If you are new to WordPress, you may have already noticed how easy it is to install and get started.
The Automattic team has gone out of their way to make the installation process as simple and user-friendly as possible. Some web hosts have taken this simplicity a step further and offer a one-click installation for WordPress installations.
Because getting your site online is so simple these days, new WordPress users often don’t take care of many important things. By accidentally leaving these settings at their default state, new users will open themselves to potential problems later in the life of their website.
Let’s look at some common mistakes you can avoid in setting up your website.
1. Do not rename the administrator account
This is a common mistake for WordPress users that can get you in trouble. Hackers almost always use the admin (or some derivative of it) user account name when trying to access your website.
One of the safest things you can do is give your main site administrator account a different name. It could be your name, the name of the person who is going to take care of the maintenance of the site, or any other username you can think of.
Just make sure it’s not the name of the admin , administrator , or any standard account you can expect for this type of user.
2. You do not change the title line from “Just Another WordPress”
There are themes that don’t show your WordPress site tag, and if you use one of them, it’s easy to think that you don’t have to change it. However, Google crawls your site’s tag whether or not it appears.
Leaving it is an obvious way to show you are a WordPress beginner and may attract the wrong attention to your site. Changing the settings is simple – you can find it in Settings> General .
This is a mistake that I have seen many new WordPress users do. By default, WordPress sets the persistent link structure to be displayed as a zip code. This means that you will get a URL link to the message that is mysitename /? p = 123 . It doesn’t look too pretty and it can cause problems with the SEO of your site.
Instead, change the structure of the permanent link to one that includes the name of the message. You can choose a few, but the most common are Date and Name and Postal Name . You can find this option in Settings> Permalinks .
The first of these adds your URL to the date folder structure and can be useful for sites that post daily or that contain news. The post name structure is one you often see on some of the most popular sites in the blogosphere. It only shows https: // mysitename.com/post-name/ and is the best way to give your site simple and memorable URLs.
4. Do not delete the sample page
While most people delete “Hello world!” write and comment on articles found there, many people forget or never notice the use of a template page created with a WordPress installation.
It doesn’t do any real harm by leaving it there, but Google crawls it and it makes you look like a complete beginner. A simple way to avoid problems is to delete the page. It does nothing for you, so it has no place on your finished website. Delete it.
5. Don’t Create A Great About Page
About a page is one of the most important pages on your website.
After your home page, it is probably the most popular page on your site. There, you share exactly who you are and where your site is with your readers. About the page is fundamental when telling your story and keeping in touch with your readers to make them want to follow and read your posts.
Nowadays, it is very unusual to find a website without about a page because people are interested in knowing the author or the company behind the site. It’s an easy and effective way to connect with people, and every site should have one. But simply creating isn’t good enough – you have to make it great .
6. You don’t give your readers a goal
As the subject of the page, you need to create a page that gives your readers a way to keep in touch with you. There are many ways to do this nowadays.
You can be very transparent and include your email address or phone number, or use one of the built-in contact forms. The latter allows you to still give your readers contacts, but they retain a certain amount of privacy.
Whatever you decide to add to the page, you should at least have a simple reader form. For extensions, my number one recommendation is Contact Form 7 . But if you want more options, here’s your choice for the best WordPress connection form extensions.
7. Download themes from bad sources
There are plenty of sites out there that allow you to download premium themes in vain, and you might think using them is a good idea. However, you have no idea what others have been added to these themes. Malware can be quite easily added to some theme files that open your site to hackers and spammers.
If you want to use the premium theme, buy it from the official supplier. If you don’t want to spend money on a premium theme at the beginning of your site, there are thousands of great themes available for free. For example, remember the blog I mentioned above, Healthy Enough? It works with an awesome Highwind theme that is completely free. And there are lots of great free themes available here in WPExplorer – just check out our best free WordPress themes.
Installing a theme from an unreliable source is not worth the problems you will no doubt experience. It will cost you a lot in the long run.
8. Keeping WordPress up to date
People who don’t really understand the technical aspects of maintaining a blog themselves have a common problem. They think that if you install WordPress, you’re ready for the technical aspect and can continue creating content. Unfortunately, this is not the case.
Automattic understands the problem and has made updating WordPress installations a simple one-click process so that the most non-technical person can complete them.
Core software updates puncture security vulnerabilities and fix issues that let through cracks in the development process. If you do not update WordPress, you are leaving your site vulnerable to hackers and the possibility that new extensions or themes may compromise your website.
9. Do not make regular backups of your site
There are many extensions that allow you to create backups of your WordPress installation and database. They range from simple plugins that copy the contents of the database and then email you to premium plug-ins like VaultPress that make a complete backup of your site and give you multiple restore options.
Whichever method you choose, you should always make sure you have a regular backup if you have any problems.
10. Installing too many (incorrect) plug-ins
I have spoken before installing the plugins problems. With each plug-in you install, you add a download to your website and slow down page load times if it’s a poorly coded extension. In addition to slowing down your site, you put the security of your site in the hands of third-party developers with every new plugin. You should make sure that you absolutely need to install the plug-in before using it.
If there are too many plug-ins in itself, it won’t cause too many problems, but getting too many “cunning” will. So be sure to review the reviews for each extension you install and install each extension on your site 1: 1 so you can test and see how it affects your site. In fact, 1 poorly coded plug-in may cause your site to run slower than 50 well-coded plug-ins. Just make sure, when you add extensions to your site, that you don’t just clear them all out there without testing them first and reading them where possible.
The above errors are common among new WordPress users, but are easy to avoid. All it takes is a little thought and a little planning before you can get your site alive, and you can avoid many of the problems that new users will eventually face.
Do you have any other advices for new WordPress users? What simple mistakes did you make at the beginning of your site that you want to come back and change? Let us know in the comments.