WordPress is one of the most popular ways to develop a website, and this is largely how accessible and easy to use it is. This is why it attracts a lot of new, inexperienced web developers/hobbyists/business people who want to get a website up and running quickly.
Sadly, due to its relatively inexperienced user base and regardless of how easy to use and accessible the platform is, there are still many common mistakes that people make when using WordPress. Although some mistakes might largely be inconsequential, others can have devastating effects. This is why we go over some of the most common WordPress mistakes in this article.
#1 Not Doing Regular Backups
Sadly, this mistake is still far too frequent even despite almost all major publications and articles pointing it out. Whether it’s to protect yourself from a hack, breach, data corruption, or hardware failure, we can’t state it more emphatically: back up your WordPress installation! A well-made backup guarantees an almost instantaneous restoration, thus limiting the loss of data/traffic on your website among various other risks.
We can illustrate the importance of backing up your website with a simple example: for example, if you fiddle with or update crucial plugins like a cache plugin, you might experience a total crash. It might even be impossible to access the admin, manipulating the installation by FTP might not work or be an option. In this instance, using a backup means you can get your site back up and running in a matter of minutes.
#2 Hasty Updating
Most people’s train of thoughts, when they see a new WordPress update is available, goes something like this, “the new version of WordPress is out? I should update immediately” Most people forget to backup their database, to deactivate cache plugins, etc. What’s the most likely Immediate result? Your WordPress crashes!
Just to be absolutely clear, we are definitely not saying that you shouldn’t update. Updates are absolutely essential and help your WordPress installation be more secure, performant, etc. What we are saying is that you should take the precautions and don’t update haphazardly, i.e., back up, deactivate all plugins and finally, perform the update.
Usually, it is always a good idea to wait for 2 to 3 weeks before upgrading to a higher version, especially if a big update is coming out. These updates usually need a few weeks to iron out the bugs as they are being mass-tested by the WordPress user base.
#3 Creating Convoluted/Wrong Structure for Your Website
What to use pages or articles? What is the difference and why use categories? That’s a lot of questions, especially if you haven’t taken the time to learn about the structure of websites in WordPress. How will the users and visitors be able to successfully navigate and utilize your website if you can’t make these basic distinctions?
Categorizing your website into different sections in a systemic, coherent manner is necessary for user experience, navigation, and much more. This is a mistake you can’t afford to make.
#4 Not Changing the Default Admin Login Details
If you have installed WordPress using a hosting service, chances are that the Administrator account will end up with an “Admin” login. This login is great if you want to open your site-wide open for hackers, but otherwise, it is really bad.
Remember to change this, create a new Admin account with a custom login, log out and then log back in with your new login and finally delete the “Admin” user created by your host.
You can also use plugins to increase the security of your installation. For example, The Login Ninja plugin (paid) allows you to monitor login attempts on your WP. You might be surprised by the number of login attempts it records, prevents and/or redirects.
#5 Plugins, Plugins, Plugins
Although plugins are an important part of WordPress, and they add a lot of very desperately needed functionality. You have to remember that plugins have a lot of drawbacks, and many people make the mistake of overusing them.
The installation of a plugin seriously harms the speed of your site. This hit in loading speed caused by certain plugins is sometimes linked to their size, the complexity of the JS code, etc. You might need to make a choice between the benefits brought on by the plugins and the comfort and satisfaction felt when navigating a quick, responsive website that isn’t dragged down by plugins.
Additionally, be careful when adding untested, poorly rated and/or incompatible plugins to your WordPress installation— these can cause JS and other conflicts. Ideally, you even want to backup your website before installing a plugin and test it before pushing it to the live website.
Too often people complain “my theme doesn’t properly get displayed anymore” or ” it is impossible to use WP drag & drop”, not knowing that this is often the result of adding a new plugin that is incompatible with your WordPress version or an already installed plugin. If all of this sounds complicated to you and you don’t know how to properly manage your WordPress installation, you can contact a web development agency like Acclaim Agency UK.