6 Reasons Why WordPress is Ideal in Startup Companies Today

Online presence is critical for any business looking to become a profitable venture. This is especially the case for startups that must leverage modern techniques. They can use a website to sell their ideas to stakeholders and their target audiences.

If you’ve just launched your startup, you’re probably worried about building a website. If you’ve already passed that phase and are thinking about the best platform, how about WordPress? A free website creation platform that’s ideal for startups. It allows startups to edit and alter the appearance of their websites without using code.

Every business needs a website, especially if it’s new and needs to grow into a successful venture. If you have no idea where to start, it’s important to seek help from a digital marketing agency for startups.

Getting a professional with a speciality in your business takes a lot off your shoulders. It gives you time to take care of other matters concerning your startup.

Usually, startups are short on cash, making it difficult to get experts to work with. Hiring a professional website developer enables a business to have its digital marketing strategy in order. So, how much should a startup spend on marketing?

According to experts, a startup should spend 12%-20% of the gross revenue on marketing.
Depending on the business strategies, you can figure out how to budget for the money. This is why it’s important to have an effective startup marketing agency.

A business needs to have a powerful digital presence to grow. Presently, customers Google businesses while comparing them to competitors. If you have a weak website or are not on the internet, you lose the game to your competitors. So marketers are leveraging digital marketing tactics, which has enabled them to increase their conversion rates.

The Benefits of WordPress for Startups

Many businesses, established and startups don’t know how beneficial WordPress is. Neither do they know why they need to use it for their businesses. In this article, we give you reasons why it’s a platform worth considering.

Let’s get started!

1. WordPress is Free

Nothing sounds better to a cash-strapped entrepreneur than hearing that WordPress is free. Which begs the question, so what’s the catch? WordPress is open source. Meaning that it’s not owned by anyone.

This website creation platform is backed by a billion-dollar company, Automattic. It also has the backing of volunteers all over the world who’re constantly working to improve it.

The platform is licensed under the General Public License. This makes it free for those who want to build websites. Users have access to free themes, updates, and plugins from the WordPress repository.

Just to make one thing clear. Yes, WordPress software is free. But that doesn’t mean that you will run a website at zero costs. There are costs attached to hosting, the domain name, and customisation.

Startup’s Scalability

As exciting as it can be, starting a business is challenging. So, how do you ensure that you are on the right path? You must integrate professionals and technology to make your business grow. By technology, in this case, we are talking about WordPress.

Apart from WordPress, you also need to seek the services of a startup branding agency. A properly funded startup branding strategy forms a roadmap for the company. It leads the company towards growth in the industry.

Advertising is another important tool for a successful startup. Now, advertising for startups is not as easy considering the limited resources. But that’s not to say that it’s impossible. Especially if you’ve adopted the use of WordPress, a free platform that can be used to talk about your products and services.

When using WordPress, you can display your ads in the sidebar. By using WordPress widgets, you can add Google Adsense in your sidebar. Then choose whether you want your ad to be fixed or responsive. This enables any visitor to your site to get to know more about what you do. In the long term, you start to reap the benefits

WordPress is Secure

When it comes to the security of a website, no platform is 100% safe. Especially when hackers are always devising ways of accessing company websites. WordPress hasn’t been spared either, considering its growing popularity.

What makes it a better platform is that it’s fairly safe. Reason being that it’s constantly monitored for security threats. Aside from that, its users are always quick to raise any security concerns. The platform is also prompt in releasing security updates. It also takes care of minor updates automatically by default.

As a user, it’s important to note that the security of your website is your responsibility. Select a reliable host with quality themes and plugins. Ensure that you have strong usernames and passwords. Also, be sure to update WordPress regularly. You should also backup your website every once in a while to enhance its security.

Extensive Plugins

Websites have different needs depending on different company operations. While some may be selling products, others may want an interactive community. WordPress provides a platform for different kinds of websites. It also allows companies to add functions that will enable them to achieve their goals.

WordPress gives you the liberty to choose a plugin from the more than 50,000 plugins in their repository.

