There is no denying that WordPress has made building websites a whole lot easier. While the platform is incredibly user-friendly there is still a lot to learn. Newbie web developers in the quest to build the most creative websites for their clients end up making fundamental mistakes.
This post is about those WordPress web design mistakes and how you can avoid making them. While some of these mistakes may seem trivial on the surface but they can ruin your site’s user experience and can derail your SEO strategy.
Not Setting Up Permalinks Right At the Very Beginning
If you just started playing with WordPress, you might have noticed a function called Permalinks. Using this functionality you can define how WordPress is going to create URLs for your site’s pages. If you leave it to its default setting, which is called the “plain”, it will assign an alpha-numeric code at the end of each URL. There are two reasons why you don’t want the ‘plain’ setting. Firstly, the alpha-numeric code is meaningless and does nothing to tell you which page it’s for. Leaving it in its default setting, you also miss out on SEO benefits. Instead of selecting “plain” if you select the “post name” setting, WordPress will automatically use the title of the post to create unique URLs. This means all the keywords in the title will also get added to the URL, which creates a definite SEO advantage. You also want to set it to ‘post name’ right at the very beginning, before writing a single blog. If you decide to do it later and change the URLs of your old posts, all the posts that link to the old URLs will lead to broken pages.
Buying Themes From an Unreliable WordPress Themes Provider
Most users spend most time selecting an appropriate WordPress theme. The popularity of WordPress has spawned thousands of theme companies into existence. There are also thousands of free WordPress themes. However, when picking a theme, it’s important to go with one that’s created by a reputed theme company. This ensures you pick a theme that’s not bloated with useless features. Depending on the features and design, different themes have different loading times. You ideally want to pick a theme that looks attractive whilst being lean and fast. Free themes are a great choice if you have a low budget, but if you can invest in getting your site custom designed by a WordPress web design company is the best way forward. This ensures you get everything tailor-made to your exact specifications and add functionality that you want. Unless you want a buggy experience, stick to reliable WordPress web design companies and reputed theme makers.
Using Way Too Many Plugins
The sheer number of plugins available, makes newbie developers feel like kids in candy stores. Considering a lot of cool WordPress plugins are free, people tend to install a lot of them, even ones they are never going to use. Installing too many plugins hampers the speed of your site. Considering the fact that loading speeds play a critical role in determining the bounce rate, it can be the sole factor that keeps your site from ranking higher. Even if you do end up installing a lot of plugins when you start off, make it a point to deactivate them by going into the ‘plugins’ section.
Creating a Non-Responsive Website
Visitors simply do not have the patience to view a desktop-versions of sites using their mobile devices. Considering that as much as half of the total online users access sites using mobile devices, non-responsive websites by default lose out on a lot of traffic. When picking themes make sure they are fully responsive and can be viewed on different screen sizes.
Forgetting to Backup During the Website Building Process
Taking regular backups is going to help you out in the long run. No matter how careful you are when creating your site, you are bound to make some mistakes along the way. Taking backups regularly gives you the ability to roll back a couple of days in case something goes wrong. It’s much better than losing several months’ worth of progress. Now, good hosting companies take automatic backups every single day. However, not all web hosting companies offer this service and some sell it as an addon service. Therefore, be sure to check with your web host to learn if they routinely backup your website. You can also install a backup plugin on WordPress that saves the data locally.