9 Common Mistakes WordPress Users Make
WordPress is known for it’s easy content management system.
You don’t need to be a web designer or developer to set up a WordPress website, which is fantastic! BUT, it’s such a versatile application……that it’s hard NOT to make a mistake.
Everyone makes mistakes and sometimes you don’t know you’re making a mistake….until you make it. Know what I mean?
Like baking for example. When I was first learning how to bake I thought TSP & TBSP were the same thing. We all know it can make a huge difference. ( A TBSP OF SALT IN COOKIES, ARE YA SERIOUS?) But hey…. I didn’t know it was a mistake, until I made it, and tasted it, and spit it out. Everywhere.
Usually, when you’re baking, you’re following a recipe.
But with WordPress you’re kind of stuck just….figuring it out, or jumping from online tutorial to online tutorial trying to weed through things in order to figure out what’s actually important. You don’t have a specific list to follow, like with a recipe, so some important things can slip through the cracks.
But hey, I got your back!
I’m here to help you avoid some of the most common mistakes that WordPress user’s make.
Ignoring Updates –
Don’t. Ignore. Them. Ever. I’m not kidding. This is the most common mistake I see. I’ll log into a client’s site and I see the orange circle with a double digit number in it….”17 Updates Available.” LIKE WHAAAAAAAA?!
Software is updated for a reason. Technology is forever progressing & changing. Updates are needed to keep up with efficiency, speed and security. When software developers see a problem in their coding they like to fix it. They want to make it better. They want to improve their product. That’s why they do upgrades.
If you do an update & it breaks something…..that usually means that whatever was being updated wasn’t properly coded to begin with.
The biggest update problem comes when you wait awhile to update. If you’re jumping from version 3 to version 15…..you run a higher risk of breaking something within your website. So, please, keep your site managed!
Bad Permalink Structure –
What is a permalink?
It’s the link to that specific web page or blog entry. WordPress’ default is this: “MariahMagazine.com/?p=123”
See the problem? What the hell is “?p=123” ?!
Not only does that URL look confusing & spammy, but it isn’t SEO friendly. That URL does not tell search bots what your page/post is all about.
Want to learn more about WordPress SEO? Check out The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to WordPress SEO
What’s a better permalink structure? I use the “Post Name” option because it’s far more user friendly. Now my posts will come out like this: Mariahmagazine.com/whatever-the-actual-name-of-my-blog-post-is
To change this on your own WordPress:
- Go to your WordPress Dashboard
- Click on “Settings” —- “Permalinks”
- Choose “Post Name”
- Don’t forget to save your changes!
Not Changing The “Admin” Username –
Unfortunately the internet is loaded with website hackers. Website hackers know what they’re doing. They also know that the default username for WordPress is “Admin” so that’s usually their first guess when they want to hack into your website.
Change your user name to something unpredictable. Maybe toss in some letters, numbers, or special characters. (Just don’t make it so unpredictable that you forget it! That would defeat the purpose)
Not Optimizing Images –
When you start using WordPress, you have so many things to think about. Most people are worried about figuring out HOW to upload images in general, often forgeting to optimize them.
Why should you worry about image optimization?
Page loading times & overall site speed.
Every image that you have has to be downloaded to your user’s browser. If your image is HUGE then it takes a while to load. Totally annoying. Some people won’t even stick around on your web page long enough for it to load if it takes too long.
Large images ALSO take up a lot of room on your website. If your hosting company limits the space you have for your website….you want to utilize that space as best as possible, and large images are totallllllly not it.
Installing a Bajillion Plugins –
Downloading WordPress is so exciting. You go into the plugin directory and you’re all like “YEAHHHHHHHHHH!!!! I can do this, and this, and this, and that.” Then you go and download all of these cool looking plugins…..and end up actually using 3. The rest of them just sit there….in your plugin folder…..taking up space…..slowing down your site.
Plugins in general can turn into a sticky situation. They’re like little packages of code that help your website function differently, which is totally awesome. They give you a chance to make your website unique to your ideas & goals…..BUT what if that plugin isn’t coded properly? The more plugins you have, the higher chance you have at breaking your site.
Plugins are wonderful if they’re used right. Before you download one make sure to check reviews & the last time it was updated!
Looking for new plugins? In a previous post I highlight 12 WordPress Plugins For Bloggers!
Not Backing Up Your Website –
User’s don’t realize how big of a mistake this is until it’s too late.
What happens if your website gets hacked?
What if the hacker destroys everything…or deletes it all?
You start from scratch?!
Talk about a headache.
The internet isn’t perfect. It’s better to be prepared than to wish you were.
Schedule regular backups for your website.
Some popular plugins for this are: BackWPup – BackUpBuddy – VaultPress
Not Having A Contact Form –
WordPress has a lot of things built into the core application…..a contact form is not one of them. Some themes have contact forms all set for you to just add your email address and go…..but a lot of them don’t.If you don’t have a contact form and you just toss your email on the contact page, you’re probably going to run into an email inbox LOADED with spam emails. Spam bots see those email address sitting on contact pages and they take full advantage of them.Need a contact form?
These are some popular plugins for one: Contact7 – GravityForms – CalderaForms – NinjaForms
Keeping The Generic Information Up –
WordPress by default ads the “Just Another Blog” tagline.
(Go to “Settings” —- “General” )
You’re not “Just Another Blog”
Some people don’t realize they left this up until Google starts showing their website in search results.
Another generic to delete is the “Sample Page.”
That’s another thing you don’t want to have showing up on search results.
Not Taking Advantage Of Free Tools –
I’m talking Google Analytics & Yoast SEO with this one.
THESE TOOLS ARE FREE and are so insanely beneficial.
Google Analytics gives you insights to your website traffic & user’s behavior. You can use this information to better market your site or to help figure out where your website needs improving. It’s JAM packed with so much information. For Free.
Yoast SEO is a free Search Engine Optimization tool. It helps to improve your website SEO and gives you the ability to have control over page descriptions, keywords, titles & social sharing information.
Both of these are essential to a website.
WordPress is such a powerful platform that people often overlook what seems to be “the little things.”
These “little” mistakes can snowball into bigger problems if you’re not careful. So, steer clear of these bad boys!