There is little doubt that WordPress is the CMS platform most website owners and design agencies use and prefer. It provides a simple means for the least tech-savvy blogger to create a website at one end of the scale and another, an opportunity for professional web designers to create large, multifunctional websites for corporate clients.
Some of the reasons these can be achieved include WordPress’s back office interface that almost everyone can understand and use. In addition, there are an almost infinite number of theme options that provide the means for creating stunning website designs. We must not forget the plugins that add fantastic functionality and features to WordPress websites.
With all these positive features, you might be mistaken that WordPress guarantees every website built with it will be perfect, but unfortunately, that is not the case. We say this not to blame WordPress but instead to state it is due to common mistakes that those who use WordPress often make.
These mistakes can all be avoided, but if you do not know what they are, how can you ensure you do not make them? To address this, we have highlighted ten of the most common mistakes made with WordPress, which hopefully means you will know to avoid them in the future.
Not Regularly Backing Up Your Website
Some calamities can befall a website; in the worst cases, a website cannot be recovered and must be rebuilt. An example of why this can occur is a technical issue, such as a rogue plugin destroying some of the website’s coding. Another scenario is the website being hacked for nefarious reasons and held for ransom. The solution to mitigate these and have the ability to reinstate your website is creating regular backups of it.
#2 – Weak Passwords
We mentioned hacking in the last section, and whilst some methods utilise complicated bots, hacking can also occur due to self-inflicted errors. One is not having a secure password which would be impossible to hack due to its various character types and several characters long. The issue is when website owners use passwords that a child could guess, such as ‘password, or ‘1234’, which, believe it or not, are all used by some as their WordPress password.
#3 – Not Automatically Installing WordPress Updates
The team responsible for WordPress are conscientious in that they do all they can to counter any security or functionality issues that may arise within WordPress’s coding, and the primary way they differ these is with regular updates. Unfortunately, many WordPress website owners do not have these updates set to instal, which automatically exposes their website to security risks and is in danger of crashing due to software glitches.
#4 – Installing Too Many Plugins
Plugins are one of the top advantages of using WordPress, and they can make a substantial positive difference to your WordPress website. However, there is a caveat to this. You only use plugins to keep your website operating efficiently and without issues. However, if you install too many plugins, especially if they have few reviews and are not thoroughly tested, your website is liable to problems, such as loading slowly.
#5 – No Caching Plugin
We have just mentioned slow loading, and we will do so again because of the importance of avoiding this problem for your users and to satisfy Google that your website deserves top rankings. A way to boost your website’s load speed is to set up caching so that parts are stored in browsers, achieved using a caching plugin.
#6 – No SSL Certificate
It stuns us when we see otherwise excellent WordPress websites struggle to gain rankings and, in some cases, will not even open in some browsers because their owners have not bothered purchasing an SSL certificate. They cost just a few dollars and can be installed within minutes, so there is no excuse for any website not having one.
#7 – Not Customising Your Permalinks
Permalinks are new URLs created when you publish blog posts and can impact your website’s SEO. In WordPress, you can customise them, and we highly recommend that you do so that the URLs become the blog post title, for example. If not, you will end up with URLs that have random and relatively useless numbers which do nothing for your rankings.
#8 – Not Optimising Images
We again touch upon the essential need for you to ensure that your WordPress website’s pages open almost instantaneously when someone lands on them. Prime culprits of slow pages are images whose file sizes often cause a page to take longer than you want to load. This is an easy fix because plugins can optimise your images by reducing their file sizes without harming their quality.
#9 – Ignoring User Experience
Since managing a WordPress website can be hands-on for many website owners, thanks to WordPress’s excellent interface, it can create a risk that the website owner makes the site work for them, not anyone else. By that, we mean they forget about the user experience of those visiting the website and instead focus on how they make it easier for them to manage.
#10 – Not Analysing Your Website’s Performance
Unfortunately, this final mistake is widespread, and we dare say that most WordPress website owners make it. We are discussing monitoring your website’s performance and analysing the data to tell you where to improve this. Improving performance can lead to better user experiences and increase conversion rates, which are extremely important for business websites.