Today, every other web professional is familiar with WordPress at one or the other level. Some are highly proficient WordPress developers while others just know it as a well-known and trending blogging application. WordPress offers an excellent platform and exciting themes to build astonishing websites. But, despite all these options, several mistakes are made by its users, especially amateur ones. These errors can lead to effects which can vary from minor to disastrous. Here is a list of some mistakes that are often made by designers and users of this application. Go through it to avoid errors.
1. Free Themes
Many designers use a free or premium theme, but some of them are not skilled and experienced enough to understand aesthetics. Also, there are some developers for who marketability or content on the website is more important than how it looks. These people opt the free version of themes download-able on WordPress, but this where they are actually wrong. There are many reasons for it, such as there is a high probability of thousands of other websites, using the same theme as yours. If you are up to establish a brand name in the market, using an an overused thing is not the way to start your business. Other than this, usage of free themes makes your site more vulnerable. There is a strong possibility of your site being attacked or harmed. If you use a paid version of theme, it is not exploitable, and you get notified in case any such thing happens. In the case of free themes, you are often left with to your devices to figure out and fix various types of security threats.
2. So Many Plugins
WordPress offers a great number of plugins so that users can expand their site's functionality. These plugins may often stop your website to develop and leads to its poor performance. Also, there are many faulty plugins, you can give your review about such a plugin by rating it in the plugin library. There are plugins that work for once, and may not work further. You may not get to know about this till you try. Irrespective of the rating, you can also search for the name of plugin over the Internet and can get to know about its status. This helps you a lot, as you don't need to install and activate it, and further deactivate and delete it if you find it unsuitable.
In case, you like to try many plugins either if they are not working in the way you want or if you just want to try various, all you need to do is to deactivate and delete those which are of no use anymore. Two many activated plugins may slow down your website. Users don't even give a single chance to a website that loads very slowly.
Besides all that is mentioned above, some plugins are not even secure. Plugins with poor coding can approach a site for attack with just a click. There are plugins that can break a site completely, so you have quite a good reason to avoid overusing them.
3. Widget Happy
A search box on the top of the list of categories, most recent tweets besides a custom coded HTML message, widgets of WordPress makes this possible. With these widgets, it is also possible to fill up sidebars and footer very quickly with the 'information.' As a whole, they make a website simple and easy to use.
4. Never Fail to Monitor Comments
Comments from the users of your website play a vital role to make your site out of the ordinary. This is basically a convenient way through which you can get a chance to interact with the users, and instead of letting this opportunity go you should grab it and start a conversation. But, during this whole process, you should be aware of spams that often appear as comments. You can filter out such spams by using Akismet plugin as it is one of the best ways to get rid of this problem. All you need to do is to install it and register with an API key. You will get it in your email box, and from there you just need to copy and paste it where you want to, it will automatically start keeping the spams away from your site.
5. Security of the Blog
WordPress is a web application, so there are vulnerabilities in its code. Any software hosted on the web is more susceptible to attack if it has not been saved by using a firewall or any other appliance in order to protect it from harmful bugs. Various WordPress installations are either attacked by low level of harmful hackers in order to insert link spam in a blog or site with good traffic or by automated scripts that search the Internet for the applications that have some special vulnerabilities. Most of the times, primary steps to protect your WordPress site are enough in order to keep attacks at bay.
6. Overusing Categories
It is quired easy to do things in WordPress and so is to create a new category but at the same time, it is also one of the biggest problems related to it. Many times, people write up a post and rather than using a category that already exists, they prefer to create a new one. Categories must be considered as containers required to store your content. It is good to let everything accumulate in one place. If you have posted only once under the category of web design, you don't need to form a separate category for it. Also, one should not insert many tags, about 5 to 6 tags are good, but avoid more than this.
7. Stealing images
Say a big 'NO' to this, as it is not good to take images from Google and to use them on your blog. Most of the Google images are copyrighted and are not allowed to be used without prior permission from their owners. Using such images on a business blog can create even more problems. You may receive cease or desist letters or mails from the owners. Obviously, images make your content and blog more attractive but before using them, just make sure that they are under the GNU public license, Creative Commons License or in the Public Domain.
8. Weak Content
The first and foremost reason why people install and use WordPress is the reason that it can be updated frequently and they can add content as well. If you don't modify or update your content often, you can use CSS and HTML to create your website. It will not only load your site faster but will also be more secure. If your intention is to create a content-rich site, try to be sure about the quality of it. It should be grammatically perfect and captivating so that readers want to visit your blog again and again. Nobody wants to visit a site that is visually great but doesn't have good content.
9. Forgetting About the Mobile Devices
Devices with smaller screens such as mobile phones will not find it great to use your website as you have not designed it according to the gadgets they are using. Thus, you should keep this thing in mind while designing your website, it should be mobile friendly as most people nowadays surf on mobile phones and tablets.
10. Forgetting to Backup
Never forget to backup your WordPress website, it is something important to do. You can search for some recovery and backup plugins and opt for the one you like the most. At first, run a local installation of WordPress on your laptop, computer, a virtual machine or on a sub-domain and check your backup files to be sure that you can recover them when you want to.
11. A Wrong Platform
In order to build your web presence, you are provided with two different platforms. You can either use WordPress.org, or you can opt for self-hosted route. There are various companies that let you host your website on your own. The one you choose completely depends on you and make sure that it completely fulfills all your requirements. WordPress.org is a perfect choice for those who simply want to do blogging whereas, self-hosting offers several alluring perks and security.
12. Not Using Google Analytics and Obsessive Stat Checks
One of the best partners for your WordPress website is Google Analytics. You get all the updates regarding the traffic of your website and how users engage with the content on it. In case, users are not interacting with the website in a way you actually wanted, Google Analytics, along with identifying the problem, finds out a solution as well. It will help you find out what you need to modify to boost your the performance of your site. Moreover, you don't have to evaluate the statistics every now and then. They are not exactly 100% precise, even with real-time updates. You should not be crazy about checking the updates and stats. A new website may take sometime to gain traffic as it depends on various factors such as you marketing techniques or competition you are facing. Check everything after a fixed duration of time and don't get discouraged if your site is not performing the way you were expecting.
13. Ignoring SEO
Search Engine Optimization is something that is required to be sure that you are seen and responded by users that you expected. Rank of your content gets influenced by the insertion of specific keywords and using them in particular bits of coding. Special themes are comprising of some in-built SEO elements, and you can regulate the optimization of your content as well.
One useful plugin on WordPress for search engine optimization is Yoast SEO. You need to install it and fill a form at the bottom of every post and page with the keyword that you want to concentrate on. You will be informed if it is correct to use. This is one of the best tools both for you and someone who is writing for your site. You can also make changes in the snippet under the name of your website on Google Search Engine Results (SERP). In case you want to create an XML sitemap, which is quite important for search engines as they map your website in a proper way, Yoast SEO performs this task very well, and along with this it also helps you to be in the SEO loop.
This article is written by Garvit Narang who works as a WordPress Developer with one of the top WordPress development firms. He likes to pen down his knowledge and his articles are easy to understand for all. He is an avid blogger, a gadget freak, and loves to go on long rides in his free time.