WordPress is the most frequently used content management system and website development platform worldwide. It helps design and develop creative, feature-rich, secure, and functional websites.
However, if the developers do not use standard practices during design and development, the website may turn out to be bug-riddled and vulnerable to threats.
So in our blog post, you see some of the most common mistakes WordPress rookies and rookie developers make when creating a new website and how they can avoid them.
If you are also a rookie developer just starting in the WordPress web development field, you’d want to follow.
Common Mistakes By WordPress Rookies & How You Can Avoid Them
Making mistakes is what makes us human. But sometimes, with WordPress development, these mistakes can prove to be detrimental to the website.
They can render your website ornate or make it vulnerable to hackers, jeopardizing the customers’ data and crucial information.
So let’s check out some of the most common mistakes made by WordPress developers and how you can avoid them:
Installing WordPress in a “WordPress” Sub-Folder
One of the common mistakes made by under-experienced WordPress developers is installing WordPress in a sub-folder called “WordPress.” There are several reasons why you should avoid doing that.
First, it may make it harder for search engines to understand the structure of your website, rendering your SEO strategies ornate.
Second, users will find it tricky to navigate to different web pages on your site when it’s hosted in a sub-folder.
Moreover, it will be harder to customize the permalinks, affecting your overall URL structure. You will also encounter issues with redirects; the broken links will be frustrating for the visitors, negatively impacting the SEO.
How to Avoid It?
You can easily avoid this mistake by installing WordPress in the root directory of your domain, i.e.,/public_html/, rather than installing it in a subfolder.
It will make it easier for the visitors to navigate to the pages of your website, and the search engine will understand the structure of your website better as well.
Using Poorly-Coded Themes
Another common mistake committed by so many developers is the use of poorly coded themes in their websites.
It’s very important you stay away from these poor-quality themes as they may impact your website’s speed and performance, harming the user experience and search engine rankings.
Furthermore, they make the whole website vulnerable to hackers, jeopardizing sensitive information on your website. Also, due to poorly coded themes, the website may not be properly accessible on some devices.
Not to mention, these themes tend to be trickier to maintain and update, which makes it harder to adapt your website to the latest technological advancements.
How to Avoid It?
It’s very important to ensure your chosen WordPress theme is well-coded and of good quality.
First, check the theme’s HTML and CSS codes for errors or bugs through services like W3C Markup Validation and W3C CSS Validation. You can also check if the theme is SEO-friendly through suitable tags, schema markups, and other industry practices to improve the website rankings on the SERPs.
Then, it comes to maintenance and updating of the theme. You can see when it was last updated and how long it will get support from the developer. If it’s out of its support cycle, it would be best to avoid it.
Finally, the WordPress library and other marketplaces show every theme’s rating and review, which you can check to see what past users think about it.
Not Using Permalinks
Permalinks, also called clean URLs, are the user-friendly link addresses that your visitors will use to access the pages or contents of your website.
Permalinks are also an essential part of the SEO strategy as they help search engines understand what a particular page is all about.
By default, the permalink structure will look something like www.yourwebsite.com/?p=57, which your users might not even remember.
So if, for example, your page is a blog about the “Best Weight Loss Diets,” its link should be www.yourwebsite.com/blog/best-weight-loss-diets.
That clearly shows what the page is about so that the search engine can rank it accordingly.
But sometimes, WordPress rookies and developers don’t change the default permalinks to more user-friendly and SEO-friendly alternatives with relevant keywords, which may impact the page rankings on the SERPs.
How to Avoid It?
You can change the permalink of your web pages to more suitable alternatives by following this process:
- Log in to the WordPress dashboard
- Open Settings and click on Permalinks.
- Then, select Post Name and make changes in the custom structure.
- After you are satisfied with the new permalink structure, save the changes.
- After that, generate a code redirecting your page from the old permalink to the new one. (You can use Yoast SEO to generate the correct code).
- Lastly, add the code you generated in the previous step to your website’s .htaccess file to conclude the process.
You should also set up a 301 redirect from the old page to the new page to ensure your visitors can navigate to your website.
Choosing Wrong Hosting and Domain Provider
Sometimes, developers, owners and WordPress rookies choose the domain and hosting providers in a rush, which may not be suitable for the website.