The free plugins are great additions to a startup’s website. They can also add on functions whenever the need arises in business. For instance, a company may not need a live chat on its website at the beginning. But as time goes and the need arises, they can easily add a plugin for the needed functions.

WordPress is Mobile-Friendly and Easy to Use

There are more people today accessing the internet via mobile devices. And just so you know, Google doesn’t take kindly to websites that aren’t compatible with smartphones.

That is not something to worry about though, as WordPress has everyone covered. The technology it uses is compatible and can create web pages for smartphones. It also has a series of free and premium themes, with the ability to adapt to the size of the user’s screen.

When it comes to ease of use, WordPress has one of the best features. You can use it even without knowing any code. It’s just like working with any other processor. A startup can create web pages from a user-friendly interface. Not to pour cold water on the importance of basic coding skills, but even without them, you can still enjoy using WordPress.

The platform has courses, training, videos, podcasts, and blogs to assist you. It excels at Do-it-yourself, and even newbies can create content. It also allows you to embed third-party content like Vimeo and YouTube.

It’s Flexible and Customised

The other best thing about WordPress is its flexibility. The platform comes loaded with Javascript libraries that constitute jQuery.

Every theme on WordPress has in-built customisation characteristics that are easy to customise. The premium themes have built-in drop and drag features which are also easy to customise.

WordPress is so simple to use, it’s like finding one of the best webinar platforms, once you have found a great solution, you simply carry on using it.

Final Thoughts

If you’re an entrepreneur who’s just launched a startup, this article must have been informative. Now you’re well informed about WordPress and why your business needs it. As an entrepreneur, you certainly know the importance of saving on money and time, which WordPress offers.

The market has different types of content management systems, but they’re expensive. Consider choosing WordPress to help you get your business to the world.

 

Nathan da Silva - Profile

Posted by: Nathan da Silva

Nathan is the Founder of Silva Web Designs. He is passionate about web development, website design and basically anything digital related. His main expertise is with WordPress, Magento, Shopify as well as many other frameworks. Whether you need responsive design, SEO, speed optimisation or anything else in the world of digital then get in touch. If you would like to work with Nathan, simply drop him an email at [email protected]

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The 8 Best Cloudflare Page Rules For Any WordPress Site

If you are looking to add the best Cloudflare page rules for your WordPress website, then you are in the right place!

What these page rules will do are:

  • Save Bandwidth
  • Improve Security
  • Bypass WordPress Admin Caching
  • Prevent Spam Bots Collecting Email Addresses
  • and much more!

Do note, however, that Cloudflare free accounts only give you three different page rules, we will list the priority ones first in this tutorial.

As well as Page Rules though, don’t forget to configure the other settings in your Cloudflare dashboard and to use Firewalls rules to block bots from hitting your site excessively and consuming resources.

Rule 1. Secure the WordPress Admin and Bypass Cache

In your WordPress Admin Dashboard, you should have a few settings which we can combine in a single page rule. What we will do he is; set the security level to high and bypass Cloudflare’s cache (as there is no need to cache the admin area). We should also disable Cloudflare apps and performance features (such as minify, Rocket Loader, Mirage, Polish, etc…). We only want to speed these things up on the frontend, which is why we are disabling this in the admin backend.

So, for your page URL, you should use this:


yourwebsite.com/wp-admin*

Your page rules will end up looking like this:

2. Decrease Bandwidth Of WP Uploads

So, WordPress upload files do not change very often, there isn’t really a need to have to cache them as often which saves a lot of bandwidth. We can achieve this by setting Edge Cache TTL to a month. If you need to update certain files or directories before a month; you can always purge the cache for individual files within Cloudflare.

We are also going to be setting the browser cache TTL is set to a day. This sets the expiration time for resources cached in a visitor’s browser, an item often shown in GTmetrix.

So with these rules, your page URL would become:


yourwebsite.com/wp-content/uploads*

With your page rules looking something like this:

3. Stop Bots From Collecting Your Email

What this page rule will do is hide your email address from bots (so they don’t get used to spam you). The email address will still be fully visible within your website to humans though. The general rule here is enabling email obfuscation on any page that contains your email address which will, in turn, prevent your spam. You can also turn it on globally in Cloudflare’s Scrape Shield settings and then change this to be on any page.

Let’s say you only have a visible email address on the contact page, then we can simply add this page rule URL:


yourwebsite.com/contact

And your page rule settings would look as follows:

4. Don’t Cache Preview Pages

This simply will bypass Cloudflare’s cache if it’s in a preview page of a page or post. This helps especially when updating a live website, on a preview page you don’t want to see a cached version when performing updates right?

Page URL:

<code class="language-HTML">
yourwebsite.com/*preview=true*
<code>

And your page rule settings would look as follows:

5. Forward XMLRPC URLs

What this page rule will do is significantly improve the security of hackers using XMLRPC for their attacks. This forwards requests from your xmlrpc.php file to any URL on your site, i.e. your homepage.

Your Page URL will become:


yourwebsite.com/xmlrpc.php*

And your page rule settings will look as follows:

6. Make Important Pages Always Online

As it says, Always Online will keep your most important pages online if your server goes down and can be turned on for the most important pages of your website. As an example, this could be your homepage, contact page, portfolio page and so on...). So what this does is that if anything was to happen to your WordPress website, your most important pages will remain visible.

To do this, set your Page URL to:


yourwebsite.com/url-of-important-page

Then your page rules will look like this:

7. eCommerce Sites And Dynamic Content Using AJAX

eCommerce websites include dynamic content (which shouldn't be cached) but you still want to cache everything else. A good solution is to cache the entire page, but bypass the cache for dynamic (eCommerce) elements like AJAX requests. To achieve this, it requires using 2 separate page rules.

The first-page rule bypasses cache for AJAX requests:


yourwebsite.com/ajax*

This will result in something as per the below:

The second rule we will be adding caches everything else. When ordering page rules, make sure the AJAX rule is before the Cache Everything rule. In other words, this page rule should be ordered last.


yourwebsite.com/*

Which will result in the below:

8. A Rule to Force HTTPS connections

This forces all visitors to connect to your website through HTTPS. This means that all visits through HTTP will redirect to the HTTPS version.

This can be added as follows:


http://*yourwebsite.com/*

The page rules will look as follows:

However, since there is already an option, you can simply enable this in your Cloudflare dashboard under SSL/TLS → Edge Certificates → Always Use HTTPS. This saves you from having to use one of your 3-page rules which is why we mentioned this one last.

Conclusion

So there you have it, you now know which Cloudflare page rules to implement on your WordPress website. In the beginning, we said that the first three page rules were the most important. However, this depends on the type of website that you have, so essentially, not every site is going to have the same page rule settings which are quite evident when it comes to whether you have a standalone blog WordPress website or an eCommerce website.

This should give you a general idea of what you should be adding and how your website can be optimised with Cloudflare. If you've not used Cloudflare and want to know the benefits it can provide to your website, we would recommend reading this post: 4 Reasons to Use a CDN for WordPress

Remember though, in this tutorial, we have only gone through the Page Rules we can use to optimise your WordPress website, there are other rules in which we are going to list below:

Additional Cloudflare Tweaks To Improve WordPress Speed

Rocket Loader is a great additional to improve page speed. However, if you are using WP Rocket plugin, then it might not be beneficial to use this setting. What we would test this with GTMetrix and compare the statistics with both options (enabled/disabled).

If you have upgraded to Railgun, then this makes sure requests that cannot be served from Cloudflare's cache are still fast.

Hotlink Protection prevents people from copying/pasting images from your website to theirs (possibly resulting in bandwidth savings). Especially helpful for sites using high quality images or people who want to protect the images on their website.

What about if I'm using WP Rocket? What should I do then?

If you are using WP Rocket's amazing caching plugin, then you can add your Cloudflare credentials within the settings:

  • Global API key is found in your Cloudflare profile
  • Account email should be same email used in Cloudflare
  • Zone ID is found on the 'Overview' tab of your dashboard

Optimal Settings allows WP Rocket to configure your Cloudflare settings for better compatibility with their plugin. However, it also turns on email obfuscation (resulting in a GTmetrix error on every page) and disables Rocket Loader which may be useful for your site.

