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I just set up my WordPress site. What 8 pitfalls should I avoid?

by | Apr 29, 2022 | WordPress Tips, I Just Set Up My WordPress Site, Web Design Tips

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// We'll cover eight common pitfalls that folks — beginners and pros — make when when working with WordPress.

I Just Set Up My WordPress Site is a series of posts for Entreprenurs who are new to WordPress and want quick tips for getting started. 

Each post is short, easy to read, actionable, and written in quick bullet points!

Click here to check out the rest of the posts in the series

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.
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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:
giphy
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!

PREMIUM TOOL // SiteCare
At SiteCare, we keep your website securely backed up at an affordable price — plans start at just $5!

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-stored-in-the-same-location
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-backups-in-two-locations
Infographic showing two backups on the separate servers
  • SiteCare (linked below) is a phenomenal tool that automatically takes backups and stores them offsite!

PREMIUM TOOL // SiteCare
At SiteCare, we keep your website securely backed up at an affordable price — plans start at just $5!

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.
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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!

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