By Karen Kleinman
WordPress is undeniably one of the go-to platforms for creating websites. With its flexibility and user-friendly interface, it has become the top choice for millions of businesses and individuals - roughly 40-45% of all websites use WordPress!
However, like any other platform, WordPress is not without its pitfalls. In this blog post, we will explore some of the most common pitfalls found with WordPress websites, as well as provide tips on how to avoid them.
1. Lack of Regular Updates:
One of the most common pitfalls with WordPress websites is the failure to regularly update the platform, themes, and plugins. Failing to update can leave your website vulnerable to security breaches and compatibility issues. Make it a habit to regularly check for updates and install them promptly to ensure smooth functioning and enhanced security. Consider using a premium WordPress hosting service that automatically handles updates and backups for you, but be warned, automatic updates can go horribly wrong if there is a bug in the update or it is not compatible with current core or plugin configurations.
2. Weak Passwords:
Using weak passwords is a recipe for disaster. Many WordPress users fall into the trap of using simple and easily guessable passwords, making it easier for hackers to gain unauthorized access. To avoid this, use strong passwords that are at least 12-16 characters long and include a combination of uppercase letters, lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters. Utilize a password manager to generate and store unique passwords for each site. Additionally, consider implementing two-factor authentication for an added layer of security.
3. Ignoring Backup Solutions:
It's important to have a reliable backup solution for your WordPress website. Failure to have regular backups in place can result in data loss, especially in the event of failed updates, hacking, or accidental deletion. Utilize plugins, external backup services, or hosting-level backup services to automatically back up your website's files and databases regularly. Keep in mind that if you cannot access your WordPress backend user interface, you might not be able to use a backup plugin to restore your site.
4. Inadequate Security Measures:
WordPress websites can be vulnerable to various security threats. Installing security plugins, limiting login attempts, and using SSL certificates to encrypt sensitive information are some effective measures to enhance website security. Regularly monitoring your website for suspicious activities and keeping an eye on security updates can also help protect your site.
5. Using Untrusted or Outdated Themes and Plugins:
Using untrusted or outdated themes and plugins can lead to compatibility issues, performance problems, and even security breaches. Stick to reputable sources such as the official WordPress repository or well-known theme/plugin marketplaces for downloading themes and plugins. Regularly update all your themes and plugins to ensure they are up to date and secure. Also, be aware that paid plugins usually require a current license to be updated.
6. Poorly Optimized Website:
A common pitfall is neglecting website optimization. Slow loading times and poor performance can drive visitors away and harm your search engine rankings. Optimize your website by compressing images, using caching plugins, and cleaning up unnecessary code or plugins. Consider using a content delivery network (CDN) to improve page load times, you can also link or embed content from authorized networks like YouTube or Facebook.
7. Lack of Mobile Responsiveness:
In today's mobile-centric world, responsive design is essential. Neglecting to optimize your website for mobile devices can result in a poor user experience and lost opportunities. Utilize responsive themes and test your website across multiple devices and screen sizes to ensure it looks and functions properly on all platforms.
8. Limitations and Compatibility Issues with Specific WordPress Builders: While WordPress builders offer great convenience and flexibility, certain builders may have limitations or compatibility issues. Some builders may generate code that is not optimized, resulting in slower page load times. Furthermore, specific builders may not work well with certain themes or plugins, causing conflicts or rendering issues. It is important to research and test different builders to ensure they align with your website's requirements and are compatible with the other components of your WordPress ecosystem. Additionally, consider the long-term support and updates of the builder you choose to minimize the risks associated with using a builder that may become outdated or unsupported over time. Also keep in mind that some builders require a current license to make changes or upgrades to your WordPress site.
While WordPress offers numerous advantages, it's crucial to be aware of the potential pitfalls that can arise when managing a WordPress website. By regularly updating, prioritizing security, practicing good password hygiene, optimizing your site, and maintaining backups, you can avoid the most common pitfalls and ensure a smooth and secure WordPress experience.