We all make mistakes, and its particularly hard to avoid them when the technology we use is complicated and keep changing with time. It’s always great to learn from your own mistakes, but it’s definitely more fun and efficient, to learn from the mistakes of others. So to save your precious time and money, we give you a brief roundup of 15 common mistakes (and fixes) that bloggers make when using WordPress.
1. Not Using Basic Plugins
You will probably wonder why we are mentioning this point. Well for starters, it takes a little research, knowledge and time in finding plugins that suit their needs. But four plugins, namely Akismet, Google XML Sitemaps, Contact Form 7 and All in One SEO Pack are absolute essentials. So if you are new to WordPress, Install them all and you’ll be well on the way to an excellent WordPress experience.
2. Forget to Backup Site regularly
Any number of reasons, from a bad installation to incompatible plugins, can cause WordPress to crash. Backing up your database files is always advised but it’s absolutely staggering to see that many people don’t back up their site regularly.
Loss of data is a painful reality in any situation. So it makes sense to preserve the present state of your website in case something unexpected goes wrong. You can back up of your site manually from Tools>Export settings, or using a backup plugin (like WP-DB-Backup) to make the whole task of backing up much simpler with scheduled backups functionality.
3. Forget to Change default Permalink Structure
By default, permalinks to posts in your blog will look like this: http://www.youblog.com/?p-17, but it’s not search engine friendly URL. By enhancing blog’s permalink structure with keywords, you can help your site gain traffic.
So go to Options> Permalinks in your admin panel and in the custom text box, enter “/%category%/%postname%/%post_id%/” which is consider as the most efficient permalink structure. But Why ? Read the complete article here.
4. De-Clutter Your blog’s Sidebar
Simplicity is the most efficient way of getting a point across. Too much ads, widgets and too many links is information overload. Instead of annoying your visitors and contributing to site’s load time, reduce the clutter on your sidebar by adding only the most important elements to your sidebar and provide a better reading experience to your blog’s readers. You can get some ideas from this article.
5. Not Using FTP Clients
To handle FTP transfers, many site owners use the File manager available in cPanel. There are a few drawbacks: most of these file managers have sluggish interface, they lacks resume capabilities and sometimes crash or close unexpectedly especially when many browser tabs are opened (see the screenshot below).
Fortunately, a number of FTP clients available on the market and with good reason. FTP clients make it dead simple to upload, download and change permissions of files on your server. Which program is to choose is up to you, but we highly recommend to give a try to Filezilla.
6. Not using Blog Authoring Tool
I’ve lost count of how many bloggers I’ve seen users use their WordPress dashboard for writing blog posts. If you love to blog, you can’t find a better companion than Windows Live Writer. The handy application is designed to write blogs offline and make them pretty with a lots of formatting and editing options.
7. Not Using Web Analytics Program
Web analytics ensure that your online business is working the way you expect it to work. It is advised that you use a tracking program such as Google Analytics to monitor your website traffic and to track the keywords that most often lead users to your website. Not having an analytics program turns into a real loss of money, so installing a web analytics program is mandatory. Web Analytics Programs such as Google Analytics and Clicky are recommended by us.
8- Not integrating webmaster tools
Often, search engines do not crawl very deeply into your site; you can remedy this by submitting a XML sitemap of your website to services like Bing Webmaster tools and Google Webmaster tools. Submitting XML sitemaps to a webmaster tools helps search engine to crawl and index all the pages of your website. Furthermore, webmaster tools show you a full report about incoming and outgoing links, search engine terms, website performance and other useful stats.
9. Bloggers don’t implement Google Authorship Markup
Back a couple of months ago, Google begin supporting authorship markup (or rel=”author”) to increase credibility and maximum exposure of your personal brand. Once your blog is verified for Google Authorship Markup, a photo pointing to your Google profile will appear next to the snippet when your content appear on search results. Highly recommended for best promotional results.
10. People don’t use Gravatar
Gravatar or Globally Recognized Avatar, is an image that represents you across the entire Internet. Gravatar appears alongside blog comments and discussion forums, provided the site you are interacting with and your email, both are Gravatar-enabled.
Gravatars are quite useful as they attract a lot of attention and increase your credibility. If you use a self-hosted WrodPress blog, we advice you to sign up for a free account with Gravatar.com so that you can assign an avatar, via your email address.
11. Forget to Change the Favicon
It’s not a major mistake, but one of which you should aware. Site owners don’t give full attention to Favicon while customizing a new WordPress theme and they keep using the favicon that came with the theme. Favicons make your blog look a bit more professional and help people to find your blog within a pile of saved bookmarks or favorites.
Here’s the fix. Go to any free favicon generator on the web and create your favicon file, which is a 16×16 pixel image. Once you have your favicon file, replace the favicon.ico file in the images section of your theme.
12. Not using Pingdom
It’s important that the web host you choose reports a high uptime so your blog is available when people visit it. To check the kind of uptime and site’s response you get, use Pingdom; a popular uptime monitoring tool that sends an email or SMS alert when a website goes down.
13. Bloggers don’t burn feeds with Google Feedburner
RSS feed merely allow your readers to keep a look out on your blog’s updates, either on programs like Google Reader or via email. But, the weblog feed management tools like Google Feedburner, takes your RSS feed to next level by providing new ways to market and deliver your content. With this amazing tool you can easily set up email subscription, track your subscribers count and you can even make money by monetizing your site’s feed with ads.
14. Make WordPress Site Mobile Friendly
With mobile devices becoming an everyman’s first point of access to technology, it’s a wise idea to leverage your presence with web content customized for mobile devices. To make sure that your site renders decently in your reader’s mobile browsers, we strongly recommend you using plugin like WPtouch or a responsive WordPress theme.
15. Site Owners are Clueless about CDN
Those who are clueless about CDN- I bet there will be a few people- a Content Delivery Network(CDN) copy your content over several mirror servers located in different part of the world. Now, when visitors visit your site, the servers nearest to those visitors respond to the requests. This dramatically make the load-time of your blog significantly lower by decreasing the requests to the main web server and ensure a reliable delivery of your content.
Now, you might be thinking which CDN is right for me ? There is no fixed answer to this question. But, if you’re a WPWebHost user then you don’t need to go anywhere, as it provides a generous CDN hosting package. Non-WPWebhost users have to go for some good alternatives like MaxCDN or Cloudflare.
Did you made any of the mistakes mentioned above? Sound off in the comments below.