In a day where online efforts seem to be getting more advanced, it’s easy to forget some of the most basic, fundamental tips for online success, namely WordPress. Thinking about the type of content you want to create to populate your pages, the format and aesthetics of your website, and the optimization of your content for search engines is extremely important, but it all starts with WordPress. This is something that many companies forget.
Unfortunately, if you make WordPress mistakes, all of your hard work in other areas of your online strategy may not succeed the way you’re hoping. WordPress is the backbone of a website, so it’s important that, whether you’re an individual blogger or a company owner, you make sure you’re not making any of the common mistakes listed below.
Top WordPress Mistakes to Stop Making ASAP
Below are some of the most common mistakes that businesses and Webmasters make when it comes to WordPress installation and optimization:
No Worrying about General Settings
This is an easy mistake to make because the changes are not overly drastic to your overall goal, but that doesn’t mean it’s not something to consider. In the General Settings tab of WordPress, you have the ability to change your site title, address URL, time zone, and language (although the default is English). This will allow you to optimize permalink URLs so that you have the correct titles in all of your URLs, and time zone will help you when it comes to local SEO. The changes are small, but they’re beneficial.
Forgetting about Page Speed Load Time
Believe it or not, this is still a common mistake websites are making (although more and more do seem to be realizing the importance). Unforutnately, the reason this mistake still occurs is because oftentimes webmasters don’t realize they’re even making the mistake. If you end up choosing a theme that does not take speed into consideration, you will be allowed to install far too many plugins and graphics/video, leading to a slow load time.
If you’re worried about your load time, visit this article to learn more about different tools you can use to identify and then make changes (keep in mind that load time isn’t always associated with WordPress).
Allowing All Comments to be Published
This is a mistake most businesses catch onto pretty quickly, but even if you let this go on for a few weeks, your SEO results could be dramatically affected. You want to make sure you turn off automatic approval so that no spammers get through and spam your site and therefore hurt your rankings because of irrelevant content and links on a page.
In addition to turning off automatic approval, you should also use a plugin to minimize spam comments, add a CAPTCA plugin, and check comments manually for any spam. Visit this article to learn more about controlling comments.
Choosing a Poorly Built Theme
This is an easy mistake to make again because it can go unnoticed for quite a while. If you choose a theme that looks great, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s built correctly for SEO purposes, and therefore your rankings will suffer. According to a SEMRush article, some themes have a lot of small links in the footer, and you can’t assume that these are nofollow links. Links like that are sometimes even added automatically as you install plugins and make other changes to your new website. It is therefore generally better to buy a theme that has no credit links than to opt for free ones with questionable footers, and the same goes for plugins.
Also keep in mind that free themes sometimes are not responsive, which will give you a huge headache when you go and try to optimize for mobile. Google mobilegeddon just happened last week, so it’s best to stick with responsive designs completely.
In the end, remember that WordPress is where it all starts. Before you get into advanced SEO or design, check your basics and make sure you have a solid foundation. For many, paying a little bit for a WordPress theme can go a long way. However, not all free WordPress themes are littered with problems, so if you do want to go the free route, make sure you’re working with a solid theme developer such as Elegant Themes or ThemeForest.
Have you made any WordPress mistakes you wish you’d known about sooner? Let us know your story and your thoughts in the comment section below.
Republished by permission. Original here.