WordPress Mistakes You Should Definitely Avoid


WordPress Mistakes You Should Definitely Avoid

WordPress has always been the go-to choice for people who want to create a fully functional website or have an eCommerce store up and running in no time.

Why?

Well, it’s a fact that WordPress is super fast and easy to set up. You can easily have a blog ready (which you need) in just a few simple clicks. However, because of how easy it is to create a website, many people tend to forget that WordPress is not very tolerant when you make basic mistakes in it.

These WordPress mistakes that you should definitely avoid are quite common among beginners and doing them could undo all the benefits that the CMS has to offer and drag down your website.

Make sure that your WordPress website runs smoothly by avoiding these popular WordPress mistakes that beginners tend to do!

Backup, Backup, Backup

Do you have a backup for your WordPress website?

If you don’t, well,  you have a huge problem just coming after you.

Having backups for your website is absolutely essential because they act as an insurance in case of anything bad happens to your website. You might not think that you’ll get attacked by hackers or get a virus, but if you do, you’re going to regret not having a backup of your website at the ready.

Thankfully, a number of hosting providers do offer backup services, which can be automated and performed regularly. All you have to do is set it and you’re done. However, some might not provide this service. In which case, you’ll have the all the backup yourself.

WordPress does offer plugins that help you do the backup process itself. Plugins such as Duplicator or BackUpBuddy are easy and simple to use, even if you have no tech knowledge at all.

Having admin as your username

Do you still have “admin” as a user on your WordPress website? Or worse, is it still the default user or main account? Then you’re definitely a target for a security breach.

Practicing smart shared hosting security techniques is important for any website but it’s far too often that the user itself is the cause of the security breach. One of those causes is by having “admin” still as your username as it’s basically akin to having one door unlocked for hackers.

It’s important that you change your username as soon as possible. If you’re sure how to do it, here’s a simple step-by-step procedure on how to change your account username:

– Use your “admin” account to log into your wp-admin dashboard and create a new full-administrator user with a new username.

– Then log into the new full-administrator user account that you’ve created.

– Check and confirm that you attribute all the content from the old “admin” user to the new user. Finally, delete the old “admin” account.

Not setting up your permalinks

When a new page gets created or you write a new post, WordPress will automatically give it a web address (URL) for the page. The new page’s URL will always follow the template set by WordPress. Unfortunately, the default setting for that template is usually a number scheme that barely makes any sense and looks like this:

mysite.com/?p=169

That’s not easy to type or remember. It’s best to change that into something that’s more search engine friendly. The good news is that it’s actually quite easy to change to your permalinks and you only have to do it once.

Here’s what you need to do:

– Open up your WordPress dashboard and hover over “Settings”

– Find the option for “Permalinks” and click on it

– Change your permalinks setting from the default. We generally use “Post Name”.

It’s important that you set up your permalinks as soon as possible. The longer you wait, then any pages you create will have your old link settings. If you change the links after they’ve been live for a while, then the links will no longer lead visitors to those pages. Instead, they will get a “Page Not Found” error and you don’t want that.

Ignoring updates on your WordPress

One of the biggest misconceptions that beginners have about WordPress updates is that it might cause compatibility issues with the current features or their site or even lead to data and content loss. Here’s the thing, updates are really important in order to improve the platform’s performance, speed, security, compatibility, usability, and management.

When you see a new update for WordPress, we recommend that you do it as soon as possible. Having an updated WordPress will keep you protected from any vulnerabilities or potential attacks towards your website.

If you’re too lazy to do a manual update, you can set your WordPress to update automatically so that you don’t have to deal with the whole process yourself.

Otherwise, to manually enable automatic updates for WordPress, simply add this single line of code to your wp-config.php file:

define( ‘WP_AUTO_UPDATE_CORE’, true );

This will enable all core updates. You can add the following bit of code to your function.php file if you just want important security and major changes but to skip nightly builds and other development updates.

add_filter( ‘allow_dev_auto_core_updates’, ‘__return_false’ );

Picking and using the wrong themes

When you’re starting a website, you’re going to be using a lot of money on things such as a year of web hosting. Because of this, you might be tempted to cut costs and opt for free themes instead.