Choosing the wrong hosting provider or domain may reduce the speed and performance, limit scalability, and make your website insecure against cyber attacks.
How to Avoid It?
Here are the factors to keep in mind while choosing a suitable hosting provider and domain for the website:
- Loading Times: Ensure the hosting provider’s servers are well-optimized for your website to load quickly, improving the user experience and search engine rankings.
- Limited Resources: Hosting providers should provide unlimited resources for your website, like memory, storage, and bandwidth, to ensure your website doesn’t crash or perform poorly in case of excessive traffic.
- Security Vulnerabilities: Ensure the hosting provider secures its server to protect the website against cyber attacks.
- Poor Customer Support: In case of any issues with the domain or host, your website will need adequate technical support to fix the issues in time.
- Limited Scalability: With the right host and domain, the website should be able to handle the increase in traffic.
Some companies such as SiteGround specialize in WordPress hosting, and providing faster load times and more reliable performance.
Failing to Secure Your Website
Sometimes, even expert developers tend to think that their website won’t be targeted by hackers because it’s not that big.
But that would be a massive mistake. Hackers might even use your website to spread malware to other websites.
An insecure website will lose search rankings, resulting in a loss of money and sensitive data and information.
How to Avoid It?
Here are a few of the significant steps you can take to secure your WordPress website:
- Disable File Editing
- Limit Login Attempts
- Change WordPress Database Prefix
- Disable Directory Indexing and Browsing
- Automatically log out Idle Users
- Scanning WordPress for Malware and Vulnerabilities
- Change the Default “admin” username
- Disable PHP File Execution
- Add Two Factor Authentication
- Password Protect WP-Admin and Login
- Disable XML-RPC in WordPress
- Add Security Questions to WordPress Login
- Fixing a Hacked WordPress Site
You can also hire WordPress developers who consider these security practices to help protect your website against hackers, brute force attacks, SQL injections, spam, and bad bots.
Not Optimizing for Speed and Performance
Nowadays, internet speeds have gone through the roof, which means good websites can load in milliseconds.
However, if your website loads slowly, the visitors will get frustrated in just seconds and move on to the next competitor’s website.
Moreover, faster-loading websites receive more upvotes from search engines, gaining higher positions on the SERPs.
How to Avoid It?
Here are the steps to follow for optimizing the website for better speed and performance.
- Update WordPress and plugins on your website to their versions to ensure they are fast, reliable, and secure against threats like hacks, brute force attacks, spam, SQL injections, bad bots, etc.
- Optimize any significant processes running in the background.
- Use excerpts on the homepage and archives rather than using the full content.
- Use Audio/Video hosting services like YouTube, Vimeo, DailyMotion, SoundCloud, etc., rather than uploading the media files directly to WordPress.
- WordPress library has several themes optimized for better speed and performance of the website.
- Use WordPress plugins like WP Rocket, W3 Total Cache, WP Super Cache, WP Super Minify, etc., to improve the speed and performance of your website.
These methods will help WordPress rookies improve the speed and performance of your website to ensure a better user experience and higher rankings on the SERPs.
Not Planning Your Website Before Building It
Sometimes owners and WordPress rookies and developers don’t have an adequate planning session before starting the design and development of the website.
However, when planning a website before building it is necessary to ensure goals and expectations from the design and development process are well-defined.
With prior planning, you can create a detailed site structure to organize the content, making it easier for the users to navigate through the website.
You can also identify your target audience to decide on the suitable design, layout, and tone of the website to make it more appealing and attract maximum traffic.
How to Avoid It?
Whether you hire WordPress rookies or expert developers, make sure you conduct a comprehensive planning session with them.
They can help you choose the perfect layout and design, identify the target audience, define the content, create a sitemap and wireframe, and finally, inform you about the budget and set a deadline.
Moreover, they can help WordPress rookies identify any technical requirements, such as the need for a database or special functionality for the website. They can also ensure the website configurations will meet the requirements and expectations set by the owner.
Not Understanding the Role of Plugins and Themes
Plugins are excellent for adding more features and functionalities to your website without extensive coding, while themes can help improve the design and layout of your website.
However, most of the free plugins and themes are not well-coded and may have adverse effects on the website.
