We all have to start somewhere when beginning an online business, and mistakes are almost guaranteed to happen along the way. It’s not essential to be a WordPress expert to start an online business, but knowing the basics can help you avoid mistakes that could end up costly.
We’ve compiled our best tips on avoiding the most common beginner WordPress mistakes and exactly how (and why!) you should fix them. We hope you enjoy!
Common Beginner WordPress Mistakes (And How To Fix Them) Compilation
1 | Understanding Permalink Structure
Setting up an SEO-friendly permalink structure is important in order to create shareable and identifiable content.
Each new post on WordPress will automatically be assigned its own permalink, which will look something like this: http://www.yoursite.com/?p=123. Ugly, right?
Using the default permalink means that your content fails to tick any of these boxes. This kind of permalink also makes it more difficult for search engine crawlers to associate the relevant keywords within your content, reducing the page’s SEO performance.
How to fix it:
In your WordPress dashboard, go into the Settings and select Permalinks. From here you can choose your permalinks structure to make them relevant to the title of the page.
For better SEO, we recommend “Post Name”. That way each post will be saved with a slug that reflects the title of the post or page (read: keywords), rather than just a random set of numbers.
2 | Understanding The Favicon
Do you know what a favicon is? The favicon is basically the little icon that appears beside the name of your website in the browser’s tab, also found in lists of bookmarks on browsers.
The favicon plays an important role in your website branding. It’s a small piece of screen real estate that packs a big punch. Using your own favicon enforces brand consistency across devices.
It also makes your website stand out in a sea of tabs, especially when a visitor has multiple tabs open in their browsers. Neglect to change it and you will be left with a default icon identical to many other users.
How to fix it:
You can create an icon that you want to display alongside your website using programs such as Adobe Photoshop, Canva, Favicon Generator, or Favicon.CC..
Your favicon file must be square and at least 512px x 512px in .ico format or .png format.
Once your favicon is created, it’s time to upload into WordPress.
Log into the WordPress admin menu go to Appearance > Customize > click Site Identity and select the favicon file to upload.
Related: Understanding The WordPress Admin Dashboard: A Beginner’s Guide
3 | How To Not Block Search Engines
You want your business to be found by online, right? Of course, you do! Otherwise, you wouldn’t run an online business. 🙂
WordPress, however, gives you an option to ‘discourage search engines from indexing pages’ which to some may have a negative tone to it so you would turn it on.
Checking this box is one of the easiest – and costliest – mistakes you can make with a WordPress site, though!
Essentially, by checking that box, you are saying that you don’t want search engines to inspect your site and add you in search results.
If your site is still under development, it makes sense to check this box, but if you’re live you won’t be getting found via search engines.
How to fix it:
From your WordPress dashboard, go to Settings, select Reading, and make sure that the ‘Discourage search engines from indexing this site’ checkbox is not checked.
4 | How To Fix The “Uncategorized” Category Option
WordPress enables you to file posts in certain categories, providing users with easy navigation of your site and giving them ‘content clouds’ with similar posts that might interest them.
When you install WordPress, you begin with a single default category entitled “Uncategorized”. If you fail to assign your posts to the relevant category (an easy mistake to make), they are all going to end up in the lumpen “Uncategorized” pile.
Why is this an issue? If the “Uncategorized” category sounds like a contradiction in terms, that’s because it is! Your content on your website should be well organized by categories so readers can easily find the content that will be most useful to them. Failing to categorize your blog posts correctly can also have a negative effect on the search engine optimization of your pages.
How to fix it:
A simple solution to this problem is renaming the “Uncategorized” Category to “Other.”
To do this, go to Posts – Categories – mouse over to “Uncategorized” – click Quick Edit and change your category name and slug to “Other” (or any category name that you choose).
Click Save and you are done. All the posts that were posted under Uncategorized will automatically be updated.
5 | Why You Need To Change Your Default Login Username
Using the default “Admin” as your username for your WordPress login is a huge security risk. A hacker could easily break into your WordPress site, possibly leading them to steal your website content, or worse, delete your site completely.
Unfortunately, when you first install WordPress, you’ll notice that your username is automatically set to the default “admin”, which you can then use to log into your dashboard with Administrator User Role.
How to fix it:
Make sure your username is not easy to guess and always ensure that it is completely different to your published screen-name. Don’t use your email, name, or something that someone could easily guess.
If you already have “admin” as a username – don’t worry, there is an easy fix to this. First, create a new administrator account by logging into your dashboard and going to “Users” and selecting “Add New.”
Create a new user and ensure that the role of the new user is set to administrator.
Then logout of your account.
Log in again under your new administrator account.
Then, only once you’re confident that you are able to do this and can remember your new password, delete the old account where “admin” is the username under “Users” – All Users.
From now on, you will log into your account under your new administrator account.
Related: Keep your website protected with these WordPress security 101 tips
6 | Removing The “Just Another Blog” Tagline
When you set up your site on WordPress, it will automatically add a tagline to each published page that reads “Just Another Blog”.
What this tagline should be is a one-line description of what your site is all about, yet often, users forget to update it from the default setting.
What’s the issue? Using content that is shared verbatim on other sites is bad enough in terms of identity and makes you look unprofessional, potentially attracting the wrong sort of attention to your page.
In addition to this, if you leave the text on your site, Google will index it along with all the other pages it appears on, and your site’s search prominence (SEO) will take a big hit.
How to fix it:
Head to Settings, select General and alter your page’s tagline. Select a tagline that portrays your brand and use relevant keywords in your description so the right people can find you.
Here are a few more blog posts you may want to check out on our site!
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It’s easy to make these WordPress mistakes, especially if you are just starting your online business venture. We hope this guide helps you in correcting these mistakes and makes it easier for you to get your online business moving forward in the right direction.
If you are looking for a feminine WordPress theme to help complete your online brand, check out the Bluchic theme shop and our recently released theme, ChicServe!