If you have found this site, then you probably already know what WordPress is and what it does. It is easily the most popular CMS on the web and looks like it will be for a long time to come. Its ease of use, simplicity to set up and modify and the plethora of plugins are what combine to make WordPress so popular. While this is true, it is also what makes it easy to make big mistakes on your website.
Avoiding WordPress Mistakes
If you are about to use WordPress it is a given that you will be making mistakes. If you are using WordPress right now, it is a given that you are making mistakes right now. It is just the nature of the beast. WordPress is simple to use but the thousands of themes and just as many if not more plugins mean that there is a lot of code there that can be bugged or conflict. Let us help you with the knowledge we have picked up along the way.
1. How do you pick the right WordPress theme?
Find a site that you like type it into WP Theme Detector. It will give you a run down on the type of site it is and indicate if it is a WordPress site. The theme will be highlighted and a link will be provided to the theme itself. Follow the link and examine the theme in detail.
Some questions you need to ask yourself when considering a theme is.
Is the theme responsive and look good on a mobile or tablet? As time progresses, people are using mobile devices more to access the web. Make sure the theme you pick works well with mobile phones and tablets.
Does the theme styling help represent what the topic of my blog will be? Websites and Blogs will have a niche that they cater for. In the same way most theme creators are generally thinking of a particular niche when building the theme. So pick a theme that has the niche in its description or has a child theme or installable demos that represent the niche you are interested in.
Is the theme creator reliable? If you used the theme detector above then the answer to this is generally yes. However look at reviews for the theme and check when the theme was last updated. This can be a good indicator as to whether the theme developer is still actively supporting the theme.
2. Do You Use Optimizaed Images?
Optimizing images for websites is one of the most undervalued strategies for making a site more user friendly. It is especially important for mobile users. Google has recently announced that site loading speed is a ranking factor. There are a few WordPress plugins that will optimize images on the fly.
Make sure that the images you chose are relevant to the niche and that they have some impact. Images that are completely off topic will make users leave the site early and go back to Google. This is known in SEO circles as user bounce and Google frowns upon it. It is a signal that is highlighting the fact that users are not finding what they are looking for on the website.
3. Do Not Forget To Backup Your Website
Do you think that WordPress automatically backs up your site data? If that is what you believe then you are sadly mistaken. Out of the box WordPress has no backup mechanism yet backing up a site is one of the most important things you can do as a website owner. It is such an obvious but crucial mistake that first time bloggers make.
There are a plethora of backup. To find them just go to plugins area and search for backup. Most that come up in search are excellent and using anyone of them will keep you from losing sleep at night. Some backup plugins we recommend are as follows:
Anyone of these above plugins will save you much heartache in the future.
4. Installing too many plugins
Plugins are what make WordPress powerful and flexible. Often this is a double edged sword. At last count there were over sixty thousand plugins available for WordPress. Not all of them are compatible with the latest version of the CMS and not all of them are supported by their creators.
This where the problem lies. Plugins are what make WordPress but they are also its biggest vulnerability. When using plugins follow these simple rules.
- Only use plugins that you absolutely need. Superfluous plugins should be deleted.
- Only install supported, compatible plugins that have lots of recent good reviews.
- Check that the plugin does not slow your site down.
- Make sure that the plugin does not clash with the theme you have chosen.
- Plugins can clash with each other, not just with themes. So installing too many plugins can cause unwanted errors on a WordPress site.
5. Not Taking WordPress Security Into Account
WordPress security is becoming more important as the years go by. As one of the most popular Website platforms, WordPress will garner its fair share of hackers. If a hacker is going to look for a vulnerability why not look for it in a CMS that has so many installations. A hacker will benefit much more by finding a way into a WordPress site. What can you do to make your WordPress site more secure?
- Install a security plugin.
- Make sure all passwords are extremely strong.
- Set an unusual name for the Admin account. (Do not call it “admin”)
- Avoid nulled or cracked premium themes.
- Disable file editing
- Use a SSl certificate if you can.
- Change your WP-LOGIN url. Most hackers use bots that attack certain files. Wp-login does quite a few database look ups and a dedicated hacker can use a bot to make the database fall over and gain command line access.
- Delete xmlrpc.php. This file is not really needed and a hacker can use a bot as above to gain command line access.
- install a limit login attempts plugin.
- Hide wp-config.php and .htaccess files
If you are reading this then this is your first foray into blogging or at least are relatively new to WordPress. Don’t let what we have said above dishearten you. WordPress for all its foibles is an excellent website/blogging platform. Moving forward, whatever mistakes you make, learn from them. Most online entrepreneur will fail a few times before they hit onto the one idea or site that lets them work from and live the lifestyle they desire.