10 WordPress Mistakes to Avoid

WordPress is an amazingly highly effective and versatile software. But like every software, its big range of choices means it’s simple to make errors utilizing it.

While all of those errors will adversely have an effect on your web site, some might be completely devastating. That’s why it’s so essential to know what they’re so you possibly can keep away from them.

In this text, you’ll discover 10 frequent WordPress errors and the way to keep away from them.

1. Using Poorly-Coded Themes

This is the primary and most essential factor to take a look at as a result of it types the muse to your search engine marketing efforts, and albeit, most themes suck on this regard.

Whether your theme is custom-built, bought from a theme vendor, or downloaded without spending a dime from the WordPress repository, there are a number of vital particulars you want to consider to guarantee it is not going to put you at an obstacle, together with:

HTML Validation

This is vital as a result of invalid HTML could cause rendering points, which have an effect on each customers and search engines like google and yahoo.


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When this occurs, you possibly can lose guests as a result of your web site doesn’t show and/or work correctly for them, and you’ll rank poorly as a result of search engines like google and yahoo can’t correctly render your web page and perceive the content material on it.

There’s a easy and free software for checking HTML validation through W3C’s Markup Validation Service however I need to embrace a caveat – whereas I feel legitimate HTML is essential, I’m not an HTML validation purist.

What I imply by that’s there are instances the place some errors might not be price fixing from an ROI (Return on Investment) perspective.

It’s additionally essential to word that you could be not have the ability to repair some errors as a result of they could be coming from one thing you don’t have the flexibility to edit, similar to core performance in some themes or plugins.

In instances like this, if you happen to’re confronted with extreme errors which are inflicting rendering points, it could make extra sense to begin over and rebuilding from the bottom up.


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HTTP Requests

Many themes load a ridiculous variety of scripts, photos, fonts, and different forms of recordsdata, which trigger your pages to load extra slowly.

The worst half is that many themes load these recordsdata unnecessarily. Rather than loading recordsdata solely on pages the place they’re used, many themes merely load them on each web page, which ends up in a considerably slower load pace.

Page speed is vital, each for customers and for search engine marketing.

There’s no specific quantity to goal for, however fewer is at all times higher from a efficiency standpoint – particularly in case your web site masses slowly.

Excessive DOM Size

This might sound extremely technical, nevertheless it’s really fairly easy. It simply means we’d like to be sure that the HTML for our WordPress web site is as environment friendly as attainable.

While that will appear trivial, environment friendly HTML code can play an enormous function in how properly a web site performs as a result of every ingredient has an affect on (*10*).

Many themes use extreme HTML components, typically nested a number of ranges deep, and this rapidly destroys efficiency.

We see this with web page builders, however we additionally see it on the theme degree as a result of most builders concentrate on the visible look with little regard to code effectivity.

2. Using Page Builders

Some might disagree, however I consider utilizing web page builders is a large mistake.

I perceive the arguments in favor of them – they make it simpler for individuals to add and edit designed content material.


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But the issue is that in addition they create a whole lot of bloated code, add pointless HTTP calls, and infrequently, introduce HTML errors you could’t repair.

I’ve by no means seen a single web page builder that produces clear, environment friendly code.

I wrote an in-depth article about website builders some time again, and lots of the points that apply there apply equally to WordPress web page builders.

3. Installing Excessive Plugins

One of the issues that makes WordPress so highly effective is the simplicity of including performance by merely putting in a number of plugins. Gone are the times of getting to rent a developer and spend hundreds or tens of hundreds of {dollars} simply to add a brand new characteristic.

But this may additionally create important issues.

The first drawback is that there’s a variety of growth high quality in these plugins. As with themes, many plugins are poorly coded, which slows down the load pace and introduces HTML errors into your web site.

Often, these plugins additionally load a bunch of scripts, CSS recordsdata, photos, and fonts, which additional degrades pace and creates a poor person expertise.


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Another drawback is that as a result of it’s really easy, many individuals make the error of including too many plugins.

This causes your web sites to load extra slowly irrespective of how properly every one could also be coded as a result of it nonetheless requires processing energy to execute the performance they supply and to embrace any exterior recordsdata they load.

4. Not Optimizing Media

We’re all carrying an extremely highly effective digital camera in our pocket lately, which supplies us the flexibility to simply add new images to our WordPress web site, however this additionally leads to a standard and important mistake.

When you are taking an image together with your iPhone or Android gadget, the picture will usually be considerably bigger than it wants to be to be used in your web site.

These massive, high-resolution photos are nice for printing, and even for cropping a smaller part to be displayed at full measurement with out shedding picture high quality. But if uploaded instantly to your WordPress media library, they’ll typically be saved as full-sized, unoptimized photos.


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Some themes will routinely resize uploads primarily based on a set of dimension pairs to assist remove this difficulty. Many don’t, nevertheless.

If your WordPress web site is already up and working and also you’re simply beginning to tackle this difficulty, the excellent news is that you simply don’t want to re-upload all the things in your media library as a result of there are a selection of plugins accessible to routinely resize them.

I need to level out that it’s completely vital to again up your web site earlier than working instruments like this as a result of in the event that they delete or overwrite one thing you didn’t intend them to, you’ll want a manner to undo that.

Learn extra in regards to the optimization of media in How to Improve Page Speed for More Traffic & Conversions.

5. Omitting an XML Sitemap

While everybody can profit from having an XML sitemap, that is particularly essential on bigger web sites as a result of it helps search engines like google and yahoo to discover and crawl all your pages. Particularly those that could be buried deep with few hyperlinks pointing to them.


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Surprisingly, this vital characteristic shouldn’t be but native to WordPress, so you’ll have to depend on a plugin.

