WordPress is the world’s most popular platform. According to W3Techs web technologies surveys, WordPress powers 33.0% of all the websites on the Internet. When you make your first blog or website on it, you have to take care of a lot of things.
Today, in this article, I am going to tell you 42 common WordPress mistakes that every beginner do. This guide will save you from all those mistakes.
Brief Descriptions of The Content
Common WordPress Mistakes that Every Beginner Should Avoid
If you are a new blogger and want to start your blog with WordPress, then obviously there may be some common mistakes from you.
Here are the Common WordPress Mistakes that every user must avoid.
1. Choosing the wrong platform
If you are new to blogging and are thinking of launching your blog on WordPress, then WordPress.com and WordPress.org can confuse you.
There are many bloggers who choose WordPress.com instead of WordPress.org. Both WordPress.com and WordPress.org are completely different platforms. Here’s a guide that will help you better understand them – WordPress.com vs WordPress.org – Which is the best
If you are serious about blogging, then I recommend starting a blog on WordPress.org. But if you’ve created your blog on WordPress.com, do not worry, you can easily move it to WordPress.org – How to Properly Move Your Blog from WordPress.com to WordPress.org
2. Choosing the wrong Web Hosting
However, there are many web hosting providers in the market who promise to be the best, but after buying the hosting from them, you will feel that they have cheated you.
If you choose the wrong Web Hosting, then it will affect both your WordPress SEO and traffic. Because of this, your website will be mostly in downtime and your site will load very slowly. I have created a list of some of the best web hostings that you can use – Best Web Hosting Companies
3. Installing WordPress Incorrectly
However, all web hosting companies allow installing WordPress with 1-click. But there are many users who manually install by downloading the WordPress zip file from WordPress.org. In this case, some bloggers make some common mistakes. I recommend you install it with 1-click.
4. Not Using Maintenance or Coming Soon Page
If you have launched your own site or blog at the moment and it is not completely ready for visitors, then use the maintenance mode or coming soon page. You can use WordPress Maintenance Mode Plugins for this. It reflects your professionality and makes a good impression on the user.
5. Leave the tagline default
When you create a WordPress blog, the default tagline is “Just another WordPress site”. Many WordPress beginners leave it default, which indicates that your blog is brand new and people probably do not take it seriously.
Use a unique tagline for your blog. Just click on Settings >> General and enter your unique tagline in the Tagline box.
6. Not Deleting Sample Content
When you install WordPress, you will see some sample content, “Hello world” and “Sample page”. If you do not delete it, then it makes you unprofessional.
To delete it, click on Post >> All post and delete the Hello World. Similarly, to delete Sample Page, click Page >> All Pages and Delete.
7. Do not use your own Favicon
This is a very common mistake that many new bloggers do. They do not use their own favicon. This favicon file is very small but reflects your brand and professionality. Here are the best free favicon generator websites. Using these you can easily create a good favicon for your WordPress blog.
After creating Favicon, you can upload it in Appearance >> Customize >> Site Identity section.
8. Using Google Images
Each website owners and bloggers use images for their content. But when you find an image for your article, you should search very wisely.
If you need images for your article, you can not use Google Images because they can be copyrighted and they can put you in trouble later on.
There are many websites in the market (FreeDigitalPhotos, MorgueFile, Pixabay, Pexels etc) which offer free stock images.
9. Ignoring Security
As I already said, WordPress is the world’s most popular Content Management System (CMS). Therefore, due to its popularity hackers target it more.
Here I’ve shared the best WordPress security tips that will help you secure your WordPress site. However, these Security Tips can not make your site 100% secure by hackers attack, but you can secure your blog to a great extent.
10. Using the Admin for Username
When you install WordPress, as an example Admin is already set as usernames.
But if your WordPress Blog’s Login Username is Admin, then change it immediately. The reason everyone knows this username and hackers can easily hack such sites or blogs. Here I have shared a guide – how to change WordPress username.
11. Using Weak Password
Hackers constantly try to log in to your site by guessing Username and Password. If you use Weak Password for your site, then hackers can access your WordPress dashboard easily.
According to WordPress Security always use a strong password. Furthermore, to maintain better WordPress security, password of the website or blog should be changed every few days. Here is a guide – How to Change Your Password in WordPress
Also, use uppercase, lowercase, special characters # $ – ‘^ & to generate a strong password.
12. Not Using the Well-Coded Theme
There are so many themes available for WordPress in the market. All of them are not well-coded and not secure. If you install such themes on your site, it greatly influences your website SEO. Also, your blog can be hacked. Here I’ve listed the best SEO friendly themes which you can use.
Do not install a theme for your WordPress site from any unknown sources. This can hack your site.
Also, use a fast loading theme for your site. You can install premium themes from Mythemshop, Themeforest and StudioPress on your site which are well coded and speed optimized. But if your budget is low, then use free themes like GeneratePress or Astra.
