Simple steps to Create a WordPress blog that grows healthy and strong

WordPress blog that grows healthy and strong

If you are thinking about creating a blog but do not know on what platform to do it? Then, Creating a WordPress blog will be your best choice. And it goes without saying that WordPress is, to date, one of the most used dynamic content managers worldwide, reaching a share of 40% worldwide. Creating a WordPress blog for your web project that is safe and fast should be your goal to succeed. There are millions of websites that work with WordPress, possibly many are focused on the same type of audience and almost with the same recurring themes, so in addition to creating your blog you also have to differentiate yourself from the rest by building a WordPress blog that grows healthy and strong and allows you to achieve success every day by conquering new readers and loyal customers. Thanks to this manager you can customize your blog to your liking!

Create a WordPress blog that grows healthy and strong

If we dissect a WordPress installation to determine the critical elements, these would be the points you have to take into account:

  • Use, the core that prompts the rest of the associated elements.
  • Install backup plugins of data (backups) if possible automated.
  • Install additional security plugins to complement the measures of the server.
  • Choose a good Theme, which adapts 100% to all devices.
  • Consider other fundamental plugins that should be included in any installation.
  • Make settings in .htaccess and wp-config.php
  • Configure the basic WordPress parameters.
  • Improve the loading and speed of the website.
  • Create and send the sitemap to the search engines.
  • Configure Google Analytics.
  • Verify the load from PageSpeed ​​Insights and Pingdom.
  • Do a complete review of the website

The CMS (Content Management System)

1 Create a WordPress blog that grows healthy and strong

WordPress is one of the safest Content Management Systems. There are very few occasions in which the core of this CMS has been affected by serious vulnerabilities this year. Of course, if the plugins and the themes are poorly built and outdated, it can become a problem for your own security and, in some cases, the server of your Hosting account. Therefore, it can be said that 1% of security problems come from the WordPress core and the remaining 99% are the result of the conjunction of circumstances caused by vulnerable or infected themes or plugins, which can be attributed to this 99% directly to the user and the abandonment of maintenance tasks, updating and fortification of the website.

Backup Copies

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Although you do not believe it, they are your Guardian Angel, and they serve so that in irreversible situations you can backtrack and restore an available backup and recover the operative state that you had in WordPress before the problem or incident. Many plugins allow you to do it quickly and fairly simple, even unattended, by sending them to the cloud in Drive, Dropbox, Amazon, etc., such as:

With this shortlist of quite powerful plugins for backups, if you are one of those who do not yet have a backup plan, whether manual or better yet automated from your WordPress Blog, it’s something you’re doing wrong!

Watch Your Installations

If you are staying at Fort Knox then you can move to the next point on the list as security may not be a factor that should worry you, but as it surely will not, you will have to pay attention actively and passively to the security of your facilities of WordPress. Why do you have to do this? very simple, because absolute security does not exist and there are always vectors that can be the beginning of a security breach, even in the best servers and it is not good to rest 100% of the security in the hands of your web hosting provider. Your responsibility in this regard is to observe these points:

  • Keep the WordPress CMS always updated to stable versions.
  • Verify that your plugins and themes are updated.
  • Make backup copies, if possible automatically and daily.
  • Avoid accessing your Hosting and CMS from public or exposed connections.
  • Use a security keychain to store access data (LastPass).
  • Never provide the access data of your facilities to third parties.
  • Test plugins and themes or core update always first in a sandbox.

Free browser applications and for (paid) devices such as LastPass allow you to share access to the WordPress dashboard, FTP, and other services of your Hosting without the password being visible and/or modifiable. With these simple tips, you will be able to keep any WordPress installation more secure and stable in the face of any incident that may arise, and in the process, you will let the Hosting service do its part by applying security rules (mod_security), IDS, etc.

