15+ of the Most Common WordPress Mistakes

Trying to know a bit more about WordPress is very essential when it comes to helping you delve into the code to create a better site at its most basic level, WordPress is simply point and click. Making mistakes is normal and sometimes unavoidable.

This article discusses in brief several common mistakes WordPress users and developers usually make. It is very astonishing how many WordPress users today are making the same mistakes, usually costly ones, repeatedly.

Reading this article will help you prevent the same mistakes when developing your own WordPress blog.

Lack of Site Backup

instantShift - Site Backup

Many webmasters normally forget important tasks, such as backing up the site, when working with WordPress. Since nothing works perfectly in the world of technology, crashes might happen and lead to the loss of important information on your site. Loss of data is among the most painful situations that many WordPress blog owners usually encounter. To avoid this, simply back up your blog manually or automatically by using a backup plug-ins such as WP-DB-Backup.

You can back up your WordPress blog using the following three simple steps:

  • Simply go to “WordPress Database Backup” plug-in
  • Install the plug-in on your site
  • Set it up based on your desired specifications. For more help on setting up the backup plug-in, you can refer to the plug-in documentation.
Not Using the Best Plug-ins

After setting up everything, next decide which functions that you want your blog to accomplish and then go to the plug-in directory to view all of the available WordPress plug-ins. One of the most important plug-ins is the one responsible for keeping your WordPress version updated. There are so many WordPress plug-ins being used today, it is good to go for the most popular one. Some of the must-have WordPress plug-ins include:

  • Google XML Sitemaps: This plug-in is usually responsible for generating a very special XML sitemap that enables major search engines such as Yahoo, Google, Bing, and Ask. com to improve the indexing of your site.
  • Contact Form 7: It enables your blog to manage many contact forms and help you customize the form as well as mail content lithely with simple markup. The Contact Form 7 supports Akismet spam filtering, CAPTCHA, and Ajax-powered submitting, among others.
  • Akismet: This plug-in is responsible for checking your comments against the Akismet web service to ensure that all spam comments are captured.
  • All in One SEO Pack: This plays an important role when it comes to automatically optimizing your blog for search engines.
  • WPtouch: Responsible for automatically changing your WordPress blog for mobile devices. It comes fully ready with the ajax loadings as well as smooth effects when used on most common mobile devices such as BlackBerry OS6+, Android mobile phones, iPod touch, and iPhone mobile devices, among others.
  • NextGEN Gallery: It comes with a very powerful engine which is responsible for uploading, as well as managing, galleries of images. This engine has the ability to batch upload, edit thumbnails, add/rearrange/delete/sort images, import meta data, and group galleries into albums, among others.
  • WordPress Importer: This plug-in is responsible for importing tags, categories, custom fields, comments, pages, and posts among others from the WordPress export file.
  • Fast Secure Contact Form: It enables you to create and add contact forms to WordPress with ease.
Poor Tagging/Categorization Practice

Poor tagging or categorization is one of the worst practices many WordPress owners commit. It is actually not a good idea to have your blog page contain a high number of tags and categories. Search engines such as Google usually detect a post that has a wide range of keywords. It is highly recommended to link each post to only one category as well as a few most relevant tags. This way, you will be able to come up with contextually relevant taxonomy pages which major search engines see fit to rank.

Use of Unfriendly Permalink Structure

One important fact that WordPress webmasters need to know is that the WordPress default settings are not search-friendly. Your WordPress blog, by default, gives you three options to choose from. The default permalink structure is, as earlier mentioned, the worst option from the SEO standpoint while the other two are abit better, but not your best option either. Therefore, you should ensure that keywords are used well in the permalink structure; this will ensure that your site remains at the top of the search results on major search engines. To achieve this, simply follow these instructions:

  • Go to “Options”
  • Go to your Admin Panel and select “permalinks”
  • Enter “/%category%/%postname%/%post_id” in the Custom Text box

One of the leading experts for the Google Search team suggests the following important things about WordPress permalinks:

  • The post title with hyphens is the best permalink you can use
  • Avoid putting your WordPress site at the root of your domain
  • Instead of naming your directory “WordPress”, name it as “blog”
  • Ensure that your post dates are easy to find
  • Using alt tags on images is both good for accessibility and SEO
  • Your blogs should be able to do standard pings
  • Add keywords the natural way – in your posts
  • Check your WordPress blog on a mobile phone and/or iPhone
  • If you are looking for more page views, use the partial text feed and for more loyal readers, use full text feeds
  • Standardize your backlinks; avoid mixing and match non-www with www
  • Avoid including the post date in your URL
  • When moving to anew host, use a permanent redirect
Using just One Server

