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Common WordPress mistakes you are probably making

Guide
by Iain Thomson Agency Project Manager

Everyone makes mistakes sometimes, and there is no shame in that! Working in WordPress development, we see them all, so we have rounded up 6 of the most common WordPress mistakes that we come across.

Overdoing the plugins

There are a lot of great plugins, and their addition allows you to build any kind of website with any kind of features you want. Too many plugins can drastically slow down your site and not all of them are top-quality (see how to tell if a WordPress plugin is safe here).

Forgetting your goal

Don’t forget your goal! All websites have a purpose and should be designed with a goal in mind – whether that is leads, email signups, downloads, or actual sales. It is always better to use a contact form than just provide your email address to capture leads as it a) prevents your email inbox from being spammed and b) enables you to capture full contact details from the interested party. Read more on how to design for lead generation here.

Ignoring updates

Updates can seem like a chore and it is easy to brush them aside to do at a more convenient time, only to forget about them entirely. However, they are available for a reason, and usually address and fix a bug or security flaw. In order to run a safe and secure site for your business and anyone who interacts with your website, you should update your site and any plugins or themes whenever updates become available.

Not changing the permalink structure

The default permalink structure goes something like https://www.website.com/?p=123 which not only looks like you’ve not put effort in, but is also more difficult for both users and search engines to find your posts. Using a permalink structure that contains relevant keywords for that page or post makes it easier for users to find what they are looking for and helps your search rankings.

Not creating a backup

Have you ever worked on something for hours, only for your computer to crash before you had a chance to save? Or built up weeks’ worth of work only to break or lose your device, wishing you had backed it up to an external hard drive? Well the same principle goes for your website – always, always, always create a backup! Crashes can occur at any time, and the only way to safeguard yourself against losing your data is to regularly back it up.

Not using Google Analytics

Google Analytics is one of the best free tools available for web marketers. It gives you free, detailed insights into your user behaviour and traffic sources, and helps you to determine what is working for your website and what isn’t. Basically, there is absolutely no reason to not use it. If you want even more detail than what Google Analytics provides – such as heatmaps or visitor-identifiers – then there are plenty of additional tools that you can install as well (usually for a cost).

Do you need support with a development project? We are a team of freelance developers specialising in WordPress, Magento, and HTML email. Get in touch to discuss how we can help.