We all start from the beginning and sometimes mistakes happen.. but knowing some WordPress basics can help you avoid mistakes that can easily be averted.
Here are 5 of the most common WordPress mistakes beginners make AND how to fix them!
Blocking Search Engines
Mistake 1 | Blocking Search Engines
WordPress gives you an option to ‘discourage search engines from indexing pages.’
But because of this techy / confusing language, you may have misunderstood its meaning and turned it on.
Checking this box is one of the easiest and disastrous WordPress mistakes – it’s like saying to Google “please disregard this website, I don’t want to be found”
If your site is still under development, it makes sense to check this box (temporarily) but once you’re ready to launch Google needs to know about it!
Solution | Allow Indexing
From your WordPress dashboard, navigate to Settings > Reading
See the ‘Discourage search engines from indexing this site’ – Make sure the checkbox is not checked > Save.
Keeping The ‘Admin’ Username
Mistake 2 | Keeping The “Admin” Username
Using the default “Admin” as your username for your WordPress login is a huge security risk.
Solution | Change Your Username
Make sure your username is not easy to guess and always ensure that it is completely different to your published screen-name. Try not use your email, name, or something that someone could easily guess.
If you already have “admin” as a username – don’t worry, there is an easy fix to this. Just create a new administrator account navigating to Users > Add New > choose a new username and fill out the required feilds > Save.
This will be your new user account and which you’ll use to login to your WordPress dashboard.
Using the “Uncategorized” Category
Mistake 3 | Using the ‘Uncategorized’ Category
WordPress allows you to organise blog posts in categories, making it easy for your readers to navigate your blog.
When you install WordPress, you begin with a single default category called “Uncategorized”
If you don’t create any other categories or don’t assign posts to a category at all, all of your blog posts will fall under “uncategorized” which leads to a less than awesome experience of your blog from your reader’s perspective.
Solution | Rename ‘Uncategorized’
A simple solution is to rename the “Uncategorized” category to “Other” or to something more relevant to your blog.
Navigate to Posts > Categories > hover over mouse “Uncategorized” and click “Quick Edit”
Then just rename the category > Save.
All the posts that were posted under Uncategorized will automatically be updated.
Not Updating Your Tagline
Mistake 4 | Not Updating Your Tagline
When you set up your site on WordPress, it will automatically add a “Just Another Blog” tagline.
A tagline should be is a one-line description of what your site is all about, and will often show up in search results so important to take advantage of this, making it your own by creating a tagline that reflects your brand.
Solution | Update Your Tagline
Navigate to Appearance > Customize > Site Title > Tagline > Publish
Not Selecting An SEO-Friendly URL
Mistake 5 | Not Selecting An SEO-Friendly URL Structure
An SEO Friendly URLs contain keywords that explains easily to readers and search engines what each page or post is about within your website.
An example of a SEO friendly URL: http://sugarandcode.com/install-wordpress
An example of a non-SEO friendly URL: http://sugarandcode.com/?p=10467
I know which version of the URL i’d prefer to see, and Google feels the same way! Infact your permalink structure also plays a role in onsite optimization which helps you rank in search engines.
Solution | Select “Post-Name” Permalink Structure
Navigate to Settings > Permalinks > select “Post Name” > Save.
Now all your pages and posts will be highly relevant which makes a big difference in SEO and your visitors ease of navigation.
I hope you found this post helpful in avoiding some of these common mistakes!