13. Forgetting Website Backup
Backup is the most important task for any website owner or blogger. However, when you start the website, it is not as important. But there are many users who never care about it.
If you do not back up your WordPress site and something goes wrong with your blog, then backups will help you.
There are several ways to back up a WordPress site. Here’s a guide – How to Backup Your WordPress Site using UpdraftPlus plugin
14. Do not Make Backup Before Making Any Changes
Many users do not back up the site before making major changes to the site, and when their site breaks, they start looking for solutions.
So when you make any major changes to your site, first make a full backup.
15. Ignoring WordPress Core, Themes and Plugins Update
The WordPress Developer Team regularly updates WordPress to fix its bugs, security patches, etc. If you are not serious about the update, you may have to face security vulnerabilities. Hackers can inject malware into your site.
Also, keep the plugin and theme up-to-date. And whenever you get their updates, update them instantly.
But keep one thing in mind, plugins and themes have not been updated for years, do not use them. You use their alternative.
16. Leave the Database Table Prefix Default
WordPress database table prefix name starts with wp_. You can see it in the phpMyAdmin section. Here you will see the name of the Database Table Prefix wp_comments, wp_options, wp_links etc.
Hackers and spammers know this default database table prefix well and they run automated codes for SQL injections. Here is a guide on Wpbeginner – How to Change the WordPress Database Prefix to Improve Security.
Otherwise, you can use All In One WP Security & Firewall to change it.
17. Keeping File Editing Enabled
If hackers hack your WordPress dashboard, they can edit or delete the theme and plugin files from the dashboard. Therefore it is very important to secure the dashboard.
To disable it, simply paste the following code
// Disallow file edit
define( 'DISALLOW_FILE_EDIT', true );
Alternatively, you can use All In One WP Security & Firewall to disable with 1-click.
Note: Before putting the code, backup your wp-config.php file.
18. Do not Secure the WP-Config.php File
The wp-config.php file contains important data such as MySQL settings, Secret keys, Database table prefix etc. So it is very important to secure it.
To secure it, navigate in the cPanel >> File manager >> Root Folder. Here you will see the wp-config.php file. Now you have to set its permissions to 400 or 440. So that no other user could read or write it.
In addition, you can disable the WP-Config.php editing feature by putting the following code into .htaccess,
order allow,deny deny
19. Keep Directory Browsing On
If you keep it on people can easily view photos, files, folders, subfolders, directories etc of your site.
Directory browsing is used by hackers. Through this hackers try to find out the location of files in your site and what is the weakness in it then try to hack.
That’s why it is highly recommended that you turn off Directory Browsing. You have to do a simple job to stop the directory browsing. just add the following line in your .htaccess file.
20. Not using HTTPS
HTTPS is one of the Google ranking factors. Because Google wants a more secure web right now. So Google is using it as a ranking factor. Sites that use HTTPS get better rank in SERPs.
If you still use HTTP for your site, then move it immediately to HTTPS. Here’s a guide – How to Setup Cloudflare Flexible SSL in WordPress Site
21. Editing or Customizing functions.php Or .htaccess file without Backup
The functions.php or .htaccess file is the most important part of your site. If you edit or customize it without backup, then a small mistake can break your site. Therefore, before editing or customizing them, make sure to back up. So that you can easily restore them when there is a problem.
22. Editing and Customizing in Parent Theme
When you create your first WordPress blog, you can do this Mistake. If you make changes to a parent theme and it then gets updated. Then you will lose all your changes!
To avoid this mistake you will need to use a child theme. When you make changes in the child theme, Then you won’t lose your changes if you update the parent theme.
23. Using a Lot of Plugins
I have seen many bloggers who use the plugin for every little thing. More plugins can slow down your site. Use plugins for your blog that can perform multiple tasks.
Like Yoast SEO – when you install it on your site, there is no need to install different plugins for site indexing, sitemap, custom title, meta description etc.
Take care of one thing, always use the well-coded plugin. There are many such plugins in the market, which have very poor coding. If you install them on your site, they can badly impact your site’s performance.
24. Forgetting to Delete Deactivate and Unused Plugins
If there are any deactivate plugins on your site, then delete them immediately. Otherwise, you may have to face security vulnerabilities. With the help of the Deactivate plugin, hackers can install malware in your site.
On the other hand, Unused Plugins affect your site performance and increase the size of the backup file.
25. Uploading Images Without Compress
If you use a lot of images on your blog or website, it is very important to resize and compress them. This reduces your image size and improves your website speed.
26. Not using Proper Name and Alt Tag for Images
Images can help a lot in increasing your website traffic. Therefore it is very important to rename images before uploading and use the appropriate ALT tag. This helps you get good traffic from image search.
27. Not using Cache Plugin
Cache Plugins is a plugin that should be on every WordPress blog or website. This boosts your website loading speed.
