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WordPress mistakes that you can easily avoid.

 

WordPress Mistake 1

Before you even start to create your WordPress site, create a child theme.

When your theme gets updated, as they often do, you risk losing the custom changes you made.  It takes a bit of learning to apply a child theme to your WordPress site but it is well worth the time.  You can then selectively modify template files and functions. You can also add new functionality without affecting the parent theme.  Avoiding this common WordPress mistake will save you time and aggravation in the long run. 

WordPress Mistake 2

Not keeping up with WordPress updates.

Don’t wait on this one. If you fall too far behind on Theme, security and plug-in updates, your site will, sooner or later, crash. Not updating plugins and themes will leave you vulnerable to hackers. Keep up with the security updates. Regularly updating your plugins also fixes bugs. This simple task avoids costly repairs to your site.

Don’t want to handle updates on your own? We can do this for you. 

WordPress Mistake 3

Having too many plugins.

 

As tempting as it may be, loading too many plugins can hurt your site’s performance.  Plugins can conflict with functions and other plugins on your website. Too many plugins can slow your site’s speed down. Plus, you also have to keep all of them up to date. It only takes one plugin to make bad things happen on your site.

Choose your WordPress plugins wisely. Look to see when and how often the plugin developer updates the software. If the developer hasn’t updated the plugin in a while, odds are it is not being supported anymore and will eventually break it will stop working, or open your site to hackers.

WordPress Mistake 4

Removing content from your site the wrong way. 

This is a common mistake that can easily be avoided. You may have services you no longer offer, or product lines you no longer carry. The quick and easy way is to just delete the content. But then you get the evil 404 error, and it may break links on your site (and other sites!). Running into 404 errors will  have a negative impact on the user’s experience which is bad for conversion rates (sales).  When visitors see a 404 error, they most likely will leave your site and go to your competitors.  

The 404 error occurs because search engines periodically index your site. But when a potential buyer requests that page, it’s no longer there. In time the index will update and the 404 will go away but the broken link on your site’s navigation will remain. Here’s how to fix this. 

You can implement a 301 redirect to a page or blog that has similar content. Or to a page stating that you no longer offer these services or carry that product. Suggest another service or product to the visitor.  Think of it as if you are in a retail store. The shirt you wanted is not available in your size or color. A good sales clerk will suggest another brand with a similar look. Don’t lose the sale!

WordPress Mistake 5

Not having an automatic backup.

This is so easy to do. There are plenty of backup plugins you can install on your WordPress site. Having an automatic backup ensures you will always have a copy to fall back on. I would also perform a backup before you add a plugin or update the content of your site. This way if anything breaks you will have a fast way to restore your site.

I use Updraft Plus. but there are other options. Here is a link to a review of plugins that you can use for automatic backups. 

WordPress Mistake 6

Not installing Google Analytics.

 It is FREE. So why aren’t you using Google Analytics? When I get calls from companies to help them with conversion rates and paid advertising campaigns, I first need to see what their visitors are doing when they visit the website.  There is a lot you can learn from Google Analytics reports. Seeing the actual data takes a lot of the guesswork out of what needs to be done to improve conversions, user experience, and more.  In fact, I would not even start a campaign without Google Analytics installed.  One quick tip: you can exclude your IP address and anyone else’s that works on your website. This will help keep the data to just visitors giving you more accurate reporting.  

One more thing, add goals in your Google Analytics. Still need help with this? Contact me and lets start the discussion

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