6 WordPress mistakes you ought to avoid
A guest post by Vladmir Radmanov.
Although WordPress may have started out as just a blogging platform, it has transformed into a multi-dimensional content management system (CMS). This means that WordPress can support a wide variety of projects ranging from mobile applications to whole websites.
As well as being a top CMS, it also boasts tons of compatible plugins and themes that you can use to tailor your blog or website exactly to your needs. Because it is top quality, it is used by big brands all over the world – and yet it still manages to be intuitive to use for the less experienced web developer.
And the best part about WordPress? It’s free!
But even with its user-friendly setup and flexible usage, WordPress can still be confusing for beginners. Read on to find out the top WordPress mistakes beginners make, as well as some tips you can follow to avoid them.
1. Not researching before choosing your blog theme
WordPress is known for its great selection of themes. While this is a good thing, it can also be overwhelming. Your efforts to create suitable content could be scuppered if you fail to choose a theme that reaches your goals, or you choose a theme from an unreliable source.
- Tips for choosing the right theme:
- Identify your website’s goals and what you need your WordPress theme to do to accomplish them.
- Focus on responsiveness and mobile friendliness when researching a theme.
2. Ignoring WordPress updates
Whatever system you use, it is easy to get into the habit of hitting ‘remind me later’ when you are notified about a recent update.
You may think updates are unnecessary, or they could be distracting when you’re short of time, resulting in them being seen as a pain. But when you remember this CMS contains all of your blog content, it’s definitely worthwhile taking those extra few minutes to update to ensure your security and peace of mind.
- Tips for keeping your WordPress blog updated:
- Avoid WordPress’ prompts for updates at your peril!
- Remember to backup your WordPress before updating.
3. Not creating categories – or creating too many
Creating categories on WordPress not only makes your content easily searchable for your readers, it also improves your SEO.
If your blog doesn’t have categories, you’ll be missing out on these benefits. However, too many categories will over-segment your content and is more likely to confuse your readers (as well as the search engines).
- Tips for creating categories:
- It’s easy to create categories when writing blog posts; find them on the right sidebar of the New Post page under the option stating ‘New Categories’.
- Think carefully about which topics are relevant to your posts before creating categories. They need to make sense to your readers as well as the search engines.
4. Ignoring or not approving comments
One of the best ways to gauge engagement is through reader comments. They provide social proof to other readers as well as a vehicle for conversation with and amongst your followers.
Also they are a great resource to gain feedback and to learn what your audience truly thinks of your content. This way you can find out exactly what they want to read on your blog.
However, if you never check or respond to them, you could be losing out on a wealth of opportunities.
- Tips for handling and being responsive to comments:
- Check your comments regularly and respond to all of them, even if it is merely a simple thank-you.
- Be weary of comments that contain suspicious links. This could be spam, which could result in losing visitors or even attracting malware.
5. Installing too many unnecessary plugins
Plugins are additional applications that allow you to customise and make the most out of your WordPress blog.
There are at least 30,000 WordPress plugins to choose from. However, one of the most common WordPress mistakes is installing too many, as they will take up a lot of space and slow down your blog’s speed.
Speed is a vital for keeping your visitors engaged, or even getting them to stick around in the first place. So avoid clogging up your blog’s background with unnecessary plugins.
- Tips for choosing the right WordPress plugins:
- Identify exactly what you want the plugin to do before you start looking.
- Search in the WordPress directory for the most downloaded and most recently upgraded.
6. Not backing up your WordPress
This is the worst of the WordPress mistakes, because it is the most potentially harmful.
Even if you have a strong password and regularly update WordPress, there’s always still a chance your blog could crash or get hacked.
So it’s vital to keep your WordPress backed up if you want to solve this potential issue.
- Tips for keeping your WordPress instance backed up:
- Decide how often you feel comfortable backing up your site, and set reminders for yourself.
- Remember to backup your WordPress site before any major changes, updates or plugin downloads.
Are you avoiding these WordPress mistakes?
If you follow these tips, you’ll have a successful WordPress blog up and running before you know it!
Since how your blog performs will depend mostly on writing quality content, avoiding these WordPress mistakes will set an excellent foundational basis for your blog’s ability to support your great content.
Let me know in the comments below if you know of any other WordPress mistakes we ought to avoid.
About the author:
Vladmir Radmanov is a guest author of wpislife.com. He is an online entrepreneur and likes to help people start up their online businesses. He loves to travel and go on mountaineering in his free time. The majority of his written works focus on online marketing, how to start a blog, software reviews, and WordPress tips and tricks.