Dozens of advantages accrue to WordPress site owners.
From obtaining SEO-friendly sites to WordPress’ incredibly cost-effective features, maintenance, and themes, and the ability to quickly upgrade and transfer your website, WordPress has been the go-to site builder for most site designers since its inception in 2003.
To reap the full benefits of these advantages, site owners are advised to automate their WordPress sites.
Automating your WordPress site will enable you to have the best security and interface features as soon as they are released to ensure that your site remains relevant and offers your readers the best UX possible.
If you’re looking to automate your WordPress site, this article will show you how to go about it:
First things first: What is WordPress Automation?
Automating your WordPress website is, essentially having settings, software, and plugins in place to handle all critical site updates regularly without any input from you. This is more like running your WordPress site on Autopilot; all updates, backups, and posts are handled for you so that you can focus on other essential aspects of your business site or blogs, like content creation and proper digital marketing strategies.
However, there are WordPress automation tools that ensure that your site remains up to date at all times to eliminate the possibility of cyber attacks or site malfunction. Again, plugins and software will do the site maintenance tasks way better and more effectively than you would.
However, it is imperative to note that while WordPress automation plugins are important to run your site effectively, the plugins managing and changing your site’s code can cause issues that can even corrupt your databases or even take your site offline.
Therefore, you are advised to have in place a reliable, robust site back-up plan before you embark on automating your WordPress site.
Check if your web-hosting partner has a backup plan that you can readily access. Moreover, you can also create your own backup and store it securely. The WordPress website has guidelines that can help you create that backup for an apprehension-free WordPress automation experience.
Again, since plugins add weight to your sites, consider having fewer plugins to avoid slowing down your site.
Having said all that, if you’re looking for functions that you can readily automate on your WordPress site, here are 13 ways to automate tasks and save your time.
1. Performance Monitoring
All sites that are performing optimally load in less than three seconds.
Sites that take more than three seconds to load will experience a significant rise in your site’s bounce rate, and you will need to carry out some serious site optimization.
Luckily, there are plenty of tools built to help you improve your site’s performance.
Consider installing a caching plugin like Hummingbird to automate your site’s performance monitoring and optimization activities. Hummingbird also caches your Gravatar, browser and page data and generates reports with recommendations on your site’s performance.
2. Post Scheduling
Most people who own a personal blog publish posts on a regular basis, some even more than once a day for news sites. It is also important to post often on your blog to keep it relevant and fresh on your followers’ minds.
While it is not possible to fully automate content creation and posting, you can automate some of the posting functions to make the process easier. For instance, you can schedule some posts in advance so that you can have a consistent schedule for your blog’s fans to keep up with. There are manual options that you can use, after which the content posting becomes automatic. However, if you have many posts, you can use a dedicated plug-in like Auto Post Scheduler.
3. Plugin and theme updates
Many site owners incorporate plenty of plugins and themes in their sites to improve their site’s functionality. However, the more themes and plugins you have, the more the work and time you will have to put in, in terms of regular updates; yet you cannot ignore the updates as failure to update those sites leads to security vulnerabilities in your website.
WordPress has mechanisms in place to automate most of these critical updates for you, plus a plugin that you can use to implement and track all the updates you need without any extra hassle. Be sure that the plugins and themes you have are from trusted sources in the first place so that automating them does not lead to more security issues.
An updates plugin you can try is Automate. With Automate, you can select the degree to which you want your site to be automated and obtain a regular report to help you keep up with all the updates that have occurred on your site.
4. Website backups
As mentioned earlier, full site backups are imperative to prevent permanent site breakdown. In addition to that, backing up your site regularly is also great for site security. In case there is a security breach, a bug, or accidental deletion of valuable information, you can count on your backup to restore your site. It is imperative that you retain several recent copies of your site back up in safe, easy-to-retrieve places.
There are several dependable plug-ins that you can rely on for regular automatic backups. One of the best free and flexible options would be UpdraftPlus, but for better functionality, choose an excellent premium plug-in like BackupBuddy.
