10 Of The Most Common WordPress Mistakes
Hey, we all make mistakes, it’s how we learn. But it’s far more efficient to learn from other people’s mistakes. And when you’re building your online business the fewer mistake you can avoid the better. So, with that said I want to share with you 10 of the most common wordpress mistakes many people make and how you can avoid them.
Not Regularly Backing Up Your Site
So many websites get wiped out because the site has not been backed up. But maybe you’re saying, “I have a free plug in that backs up my site, heck it even does it automatically”.
I know there are many free backup plugins you can use, but these are not the best options for backing up your website many if not all are lacking. Remember this is your business we’re talking about, no time to cheap out on one of the most important things you need to be doing.
And if you’re using the Export function as a backup, this is a HUGE mistake. The export function which is found in the tools section of your dashboard is designed for transferring content to another site, not a backup solution, which many people mistake it for.
The export function creates a XML file that contains all of your posts, pages, comments, custom fields, terms, navigation menus, and custom posts. And then you can export this file to your computer and then you can upload it into a different WordPress site.
But the export feature does not back up your entire website such as databases, formatting and such.
You have to think of the worst thing that can happen to your site to make sure your site is completely protected.
We’re all guilty of saying “It won’t happen to me”.
But you need to start thinking it’s not a matter of “IF” it’s going to happen but a matter of “WHEN” it’s going to happen. There are something’s none of us are in control of and your website crashing is one of them.
The best option to know your site is completely safe is to step up and pay for a backup service. There are plenty of services available for backup. Personally, I use Code Guard. It stores everything in the cloud.
One of the most powerful features of Code Gaurd is the Restore Feature. With one click it can restore my website to any previous version. I also recommend contacting your host provider and asking them about their backup procedures.
Not Keeping WordPress Up To Date
You’ve seen it in your dashboard, that notification that you need to update wordpress. Well, as soon as you get this notification make sure to update wordpress.
But before you do make sure you have a backup of your website. In fact anytime you make a major update or change to your site, always have the most recent backup of your site. Because if something should go wrong you can simply restore your site back to the last functional version.
And the reason you don’t want to wait to do any updates is because in many of these updates not only are there functionality updates but there are security updates.
So if you’re not updating wordpress you version may contain a security vulnerability. And if this is the case it’s possible for a malicious hacker to exploit them.
You’ve probably heard of someone screaming “Someone hacked my site” Make sure you’re not the next person screaming this.
Not Updating Your Theme & Plugins
Just like keeping your WordPress platform up to date you want to keep your theme and your plugins up to date.
You’ll find if you’re using a premium theme, and you should be (more about that later). You’ll find they’ll have regular updates.
Just like the notification you get from WordPress when there is an update you’ll see the same type of notification at the top of your dashboard telling you about any updates for your theme.
When it comes to your plugins, you’ll see a number beside the Plugin navigation link; this means it’s time to update your plugins.
Not updating your theme and your plugins leaves you open to these security issues. So make sure you’re always updating your theme and your plugins when you get notified.
For your theme just click the link within the notification bar to complete the update, as for your plugins, click the Plugin navigational link and once on the page you’ll see the link(s) to update your plugin(s).
Easy peeze and it will save you a ton of potential headaches.
TIP: You’ll also see a notification in your navigation bar just under the Dashboard header called Updates, if you click this link you’ll see ALL of the updates you need to perform.
And like I mentioned early backup your website before you update your theme, change your theme or update your plugins. Not all updates go smoothly. For example, if you’re updating a plugin in some cases this new update may not play well with other plugins and mess up your whole site.
If you have your backup this is not big deal, but if you don’t – well, do I need to say more?
Hosting Your Site With A Bad Hosting Company
There are so many hosting companies to choose from. And yes, many of them are cheap. And the reason they’re cheap is because they offer less services, features and support.
DO NOT skimp on your hosting, having a bad hosting company is directly related to your income and your online reputation.
If you’re constantly struggling with your hosting company you’re not making money and what’s worse, you and your business are getting a bad reputation for not being reliable.
The great thing is there are so many top-notch hosting companies that don’t cost much at all. Such as Hostgator, Bluehost and Go Daddy just to name a few.
Now if you’re just starting online wealthy affiliate is something you should check out. You can start off with 2 free websites and that comes with free hosting and when your ready, you can upgrade to their premium hosting for up to 25 websites.
And of course that comes with support, a complete step-by-step business building course, top-notch back up service for your site(s) and you even get free SSL’s certificates for your websites.
Many people attempt to make changes to their WordPress site and often times the changes they’re attempting are a little beyond their capabilities.
And when this happens WordPress can crash or cause a conflict and all of a sudden, your site looks like Picasso designed it.
In some cases, it’s just a simple correction and in other’s cases it requires a complete re-install and starting from scratch.
If you’re not sure how to perform a certain coding task DON’T do it. You’re just setting yourself up for all kinds of headaches.
Spending the time to find someone who can do what you need is worth its weight in gold. Plus you can be doing other tasks and be that much further ahead with your site.