Underestimating the value of the Content Delivery Network is a big mistake that can greatly affect the performance of your WordPress blog. Content Delivery Network plays an important role when it comes to boosting your readers’ experience. To avoid committing this WordPress mistake, follow these simple instructions:

  • Research Content Delivery Networks such as Cloudfalre or MaxCDN
  • Copy your blog content onto various mirror serves across the globe

Through this, you will enable your visitors to view your page irrespective of where they are visiting the blog from. Additionally, it plays an important role in cutting down the load time since not all of the requests are sent to the main web server.

Lack of Analytics Programs Consultations

instantShift - Google Analytics

Running your WordPress blog without consulting the analytics program is as dangerous as a car owner driving his car at night without headlights. Google Analytics is basically responsible for monitoring your blog traffic as well as keeping tally of your keywords that lead to it. It is highly recommended that you write to a target audience under the consultation of the analytics.

Google Analytics helps you figure out which of your ads are most often clicked, as well as which locations on your blog tend to attract more visitors than others. This is very helpful when it comes to optimizing your blog earnings. Additionally, Google Analytics helps you to easily attract Adsense clicks for free.

Lack of Webmaster Tools Integration

Besides being the most famous and reliable search engine, Google serves as the backbone of many website owners. Google Webmaster Tools serve as a very important resource center for many webmasters and help in addressing crawling as well as indexing queries that any site owner may have.

These tools are crucial for the survival of your WordPress blog since they serve to introduce many strategies that help in improving traffic to your blog besides linking you up with your site visitors. Ignoring the integration of webmaster tools in your blog will hinder you from finding the long-lasting solution to problems that may be causing low traffic to your site. These tools will help the search engines crawl very deep and rank your site at the top of search results. Submitting an XML sitemap to Google webmaster tools will enable all of your pages to be indexed.

Ignoring Google Authorship Markup

instantShift - Google Authorship

Google Authorship Markup serves a very important role when it comes to improving your site’s credibility, as well as optimizing your site’s exposure. The process is very simple and any WordPress owner should do it.

Use of Default Favicon

A favicon is basically a symbol that is normally associated with your WordPress blog. It is usually displayed on the browser’s address bar, just beside the page title in atab, and next to the page name in a list of bookmarks. Many people who are new to WordPress blogs usually use the favicon that comes with the theme. However, WordPress pros normally try to appear more professional and as a result, have a custom favicon. Simply follow these instructions to avoiding using the default favicon:

  • Search the web to locate a free favicon generator
  • Create a 16 pixels by 16 pixels file
  • Replace the default favicon with the custom design in the ‘images’ section of your theme
Making it Difficult for Mobile Device Users

Today, almost everyone has a Smartphone and if you want to attract more traffic to your WordPress blog, then you need to ensure that your blog is mobile user friendly. You may customize your blog to support mobile devices by using plug-ins such as WPtouch.

Utilizing the cPanel File Manager for FTP transfers

Although shopping around for an FTP client is very time consuming, it plays an important role when it comes to boosting the quality for many webmasters. With an FTP client, you will find it is very easy to download, upload, or even change file permissions on your server.

Too much Site Information

Many online readers like simplicity, therefore don’t overload your blog with a lot of information. Overwhelming your readers with too many ads, an ultra-cluttered sidebar, and too many links cause distractions to your readers. Fill your sidebar with only the most essential pieces of information.

Passing on Blog Authoring Tools

It is advisable to avoid subjecting yourself to WordPress’ dashboard, and use a blog authoring tool instead. You could try using some excellent tools such as Windows Live Writer, which is meant to help you write your blog offline.

Poor WordPress Updates

There is a constant release of new WordPress updates and your blog will be exposed to serious security issues if you ignore these updates. Every new WordPress version that is created is done so for a reason; therefore, never ignore any of the updates – for the good of your site.

Using a Faulty Hosting Company

Excellent hosting is a must for any WordPress blog owner to achieve his or her goals. Choose a super low priced hosting company if you interested in saving money. The main problem with cheap hosting companies: they provide poor service and have fewer features. As a result, you will receive unsatisfactory support. You may consider consulting with an expert rather than going for a cheaper hosting company. An expert will advise you about the best hosting options available for you.

