The 15 Most Common WordPress Mistakes Small Businesses Make
As fantastic of a content management platform WordPress is, it’s natural to make mistakes with it – we are, after all, only human. Mistakes are simply how we learn and grow! So, no matter how long you’ve been using WordPress, you may find that you are making some mistakes you didn’t know about.
Whether you’re a savvy entrepreneur, proud small business owner, or expert web developer, make sure you read this list of common WordPress mistakes small businesses make so you can make sure you’re making the most out of your WordPress experience for yourself and/or for your clients.
Installing Too Many Plugins
If you’ve been treating plugins like Pokemon and trying to catch them all, you may be surprised that you have been making a HUGE WordPress mistake for your small business. Installing too many plugins in WordPress can cause bloat on your website, and this results in pages taking significantly longer to load.
If you don’t want your website’s SEO to slip just because pages are taking a long time to load, you can fix this issue immediately by uninstalling plugins you don’t use. Even if you have them disabled, they still cause extra stress on WordPress to process them, so it’s best to not have them there at all. Make sure you only use the plugins you absolutely need and re-assess the plugins you think you need – you may figure out that they’re not so vital, after all.
Not Using SEO to Optimize Your Content
Have you been publishing content without first stopping to check its search engine optimization? If so, this is another huge WordPress mistake for your small business. If you want to increase your website traffic and to have your website found by search engines, it’s vital that you make sure all your content is up to par on its SEO.
To improve your website’s SEO, there are tons of WordPress plugins available that can help you. If you have a lot of content to go through and optimize, it may be wise to hire a freelancer (like me!) to go through it all and optimize it for search engines. Don’t forget that your images should be search engine optimized, as well! This is so that image search engines can identify and categorize your content, too.
Neglecting Website Backups
Another huge WordPress mistake that is common among small businesses is the lack of regular backups. If something goes wrong with your website or with your web hosting provider, a backup can be a total lifesaver. You should be making backups at least once a week on your server, and storing a monthly backup on your PC (this is just in case your server’s backups become corrupted or lost somehow). If you used Softaculous to install WordPress, weekly backups can be setup automatically. Just go to the advanced settings in your WordPress installation on Softaculous to set them up. If you manually installed WordPress, there are tons of backup plugins you can install to automate backups. If you’re using managed WordPress through your web hosting provider, you may find that your hosting provider is already making weekly or even daily backups of your website for you.
Not Changing the Default Permalink Structure
WordPress by default assigns your posts numbers in its permalink structure instead of using their titles. If you haven’t changed this, you’re making another WordPress mistake for your small business’ SEO. Part of your SEO ranking depends on whether your keywords are used in the URL of your webpage. An easy way to get your keywords into your URL is by changing WordPress’ default permalink structure to include the title of the page. If you aren’t doing it, I can guarantee you a competitor is, so make sure you change this today. The search engines will thank you!
Ignoring WordPress Updates
This is a very grave WordPress mistake you can be making for your small business. If you are ignoring WordPress updates of any kind, you are opening your website up to malicious attacks. You should always keep your WordPress components up to date so there are no obvious security vulnerabilities on your website that could let the bad guys in. If you are using managed WordPress, you may not need to worry about this – usually your web hosting provider will make sure your WordPress installation as well as themes and plugins are up to date.
Changing a Post’s URL After It’s Been Published
While it may be tempting to change a post’s URL after it’s already been published, this is another huge WordPress mistake you could be making for your small business. If you change the post’s URL, you will be breaking all the links other websites have made to your post. This can severely impact your website’s SEO negatively. So, make sure that you’re not changing any URLs to already published posts, no matter how tempting it may be.
Using No Visuals (Or Using Bad Ones)
Images help maintain a reader’s interest in your content. Using no visuals (or using bad ones) is a huge WordPress mistake for your small business, because it causes visitors to quickly lose interest in your website. Research has shown that posts with images average 94% more views than posts that don’t have images. There are tons of images with open use licenses on the internet that you can use, so there’s really no excuse for not including images with your content. Pixabay is one of my favorite websites to use for finding gratis-free images to use. Another favorite is Google’s Image Search, which allows me to specify in its settings that I would like to use images with open use licenses.
Not Resizing Images for Upload
This is a WordPress mistake for small business I must admit I’m guilty of making. Not resizing your images appropriately for the page they’re being put on can cause your WordPress website to slow down significantly when loading, because WordPress must process and resize the image when normally (with the image resized) it would only have to display it. WordPress has a built-in image editor you can use to resize images, but you can also use an image manipulation program like GIMP to do this. Windows also has a built-in image editor you can use to resize images.
Using the Default Admin Username
This is another huge WordPress mistake for small business if you care about your website’s security. The reason for this? Because hackers can easily guess this username and use a brute force tool to guess your password and gain full administrative access to your WordPress website. During installation, WordPress gives you the opportunity to make your own username. It’s best to use a username that won’t be anywhere on your posts, so hackers can’t guess your username simply by looking at the name on your posts. If you’ve already set up the admin account, you can easily create a new administrative account and remove it.
Using A Weak Password
While you may be rolling your eyes at this one, this is actually a very common WordPress mistake that small businesses make. You should always use a secure password for your WordPress website that involves a combination of uppercase letters, lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters.
Using Poor Web Hosting
Cheap web hosting doesn’t have to be poor quality. There are tons of web hosting providers that offer inexpensive service which is excellent in its uptime and speed. If you’re using a web hosting provider that doesn’t have a close to 100% uptime and/or doesn’t load your pages quickly no matter what you do to optimize them, you’re making a big WordPress mistake that does no favors for your small business. Make sure you’re using a quality web hosting provider. You can find a list of some of the best inexpensive web hosting providers, as well as tips for building the fastest and safest WordPress website possible, by clicking here.