How to Evaluate Your WordPress Website for the New Year

The start of a new year is a great time to evaluate your WordPress website, looking for ways to improve it. A website is never finished; it can always be improved. Let's start evaluating your site!

Get Access

  • Get access to the WordPress admin area. You'll need an Administrator account.
  • Get access to Google Analytics. You'll need at least Read & Analyze permission at the View level.

Run Site Evaluators

Run these site evaluators:

The first two evaluators also evaluate SEO, which is a topic for another time.

Test Speed

Users want a fast website, and, therefore, Google does too. Run these performance tests:

Two of the site evaluators mentioned above also cover speed, so pay attention to those too.

Follow the recommendations to improve your performance. See our post How to Speed up Your WordPress Site (WordPress Performance Optimization).

Review Front End

The front end of your site is the part that people see when they visit it. Click through all pages of your site, looking for anything out of place. A few areas to look:

  • design elements: layout, graphics, photos, etc.
  • functionality: Do links, forms, and other features work?
  • copy/text: Is the text still accurate? Are there typos?
  • social icons: are they linking to the right places?
  • calls to action: are you guiding visitors where you want them to go?

Be sure to review the site from at least one mobile device too. If possible, check with more than one, running different systems (Android and iOS, for example).

It's a good idea to have others review your site too. You can also get a free review by Peek; you'll get a video of a user clicking through your site, thinking out loud.

Review Back End (WordPress Admin Area)

The back end of your site is the WordPress admin area; the part that you use to manage your site. Click through it, looking for anything out of place. A few areas to look:

  • Posts
  • Pages
  • Comments
  • Media
  • Themes
  • Users
  • Settings

Remove anything unnecessary. Correct anything that needs fixing.

Test Security

A secure site is good for you, your visitors, and your search ranking. Here's how to evaluate your WordPress site's security:

  1. Scan with Sucuri SiteCheck
  2. Scan with Wordfence
  3. Run Theme Authenticity Checker
  4. Run No Longer in Directory

Some of these scans may give false positives (they may report "problems" that aren't truly problems). If you don't know what you're looking for, you may be overwhelmed. Later we'll tell you how we can help.

When you finish your evaluations, delete these plugins from your site.

Check Tech Details

The ServerBuddy plugin will tell you info about your server and site. Check the following areas:

  • Look for any warnings
  • Click Directory Size Listing and review the size of directories. If any look abnormally large, see what's taking up space, and delete as appropriate.
  • Look at the Database/table size. If any tables look abnormally large, see what's taking up space, and delete as appropriate.

Unfortunately, this plugin hasn't been updated in over two years. As far as I know, it still works fine. If you know a good replacement, please leave a comment!

Review Google Analytics

You review your analytics regularly, right? If you do, this is still a good time to look again. If you don't, now's the time to start! Click through the reports to see what's working well and what isn't. That will tell you areas to improve.

Conclusion

Armed with this evaluation, you can now create an action plan for improving your site.

If you'd rather not do this type of evaluation yourself, or you don't know what to do with the results, you're in luck! We can evaluate your website for you. We can also help improve the areas that may need improvement.

Featured image from theilr

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