When you start designing a web page using WordPress as your CMS there are a few common WordPress mistakes that you should take into account in order to avoid committing them. In many cases these errors do not have an immediate impact on your website, but in the long run they can make you lose money without even realizing it. For example, one of the most critical points is the loading speed of the site. Since Google began to use the loading speed as an SEO factor, this is something you have to pay a great deal of attention to. But, this is not nearly anything. Check the following list to see and inform yourself better about potential mistakes.
11 common WordPress mistakes
1. You don’t check your website in all browsers
If you haven’t checked your website in all the most common browsers, you may be in for a trouble. This is usually a typical mistake of a novice designer or someone not professional who makes their own website. In an ideal world, all browsers should work the same and show the pages exactly the same. But it is not like that. Although the HTML language is universal, each browser interprets some codes in a slightly different way. These failures are usually seen when checking a website in all the most common browsers (Firefox, Chrome, Internet Explorer, Safari, Opera, etc.). The browser that usually causes the problems is without a doubt Internet Explorer.
2. You don’t check whether your site works on mobile devices
This point is closely linked to the previous point. Just as Google takes into account the website’s loading speed, it also takes into account whether the website is adapted to mobile devices. Nowadays, most WordPress templates are responsive, which means they automatically adapt to mobile devices. However, don’t get too comfortable. You still have to check.
3. You have too many installed plugins
These days it can be quite challenging not to commit this particular mistake. There are plugins to solve virtually any need you have when designing your website in WordPress. The problem appears when you have 15+ plugins installed. Many of them load external files or it’s possible that your code is not completely optimized. All this affects the performance of your website. In addition, incompatibility problems may appear between different plugins. Be reasonable and practical when choosing your plugins.
4. You have too many images
Obviously, a website needs effective images in order to be compelling for the visitors. In fact, almost everything online is an image (images for menus, backgrounds, buttons, etc. in addition to the photos themselves). The problem is using images that are not optimized and that are huge in size. The larger the size of the image (or the weight of the image), the longer the website will take to load those images and therefore the page will take longer to load, which will affect the loading speed. Luckily, there are many tools that can reduce the size of the image file, such as JPEGmini for example, without affecting its quality.
5. You have too many sliders
If you want to use a slider just make sure that you don’t have too many images sliding one after another. The problem is that if, for example, you have 10 slides, those images will be loaded at the same time when you load the page. Although you cannot see them, the browser loads them so that the sliding action is quick. If you really want a slider on your site, limit the images to 3.
6. You change the pages URLs once they’re published
This is one of the common WordPress mistakes that’s also very serious. If for example you publish a page with the URL website.com/page-one and after a few months you change it to website.com/page-new, you’ll have an issue. For starters, Google will have indexed the old URL and you may get errors if you check the website in the search. The second problem is that you’re going to lose likes, tweets, shares, etc. all at once, since the URL has changed. The third and perhaps the most serious issue, is that you have lost all the work you had done at the level of SEO, because for Google the new address has nothing to do with the old.
To solve this problem, the first thing you have to do is make sure that the URL you are going to put in is correct before posting. But if it’s already too late, you’ll have to use a 301 redirect.
7. You don’t use “child themes”
A “child theme” is a theme or template that uses another theme as the main template. For example, if you buy a premium theme, it is advisable to install that main theme together with a “child theme” based on the main one. If you are going to make changes to the theme code, when a new update comes out, you would lose the changes you made manually, since the new files would overwrite your modifications. Therefore, if you wanted to keep them you should choose not to update the theme, which is not a very good idea.
To solve this problem, the “child themes” have come to life. These templates are based on the main template, but it is here that you should make all the necessary changes in the code to adapt and modify the template to your liking. In this way, every time you update the main template, you will not lose your modifications and you will be able to enjoy the new functionality of the main template.
8. You use poor quality hosting
Using a poor quality hosting can be one of the biggest problems you can have yet it’s still one of the common WordPress mistakes. There are many companies that offer hosting packages at really low prices. Many times, that low price is because the servers they use do not offer many advantages. This can cause your website to load very slowly or suffer from system crashes, making your website go offline for a few hours if you have some peak traffic.
9. You don’t make backups
If you are not regularly making backups of your WordPress, you may be making one of the most complicated and serious mistakes. Maybe not today or tomorrow, but if for whatever reason a problem occurs at some point, a hacker sneaks into your website or something gets deleted, you would want to have a backup ready. Don’t just blindly rely on your hosting company to take care of the backups for you.
10. You fail to secure your WordPress platform against hackers
Everyone usually thinks “Why would a hacker want to attack my website if almost nobody knows me?” The majority of hacker attacks on websites made in WordPress are made by computer programs that track the entire Internet in search of WordPress with security flaws. Basically, it’s not an actual person behind the hack, attacking your website for some obscure reason. Hackers prefer to create these programs that do the dirty work for them. Thus they gain time and multiply the impact of their attacks. Therefore, it is very important to secure and shield your WordPress against these hacker attacks.
11. You don’t update WordPress and plugins
If you fail to update your WordPress and the plugins you have installed on a regular basis, it’s like taking out a flag and telling the hackers to attack you. Many of those attacks occur due to security flaws within outdated platform and plugins. Keep in mind that the updates, in addition to providing improvements and new functionality, also solve security flaws in the code.
If you want to avoid the above-mentioned, most common WordPress mistakes, you should either dedicate all of your time to maintaining your website or hire a professional to do it for you. This is where TechBear can help you. You can count on our expert web designers and developers to (re)create your business website for you as well as maintain it regularly. Moreover, TechBear also offers ADA audits, top notch SEO and content creation services as well as social media management. We have also prepared a free SEO test that can help you determine the biggest SEO mistakes on your current business website.