There are lots of common WordPress mistakes that if you don’t fix on your WordPress website, you may find yourself losing your site, or worse, losing a lot of money.
It is very normal to make mistakes when you are starting out on something. In fact, it gives you the opportunity to go out there and learn. To learn how to fix your mistakes without actually hiring someone. And the beauty of using WordPress is that there are lots of tutorials about just everything. So, you can never get stuck.
I have in this blog post discussed the most common WordPress mistakes and even how to fix them. I hope you learn how to take care of your WordPress website from this blog post.
Here are the 20 Most Common WordPress Mistakes and How to Fix Them.
#1. Choosing the Wrong Platform
This is one of the most common WordPress mistakes committed by new WordPress users.
There are two WordPress platforms, WordPress.com and WordPress.org. Before setting up a WordPress blog, you need to know the difference between the two platforms.
Let me say something about the two platforms.
WordPress.org is the home of self-hosted WordPress. It let’s you take full control of your website by enabling you to have your own domain name and your website hosted with whichever company of your choosing.
WordPress.com on the other hand doesn’t let you do all those. Blogging on WordPress.com basically involves running your site on a subdomain. That is, your site will be sitting on the major domain, wordpress.com so that your site’s url will be something like yoursite.wordpress.com. Here, you will be paying for things like having your own domain name connected to your site, paying to use plugins and to get rid of adverts on your site.
Here is an article on Top 10 Reasons Why You Should Setup Your WordPress Site on WordPress.org. You will also get to learn the difference between the two platforms.
If your objective is to make money using your WordPress site then you should set up your site on WordPress.org platform.
But what if you had chosen WordPress.com and now you think you made a mistake?
No problem. You can fix the mistake by moving your site to a self-hosted WordPress.org platform without losing your content. It doesn’t matter whether you are already having 100+ blog posts or just 5. All of them will be exported to WordPress.org platform.
#2. Poor Choice of Web host
Running a business online requires that everything be stable. It is therefore important that you have a stable web host. One that will ensure that your website stays online at all times.
Your hosting is a pillar where your blog will stand. This is a server where all your data is going to save online. All the images, texts, videos are going to save on this server when you write anything on your blog.
A good hosting server should have:
- A cPanel to control everything easily
- Add unlimited domains on server to run multiple blogs
- Unlimited bandwidth
- Unlimited hosting space
- Unlimited email accounts
- 99.99% up time
Here is an article about 13 Important Features You Should look for in a Web Hosting Package.
Luckily, Bluehost is such a hosting service provider which meets all the needs. Buy a web hosting package from Bluehost using my link at a discounted rate of $3.95. It doesn’t matter whether you are already using a different web host, Bluehost will help you transfer your site to their servers for FREE. ( )
#3. Still Using “admin” as Username
Seriously. This is the most dangerous thing to do.
If you are still using “admin” as username then you are giving hackers out there easy time breaking into your website. Your website’s security is in grave danger.
You should instead change it to something that is very difficult to guess. Even by the people close to you.
#4. Using Weak Passwords
WordPress, at the point of installation generates a strong password. Well, mastering that password is very difficult. In fact, it’s just impossible. It’s either one writes it down or create a new one that they can be able to remember. I think writing it down somewhere isn’t the right option. Creating a new one that you can be able to remember is the best option.
Now, if you decide to create one, make sure that you come up with a string of characters that one cannot be able to guess. A strong password is one that contains letters both in lowercase and uppercase, special characters and numbers and also more than 8 characters long.
If your password doesn’t fit the above description then you should consider changing it.
How to change password on WordPress
- Log on to your WordPress Dashboard.
- On the top right, hover/click on your Gravatar (pic of the editor/admin) and then click “Edit My Profile”
- Scroll down to Account Management >>>>New Password >>>>Generate Password.
- Write your new password until you see the “strong” message below the box.
- Scroll down and then click “Update Profile.”
That should have you covered.
#5. Your Website isn’t Backed Up
In the field of technology, s**t happens. You should therefore be ready for anything. Including waking up one day and finding your website and all its content gone.
Just like computer files, you should back up your website’s content somewhere safe. And you should be doing this at least once every month.
Some web hosting companies back up their clients’ websites but remember, backing up your website is your responsibility and so do it yourself. Do not rely solely on your hosting provider for backups.
If you are not already backing up your website, then you should pick one of the listed WordPress backup plugins below and start using them right away.
#6. Installing Plugin after Plugin
Adding a plugin to your site means adding more code to your site.
More code has almost everything to do with your website’s loading speed. The more the code the slower the website will load.
Here is the thing, before installing a new plugin to your website, check if there is an alternative. Find out if the functionality can be added without introducing a plugin.
Also, go through the list of installed plugins and check if you are using all of them. Deactivate and delete the ones that you are not using.
#7. You don’t have a “Contact” page on your blog
You are making a very big mistake if you are not having a way for people to contact you.
I made my first dollar through writing a sponsored post.
And here is how it happened:
Someone from an online company contacted me through a contact form on my blog and asked if I could do a sponsored review on their product. I was pleased to. We agreed on the amount, wrote the article and got paid. Just like that.
A contact page makes it easy for people to get in touch with you. It’s simple, if anyone wants to talk directly to the person behind a blog; they tend to look for a “contact us” page. If yours doesn’t have one, you may be losing on sales or even creating networks that are rich.
Creating a “contact us” page is very easy. All you need to do is log on to your WordPress dashboard, scroll down to pages then “add new.” Have the title as “Contact Us/Contact Me” and then add a few options of how to get in touch with you.
Items to include on your contact page:
- Email Address
- Phone Number
- Contact form
- Physical Address of your offices (if you have one)
Here is a typical example of a Contact page. Check it out.
