What are the benefits of using WordPress?
The fact that WordPress even has a list of common errors shows how popular the platform is. It’s no surprise either given the benefits of using WordPress, which include:
- Multipurpose: your website could be an online store, a blog, a training program, a portfolio gallery, etc.
- User-friendly: thanks to all the intuitive customization and design options.
- Lots of templates and themes to use: why not get a head start by using the built-in options?
- Plug-ins for extended functionality: download and add plug-ins for added functionality, depending on your needs.
- SEO boost: WordPress includes a variety of tools to optimize content for search engines.
- Mobile-friendly: WordPress websites work on mobile too!
- Free to use: while buying international domains to host your website has fees, WordPress itself, as a platform, is free to use to build your website before it goes live.
These are just some of the obvious benefits of using WordPress for your website. But before you rush to get started, it pays to know the most common, but avoidable, mistakes. So, read on for ten common WordPress errors you need to know and how to deal with them.
1. Rushing and underestimating the WordPress process
So, after researching how to get into affiliate marketing, you’ve realized you’ll need a solid website with great content. Where better to start than WordPress? It’s “easy” to use after all, isn’t it?
Yes, WordPress is user-friendly and intuitive, but there’s still a learning curve to get to grips with. Remember, good things come to those who wait, so take some time at this early stage to learn the basics.
Before you even start designing your perfect website, you’ll need to get a domain name and website hosting. Your domain name is the website address that people type into the URL bar to find you online. For example, if you offer office phone systems for small business, your domain name could be ‘www.officephones.com’.
Once you’re settled on a domain name, it’s time to find a website host for your WordPress website. In simple terms, your web host is where your website lives and where the files and database will be “hosted.” There are plenty of web hosting services available online to pick from. Popular choices are Godaddy, Dreamhost, and Bluehost.
Now, you’re ready to begin designing your website on WordPress, but remember, it’s a process where patience prevails, so be patient and take time to understand exactly what you’re doing.
2. Choosing the wrong theme
Your WordPress theme forms the foundation of your website’s design. Getting it wrong from the start could be costly later on, which is why it’s important to make careful considerations.
Here are some of the best practices when choosing a theme:
- Choose a lightweight theme: complex themes will slow your website down and make it harder to navigate. Choose a lightweight theme instead. To check if a theme runs well, run it through a performance test tool, like GTmetrix. Alternatively, search online for the fastest WordPress themes.
- Use the WordPress Customizer tool: Although the preset themes are great, you’ll likely want to tweak and customize your chosen theme to your liking to make it unique and memorable.
- Check responsive design: are you mobile-friendly? Responsive design themes will automatically adapt to whatever device your visitor is using but double-check this by loading up your website on different devices.
- Check the reviews: each WordPress theme has user reviews. Use them to see what others thought about specific themes.
Remember, above all else, your chosen theme needs to represent your business/brand but also achieve your objectives. It’s all good having a great-looking website for, let’s say, your partner relationship management software, but it’s useless if there’s no clickable button for users to find out more or purchase it.
Try and get a suitable theme nailed down from the start. This way, you can become familiar with it and start building around it as you move forward with a level of certainty. Setting up QA automated testing could be a great way to ensure your website is constantly meeting expectations during the process.
3. Not utilizing automatic backups
From human error to sophisticated cyberattacks, failing to set up a backup for your WordPress could have fatal consequences.
Keeping your WordPress backed up is a great way to retrieve everything should anything go wrong. Your WordPress website can be set to make automatic backups periodically using the UpdraftPlus plug-in. Here’s how:
- Search the WordPress dashboard for the UpdraftPlus plug-in. Click Install, and then Activate.
- Select the Settings option from the plug-in dashboard.
- Select your preferred backup frequency (weekly, monthly, etc.)
- Scroll down and choose a Remote Storage Option. We recommend Dropbox as it’s free.
- Tick all the boxes in the Include in Backup section. Leave everything else on default.
- Click Save Changes and scroll to the top to press Authenticate Dropbox. Click the link to give UpdraftPlus access to your Dropbox.
- Click Allow.
- Go back to the main tab and press Backup Now to start backing up your WordPress website.
Restoring a backup is simple, and you’ll get different backup versions to choose from. This could be the difference between losing or saving your content. Picture it, you’ve just written a 3000-word guide called “Best niches for affiliate marketing 2022,” but an unforeseen technical issue means it’s disappeared. A simple backup will fix everything and get your work back. Excellent!
4. Ignoring security
Too many businesses put WordPress website security on the back burner while they sort everything else. Don’t let this be you.
Alongside using the backup options we mentioned above, you should use security plug-ins for added protection. Plug-ins, such as Sucuri or Wordfence, are adequate at preventing cyberattacks and malware.
Another great way to boost security is to make it a requirement that all site administrators use two-factor authentication. Small steps like this will go a long way in protecting your business and its assets.
5. Failing to integrate your WordPress with Google Analytics
How can you measure the success of your WordPress website without having data to analyze?
