WordPress is the most widely used content management system, making powerful and effective features accessible to small businesses and individuals who otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford a bespoke website from an expensive developer. Unfortunately, if you’re not an expert it can be easy to make mistakes which can have a devastating impact on your website speed, usability, security and more!
Here is a list of the most common mistakes small businesses can make (and how to fix them!):
1. Too many plugins!
Problem: With so many plugins to choose from and such a variety of features, its easy to get overexcited and install too many. Before you know it, you’ve a large collection of plugins, your website is slow and things aren’t working anymore. A large amount of plugins will slow down your website and may begin to conflict with each other and problems can be harder to track down.
Solution: Less is more. Ask yourself, ‘is this plugin essential for the functionality of my site?
2. No Backups
Problem: We’ve all been in the middle of writing a word document or presentation when it crashes – and you didn’t save it in time. Don’t let this happen to your site! This could be a very costly and time-consuming mistake, detrimental to your business.
Solution: Make a habit of regularly backing up your website. If you’re using wordpress, there are a ton of plugins – Back up Plugins – which will do this for you automatically.
3. Ignoring updates
Problem: Wordpress, plugins and themes receive regular updates, adding new features but also improving security. Ignoring these leaves your site vulnerable to hackers – I’m sure we don’t need to tell you why that’s a bad thing!
Solution: Always update WordPress core, plugins and themes whenever they become available.
4. Not mobile responsive
Problem: Mobile is fast-becoming the new way to browse the internet. More and more people are using mobile to view web pages and if you’re only designing for desktop and not checking how it looks on mobile – you’re making a potentially damaging mistake. A slow and unoptimized mobile website damages your search engine rating and has a negative impact on user experience.
Solution: Use themes which are mobile responsive and make a habit of checking your site on your mobile and on tablet. You want it to work quickly and to be fully useable. There are also loads of tools online such as Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test which you can use to check how you’re doing.
5. Ignoring basic SEO principles
Problem: Building your website and getting it up and running is one thing, but even if it looks great and works great – its no good if no one can find it! When first building a WordPress website, many users disable indexing so that search engines aren’t crawling half-finished pages. Slow, large images make your website slow and affects your ratings. Unsecure websites affect ratings. etc etc.
Solution: Effective SEO is not easy, but there are things you can do. Enable indexing, optimise images, secure your website with SSL certificate. Install a SEO plugin such as Yoast SEO, and regularly make sure you optimise your posts and pages.
Putting a website together on WordPress isn’t difficult to do. But making it beautiful, fast, user-friendly and visible on search engines can take a lot of time and a lot of work. DM Media Solutions can provide a Free Website Audit on your site, letting you know which mistakes you are making and what you need to work on. Get in touch now to find out what we can do for you!