For a beginner who has zero knowledge on what is a WordPress, they may stare at you with a blank face response. What’s more it may even seem like a daunting task for them to even thinking of installing or operating a simple WordPress blog. However, things are not as difficult as it may seem as long as the newcomers have a reasonable level of technical competence. Learning how to use or install a WordPress blog is not difficult, even for beginners. What is more important is that one must have the will to learn, patience and time to learn how to use WordPress. As with most things in life there are a few WordPress mistakes you do not wish to commit. How do we know? Well, we know because most people who have built a WordPress blog before have made at least one of these common mistakes which I’m going to share below at least once.
It’s a fact that everyone makes mistakes in their life. This is even more true when you are exploring something new and exciting where there is likelihood to forget to focus on the details. You may be wondering why you should read this post right now when you’re sure that you are going to make some mistakes anyway?
Well, mistakes can be divided into light mistake and serious mistake. A good example of a light mistake is like leaving the passenger window down in your car when it rains. When you return to your car, some water will have dripped inside which is an inconvenience – but nothing more than that. Meanwhile, the second mistake i.e. serious mistake is like leaving the top down on a convertible during a torrential thunderstorm. That’s a real disaster – the kind of mistake you would like to avoid at all cost.
So, here are the five leaving-the-top-down-in-a-thunderstorm types of mistake that you really want to avoid when dealing with WordPress:
Not Backing Up
Not backing up your WordPress website is the most common mistake committed by many lazy bloggers. Many take things for granted and believe that their hosting provider will have at least a backup copy of their website when disaster strikes. If you’re lucky, you may get a working copy of the backup. But there are times when the backup copy is a corrupted version of your WordPress website. A good analogy to describe this scenario is like playing Russian roulette daily. You might survive for years – in fact you might always survive. But there’s also a chance that you won’t.
Based on my past experience, it is too much of a hassle building a website for the second time – so always backup your WordPress website regularly. You can do this manually on your server, you can use free or paid plugins, or you can use a third-party service such as Vaultpress or BackupBuddy.
Not Updating / Using Outdated Version
Secondly, using outdated version of WordPress is a common problem among bloggers. Not many website owners have the time luxury to keep updating their WordPress blog to a newer version. Some may deem this action as troublesome. For your information, an outdated WordPress script makes it a favourite target for hackers. Hence, the developers behind WordPress regularly keep patching up their software and release the fixes in the form of updates. The same applies to the developers who create the plugins that you use. If you value your website and your sanity, run the WordPress script updates whenever they become available.
Using the Default settings
Never use the default settings inside a WordPress. One common default setting is the default username “admin”. You need to replace that “admin” username with a unique name unless you want to leave your website exposed to every hacker on the planet. The reason behind this is that hackers love to perform brute force attack on every single WordPress blog by using the “trial-and-error” approach in order to gain access to your WordPress dashboard. Other default settings that require your attention include the permalink structure, the favicon and the website tagline. In short, the WordPress has lots of defaults and you will need to change most of them.
Using Free Themes
It is well known that many WordPress plugins and themes are free for download. However, investment in a paid theme or template is essential. Here’s why: A free template can cause security and compatibility issue and some are poorly designed which renders them difficult to use. In addition, the technical support ranges from useless to non-existent for these free templates. Therefore, it’s highly advisable to invest in excellent premium templates which are normally available for $100 (or below). Rest assured that you’ll get the round-the-clock support from the theme developer once you have made that investment.
Not Installing a Caching Plugin
Why do you use a Cache Plugin? The answer is simple – to make your website load faster. With a good website loading speed, this will provide pleasant surfing experience for your visitors and search engines. However, there is no decent in-built caching functionality designed for WordPress – hence you need a plugin for this purpose. Except for the most basic of blogs, every website needs a caching plugin. WP Fastest Cache and WP Super Cache are great examples of excellent cache plugins that you may want to consider for your WordPress blog.
In conclusion, you’ll find the experience of building a WordPress website enjoyable and memorable, as long as you don’t commit these 5 mistakes. By following these tips, you’ll have a website that is more secure, one that is easier to build, and one that loads reasonably quickly. This will leave you plenty of time to make other mistakes. But in many ways, it’s the best way to learn.
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