In our opinion, WordPress is the perfect content management system (CMS) for both beginners and experts. It’s user-friendly enough that newbies can manage the content on their website and customizable enough to grow into an eCommerce powerhouse. However, for those who are new to operating a website and working with a CMS, there is a short list of common mistakes many people make when getting into the nuances of WordPress. If you are one of these people, don’t worry; even WordPress experts make these time to time!
Keep your eye out for these top six WordPress mistakes new users make.
Not Updating Your Plugins, Themes and Core
WordPress core, plugins and themes roll out regular updates to fix bugs and security issues, which is why it’s important to manage your site correctly and update these when you can. If you ignore them too long, your site could be vulnerable to hackers and even crash your website when you try to update. Keep your site running smoothly and always update your WordPress elements as soon as possible. If you need extra help with this, we’re happy to give you WordPress support!
Wrongly Changing Your Permalinks
In case you can’t guess it based on the name, permalinks are meant to be permanent. These short, SEO-friendly structures really shouldn’t be changed once they’re set, but if you do need to change them, you’ll have to set up redirects for your posts. If you don’t, search engines will not be able to find your posts, as your old permalink will be the one indexed. And, people who click on those old URLs will be pointed to a 404 page. Do yourself a favor and either have a well thought out plan for your redirects or carefully select your forever permalink.
Incorrectly Deleting Content
It happens; you may want to delete a page or post after it’s live for various reasons. If you do, it’s important to know that these URLs will be turned into 404 pages (see ours as an example), which is just poor user experience. Like the last point, the solution for this is to take the time to make sure redirects are handled properly to make sure these URLs point to a similar page.
Having Too Many Plugins
We understand it can be overwhelming and fun to browse the massive library of plugins WordPress has to offer. These plugins customize your website’s function and also help make it as user-friendly as possible. While there are over fifty thousand plugins to choose from, you should only select and install only the ones you need.
If you install too many, you could negatively impact your site’s speed or even break it. Plus, all the plugins you add need to be routinely updated, so it’s wise to only add the ones you need and delete the ones you don’t use.
Not Investing in Website Backups
All websites are prone to crashing, hacking, and other catastrophes. The absolute one thing you must do for your website is back it up every single day to grab the latest version if a disaster were to occur. If your site were to crash without a backup, all of your data could be gone forever, and you would have to start at square one.
Your website host may be making a daily backup of your website, but it’s much more safe to do this on your own as well. While you could manually backup your website, there are plenty of tools out there that do automatic backups every day. You can do this either through a plugin (we love BlogVault) or use or software like ManageWP.
Using Posts for Pages and Vise Versa
If you’ve never used WordPress before, there are sections in the backend to create posts and pages. Posts are blog posts, articles, or updates that live within your blog, and pages are web pages. For first-time WordPress users, sometimes posts are created as pages and vise versa, and this can be hard to manage if you notice this long after the pages or posts were published.
If you’re still confused about the differences between pages and posts, here’s a resource to help you out.
WordPress is a powerful tool for businesses and bloggers, and when executed correctly, it can help you make your mark on the Internet. The great news about WordPress is there’s a whole community cultivated around helping people understand it and how to make it have a positive impact online. Find your local WordPress Meetup in your area and consider going to an upcoming WordCamp. You’ll not only meet a network of experienced WordPress users, but you’ll learn the ins and outs of how to manage your website effectively.
Keep an eye out for these common mistakes, and if you need more help setting up your WordPress website, contact us today!