Mistakes Beginners Make with WordPress
Thanks to WordPress, anyone can have a professional and unique website for free and basically in a matter of minutes. While WordPress has definitely made a web presence possible for everyone, that doesn’t mean people don’t make mistakes. Here are some important ones to look out for.
Cluttering the Sidebar
Most beginners go crazy with their sidebar. They get so carried away with its potential that they forget to stop and think what a mess they’re creating for visitors to their site.
The problem is that all this material makes it difficult to get people to click on anything at all. To make the most out of this area of your site, go into your Appearance and Widgets section through the Admin dashboard on WordPress and get rid of everything except the bare essentials.
Organizing Uploads by Chronological Order
This next mistake is easy to make because WordPress sets you up for it by organizing your posts in chronological order. It simply isn’t convenient to go through month after month or, worse, year after year of material looking for that one post.
To fix this, go into Settings and Media in your dashboard and uncheck the “Organize my uploads into month- and year-based folders.” Now all your media files are in one single folder and you can simply search by keyword.
Use the Permalink Field
One easy way to get better SEO immediately is with the permalink field in WordPress. It’s right on your editing page at the very top. This tool allows you to shorten the URL of your links into more compact, easier-to-read versions. For example:
example.com/wordpress-secrets-every-user-needs-to-know-about might become something like: example.com/essential-wordpress-secrets
Both search engines and readers will appreciate these shorter links.
Not Backing Up Your Site
Even WordPress sites can experience the worst case scenario of losing everything. If you have a backup, though, you’ll be fine. Unless you trust your hosting company (and you may not even be using one), it’s a good idea to do one of the following:
- Manually back up your site on your hard drive or the cloud.
- Use a widget like BackupBuddy
- If you’re willing to invest more, go with a plugin like VaultPress and get a ton of extra features
Including an Email Address
Want to engage your audience? Let them contact you directly. Just don’t do this by putting your email address on the page. This is a great way to end up with a lot of SPAM. Instead, use a plugin (there are too many to list—this is a popular feature) to create a contact form on its own page.
Ignoring Google Analytics
The analytics provided by WordPress are just ok. If you want real insight into your traffic, which is the only way to generate more, you want Google Analytics installed. Despite how essential this tool is, it’s also absolutely free.
Avoiding the above beginner mistakes is essential for establishing a successful blog in much less time than it would otherwise take. Making your blog popular is hard enough without unnecessary mistakes getting in the way.