WordPress newbie errors
WordPress is without a doubt the beginners step into website development arena with most start up businesses following this route to advertise their business.
For many years we have been the slave of website builders that don’t quite cut it, give limited flexibility to the layout or a disaster when it comes to SEO (Search Engine Optimisation).
WordPress now with the array of plugins and themes available, makes it one of the most flexible frameworks out there to design the look and functionality that you want. Plugins and themes are available from WordPress that have been submitted by the community and most are free.
So with some careful consideration as to what theme and plugins you use, apart from your time and hosting costs it can be completely free.
If you want to install into a subfolder so WordPress compliments your current active site eg: www.yoursite.com/blog that’s fine but never install into a subfolder called www.yoursite.com/wordpress.
2. Not using permalinks
When you install wordpress the default settings isÂ /?p=<postid> do not use this option as this will make you page links look like the followingÂ www.yoursite.com/?p=3, This is not memorable and bad for SEO (Don’t forget Google)
In the settings –> permalinks use the following setting
This will ensure that the post or page name is human readable.
3. Installing Plugins and themes that you don’t need.
Most people have smartphones of some type now. Remember when you purchased it and the first thing you did was add loads of apps that you never used again, or your PC with all those programs you have only used a couple of times
This is the same for plugins, if you don’t use them remove them for a number of good reasons.
1. Every plugin you install slows your site down (fact) the less the better for Google, your visitors and your site speed.
2. Every plugin that you install is a potential security risk as the developer may find a flaw in their programming that could get you site compromised and hacked. The more you have the more you have to keep updated.
3. Don’t use plugins as a substitute for lack of content. Visitors are not stupid, a site that has things floating around the page or telling them the time in place of content they want to read is of no use to them and really poor for your reputation.
4. Create and forget
Sites that have the most success are the ones that have new content being added all the time. With most business sites this is fine but i would always recommend that you use a section to blog to keep your visitors updated and engaged with with your business, otherwise they have no reason to come back.
5. Not keeping your site updated
As mentioned in point 4 above if you’re not constantly updating the site then login weekly to ensure that none of the themes, plugins or WordPress itself needs updating.
WordPress gets updated regularly and this is to ensure that you get the very latest features however its also updated to patch security concerns. To update WordPress takes a few minutes for all the plugins, themes and core files. Get compromised/hacked and you’re starting over or at least be spending a lot of time trying to resolve.
From WordPress 3.7 the core files update themselves however the plugin and them files dont.
This can be done bay adding the following to you wp-config.php file
add_filter( 'auto_update_plugin', '__return_true' );
add_filter( 'auto_update_theme', '__return_true' );
Once you have this set up you know that your plugins will update as soon as the developer updates them. While on this point we always recommend that you check plugins and ensure that tye are still being maintained by the developer, you can check to see how long since the last update in wordpress.org
6. Doing it on the cheap
Most plugins and themes are free, and nothing is wrong with this. Before you download check how many downloads the plugins has had and the rating, a 5 star rating isn’t good if its only been rated once with 10 downloads!
Themes make sure that you get from a reputable source.
DO NOT DOWNLOAD paid themes that are being offered for free, they are not for free and you will be hacked, please be warned.
The best themes are without a doubt the paid ones and for how much they are, and how they can transform your site and get you up and running is well worth it. Type WordPress themes in Google and you will find great resources available. Check the free themes in WordPress too.
7. Don’t back up
Don’t back up if you really don’t mind starting from scratch when you add a new or updated a plugin, get hacked or even update a theme.
Lots of plugins out there that make it easy and free, plus our hosting packages allow you to backup your site at will before you add or make changes. Our cPanel hosting also backs up your site every 6 hours.
We hope you have found the above useful. Further updates to follow.