WordPress is a great and free CMS for anyone who is just starting out with their first website. There are many reasons why you should use WordPress for your business’ website. You don’t need to know any code, it’s SEO-friendly and simple to manage. However, there are 10 common beginner WordPress mistakes to avoid. We’ll tell you the common mistakes people make when starting out with WordPress and how to fix (or avoid) each.
10 Common Beginner WordPress Mistakes
Here are ten common beginner WordPress mistakes to know about, so you can avoid making the same mistakes.
1. Not Really Learning How to Use WordPress
A lot of people are anxious to get their WordPress website up and running and skip learning how to really use and manage WordPress. If you make this mistake, you’ll miss out on a lot of the great features and things you can do with WordPress. At SEO Design Chicago, we offer WordPress training to help you learn how to make the most out of your WordPress website.
2. Not Knowing Web Hosting and Custom URLs Aren’t Free
WordPress is a content management system (CMS.) This means that it gives you an interface and a set of tools to create and manage your website so easily. You can use WordPress to create and design web pages, customize them, and add content. (As well as a lot of other things!) The WordPress CMS is free for you to use. However, web hosting services are not free. While many CMS, like WordPress, come with hosting. But typically, the hosting is limited and only works for small personal projects.
Plus, if you want a catchy, custom URL that includes your brand name, you will also need web hosting services. If you use only the CMS, you will probably need to use a specific URL that most likely contains the CMS’ name, unless you pay for a catchy URL.
3. Not Knowing How to Get Help from the WordPress Community
One of the best things about WordPress is that there are so many places online to find help or answers to your questions about WordPress, like the WordPress.org Support Forums or the WordPress.com Support Center. It just depends on which service you’re using.
WordPress.org is an open-source community project that is free to use. It is actually developed and maintained by unpaid volunteers. The people who will help you with your questions are not an actual customer service section, they are just helpful volunteers.
WordPress.com, on the other hand, implements the free WordPress CMS and combines it with hosting services. This site does have a customer service team, but only for those who pay for a premium plan.
4. Not Deleting the Default Content
When you first install WordPress, the CMS will add a “Sample Page” and a “Hello World” post to your website. It’s best to delete these default pages. You can delete the default sample page via the Pages menu and the Hello World post via the Posts menu. It can hurt your SEO to see these pages.
5. Using Copy and Paste to Insert Formatted Text and Images
Anytime you copy formatted text, the formatting will come along with it. This means things like links, color, size, and HTML code attached to the text also comes into WordPress. This can cause unintended consequences. There might be HTML code hidden in the text, even if you don’t notice anything weird about the text.
In order to avoid anything messing up your WordPress website, get in the habit of copying your text, then right-clicking (or control-clicking, if you’re on a Mac) and selecting the “Paste without formatting” option (or “Paste and match style”) when you are pasting into WordPress. This results in “clean text” being added to your WordPress draft. Then, you can use the formatting tools from WordPress to format your post however you want.
Just like text, copying and pasting images into WordPress might actually work, but it’s not a good habit. Always upload your images to your WordPress library instead. (And if you get the WordPress HTTP error, you can fix it.)
6. Forgetting to Update WordPress
It can be difficult to stay on top of all the updates that a website requires over time. Your website, plugins, and themes all require updating. WordPress updates regularly, and you will need to update your site accordingly. If you notice glitches on your website, try updating it. The WordPress updates not only keep your site working smoothly, but also help fix bugs and security issues. After all, you don’t want your website to get hacked.
7. Adding Too Many Plugins
Did you know that there are more than 54,000 WordPress plugins available? Plugins are like apps for your WordPress site. From WordPress booking plugins to other e-commerce plugins, it can be tempting to install plugin after plugin. However, there can be some unfortunate consequences for doing this. Too many plugins can slow down your website, which can negatively affect your SEO. Be careful about which plugins you choose, and how many you add to your site.
8. Not Creating a Child Theme When Making Changes
When you install your new WordPress website for the first time, you will receive a default WordPress theme. But if this theme doesn’t fit your site’s needs, you will need to customize your WordPress theme. In order to do this, you can create a child theme, and make your changes in that theme. This ensures that you don’t lose your modifications when your initial theme updates. There is also a plugin that can create an update for you.
9. Not Deleting Content Correctly
One of the most common beginner WordPress mistakes to avoid typically happens when your website is already up and running. You might decide that you want to delete a page or a post. Maybe the page or post doesn’t serve your needs or fit in with the rest of your content. However, deleting pages incorrectly can result in a 404 error on your website.
So, make sure to delete pages on your website correctly.
10. Not Changing Your Permalinks Correctly
It’s best to consider permalinks best practices before you actually start using WordPress. Permalinks, as you might guess from the name, are meant to be permanent. So it’s important to keep them the same. If you do change your permalinks, however, the URLs of your posts will also change. This will confuse search engines and visitors to your site. You want to avoid this happening.
Avoid Common Beginner WordPress Mistakes with SEO Design Chicago
If you want to avoid the mistakes of a WordPress newbie, enlist the help of the experts at SEO Design Chicago. We specialize in WordPress website development and can help you create the best WordPress site for your business.
- Is WordPress free?
- What do I need to know before starting my WordPress website?
- Why should I use WordPress?
- What are some common WordPress beginner mistakes?
- Can I add too many plugins to my WordPress website?