I have been writing for small and medium-sized publishers for almost eight years now and most of those publishers are running on WordPress. There’s hardly anybody who doesn’t know or hasn’t heard of WordPress. In fact, WordPress controls 60.4 percent of the market share of Content Management Systems (CMS) in the world. Meaning, that there’s a whole community of people who run their websites on WordPress.
I must admit, I fell in love with WordPress and would like to share my experience with you. WordPress is easy to use and there are thousands of customizable themes, plugins and other functionalities available to every WordPress user.
As versatile and widely used as WordPress is, website owners have been caught making the worst kind of mistakes. Don’t worry. It happens to the best of us. To avoid these mistakes, we need to identify and deal with them. Here are six mistakes you should avoid right away.
Mistake #1: You’ve not integrated Google Analytics to your website
I cannot overemphasize the importance of Google Analytics. The growth and visibility of your website literally depends on it.
There are awesome things you can do with Google Analytics. Tracking your traffic sources and the best performing content will give you hints on the kind of content that you should make more of and where you should concentrate the most attention in terms of generating traffic.
When you don’t know these metrics, you’ll waste your time creating content that your audience might not be interested in and devoting so much energy in areas where you get little or no traffic.
You can set up your Google Analytics by installing the Google Analytics plugin to your WordPress site. As soon as you do this, you’ll see all the metrics on your dashboard.
Mistake #2: You forget to put up an ‘Under Construction’ page while building your website
This is a common mistake I see with a lot of people who are working on their first website. Out of excitement you share your website address when it’s not finished yet and you allow people to see the mess your website is in.
This could be easily avoided if you have an “Under Construction” or a “Coming Soon” page set up. With an “Under Construction” page you keep all the backend work that is taking place hidden while letting people know of your existence.
Once your website is complete you can take the “Under Construction” page down so that everyone can see the finished work.
Mistake #3: You fail to back up your website
No one ever expects to have all their blog posts or data disappear into thin air. But it has happened to me and a lot of other site owners too.
This could happen for several reasons. For most people, it happens if the server crashes. When the server crashes, especially if you are not using cloud hosting, everything that was on it disappears.
So what does this mean to you?
It means that you won’t be able to get your data back and you’ll have to start all over again.
To prevent this from happening you must backup your content. You can either do this manually or automatically. It’s better to do it automatically so that once initiated you don’t have to think about it again. You can easily achieve this by using a plugin that will help backup your website.
Mistake #4: You think updates aren’t important
When I used to see WordPress updates, I ignored them thinking that it would break my website.
It was only natural to have such fear. After putting in so much effort, the last thing I wanted was for some update to distort everything. Getting your website to that perfect state is a lot of work. Plus, the thought of losing months of content was scary.
However, I quickly learned that what I feared about updating my WordPress is what happens when I don’t update. Ignoring updates prevents your plugins and themes from working properly. This could break your site or cause errors to occur.
With that in mind, don’t be too quick to ignore updates.
Mistake #5: Not optimizing your website for SEO
You cannot underestimate the power of Search Engine Optimization (SEO). SEO helps increase your visibility online. When done correctly, you’ll be able to rank your website higher in search engines. The higher you’re able to rank your website the higher your chances of being seen. The more visible your website is, the more organic traffic you get.
SEO involves a combination of tools and techniques that collectively work to help your WordPress site rank high in the search engine. Yoast SEO is a great plugin you can use to help you know how SEO compliant your content is.
Mistake #6: Your website is not mobile friendly
Have you ever visited a website while browsing on your phone and you could tell that something didn’t look right? Generally, a website that doesn’t work well on your phone is a major turn off and it’ll make your website visitors close your page.
The first encounter a lot of people will have with your website is through their mobile phones. Gone are the days when you design your website solely for desktop users. Your website must be able to render well on mobile phones too
To make your website mobile friendly, you have to choose the right theme for your website. One thing you need to look out for when choosing the right theme is the term “responsive theme”.
When a theme is responsive that means that it renders well on a mobile phone and it is as nice on a mobile phone than it is on a desktop.
Are you ready to make amends?
Now that you know the most common WordPress mistakes, it’s time to make amends. The good news, as you probably already know, is that all it takes is to make little adjustments and wiser choices.
With the right plugins and techniques, I shared with you, you can avoid making any of the above WordPress mistakes.
As you avoid these mistakes, you’ll start to experience the benefits rolling in: more traffic, increase in visibility and better online presence.
So, are you ready to make amends?