Are you ready for 2020? More importantly, is your website?
While the holiday season is a good time to reflect on the year that’s passed and plan for the year ahead, it’s also a great opportunity to make needed changes to your website and try out new ideas that will set you up for success when January rolls around.
That’s why the week between December 25th and December 31st is known as “Web Week.” It’s a time when many websites experience a significant dip in traffic, and as such, the lull is often used as a prime window for experimenting and making changes ahead of the new year.
At WP Engine, we’ll be ringing in Web Week with special offers you can use to enhance your digital experiences and arm them with the features and functionality they need for 2020 and beyond. Check back Friday, December 20th to find out all of the details.
In the meantime, here are some ideas you might consider as we head into Web Week 2019:
Reassess your CMS
When it comes to building and powering a website, there are a ton of options out there. Your website could have been built using any number of solutions available today, and depending on what your site is used for, your current setup may be sufficient.
But if the foundation of your website isn’t WordPress, it could also be a good time to reassess. WordPress is the world’s most popular Content Management System (CMS). It’s the first choice among CMS users, and it now powers more than 35% of the internet. That’s no coincidence; WordPress enjoys massive popularity today because it’s an intuitive platform that’s both powerful and easy to use.
Businesses of all sizes—from startups to major brands—are finding success with WordPress as either their primary or secondary CMS, and it’s become the go-to solution for many businesses looking to build out content hubs, eCommerce stores, corporate sites, and a wide range of other digital experiences that help differentiate their businesses online.
Try out a new theme
If you’re already familiar with WordPress, you may also be aware of the wide ecosystem of themes that are available for changing the look and feel of your WordPress site. Themes can bring new life to your content, and a well-built theme will help with things like SEO and page loading speeds.
At WP Engine, we offer customers access to our suite of Premium WordPress Themes at no extra cost. All of these themes are built using the Genesis Framework, which is one of the most widely used frameworks for building WordPress themes. They’re also search-engine-optimized and mobile responsive, which means they load quickly on any device.
Genesis-built themes also look great, and they’ve each been created for different use cases. Check out this white paper to learn more.
Outsource plugin maintenance
Maybe you’re already a devoted WordPress user, and your site is up and running without issue. Chances are, you’ve accumulated more than a couple of plugins along the way.
Plugins are uploadable bits of software that allow users to easily add features and functionality to their websites, and they’re arguably one of the best parts of WordPress. With nearly 55,000 free plugins available for download in the WordPress Plugin Repository, the options for tweaking and customizing WordPress sites have become almost limitless.
But like any piece of software, plugins require regular maintenance to remain up-to-date, which can become tedious, especially if you have multiple plugins running at the same time.
If you’ve found yourself increasingly bogged down with plugin maintenance, Web Week could be a good time for you to install and set up Smart Plugin Manager, which WP Engine launched to help WordPress site owners and developers deal with the headache of plugin maintenance.
Smart Plugin Manager automatically performs plugin updates on a scheduled interval that’s customizable by the user, and it runs a Visual Regression Test (VRT) using machine learning to identify if those updates passed or failed. If a VRT fails, updates are rolled back with messaging to the user about which plugin(s) contributed to the failure.
Check out this case study to find out more about Smart Plugin Manager and the ways it’s helping businesses free-up time and resources spent on tedious plugin maintenance.
Try something new
Whatever you end up doing with your site during Web Week, just remember that it’s a great time to tweak and experiment with things you may have been curious about all year long.
As always, make sure you’re using a staging or development environment and not on your live site when making changes, and don’t forget to check back here on December 20th for a full list of all the discounts and deals we’ll be highlighting for Web Week. Here’s to a new year filled with your best digital experiences yet!