With so many features and options available for WordPress, it can be easy for users to become overwhelmed and unknowingly make mistakes. So to help you avoid making WordPress mistakes, we have identified some of the most common ones in this post.

Learning to avoid these WordPress mistakes is very important and is key to running a stronger, more efficient WP website or blog.

Common WordPress Mistakes To Avoid

Mistake #1: Not Updating WordPress

WordPress updates are released on a frequent basis. Yet, not updating their install is one of the most common WordPress mistakes seen among beginners.

WordPress Mistakes - Update plugins

Keep in mind that updates typically relate to important areas of running a site including security and bug fixes. If you fail to update, you’ll essentially be “rolling the dice” when it comes to the overall functionality of your site. With that being said, make sure that you back up your site before applying these updates.

Mistake #2: Not Backing Up Your Site

This goes hand-in-hand with the tip that we just discussed. Whether you are updating a plugin or your entire site, it is important that you back up everything. We strongly recommend that you use UpdraftPlus in order to do this.

WordPress Mistakes - Backup WordPress files
Not only will it back up your entire site (including widgets, settings, themes, plugins, database, and content), but it is also extremely easy to apply. It also supports backup to remote locations like Amazon S3 and Google Drive. Before we continue, here are some backup tips that you should keep in mind moving forward:

  • Perform full backups.
  • Perform backups on a consistent basis.
  • Store backup files in a secure, remote location.
  • Be certain that you understand the steps associated with restoring a backup.

Do you want to start protecting your website or blog with regular backups? If so, we highly recommend that you check out UpdraftPlus. It is backed by thousands of positive reviews, and is easy enough to use for beginner WordPress users.

Mistake #3: Failing to Have or Setup an XML Sitemap

This is perhaps the most underutilized WP tip that you can use to be found in Google and other major search engines. And if you are a beginner in WordPress, it is likely that you’ve never even heard about it before.
Sitemaps were created with the intention of providing search engines with the ability to “crawl” a website and rank them accordingly. Once crawlers are able to do this, you will find your pages getting ranked faster and more efficiently.
These days, installing an XML sitemap is quite simple: just download the plugin, install it in your WordPress directory, and adjust the settings accordingly. Today, the three highly popular XML sitemap plugins include Google XML Sitemaps, XML Sitemaps, and WP HTML Sitemap.

Mistake #4: Not Utilizing Effective SEO Techniques

The majority of WP owners never place a second thought into “Search Engine Optimization”. They bank on the hopes that people are simply going to find them on the Internet. But as most savvy bloggers would agree, using effective SEO techniques will definitely help you get ranked higher in Google. Here are a few basics to consider:

  • Set a site title as well as a description
  • Configure SEO settings for primary pages
  • Include meta descriptions for your blog posts and pages

These are just the beginning. We encourage you to take on further reading about SEO if you really plan on mastering it for your own WordPress site.

Mistake #5: Failing to Update Plugins

Similar to updating WordPress, failing to update a plugin will eventually cause that plugin to become out of date with the version of WP that you are using. As a result, you will encounter bugs as well as security problems. By updating your plugins on a consistent basis, you’ll remove potential problems and frustrations from occurring.
The great thing about WordPress is that you’ll be able to see when a specific plugin needs to be updated because it will show up in your dashboard once you log in. On a final note, be sure to update your plugins one at a time or you may encounter conflicting problems between them.
Do you have any questions about how sitemaps work as well as how you can use them on your WP site? If so, leave it in the comment box below and we’ll get back to you.