Face it – we are people, and people make mistakes. WordPress users are not different; we make mistakes too. If we cannot prevent them, we’d better learn from our mistakes; however, there is always a better solution: To learn from other people’s mistakes would be the perfect scenario. Here we’ll take a look at eight of the most common mistakes WordPress users make, and how to prevent them.
1. Not installing the right WordPress plugins
There are thousands of WordPress plugins, and the right plugins can make it easier to build a successful WordPress site. But with so many options for every purpose, it can be difficult to know which plugins are best for your blogs. Trial and error is effective sometimes, but faulty plugins can slow your site down or even crash it.
You can find a wealth of information about the best plugins for WordPress right here on the CodeinWP blog. At the bare minimum, all WordPress sites should have the Yoast SEO plugin and the Akismet comment spam protection system.
2. Forgetting to back up your website
With the constant evolution of technology, you can never be sure that everything will work perfectly. If the server you’re on goes down and your data is not backed up, you could end up having to recreate your site from scratch. Depending on the kinds of information your website handles, this might even be cause for legal trouble.
Back your website up at least once a month, or once a week if it’s updated frequently. You can create a backup manually or by using the Updraft Plus WordPress Backup Plugin.
3. Using the default settings for permalinks
Default settings for permalinks included in WordPress are not friendly at all. They fail to take SEO into account, and they can make older posts appear dated, even if you’ve recently updated the articles in question.
If you want to get the most out of your WordPress posts, use keywords in the permalink structure, and don’t include any dates. In order to do this, go to Options – Permalinks in your administration panel. From there, you’ll be able to customize your default permalinks in a variety of ways.
The Yoast SEO plugin also allows you to alter permalinks directly from the post editor.
4. Failing to integrate Analytics and Google Search Console
Missing these features is like driving your car without lights during the night. The Google Analytics program will monitor your blog traffic and will inform you about the most efficient keywords to drive traffic to your site. Google’s Search Console will help search engines index your website properly.
You can manually add these features to your site code, or do it quickly using the MonsterInsights Analytics Plugin. Google Search Console can be integrated once you sign up for the tool.
Here’s more on making your WordPress blog work well with Google Analytics.
5. Leaving your user profile faceless
These days most people think of networks like Facebook when they hear the term “social media”, but blogs are social media too. People want to get to know you, the author, as well as your brand.
Use Gravatar, which displays images next to a blog comment. This image can represent you across the internet and will lend credibility and attract attention. Get one as soon as possible: Registration is free!
6. Not using responsive design
Every year, mobile traffic increases. In 2019, approximately half of all internet traffic is mobile. Yet many new website owners fail to choose a responsive design.
Do not make life difficult for your mobile visitors. There are thousands of premium themes and even some free WordPress themes that offer responsive design. We’ve even compiled a list of the 50 best responsive WordPress themes of 2019.
7. Ignoring WordPress updates
You may not be aware of them, but WordPress constantly releases new updates, and it’s best not to ignore them. Updates are not created without important reasons. If you ignore them, you may expose your site to major security threats. Updating individual plugins on an old version of WordPress can also break your site.
WordPress will tell you whenever there’s an update, right in your dashboard. Pay close attention, and always install new updates as soon as they become available.
8. Failing to build an SEO strategy
SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is essential to your WordPress site’s success. When CodeinWP started, we didn’t consider our SEO strategy at all. Now that we pay more attention to it and also use Yoast SEO to vet all of our articles, we get much better results and on a consistent basis.
If you need help building an SEO strategy for your WordPress site, check out our practical guide to SEO.
What do you think about these 8 common mistakes of WordPress users? Which one(s) of them have you made often? Are there some mistakes you’ve made that we didn’t list here?
Don’t forget to join our crash course on speeding up your WordPress site. With some simple fixes, you can reduce your loading time by even 50-80%: