If you’re wondering about the most common WordPress mistakes you’re probably making, you’ve come to the right place.
Without proper preparation, your WordPress website can encounter problems, such as security breaches, data loss, and performance issues in the long run.
Because of that, it’s essential to understand the essentials to set up a strong foundation for your WordPress site.
In this article, we’ve listed the nine most common WordPress mistakes people tend to make so you can avoid them. Let’s jump right in.
1. Going With the Wrong Platform
A common mistake beginners make is not being able to differentiate between WordPress.com and WordPress.org.
When talking about WordPress, most people prefer to the latter, a self-hosted content management system that requires separate hosting and domain names to run. Luckily, most hosting providers offer a one-click installation to help ease the setup process.
WordPress.org is popular for its scalability as it comes with plenty of free plugins and themes. Because of that, the software is widely used for a wide variety of websites, ranging from small business sites to online stores.
WordPress.com, on the other hand, is a hosted platform that comes with a fixed monthly price. Users can even start for free and simply sign up for an account.
However, WordPress.com comes with limited resources, making the platform best suited for small sites like blogs and portfolios only.
But while WordPress.com is simple and easy to navigate, beginners can read a WordPress tutorial to familiarize themselves with WordPress.org and run a successful website too.
If you’re planning to build a scalable business, going with the wrong platform can be detrimental to your long-term success.
2. Avoiding Website Backups
Performing regular backups of your WordPress website is critical for site maintenance and security.
Website backups ensure a copy of your latest data and files that is recoverable in case of an unfortunate event.
It protects against data loss due to hacks, human error, natural disasters, server failures, and incompatible updates.
Luckily, plenty of WordPress backup plugins is available to help with the task, such as UpdraftPlus, Jetpack, and BackWPup.
3. Choosing an Unreliable Web Host
Your web host, or also referred to as the web hosting provider, is responsible for providing resources to keep your WordPress site online and accessible at all times.
An unreliable web host can risk your site’s performance, such as speed and security, which are important aspects for running a successful WordPress website.
With that in mind, make sure to pay attention to the following aspects when choosing a web host:
- Uptime guarantee
- Offered resources
Additionally, make sure to research the web host’s reputation by looking at customers’ testimonials from reputable review sites.
4. Installing Free WordPress Themes from Unreliable Sources
Due to WordPress’ popularity, plenty of third-party marketplaces offer free themes for it.
When not careful, however, you risk installing themes that are infected with malware, which puts your site security in danger.
Accidentally downloading an infected theme can harm your site in several ways, such as:
- Unknowingly providing hackers with access to your data
- Infecting your site’s files and data with viruses, which can spread to your visitors’ devices
- Slowing down your website performance
Therefore, limit yourself to downloading WordPress themes from reputable sources only.
Besides the official WordPress theme repository, consider trustworthy and reputable directories such as Themeforest and Template Monster for premium themes alternatives.
5. Installing Too Many Plugins
When starting your own website, it can be tempting to install a bunch of WordPress plugins to extend your site’s functionality.
However, doing so can actually do more harm than good to your WordPress website. In addition to slowing down your site due to taking up server resources, too many plugins can also lead to security breaches. Installing an outdated or poorly-coded plugin can increase site vulnerability, which can lead to data breaches, malware infections, and cyberattacks.
To limit those risks, it’s best to use as few plugins as possible. Consider what your site needs and install the necessary plugins from reputable developers in the official WordPress.org plugin directory.
Pay attention to the plugin’s last update, the total number of active installs, WordPress compatibility, and the developer's name to ensure its quality.
6. Ignoring Website Updates
WordPress is a popular platform with a large user base, powering 39.5% of all websites across the globe. Because of that, hackers are consistently finding new ways to perform malicious attacks on WordPress sites.
To stay on top of threats, the platform is tested and updated on a regular basis. Thus, ignoring WordPress updates can be detrimental to your site’s security.
In addition, regular updates also come with new features and compatibility enhancements to make sure your website runs smoothly.
So when you see an update notification on your WordPress dashboard, make sure to click Update Now.
7. Not Installing Google Analytics
If you’re running a business website, installing Google Analytics should be a top priority. It provides insight into visitors’ data so you can create a successful strategy and grow your business.
The Analytics dashboard shows comprehensive information, ranging from the source of traffic, the number of visits, all the way to visitors’ devices.
If most visitors are accessing your site through mobile devices, make sure your website has a responsive web design, so it displays well across different screen sizes.
Gaining insight into your customers’ behavior and making adjustments accordingly is critical for improving your website. It helps reduce bounce rates and increase customer experience.
8. Not Minding Website Security
With so many users, WordPress has become a target for hackers with malicious intent. Some of the most popular attacks include forced login and data theft.
With such high risks, abandoning website security can be detrimental to your WordPress site, especially when running a business with sensitive data and files.
An online store is an excellent example of this since it collects sensitive information such as customers’ credit card and address information.
Without proper protection, you risk not only losing customers’ confidential data but also customers’ trust and your brand’s reputation. Attacks can also impact your site’s functionality, preventing visitors from accessing it.
On top of regular backups and updates, perform basic WordPress security measures such as using a strong password and creating a custom username to avoid brute force attacks.
Also, install reputable website security plugins to further protect your WordPress site. Sucuri and Wordfence can be great options to start with.
9. Ignoring Search Engine Optimization
With so many websites on the internet today, you’re competing against billions for attention.
Search engine optimization is crucial to get your website on search engine page results. It helps you rank higher in results pages and gain online visibility.
This is especially important since almost 30% of global web traffic comes from search engines.
With more traffic coming into your website, you also increase credibility and authority in the industry.
If you’re wondering where to start, consider online training and courses from reputable sources like SEMrush and Moz Academy.
When setting up a WordPress website, it’s vital to understand the common mistakes you’ll need to avoid. If not, you risk facing issues that can harm your website in the long run.
Here’s a recap of the nine most common WordPress mistakes people tend to make:
- Not understanding the difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org
- Not performing website backups
- Choosing an unreliable web host
- Installing free themes from unreliable sources
- Installing too many plugins
- Ignoring website updates
- Not installing Google Analytics
- Not minding website security
- Ignoring search engine optimization
Equipped with this information, you’re ready to create a WordPress website with a potential for growth and success.
Although these points can take some time to figure out, taking these measures to avoid potential issues will help grow your website faster. Good luck!