Find an expert, and an expert does not have to cost a king’s ransom. Of course depending on want you want done will determine the cost, but in many cases I’ve found that you can get many things done for a few bucks. You can find experts at places like Freelancer and Upwork.
Using A Free WordPress Theme
One of the great things about WordPress is there are so many free themes to choose from. But the biggest problem with that is in many free themes are not updated and because of this can cause issues with your site down the road.
Even some paid themes can have issues if they’re not purchased from reputable theme companies. I know of many people who have bought themes just because they were cheap, just to have problem after problem that it affected their sites so bad they had to start from scratch… not fun.
Either way the last thing you want to have happen after spending hours, days weeks or even months designing and populating your site with content is to an issue with your theme and have no support to turn to.
So, no free or cheap themes!!
Make sure to buy your theme from reputable theme company. You’ll pay more but you’ll have a top-notch theme that comes with great support and in some cases private forums where you can get help and even hire people to do custom work for you for the theme.
Personally, I use Thrive Themes for all my websites. Not only do they have the most advanced themes available, but you also have access to their theme support though a private forum.
Other reputable sources for theme are:
Not Using A Test Site
The worst thing you can do is install a new plugin, theme or trying out some new code onto on your live website without testing it first to see how things work out.
Because the last thing you want to have happen is your site getting completely screwed up and then finding out it may take more than a minute or so to fix things.
Now you’re got a down site, and panic sets in. Hey, I know that feeling, been there done that when I first started online.
What you want to do is have a replicated version of your website. Now when you want to try something new you can do it on your test site and it makes no difference if things go completely off the rails. You can play around with any new themes, code or plugins until things are the way you want them.
And once you have everything figured out, then you can apply it to your live site and not cause any issues. To create a test site, you can either use a sub domain through your host. Or if you’re going through the free certification training at wealthy affiliate you can use one of your free websites as a test site.
Keeping Your Admin User Name
If you’re using “admin” as your user name right now, then you need to change that right away. Admin is the most used username simply because it’s the default name applied when wordpress is installed.
And because of that is makes the job of a hacker so much easier, it’s like leaving the front door of your house unlocked 24/7. So, let’s lock that door shall we.
Changing your username is really easy:
1) Log into your website and in the sidebar and click on Users and then click Add new. Now fill out all the information making sure to use a new password and choosing Administrator. Once you’ve completed everything click Add New User.
2) Now log out and log in using your new admin account.
3) Now delete your old admin account also be sure to attribute all your content from your old admin user to your new admin user.
Remember I mentioned backing up and having a test site? Well here’s your chance to use your test site before you do this on your live site.
Going Plugin Happy
One of the great features of wordpress is all the plugins that are available to do all kinds of functions for your site. And because of that many people install plugins to solve every little problem they have.
Now there really is no hard and fast rule to the number of plugins you can have, but the biggest problem with having a lot of plugins is that some plugins don’t play well with others.
You could have plugin 1 installed and then install plugin number 2 and everything is fine but that’s not to say plugin 3 or 7 is not going to get along with your other plugins and then all of a sudden, your site has gone to hell.
Now you have to figure out which is the conflicting plugin, is it the one your just installed or is it a plugin you already installed? The only way to figure it out is to deactivate your plugins and reactivate them one at a time until you find the culprit. Now you have to either decide to delete a plugin or find another one.
Remember your test site? Well this is where you test plugins. Now can you see the importance of a test site?
Another thing to remember, with any plugin make sure it has been tested and is compatible with the latest version of wordpress.
Not Having SEO Friendly Permalinks
Not sure if you’ve heard the term Permalink. The permalink is the link that’s created from the title of any new post or page you create in wordpress. So, you want to be sure that you have search engine friendly permalinks.
By default, wordpress has your permalinks set to “plain”. And you don’t want plain. Here’s what a plain permalink would look like: yourdomainname/?p123
The problem with a permalink like this is it tells the search engines absolutely nothing about this page. And what if this page is about the best recipe for BBQ ribs in all of north America, tell me who is going to do a search in Google for yourdomainname/?p123.
Absolutely no one that’s who!!
But not to fret changing your permalinks to search engine friendly permalinks takes 2 seconds to do.
Place your cursor over Settings in your sidebar dashboard – then click Permalinks. Now activate Post Name and then click Save.
Now your URL link went from yourdomainname/?p123 to yourdomainname/best-bbq-ribs or whatever you’ve called your post.
My Final Thoughts
Managing your own site can be a little overwhelming at first but as you get more and more familiar with how wordpress works things do become easier. And I hope by pointing out some of these more common mistakes people can make I’ve made things that much easier for you.
Of course, if you would like 24/7 support for everything wordpress you may want to check out my #1 recommendation for building and growing a very successful online business.
I hope you found this information useful. If so feel free to share this post with your audience, and if you have any questions or comments please leave them below.
And as always anytime you need a hand you can Email Me.
I believe in you!