WordPress is one of the most popular content management systems (CMS) available on the web. The ease of use is evident and the vast array of plugins mean that any website is extremely versatile and customisable.
Just because WordPress takes care of the more troublesome aspects of web design doesn’t mean that you can just sit back and leave it all to them. You could be making mistakes with your WordPress site, and you might not even know it…
Backing up a WordPress Site
One of your priorities should be backing up your WordPress site. There’s no telling when a problem can arise, or your site can crash, wiping out your data and potentially costing you a great deal of time and money.
Backing your site up is especially important when updating so you can revert back to a previous version of your site should something go wrong.
When prompted to, you should always update WordPress. These updates provide performance and efficiency improvements as well as important security patches for any new bugs or viruses.
Some plugins can react badly to updates however, so you should heed our previous advice on backing up your site before updating anything.
Moderating comments on your blog is something of a necessity, although it may not seem so initially. Allowing users to post comments without any kind of moderation stage by web admins can cause all kinds of problems (both spam and genuine).
If you have a high volume of comments being posted to your site where moderation isn’t an option, then you can sift out spam by following the advice given on one of our previous blog posts.
Having an Unresponsive Site
Did you know 74% of people say their more likely to revisit a website if it’s mobile friendly? The importance of having a mobile responsive website is becoming more prominent as mobile browsing is overtaking traditional browsing at an staggering rate! Read more on responsive sites here.
Not Using Analytics
Nobody is perfect, but with site analytics you can get as close to perfect as possible. If you install analytics on your website you can see all kinds of statistics and information about your site which will help you improve your visitor count and conversions. To see the benefits of Google analytics, take a look at our earlier post here.
Using a Poor Theme
There are two parts to this mistake. The first is choosing a poorly designed or generic theme. You need to get the balance right between something unique and something that is easy to navigate for your visitors. There is nothing more off putting than a website that looks uninspiring and is difficult to move around.
Secondly, if you download a free theme from a disreputable source, it may well be riddled with bugs and security flaws. Stick to recommended theme providers.
Making sure your website is visible to search engines can often fall by the wayside during the initial creation process. One simple mistake people can make is to hide their site when developing, but forget to make it visible again once they’ve finished.
Here’s why SEO is such a crucial aspect of your website.
Not Editing Defaults
WordPress defaults are there to fill in the blanks of your website should you forget to change them or fill them in. If you do forget to edit your default settings such as your admin name, taglines or favicon you are left with an unprofessional looking website which may come across as lazy or inexperienced.
While you’re at it, make sure you delete the default first post that WordPress automatically adds to your blog!
Not Installing a Caching Plugin
The speed of your website is a key player when it comes to search engine rankings, and if you don’t install a caching plugin you could be seriously hindering it. A cache allows your site to remember information about visitors to your site without going through the process of identifying it every time they revisit. A caching plugin and a Content Delivery Network are musts for sites with high volumes of traffic.
WordPress.com & WordPress.org
Choosing the wrong platform is a common mistake, as one is free with limited features where the other is a paid service with maximum control. WordPress.org allows for any plugins and themes and also lets you make money from your site with adverts. The free version of WordPress, wordpress.com, had limited plugin and theme support, does not allow for monetisation, but however does have full WordPress support features.
If you’re interested in switching your WordPress site to become self-hosted, take a look at our ’how-to’ here.