Choose Your Theme Well

Undoubtedly, it is the skin that your WordPress will use and it is like buying good pants, a dress, or that shirt that so much catches your attention when you pass through the window of your street. A hasty choice, without prior needs analysis, that covers all the points that you are going to deal with in your Blog or commercial website, can cause the result to be poor, and possibly not very fluid, which will directly affect the user’s experience when browsing for your web. If you dedicate time to choosing the theme for your blog you will get more visits and loyal users. Points that you must keep in mind for your theme to succeed:

  • That is 100% responsive: that is always displayed well from computers and mobile devices.
  • With or without a framework, but allowing a high degree of customization without touching code.
  • If possible, include a constructor type Visual Composer, Divi, or any other.
  • That is backed by a developer or company that supports you.
  • That has cycles of constant updates in time.
  • Always compatible with the current version of WordPress. (Avoid obsolescence).
  • And the most important, what you like and make you feel at home!

The theme you choose, free or premium, should represent the essence of the project that will integrate it and make you feel happy to work with it every day, without giving rise to becoming a time accused with poor results.

Plugins That Should Not Be Missed From Your Website

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Surely you have read a lot about it, whether lists, tips, recommendations of what plugins you should use … In the end, they are the ones that give a bit of joy and variety to any WordPress worth their smartness. On the other hand, there is a lot to do with the optimization and use of stable and well-programmed plugins rather than with the amount , since it is possible to have both an installation with only 6 plugins running, with very bad loading times, and many conflicts, as well as having an installation with 60 plugins installed and optimized, with excellent loading times. To make a correct choice depends a lot on the function of your website and, of course, also on the loading time.

Some plugins that you should have in your list are:

They are just a brushstroke to give you an idea of ​​what plugins you should consider in your WordPress installations, bearing in mind that not all are necessary but some of them are highly recommended. However, the decision is always yours! read to stay up to date and try in a secure environment any plugin (sandbox) before putting it on the real web.

Adjust .htaccess and wp-config.php

A correct .htaccess file is a guarantee of operation and will also allow you to add certain optimization codes of the WordPress site, such as headers to minimize risks of attacks to the site or define the UTF-8 encoding for most websites, without forgetting that in this file and, always at the beginning of it, is where we will add any 301 code that we need to redirect domains and URLs. An example of how the basic .htaccess file of any installation should be:

# BEGIN WordPress

RewriteEngine On
RewriteBase /
RewriteRule ^ index \ .php $ - [L]
RewriteRule. /index.php [L]

# END WordPress
From this example we can generate a more complete and complex .htaccess depending on the needs of the installation:

RewriteEngine On
RewriteCond% {HTTP_HOST} ^ domain \ .net $ [OR]
RewriteCond% {HTTP_HOST} ^ www \ domain \ .net $
RewriteRule ^ (. *) $ "Http \: \ / \ / domain \ .com \ / $ 1" [R = 301, L]

RewriteCond% {HTTP_HOST} ^ www \ domain \ .com $
RewriteRule ^ (. *) $ "Http \: \ / \ / domain \ .com \ / $ 1" [R = 301, L]

## X-Frame-Options header to improve security
Header always append X-Frame-Options SAMEORIGIN

# We tell the browser to try to load the HTTPS version first
Header add Strict-Transport-Security "max-age = 157680000"

## X-XSS-Protection header to prevent XSS attacks in IE and Chrome
Header set X-XSS-Protection "1; mode = block"

## X-Content-Type-Options header to prevent malicious style sheets or scripts from loading
Header set X-Content-Type-Options "nosniff"

# Deactivate server signature
Header set ServerSignature "Off"
Header set ServerTokens "Prod"

# Cross domain control policies
Header set X-Permitted-Cross-Domain-Policies "master-only"

# Content-Security-Policy Header 
Header set X-Content-Security-Policy "allow 'self';"

## Characters UTF-8

Header set Content-Type "text / html; charset = UTF-8"

## Expire browser cache

<filesmatch "\. (jpg | JPG | gif | GIF | png | PNG | css | js) $">
ExpiresActive on
ExpiresDefault "access plus 30 day"

## Enable compression for WordPress

AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text / plain
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text / html
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text / xml
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text / css
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text / javascript
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application / xml
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application / xhtml + xml
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application / rss + xml
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application / atom_xml
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application / javascript
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application / x-javascript
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application / x-shockwave-flash
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE image / svg + xml .svg .svgz

