WEB & TECH / JAN. 24, 2015
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WordPress: Beginner Mistakes to Avoid

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WordPress is one of the most popular content management systems (CMS) in the world. It comes with great features which make it easy to set up and manage. However, many new (and not so new) WordPress users are prone to making some mistakes which could prove detrimental for their sites.

Here are some blunders you need to steer clear of when setting up your WordPress site:

1. Not deleting the sample page

One of the first things you need to do when setting up your WordPress site is delete the default ‘Hello world’ page. However, many people forget to do this. When this page is not deleted, Google will index it, thus making you appear like a complete amateur. In addition, your visitors might not take you seriously when they come across this page on your site.

2. Downloading themes from questionable sources

There are thousands of sites out there which offer premium and free themes for download. You need to be very careful when choosing a theme for your site. Some themes come with malicious codes which can make your site vulnerable to spammers and hackers. Therefore, before settling for any theme, take time to check the reputation of the supplier.

3. Failing to update WordPress

Many beginners think that once they have installed WordPress, their job is done. However, this is not the case. WordPress offers frequent updates to its users which can be installed in one click. These updates are created to enhance the functionality as well as security of your site. Failing to update your site on a regular basis will expose your site to attacks by hackers and malware.

4. Not backing up your site frequently

Once in a while, your site might experience problems which could lead to the loss of your content. It is therefore very important to back up your site on a regular basis. WordPress comes with several plugins which facilitate the backing up of your database and installation. You can choose from free and premium plugins such as VaultPressBackupBuddyBackWPupUpdraftPlus and Duplicator.

5. Installing excess plugins

Getting too many plugins installed on your site will only end up slowing your site down. In addition, it will jeopardize the security of your site. Therefore, avoid the temptation of installing plugins that you don’t need on your site. Take time to read the reviews of each plugin before installing it. It would also be advisable to test plugins immediately after installing them on your site. The Plugin Performance Profiler Plugin can come in very handy for this. If you find that a plugin is slowing down your site, uninstall it immediately.  

6. Not changing the permalinks structure

Many WordPress rookies make the mistake of failing to change the permalink structure. This is what determines how the url links for your posts will appear. The default permalink structure is yoursitename/?p=123. Besides appearing unattractive, this structure can also be detrimental for your site’s SEO. Therefore, be sure to edit your permalink structure to include the post name. This means that your post url will appear something like yoursitename.com/post-name/.

Avoiding the mistakes above will enhance the performance of your site and save you from many problems down the line.

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