There are lots of common WordPress mistakes that if you don’t fix on your WordPress website, you may find yourself losing your site, or worse, losing a lot of money.
It is very normal to make mistakes when you are starting on something. It allows you to go out there and learn.
To learn how to fix your mistakes without actually hiring someone. And the beauty of using WordPress is that there are lots of tutorials about just everything. So, you can never get stuck.
In this blog post, I have discussed the most common WordPress mistakes people make and how to fix them. I hope you learn how to take care of your WordPress website from this blog post.
Most Common WordPress Mistakes & How to Fix Them
WordPress has a very large user base, starts from the beginner to professionals.
Despite having a huge supporting community and thousands of developers to make user-friendly guides and tutorials. There are a few steps many of us forgot to follow or avoid.
Here is a list of the most common WordPress mistakes people make and ways to fix them.
#1. Selecting The Wrong Blogging Platform
Selecting the wrong platform for blogging is one of the most common WordPress mistakes committed by new WordPress users.
There are two WordPress platforms, WordPress.com and WordPress.org. Before setting up a WordPress blog, you should explore the different features and functionality of both the platforms.
Let me say something about the two platforms.
WordPress.org is the home of self-hosted WordPress. It lets you take full control of your website by enabling you to have your domain name and your website hosted with whichever company of your choosing.
WordPress.com, on the other hand, doesn’t let you do all those. Blogging on WordPress.com involves running your site on a subdomain. That is, your site will be sitting on the major domain, wordpress.com so that your site’s URL will be something like yoursite.wordpress.com. Here, you will be paying for things like having your domain name connected to your site, paying to use plugins and getting rid of adverts on your site.
If your objective is to make money using your WordPress site then you should set up your site on WordPress.org platform.
But what if you had chosen WordPress.com and now you think you made a mistake?
No problem. You can fix the mistake by moving your site to a self-hosted WordPress.org platform without losing your content.
It doesn’t matter whether you are already having 100+ blog posts or just 5. All of them will be exported to WordPress.org platform.
#2. Poor Choice of Web Hosting
Running a business online requires that everything be stable. It is therefore important that you have a stable web host. One that will ensure that your website stays online at all times.
Your hosting is a pillar where your blog will stand. This is a server where all your data is going to save online.
All the images, texts, videos are going to save on this server when you write anything on your blog.
A good hosting server should have:
- A cPanel or a Custom Control Panel to control everything easily
- Allow you to Add unlimited domains on the server to run multiple blogs
- Provides unlimited bandwidth
- Hosting space without limitation
- Unlimited email accounts if required
- 99.99% uptime is a must
Luckily, SiteGround is such a hosting provider that meets all the needs. Buy a web hosting package from SiteGround using this link at a discounted rate of $3.95.
It doesn’t matter whether you are already using a different hosting provider, SiteGround will help you transfer your site to their servers for FREE.
#3. Still Using “admin” as Username
Seriously. This is the most dangerous thing to do.
If you are still using “admin” as username then you are giving hackers out there easy time breaking into your website. Your website’s security is in grave danger.
You should instead change it to something very difficult to guess. Even by the people close to you.
#4. Using Weak Passwords
WordPress, at the point of installation, generates a strong password. Well, mastering that password is very difficult. It’s just impossible.
It’s either one writes it down or create a new one that they can be able to remember. I think writing it down somewhere isn’t the right option. Creating a new one that you can be able to remember is the best option.
Now, if you decide to create one, make sure that you come up with a string of characters that one cannot be able to guess.
A strong password is one that contains letters both in lowercase and uppercase, special characters and numbers and also more than 8 characters long.
If your password doesn’t fit the above description then you should consider changing it.
How to change the password on WordPress
- Log on to your WordPress Dashboard.
- On the top right, hover/click on your Gravatar (pic of the editor/admin) and then click “Edit My Profile”
- Scroll down to Account Management > New Password > Generate Password.
- Write your new password until you see the “strong” message below the box.
- Scroll down and then click “Update Profile.”
That should have you covered.
#5. Your Website Isn’t Backed Up
In the field of technology, s**t happens. You should, therefore, be ready for anything. Including waking up one day and finding your website and all its content is gone.
Just like computer files, you should back up your website’s content somewhere safe. And you should be doing this at least once every month.
Some web hosting companies back up their clients’ websites but remember, backing up your website is your responsibility and so do it yourself. Do not rely solely on your hosting provider for backups.
If you are not already backing up your website, then you should pick one of the listed WordPress backup plugins below and start using them right away.
#6. Installing Plugin After Plugin
Adding a plugin to your site means adding more code to your site.
More code has almost everything to do with your website’s loading speed. The more the code the slower the website will load.
Here is the thing, before installing a new plugin to your website, check if there is an alternative. Find out if the functionality can be added without introducing a plugin.
Also, go through the list of installed plugins and check if you are using all of them. Deactivate and delete the ones that you are not using.
#7. You Don’t Have a “Contact” Page
You are making a very big mistake if you are not having a way for people to contact you.
I made my first dollar through writing a sponsored post.
And here is how it happened:
Someone from an online company contacted me through a contact form on my blog and asked if I could do a sponsored review on their product. I was pleased to. We agreed on the amount, wrote the article and got paid. Just like that.
A contact page makes it easy for people to get in touch with you. It’s simple if anyone wants to talk directly to the person behind a blog; they tend to look for a “contact us” page. If yours doesn’t have one, you may be losing on sales or even creating rich networks.
Creating a “contact us” page is very easy. All you need to do is log on to your WordPress dashboard, scroll down to pages then “add new.” Have the title as “Contact Us/Contact Me” and then add a few options on how to get in touch with you.