5. Image Optimization
If you regularly upload images and other graphics to your site, optimizing them is a great idea. Optimized graphics are usually made smaller and easier to load so that your website loads faster. When you have plenty of posts to upload, resizing and compressing them can take plenty of time, so consider using some plug-ins to help with that.
There are plug-ins that you can have in place to instruct your site on what images to optimize and the best method to optimize them, then let them do all the work for you. ShortPixel, Smush Pro, and EWWW Image optimizer are both highly reputed options that you should consider using.
Many firms and blog owners spend a lot of time and resources to get their sites those prestigious positions on search results. However, there are plenty of tools and plug-ins that you can use to improve your site’s SEO.
You can first use WP Checkup to check the SEO features on your website, SmartCrawl to create and transmit the updates of your XML sitemap to search, then use a reliable SEO tool to verify your Google Keyword rankings. With these tools, you can receive regular updates on your SEO status so you can take the necessary actions to improve it.
The collection of data is crucial for you to make the right strategic decisions regarding your site management and digital marketing. With a plug-in like Google Analytics, you will be able to receive all the data pertaining to your traffic.
8. Security monitoring
Security is one of the biggest concerns that most WordPress sites have. Managing your site’s security can be incredibly time-consuming, which is why you should have automated solutions.
These solutions are like antivirus software for your site, and a tool like WP Checkup is one of the best tools for periodically sweeping your site for any holes. Another tool is Defender, which puts in place two-factor authentication to keep hackers out, carry out regular scans, and file change monitoring.
9. Blocking spam comments
Your blog’s comment section is a forum for your fans to give feedback and interact with you and each other. To have a great comment section, you need to have measures in place to eliminate spam comments to provide your real followers your maximum attention.
If you have dozens of comments, moderating each one of them is not feasible. There are plug-ins that filter out spam comments using specific keywords and restricting comment privileges. Akismet is one such tool that is free and is included in most WordPress sites by default.
10. Database optimization
One of the most important behind-the-scenes aspects to handle often would be your blog’s database. With time, some of the fields in your database will become obsolete and unnecessary and start slowing down your site’s loading speed for no reason. It is absolutely possible to automate the maintenance of your database to avoid having a bloated one using reliable plug-ins.
Some of the most reputable plug-ins for your database clean up would be WP-Optimize and WP-DBManager; these plug-ins help you get rid of the fields you deem unnecessary at intervals that you can set. Another even more robust plug-in is Advanced Database Cleaner, which is an excellent option if you have lots of redundant data in your database.
Cleaning your site’s database can be cumbersome and challenging, which is why you should have a plug-in handle that for you.
11. Creating an email list
One of the most common and effective methods of digital marketing is e-mail marketing. With a mailing list, you can send out newsletters, reminders, deals, alerts and other necessary correspondence. Having an extensive mailing list is great for your brand, but again, you cannot send an email to every address manually. There are plenty of plug-ins in place built specifically to help you automate your email marketing efforts such as OptiMonster.
12. Social media content posting
Every site needs a corresponding following on social media to boost organic traffic. Having a robust social media marketing policy is just as crucial if you want to build a large community of loyal followers. In addition to having a large community of followers, social media provides a relaxed atmosphere on which you can interact with your fans in an informal, fun way. One of the best ways to boost your social media following is to post regularly and alert the fans therein every time you make a blog post.
Revive Old Post is one of the most popular social media automation tools for WordPress sites. Once you install and configure the plug-in, you can count on it to automatically post new and old items to your accounts on all major social networks. A Jetpack is a free option that is also great for social media posting and other features.
13. Broken Link checking
One of the biggest challenges you can encounter when running a blog is that of a broken link. This inconvenience makes it impossible for your fans to access your content, and you can avoid it using a broken link plug-in like Broken Link Checker. With this tool, you can view all your broken links without combing through your site and fix them immediately.
Many site owners would be wary of having a bot or software handle their sites for them, owing to the fear that interacting with readers and potential customers will become impersonal. As a blog or business site owner, you need to consider using WordPress Automation Tools to automate the nitty-gritty of running your site. This way, you can focus on creating excellent content and finding new ways to improve your website.