6 Common Mistakes Beginner WordPress Users Make
For many people, WordPress (WP) is their first ever site builder they installed online and perhaps even for the first website they ever developed. So, WP beginners tend to make a lot of basic mistakes such as these:
Choosing the wrong hosting platform
There is a huge confusion between a self-hosted WordPress site and a Free WordPress.com. People sometimes confuse the two and it is a common mistake. There are users that only want to create a simple personal blog and find themselves overwhelmed at the cost of maintaining a self-hosted WordPress site. Another case is that users want to create a free WordPress.com site with hopes of having total control of it; adding plugins, earning money, etc and finding themselves with limited options. This is by far one of the most typical mistake beginners tend to make.
That being said, keep in mind of the purpose of your website. Personal blogs or simple websites can be hosted on WordPress.com and go for WordPress.org if you want more freedom and control over your website.
Installing plugins, plugins and more plugins
We know what most of you might think: plugins build functionality to your website and functionality is a good thing, no? Not all the time.
When looking through the WordPress Plugin directory, you just might find yourself get carried away and install every plugin that catches your eye. Yes, it’s true that there are plugins that will make your website grow and flourish but be aware of some that bring several performance issues and slow down your site.
Before you go off installing all the fancy plugins, always remember to look the plugin information and stats while asking yourself whether you really need that plugin in the first place. Check the last time the plugin was last updated and whether it is compatible with the latest WordPress version. Don’t forget to read any form of documentation if there are any. If the plugin does not seem to be a perfect solution to your needs, you’re probably better off without that one and do more research.
We at Pagespeed.guru strongly suggests getting rid of every plugin that is not essential to your website’s success. Remember, less plugins means more speed.
Using the default permalink
Fresh out the box, the default permalink for WordpRess is /?p=<postid>. On the browser search bar, it would show up as www.yourwebsite.com/?p=57. And for the longest time, some would just leave it that way. Not only is this not an effective way to catch your user’s attention but this is also bad for SEO.
Do change your default permalink structure to something more user-friendly such as www.yourwebsite.com/amazing-update/, generally ones using keywords by going under Settings >> Permalinks and we recommend using the title of your blog post as the URL.
Not keeping WordPress up to date
Undeniably, at some point we have been skeptical of updates. Or occasionally, we simply forget to upgrade our sites because we are not managing it well. If you fail to keep your website up to date, it just might backfire if there was a security vulnerability at any point. And sometimes, the longer you wait, the harder it becomes.
Upgrading your WordPress version isn’t very hard and 99% of the time, it as simple as just one click. Plugin and theme updates are also not initially enabled.
Forgetting to create a backup
A lot of new website owners often underestimate how crucial backing up is. This is usually the case until they lose a lot of data or for those very unfortunate, get their website hacked.
It is a shame that many has to go through data loss to understand the importance of backing up – only because backing up is actually really simple to do. There are numerous professional backup and restoration services available online such as VaultPress as well as free solutions such as the WordPress Backup to Dropbox plugin. And for those with self-hosted WordPress.org, do use the phpMyAdmin tool.
Not Saving Images for the Web
As new website owner, we oftentimes do not pay much attention to our site performance, storage space, etc. And that is why we are more likely to upload non-optimized images. The image size could have been a lot smaller if we saved it for the web – and most of the time, the quality stays the same as well. The reason why we at Pagespeed.guru think it’s important to optimize your images is simple: more data will lead to longer load time.
Software such as Adobe Photoshop has an option to save for the web. We recommend trying a WordPress plugin, WP Smush.
Thinking you know enough
One of the biggest mistakes anyone can do is not learning as much as they can about the platform. There are always new plugins and solutions being launched every day – some can significantly improve the way things are done. This is why we highly recommend making a conscious effort to get involved and learn more about WordPress.
Some of the easiest ways to learn is to read the numerous beginners guides and tutorials available online. You can begin by looking at websites such as www.wpbeginner.com. There is also a list of WordPress Experts assembled by the WPBeginner Team that you can follow. These folks are always up to date with everything interesting going on in the WordPress world. Following them will give you insider scoop to get you started.
We hope you found this helpful. What are some WordPress mistakes you made in the past? Or can you think of any mistakes WordPress newbies make?