Don’t! Because a theme can make or break a website.

One of the biggest mistakes that you can make when starting a WordPress website is to not use a powerful theme. It’s important that you choose the right theme as it will serve as the backbone of your site. A free theme might not be coded properly which could affect your site’s performance or lack of plugin support which limits what you can use.

Going for a quality or premium theme will offer you better customization options and gives you the ability to make it look just how you want it. If you want to have a really good looking site, even if it’s just a blog, then you should definitely get a good theme.

Some factors that you might consider before deciding on a theme are the aesthetics, SEO compatibility, responsiveness, and plugin support.

Using a bad host

When you create your website, you need a place to store it. That’s where a web host comes in and far too often, people just choose whichever web host is available.

Unfortunately, not all web hosts are created equal. Some might be better suited for WordPress sites and some might not. If you’re on a tight budget, you can go for the cheapest web hosting available that are still pretty good.

If you want to take full advantage of your WordPress website, then we recommend going for web hosts that specializes in WordPress hosting such as AltusHost’s Business Hosting. You can get great hosting features with high server performance at reasonable price.

Using images the wrong way

A website without any images is a bland website. If you want to make sure that your blog or eCommerce site stands out, you’re going to have to stock it up with plenty of images.

However, don’t make the mistake of uploading an image that’s over 20MB in size. Why? Because bigger, heavier, and larger files will take longer to load and will cause your website to slow down.

You should always optimize your images before uploading it to your site in order to ensure that it will load fast and smooth for the user. It’s pointless to upload billboard-sized images when it’s going be no bigger than a dollar bill on your website.

So how do you fix this? You can use Photoshop to edit the image into a smaller size or use plugins such as wp-smush and compress the images before uploading it to your media gallery. Keeping your images optimized will go a long way in keeping your WordPress website loading smoothly.

Going crazy with plugins

When you first start a WordPress website, you will definitely be overwhelmed by the number of plugins available. And while there are a number of great plugins that can help your website, beginners tend to go a bit overboard with installing as much as possible.

Sure, there’s no rule that says that you can’t install as many plugins as possible, but if it were up to us, we’d say that less is more. If you can manage your entire WordPress website with zero plugins, then great, you don’t need to read any further.

As for the rest of us, you need to know that there’s one big issue with installing too many plugins and that’s different plugins don’t always play nice with one another.

It’s bound to happen if you have a lot of plugins installed on your website. Your website might be fine with plugin-A and plugin-B installed, but adding plugin-C might cause everything to go haywire!

Another tip that you should follow is to never install a plugin that has not been tested with your version of WordPress. You should always use the latest version that’s been tested so that it runs smoothly.

Sure, there are many more mistakes that you could make when you first start making your website. However, if you avoid the mistakes that we’ve listed above, we guarantee that you’ll have a smooth running WordPress website in no time.

About the author: Jason Chow is a fan of technology, WordPress, and entrepreneurship. He is an outreach manager for WHSR and WebRevenue.io. Jason is also a marketer – he likes to read news related to startups and Internet marketing.

 

7 Design Tricks to Keep You Relevant in 2018

If I am to handpick a carrier in which people don’t really have the easiest time regarding their day-to-day line of work, I’ll shoot — graphic designers.

You may not be aware, maybe you don’t trust me, or you are not convinced, but let me dive into it in more detail.

Well, just take a look at how rapidly major design trends have shifted over the past years.

Some of the huge changes were inspired by the research done in the user experience field, while others came as a necessity, a way to adapt to the new technologies. If you are tired of staying tuned to trends and want a reasonable and relevant shortcut to help you stay in vogue trough 2018, I completely understand you.

That is the exact reason why I’ve put together this sweet list of 7 design tricks to help you stay competitive on the market.

Animation

It seems that animation in web design is here to stay. If you want to stay relevant you have to encompass it throughout your design. On the web, you can see animation everywhere, from moving images to tiny hover effects.

