I have seen many business owners manage their WordPress sites for their business. There seems to be a trend when we are asked to take a look at their website for various reasons. Here’s my top list of 6 mistakes I see small business owners make on their WordPress sites.
1) Not using Permalinks – One of the main reason we recommend WordPress is the fact that it is incredibly SEO friendly. Beyond being easy for you to update your content, it also helps you easily keep the page name (matches the title) which will assist your SEO efforts.
What is a permalink? A permalink is a page name that links to your blog post or page. Depending upon which option you have set up in settings under Permalinks, WordPress will automatically name the page for you. For instance, if you have selected “plain” in the common settings, you post name will look like this “http://www.yoursitenamehere.com/post1453”. It’s always recommended to select “post name” so that WordPress will name your pages the same as your page title. The correct naming convention will also assist your site with SEO (Search Engine Optimization).
2) Not installing security on your WordPress Site – So many sites get hacked daily, and the owners of these websites are perplexed as to how their site was hacked. You need to consider installing security to your site. You can move the WordPress “door” by using some security plugins. iThemes Security allows you to do just this. If you have installed security monitoring, you can also set up reports to be emailed to you on any safety issues. One of the most common security issues you will see is what’s called a “brute force attack.” This type of attack is when a bot continues to guess your password and virtually pounds on the entry door to the site. Check out more tips on security for your site for your site here
3) Not updating your plugins or WordPress Core – Another big boo boo is getting your site up and forgetting about it. Maybe you have gotten busy doing other things, and your website goes by the wayside. Try to log in at least a few times a week. Most plugins and the WordPress core will give you a notification usually with a circle that is typically red with a number in it. This notification is there to let you know that you need an update. Make sure to select the plugins and core that need updating by hitting update. By not keeping up on the plugin and core updates you are leaving your site susceptible to hackers. It’s like leaving the front door open when you are out. Make sure to stay on top of this.
4) Using the username “admin” and not using a secure password – This one is simple. Never us the name ADMIN for your username. I mean EVER! If you do, you have given ever hacker and bot that tries to break into your site 50% access. Hackers and bots will inevitably use “ADMIN” as the first part to log in and then keep guessing the password. If you don’t have a secure password, you are making it easy for them to walk into your site and create havoc. What’s a secure password? Well, the latest version of WordPress will give you recommendations for secure passwords. If you are having problems coming up with passwords on your own, you can always use a site like strong password generator for recommendations. Also, make sure to change your passwords every so often.
5) Failing to back up your site – It’s always great to have a full backup of your site for when security issues come up. Several plugins can help you create a backup of your site.Here’s a list of some to get you started:
6) Not optimizing your Images before uploading them to WordPress. The best way to optimize your images is BEFORE you Upload them to your site. There’s a simple FREE online tool called tinypng.com. This tool will let you upload a png or jpg file and optimizes it for you. After it’s optimized, you can download the file. The reduction of image size (in usually in kilobytes) is HUGE on most images, and it will keep your WordPress database light and lean and keep the site speed fast. Google has also been paying attention to load speeds, so it’s critical to keep your sites light and lean.
If you want to optimize images that are already uploaded, try using a plugin called EWWW image optimizer. After you install it you will have an option in the media area to optimize all images. If your site has a lot of images, expect this to take some time. But your patience will be rewarded.