There’s been a shift in how Australian business owners view web and digital technologies, according to WP Engine country manager for Australia and New Zealand, Mark Randall. Many who were once skeptical about the return on investment are now more enthusiastic and involved in the development and management of their own website.

“There are some common oversights that can hold back a site, such as installing too many plugins, not optimising content for SEO, or using cheap web hosting. With the .au domain registration launching this is a great time for businesses to give their website a refresh and the best thing you can do is to personalise and optimise for a better customer experience,” he said.

Randall has shared his top tips to optimise website return and user experience. Here’s what businesses may be doing wrong and how to fix it:

  1. Installing too many plugins

It is important to take a minimalist approach when it comes to installing plugins. “The WordPress repository contains more than 50,000 plugins so it is easy to get carried away, but if you install too many plugins, it will cause your site to run slow, leading to user dissatisfaction,” Randall says.

The fix: “Be selective with the plugins you install, and make sure to uninstall those not in use.”

  1. Forgetting SEO optimisation

Publishing content without accounting for SEO is simply a missed opportunity. “To increase traffic and make sure your content is found quickly and prioritised by search engines, it’s crucial to prepare your written content and images with SEO in mind,” Randall says.

The fix: “Install a WordPress SEO plugin like Yoast that gives you helpful tips on how to make your content more likely to rank on Google.”

  1. Using unimaginative visuals

Studies show that content with accompanying visuals achieves 94% more views than content without. “Consider including images or graphics where appropriate to help you gain readership,” Randall says.

The fix: “If you can’t produce your own assets there is a host of stock photography online no matter your budget, as well as free sites like for high-quality, professional imagery. is also a great tool for graphics, just be sure to attribute it to the photographer when required.”

  1. Sticking with the default admin username

After WordPress is installed the default username is “admin’. “Keeping this username is troublesome in terms of security, as hackers can easily guess that name and take control of your website.”

The fix: “Change the admin name to something unique during the installation process. If you’re already past this point you will need to change your default username by creating a new administrator account.”

  1. Leaving out web hosting

Your website is a public representation of your brand and poor performance will reflect badly, costing more money in the long run. “While you may be on a budget, choosing a generic web host to power a WordPress site is like buying cheap fuel for a Ferrari.”

The fix: “Invest in a hosting provider that specialises in building digital experiences on WordPress, such as WP Engine. Make sure they offer services for caching, uptime, security, customer support, and expertise when it comes to building future-proof WordPress sites.”