I’ve worked really hard to provide (and update!) solid best-tips for WordPress in my free guides here on the blog, but so much has changed with WordPress over the last year that it was time for a new post. WordPress 2022 is set to be the biggest year of growth and improvements yet!
Alright, let’s jump in!
Get It Right, Right From the Start
If you’re considering a new WordPress website (or moving to WordPress from a site like Blogger), then it’s important to get started on a solid foundation. This is my jam! I love working with new site owners. I take care of alllll the things and provide guidance every step of the way so that your site checks all the important boxes. Take a look at my site, read reviews from happy clients, browse my shop, and let me know how I can help you.
If you already have a website but it hasn’t been updated recently, I can help with that too! Maybe you love your branding, logo, colors, etc. but need a new theme that checks off the WordPress 2022 boxes. Or maybe you’re ready for a total redo. Either way, I can help with those too.
You have a million things on your to do list as a blogger, small business owner, entrepreneur, coach, etc. Taking care of your website doesn’t need to be one of them. Pass that task off and focus on your unique area of expertise. Here’s a look at how I worked my own site in for an update and what a difference it made!
WordPress Themes + Editor Updates
One of the biggest changes with WordPress 2022 is the move away from widget-based themes toward full site editing. I like to think about WordPress themes like the blueprints of a house. When you’re selecting your floor plan, each room translates to a “widget”. In older versions of WordPress, these widgets weren’t very flexible without a lot of additional work ($$). This meant you were mostly “stuck” within the confines of that theme, so you needed to search for one that closely matched the vision of your site (or spend a lot of extra money having one made/customized for you). Accessing/editing widgets to meet your vision was also more technical and often required additional plugins (which can slow down your site and hurt SEO). If you wanted a drastic change, it often meant installing a totally new theme.
With the newer themes, widgets like that are a thing of the past. Now most pages (including the homepage!) have nearly endless possibilities and are much easier to edit visually after initial set up. This means your theme can grow with you as your needs change. Installing these themes and perfecting each little section and setting can take additional time, but it’s worth it.
If you’re running a Genesis-based theme (which was the previous gold standard), it’s probably time for an update to something more flexible!
Similar to editing the website layout/theme this way, your blog posts on WordPress 2022 also have a lot more style options and flexibility. If you’re an experienced WordPress user and still writing your blog posts in “classic editor”… stop it right now! Make the leap to the new blocks-based editor. You can start by using the most basic options here and then experiment with fancier styles as you have more time and become more comfortable. This classic editor will eventually be retired, so don’t want to use it until you’re forced into it.
Google Page Speed Insights + SEO
If you’re an experienced website owner, then you’ve probably heard a lot of buzz about Google Page Speed and how better/faster sites will rank better/higher in Google search results. Mobile/responsive websites are important too, which means your website needs to look awesome across desktops, laptops, ipads, phones, etc. This whole concept is a little messy because the page speed tests are kind of like those teachers who refuse to give perfect scores. Even Google’s own sites didn’t score perfectly on their own insight tests! However, it is worth paying attention to best practices for your website. If you’re on an older theme, you’ll probably be surprised how much of a speed boost simply changing to a newer WordPress theme will give you!
Choosing a solid hosting provider for your website is also important. A better/faster host can mean extra performance options for your website. SiteGround is my favorite WordPress host that works beautifully for most of your “average” websites. If you have a larger site or high traffic, you may need to consider upgrading. Fortunately moving hosts is pretty simple these days.
Keep It Updated
Keep in mind that WordPress requires maintenance. Just like a car that needs gas, tire rotations, and oil changes… your website needs tune-ups too! This post has a checklist with weekly, monthly, and annual suggestions. Ignoring plugin and other WordPress updates can put your site at a security risk and risk breaking your site. It’s much easier to stay on top of updates as they come than to get behind and wonder which update (or lack of update!) caused your site to crash.
If you’re running an existing site, I would also recommend considering how old your theme is and suggest that it may be worth investing in a new one due to all of the recent WordPress changes. Again, Genesis themes, I’m looking at you.
Looking for a WordPress Intro Guide?
Visit my FREE Launch Your Site in 30 Days guide for more tips on setting up your WordPress site, understanding themes, ranking with Google, and more.