Should Know About
In the beginning WordPress was nothing more than a popular and easy to use blogging platform. Fast-forward to today and it’s one of the most popular CMS ( content management systems ) available and has literally hundreds of thousands of themes and plugins available.
Did you know that WordPress powers over 15 and a half percent of all websites on the web? That’s astounding! Whether you have been using WordPress for years or just starting out, there are some basics you need to know about. Some mistakes that nearly every designer at one time or another has made when working with WordPress. Here we outline 10 WordPress mistakes every designer should know about.
Stop downloading free themes
All web designers at one point another try using free WordPress themes. Don’t get us wrong, free themes serve their purpose. The biggest problem we have with free themes is that there could be literally thousands of other WordPress based sites using that same exact theme you are.
It’s no secret that users as well as search engines love unique content; that holds true for design as well as your articles. This doesn’t mean that you should stop using premium or free themes all together -there is a time and purpose for both of those! Just don’t forsake creating good designs from scratch.
You’re using WAY too many plugins
One of the huge benefits of choosing WordPress for your CMS is the limitless amount of plugins available. It seems like literally any feature you want your site to do that there is a plugin available; many free!
The issue however, is in the security of your website. Plugins that you download could be developed by anybody. We like to hope that the developers are creating sound code, but without creating the plugin yourself; how sure can you be that it’s secure? Not to mention the fact that sometimes plugins can even crash your entire website!
Stop getting widget happy
Good design should be functional, yet simple at the same time. Widgets can clutter up your sidebar. Take a moment and think about what is important for your readers to have and get rid of the extra junk in your sidebar widgets.
You’re inviting spam onto your website through comments
When was the last time you checked your comments that people post on your site? It’s unfortunate that we have to read through or at least skim through comments before we allow them on our site. The problem is that many comments that you get may be created by programs that automatically found your site and posted a “spammy” comment in hopes of getting a backlink to whatever website they spammer owns. Don’t even get me started on how bad this is for your real readers experience.
You’re not securing your blog
WordPress is a great CMS to use, and very popular! The issue however, is that WordPress is vulnerable just like any other CMS. When was the last time you updated WordPress? New updates are created to help prevent unauthorized access to editing or even crashing your site. Go update right now!
Stop over using categories
WordPress makes it easy to accomplish pretty much anything you would want to in regards to website content. The problem is that it is easy to overuse categories. Try using broader categories for your posts instead of creating a new category every time you publish a new article. It will be better for your site as well as your readers.
Stop stealing images
It doesn’t matter what you have heard, it is NOT ok to just take an image from Google Images and post it on your site. Although it doesn’t happen very often, it would be embarrassing if one of your clients received a C&D letter for copyright violation. Either ask for permission or use premium stock photography.
You’re still using weak content
One of the main reasons that WordPress has become so popular is because it is so dang easy to update content. Maybe it’s too easy? What has happened is that writers are getting lazy and not producing as good of content as they used to. Your goal should still be to provide your user the best experience possible. Not just in WordPress site design, but in content as well!
You’re not thinking about mobile.
Did you know that according to a study by Bloomberg, that global smartphone use will reach 2 billion users by 2015? If you’re not already incorporating responsiveness into your designs, you need to! Having responsive design that fits mobile platforms will make a better user experience as well as increase your readers from mobile search.
Stop forgetting to backup your WordPress installation
Listen, we get it. It’s easy to talk about how important backing up is; it’s an entirely different thing to practice what you preach. How bad would your week be if you installed a plugin on a client’s site ( or even your own blog ) and it crashed the site? It’d be bad. You can either use backup plugins created specifically for this purpose or do everything manually. It doesn’t matter what method you choose so long as you are actually backing up your site on a regular basis.
Well, there you have it! Now that you know of these 10 mistakes that every designer should know about; you have no excuse but to put them into practice! We hope you found this article helpful.
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