WordPress can be a great framework to build your first website with. However, since it’s a platform that has a relatively low barrier to entry a lot of beginners make the same mistakes. In order to avoid frustration in the early stages of your online career it’s important that you avoid these beginner mistakes. In this post I’ll dive into the five most common WordPress mistakes you’ll want to avoid, so you can have a beautiful functioning site, instead of one that screams amateur.
1. Choosing A Poorly Coded Theme
When you’re trying to find the perfect theme for your website you’ll notice there are thousands of themes to choose from. How do you choose the correct theme? Sometimes you might come across a beautiful theme from an unknown developer that has very little reviews. Even if the theme looks great it’s not recommended to use the theme. If you want to use a free theme it’s recommend to choose one from the WordPress approved list of developers. However, the best course of action is to go with a premium theme. These themes might cost you a little money up front. But, with that cost you’ll also receive dedicated support in case anything goes wrong, and a host of upgraded features not available when using free themes.
2. Not Changing The Default Login Information
When you install WordPress you’ll be able to choose your username and password. The best way to prevent your site from being hacked is to use a strong password and username. Simple passwords, like your pets name, are not good enough. The best passwords are those that use a combination of characters, symbols, and uppercase and lowercase letters. You can use a tool like, Passwords Generator to generate a very strong and complex password.
3. Forgetting Basic Page Elements
When you’re building out your website it’s easy to get carried away with all of the cool things you can do. However, it’s important not to neglect common website features. For instance, every website needs a contact page and an about page. Without these elements there won’t be way for people to learn about what you do, or get in touch with you. Make your site beautiful, but don’t forget the basics.
4. Not Changing Your Permalinks
Your site’s permalinks is the link structure of your URL. The default structure for your WordPress site, is usually something like ‘http://www.yourwebsite.com/?p=21′, rather than ‘http://www.yourwebsite.com/first-post’. Luckily, making this change is simple, and it will give your URL’s a more memorable appearance. Once inside your WordPress Dashboard, navigate to Settings>Permalinks. This will open up a window to change your settings. For most websites the fifth option ‘Post name’ will suffice. Check the box, click ‘Save Changes’ and you’re all set.
5. Failing To Use A SEO Plugin
Getting search engine traffic is a crucial aspect of any online business. However, if you’re not optimizing your posts and content properly, you could be missing out on potential traffic. Luckily, there are a lot of plugins that make the process of SEO optimization very simple. All you have to do is install a plugin, such as, Yoast SEO, follow the steps and you’ll be set. WordPress makes it easy to have a beautiful website up and running rather quickly. By avoiding the mistakes above you’ll be able to avoid most beginner pitfalls.