#8. No Google Analytics Installed
In the world of internet marketing, it is important to collect data off your website.
What kind of data will you be able to collect?
- Number of people visiting your site
- Their nationalities
- Age and sex
- Time they spend on your site
- Pages they visit on your site
- Where your traffic is coming from
- And so much more
You can only be able to collect all these data when you have Google Analytics installed on your blog.
So, if you don’t have Google Analytics installed on your site already, visit Google Analytics and get started.
#9. You are not collecting Email Addresses
There are lots of reasons why you should be collecting emails from the people visiting your blog.
I once talked about them on this blog post. You can check it out.
To save you the hustle, here are some of the reasons why you should be collecting emails:
- You can be able to build a stronger relationship with your subscribers
- Email subscribers convert higher than Facebook targeted audience
- With an email list, you own your audience
- To set up email marketing on your blog, here is quick tutorial for that.
#10. You are not managing broken links
From time to time, check for broken links on your blog and find a way of fixing them.
Broken links are links to pages that are no longer available. Either the page was pulled down or its link changed without redirecting the old link to the new one.
Broken links destroy a site’s SEO and if you don’t fix them, your efforts to achieve higher rankings may not bear fruits.
How to check and fix broken links in WordPress
Use a WordPress plugin called Broken Links Checker.
The plugin once installed and activated in your site, it goes through all the blog posts and identifies all the broken links.
It gives you options of what to do with the broken links. You can unlink, redirect, change/edit, delete or ignore the report.
The plugin also has this amazing feature where it occasionally goes through your blog posts, identify broken links and then notify you about them via email so you can take action.
#11. Accidentally Blocking Search Engines
I’d say this is the most common WordPress mistake most of the newbies make.
You see, when you are setting up WordPress, there is an option of blocking search engines from indexing the site. It is a good idea to block search engines from indexing the site when you are still customizing your site and making it look more beautiful before presenting it to the world.
But then, this blogging thing can be overwhelming to the extent that you continue to block search engines from indexing your site.
It is therefore important that you check if you are still blocking search engines from indexing your site and fix it. Or else, you won’t receive traffic from search engines.
#12. Spam Comments are Still Finding Their Way Through
Well, this can only occur if you are not moderating comments on your blog. It means that every comment posted on your blog gets published even without your approval.
Here is the thing…
Spam comments are usually way out of topic.
Meaning, they could be addressing a different issue. Something out of your topic.
Spam comments are mostly marketing messages that are irrelevant, adult messages and even messages in a language that you and your audience cannot be able to understand.
How do you stop spam comments from getting published on your blog?
Moderate all the comments.
That’s the best way.
Here is an article about how to fight spam comments in WordPress.
#13. Too Many Categories, Few Blog Posts
If you are not running a news blog then I think you should maintain your categories to below 10.
Having too many categories with few posts in each category doesn’t make sense at all. It sometimes shows that you lack ideas.
Having lots of posts under some categories and only a few under some renders the latter orphaned categories.
Balance your categories.
Have a few that you can manage.
Fill them equally with posts.
#14. Ignoring Updates on Plugins, Themes and WordPress Core
Do you need to install updates for WordPress, plugins, and themes?” The answer is definitely “Yes!” and it’s because updates do the following:
- Enhance security
- Fix bugs
- Add new features and functionality
Failure to install updates makes your site to be very much vulnerable to attacks.
#15. Making Updates to Live Site
Technically speaking, there’s nothing wrong with updating your live site. But in practice, if you make a mistake or type the wrong code, you could bring your entire site down.
To avoid that pressure completely, it’s a much better idea to make site updates via a development copy of your site. With a staging site, you’re free to make changes, test code, and experiment to your heart’s content without worrying about the live site.
And again, before making any changes to the live site (even if you’ve tested everything on a staging site) it’s best to take a backup, just in case.
#16. Still Using Default Permalink
For the longest time, people would simply use the default URL structure: /?p=23. Not only is this bad for SEO, but it is bad for users as well. When installing WordPress, make sure you update your permalinks structure by going under Settings » Permalinks.
#17. Making life difficult for mobile users
Nowadays, everyone moves between multiple devices, like smart-phones, tablets, laptops, PCs or TV, to browse or purchase something via internet. As people are rapidly adopting multi-screen devices, it has become a must to make your website either fully responsive or mobile-friendly.
If you still haven’t adopted this trend, you have twooptions. First, you can use a Responsive WordPress theme that automaticallyadapts to whatever the screen size or device is. Second, you can make your sitemobile-compatible by using a mobile plug-in like WPtouch or WPTap. The choice is yours!
#18. Not Caching Your Website
A lot of beginners don’t know what caching is which explains why they wouldn’t install a caching plugin. In short, caching allows you speed up your site and prevent downtime if you get a lot of traffic at once.
For starters, WP Super Cache is the best plugin for this job. You can check it out.
#19. Not Optimizing Images for Your Website
Beginners don’t really care about performance, storage space and such which we upload non-optimized images. As they get more experienced they realize that the images they uploaded could have been so much smaller if only they compressed them for web. Often the quality doesn’t go away either.
Adobe Photoshop has an option to save for Web.
#20. Not Learning More
One of the worst mistakes you can make is not learning more about WordPress. There are new plugins and solutions coming out every day. Some that significantly improve the way things were done before. This is why we always recommend our readers to make a conscious effort to learn more about WordPress and get involved.
The easiest way to do this would be to read Luminous Blogging regularly. Join our newsletter from the sidebar to get daily and/or weekly updates, so you are always up to date with all the cool things and tools.