Sometimes, when building a WordPress website, you may forget essential steps that, if remembered, could save you a lot of time and frustration. To help you avoid unnecessary stress and complications, here are some common WordPress mistakes and how to avoid them.
Neglecting basic SEO
Having a basic understanding of SEO (search-engine optimization) while building your website is crucial, especially if you want the website to be easily discoverable. When you are developing your website, there are some things to keep in mind to ensure that your website is fully optimized.
Some of these include:
- Having only one ( <h1> ) element per page.
- Creating a meta description for your website.
- Making sure all your links function and are relevant to your content.
- Making your URL descriptive of the page.
If you don’t know where to begin when it comes to SEO, check out our article on the most common SEO questions answered.
Not Installing a child theme
Altering the code of the theme can lead to unwanted changes that may be difficult to fix. Creating a child theme will allow you to make these changes without ruining your original theme’s code. This will save you a lot of headaches in the future.
Not optimizing your images
It may be easy to forget that the image you downloaded from Shutterstock may be over 5 times larger in size than what you need. This can have a huge impact on the speed at which your website loads. Adjust the pixel size of the image to be only what you need. There is no need for an image that is over 6000 pixels in size to be used as a thumbnail. It is also important to remember to rename your image file. For example, Shutterstock might penalise your website if an excessive amount of images are named “Shutterstock”.
If you are not sure what the best approach is to optimise your images, check out our guide to image optimisation for step-by-step instructions.
Not updating your plugins
It is vital to regularly check back on your WordPress website and update your plugins. The most important reason for doing this is because it creates vulnerabilities where hackers could enter if they are not updated. By making sure that the plugins are regularly updated, it protects you as well as your clients. Updating plugins not only enhances security, but can also improve the website’s performance and compatibility with the latest WordPress version.