WordPress is one of the top leading content management systems (CMS) around the globe. People who are starting to use WordPress can make silly mistakes when setting everything up on their websites. But how do you know you are making these mistakes? Whether you use WordPress as your business or your blog, WordPress is a massive CMS which offers a lot. Here are some common mistakes people make when they start using WordPress.
Installing Too Many Plugins
Plugins are very useful for your website. But when you put them on your website don’t install loads of them. While the WordPress repository contains more than 400,000 plugins, you will feel overwhelmed with the possibility all of the plugins may offer. But don’t go crazy with them.
If you install loads of plugins on your website, it will slow down your website which may slow down your website. Pro tip here: if you don’t use it remove that plugin. When it comes to plugins, get the ones you believe would be essential for your website and will help your website massively.
Neglecting to Backup a Site
Even though you have completed your website and you are happy with it all, you don’t really think about backing up the thing you have created. But backups are an essential part of your website life cycle. Failure to consistently back up your website is like spending months writing a novel and never pressing “save” on your valued work.
Instead of manually doing backups, some hosting companies like GoDaddy will provide daily automatic WordPress backups. This means you don’t have to worry about backing up your website every time you make a little change to your website. However, if you are planning on doing a massive change to your website, definitely do a manual backup of your website after making those changes.
Not Changing the Default Permalink Structure
By default, the permalink structure in any WordPress website isn’t optimised for SEO. To make sure this helps with your website’s SEO, you will be needing to change your permalink structure. This will help you increase the article rankings you get from search engines.
To change the permalink structure in WordPress, go to Settings – Permalinks and select ” Post Name”. If your site has old content, you’ll then want to redirect old permalinks to the new ones. Yoast has a redirect tool you can use to generate redirects from your old permalink structure to a new one.
Ignoring WordPress Core, Theme and Plugin Updates
Like many apps and software, there will be updates released to keep everything up-to-date with security and how it feels to use. With WordPress, themes, and plugins, it’s no different. Plugins, themes, and WordPress sites that aren’t up-to-date present security vulnerabilities.
Like your phone and apps, be sure to keep your plugins, WordPress, and themes up-to-date. Within your dashboard, next to “Updates” and “Plugins” there will be a number that appears if there are any of your plugins or WordPress needs to be updated.
Not Optimising Content for SEO
SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is key for your website. So when you publish content on your website without thinking about what it could do to your SEO isn’t a good thing. It is crucial to prepare your written and image content with SEO in mind this will make it easier for search engines to find you.
To make this happen, install a WordPress plugin called Yoast. Yoast will help you a lot when it comes to SEO. The plugin gives you helpful tips on how to improve your content in a way that will impact your SEO in a positive way. Therefore, this means, that search engines like Google will be able to pick up your website and blogs and put them in the rankings.
Not Resizing Images for Web Upload
Images are often the culprit for a slow website and you should consider preparing your images for upload by reducing their size.
This can either be done by using an editor like Photoshop, or a plugin to resize images so they’re not taking up a huge chunk of space and causing your site to run super slow.
If you are working within Photoshop, go to Image – Image Size. Make sure the resolution is set to 72. You’ll then want to reduce the width of the image to the size dimensions that are set on your theme. 2,500 pixels on the wide side is ideal for displaying images at large on the screen. You can decrease the size to around 600 to 1,000 pixels on the wide side for regular site display. This will reduce the file size drastically, resulting in less bandwidth required to upload images whenever someone visits your website.
Changing a Post’s URL after It’s Been Published
It can be tempting to go into an article and change its URL when updating an old blog post or page, but this is something you should be aware of NOT do. By changing the post slug, you are breaking all existing links out there. SO any old links will lose traffic and present a bad user experience that leads to a 404 error page.
Before publishing an article, be certain the post slug is the way you want it. In addition, if you’ve installed Yoast SEO, it’ll give you tips for URL optimisation, like removing “stop” words and shortening the post slug.
Adding Customisations to a Parent Theme
If you are looking to customise your website’s theme, doing so could result in a whole lot of headaches if you modify the theme directly.
The safest way to edit these is with a child theme, which takes the functionality of the parent theme. A child theme allows you to make changes without ruining your original theme’s code, ensuring your modifications aren’t lost.
Using a Weak Password
Like other accounts, passwords are widely used for social media and other accounts. But why create something so weak for something as important as your website? People usually create a weak password because they don’t want to forget it. However, a good password should be random and complex, not predictable and simple.
A strong password should include a minimum of eight characters, an uppercase letter, a lowercase letter, a number, and a special character.
Using Bad (or No) Visuals
The use of images is imperative to hold the reader’s attention within a text-heavy article. Studie show content with visuals gets 94% more views than those without. In addition, human processes visuals 60,000 times faster than text. Therefore, you should include images within your content as deemed appropriate to gain readership.
If you are paying for a stock photography membership is out of the question, there are numerous amounts of free image options out there. You can use your own photography or graphics throughout your website and blog posts. Or you can use websites that offer royalty-free images. If you do plan on using someone’s photos, make sure you give credit when it is needed.
Using Poor/Cheap Webhosting
Web hosting is essential for your website. You might want to keep costs low, but using a poor web hosting service for your WordPress site would be like purchasing cheap fuel for a Ferrari. Your WordPress site represents your business, your brand, your portfolio and so on.
Before you think about moving on to web hosting, research the different companies that offer web hosting services that fit what you are wanting and are within your price range. By researching these companies make sure you look into the others they offer. For example, services for caching, uptime, security, customer support, and more. By looking into these things you will be able to find a web hosting site that you will feel comfortable allowing to host your site.
Accidently Blocking Search Engines
Certain WordPress settings can impair your site’s ability to be found by search engines. If you’re ready for your site to be found by a larger audience, you’ll want to ensure that a certain box isn’t checked within your settings to make it SEO-friendly.
To find out if you’ve made this mistake, from your WordPress dashboard, go to Settings – Reading. Make sure that the “Discourage search engines from indexing this site” is not checked.
When this selection is checked, it suppresses the site’s page rank, telling search engines not to inspect the site’s content.
Using the Default Admin Username
By default, after WordPress is installed the username is “admin”, which is troublesome in terms of security. Hackers can easily guess that name and take control of your website.
During installation, you’ll be given the opportunity to change the admin name to something else. By changing this, you will be able to make sure your WordPress website is secure.
Written by: Amy Massey
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