Items to include on your contact page:
- Email Address
- Phone Number
- Contact form
- Physical Address of your offices (if you have one)
Here is a typical example of a Contact page. Check it out.
#8. No Google Analytics Installed
In the world of internet marketing, it is important to collect data from your website.
What kind of data will you be able to collect?
- Number of people visiting your site
- Their nationalities
- Age and sex
- The time they spend on your site
- Pages they visit on your site
- Where your traffic is coming from
- And so much more
You can only be able to collect all these data when you have Google Analytics installed on your blog.
So, if you don’t have Google Analytics installed on your site already, visit Google Analytics and get started.
#9. You Are Not collecting Email Addresses
There are lots of reasons why you should be collecting emails from the people visiting your blog.
I once talked about them on this blog post. You can check it out.
To save you the hustle, here are some of the reasons why you should be collecting emails:
- You can be able to build a stronger relationship with your subscribers
- Email subscribers convert higher than the Facebook targeted audience
- With an email list, you own your audience
- To set up email marketing on your blog, here is a quick tutorial for that.
From time to time, check for broken links on your blog and find a way of fixing them.
Broken links are links to pages that are no longer available. Either the page was pulled down or its link changed without redirecting the old link to the new one.
Broken links destroy a site’s SEO and if you don’t fix them, your efforts to achieve higher rankings may not bear fruits.
This is one of the most common WordPress mistakes, often made by beginners unknowingly. Here is a great article on the Top Beginner Blogging Mistakes you will find useful.
Use the WordPress plugin called Broken Link Checker.
The plugin once installed and activated in your site, it goes through all the blog posts and identifies all the broken links.
It gives you options of what to do with the broken links. You can unlink, redirect, change/edit, delete or ignore the report.
The plugin also has this amazing feature where it occasionally goes through your blog posts, identifies broken links and then notify you about them via email so you can take action.
#11. Accidentally Blocking Search Engines
I’d say this is the most common WordPress mistake most of the newbies make.
You see, when you are setting up WordPress, there is an option of blocking search engines from indexing the site.
It is a good idea to block search engines from indexing the site when you are still customizing your site and making it look more beautiful before presenting it to the world.
But then, this blogging thing can be overwhelming to the extent that you continue to block search engines from indexing your site.
It is therefore important that you check if you are still blocking search engines from indexing your site and fix it. Or else, you won’t receive traffic from search engines.
#12. Spam Comments Are Still Finding Their Way Through
Well, this can only occur if you are not moderating comments on your blog. It means that every comment posted on your blog gets published even without your approval.
Here is the thing…
Spam comments are usually way out of topic.
Meaning, they could be addressing a different issue. Something out of your topic.
Spam comments are mostly marketing irrelevant messages, adult messages and even messages in a language that you and your audience cannot be able to understand.
How do you stop spam comments from getting published on your blog?
Moderate all the comments.
That’s the best way.
Here is an article about how to fight spam comments in WordPress.
#13. Too Many Categories, Few Blog Posts
If you are not running a news blog then I think you should maintain your categories to below 10.
Having too many categories with few posts in each category doesn’t make sense at all. It sometimes shows that you lack ideas.
Having lots of posts under some categories and only a few under some renders the latter orphaned categories.
Balance your categories.
Have a few that you can manage.
Fill them equally with posts.
#14. Ignoring WordPress plugins, themes, and WP Core Updates
You must update your WordPress plugins, themes, and WP Core regularly. The updates usually released to:
- Improve the site security
- Resolve the errors and to fix bugs
- Add additional functionality to your site.
You site might be compromised to the hackers, if you did not fix the bugs or loopholes via updates.
#15. Updating Your Live Site Directly
Well, there is no harm in updating your live site directly. Most of the themes, plugins, and WordPress Core thoroughly checks the compatibility with most of the themes and plugins and via-a-versa.
So there will not be a problem. However, in a very few cases it has been seen that due to an update of a plugin and/or a theme or due to WP Core update, sites do break because of some compatibility issue with one each other.
It is always advisable to first create a staging site or mirror site of your live blog and then install the updates on your staging to check the compatibility and to avoid any site breakdown.
If everything goes right, then you can install updates on your live site or replace the same with staging site.
For the longest time, people would simply use the default URL structure like https://wpchimp.com/?p=123
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 under Settings » Permalinks.
Change it to the SEO friendly permalink i.e. https://wpchimp.com/sample-post/
#17. Making Life Difficult For Mobile Users
It is highly recommended to use a responsive theme. Nowadays most of the modern themes are mobile-friendly.
Here is a list of best WordPress themes for blogging, which are responsive and mobile-friendly as well.
Free Version of these theme are also available on WordPress theme repository.
#18. Not Caching Your Website
A lot of beginners don’t know what caching is which explains why they wouldn’t install a caching plugin.
In short, caching allows you to speed up your site and prevent downtime if you get a lot of traffic at once.
For starters, WP Super Cache is the best plugin for this job. You can check it out here.
#19. Not Optimizing Images for Your Website
Beginners don’t care about performance, storage space and such which we upload non-optimized images.
As they get more experienced they realize that the images they uploaded could have been so much smaller if only they compressed them for the web. Often the quality doesn’t go away either.
#20. Not Learning More
One of the worst mistakes you can make is not learning more about WordPress. New plugins and solutions are coming out every day.
Some that significantly improve the way things were done before. This is why we always recommend our readers to make a conscious effort to learn more about WordPress and get involved.
The easiest way to do this would be to read our blog regularly. Join our newsletter from the sidebar to get daily and/or weekly updates, so you are always up to date with all the cool things and tools.
Do you find our list of common WordPress mistakes useful?
Are you making any of them? or you might have some other mistakes to be pointed out. Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
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