To err is human. Blogging is a process of learning. Everyone learns from previous mistakes. Sometimes people learn from sharing of other’s mistakes too. There are plenty of things to learn from a blogging platform like WordPress and a little research about those can prevent us doing some common mistakes.
Here, I am going to share 20 most common WordPress mistakes done by many bloggers.
Using Plugins and Themes From Bad Source
There are plenty of websites available that provide free download links to premium themes and plugins. The important question is that, Why would someone out there will give you a premium or paid stuff for free of cost. The answer is simple, they are using your site as their income source. These themes and plugins are full of malicious codes which can steal your traffic, inject spammy links, replace your adsense code etc. If you can not effort a premium theme, use a free theme from a well known source like WooThemes.
Ignoring to Backup Regularly
You can’t predict when will a hacker attack your blog. If someone hacks your blog you will loose everything. If you are regularly taking full backup of your site, even if someone attacks, you can restore your files without losing any data. It is a common WordPress mistake to ignore taking backup thinking of a world full of well wishers.
Ignoring WordPress Updates
It is necessary to keep WordPress version, plugins and theme up to date. The version of WordPress updates in regular manner to make it more user friendly, secure and powerful. With the update of WordPress version developers also update their plugins and themes to overcome the compatibility issues. Failing to update these keeps you away from using new features added by WordPress and eventually making it harder to use and vulnerable enough to attacked by hackers.
Not using any SEO plugin
Blog or website popularity depends upon traffic coming from search engines. It is impossible to rank higher among millions of blogs without a handsome amount of organic traffic daily. To achieve that Search Engine Optimization is a ‘must do’ task for any blogger. There are plenty of SEO plugins available to minimize your time and effort. And not using any SEO plugin is a big WordPress mistake.
Checking Website Statistics Frequently
Using Google Analytics for analyzing traffic stats as well as keywords that are popular is a good practice. As a newbie, it is a common mistake to check website statistics every minute. This malpractice can ruin your productive time. It is a better idea to check website statistics once a day or once a week and use rest of the time to create valuable contents.
Changing URL’s While Editing Old Posts
As the world is changing too fast, it is a good practice of editing and updating old contents. But while editing old contents, changing the URL of that post is a serious mistake can be done by anyone. It will lead to a ‘404 Error Page’ for the already indexed page & all the links to that page will turn to be a broken link.
Publishing Incomplete Pages
Incomplete pages mean you are incomplete blogger. As a newbie, it is a common WordPress mistake to publish incomplete pages due to excitement. It will destruct the mindset of earlier visitors and give them an impression that you are not a serious blogger. It is better idea to draft that page and publish it as soon as it becomes complete.
Installing Unnecessary Plugins
Plugins are boon to WordPress. From SEO to appearance of a blog depends upon suitable use of plugins. It is a common WordPress mistake to install and test plenty of plugins and forgetting to uninstall or deactivate unnecessary plugins. Plugins should be used as less as possible. Huge amount of plugins make the database heavier and slows down the entire site.
You May Also Read — Must Have Plugins for WordPress
Not Changing the Default Admin Username
When installing WordPress, it automatically creates the default username ‘admin’. It is a common WordPress mistake of not changing the default username. This mistake makes the website vulnerable enough to attacked by hackers. WordPress provides a option for choosing a username during installation process. Have that opportunity and make a complex username for your installation.
Not Using a Contact Form
Another big mistake made by some newbie bloggers is not adding a contact form is the contact page. Some of them just mention their E-Mail ID. After a few months the provided e-mail ID will be flooded with some useless SPAM messages. Contact forms are easier method to connect with clients as they can directly interact with you through it. You can use Contact Form 7 plugin or Jetpack by WordPress plugin’s contact form feature.
You May Also Read — Jetpack by WordPress – Single plugin that can replace 15+ plugins
Not Using a Caching Plugin
Website speed is too important for a blog to rank higher. A slow website may be a bit annoying for users surfing your contents. It can increase bounce rate. Therefore a caching plugin is necessary for WordPress as it will reduce server overhead and improve site’s loading time. You can use ‘W3 Total Cache‘ for this purpose. Integrating Content Delivery Network like MaxCDN with this plugin will be a added benefit.
Not Making a Mobile Friendly Site
It is the era of Smartphones. If you check traffic statistics of your site through Google Analytics you will see that a fraction of your total traffic is coming from mobile devices whom you can not ignore. If you fail to optimize your website for mobile devices, you will surely lose that traffic. Therefore, it is necessary to choose a mobile friendly theme or to use a plugin that can convert your site to a mobile friendly site for smartphone users.
Ignoring Image Optimization Methods
Images are the ornaments of a post. But, website loading speed depends upon the loading time of the images the pages contain. It will be a big mistake If the images are not properly optimized. The slow loading issue will ruin your entire site. Another mistake is to forget about ‘alt tag’ for images. You may use WP Smush.it for reducing file size and SEO Friendly Images for adding automatic ‘alt’ and ‘title’ attributes for your images.
Not Providing an XML Sitemap
Sitemap is basically a list of contents & their links in XML format which tells the Google or other search engine bots about each URL: when it was last updated, how often it changes, and how important it is in relation to other URLs in the website. It is necessary for faster indexing of your posts and pages. Not providing an XML sitemap is another mistake done by newbies. There are plenty of plugins for generating XML sitemap for you. You may use the sitemap feature of WordPress SEO by Yoast or Google XML Sitemap plugin.
Poor Categorization and Tagging
Best feature provide by WordPress is the ability to categorize and tagging of posts. Most WordPress users create so many categories and tags for their contents that their sites become ugly and make it harder to navigate through. If you are doing this mistake, this will force your readers to leave your site and all your efforts will go in vain. Therefore, always try to limit tags and categories in order to hold your visitors for a long time.
Using Default Permalink Structure
WordPress provides default permalink structure such as ‘domain/?p=12’. This is really bad for SEO. Your URL must contain the focused keyword of your content. Failing to do so will decrease your search visibility. Therefore, during WordPress installation the default permalink structure must be changed.
Not Using a Favicon
Just like a logo, favicon is also an identity of your website. It is the small icon displayed in the browser’s address bar against your site name. Most WordPress user ignore this small but important part of a website. It is just like a person without a face! You can either make a favicon by yourself, or create one using one of the free favicon generators available online.
Not Using a SPAM Detector
The world of internet is full of spammers. If you are approving each and every comment received without reviewing it, it may be the biggest WordPress mistake done by you. Personally reviewing and detecting spam comments is a tedious job. Therefore, you must use a spam detector plugin to do it for you. Akismet is the best free plugin for this purpose.
You May Also Read — How to Reduce Huge Database Size Caused by Akismet
Not Integrating Webmaster Tools
In order to get indexed by major search engines like Google you must submit XML sitemap to the webmaster tools. If you are not doing so, it may be another big mistake. Submitting XML sitemap to webmaster tools not only helps faster indexing of your site, but also you will get lots of useful statistics like popular keywords, popular topics, crawl errors etc.
Not Implementing Gravatar for You
Globally Recognized Avatar (i.e. Gravatar) is an image that appears beside a blog comment made by you. It represents your identity. Without a face your comments will be valueless. If you are not using a Gravatar, get it as soon as possible.