Mistake #1: Using the default username
Everybody knows that they need a strong, hard-to-guess password, but you’d be surprised at how often people, even sometimes professionals, use the default username set by the system (admin, right?). This oversight can cost you a security breach. Since WordPress is one of the most popular website building platforms, it is one of the main targets for hackers that can steal your data or corrupt your site. Check out what Digital Insite has to say about this too-common error.
Mistake #2: Ignoring WordPress updates
When a WordPress site gets hacked, it’s often due to outdated software. But if you count on your WordPress website for your blog you need it to be secure. Just think how you’d feel if you lost everything due to being hacked.
When you see a WordPress update with a single digit, like 5.0, that means there are core changes in the platform. The numbers that come after that, 5.0.2, 5.0.3, etc. are usually security updates, and as such, they are very important.
Outdated plugins and themes are another issue when it comes to security. WordPress updates are widely publicized and easy to upgrade, whereas finding an update for a plugin or theme can be slightly more challenging and just like the WordPress core, can open your site to a hack. When installing themes or plugins, check the changelog, see how recently it has been updated and how often. If there seem to be few updates or it’s been a long time since the last on, find another.
NOTE: If you worry that updates can ruin something on your website, do regular backups to have the opportunity to roll back to the previous version and save important info.
Mistake #3: Installing too many plugins
WordPress is famous for plugins that add functionality to the core platform, but it pays to remember that “more” is not “better”. Having too many plugins can noticeably slow down your site – and they can conflict with one another, which will not bode well for website performance.
Mistake #4: Installing too many themes
I recommend keeping only one theme, other than the one you are using, installed. That way if your theme breaks, your site will revert to that default theme, so you can start to troubleshoot. The easiest one to keep is probably the latest WordPress default theme (right now it’s twentynineteen) because it utilizes all of the core code and hopefully you’ll be able to see what went wrong.
Mistake #5: 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. This is useless to search engines and can seriously affect how visitors find or don’t find your site. Use the Permalinks (under Settings in your admin dashboard menu)to alter the structure of your URLs so that they are search-engine friendly.
Bonus Tip: Mobile-unfriendly website
This mistake is not so common nowadays. Since Google included mobile-friendliness into its algorithm, most serious website owners have taken care of making their websites responsive. If you’re new to WordPress, make sure you choose a mobile friendly (responsive) theme.
Are you guilty of any of these mistakes? Have you got more tips? Comment below!