A content management system (CMS) like WordPress is a software that lets you create, manage, store, edit and publish all of your of content without any serious HTML or programming skills.
Thanks to this ability to edit your content from any computer that connects to the internet, you don’t have to rely on a third party, like developers or web hosts, to stay up to date, right?
Well, sort of.
A CMS is designed to streamline your workflow, making life easier, while also reducing costs and increasing productivity.
It’s true that a CMS website gives you greater control. You get the benefits of overcoming technical barriers to adding content, allowing multiple people to add and edit content, and facilitate faster updates.
It’s also true that with greater control and power comes greater responsibility.
Just because a CMS gives you the flexibility to manage content whenever you want doesn’t mean it’s getting done and getting done right. At its most serious, mismanaging your CMS website is like hanging up a sign that informs hackers you’re open for attack.
Here are 7 tips to follow when you have the responsibility of a content management system.
1. Maintain Site Security By Updating
The developers and contributors are constantly updating plugins to keep WordPress efficient and secure. When a bug or vulnerability is discovered, they get to work on a solution right away.
If you’re not updating your WordPress site and its plugins on a timely basis, this means it’s unsafe and probably vulnerable to hackers. With a single click, you can maintain your website’s security by simply updating your theme, plugins, and the latest version of WordPress.
It’s always possible that a security hole exists somewhere on WordPress since it’s an open source software and highly targeted by hackers. However, keeping your data updated will greatly reduce the risk.
2. Perform Backups
Besides regular updates, part of keeping your CMS secure involves performing regular backups. Determine who will do this and how often you want it done.
There are several backup solutions available, including paid versions such as the highly touted VaultPress. Your web hosting provider will often offer backup plans as part of your hosting package.
3. Basic Updates of Site Content
When content needs to be updated, it is often confusing to people who are either not adequately trained or who aren’t using the site regularly. A CMS like WordPress isn’t difficult to use when you’re working with it on a regular basis.
If you know you need basic updates of site content monthly, for example, then be sure someone is trained and tasked to do so.
4. Configure Your Content Management System for SEO
SEO is user-friendly with plugins like the WordPress SEO Plugin by Yoast. Custom titles and meta descriptions are common elements with these plugins, but there are other important configurations as well.
Generating a sitemap file, customizing URLS, and eliminating duplicate content are just three ways to improve your site’s SEO, helping you gain more subscribers and elevate your rankings.
5. Blogging for SEO
If your website includes a blog, your CMS will make it simple to manage regular content curation. Manually posting and maintaining valuable content for your site’s SEO can be easily handled by the same people who write and develop it.
The only trouble is dedicating someone to this task and making sure it is regularly scheduled for consistent SEO results.
6. Not So Simple Navigation Changes
Making navigation changes may seem like a no-brainer in your CMS, but even the simplest changes can have enormous consequences.
Your navigation menu is like a road sign directing street traffic. Without it, your visitors will have difficulty finding their desired destination. This is one area where you should be well-informed with WordPress before altering things and dramatically affecting the user experience.
7. Keep Current With Comments
If you have a comment section for your blog, you will need to keep current with your readers’ comments and be prepared to write replies. Comments give your visitors a way to interact with you, creating a sense of community and encouraging return visits.
Setting your comments so they publish only when approved is a good practice, allowing you to weed out spam, a way for insidious malware to sneak in through your backdoor.
Make a plan to keep your CMS well-groomed and secure with either an internal process or with your web hosting company. Don’t let your CMS-based site appear shabby, out of date, or open to hackers.