How To Save Time By Automating WordPress Tasks

January 9, 2019 3:01 pm

Automation might sound scary for businesses that take pride in their ability to create and nourish a more personal relationship with their clients and customers. But when it comes to running a successful WordPress website, automation can streamline your workflow and save valuable time and resources you would otherwise be wasting doing the same thing over and over again.

Automating WordPress tasks

Think of WordPress automation as a systematic approach toward automating repetitive tasks and increasing workplace efficiency without sacrificing the actual quality of your work. Don’t worry, it just sounds more complicated than it really is. That said, let’s go over some of the different ways you can automate crucial day-to-day tasks without affecting your website’s speed and performance.

Backups, storage, and updates

Updating core files, themes and plugins is the least favorite task to most website owners, with site backups following closely behind. Maintenance such as this often takes a significant chunk of your time, especially if you’re running regular full content and database backups or worse, running them on multiple websites at the same time.

While important core updates are being handled by WordPress automatically, the “minor” updates such as themes and plugins can take up a lot of time to complete. Finding the plugins that need to be updated is one thing, but you also have to check whether the new files cause any conflicts, back up the entire website, perform the actual update and inspect your site to make sure everything is working way it should.

This is where website plugins come into play and since you’re using WordPress, you can find a plugin for literally everything. On a side note, as useful as WordPress plugins can be, installing them left and right without giving it too much thought can seriously diminish your website performance so “less is more” mantra certainly applies here.

Manage WP is a single plugin that allows you to safely manage to update your core files, plugins, and themes by compiling them into an easy-to-use list. You can use it to install updates with a single click, perform bulk updates and installation, ignore the updates, or deactivate them altogether. Additionally, it automatically creates database and files backups that can be stored on services such as the Amazon S3 or uploaded securely to your business or personal Dropbox account.

Blog scheduling

The content might be king, according to Bill Gates, but one might argue that posting it regularly holds even greater importance. Scheduling your posts is more than a simple content organization. In fact, scheduling can help you improve your content strategy simply by posting different pieces of content at different times and measuring the engagement they produce.

You can easily schedule a post inside the WordPress Publishing settings by clicking on the Edit button found right next to the “Publish immediately” and entering the date you would like to publish. Once you’ve entered the date, click OK, then Schedule and you’re all set.

Checking for broken links

One of the best ways of improving both your SEO efforts and your visitor’s overall experience is to have a carefully devised internal linking structure. On the other hand, manually combining your website for dead links is nothing more than a soul-crushing waste of your time that can easily be automated using a plugin called Broken Link Checker. As the name implies, it checks for broken links and displays them within the widget, with the added option of mending them on the spot.

Image and search engine optimization

You can separate image and search engine optimization into two distinct categories, but technically, image optimization is a part of search engine optimization. High-quality, uncompressed images take up a lot of space and have a huge impact on your website’s loading times, and, in turn, diminish your SEO efforts. Smush Pro is a simple yet effective plugin that automatically compresses and resizes your images before posting them, which further decreases your loading times and improves your SEO.

But search optimization is an umbrella term for a number of different tasks aimed at increasing your website’s overall speed and performance. Listing every single task you need to accomplish would warrant an entire article, but the automation of said tasks can be neatly summed up by, of course, using a couple of plugins.

You can start by performing an SEO scan of your website using the WP Checkup tool. Next, you should automate the creation, update, and transmission of your SML sitemap using SmartCrawl. Lastly, choose an SEO tool for keyword ranking checkups so you always have relevant information about the status of your keywords.

Automation and SEO might not be rocket science, but it does take a single wrong turn to completely ruin all your SEO efforts and even get your entire website de-listed from the results. If your SEO efforts are not providing optimal results, you might want to go through a list of marketing companies with experience in managing SEO automation.

Social media sharing

So, you’ve created your content and you’re posting it regularly on your WordPress website. Since you’ve automated the posting schedule, why not also automate the sharing schedule and have your posts automatically shared on your various social media accounts? Fortunately, there’s a plugin that does that and more, for free.

Jetpack is a swiss army knife of plugins that offers hundreds of professionally-looking themes, intuitive customization and site performance tools, scheduling and automated posting on social media, and even protection and security services to prevent brute-force attacks and malware infections. But there’s one thing that Jetpack doesn’t offer and that’s writing custom messages as a part of automated sharing. For that, you can check out a premium plugin like CoShedule, which focuses more actively on planning and scheduling.

Hopefully, this article has shed some light on WordPress automation and helped you free up some of the time you were spending on menial tasks. As you can see, business automation is more than just a euphemism for layoffs. In fact, it is time- and resource-saving practice that helps you automate some tasks so you can focus on other, more pressing matters.