WordPress is the world’s leading blogging and e-commerce platform. It’s simple to use, easy to customize, and you can choose from an incredible number of themes and plugins to help add functionality and to differentiate you from your competitors. However, none of that helps you build your blog readership.
It makes it easier for visitors to read your blog and navigate your website, but how do you drive more traffic where you want it? What’s more, how do you increase your traffic without also decreasing website security and safety?
Choose the Right Host
First and foremost, we need to touch on your web host and the role they play in both traffic generation/support and security.
There are few considerations more critical to website security than the web host that you choose. The right host will provide you with a wide range of benefits that lead to more robust protection, such as:
- Regular backups
- Ongoing updates and security patches
- Two-factor authentication
- SSL certificate
These are just a few ways that the right host can increase WordPress website security. They also play a role in your ability to serve your visitors, though. For instance, the bandwidth offered by the host you choose determines how many visitors can see your site each month. If you exceed your bandwidth limitations, your website will be unavailable.
There is also the host’s uptime guarantee to consider. The better the uptime guarantee, the more likely it is that your site will be available to visitors 24/7/365.
Choose the Right Theme
WordPress is renowned for its customizability. Don’t like the way your site looks? Just download and install a new theme. It’s that simple. However, not all themes are created equal. Some are sleek and user-friendly, while others are clunky and poorly designed. Some are professionally created, while others suffer from poor coding and significant security vulnerabilities.
In order to build website traffic and protect your website security, you need the right theme. How do you do that? There are a few considerations here. First, never, ever install a cracked version of a premium theme. That is just asking for problems.
In many cases, those cracked themes have malicious code injected into them. Check if your theme is a security risk – you do not want to keep a door open wide for hackers.
It’s also worth avoiding any theme that is not professionally designed. That doesn’t mean you need to pay for a theme.
There are plenty of professionally designed free themes out there, but premium themes do offer better aesthetics and functionality.
Poor quality themes can also suffer from other issues, including slow loading speed, that limit your ability to rank well in the SERPs. That reduces your organic traffic and stymies your efforts at building blog readership.
It doesn’t matter if you’re running a thought leadership blog or you’re attaching a blog to an e-commerce site, security is of paramount importance. If your URL doesn’t begin with https, you’re doing both yourself and your audience a disservice.
Make sure that you have an SSL certificate and you’ll find that your ranking in the SERPs improves (Google downgrades unsecured sites today) and that your audience is more confident and comfortable surfing the site.
Create Quality Content
This tip has less to do with website security than it does building your audience, but it’s important to put out there. Content remains king when it comes to Internet traffic and you need to opt for quality over quantity. Sure, it sounds better to have 100 posts than 10 posts, but Google and your human readers would disagree if those 100 posts were mainly trash. Quality content wins out over everything else.
Have a Mission
Again, this tip is more about building confidence with your audience and guiding your action than it is website security, but it’s important to note. What is your site’s mission? What is your goal with your posts? You should have a clear, concise mission statement, and every post you create should fall in line with that mission. When you create content that supports your mission, you’re also supporting your readers and building credibility.
There’s a lot to be said for linking to and from other websites. It’s important for SEO and rankings. However, internal linking from post to post and page to page is just as important. Contextual linking helps your readers navigate the site and find additional valuable information, and it also helps search engine spiders index and ranks your site.
There is also the fact that a highly-ranked post or page will boost the rank of every page linked to it, improving your visibility to searchers and helping to build your audience.
Social media cannot be ignored by bloggers today. You need to be present on the networks where your audience spends the most time, and you need to share your posts on those networks.
However, you also need to ensure you add social sharing buttons to your posts (at the top and bottom, preferably) so that your readers can do some of the legwork for you and share with their audiences.
Rinse and Repeat
Great content, a good web host, the right theme, and adherence to a mission with every blog published will get you where you want to go. However, it will take time. Be patient. Follow the steps we’ve outlined in this post, rinse, and then repeat. Nothing good comes easily, and even modest success can take weeks or even months of regular blogging to gain traction.
Ultimately, it is possible to build traffic to your blog without sacrificing website security and protection. The theme you choose and the host you use are two of the most critical factors. However, remember that there are many things that you can do to improve your security and reduce the chance of an attack.