Business technology

WordPress websites: Five mistakes to avoid

- May 15, 2014 2 MIN READ

WordPress is an awesome platform that powers 70 percent of all dynamic websites. Here are five common WordPress website mistakes that are easy to avoid.

1. Choosing poorly coded themes 

The theme refers to the look and feel of your site as well as the underlying code that visitors have to download. That means poorly developed themes can not only look horrible, they can also perform poorly. 

If you are using an off-the-shelf theme, always choose a reputable theme provider (Elegant Themes or WooThemes) or a reputable theme framework (Genesis or Thesis). 

If you are designing and building a custom theme, make sure you use a very good developer. The underlying code will impact SEO, site speed, mobile performance and much more. 

2. Installing the wrong plugins 

A plugin is a tool that extends the functionality of WordPress, for example, a plugin can add a contact form to your website. With over 30,000 plugins it’s easy to get excited, but as with themes, remember that your plugins have underlying code that can make or break your site’s performance.

Only use trusted plugin developers and limit the amount of plugins to less than 20. For a simple site, you may even get away with a lot less.

Plugins are one of the main contributors to security and site speed issues, so choose them wisely. 

3. Not producing quality content 

The most important part of most small business websites these days is the content. It’s easy to get excited about the design or the technology, but it’s worth thinking about what visitors want to read and learn about. 

Your visitors have a problem, so your goal is to help solve that problem with useful, practical articles and resources. Provide these things and you’ll be rewarded with more traffic, more conversions and higher rankings. If your content sucks, you can forget about sales. 

Want more articles like this? Check out the website design section.

4. Not optimising for Google 

While simple, these suggestions can make a big difference to your site’s ranking.

  • Turn on permalinks so that the page address is the same as the page title (a permalink is the link to an individual blog post).
  • Make sure the theme uses H1 tags and  title tags that get content from your page title. (H1 tags are page headings that Google and other search engines use to rank you page).
  • Make sure the theme is coded well and loads quickly. (What is coding? Coding, such as html, makes it possible to create computer software, websites and apps. All websites, including this one, are made with code.)
  • Make sure blog posts target specific keywords. I use a plugin called YOAST WordPress SEO. 

5. Forgetting about your site after launch 

Long gone are the days where you could launch a site and forget about it. The launch is only the beginning. Here are just a few ongoing tasks involved with having a great WordPress site.

  • Upgrade WordPress and all plugins regularly
  • Clear out unpublished comments
  • Upgrade themes if there are new versions
  • Maintain regular backups
  • Make sure your plugins are best practice
  • Continue to produce great content
  • Continue to monitor uptime and site speed

That’s just scratching the surface. Websites should be given constant attention to make sure they stay best in class. 

Avoid these five mistakes in order to have an excellent WordPress website that converts more clicks into clients.

What mistake did you make when creating and launching your WordPress website?

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  • Andrew Caska

    Caska IP Patent Attorneys

    'Flying Solo opened up so many doors for us - I honestly don't know where I'd be without it"