Avoid These x5 WordPress Rookie Errors

WordPress has revolutionised the way we design and manage websites. As you may know, WordPress is free and open source software used to create blogs and websites. It is one of the easiest and most adaptable content management platforms, as it was originally designed for blogging, but now can be used for e-commerce, portfolio sites and online newspapers.

Almost 30% of all websites on the World Wide Web are made using WordPress and this is certainly testament to it’s popularity, great themes and ease of use. However, being so accessible comes with downsides: it is easy to make mistakes that can jeopardise both the reputation of your business and the safety of your content if not worked on correctly.

We recently spoke with the team at TechPress and came away with these great tips. This post covers some of the more common mistakes WordPress users make and how you can avoid making these errors.

Unsuitable Hosting Companies

hosting

They say that a WordPress site is only as good as the host company powering it. Now when it comes to WordPress specific web hosting, not all companies are equal. Many WordPress beginners make the mistake of signing up to a hosting plan that just isn’t suitable, or the host company doesn’t specialise in WordPress hosting requirements.

WordPress hosting comes in many different setups, each with their own pros and cons. For beginners, a good recommendation would be to sign up on a managed WordPress plan as this way; the hosting providers take care of the server side details.

Another option is to go with a WordPress only hosting company, of which there are many. You only pay for WordPress related features and they can advise you what options are right for your site.

Cache Plugin

cache

A cache plugin is a tool that stores website data in a way that speeds up the load time of a website through the storage of the site resources, reducing bandwidth usage, server load and reload time. It is a must for any WordPress site. Popular examples of cache plugins include WP Super Cache and W3 Total Cache.

Issues arise when a site isn’t cached. That is, a website takes a long time to load and deliver resources to the user. You see, WordPress requests fresh information about a page on every visit. This is often not necessary, as most pages don’t change that much once they are published.

A cache plugin serves up a static version of a webpage and delivers this to visitors, reducing load time and increasing user experience. Not using a cache plugin is a rookie mistake that could be costing you visitors and potential customers.

Use ‘Admin’ as the Default Username

admin

This is a big no-no due to security concerns as hackers rely on the fact that a lot of WordPress users set their username as admin. WordPress creates the username ‘admin’ by default and you should change it as soon as you can from your WordPress dashboard.

No Site Backups

Not backing up your site is one of the biggest mistakes you can make. Why? Because if your site is hacked or crashed and you don’t have a backup copy to use/restore, your site could be lost forever.

Now unless you know your way around a hosting dashboard, you are better to get either a managed hosting plan or a backup plugin. A managed WordPress hosting plan should take care of your website backup needs, including as frequently as daily backups. A backup plugin works by automatically backing up your files on a regular basis.

Non-Responsive Design

Non-responsive design usually means you have an old site that was designed before the rise of mobile viewing habits, or your current theme doesn’t have a mobile optimised version. If you design your site for desktop view, you are designing your site wrong.

Given we know that more than half of all website traffic  (57%) now occurs on mobile devices, you need to design both your website and your content for mobile viewing as well as traditional desktop viewing.

Google now looks to see if your website is responsive and mobile optimised. Those sites that are get a small SEO boost whereas those sites that aren’t, won’t rank as high.

Wrap Up

These 5 WordPress mistakes are some of the most common mistakes when it comes to managing your own WordPress site. There are, of course, hundreds of things you shouldn’t do when managing a WordPress site, however that would require us to write a thesis on the subject.

By focusing on increasing your site’s load time (through good WordPress specific hosting and caching), security and mobile user experience, you will be well on your way to a winning WordPress site.