You might have heard an idiom, ‘To err is human’. We all make mistakes. Oscar Wilde quote ‘experience is simply the name we give your mistakes’ explains it nicely. We, humans, learn from our mistakes, but it would be much more beneficial if we start ed learning from the mistakes of others.
In our today’s post, we will come to know about few most common mistakes that most WordPress users make at the beginning of their careers so, if you are looking to set up a blog or website on WordPress, you may learn from these mistakes and avoid them.
#1: Buying More Than Actually Needed
It is one of the most common mistakes that most newbies make. When you get started with a self-hosted WP site, you might be looking for just a domain name and a hosting.
Unfortunately, you will find a lot of domain registrars trying to up-sell unnecessary services such as private registration, SSL, branded e-mails, etc.
As a beginner, we don’t believe you would find private registration worth buying. If you run a small blog, which does not involve any kind of payment processes, buying SSL would be just wastage of your hard-earned money.
Always plan for your requirements in advance and buy services that you actually need.
#2: Using Faulty Or Inappropriate Theme
It would not be wrong to say the theme is a soul of your website. After all, it determines the future of your WordPress site. Choosing the right theme is quite important not only from the user-experience but also from the search engine ranking point of view.
There are 2 important things which you have to keep in mind when choosing a WordPress theme – the ease of use and the reputation of a company, which created this theme.
Make sure the theme you chose is not faulty or contains buggy PHP scripts, else you may have to deal with issues like White Screen, 502 Bad Gateway error. Although solutions are available for these issues like one is here for 502 Bad Gateway yet as a beginner, it can be difficult for you to fix these issues without taking a help of an expert.
#3: Keeping The Default Admin Username
When we install WordPress, by default its username is ‘admin’. Since it is the most predictable username for hackers, it is suggested to change it immediately after the installation. Otherwise, your login credentials can be cracked anytime and you can lose control over your website.
When choosing a login credential (username and password) for your site, try to use a combination of numbers, special characters and letters to make credentials more strong.
#4: Staying With Default Tagline ‘Just Another Blog’
For most WordPress users it is not a big issue, but since it is content on your site, it will be indexed by Google and other search engines. It would be a bad practice if you do not change it to something relevant to your site – you can consider putting your main SEO keyword in it.
Always try to pick a unique and witty tagline so that your site can create curiosity among your audience. In order to change your default tagline, go to your WordPress dashboard. Click on Settings -> General. You will see Tagline option just below your Site Title. Edit it and click on ‘Save Changes’ button, available at the bottom of your site.
#5:Not Changing the Default Favicon
This small icon is identity card of your site. It is displayed with your site’s name in your browser’s address bar. We notice, most of the newbies don’t take their favicons seriously. Therefore, their websites always have by default favicons that do not look professional at all. You can create your favicon yourself or use online favicon generators available on the web. After generating favicon, you need to upload it to the images section of your site.
#6: Using the default Permalink Structure
For those who don’t know, a permalink is a permalink hyperlink to the certain page in your WP site. By default, WordPress has awkward permalinks. For instance, you can find them like www.mydomain.com/?p=123. Such permalink URLs are bad from both search engine and users point of view. These URLs would not help you get a good ranking in search engines for sure.
To make changes to these default Permalinks, you will have to access your WP dashboard and then go to Settings->Permalinks. Try to make your permalinks SEO friendly by adding appropriate keywords in them.
#7: Not Adding Contact Form to Your Website
It is another common mistake that most people make at the beginning of their journey. They don’t add a contact form on their site but create a contact page instead. Creating a simple contact page that has your email id is not a professional way to get your users in touch with your website. Moreover, after few days you will notice your inbox has flooded with the spam emails.
As a result, you should get a professional and feature-rich contact form for your site. Moreover, it will help your user to directly interact with you.
Gravity Forms and Contact Form 7 are two well-known plugins to set a contact page. We would advise you to use Contact Form 7 as it allows you to play with a lot of customization and comes with advanced spam filtering options.
#8: Not Creating Backup
It is another common mistake made by most new WP users. Running a WP website without creating a backup would be like jumping out of a plane without a parachute.
Most people realize the importance of creating website backup when they lose their years of hard-work within a few minutes. Don’t make such mistake, create a backup for your site form the first day.
As a WordPress user, you always have a privilege to get an automatic backup of your site. There are a plenty of plugins that can help you in that, some of the popular ones are BackupBuddy, Duplicator, UpdraftPlus, etc.
Believe us, creating a backup is the best thing you can do for your WP site. It not only gives you a peace of mind but also takes you out of catastrophic situations.