Some WordPress rookies and developers seem to think “the more plugins, the better,” which may not pan out well for the website.
But anyone who understands the role of plugins and themes knows that choosing too many plugins or the wrong theme may depreciate your website’s speed and performance and adversely affect its rankings on the SERPs.
How to Avoid It?
Not all plugins and themes are good for your website. So consider the following factors to choose the best ones:
- Purpose: Custom WordPress development companies choose plugins according to the purpose they’re supposed to fulfill. Moreover, the themes should be chosen based on the website contents and target audience.
For example, if you want to let your users log in to the eCommerce website through their social accounts, choose something like WooCommerce Social Login. When it comes to the theme, let’s say your website is about women’s fashion and accessories.
In that case, best to go with a bling theme. Professional developers can even help you with custom WordPress theme development for your website.
- Compatibility: Make sure your chosen plugin is compatible with other plugins and themes on the website. Moreover, it should work well on all devices the website is supposed to run on.
- Performance: Make sure your chosen plugins are well-coded and optimized for excellent performance, so they work on your website as intended without impacting the other aspects adversely.
- Support: It’s important the themes and plugins get adequate support from the developers in case of issues.
Besides the above-mentioned factors, the plugins and themes should receive regular updates to keep the security, speed, and performance at their best.
Many plugins can help you to boost the productivity of your website.
You can even contact expert WordPress development companies for custom plugin development for some customized features and functionalities for your website.
Not Backing Up Your Website
Not taking regular backups of the websites is among the biggest mistakes WordPress rookies and developers commit.
Without backups, you may forever lose every piece of sensitive data and information present on your website in case of cyber threats like SQL injections, spam, bad bots, brute force attacks, etc.
There have also been cases of people losing entire websites because they didn’t set up regular backups.
How to Avoid It?
It’s understandable if you as WordPress rookies forget to take backups at regular intervals. However, several plugins might help back up your website automatically.
Through these plugins, you can set regular time intervals during which the backup of the website will be carried on.
One more thing you need to avoid is storing the backup on the web hosting server because if the website loses its data, it will lose the backup as well.
So always remember to store the backup of your website in a remote location. You can also store it on cloud services like Dropbox, iCloud, Google Drive, etc.
Ignoring SEO Optimization
SEO is an effective digital marketing strategy that helps rank your website amongst the top positions of the SERPs to ensure more of your target audience can access your website easily.
However, most WordPress rookies and developers overlook SEO optimization while creating and maintaining WordPress websites, which could result in a lower ranking, decreasing your website’s traffic, sales, and revenue.
How to Avoid It?
There are several steps for you as WordPress rookies to optimize your website for better rankings on the search engine result pages:
- Create high-quality, unique content relevant to your target audience with keywords that will help you rank up.
- Optimize your images on your website with alt tags and keyword-rich file names.
- Create a sitemap and submit it to Google and other search engines to help index your web pages.
- Optimize your website for mobile devices and faster loading times; use the Google PageSpeed Insights tool.
- Use the Do Follow command on the pages and sections of your site you want to be indexed by search engines.
- Use internal linking and customized permalinks to help users and search engines navigate your site more easily.
- Use header tags on your blog and website content to make it easy to read.
- Use structured data, such as schema markup, to help search engines understand the content on your site.
Other than that, you can install WordPress plugins like Yoast SEO or RankMath. It will help you take care of meta tags like title tags and meta descriptions of your pages and posts.
Make sure you monitor the analytics of your website regularly to check the web traffic and identify which SEO strategies are working positively for your website.
One thing to remember is that SEO strategies don’t deliver the expected results overnight. So be patient.
WordPress is the most popular content management system used by millions of developers for developing websites around the world.
But sometimes, WordPress rookies tend to make some silly mistakes that may cause some truly significant problems with the website, including security issues, loss of data, performance deterioration, low traffic, plugin overload, etc.
But with proper guidance and a little patience, these mistakes by WordPress rookies can be easily avoided.
So we have listed these common mistakes and shown how to avoid them. That will help you WordPress rookies make your website more user-friendly (resulting in a higher conversion rate) and improve it in every way possible.
So avoid these mistakes as WordPress rookies and create the best websites possible. Good Luck!
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