It certainly is exciting to build a whole new website using WordPress, but what if you’re not aware of the things that could possibly ruin all your efforts? To avoid such mistakes, you first and foremost need to know what they are. By steering clear of these WordPress beginner errors, you can definitely keep away from being unduly aggravated and also save your precious time while building your website.
Managing a website
Let’s face the facts. WordPress may be a carefully designed domain with meticulous coding involved, but it is not the simplest thing to learn, especially if you’re new at managing a blog or a website.
Besides, WordPress is solely for writing enthusiasts. How are they supposed to know what tech-settings to change and why they are important?
Most websites that use WordPress use special themes and a handful of plugins. At times, the themes include custom post types and page templates to work with, or special features such as customized enhancements and the Layers widgets. Only to make things more complex than they already are, WordPress installs some setting defaults that are not optimal for an average site set-up.
Here we will take a look at the most common glitches you can face while building a WordPress site, how to set things right, and how to avoid them in the future.
Mistake #1: Keeping the default username ‘admin’
Once you install WordPress, you will notice that it automatically creates a default ‘admin’ username and provides it with a governance concession. The word ‘default’ lures hackers to break, and in most cases, cause severe damage by gaining access to your WordPress ‘admin’ account. In many cases, hackers will take full control of your website.
You already know that keeping this default setting doesn’t make practical sense, hence, make use of the opportunity to change the name during installation. If you have already launched your website, don’t panic and google articles on best security features to implement on WordPress and you will figure out how to change your ‘admin’ user settings. Try using a combination of small/capital letters, special characters, and numbers both in the username and password.
Remember, your admin credentials should be specific and difficult to guess.
Mistake #2: Leaving admin privileges for previous authors
WordPress, no doubt, is a great Content Management System (CMS), however, it is important to keep in mind that post authors should not be granted ‘admin’ rights. Letting an administrator manage content on your website is one of the riskiest things you could do.
Instead, you should let the admin user do exclusive, back-end work, and create an extra account that will work as the author’s. By doing so, you can protect your website from unauthorized access by using the compromised password and username. The authors can still send a message to the admin asking for approval before the posts go live.
Mistake #3: Forgetting to set ‘back ups’
What would you do if your website was hacked and the data stolen or lost? Similar to cloud computing, you would most likely create a backup of your data.
So, why -not do it while you’re creating a new website? You can easily use the free ‘WordPress Backup to Dropbox’ plugin which will keep your files safe from all types of breaches. On the other hand, you can also choose to select the two-step authentication, which will protect your data from cyber criminals.
Mistake #4: Not using permalinks
Every WordPress installment has a permalinks option located under the ‘settings’ menu in your WordPress Admin. This is where you can customize the look of your URLs. Most of the renowned blogs and websites such as SproutSocial use a URL structure that is SEO friendly, containing the post or page title, and often times the date too. WordPress calls these ‘Pretty Permalinks’, but usually tends to default to a URL containing only your post ID. As stated by Google, the visitors on your site might be weirded out by a cryptic URL, containing odd numbers or letters, as these are often associated with corrupted websites.
Mistake #5: Using tags incorrectly
Nothing can be worse for your first few posts than publishing them into the black ‘uncategorized’ hole. Considering how your content is, as a member of a real category on a dedicated server the default place WordPress adds your posts to is not always compatible with themes of widgets that are solely dependent on it.
Categorization is one method of setting your posts up to be different from pages; the other is tags. While the former organizes your content into groups of posts, the latter relates content, regardless of category.
The blog mentioned below, for instance, has content divided into News, Tips and Opinions. Posts involved with any of these categories may talk about common subjects, but rather than ‘layers’, which is too broad, we sometimes use tags that talk about layers.
Always make sure your posts are settled in a category. Tagging isn’t mandatory unless you want your posts to be as searchable as possible. Both WordPress and Google need one another.
Mistake #6: Mismanaging plugins
From showering your homepage with animated snowflakes to solving just about any need or desire, WordPress plugins can add the needed functionalities to a website. Not all plugins are good, however, and the biggest mistake new WordPress site owners can make is installing bad ones.
Plugins displayed on the homepage should consist of three critical elements: the star rating, the number of days since it was updated, and whether the plugin has been approved compatible with the updated version of WordPress.
In the example mentioned below, the keyword ‘newsletter’ was searched, with the results displaying two of the popular plugins first, mailpoet, and then Newsletter. Both have hundreds of thousands of users, 5-star ratings and are verified compatible with the latest version of WordPress. Contact Us, on the other hand, has 1000 users, and doesn’t seem to be actively maintained.
So how do you make a choice? Click on ‘more details’ on any plugin to open an overlay window with information and FAQs about the specific plugin so that you can make the correct decision on which one is appropriate for your website. Things to look for are whether the plugin has any dependency on another domain and if the plugin options fits your needs.
Mistake #7: Failing to moderate comments
While developing sites for small businesses or brands, designers at times fail to provide proper training. This results in their clients not knowing how to manage their WordPress sites, and by the time they realize it, they have too much on their plate.
You can easily disable comments in the settings section, or if you choose ‘quick edit’ on the post you want to remove comments from, you will see a checkbox to disable pings. Comments can be a creative feature but a lot of monitoring goes into weeding out unoriginal/ incorrect statements for your readers.
Whether you manage a website or run a blog, as a beginner, you have a lot to take care of while using WordPress. Remember to keep a keen eye on your site and take care of it, so that it is worth all the effort you have put in to creating it.