Tens of thousands of new WordPress sites are created each day. In fact, in 2013, 18.9% of the Internet ran on WordPress and monthly page views for WordPress sites had risen to 4 billion. The stats indicate that these numbers will continue to grow, as millions people have chosen WordPress as their content management system alongside large brands like Time, CNN, TechCrunch, Major League Baseball, and the National Football League.
WordPress is a powerful platform that lends itself to endless possibilities; with WordPress, the only limit is your own creativity. Even so, some people may be skeptical about switching to this content management system. After all, something so powerful must be complicated to install and maintain, right? Surely it takes a lot of time to keep the site up and running?
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How can you save time while building a quality website on WordPress?
The best way to save time on a WordPress project is to define your scope upfront. Whether working individually or on a team, properly estimating your project’s timeline is vital to success. You’ll need to perform evaluations and take many things into account, including your team’s abilities and strengths, potential problems that could appear, and your experiences on past projects. Failing to do this may result in scope creep, or just lost time in the future as you scramble to correct mistakes.
Here are some time-saving steps you can take in your project’s planning stages to allow for higher productivity after launch:
1. Define your requirements
Whether you’re working for a client or putting together a project of your own, you must first determine what you need your WordPress site to do. Determine what is feasible and what is an unrealistic for the project (or the budget). Think practically. Pare things down to “must haves,” “nice-to-haves,” and “not-gonna-happens.” For instance, developing a site that can easily be accessed via mobile might be a necessity. Spend the majority of your time on the “must haves” and incorporate the “nice-to-haves” when you are finished with those (if time and budget allow). The “not-gonna-happens” may come later, probably in a round of revisions or as an entirely separate project. Don’t be afraid to say “no” in this stage. Doing so now will help you accomplish more things in the long run and leave you with more time post-launch to make adjustments.
2. Organize your workflow and maintain tracking reports
Once you know the scope and requirements for your project, you can begin breaking them down into manageable pieces. Sort these pieces into larger, related phases of development. You can determine your overall progress as well as time spent as you track completion of these smaller pieces.
3. Take advantage of available project management tools
When you have your project broken down into reasonable chunks, you can use project management tools and software to mark your progress and time spent in completing them. Depending on the tool or software, you will also be able to make notes or additions and assign tasks to other team members.
You will be more productive and your project will run more smoothly if you properly plan and strategize in the beginning stages.
If you want to be productive, you need to think about what plugins and widgets you need to help you accomplish your goals.
When working with a self-hosted install of WordPress, it’s critical to know the ins-and-outs of your chosen host. What is their average uptime? How quickly and efficiently do they respond to support requests? You’ll lose hours of productive time if your site goes down and your host doesn’t work quickly to resolve the issue. You’ll lose even more time if you choose your host unwisely and then have to migrate to a new one. Weigh your options and choose carefully.
With time being such a critical resource in today’s world, it’s important to leverage every tool and strategy available to ensure efficiency. With the tips above you’ll be on a good path to making the most out of WordPress. What tips, tools, and tricks do you use to streamline your WordPress workflow?