Selecting a Defective Theme

Choosing themes for your WordPress has proven to be one of the most challenging, yet most important factors, when it comes boosting the performance of your blog. Many people fail to choose the best WordPress theme for their site, which is a terrible mistake. There are several factors that one should consider when selecting the most suitable WordPress theme. Before selecting a theme, you need to think ahead and try to imagine what your blog will look like in terms of design and layout, as well as functionality. The following factors should guide you when selecting your WordPress theme:

  • Blog appearance
  • Ease of site navigation
  • SEO friendly
  • Customizable
  • Use of tracking features
  • The theme company’s reputation

After establishing that your selected theme guarantees success in the above areas, you can now start worrying about the price. It is recommended that you avoid choosing the theme based only on the price; ensure that the theme is very compatible with your blog and meets all of your requirements.

Poor External Linking

Linking out to relevant and authoritative external sites regularly will greatly improve the search engine ranking of your WordPress blog. Google prefers sites that refer to other important sites. If you link your site poorly to external links, the major search engines such as Google will think that your site content is not valuable. As a result of this, your WordPress blog will not be well ranked in search results. Therefore, it is very important to ensure that you link your blog often to other relevant and authoritative sites as well as blogs in the same niche as yours.

Poor Interlinking

There are many benefits associated with interlinking blog posts on your WordPress site, though due to SEO purposes we give more weight on the relevance. Effective interlinking plays an important role when it comes to demonstrating how relevant a certain page is to the topic in addition to the overall improvement in ranking across the topic as a whole. It is highly recommended that you interlink often, when necessary, and only use the anchor texts rich in relevant keywords. You can find great plug-ins for interlinking such as the Better Internal Link Search.

Poor Image Optimization

Search engines such as Google usually do not see the text in the image form and therefore you’re encouraged to hold its hand when it comes to media. Here is where the ‘alt’ as well as ‘title tags’ are very crucial in optimizing images for your WordPress blog. The alt and title tags are very important SEO technique for blogs. When incorporating these tags in your blog, you should focus on not only the SEO aspect, but also the site usability. Ensure that your alt text is descriptive of the image and at the same time focus on the keywords most relevant to the site content. Besides, remember to include the alt as well as title text on taglines, logos, as well as any navigational images.

There is a lot of code being generated today by marketplaces, agencies, and users due to the popularity of WordPress.

It is very likely that you have, at one point, committed at least one of these mistakes. We hope that after going through this article, you have learned valuable skills to help your blog thrive.


Image CreditsBackup, Robots are Poor Tippers

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  1. Nice list…lack of site backup is the most common mistake that most of us do and other mistakes like leaving default favicon and unfriendly urls are funny but has a high impact on SEO and brand building.

  2. Nice overview. Thanks… As a note, we’ve had some problems with the permalink structure you mention here, specifically with Facebooks OpenGraph integration… The work-around we’re currently using is to swap the last ” / ” character in the permalink for a hyphen ” – ”

    The result is this permalink:

    What do the SEO experts out there feel about this?

  3. Backup of WordPress is the most important step for all WordPress Users, very nice post and helped a lot.

  4. One of main mistakes people make with WordPress is security. People will keep the default settings such as keeping the admin user which makes it easier to hack their site and then will blame WordPress for having security issues.

  5. I think some of mistakes the people do commonly is due to the unawareness of the options provided for the customization but i like this article co much it will surely help people to over come those mistakes.

  6. This is a great list and will keep me busy for some time.

    I am, however, amused that the advice on permalinks (which I agree with) isn’t followed on this blog.

    Regardless, thanks for a great list!

  7. We’ve all read lists of things that will improve our WordPress sites, and decided to do something about it …tomorrow.

    Pointing out the common mistakes we’re making right now is much more powerful. It really makes you want to log in to your WordPress site to check a few things!

    I wanted to share it, so when I saw the headline “Like it? Share it” with a helpful row of unusually large social media buttons underneath, I clicked on the first one. Nada. Zilch. It is a dead button. So is the Google+ button. Had to laugh! I’m sure you will fix it before anyone reads my comment, but the point is, it’s terribly easy for even the most expert of us to make mistakes, and we all need a nudge about them! :D

  8. Selecting a Defective Theme is actually an interesting point. I believe most people think that commercial theme = good theme. No, it’s not. Even the most popular theme in Themeforest, Avada isn’t using the WordPress best practice and I’ve seen lots of developers discussing about this issue.

  9. You did not mention jerpack plugin. Do you have a bad experoence with jetpack? is it heavy?

  10. This post provides clear idea in support of the new viewers of blogging, that genuinely how
    to do blogging and site-building.

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