Entrepreneurs have so many tasks to focus on and when taking on the build of their own website, that adds so much more so knowing what things to avoid doing or not doing can be extremely helpful especially for those entrepreneurs who have never used WordPress before.
1. Not making your website responsive
If you do not have your website set up to be responsive, you are turning away a ton of traffic! Most WordPress themes are now responsive but not all so if/when you are searching for a new theme, this is one thing that you want to make a priority in your new theme.
You can also make a theme responsive which is a little more work and can be done easily by a Web Developer, if you’re just in love with a theme that isn’t currently responsive.
I’m not a huge statistic person but I wanted to share these just to prove the point that so many people are using mobile.
In 2019, 70% of total digital media time in the US is spent on smartphones.Comscore
So if this was 2019, I’m quite sure that the percentage has grown significantly in 2020 and into 2021. With that being said, this is the reason your website must be responsive
2. Not adding a Security Certificate
Your connection to this website is not secure.
Does that look familiar? And normally when you see that on another website, you don’t proceed to the website. Am I right?
So if your website does not have a security certificate added, anyone searching for and seeing your website will most likely not visit.
Having a properly installed security certificate builds trust from website visitors and gains search engine authority.
Most host providers include a free security certificate with your annual hosting package so it’s best to check with them to see if it’s included.
3. Forgetting to change the default admin username
When WordPress is installed, it creates a default username to use when logging in and because it’s used for ALL WordPress users, it can be easy for hackers to figure out so updating it to something unique and something you do not use for any other login would be more secure.
To take your security even one step further, you can install the plugin called WPS Hide Login. It is an easy way to change the URL of the login form page of your WordPress website. It does not change or rename any files, it’s purpose is to secure your website so only you can log into it. Brilliant!
4. Not installing a caching plugin
Website speed is a major factor in Google rankings. This plugin will increase efficiency once you start getting more and more traffic visiting your website. W3 Total Cache, in my opinion, is the best plugin to install.
5. Using too many unnecessary plugins
There are so many amazing plugins and it’s completely understandable that you would think you need to try ALL OF THEM!
If you start adding too many plugins, plugins that are unnecessary then they have the potential to slow your website down and may have the potential to cause various performance issues so it’s best to only use what you need.
Also, for the plugins that you are using on your website, be sure to always keep them updated. If you are not keeping plugins updated, that can cause security issues on your website and increases potential to be hacked.
If you have several plugins that need updated, just update them one at a time and in between updates, check your website to verify the last plugin your updated didn’t do any harm to your website.
Sometime, but not often at all, a plugin update could make changes to your website or potentially crash it so if you check your website between each plugin update, you’ll know which plugin caused the issue and allows you to uninstall it.
If you have plugins that you aren’t using but are installed but not activated, you should delete them. If you have no plans of using them, they also can be a security issue.
6. Not configuring permalinks correctly
Permalinks identify the individual pieces of content on your blog so setting them up correctly when you at first is crucial. This is how the URL’s to your blog posts will be structured.
There are several options to choose from but using the one that shows “post name” is the most common and best one to use. To get here, go to Settings then Permalinks in your WordPress Admin Dashboard.
Using the structures with dates are not advisable because people tend to not read older posts so if you keep the structure not showing a date and just the post name then your content won’t show that it was written some time ago.
7. Neglecting to backup your website
Crashes on websites can happen at anytime so one thing that you want to be sure to do is to add a plugin that automatically creates full website backups that you’ll be able to use to restore your website IF this ever happens.
Fingers crossed it never does but it’s better to be safe than sorry.
The one I use is Updraft Plus and it works perfectly.
8. Skipping WordPress updates
Along with keeping your plugins updates, you also want to keep your WordPress themes and WordPress versions updated as well. For the same reasons as not updating plugins, you are leaving your website open for more potential of being hacked.
9. Ignoring Image Optimization
If you are not optimizing your images slows down your website and if that happens, visitors will not wait for a slow page load, they will go somewhere else so image optimization is extremely important.
You can add a plugin that can easily do this for you and my favorite is Smush Image Compression and Optimization
These are the 9 most important that I could think of at the time of writing this blog post. If you correct these then you are on your way to having a great website. If you have any questions, please leave me a comment below!