<filesmatch "\\. (ico | jpe? g | png | gif | swf) $">
Header set Cache-Control "max-age = 2592000, public"

<filesmatch "\\. (css) $">
Header set Cache-Control "max-age = 604800, public"

<filesmatch "\\. (js) $">
Header set Cache-Control "max-age = 216000, private"

<filesmatch "\\. (x? html? | php) $">
Header set Cache-Control "max-age = 600, private, must-revalidate"

## We block access to the .htaccess file

order allow, deny
deny from all

## We block access to the wp-config.php file

order allow, deny
deny from all

Options + FollowSymlinks

# BEGIN WordPress

RewriteEngine On
RewriteBase /
RewriteRule ^ index \ .php $ - [L]
RewriteRule. /index.php [L]

# END WordPress

## Protecting / wp-admin with an additional login form.

	ErrorDocument 401 default
	AuthUserFile /home/cuenta/.htpasswds/.htpasswd_cuenta
	AuthName "Restricted access"
	AuthType Basic
	Require valid-user

Basic Configurations in WordPress

Once you have installed WordPress, while you are still in the development phase of your web project, which is just when your list of tasks is more extensive, you have to find a few minutes to make the necessary and correct settings in WordPress so that later dragging errors. Some of these adjustments should be:

  • Check that your .htaccess file has the minimum recommended code and that it is not empty.
  • Verify that the robots.txt file exists and that you allow Googlebot and other bots such as Yandex, etc., to crawl.
  • Manage your sitemaps and send them to search engines.
  • Create a favicon to be displayed in browsers.
  • Avoid duplicate content, redirect your to (or vice versa).
  • Configure your user profile well, activate your social networks.
  • Change the user ‘admin’ for something less predictable.
  • Set the time zone of your Blog so you do not miss the scheduled posts.
  • Protect yourself against spam from minute zero, use Akismet.
  • Use NO CAPTCHA reCAPTCHA on all your forms.
  • Activate Google Analytics and start counting.
  • If you live in the EU or USA, activate the Cookies Policy.
  • The SEO on-page is the essence of what you publish for bots just do it right!. Don’t hesitate to read our SEO Optimization Guide for Beginners and Entrepreneurs.
  • Schedule a plugin for automatic backup copies.
  • Hello, World is a nice greeting, but nothing more. You must eliminate it.
  • Get rid of all the sample data you do not need before moving your blog to production.
  • Program the emptying of the trash can with define (‘EMPTY_TRASH_DAYS’, 30); in wp-config.php
  • Keep good control of the static files of your blog by caching them.
  • Organize your Menus and Categories right from the start.
  • Set the entry name in your permanent links.

The list may be much longer but I think that the points collected are the most faced many users, mainly those who start in WordPress and it does not hurt to serve as a reminder for advanced users and as a check-list for those who start their projects with WordPress.

Accelerate WordPress loading

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This is one of the points that you should consider the most for your website to score well in PageSpeed ​​Insights (Google) or Pingdom and the load times are minimal. Think that more and more users connect to the Internet from their mobile devices and almost always with limited data plans, which leads them to value and much time that your website takes to load in their mobile browsers. If your WordPress hosting uses SSD Disks on your servers, you already have a point gained to improve the loading speed. There are two main plugins that have been named before, and one of them (not both) will have to be the one you adopt to be responsible for accelerating the loading of your blog or store with WooCommerce in WordPress:

  • W3 Total Cache
  • WP Super Cache

Setting up a plugin to speed up the loading of your WordPress blog is a task that you must do without fear, as long as you take the necessary precautions, such as making a backup beforehand. Other aspects such as activating and configuring Google Analytics and generating a sitemap of your web, both desktop version, and mobile version, are part of the development strategy of your web project with WordPress so that, later, you only have to worry about receiving visits, managing comments, keep publishing good content and of course, what will make your audience fall in love! And for you, what are the most important aspects to make your WordPress website a safe, fast, and resistant workspace?

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