A great and easy way to gain a deeper understanding of your website is to use Google Analytics. By running a Google Analytics plug-in, you’ll have access to crucial data, which can then inform future decisions.
For example, if your recent blog post on “8 Holiday season customer appreciation ideas” has performed well at Christmas time, you might decide to write another holiday season piece. Or perhaps you’ve noticed large numbers coming to your product pages, so you research how to offer installment payments to increase conversions.
Google Analytics will bring you a deeper level of understanding when it comes to your WordPress website. Don’t skip this step.
6. Ignoring updates
From time to time, you’ll notice update notifications pop up on your WordPress dashboard. They’ll read something like, “An updated version of WordPress is available.”
These days, in our digital world, it’s easy to ignore updates or keep hitting the “Remind me later” option. For many devices and services, this might be fine, but you’ll want to ensure your WordPress website is kept up-to-date and running the latest version.
People often worry an update will cause some sort of technical issue with their website, such as causing it to crash or corrupt data. However, this is extremely unlikely, and, if anything, updates will make your website less likely to crash or have data loss.
Updating your WordPress will also ensure your chosen theme continues working and will generally reduce your WordPress website maintenance efforts, so don’t skip it. Whenever you see the update notification, hit it!
7. Ignoring SEO aspects
So you’ve finally designed your website while meeting WordPress coding standards, and, now, it’s time to start producing and adding content. But have you considered search engine optimization (SEO)?
Content that isn’t optimized for search engines is going to put you at a massive disadvantage when it comes to online visibility. Without SEO, people are going to have a hard time landing on your page from search engines. So, it might be worthwhile taking the time to learn the fundamentals of SEO to see how it can help you attract visitors.
Luckily, WordPress has some clever in-built SEO tools, but you can always add your own from the plug-in options. These tools will help with things like choosing the right keywords and phrases, collecting and analyzing key metrics, and keeping on top of your search engine ranking.
SEO is the key to being found. Make sure you’re up to speed with how it works and how it can help your WordPress websites.
8. Not moderating comments sections
Letting people comment on your WordPress posts is a great way to boost engagement levels and create a sense of community amongst visitors. Comments sections can also be a great way to create an engaging customer experience during virtual events
Also, visitors may have their own advice or insights to bring to the discussion. For example, say you’ve written a blog post called “How to get traffic for affiliate marketing.” A user may have noticed a section they disagree with because they know a better way. A handy comment will both enlighten you and also ensure you have the most accurate content on your website.
But while comment sections serve a range of useful and positive purposes, unfortunately, they’ve become a breeding ground for hate and spam. Moderating your WordPress comments section will ensure fellow visitors aren’t put off by what others are saying. It’ll also make sure your SERP ranking isn’t affected by negative keywords.
To moderate your comments section, go to the Discussion menu from the WordPress dashboard. From here, you can set new comments to require manual approval. Each time someone comments from now on, you’ll receive an email notification that needs your approval. This will let you separate the real comments from spambots and keyboard warriors.
9. Making your website “public” while you’re still building it
We get it, you’re excited about your new WordPress website and all the prospects it brings with it. But it could actually be counterproductive to let people see it in its unfinished form.
Building a website is a long and meticulous process; it cannot be rushed. But while you go through this process, resist the temptation to make your website live and visible. Not only can this affect your SERP ranking by having unfinished content online but it could also be bad for your business’s reputation, especially if visitors are met with bugs and errors such as the common “dns_probe_finished_nxdomain.”
The best way to avoid these issues is to set your WordPress to Maintenance Mode while you’re still in the building process.
10. No contact form
Have a look online, and you’ll see that most websites now use contact forms to let visitors get in touch. These are extremely useful for both business and customers alike, especially when it’s out-of-hours.
The problem is that many websites don’t have a contact form, and it’s an easy mistake to make. It’s all good having the perfect WordPress website, but what if users want to know more or get in touch? Failing to have this feature in place could see you lose new leads or frustrate existing customers.
Your chosen theme might already include a contact form, but even if it does, you’ll need to make sure it contains the suitable information boxes required by your intended audience. To add a new contact form to your WordPress page, you’ll need to find a suitable plug-in. There are plenty of free ones that do a great job.
Using WordPress for your website in 2023 is a no-brainer.
But while WordPress can be a valuable tool, it’s easy to make the same common mistakes that many entrepreneurs and businesses make.
Hopefully, this guide has shown you ten common WordPress errors you need to know and how to deal with them.
Good luck with your new WordPress website!
About the Author
Sam O’ Brien – Chief Marketing Officer, Affise
Sam O’Brien is the Chief Marketing Officer for Affise—a Global SaaS Partner Marketing Solution. He is a growth marketing expert with affiliate program monitoring, product management, and design background. Sam has a passion for innovation, growth, and marketing technology. Sam O’Brien also published articles for domains such as Demio and VWO. Here is his LinkedIn.
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