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Super Common WordPress Mistakes that Will Sink Your Site

Posted on 7.13.2017

As the most popular content management system in existence, WordPress attracts a variety of users from beginner DIY-ers to expert developers. 

With its wide user base, mistakes are made. Today, we interview Demetrio Fortman, inventor of a popular MotoPress plugin for WordPress, who shares the most popular mistakes users make when using WordPress for website building (and advice on how to avoid them). 
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Mistake #1: Using a default username

It’s a mistake even professionals do from time to time, Demetrio says. Everybody knows that they need a strong, hard-to-guess password, but they often use the default username set by the system. Default WP username - Admin, you know - is a trick that can cost you a security breach. Since WordPress is one of the most popular website building platforms, it is a main target for hackers that can steal your data. They use so called brute force attacks by running continuous attempts to log in a website.That’s why you definitely need to use a custom username to access your website.

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The best and easiest way of changing the default admin name is creating a new user with a custom name, assigning administrator rights to it and then deleting the default user.

Mistake #2: Ignoring WordPress updates

When you’re a proficient user and everything on your WordPress website is working smoothly, it’s easy to forget about updates. They are usually stored in the sidebar of your dashboard and can be easily forgotten.

Ignoring updates is another way of letting hackers break into your website. It’s easier for them to get to your sensitive data when your website is running on old versions of system. That’s why system and plugins developers often add security updates into their new versions. Don’t ignore their efforts.

If you worry that updates can ruin something on your website, do regular backups to have the opportunity to roll back to previous version and save important info.

Mistake #3: Updating a live website

Opposite to ignoring updates, updating a live website is another unforgivable crime. Of course, you can do some small fixes to your texts or images, dropping a few lines of CSS into the code - it won't do any harm. But if you plan some major updates or wish to test some new plugins - do it in a staging environment. Many hosting providers allow their clients to clone their websites with just a few clicks and keep them for running experiments or trying new widgets, plugins or themes.

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Having a multipurpose template with child themes can also save you from the headache of breaking down your cherished project.

Mistake #4: Installing too many plugins

Plugins are one of those things WordPress is famous for. There are tons of plugins for various purposes that add more functionality to a user’s website, but "more" is not "better."  All those dazzling plugins can slow down your website’s performance as easily as improving its functionality. Moreover, they can conflict with one another, which will not bode well for website performance. 
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The rule of thumb here is to choose carefully and install only those plugins that are perfectly tested with your latest version of WordPress.

Mistake #5: Mobile-unfriendly website

This mistake is not so often spotted nowadays. Since Google included mobile-friendliness into its algorithm, most serious website owners have taken care of making their websites responsive.

Novice WordPress users should get a responsive theme immediately if they haven't already. 

Mistake #6: SEO-unfriendly links

Again, by default WordPress creates a link to your new page or a blog post using just numbers, like yourwebsite.com/?p=123. The bottom line is that search engines and users cannot gain meaning from these URLs and do not boost trust in the business. 

URLs should have meaning. The best idea is making your link out of an H1 with the use of dashes between words. Thus, if you are to tell about WordPress mistakes in your post, create an URL that looks like yourwebsite.com/wordpress-mistakes/.

These are the most outrageous mistakes no one should make today, claims Demetrio. Avoiding these ones may help you to look at your WordPress site critically and keep your website safe and working smoothly.

About the Author
laurenNetworking manager by day, freelance writer by night. Lauren Symbow collaborates with TemplateMonster.com and supports niche blogs with up-to-date and unique content. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter and feel free to get in touch with Lauren on LinkedIn.
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