Do you have a WordPress website? If so, then whatever you do, don’t do this 🙂
It’s no secret that I love WordPress. With its tremendous flexibility, awesome SEO tools, and community of contributors all over the world, why wouldn’t I?
That being said, any website-building platform can go awry if you try hard enough – and WordPress is no exception.
If you have a WordPress website (Look at you! How smart you are!), below are the five big no-nos that will lead your website awry every time.
Don’t let this happen to you 😉
Don’t Purchase a Theme or Plugin Without Checking Reviews First
One of the unique things about WordPress as a website-building platform is that it’s open source. This means that developers all around the world can create themes and plugins to add to the WordPress library. How cool!
But this also means that as a user, it’s your responsibility to vet any theme or plugin before you install it on your website. How do you do this? Easy – check the reviews. Ideally, there should be quite a few (in the hundreds) and the vast majority of them should be positive.
Additionally, if you’re looking at a plugin, check to see when its last update was. All WordPress plugins need to be maintained by someone (typically the person who created it) and if that person goes a year or more without making a security update, the plugin can become ridden with “holes” of vulnerability, making your site susceptible to malware (not good). A plugin that’s optimal for use is being regularly cared for via security updates by its developer.
Don’t Skimp Out On Backend Updates
Speaking of updates! Any WordPress website needs to have its 1) WordPress version, 2) installed themes, and 3) installed plugins updated regularly (i.e. at least once a week). If this doesn’t happen? You guessed it – those “holes” of vulnerability can arise, and you might end up with a hacked site. Don’t take that chance. Update your site every week. Oh, and if you’re too busy to do this (hey, I get it) I have a WordPress Safe and Secure plan that might be just the thing.
Don’t Opt For an Ultra Cheap Hosting Plan
Ah, the hosting plans that cost $2/month. Aren’t they tempting? The thing is, when it comes to hosting, you get what you pay for. Over my nearly 15 years in this business, I’ve learned this the hard way. Typically a website on an ultra-cheap shared hosting plan will suffer from slow site-loading speed, miscellaneous errors, or even getting hacked (not to mention bad customer service – think about it – if they’re able to offer you hosting for so low a price, don’t you think they’re cutting corners somewhere?).
I recommend WordPress-specific hosting like WP Engine. This means they only host WordPress websites, and you know that anytime a business decides to provide only ONE service, they’re going to do it really, really well. The perks? A super fast-loading site, excellent customer service reps who understand the intricacies of WordPress, automatic daily backups, and the peace of mind that comes with a fully secure site (granted you’re making your weekly backend updates!).
Don’t Use a “Library” Theme
What is a “library” theme? It’s a super bloated (for lack of a better word) theme that has a TON of features included – so many that you probably won’t use 80% of them. What’s so bad about this? It typically means a much slower site because you’ll have a lot of files loading with every page load. My favorite example of a bloated library theme is Avada. Sure it has its own included EVERYTHING, but it makes far better sense to use a stripped-down theme that only gives you what you need, and then install plugins as per your specific needs. This will give you a lean, mean, stream-lined website that loads fast because it’s only loading the resources it needs to perform as opposed to the entire kitchen sink.
Don’t Keep Themes or Plugins Installed That You’re Not Using
Back in the thick of the pandemic, I got on a minimalism kick for a while. Going through just about every belonging in my home, if something wasn’t getting used then out it went! And on your WordPress website, you can take a “minimalist approach” when it comes to your plugins and themes. If it’s not both activated AND being used then go ahead and delete it. This will help to speed up your site!
WordPress can sometimes get a bad rep when things go awry, but let’s not throw the baby out with the bath water, shall we? Stick to the plan, avoid the five WordPress no-nos above, and you’ll be right as rain.
Looking for more?
Here are some other posts I’ve written on WordPress over the years! Enjoy.