In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities but in expert’s mind, there are few. Well, it’s the truth. If there are people around you claiming to be experts, they’re mostly dumb (sorry!). Always think like you’re still a beginner even if you’ve known so much of a matter. If others call you an expert that shows how good you are, but self-appraisal isn’t something good.
No matter what, beginners would end up screwing things at some point in time. Say what? Are they dumb? No! They aren’t. At least they’ve tried to do “something”. And, here we’ll be highlighting some of the most common WordPress mistakes beginners usually make. You might consider reading it carefully to learn from your mistakes and build your success.
1. Favoring the Wrong Platform
When it comes down to WordPress, people often get confused by WordPress.com and the self-hosted WordPress (web software). The first one is free and won’t provide complete user control on the internal functionalities, you can just setup a good design and start writing content there. Monetizing WordPress.com would be difficult. On the other end, self-hosted WordPress means you’ve to purchase a hosting plan and you need to learn to maintain it. Unlike WordPress.com, you would have a complete control on your site.
By default, the URL structure contains the post ID which isn’t user-friendly and also affects the search engine rankings. Did you do the same?
Don’t worry, there’s no rocket science involved here. You just need to head on to the WordPress dashboard menu and click on the “Permalinks” through the settings. Now, select any of the available permalink structure other than the default. However, it is recommended to set it to “Post name”.
3. Admin Username is Dangerous
When you’ve installed WordPress with the default username – “admin”, you’re literally decreasing the security of the site. The default username is known to everyone (that includes hackers as well). It would be easier for them to try brute force attacks and gain access to your site. So, you need to create a different admin account (with a new username), or if you are good with the server backend, you can change the username by directly modifying it from the WordPress database.
Is that the end? Unfortunately, No! People can still see the WordPress username when they hover the cursor on the Author link, it shows them the current username. Here’s the screenshot describing it better:
As you can see in the above image, when you click on my author’s link, you would end up getting the username as the URL slug!
So, in order to protect your account, you need to implement Two-factor Authentication and other basic security measures to make it next to impossible cracking your account from the login end.
4. Forgetting to Keep Backups
Your site may be compromised anytime or a bad script may make things go haywire on the back-end. If you wouldn’t have regular backups with you, it would be a hard time finding exactly the thing causing the error.
You can choose premium/free site backup services or plugins in order to make things automated. Plugins like – BackUpBuddy, VaultPress, UpdraftPlus and Duplicator would be perfect. Alternatively, if you have a great Internet connection speed, you should prefer manually taking backups of the site through Cpanel unless you’re on Managed WordPress hosting.
5. Ignoring WordPress Updates
The developers at WordPress are constantly releasing new version updates to address security issues, bug fixes, and support for new functionalities. And, the beginners tend to ignore the WordPress updates (mostly – minor releases).
You shouldn’t ignore the update and upgrade it as soon as possible because not only it would enhance security, but also it would fix the bugs you’ve been encountering earlier.
6. Installing Numerous Plugins
Yes, we understand that WordPress offers a bunch of plugins. But, you should pick the right plugins that are necessary for your site which receives constant updates to prevent security issues.
If you have got a good sum of money to invest, we would recommend you heading out to search for quality-coded premium plugins which receive a lot of updates and offers a dedicated support for the product. The lesser the plugins you have installed, the fewer things you’ve got to maintain.
7. Installing A Malicious WordPress theme
It’s quite fun actually searching for the right WordPress theme, but that’s when the WordPress mistakes happen. You come across a beautifully designed theme and finally, you get to know that it’s a paid theme. If you are in no mood to invest for a theme, you would mostly be searching for “download XYZ WordPress theme for free”. However, this would be one of the biggest WordPress mistakes of your life. When you get a free version of a premium theme, it’s generally the ripped version with a lot of security vulnerabilities (yes, a lot!) and annoying bugs as well. The developers of the premium theme can sue you if they want (there’s that possibility!). So, either install a free theme or purchase the premium theme.
8. Not Customizing the Favicon
Favicon for a site shows a brand identity. It’s a very small thing to consider. But, has a great level of impact on the users or readers visiting your site. It helps theme identify your brand on the bookmark section or it lets them to easily navigate through their browser when they have a lot of tabs opened up.
9. Block Search Engines To Index Incomplete Site
If your WordPress site is still incomplete, you need to discourage search engines from indexing the site. In order to do that, you need to head on to the Reading section of your WordPress settings and tick the option which mentions the same. After you’re done setting up your site, you should revert back the option to the default. There are a lot more WordPress mistakes that people do every day. However, we tried to list all of the important and the most common WordPress mistakes beginners usually make. Let’s know in the comments section below about the WordPress mistakes you’ve been committing. It would be very interesting to share your experiences with us!