At a glance

Quick summary

  • If you’re new to WordPress, there’s a ton to do an learn!
  • We’ll cover eight common pitfalls that folks — beginners and pros — make when when working with WordPress.

1 // Trying to do too much at once

  • It’s very easy to get lost in the overwhelming amount of things that are possible when building your website.
  • Don’t try to start by cramming every idea into your site. You’ll spend eternity building without any results.
  • Before that happens (or if it’s happening already), stop. Take a breath!
  • Try the bite-size approach: Make a list of all of the ideas you have for your site. Then, go through the list and select the top 2 or 3 things to work on.

2 // Stealing images or fonts

  • Image and font copyright is easy to violate, and it can be expensive if you do.
  • So, to be safe, never use images you find by running a search on Google Images. Instead, use the sites I mention in the next point below.
  • Also, never use paid fonts without actually paying for them!
  • Instead, use Google Fonts for free fonts and Unsplash for free images (both linked below)

FREE TOOL // Google Fonts
Free fonts you can use on your website

FREE TOOL // Unsplash
Free images you can use on your website

3 // Overloading your site with plugins

  • Plugins are great! They extend the functionality of your website in incredibly useful ways.
  • But. They can also slow down your site. And a slow site is one that neither visitors nor Google like.
  • There’s no strict number of plugins you shouldn’t exceed. The best advice is to use only those plugins that you really need and no more.

4 // Using sliders

  • Sliders, also known as ‘carousels’ or ‘slideshows’, are slideshows of images, text, videos, etc. that loop horizontally on a website. Like this:
A slider I grudgingly put together for the sake of example
  • Here’s a quick list of reasons you should avoid these evil things:
    • Sliders kill conversions
    • People think sliders are ads
    • Sliders are bad for accessibility
    • Sliders slow down your site
    • Sliders suck on mobile
    • Sliders take control away from users
    • Sliders are ridiculously outdated
  • Get more details about this, including explanations of all of these points, in my blog post 7 painful web design mistakes Entrepreneurs make all the time

5 // Not setting up two automatic backups

  • Taking backups of your site is your first line of defense against cyber attacks, failed updates, and human error!
  • You need to take two backups every single day, and they should be stored in separate locations (see the next item below for more on this).
  • Ideally, your hosting provider will take one backup for you. You’ll definitely want to confirm this!
  • Then, you’ll need to schedule a second backup yourself. SiteCare (link below) is great for this!

6 // Not storing one backup offsite

  • If your backups are both stored on the same server, what happens if that server goes offline? (Answer: You lose access to both of your backups!)
Infographic showing two backups on the same server
  • The best practice for backing up data is to make two copies, and then store each in a different location. Like this:
Infographic showing two backups on the separate servers
  • SiteCare (linked below) is a phenomenal tool that automatically takes backups and stores them offsite!

7 // Not making your Call to Action obvious

  • You’d be surprised how common this is!
  • Lots of folks feel badly about directly asking their visitors to do anything, especially make a purchase.
  • But, if you bury your Call to Action, folks who are interested won’t know what to do.
  • Ultimately, they’ll feel frustrated and will probably leave!

8 // Not making it easy for people to give you money

  • You’d be surprised how common this is too!
  • Lots of folks make it difficult to find the shop and/or pricing areas of their sites.
  • Don’t do this! Make it ridiculously easy to give you money.
  • If you’re not sure if it’s easy, ask a friend to browse your site and provide feedback.

Others? Questions?

Any thoughts or questions? Anything with which you disagree? Any others common pitfalls that I missed?

Leave a comment below and let me know!