A lot of Caching plugins are available for WordPress. But W3 Total Cache is the best plugin in all of them that comes with features such as page caching, browser caching, object caching, database caching and minification.
28. Not using CDN
CDN improves your site performance. It creates a Cache version of your site’s content on its servers and serves users through the servers that are closest to the user’s locations. This reduces server load and improves the website loading speed.
There are lots of CDN services available in the market. Currently, I use Cloudflare on my site. This is a very popular CDN service available in the free and premium plan.
29. Ignoring Website Speed Loading Speed
No one likes to visit the slow loading website. If your site is very slow, visitor will not visit your site.
Also, Google is using Page speed as a ranking factor. If your site loads fast, it will perform well in SERPs.
Fast loading affects both website ranking & user experience and ranks better in search results.
Quick tips to improve website loading speed
- Upgrade to PHP 7.2.
- Optimize your image size.
- Keep only useful plugins.
- Delete unwanted media.
- Minify CSS and JS Files.
- Use the best Cache plugin.
- Minimize Redirects.
30. Not Changing The WordPress Permalink Structure
These mistakes make many new bloggers when they start first WordPress blog.
WordPress default URL structure is not SEO friendly and it looks something like this.
But do not worry, you can easily change it to SEO friendly URL. Just click on the Settings >> Permalinks option and select “Post name”.
31. Forgetting to Uncheck Search Engine Visibility
WordPress comes with a built-in Search Engine Visibility setting. When you launch a new site, by checking this option you can prevent search engine Bots from indexing and crawling your website.
But if you forget to uncheck it later, then your site will not be visible in the Google search result.
To uncheck it, login to your WordPress site and go to Settings >> Readings page and uncheck the Search Engine Visibility option.
32. Not submitting Sitemap
Sitemap helps to crawl and index your website content better. But there are many bloggers who do not submit a sitemap for their site and repeat this common WordPress mistakes.
If you are already using Yoast SEO or Jetpack on your site, they allow you to easily create XML Sitemaps.
33. Making the site or blog very Colorful
Select a clean and simple theme for your site or blog. But there are many beginners who make their site so colourful that they start distracting the reader’s attention.
Bad design reduces visitor numbers. While a good design enhances the number of visitors to the site and creates a good impression on visitors.
34. Do not use Social Share Buttons
Use the Social share button at the bottom of each post or at the beginning of the post. So that readers can easily share posts on their favourite social network sites. This technique can also generate good traffic on your blog. Here’s a guide – How to Add Social Media Share Buttons to WordPress Posts (4 Easy Ways)
35. Do not use Contact Form
Users can contact you with the help of contact form. It also shows your professionality. Apart from this, if you list your email in the contact form, your email inbox will be filled with lots of spam emails.
To create a Contact Form I would recommend Jetpack or Contact form 7 or WP form plugin.
36. Do not filter Spam Comment
Spam Comments Take the unnecessary space on your WordPress hosting. There are many ways to remove and block spam comments. You can manually but it will take a lot of time.
Alternatively, you can deal with spam comment using the Antispam plugin. These plugins automatically filter spam comments on your site.
37. Do not create the necessary page
There are a lot of new bloggers who do not create the necessary pages after creating their blog such as About me, contact us etc. A site or blog without these pages looks unprofessional. If you do not have all these pages even on your site, then quickly create this page.
If you do not have these pages on your site, then you should create this page.
38. Your Blog Design is not Mobile Friendly
More than half of searches are done by mobile and mobile searches have completely dominated desktop search. In this case, if your site is not Mobile Friendly, the visitor will not stay on your site/blog for a long time. Due because your site will not appear properly in their device.
Here is a guide on How to Make Your WordPress Website Mobile-Friendly
39. Not using Google Analytics
Without analytics, you will not know – how much traffic you are getting. You will also not be able to find out which content is popular.
Google analytics shows your site stats how your site is performing.
40. Not submitting Site to Google Search Console
Google Search Console can be used to track your website performance (how your site is performing in Google). You can get Valuable Insights
In addition, Google Search Console will notify you if there are any Errors in your site.
41. Forgetting to Set Target Country
If you want to rank in a specific country or are planning to target specific country users, you can select that country in Google Search Console.
Go to the old Google Search Console, and click on Search Traffic >> International Targeting. Then click on the ‘Country‘ tab and select the country you want to target. Below is a screenshot.
42. Do not use Author Bio
Author Bio shows your image file and your detail (Bio) that appear in the bottom of contents or in the sidebar. This makes your content even more trustworthy. If your theme does not allow to display Author Bio, then you can use the Author Bio plugin.
Here I told you about 42 Common WordPress Mistakes, which are often done by new bloggers. So keep these mistakes in mind when you start a WordPress blog and try to avoid them.
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Fantastic and simple….to the point…