WordPress is an amazingly powerful and flexible tool with an array of options. But like any tool, having a wide array of options means it’s easy to make mistakes using it.
And there are high chances that all of these mistakes will adversely affect your website and some can be devastating. Hence, it’s important to know what they are so you can avoid them.
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Mentioned below are the 10 common WordPress mistakes and how to avoid them.
1. Using Poorly-Coded Themes
This forms the foundation for your SEO efforts, and most themes mess up in this regard.
Irrespective of the fact that your theme is custom-built, purchased from a theme vendor or downloaded for free from the WordPress repository, there are some critical details that you need to evaluate to ensure that it will not put you at a disadvantage, including:
- HTML Validation
- HTTP Requests
- Excessive DOM Size
2. Using Page Builders
Using page builders is a huge mistake though they make it easier for people to add and edit designed content.
But the associated problems are that they create bloated codes, add unnecessary HTTP calls, and might introduce HTML errors that you can’t fix.
3. Installing Excessive Plugins
The simplicity of adding functionality by simply installing one or more plugins is one of the things that makes WordPress so powerful.
But this can also create significant problems.
There’s a wide range of development quality in these plugins related to themes and many plugins are poorly coded. This slows down the load speed and introduces HTML errors to your website.
These plugins also load a bunch of scripts, CSS files, images, and fonts. This further degrades speed and creates a poor user experience.
Next problem is that because it’s so easy, many people make the mistake of adding too many plugins causing your websites to load more slowly.
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4. Not Optimizing Media
Having large, high-resolution images are only great for printing, or for cropping a smaller section to be displayed at full size without losing image quality. But if uploaded directly to your WordPress media library, they will be stored as full-sized, unoptimized images.
Yes, some themes do automatically resize uploads based on a set of dimension pairs to help eliminate this issue but do not.
If your WordPress site is already up and running the good news is that you don’t need to re-upload everything in your media library. There are a variety of plugins available to automatically resize them.
But it’s critical to back up your website before running tools like this because the chances of deleting or overwriting something you didn’t intend to are higher.
5. Omitting an XML Sitemap
Though everyone can benefit from having an XML sitemap, this is especially useful when having a larger website because it helps search engines to find and crawl all of your pages.
But this critical feature is not yet native to WordPress. Hence, you will have to rely on a plugin.
Using Yoast for this can be helpful because it incorporates several other features that also, but several plugins can dynamically create your XML sitemap each time you add, modify, or delete pages, posts, and media.
6. Skipping Updates
This common mistake can create adverse consequences because these updates patch not only performance, design, and usability issues, but also security holes that may give hackers the ability to get into your website.
It can create all kinds of malicious things, ranging from deleting or defacing a website to intercepting credit card info or adding outbound links.
If you don’t get time to regularly update WordPress core, it is recommended that you turn on automatic updates.
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7. Overlooking Security
There is no way to make your website completely secure. But taking steps to harden your security can help you deter most hackers, with the rare exception of those who are specifically targeting you.
Hacking is largely a numbers game where hackers crawl thousands or even millions of websites looking for easily exploited vulnerabilities.
- Don’t Use a Default Username
- Lockdown your admin area
- Enable TFA (Two Factor Authentication)
- Limit login attempts
8. Not Implementing Backups
Automated backup is an essential part of having a website. It enables you to roll back changes easily and helps you to quickly recover from a hack by restoring an older version of your website.
Backups live on your webserver to speed up the restore process, but they should also be backed up to the cloud so you always have a clean copy.
9. Omitting Schema
Though schema may not directly impact ranking, it can have a positive impact on clickthrough rates because of added visual cues.
And sometimes, we have to do this because plugins can’t handle some of the more complex scenarios we run into.
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10. Not Properly Configuring Permalinks
The default permalinks that WordPress creates are not ideal from a search perspective. So, it has to be changed. It’s essential because a proper URL structure helps search engines to better understand the hierarchy of your website.
WordPress is the best CMS in the world. It powers around 39% of all websites on the internet, from hobby blogs to some of the biggest news sites.
WordPress also controls over 60% of the CMS market share around the world and is the most preferred choice of users around the world. Discussed in this article were the most common WordPress mistakes users often make.
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