For many people, WordPress is the first script they have installed for the first website they have ever developed. This results in making a lot of mistakes. In this post, I’ll share some of the common mistakes that many WordPress beginners make when they first start using the platform.
1. Installing WordPress in a sub folder called ‘Wordpress’
While installing WordPress zip files, it places all the core files in a folder named ‘Wordpress’. Most of the beginners make this mistake – they simply upload this folder to their website using FTP instead of uploading the files and folders contained within the folder. This eventually results in locating the website at www.yourwebsite.com/wordpress instead of www.yourwebsite.com.
Yes, WordPress is a platform that allows you to install in a separate directory, than the one it is installed in. It is easy to install WordPress in the same location where it is displayed. This is usually the root of your domain or in a sub-directory.
2. Not using Permalinks
The default permalink structure for WordPress is /?p= which is not at all user-friendly. Many beginners do not change this default permalink structure to a more user-friendly option which uses keywords. This is sometimes also referred as using “Clean URLs”.
In order to change the permalinks through WordPress admin, your .htaccess file has to be writable. To do this, WordPress recommends you to change the file permissions of .htaccess to 644.
If you don’t have permission to update .htaccess through admin, WordPress will give you the code for your chosen permalink structure so that you update the .htaccess file manually. You can then manually update the .htaccess file through your hosting account file manager or using a File Transfer Protocol (FTP) client.
3. Publishing incomplete pages
The people who usually have the websites with incomplete pages; simply screams out that they’re “Newbie”. Often, the beginners launch their website before it is ready. Due to this, the users click on a that navigation link and place the welcome messages such as “Coming Soon”.
The rule is that you should never link to an incomplete page. Doing so will alienate the visitors giving an impression that you are not serious with the website. So, it is recommended to wait until your website is complete before you launch it.
4. Installing unnecessary Plugins
Plugins which are not being used should be uninstalled or deactivated if you’re not going to use them again. The WordPress beginners usually install dozens of plugins but do not deactivate them. This ultimately slows down their website and increase the resources required to run their website.
It is advised to only use the plugins which are important to your website’s success. Avoid falling into the trap of installing many different widgets you are not using or not going to check every day. All this will make your website slower.
5. Not keeping WordPress up to date
Not keeping your WordPress version updated will increase the chances of your website being hacked and make it difficult for you to see any products. So, it is crucial to keep WordPress, any themes and plugins you are using, up to date. To cope up with the problems in the current versions, WordPress releases the newer versions with new features. This allows security and maintenance updates to be applied to your website.
If you are using WordPress 3.7 or higher, the updates will be automatically applied. Theme and plugin updates are not enabled by default. If you want to automatically activate plugin updates on your website, you need to add the following code to your wp-config.php file:
add_filter( ‘auto_update_plugin’, ‘__return_true’ );
To activate automatic theme updates, you simply need to add the code below to your wp-config.php file:
add_filter( ‘auto_update_theme’, ‘__return_true’ );
Hence, if you’re using a version older than 3.7, I’d like to abet you to download the latest version of WordPress from WordPress.org and all the core updates will be applied and you will not miss out the important updates in future.
Do you think there can be any more mistakes that WordPress beginners make? If so, share your thoughts in the comments below.