I usually use Yoast for this as a result of it additionally incorporates a number of different options that we’d like, however there are a variety of plugins that may dynamically create your XML sitemap every time you add, modify, or delete pages, posts, and media.

6. Skipping Updates

Given what I do for a residing, I get to see the backend of an amazing variety of web sites and am at all times shocked at how outdated some individuals are keen to let their plugins and themes and even WordPress core get.

After many years of persistently seeing this, I actually shouldn’t be shocked although.

This frequent mistake can have devastating penalties as a result of these updates patch not solely efficiency, design, and usefulness points, but additionally safety holes that will give hackers the flexibility to get into your web site.

Once they get in, they’ll do all types of malicious issues, starting from the plain – like deleting or defacing an internet site, to the delicate – like intercepting bank card data or including outbound hyperlinks.


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If you already know you’re the type of one that gained’t make time to frequently replace WordPress core, I like to recommend that you simply activate computerized updates.

7. Overlooking Security

We’ve already talked in regards to the safety implications of not preserving your plugins, themes, and WordPress core up to date, however preserving your web site safe goes far past that.

It’s essential to level out that there isn’t a manner to make your web site fully safe. But by taking steps to harden your safety, you’ll deter most hackers, with the uncommon exception of those that are particularly focusing on you.

This is as a result of hacking is basically a numbers sport the place hackers crawl hundreds and even hundreds of thousands of internet sites on the lookout for simply exploited vulnerabilities.

Don’t Use a Default Username

By default, the primary username in a WordPress set up will usually be “admin” which must be modified as a result of it’s the username hackers will attempt first.

If you’re establishing a model new web site, that is easy – simply change it throughout the set up course of.


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If you could have an current web site, there isn’t a manner to change usernames inside the admin space, nevertheless, you possibly can log into your internet hosting account’s phpMyAdmin and modify the WordPress database instantly.

You must also change the show title in your person profile so that you simply aren’t broadcasting your username to the world with every put up.

Lockdown your admin space

There are a number of methods to restrict entry to your admin space to a specific IP, which can forestall most hacking makes an attempt.

Linux Server (Most Web Servers)

This is an easy course of of making a .htaccess file with the best content material and importing it to your wp-admin folder.

Simply hearth up a textual content editor, create a brand new file and paste the code beneath. Be certain to change xx.xx.xx.xx together with your IP, which you could find by coming into “what’s my ip” right into a Google search.


order deny,permit

deny from all


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# Replace together with your IP tackle

permit from xx.xx.xx.xx

Windows Server

I’ve by no means hosted something on a Windows server, and the method here’s a bit overseas to me, so if you happen to’re on a Windows server, I’ll simply encourage you to search Microsoft’s assist paperwork to discover the suitable course of to your model of Windows.


I take a look at this as a final resort as a result of it’s the least environment friendly methodology to restrict entry to a specific IP. It additionally poses one other drawback in that when your IP modifications, you’ll be unable to replace the plug-in to your new IP.

The solely manner to entry your admin space at that time will probably be to login through FTP and delete the plugin. If you’re going to undergo all of that, you’re higher off simply utilizing .htaccess within the first place.

Enable TFA (Two Factor Authentication)

Two-factor authentication is a robust software to shield your web site as a result of it sends a code to your cellular gadget that you should enter earlier than logging in. This signifies that with out bodily entry to your gadget, another person gained’t have the ability to entry your admin space.


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This requires a plugin, and there are a variety of free and paid plugins accessible to create this performance.

Limit login makes an attempt

This is yet another easy manner to harden your WordPress web site’s safety by blocking login makes an attempt from a specific IP after a sure variety of failed makes an attempt.

This additionally requires a plugin, and there are a variety of free and paid plugins accessible to create this performance as properly.

8. Not Implementing Backups

Everyone wants automated backups. This is a vital a part of having an internet site.

Aside from enabling you to simply roll again modifications, it additionally might show you how to to rapidly get well from a hack by restoring an older model of your web site.

Your backup schedule will rely to some extent on how steadily you modify your web site however on the very least, it ought to run weekly. I like to maintain a number of months’ price of backups in case a hack happens and goes unnoticed for some time – this allows us to return far sufficient to discover a clear backup to restore from.


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While these backups can stay in your webserver to pace up the restore course of, ideally, they need to even be backed up to the cloud so that you at all times have a clear copy.

9. Omitting Schema

In the world of search engine marketing, we’d like each benefit we will discover, and whereas schema might in a roundabout way affect rating, it might have a optimistic affect on clickthrough charges due to added visible cues.

This signifies that your web site might earn clicks that might have in any other case gone to different increased rating web sites just because your itemizing within the search outcomes drew extra consideration.

Schema is principally a manner to talk to search engines like google and yahoo what your content material is about, and the way the entities inside your content material relate to one another.

You’ll need to implement your schema as JSON, which is a sort of JavaScript, quite than microdata, which is HTML markup.

There are a lot of plugins accessible, each free and paid, to assist with this, however I personally desire to write the JSON and insert it into the code myself as a result of this offers me higher management with out having to add one more plugin.


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And generally, we have to do that as a result of plugins can’t deal with a few of the extra complicated situations we run into.

For instance, let’s say you’re working with a nationwide model with a number of franchise places. In this case, some pages might have schema for the mother or father firm, whereas others want the schema for each the mother or father firm and the native franchise. That requires a {custom} method.

10. Not Properly Configuring Permalinks

The default permalinks that WordPress creates are usually not splendid from a search perspective, so we’ll need to change them.

This is a comparatively simple repair, and it’s important as a result of a correct URL construction helps search engines like google and yahoo to higher perceive the hierarchy of your web site.

You’ll need to change this setting from no matter it’s presently at to the next:

10 WordPress Mistakes to Avoid10 WordPress Mistakes to Avoid

Image Credits: Paulo Bobita


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