Fortunately, WP Rocket has recommendations for configuring Cloudflare such as:

  • Set Caching Level to 'Standard'.
  • Enable Auto Minify for JavaScript, CSS and HTML.
  • Disable Rocket Loader to prevent conflicts.
  • Set Browser Cache Expiration to '1 year'.

What do these Page Rules Terms mean?

  • Always Online - This means keeping a limited version of your site online if your server was to go down for any reason. This is usually used for your most important pages (eg. homepage, shop, contact page, etc...).
  • Browser Integrity Check - This attempts to deny spammers from accessing your website and challenges visitors with a suspicious user agent commonly used by abusive bots.
  • Browser Cache TTL - This time Cloudflare instructs a visitor's browser to cache a resource. You can increase this for pages that aren't updated frequently to save on bandwidth.
  • Disable Performance - This turns off auto minify, Rocket Loader, Mirage, and Polish. These are great to speed up pages, but they should be disabled for your WordPress Admin area.
  • Edge Cache TTL - This time Cloudflare's edge servers cache a resource before going to the origin server for a fresh copy. You can also increase this for pages not updated frequently.
  • Email Obfuscation - This prevents spam by hiding your email address to bots while remaining visible to visitors. You would only use this if your email address is publically displayed on your website
  • Enabling this on the contact page (and other pages showing your email) can help prevent spam.
  • Security Level - By using this, Cloudflare assigns IP addresses a threat score of 0-100. Page rules can be created to assign high security to WordPress admin and sensitive areas of your site.
  • Cache Level - The amount of caching done by Cloudflare ('everything' is most aggressive option for this).
  • Asterik (*) - This is used in page rule URLs to match certain parameters. For example, if I used silvawebdesigns.com/wp-admin* as my URL, then I set the security level to high, that means all URLs with that contain anything with /wp-admin/ would have a high security level.

Do you have any questions?

Here we answer some of the most commonly asked questions regarding the setup of Cloudflare.

What do asterisks do in page rules?
Asterisks serve as a wild card when using a URL in the page rule. For example, yourwebsite.com* would include any URL variation that comes after the asterisk. If you use *yourwebsite.com* as an example, this would include anything before or after, in this scenario, it would also include sub-domains.

What is best Page Rule for the WP Admin?
The WordPress Admin should have a page rule that enforces a high-security level, bypasses Cloudflare's cache, and disables apps + performance features in the admin area. Since WordPress security isn't the greatest since it's so commonly used these days, this would be one of the main priorities of our website.

How can page rules improve speed?
What Page Rules will do is help with decreasing the bandwidth used by the WP Upload area, set a higher Edge Cache TTL and it will cache any dynamic content with the right page rules. On the other hand, if you are looking to simply improve your page speed results (i.e. GTMetrix), configuring Cloudflare's speed tab in the options dashboard is the way forward.

How can page rules improve security?
With Page Rules, this can force SSL, forward XMLRPC URL requests, and lets you use email obfuscation (to prevent spam bots from collecting your email) on single pages without having to worry about an email-decode error showing up in GTmetrix for your entire site.

How many page rules can I have?
You can add up to 3-page rules on Cloudflare's free plan, it will then cost you $5/month for 5 more rules. You can find out more about Cloudflare's pricing if you do wish to upgrade here.


And that finally wraps everything up! If you have any questions about these page rules then don't hesitate to get in touch, we'd love to help you. If you have any better implementations, then we are all ears, let us know.

Drop us a comment below if this has helped and as always; thanks for reading! 🙂

 

Nathan da Silva - Profile

Posted by: Nathan da Silva

Nathan is the Founder of Silva Web Designs. He is passionate about web development, website design and basically anything digital related. His main expertise is with WordPress, Magento, Shopify as well as many other frameworks. Whether you need responsive design, SEO, speed optimisation or anything else in the world of digital then get in touch. If you would like to work with Nathan, simply drop him an email at [email protected]

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