraphs, but keep all your text in easy to view and bite sized blocks with headlines that stand out.
  • CHECK FOR PLACEHOLDER IMAGES
    Don’t leave placeholder images and space fillers. Update all images and make sure all watermarked images are replaced with actual images.
  • REPLACE DUMMY CONTENT
    Check your site for placeholder text (such as Lorem ipsum) and make sure that you have actual high quality content that is going to speak to your customers.
  • PROOFREAD
    Nothing says “unprofessional” more than spelling mistakes and poor grammar, so double check all text on the site and then check again.
  • FORMAT WRITTEN CONTENT
    Layout is important! To lay out out content effectively online, avoid big blocks of text, use paragraphs, but keep all your text in easy to view and bite sized blocks with headlines that stand out.
  • CHECK FOR PLACEHOLDER IMAGES
    Don’t leave placeholder images and space fillers. Update all images and make sure all watermarked images are replaced with actual images.

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3. Image Optimization is Essential

wordpress image optimization

Images have a massive impact on viewers ranging from load time to motivating an action. Optimizing your images on WordPress will improve user experience and even give you the opportunity to have your image appear in Google image search results. Image optimization is probably the most overlooked aspect in the website design process pre-launch and post launch. There is no room for debate — you have to optimize your images to increase search visibility.

A good way of optimizing images with text is to include specific keywords in the name of the image by replacing the file name. When inserting the image in the page, use all available HTML attributes. In case there is difficulty in loading the image on the page or the viewer is using a screen reader the alt text will show up and whenever someone hovers over the image the title text becomes visible. Alternatively, add a caption to the image to explain it and express its relevance to the page.

If you’re still not sold on all the image optimization thing… Let’s look at all the benefits that you will get, and it’s really not all that difficult:

  • Your site will be faster
  • Your Google PageSpeed score will be better
  • Google will like you more and your search engine rankings will improve
  • Your bounce rate will improve
  • You will need less storage on your servers and you will spend fewer resources on servers, which will save you money

Your WordPress Website Checklist for Image Optimization

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  • OPTIMIZE IMAGES (AGAIN)
    Double check image file names, descriptions, and ALT tags for keyword inclusion and make sure each image is compressed for
    quick loading times
  • DON’T UPLOAD FULL SIZE IMAGES
    Everyone likes a clear photo, but you don’t have to upload a 5MG image file. Properly size your photo proportions prior to uploading.
  • Helpful Image Compression Tools:

    IrfanView is great freeware to batch-resize your images with advanced options like optimization, watermark and borders.
    ImageMagick is an advanced open-source tool which can be used in a variety of programming languages and operating systems. You can write your own app or simply use it via the command line.
    ImageOptim (Mac) allows you to drag whole folders and quickly optimize multiple images.
    TinyPNG is an online image compression tool with an API.

  • You can use Ewww Image Optimizer to automatically optimize any images you upload to your blog as long as they’re either JPG, PNG, or GIF files. It also includes a function to optimize your entire media catalog, in case you already have lots of images on your site.
  • WP Smush is WPMU DEV’s image optimization plugin, available in both free and premium formats. This is another great plugin option to help streamline your image compression.
  • The Kraken Image Optimizer enables you to optimize PNG, JPG, and GIF files through its own API. By default, the Kraken Image Optimizer will optimize your images using an ‘intelligent lossy’ compression profile, which is designed to yield drastic savings without notably impacting image quality.

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4. Base the navigation structure on text

Organizing the web pages and creating links between the content and pages help smooth navigation through the website that enhances user experience. The site must have a clear hierarchy along with text links. It must be convenient to reach every page of the website from one static link. How you organize the site depends on the number of web pages. In the simplest form, you can have the main navigation bar that links to the main pages of the website. For more complex website organization, there could be categories, sub-categories and the pages contained within. However, with user experience in mind, it is better to restrict the breaking down of pages into not more than three levels.

 

Your WordPress Website Checklist for Site Structure

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  • SET UP PERMALINKS
    Make sure the permalink structure is set to your liking (Settings > Permalinks) and that each page URL contains its main keyword.
  • CREATE a SITEMAP
    Yoast SEO and Google XML Sitemaps can help you set up a sitemap to share with search engines. If you are still working in a development environment, skip this step until you have moved the site to its final destination
  • LINK HEADER LOGO BACK TO HOMEPAGE
    First of all, make sure your company logo is present and functional by having it link back to the home page.
  • SET SITE TITLE AND TAGLINE
    If your SEO plugin doesn’t already take care of your site’s title and tagline, make sure to set it under Settings > General.

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5. WordPress Updating & Maintenance

wordpress redirects

It’s easy even for veteran WordPress administrators to forget things at times. One of the most common missed items during updates is setting 301 redirects when updating pages. Do not forget to redirect viewers to the new page that you create when redesigning any website page. When you delete the old page and replace it with a new one, visitors who happen to reach the old URL would receive a 404-error page notification telling that the page does not exist unless you provide a redirect link to the new page. The redirect link would help to retain the traffic that came from the old page that you have now removed.

 

Use This WordPress Website Checklist When Updating Content

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  • CONFIGURE SEO PAGE AND POST TITLES
    All pages and posts on your site should have unique titles with less than 70 characters that include the keywords each of them are optimized for. Again, Yoast SEO is the best plugin for this.
  • IMPLEMENT META DESCRIPTIONS
    Likewise, create unique and expressive meta descriptions for all posts and pages that include keywords and are less than 156
    characters long.
  • SET UP METADATA
    Check meta tags for social and RSS feeds and whether they are set up correctly, appropriate, and proofread. Don’t forget to implement optional tags like rel=”nofollow”.
  • REDIRECTION
    Quick Redirects are designed to be quick and simple to add. You do not need to have an existing page or post set up to add one. You just put the Request URL and the Destination URL and the plugin will redirect it. This type of redirect is great for fixing typos when a page was created, redirecting old URLs to a new URL so there is no 404, and to redirect links from an old site that has been converted to WordPress.

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The above WordPress tips will help ensure that your website is capable of making search engines and users happy.

Once you’ve mastered using WordPress on a daily basis, you can use the Killer WordPress Maintenance Checklist below provide by Capsicum Media Works.

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