7 Ways to Improve WordPress Without Spending Any Money

Dec 22, 2023 by
7 Ways to Improve WordPress Without Spending Any Money

Whether you are a blogger, small business owner or just a hobbyist who wants to create a website without all the hassle which goes into learning coding, WordPress is definitely one of the most practical solutions.

It began life 20 years ago as a simple content management system for publishing blogs, but has blossomed in the last two decades into one of the most comprehensive all-in-one content and website packages in the world.

WordPress is also a system with several pricing options, ranging from completely free to surprisingly expensive. However, if you are quite happy with what you are currently paying for your plan (or rather, are not paying for it) but want to get more out of your WordPress experience, these strategies will help you elevate your site’s performance and user experience without dipping into your wallet.

By harnessing the power of free resources and employing smart, efficient practices, you can completely transform your WordPress site on a tight, or even non-existent, budget. But it will take a little work.

1. Using Free Plugins and Themes

Perhaps the most impressive thing about WordPress is the sheer volume of free plugins and themes it offers for even lower tier users. These free tools can dramatically enhance not only the look but the functionality of your site. If you are looking to keep speed and performance in check, however, focus on themes which are more subtle and less busy, and only choose plugins which make sense for your site as the more plugins you use, the more it will impact site performance. And never neglect those security plugins as cybersecurity has never been more vital.

2. Optimising Speed

Website speed is crucial for user experience and SEO, but there are many ways you can use WordPress to keep your site running efficiently. Use free caching plugins like W3 Total Cache or WP Super Cache to boost the speed of your website by storing static files, and optimise images using tools like Smush or TinyPNG to reduce file sizes without losing quality.

3. Enhancing SEO

Improving your website’s SEO is vital for visibility and, while it is a far more complicated process which cannot be achieved through plugins alone, they can certainly help. Free tools and plugins like Yoast SEO or All in One SEO Pack are good starting points, and if SEO is something you were not even considering (for example, if you are just setting up a hobby site), you might as well at least give them a go.

4. Implementing Solid Security Measures

Enhance your website’s security by regularly updating all plugins, using strong passwords (and changing them semi-regularly). There are also bespoke security plugins offered by WordPress such as Wordfence or iThemes Security, which can be installed for added protection.

5. Social Media Integration

Social media has revolutionised marketing and user interaction in recent years and WordPress knows this all too well. That is why there are so many options included within the platform for social media integration, such as social sharing buttons, making it easier for visitors to share your content, and options allowing you to display your social media feeds directly from your site. If your site has a membership system you can enable logging in via their social media accounts for quick and easy access.

6. Improving User Experience (UX)

A great user experience keeps visitors on your site longer and brings them back time and time again. Enhance UX by implementing a cohesive and responsive design which works across all platforms (particularly mobile), keeping the navigational structure clear and intuitive and using plugins like Contact Form 7 to provide easy ways for users to reach out.

7. Regular Maintenance and Updates

While WordPress is a surprisingly deep and powerful platform, it is definitely not a “set and forget” situation. If you want to make the most of your site, you are going to want to keep it regularly updated and maintained. Use plugins like UpdraftPlus for regular backups, and tools like Google Analytics to track visitor behaviour and site performance, using those insights to make required changes. Also keep your site fresh with new and updated content, if not every day, then at least weekly.