8 Tasks You Can and Should Automate in WordPress

Being able to automate a business is probably the ultimate wish for most entrepreneurs out there. I don’t think there’s something more beautiful in a business than to know that you can establish a project and let it run on autopilot for you.

With WordPress it isn’t completely like that, but certainly you can eliminate many of the tasks in your to do list and save great amount of time. Why? Well, that’s because WordPress offers extensions to do this for you and because they don’t necessary need your daily assistance.

1. The Backup Process for Your WordPress Site

The Backup Process for Your WordPress Site.

Personally I consider this to be the most important one in the list. Everyone should place great importance on the safety of their content and the management system because you may never know when something wrong could happen.

There are plenty of tools and extensions to support the backup system on WordPress, however we prefer using WPB2D or WordPress Backup to Dropbox, simple, minimalist and especially secure and safe.

All you need is to download and install this plugin and associate it with your Dropbox account. You can schedule it do work everyday, weekly, bi weekly or monthly.

The plugin will ensure uploading all your WordPress files, media, themes, plugins and core files along with the WordPress database in a private Dropbox folder on your account.

2. Image Resizing and Compression

Image Resizing and Compression.

I am sure that image resizing takes a great amount of your precious time, but fortunately you can avoid doing this. I’m not saying you shouldn’t resize them because serving scaled images is highly recommended for page speed and search engines, but you can do it automatically using the add_image_size() WordPress function.

This will create a new automatic resizing rule in your WordPress installation that will be applied whenever you upload a new image (larger than the specified size). This is how you create thumbnail images and how you can create publish new images automatically resized.

How to use add_image_size()

This is a simple function that you need to add in your theme’s function.php file

add_image_size( 'square', 125, 125, true );

This is the function that we applied for our square 125×125 pixel thumbnail on home page where:

square = the name of your desired resized image

125 = width and height

true or false = whether or not you want the resized image to be cropped or not

How to enable automated image compression

Image compression can save you plenty of space and convert images into web-friendly, fast loading files that will speed up your website loading time and increase the user experience. Therefore we consider it to be a vital step in your image optimization process.

Best tool to help you automatically compress images is WP Smush.it, a fast compressor powered by Yahoo’s Smush.it service. Download and install and enjoy compressed images after upload.

3. Automate Image Renaming and Adding Alt Tags

Automate Image Renaming and Adding Alt Tags.

Many people tend to forget about images and the optimization factor, others choose to skip this step because it may become time consuming or tricky. However, you don’t need to worry because you can automate this step too.

SEO Friendly Images is a plugin created by the popular WordPress developer Vladimir Prelovac, a plugin that automatically adds alt and title attributes to images making them search engine friendly.

Media File Renamer is a great extension that helps you update the images and images names in your WordPress administration panel and automatically changes the links to the files.

4. Automate the Search for Broken Links

Automate the Search for Broken Links.

Nobody likes broken links and that applies especially to search engines. It happens to all sites, large and smaller ones and it’s not necessary your fault.

However, it’s something that can drag you down, because if you keep linking to broken pages, that means a low user experience and your brand will suffer.

To solve this, you don’t need to search for each link individually, and instead, you can use a plugin like “Broken Link Checker“, a super-smart plugin that managed to keep us away from trouble and bad search engine results.

Broken Link Checker will send you detailed reports about the origin of the broken links as well as tools to help you modify, remove or change the URLs.

5. Automate Linking to Related Pages

Automate Linking to Related Pages.

I am sure that many of you already take advantage of this type of automated linking and that’s very beneficial in terms of search engine optimization.

However, if you don’t use it, then I would recommend installing a plugin like YARPP (Yet Another Related Post Plugin), a simple yet very effective plugin that calculates relations between posts and helps you display these automatically based on their relationship score.

6. Activate Automated Keyword Linking

Activate Automated Keyword Linking.

This is a brilliant SEO strategy that can help you build a serious internal linking structure helping your visitors navigate much easier. You can do this using SEO Smart Links, truly a smart plugin that automates the linking process finding related keywords and adding links to the appropriate page or article.

The plugin helps you prevent spamming and allows a list of pages and posts that it will ignore.

7. Automate Old Post Sharing on Social Networks

Just recently I found an interesting article about how to revive old posts and benefit from free effortless traffic using the posts that you wrote a long time ago. This is actually a brilliant way to keep users interested and also increase your social media exposure and followers count.

To do this, you can use a plugin like Revive Old Post plugin which helps you share your articles on social websites automatically, re-tweet new and old posts and use hashtags when needed to drive more traffic to your posts.

Once you set this up, everything works automatically.

8. Creating XML and HTML Sitemaps

Creating XML and HTML Sitemaps.

Not long ago we talked about XML and HTML sitemaps and ways you can create them. There are many services and professionals to help you create them, but fortunately you don’t need them.

First of all, you can use a all in one SEO plugin that does this for you or a simple HTML sitemap generator tool that was created especially for this task.

Content automation is also possible, but we are against this type of content. However, we may talk in the future about things you shouldn’t automate in WordPress.