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Avoid These Mistakes Before Designing a Site With WordPress

August 26, 2016

WordPress is likely one of the easiest website builders on the planet. It’s easy to see why: it literally takes a few short minutes to install it and make your site go live. Considering how much time WordPress saves you, you’ve got more time to figure out how to design your site so that you aren’t met with problems down the line.

Before you even install WordPress, make sure to avoid the following mistakes that will only give you headaches down the road.

1. Not Taking Advantage of Free Educational Resources

Just about anyone can build a site using WordPress, and a big reason why is because of the plethora of free educational resources that are offered. Considering the fact that you don’t have to pay for them, there’s really no reason not to take advantage of them.

2. Not Using Secure Login Credentials

Keeping your WordPress site safe is important. You want to make sure your login credentials are secure. Obviously, a username and password are needed to log in to your site’s backend, but using the default admin username along with a weak password is dangerous. You’ll only be allowing hacker bots to get access to your website easily and do damage.

Instead, use a different username, and make sure you’ll be able to easily remember it. Just don’t choose something so obvious that hackers will be able to easily surpass it, like using the First and Last Name of your WordPress profile. Also, use the password generator that comes with WordPress for strong passwords, or look online for password generators where you can pick the level of security and length of your password.

3. Retaining the Default Permalink Structure

The default permalinks that WordPress provides might not be the best for your site. Since permalinks can affect your SEO rankings. In addition, permalinks are displayed in the search results and in the browser bar offering the reader a clear idea of what the page is about before it even loads.

Changing your permalink after Google has indexed it can actually hurt your page’s rankings, so make sure you get it right the first time, otherwise if you must make a change, don’t forget to create a “Permanent 301 Redirect” on you .htaccess located in your hosting account file manager.

4. Not Installing Traffic Analytics

You want to know how your site is performing, and about the people that are using it. Analytics offers important insight into this type of vital information. That way you’ll be able to avoid things that aren’t working, and fine tune the things that are. You’ll be able to better customize the experience of your audience, and figure out which pages are the best ones to focus conversion optimization on.

5. Using Bad Quality Themes

A theme that’s been poorly written can hurt the performance and usability of your site. They might not have the options you require, or might have unoptimized code and images. Don’t just arbitrarily choose any theme for your site. Make sure to do some homework for a theme that interests you – if you are looking to go that route. Look for information about the author of the theme, and check out reviews about it.

If people don’t enjoy using it or are using it for types of websites that are completely unrelated to yours, you might want to look for something different or contact a web designer that can create a custom theme just for you.

6. Forgetting to Set Up Automated Backups

Imagine doing all that work building a site only to experience a technical hosting glitch or have a hacker wreak havoc! That means you’ll be right back to square one, which means all that work you did was all for naught. You can easily avoid this scenario by setting up a backup system right off the bat.

7. Not Updating WordPress

Every so often you’ll get notifications that there’s a new update or version of WordPress to install. Many times it’s tempting to just ignore these messages, but you really shouldn’t. It’s important to keep WordPress up-to-date for many reasons. WordPress comes up with updates to fix security bugs, includes better features, and makes sure that everything continues to run seamlessly and securely. Consider using an automatic updater for WordPress on your Updates page.

8. Uploading Images That Are Not Optimized

Images that are poorly optimized can make your site’s pages take forever to load. This will only frustrate users, and send them packing. In order to avoid this, make sure that you optimize all of your images. You can reduce image file sizes without noticeably impacting their quality.

You can do this in many ways – For example: if you own a copy of Adobe Photoshop – you can always open the image and “Save for Web”. This will allow you to select the quality and size and see the difference in the actual quality of the image.

Also, keep in mind a slow website can also hurt your SEO rankings. When you have completed your website – do a Google PageSpeed analysis to see how fast your website loads and what images may need to be optimized.

The Bottom Line

WordPress might be easy to install and set up, but there are a few mistakes you need to avoid from the get-go in order to make sure your site is read well by Google and your visitors. Avoiding these mistakes can help you avoid any future headaches with your site.

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