They are used for two reasons: to enhance the user experience and to highlight the important elements of a website, which is quite neat when you want to shift the user’s attention to where you want it to be.

Why is animation perhaps the most important element in design today? Because we live in the age of flat and minimal design. Users, in fact, need cues to tell them what is important. Animations help build appealing changing aesthetics but also add to the usability of a website.

Typography Trends

Typography is also a field that is always under a dose of commotion. Trends change every year and knowing the psychology of fonts is no longer enough to cut it.

If you take a deep dive into typography trends, you will soon discover that there are multiple trends that coexist simultaneously. In order to know which one to use, you have to be familiar with all of them and get familiar with the client’s brand pattern.

If you want to bring something authentic to the market, you will have to find the font that resonates with you and start your design process from there. Use it as an inspiration to create something new and distinguishable.

At the moment, the most popular typefaces are warm Serif fonts, 90s-inspired typography, just like the one used for new Formula 1 logo, and colorful, photographic typography, since it makes fonts into a canvas that designers can have fun playing with.

Crowdsourcing

The next thing that will definitely keep you relevant in 2018 is crowdsourcing. There is a chance that you will sometimes face the demands that you don’t possess the skill or tools to face. Thanks to crowdsourcing, you can get the specific tasks done and still meet the project deadline in time.

Today, this practice is made easy for the designers. With access to websites that specialize in design crowdsourcing, you will not only be able to outsource some of your tasks but also offer the services you specialize in the highest bidder.

This will not only keep you in the game but also provide you with opportunities to improve as a designer, meet the colleagues from around the world and receive some constructive criticism on your work.

Intensifying Colors

When you take a look at the designer’s toolkit, the color is perhaps the tool that packs the most power in terms of creating an impactful user experience and driving more conversions. How come? The psychology of color is a scientifically proven thesis, and we know that it not only sets the desired mood but can also be used to draw the users’ attention and affect their actions as well.

Designers across the globe are already intensifying colors to make their designs more visually interesting. If you want to stay relevant, you have to consider adopting this practice as well. How is it done? If you are using a palette with neutral and muted tones, you can throw in an intensified color.

For instance, a base of greys palette can be brought to life by splashing cerise over it. Rule of thumb – learn the psychology of color and intensify the colors according to the emotions you want your design to evoke.

Flat Design Moves On

Flat Design is a really broad category. It became popular back in 2002 when it was reintroduced to the Windows Media Center app. But as all other things in design, flat design moved on. To stay relevant and know when to use it, you have to make sure to stay tuned to the latest news in the flat design niche.

Today, most of the designers have abandoned Flat Design and started using Flat 2.0, which is not completely flat. All of a sudden, using animations, highlights, shadows and layers is allowed. Don’t forget the oversized imagery and buttons, as they make a better impression on the users.

Asymmetric Design

Broken and asymmetrical layouts have become the signature of many graphic designers. Especially the ones who are devoted to web design. Why has it become popular? The answer is rather simple. Asymmetric design gives that distinctive and unique vibe that brands are after.

If you want to stay relevant in 2018, you have to abandon a grid-based designer’s mindset and switch it for a broken layout one. Your designs will start to look more unconventional and provide unique experiences to viewers.

Designing for Mobile

With almost half of the Earth’s population consuming online content over smartphones and tablets, designing for mobile has become a priority. If you want to be relevant in 2018, you have to start designing for mobile. Or at least know how to, so you don’t get caught unawares when a client asks you to do it.

To master mobile game design, you should always keep an eye on what Google is doing in the material design landscape.

In 2018, Material Design 2 has come with brand new features and best practices. Although it applies to mobile app developers, web designers can learn a lot from it and apply it to the web experiences they are going to create.

These 7 design tricks will keep you in the saddle until the end of 2018. Bear in mind that none of these are set in stone and that might change even before 2018 ends. This is why you should regularly read design blogs.

About the author: Dusan Vukadinovic is a design enthusiast with a good knowledge of design trends and history. He has a strong web design background and currently works as a brand evangelist for DesignContest.

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