Every Tuesday or Wednesday, I plan on bringing you guys tech related tips, tricks and resources on things website owners deal with (like photoshop tutorials). This week’s post is for WordPress users. WordPress is an easy to use solution for website owners who want to DIY their website or blog. It is relatively easy to install, but lack of knowledge of coding and tech lingo results in some DIYers making tons of mistakes.
1. Not Setting Up Your Permalinks
The default permalink setting structure of WordPress is NOT user friendly.
Nothing makes me cringe more than to see urls like that. Setting your permalink settings to postname can turn the “?p=21” at the end of your URLs into a “/permalinks/”structure.
This way your permalinks are easier to remember and will also be more search engine friendly. WordPress also gives you several ways you can organize your URLs. You can pick from a day and name, month and name, numeric or a custom structure.
Your permalink settings can be found in your configuration menu under Settings > Permalinks.
2. Not Keeping Your WordPress Up To Date
WordPress releases new updates pretty regularly to fix security issues and other bugs. Hackers make it their mission to exploit holes in your wordpress site and not keeping it updated makes it easy for them to get in and wreak havoc. I normally set WordPress software to automatically update so that the user doesn’t have to worry about keeping WordPress up to date.
3. Installing Plugins And Never Updating Them
We all love plugins, but many users don’t keep their plugins updated. Most WordPress websites are hacked through plugins. Only install well known plugins and when updates are released for those plugins, update them immediately. If you’d rather focus your time on creating content for your website and not keeping your website software up to date, then hire someone to do the maintenance for you. Don’t allow your website to become vulnerable! Find out if you have plugins that need updating by going to the Plugin section in your configuration menu
4. Not Backing Up Your Website Regularly
You’ve spent so much time creating your website or spent a lot of money to have it built by a professional, why wouldn’t you want to protect that investment? It’s so easy to get tied up in updating your website content that you disregard this very important aspect, but taking the time to perform backups could mean the difference between a minor website issue and something catastrophic. If you end up having a server problem or fall victim to hackers, then having a backup can help get your business back online quickly. Not having a backup could mean having to rebuild your website from scratch. Who wants to have to do that?You've spent so much time or money creating your website, why wouldn't you want to protect it? #backupyourwebsite Click To Tweet
5. Using Insecure Usernames and Passwords
One of the common mistakes website owners do to make their websites vulnerable to hacking is using common usernames such as ‘admin’ or insecure passwords such as ‘12345’. Avoid using generic words for your wordpress username. Your password should also be unique and contain a combination of lowercase and uppercase letters as well as numbers AND symbols. Never use anything personal for your password, such as your name or birthday.
Also check out this WordPress plugin called Wordfence. This plugin protects your login-page and tells you when attempts are made at logging in. If you haven’t noticed already, WordPress doesnt prevent you from trying to log into your website incorrectly a million and one times. Wordfence also scans your website for vulnerability.
6. Using A Plugin To Make Your Website Responsive
Not having a responsive website design can be detrimental to your business. Most of your potential clients are constantly on the go, so it is important to make your website mobile friendly. If for some reason you are still donning an unresponsive theme, please go ahead and either get yourself a new theme that is also responsive or have a designer/developer go in and make the edits needed for your current website to be responsive. There are WordPress plugins that can make your website responsive in mobile devices, but the design is normally fixed and horrible.
7. Not Installing Google Analytics
Installing Google Analytics or another analytic software is a good way to keep track of your visitors and find out what their behavior is. Google Analytics is a free service and all you need is a google account to get started.
8. Ignoring Search Engine Optimization
What good is your website if nobody will see it? Possibly the worst mistake that you can make when using WordPress is to completely neglect SEO. I believe that you should learn as much as y0u can about search engine optimization or at least hire someone to do it for you. Even understanding the basics of SEO can help you to increase your rankings, resulting in more traffic.
9. Not Using Web Optimized Images
When saving your images for your website, you need to make sure you are using the appropriate file types. The most commonly used file types are JPG, GIF and PNG.
JPG: Best used for photographs. The jpg format makes your image file sizes smaller by removing information undetectable by the human eye. It is the best format for compressing images.
PNG: Best used when your image requires transparency.
GIF: Can only have a max of 256 colors and can be animated. This format is good for simple images with solid coloring.
10. Not Having A Contact Form
It is extremely important for your potential customers or clients to be able to contact you quickly. It’s always so easy to just put your email address on a contact page and call it done, but this can lead to an increase in SPAM emails once bots discover your email address. The best solution to this problem is adding a simple contact form to your website. Plugins such as Contact Form 7 make form creation relatively easy.