Are you just getting started with a WordPress website for your business? Want to ensure you aren’t missing any WordPress optimisation and security opportunities?

We share 8 WordPress mistakes to avoid in this infographic.

Here’s a quick summary:

  • Using poorly-coded themes
  • Installing excessive plugins
  • Not optimising media
  • Omitting an XML sitemap
  • Skipping updates
  • Overlooking Security
  • Not Implementing Backups
  • Not properly configuring permalinks

Check out the infographic for more detail.

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Web Design Basics: 8 WordPress Mistakes to Avoid & How They Can be Fixed [Infographic]

Most people, when building a website, choose WordPress as their content management system (CMS).

For many it’s the best CMS available because of its power and flexibility, but the CMS isn’t perfect and needs to be set up correctly in order to work properly and securely.

This article looks at eight common mistakes when using WordPress and how to fix them; it’s especially useful if you’re new to WordPress and want to avoid these common issues when designing your website.

Using poorly-coded themes

While it’s tempting, and often cheaper, to grab a free or cheap WordPress theme and start your site with it, these themes can result in serious performance issues for your website.

Just like you shouldn’t install bloatware on your new computer, don’t run cheap themes on your website either. If you want something that looks great but doesn’t break down under heavy traffic, try a premium theme from somewhere like ThemeForest instead.

These are specifically designed by professional website designers, coded cleanly by hand (rather than auto-generated), tested out in real-world situations, and backed up by strong support teams.

These themes will improve the look of your site without slowing down its overall performance.

Installing excessive plugins

Adding too many plugins to your website can slow down your site dramatically and make it take forever to load. Before you install a new plugin, ask yourself if it’s really necessary.

Sure, there are some cool plugins out there that can definitely come in handy, but consider whether or not they would actually benefit your site before you install them.

Do you have enough time to fix any bugs? Do they add any real value? Will they get updated regularly?

In most cases, using fewer plugins is more effective than using an excess of them. One or two well-chosen plugins will generally suffice for running a simple site on WordPress!

Not optimising media

When you’re building a website, there are a few places that can end up wasting precious bandwidth. One of these is using non-optimised media files.

For example, if you have an image on your site but it isn’t compressed for web use, it can add more load time on your server and even slow down page loads.

This not only affects performance; larger images mean slower loading times on mobile devices as well! There are plenty of great tools out there designed specifically for optimizing images, so don’t forget to use them.

If your media takes too long to load, users will simply leave—before they could convert!

Omitting an XML sitemap

An XML sitemap is a file that lists all of your site’s pages and posts for search engines. This makes it easier for Google and other search engines to discover and catalog your site, meaning you can rank higher in searches.

By omitting an XML sitemap, you potentially lose out on easy points with search engines.

Fortunately, there are free tools like Yoast SEO that will automatically create an XML sitemap for you if one isn’t already present; not only that, but they provide invaluable SEO-related tips (like telling you if your page URLs are too long).

Skipping updates

When a new update comes out, it’s tempting to ignore it. Who wants more work? But ignoring updates is just another way of increasing your chances of being hacked or experiencing downtime—and that will hurt you far more.

Don’t put off what you can do today! Keep everything up-to-date and secure on your site. Make sure you put aside some time each month to login and process your updates.

You don’t want to get an email from Google telling you they found malware on your site while thousands of people are trying to reach you for business.

Overlooking Security

Security is probably one of the most overlooked topics when it comes to web design. For beginners, getting your site up and running can take precedence over setting up basic security features like an SSL certificate.

But every step you take toward making your site professional should include good security—after all, even if users never make purchases or store information on your site, they still need to trust that their private information won’t be at risk.

Not Implementing Backups

I can’t stress how important backups are. If your site is hacked, stolen, or erased due to a hard drive crash, it can cost you more than you’d like.

By having a backup of your website, you can rest easy knowing that even if everything goes terribly wrong, you still have access to your content and business.

The best way to back up your website is by using a plugin called UpdraftPlus, which automatically makes hourly backups of your files. It also backs up database files, themes, plugins—you name it!

Having peace of mind in case disaster strikes is an invaluable part of being an online entrepreneur.

Not properly configuring permalinks

As soon as you activate your self-hosted WordPres installation, make sure you configure your permalinks.

Allowing WordPress to automatically generate permalinks by date or category is fine for general use, but if you want users to find your site more easily in search engines, make sure you configure your page and post titles appropriately.

You’ll also have a much easier time with SEO when using a non-automatically generated URL structure.