How To Avoid These 12 Common WordPress Mistakes
WordPress is a great platform to build your website with. However, since it has a relatively low knowledge barrier to create a website, a lot of beginners make the same mistakes. In order to avoid frustration in the early stages of your web design career, it’s important that you avoid these beginner mistakes.
Who Makes Mistakes?
Everyone makes mistakes. Oscar Wilde says it very nicely: “Experience is simply the name we give our mistakes”. Experience is a great teacher and everyone learns from their mistakes. However, it is much more efficient to learn from the mistakes of others.
This post will showcase the twelve most common WordPress mistakes you’ll want to avoid, so you can have a beautiful functioning site, instead of one that screams amateur!
1. Not Creating a WordPress Backup
It is only when we need a backup and we don’t have one that we realise the importance of them. We advise all WordPress website owners to create backups, including your database.
There are different ways to create backups – via your control panel backing up all the site files and database, or via a backup plugin, that you will be able to control in the admin section of your WordPress website.
If you want to know more, please have a read of our ‘how to backup your website’ here.
2. Ignoring WordPress Updates
At one time or another, we have all been afraid of updates. Sometimes, we simply forget to upgrade sites that we own because we are not managing them properly. This can come back to bite you big time if there was a security vulnerability, and your site gets hacked.
The longer you wait to update your website, the harder it becomes. Upgrading your plugins from version 1.1 to version 4.6.9 will likely cause issues elsewhere on your site.
Upgrading from one version to the next is not very hard. 99 times out of 100, it simply takes one click. If your theme and plugins are coded properly, then your site will work. But again, it’s always good to have backups.
3. Too Many Categories
WordPress makes it really easy for users to create categories. Often this is the reason why people get carried away and create categories for just about every post. We have all been down this path before only to learn and change everything to add proper structure to our sites.
Too many different categories is an easy way to complicate the navigation around your site, on the front and in the admin section.
4. Not Setting Up Your Permalinks
For the longest time, people would simply use the default URL structure. This would mean the address for your web page would look something like this: /?p=23.
Not only is this bad for SEO, but it is bad for users as well.
When installing WordPress, make sure you update your permalinks structure by going to Settings » Permalinks. We tend to go with the post structure.
This makes the URL the page title that you choose, making it much more influential for SEO purposes.
5. Ignoring SEO Settings
On the initial install of WordPress, you are given the option to ‘prevent search engines from indexing your site’. This can be a useful feature whilst developing your website, however, once the site is ready, it is often not turned back on, meaning the site doesn’t get indexed.
Read our post on learning the basics of SEO here. Let us know what you think.