Everyone makes mistakes — it’s what makes us human. Obviously, these mistakes don’t define us, but they can slow down your progress, and cause many problems in the future.
Here are ten of the most common mistakes that people make with their WordPress website, and steps on how you can avoid making the same.
Remember, if you made any of these, you’re not alone. You should take it as a learning experience, and use it to make your site better.
1. Choosing the wrong WordPress
Both of these have their pros and cons, but the fact that two even exist makes it a little confusing, especially for beginners. The rule of thumb is; if you’re a blogger that wants to make money from their blog, go with WordPress.org, if not, go with WordPress.com.
Basically, with WordPress.com, you aren’t hosting your site yourself. That’s the significant difference between the two.
There are steps to import your site from one to another, by importing your blog and uploading the XML file to your new blog. So, it’s not the end of the world if you make this mistake, but it can waste a bit of time.
2. Choosing free themes
This is an attractive choice for everybody —themes that cost no money? You get designs at no cost at all. However, these free themes aren’t the best things in the world.
Okay, we’ll admit, they’re not terrible, especially for beginners. However, you’ll find that hundreds of other websites have the same theme as you, and you won’t get customer support.
Possibly the worst problem with them — they lack various features. You can’t pick multiple color changes, and this makes your site less personal and doesn’t follow your brand.
This is an easy mistake to fix, just carefully pick a theme that will work well for you, and use it.
3. You don’t back up your website
Technology is a turbulent industry, and not everything will work out smoothly. Nor, do we claim that things won’t go wrong. Crashes will happen, it’s one thing that we’re confident of — even though WordPress is excellent for reducing them.
Of course, this is not your fault, and it’s not because of the mistake that you made. However, if you don’t back up your website, you’ll kick yourself later. This is such a common mistake — we’ve all done it. You only realize how crucial abackupwould have been until it’s too late.
One thing you should do right now, if nothing else, is installing a backup plugin on your WordPress site.
You can also backup your website manually, just to be safe.
Jetpack by WordPress.com offers daily backups for only $3.50/month.
4. You don’t keep track of your comments
When your site builds up more traffic, your posts will begin to get comments. Now, engagement with your audience is vital for any company, and when they leave comments it’s a prime opportunity.
Failing to keep track of your comments, ignoring them, or not replying is just a missed opportunity. It can also deter users from engaging in the future.
You can install plugins which will filter out spam comments, but the best way to avoid this mistake is by checking your comments. Take some time every day or week to go through them, thoughtfully replying to every single one.
It makes a big difference. LH Zero Spam is a free and best anti spam plugin.
5. You have too many widgets
Widgets are fabulous additions — they have the potential to make your website more user-friendly, and offers excellent ways to promote your social media accounts.
However, some people go a tiny bit overboard with the widgets. If you fill every free space with some type of widget, although your heart might be in the right place, it isn’t the best way to go about things.
It can make your website look jumbled and too busy. Less is more in this case.
Pick two or three widgets for your site — the essentials.
6. Installing too many plugins
We’ve already mentioned a few necessary plugins; which is precisely why this mistake is so common.
Plugins seem like life savers — there’s one for every single thing you could think. In the moment, you might download them all, but it can make your website run really slow.
Again, the simple way to avoid this problem is by only installing the plugins which you really need. This might require some in-depth research, but it’ll be worth it.
A slow website will make you lose visitors. Jetpack by WordPress.com offers dozens of features in a single plugin. Install this powerful plugin and activate necessary features such as Lazy loading for images, mobile-theme, daily backups, security and more.
7. Not making your WordPress site mobile friendly
The majority of people go on the internet with their phones, these days. On the commute to work, on their lunch break, sitting in front of the television -it’swhat people do.
Ignoring this big chunk of people that use their phone as a mini computer, is just one of the worst mistakes. You can easily make your WordPress site mobile-friendly, by installing a powerful and responsive theme such as Divi by ElegantThemes.com. There’s even a preview of what it will look like. You have no excuse.
In the long term, you can consider getting an app, but that’s a different story.
Jetpack mobile theme feature is free to use.
8. Not having a secure blog
WordPress is quite vulnerable, especially to hackers and scammers. It’s kind of expected for such a big, accessible platform.
The mistake you make is not caring about security until it’s too late. This is a mistake many people make. Attacks also tie in nicely with backing up your website — don’t forget that helps you a lot in these cases too.
Always secure your blog with firewalls and antivirus software. This way, hackers that are looking for a vulnerable website, will completely ignore yours. Hopefully.
Install Jetpack – Go to Settings – Security and activate Downtime monitoring, Brute force attack protection and plugin auto updates.
9. You ignore the updates
WordPress continually releases new updates, all of which are important in their own little way. We get it, they can be a bit annoying — but don’t ignore them. Not reacting to them will only open you up to security issues, and make your site vulnerable.
The simple fix to this is — don’t ignore them. They’re there for a good reason and will benefit you.
We believe that there is a way to turn on automatic updates, which is a great option. If not, just keep checking and update every single time that you can.
10. You don’t follow copyright laws
Bloggers do this a lot. Not only with their words, but with their images and music. We get it — it can be hard to find the perfect words, picture or sound. You should never take it from someone else, though. This is copyright fraud and could lead to a hefty fine, or a court case.
Stay clear from plagiarizing someone else words, using a checker every single time. For images and sound, make sure you check the rules attached. Sometimes you will have to credit, other times you won’t.
It is generally advisable to delegate blog-related responsibilities to content agencies and writing companies like FiverPro. These businesses hire seasoned professionals that know all the peculiarities of the craft and are versed in SEO writing too.
When it comes to pictures — a general rule of thumb is that you can’t just download a picture from Google and put it on your blog. Use sites likePixabay, or creative commons onFlickr.
We hope this helps you to avoid some super common mistakes. Making sure to dodge these will improve your website, and stop you leading into various troubles along the way.