WordPress is simply an unmatched content management system. The platform offers incredible features, however, we humans are bound to make mistakes. When it comes to using WordPress, there are some mistakes even the advanced developers make. So, here are some of the common mistakes made by the novice, as well as seasoned WordPress developers make and are often unaware of.
1) Keeping The Sample Page
A recent study shows that over a million WordPress users have sample page on their website. Most of the advanced developers forget to delete it, get rid of it as soon as possible as visitors would simply see it as a mistake.
2) Not Updating The Default Permalink
The default WordPress permalink structure is something like:
This kind of permalink should be replaced so that the website is able to rank higher as well as displays a level of professionalism to the website visitors. The permalinks structure can be optimized by going into Settings » Permalinks. The best way to utilize permalinks is by adding keywords in the structure.
3) Heard Of Gravatar And Google Authorship Markup?
A Globally Recognized Avatar or the Gravatar is an icon which represents a WordPress website over the internet. The Gravatar is displayed right next to the name of a person who adds a comment.
Just like Gravatar, the Google Authorship Markup is yet another aspect to target if you are looking to boost the credibility and exposure of a WordPress website. By following a simple one-time process, the developer can post an image right next to the meta description in Google’s search results.
4) Not Moderating Post Comments
Comments speak for a WordPress website. It lets the new visitors know about the credibility of the website they have just landed on. Moderating the comments takes up time, especially when there are hundreds or even thousands of them. It is often seen that a WordPress website which has been live for quite a while receives spam comments every now and then.
These not only steer away from the new visitors, but also hurts a website from SEO point of view. Hence, these need to go ASAP. You can disable comments for a website via Settings >> Discussion >> Default Article Settings.
5) Using Low-Quality Visuals
Images are the best way to grab the reader’s attention and you cannot go wrong. And why should you when a human brain processes visuals 60,000 times faster than any other forms like text? It is now time that you need to get rid of those stock photographs and invest in some high-quality and professional imagery.
6) Restricting Search Engines
There are some settings in the WordPress content management system that can impair a site’s ability to be found by search spiders. To ensure that you have not unintentionally checked any option that might be restricting the website from being found by a larger audience, go to Settings -> Reading.
Here, you will see an option that says “Discourage search engines from indexing this site”. Make sure it is not checked. In case the option is checked, it is restricting the search engines from inspecting the site’s content. Unless the site is under development or maintenance, make sure this option is not checked.
7) Not Considering Google Analytics
Not using Google analytics for a website is similar to driving a car that doesn’t have headlights. Where WordPress is undeniably the best content management system out there, the WordPress dashboard cannot offer a detailed insights about the performance of a website. So, there is a need for a web analytics services and Google Analytics is the best option hands down.
Google Analytics is free, but it has a lot to offer. The tool is packed with resources to monitor website traffic, analyze and keep a record of visitor’s behavior and allows you to know the potential keywords that can help you generate more traffic to your site.For best results, you can team up Google Analytics with Google Webmaster for best website stats and report.
8) Not Using Enough Tags For Categories
WordPress allows the developers to create all kinds of categories and tags. This not only groups the similar posts together, but also to enhances the user accessibility. There are times when a website features a wide range of categories. This is a common scenario with E-Commerce websites which has a lot of products to offer.
Unfortunately, some developers would simply add categories to a website, without considering the need for associated tags. As a result, the WordPress website would end up with multiple categories and a handful of tags. This hampers a website from architecture, as well as SEO point of view. Hence, it is always advised to use tags and even add these to the navigation menus.
9) Running Without A Caching Plugin
Every WordPress developer aims at giving the website visitors a super-fast page load experience that results in a splendid user experience. However, some developers miss out on this critical aspect and leave the users with a lousy website. If you find yourself guilty of not using an install a caching plugin here are a few options to choose from:
- W3 Total Cache
- CloudFlare CDN
- WP Super Cache
- Google PageSpeed Service
There are also a few WordPress hosting companies that offer caching options as a part of their hosting service. WPEngine and SiteGround are a few of the options. The only thing you should keep in mind while utilizing this caching service is to make sure that your host doesn’t configure the caching options before you install your own plugin.
10) Not Creating A Staging Environment
This comes as a kicker for most of the developers. For the ones who are not aware of the term, let’s quickly understand what staging environment actually is. A staging environment is a place where a WordPress website lives and breathes. It is always advised not to update or work on this environment for a simple reason – the website visitors can actually see it.
However, there are instances when the tweaks are minimal, such as fixing grammatical and spelling mistakes, adding a new image, or so on. But anything more than this should not be done on the live environment. These may include major updations such as theme updates, upgrading the WordPress version, installing or uninstalling a plugin and so on.
We tried to list some of the common mistakes that developers often make, but I am sure we are missing quite a few. Share some of the common mistakes that you have noticed or made yourself to help other readers.
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