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When you’re starting a website, mistakes are bound to happen. Every step you make is a learning opportunity to know and understand more about the process. Although WordPress is a common platform to start a website, it’s not without its challenges. Whether you’re just getting started or a seasoned professional, learning from other people’s mistakes can help make your website development a little easier. To help get you started, here are ten WordPress mistakes to avoid:

Choosing the wrong platform

The biggest mistake a person can make when first starting out is choosing the wrong WordPress platform. Currently, there are two types of WordPress available. The first is WordPress.org. This website is a blog hosting service ideal for anyone wanting to start a personal platform with minimal customization. The second is WordPress.com. This platform is self-hosted, meaning you’ll need a domain and hosting to use it. It has extensive customization options and many other features you won’t find on the .org site.

Buying More Than What You Possibly Need

Most domain registrations are ridiculously cheap, making them easy to purchase. To start your WordPress site, you’ll need a domain and hosting package. Registrars are designed to upsell their products, convincing small business owners they need more products than necessary. These can include things like privacy protection, security, email addresses, and even software purchases. To start, skip these extras and focus on creating your website.

Forgetting About a Contact Form

There’s nothing worse than trying to contact a website, only to find out it’s virtually impossible. A contact form connects your website directly with your business. It holds as one of the essential pages of your website and needs to be established before going live. Many additional plugins are available (for example, WPForms Lite) that can keep you connected with your customers.

Failing to Set Up Google Analytics

Without the proper analytics, it’s almost impossible to know how well your platform is doing online. You want to grow your business confidently, which is through numbers, algorithms, and monitoring. Google Analytics provides real-time information about your site, from keywords, bounce rate, duration on the site, and a user’s geographical location. Failing to include Google Analytics on your website is like shooting in the dark. You can’t expect reliable results.

Forgetting to Optimize Your Site for SEO

Search engine optimization is vital for all websites, whether you’re just starting or you’ve built an established customer list. Some companies will completely ignore SEO, failing to understand the connection between website traffic and targeting keywords. It’s important to ensure all areas of your website are optimized. This includes HTML tags, title tags, post information, and meta tags. A website owner competing against sugar daddy sites will struggle to rank on the results page without SEO. This is especially true if the competing websites are actively pursuing keywords and local SEO efforts online.

Forgetting to Set Up Automated Backups

Billions of dollars are lost due to data loss every year, with virtually every website at risk of attack. This can include theft, accidental loss, hacking, or malware. Without a backup, you’re leaving your website, company, and future at risk of a complete loss. Once the information has been lost, recovery is challenging. Setting an automated backup for your website is the easiest way to ensure your website doesn’t become a statistic.

Ignoring WordPress Updates

There are plenty of beginners and experienced WordPress users alike that refuse to install updates on their site. They’re afraid of errors and data loss, something devastating to any company. Fortunately, the fears are unfounded – making WordPress updates completely safe.

Failing to complete updates will leave your website vulnerable to security breaches. Leaving older software can leave your company open to hacking attempts, which can compromise your customer’s security. The same holds for plugins. Both items need to be updated regularly; they’ll include new features, security patches, and bug fixes (when things don’t work correctly).

Confusing Pages with Posts Online

Beginner WordPress users can occasionally confuse the two items when posting content to their site. Some website owners post important information to a blog post and share time-sensitive news as a page online. Static pages (those pages that don’t change often) are best kept for constant business pages. These might include ‘About Us’, Services, Contact, Privacy Pages, and the home page. Alternatively, posts are better suited for content that needs to update regularly. Save these for blogs, articles, new products, or news articles.

Not Understanding Your Website’s Permalinks

Your website pages and posts are connected to a URL. This URL is significant as they’re the first thing a search engine will crawl when browsing your site. After publishing, this content isn’t easy to change, making the structure important when you’re first starting. Opt for a structure that includes the category and the post name right in the URL. You’ll be able to change the appearance under the settings option.

Forgetting to Remove Demo Content

Many people forget to remove the demo content on their platform, including the sample pages and posts. Leaving this content on your domain allows search engines to crawl and index the items. These pages will become flagged as duplicate content, considering thousands of other websites have the same items shared on their websites. Duplicate content (even if it’s demo content or lorem ipsum text on the site) can negatively impact your site’s rankings. It also looks unprofessional and novice to leave generic text on your professional website.