Common WordPress Mistakes
WordPress is my favorite content management system of all time. I have figured out how to do some fantastic things using WordPress, the database, and a little PHP. I can get a site up and running with WordPress within a day or two. However, as good as it is, it’s only as good as you make it. There are some big WordPress mistakes you can make that will make things harder for you in the long run. Make sure you aren’t making these WordPress mistakes with your own site.
You have to have powerful enough hosting to run your site. This is a big debate for a lot of people, but you want to make sure that whatever option you choose, they have great customer support and quality equipment. Who do I recommend for website hosting services? That would be Bluehost. I especially recommend their cloud hosting. It’s powerful and speedy, and you can run a lot more sites than just one on there.
Not Optimizing the Database
It’s important that every now and then, you perform some simple maintenance on your WordPress database. Whether you use WP dbmanager, or another plug-in that handles database optimization, it’s important that you take the time to optimize your WordPress database. This well help it run faster and more efficiently, because the database isn’t storing data that isn’t necessary. Getting rid of old post revisions will free up valuable space on your database.
If you’re not using a caching plug-in, then you’re forcing your visitors to download every bit of your website every time a page loads. Not only is this taxing for your server, it’s frustrating for your user as well. Using plug-ins such as WP Super Cache or W3 Total Cache will help your site to load faster in your user’s browser.
Not Using an SEO Plugin
This is really stupid. It is one of the biggest WordPress mistakes out there. I’ve heard excuses like ” I don’t know anything about SEO.” My response is “Can you read?” The reason I say that is because Yoast’s SEO plugin tells you want to do. The page analysis even tells you what you are missing, so you can fix it. Then, it gives your on page SEO a score of red, yellow or green. If you’re in the green, you’re doing well. Think of your website like a car, and SEO is your engine. With no engine, your car won’t be going anywhere anytime soon.
Want an alternative? Try All-In-One Seo Pack!
Not Using a CDN
A CDN is a content delivery network that ensures that files are served with the closest possible server. If your users are in Europe, it can take much longer for your site to load from a server in Dallas Texas then it went from Amsterdam. A CDN will analyze where a user is located and serve files from the closest possible server. This reduces the time your site will take to load for that user.
Not Integrating Social Media
Social media is one of the easiest ways to spread your content. Many people will argue that you don’t necessarily need share buttons on your website. I completely disagree with them. The reason is that people are naturally lazy. The entire argument for a fast website falls apart with the argument that social sharing buttons aren’t needed. No one is going to copy the link to your article, go to their Twitter account, and paste the link to share your post. It may cause a faster load time (only slightly) but people will use the buttons that you provide to share content with other people. If those buttons aren’t there, they won’t share.
Not Collecting Email Addresses
Whether you’re running a blog, or you’re using WordPress to represent your business, it’s important to take every opportunity to connect with your clients. Place links to your social media accounts on your website so that visitors can connect with you on other platforms other than your website. Also, whether or not you agree with pop-ups or not, you should at least have a subscribe form on your website. If you are writing any content at all that people may be interested in, there may be a chance that they would subscribe to your newsletter. This allows you to connect with interested people at a later time.
Not Updating WordPress
Some may argue against this after WordPress 4.0. However, when you don’t update your WordPress site, it leaves your site vulnerable to security breaches. Each update is more secure than the last. One of the easiest ways to keep your site from being hacked, is to keep your WordPress version up-to-date.
Not Using A Child Theme
One of the biggest and most heart-breaking mistakes is when someone customizes their WordPress site, but they don’t use a child theme. When they update their theme to the latest version, they lose all of their changes and customizations. I have seen this time and time again. It’s a tough pill to swallow, but it happens every day. Use a child theme! If you don’t know about child themes, check out my SitePoint article about creating child themes.
Not Backing up WordPress
Your site is run on a database. Things happen, but that doesn’t mean you have to lose everything. Back it up, and you can just restore it later. Who wants to rewrite a 1000 posts all over again? I don’t. Use a backup plugin. Also, some hosting companies will do this automatically for you.
Not Securing Your WordPress Site
There are all kinds of plug-ins out there that will help to keep your site secure. You just have to decide which one is the right one for you. Plug-ins like the VaultPress and WordFence help to keep your site secure with just a few clicks of your mouse.
WordPress is a versatile CMS that is used by millions worldwide. When used properly, WordPress can be a valuable tool for any web developer. There’s not much that you can’t do with WordPress. However, there are measures that have to be taken in order for your site to flourish. If you avoid these common WordPress mistakes, your site will be successful for years to come.