WordPress is by far the most popular CMS (Content Management System) of them all. In fact, over 30% of all websites run on WordPress, and no other platform comes even close. This easily makes it the most obvious choice for both personal and professional websites and blogs. In fact, it is used by such corporate giants like Facebook, Disney, and Sony. There are plenty of themes, plugins, and features to choose from, and it’s fairly simple to use. However, as user-friendly as WordPress is, a lot of users make mistakes when using it.
According to James Close, who works a webmaster for Proessaywriting, these are the 7 most common mistakes you should avoid when using WordPress.
1. Picking the Wrong Platform
Although they look the same for the most part and feature a lot of the same functionalities, WordPress.com and WordPress.org are entirely different beasts. How do you know which one to pick then? If you are looking for a platform that can provide you with enough features to host your blog or personal website, then you would probably be satisfied with WordPress.com. However, if you prefer to have absolute control over what happens with your website or blog, the self-hosted WordPress.org is the way to go for most professionals.
2. Using Too Many Plugins
Plugins are a wonderful thing, because they allow you to enhance your website with features and solutions you would otherwise have to code and create yourself. With over 55,000 plugins at your disposal, it’s pretty easy to get caught up in them all and install a whole bunch you don’t need, which then wind up slowing down your website. Even worse, because Google views site speed as one of the ranking factors, your website may receive a lower ranking because of that. Stick to the plugins you really need and avoid those from unreliable sources.
3. Not Installing a Caching Plugin
Now, this is one plugin that you do need. Since site speed is such an important SEO factor, you need to optimize your load speed by installing a caching plugin, as well as using a CDN (Content Delivery Network). With caching, not only will you be able to speed up your website’s loading time, but you will also prevent downtime and help it withstand huge traffic. The most popular caching plugins are W3 Total Cache and WP Super Cache.
4. Not Creating a Backup
WordPress backups are something most people never think about, until they lose years’ worth of hard work in a split second. If your website gets hacked, or there is an error during update or maintenance, it could take you weeks to get it back to its original state. If you have an online store, you could lose all of your clients, and then the only thing left to do would be to close up shop. You can do a manual or automatic backup on both versions of the WordPress platform.
5. Failing to Install Updates
Let’s be honest, updates are a drag. However, by ignoring them, you are exposing your website, and your business, to security issues and potential attacks, which brings us back to the previous paragraph. Fortunately, updating your WordPress website requires a single click, so make sure to do it on a regular basis. You shouldn’t forget to update your plugins and themes, as well, in order to prevent any security vulnerabilities on that end.
6. Ignoring Mobile Users
Responsiveness is one of the ranking factors, according to Google. It’s hardly a surprise, because over 50% of all searches are done on mobile devices. Since people are switching between their smartphones, tablets, TVs, and computers all the time, your WordPress site needs to look equally good on all of them. The solution would be to opt for a responsive theme or to use one of the mobile plugins, such as WPTouch.
7. Not Making Use of Google Analytics
Think you are doing everything right on your WordPress website? How do you know? Even if it is doing fine in terms of visitors and income, it’s nothing more than sheer luck. In order to quantify your efforts and see what’s actually working and what isn’t, you’ll need to pair up your website with Google Analytics. Sure, WordPress dashboard does capture some stats and insights, but that’s not even close to what Google Analytics can do. Use it to monitor traffic, behaviour and demographics of your users, as well as which keywords have proved to be the most effective, among other things.
Even if you are an experienced WordPress user, you will probably find a few tips you will be able to apply and improve your WordPress website. After all, your website is the face of your business, and you want it to be as good as possible.