Starting a website is an exciting beginning of your online journey. Whether it is a blog or an e-commerce site, the process is easy. However, there is more to building a website than meets the eye, and mistakes are all too common.
Today, you will learn the top 11 common WordPress mistakes to avoid making with your website. These are:
- Installing lots of plug-ins
- Ignoring important updates
- Setting default permalinks
- Not setting up Google Analytics
- Not using subscription forms
- Using the wrong theme
- Not using blog categories
- Ignoring speed performance
- Not backing up the website
- Always changing themes
- Not staying secure
Let us take a look at each one, and help you understand how these mistakes can damage your site.
Installing Lots of Plug-ins
Plug-ins are apps that make your website perform other functions, like charging credit cards, adding banners, using SEO in the meta descriptions, and a whole lot more.
The problem with installing so many plug-ins is that it makes your website slow down to a crawl. And if this happens, your website will take too long to load. Apart from customers not getting the best experience, Google is going to penalize you.
Do not install plug-ins unless they are absolutely necessary. Choose only the ones that actually benefit you and those that do not clutter your website.
Ignoring Important Updates
Whether it is a WordPress update or a theme update, you have to install it. Plug-ins also have updates, and you must install these updates if you want to stay safe or if you want your site to perform optimally.
From time to time, new bugs happen in computer programs. Developers know this and they need to upgrade their systems, which will have an effect on you.
The same thing goes with WordPress itself. It has to grow and keep up with the times to help you stay secure, and make your website perform well against our competition.
Setting Default Permalinks
A permalink is the complete URL of a web page. On WordPress, the default permalink is your domain URL followed by “slash” and a string of numbers.
Here is an example: www.abccompany.com/12343/565656
This permalink cannot be understood by a person. You need to go to WordPress and change the permalink to words so it would reflect your blog page name or blog title.
Here is a changed permalink: www.abccompany.com/how-to-write-blog
With this permalink, a reader who views the link would see the complete content of your link, and would not be suspicious. The less suspicious your permalinks are, the more traffic you can bring to your website.
Not Setting Up Google Analytics
Although WordPress shows you some stats, these stats are not as powerful as the one you get from Google Analytics.
WordPress and Google analytics have both made it easy to integrate the two. All you need is to sign up for Google Analytics, get a code, and paste that code in a box in WordPress.
If you do not do this, you will not know where your traffic is coming from, which countries, and how many users are coming back, or which devices your website is accessed by the most.
Google Analytics also provides you data on the traffic that each page gets, or what keywords were used to find your blog post. Armed with this knowledge, you can make decisions about how to improve your website.
Not Using Subscription Forms
WordPress has a default subscription form, but it does not have the same power as auto-responders do. The best thing you can do is to subscribe to a free email subscription software and then integrate that with your WordPress account.
With this, you can create a pop-up email subscription, and you can also automate the emails you want to send to your subscribers. If you want to give free eBooks, you can do so, too.
And an email subscription form is still the best way to do your marketing. After all, the people who would subscribe are those who are already interested in your product.
Using the Wrong Theme
There are thousands of themes in WordPress. The thing is, each theme was built for a particular niche, which you can immediately see in how the theme is presented.
Use the right theme for your website. If you are operating a food site, then it makes sense that the theme you use has a built-in menu that has a price and an area for the food photos.
If your website is about tech and gadgets, choose a theme that allows you to put a slider with a video, and not just photos.
Not Using Blog Categories
Blog categories are placed there to make it easier for your site visitor to find areas of interest. If you do not use them, the site visitor will get inundated with all the headers found on your blog roll.
With categories, it would be easy for your site visitors to navigate your page. If you have a category that says “tutorials”, then all a site visitor has to do is to click and then he can go straight to the content that he wants.
Ignoring Speed Performance
Speed performance is critical to the success of your WordPress website. Even if you do not use plug-ins, there are still several factors that can slow down your site speed.
For one, images that are too heavy can affect how your website performs. There are also image formats that are not recommended for website use, especially if you are in a low-cost hosting plan.
Not Backing Up the Website
Backing up a website means that you have to pay a service where the content of your site is stored on a separate server. If anything happens to your website, you can put it back up using the back-up files.
Sometimes, something can go wrong with your website and your website can get erased. If you have no backup, all your files are gone, and you have to start from scratch.
Not Caching with WordPress
A cache is a temporary backup of your web page’s content. Instead of the WordPress server having to communicate with different browsers every time your page is accessed, WP will show a default web page.
The thing with caching is that it prevents the server from getting overwhelmed by traffic. A customer or site visitor will only get the most updated details on a cached page if he refreshes the browser.
What it does is to enable your WP server to cater to all requests for your web page at the same time, making your website load faster, therefore giving your site visitors a better experience.
Not Staying Secure
You cannot just use “admin” as your user name, or you will open yourself to hackers. Always use a secure password, and make sure that you do no install themes and plug-ins from shady companies.
Keep in mind that even WordPress is susceptible to hacking, and no amount of protection can save you if you are careless.
With these top 11 common WordPress mistakes to avoid making with your website, you should be able to have a blueprint on what not to do. Read through these again and make sure that you follow them by heart.
Resist the temptation to download plug-ins, and always make sure that you only download themes and plug-ins only from reputable resources.