Last updated on August 1st, 2018 at 07:01 pm
Most new bloggers struggle with WordPress. I personally know how challenging it can be to learn the platform. Today, we’ll be taking a look at the most common WordPress mistakes people make.
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WordPress isn’t as easy as people make it seem. It takes time to learn, heck, I still find myself making mistakes as I learn how to grow this blog.
And I’ve been working with WordPress for over 8 years. I’m happy to say that the basics come pretty easy to me.
However, it wasn’t always this way. I still remember when I set up my very first WordPress site for a client.
It took me over 8 hours to get it set up. And it was the ugliest site I’d ever made. At the time, I was so proud of myself, you’d think that I just ran the Boston Marathon.
Well, fast forward to today and I now work as a WordPress freelancer from home. Although, I am in the process of working towards leaving my freelancing gig. You can read more about my first WordPress experience here.
So if you’ve just started your own self-hosted blog, I’d like to say congratulations. You’re in for a great ride.
There’s going to be days where you feel like quitting and pulling your hair out. At points, you’re going to feel like quitting because you’re going to think you’re NOT techie enough to blog.
It’s going to be a roller coaster of emotions.
I’m here to cheer you on and say hang in there. You’ve got this. Plus I’ve got tons of basic WordPress tutorials to help you along the way.
You got this, so keep breathing and keep writing awesome content that helps people.
Common Mistakes WordPress Beginners Make With WordPress
My goal is to help you learn about the most common WordPress mistakes that beginners make.
By sharing these mistakes, my hope is that you will avoid them.
Of course, if you’ve made some mistakes that I don’t share here, be sure to let me know about them in the comments below. It will help us all learn from mistakes that maybe we haven’t experienced yet 🙂
The Nine Most Common WordPress Mistakes
#1 Not Creating A Regular Backup
Many new WordPress beginners tend to believe that WordPress automatically backs up your blog.
Let me tell you a little story about a client who thought that their blog was being backed up daily.
They came to me when they had an issue, someone had accidentally deleted their blog.
They wanted me to restore their site to a previous version.
I asked them if they created daily backups. They looked at me like a deer caught in the headlights, they had no clue what I was talking.
Finally, they said their hosting account created the backups.
Well, when I contacted their hosting account, unfortunately, they weren’t paying for a backup plan.
The hosting account did create backups, but the only way they could back up their site to a previous version is they had to pay the hosting account $150 for access to the backup file.
Needless to say, they were desperate so they forked out the $150 for the 7-day old backup file.
What You Need to Do
If you don’t have a regular backup plan for your blog, now’s the time to stop what you’re doing and make one.
Don’t rely on your hosting account to take care of your backups. You need to set up automatic backups and store them remotely.
The great thing is that there are so many free and paid plugins like Backup Buddy, Updraft Plus and BlogVault (which is what I use) to create backups.
Related: WordPress Backup Buddy
I know that hosting accounts like SiteGround does offer nightly backups for their GrowBig accounts.
If you’re using Bluehost or any other hosting account. You may want to find out if nightly backups are included with your monthly hosting service.
#2 Choosing WordPress.com When You Should Use WordPress.org
Most WordPress beginners tend to get confused when starting their blog. They tend to get started with WordPress.com instead of WordPress.org. Check out this comparison chart.
There’s a big difference between the two platforms.
#3 Overspending On Things You Don’t Need
I’ll be the first to tell you that I was terrible at this when I first started. I always found myself spending money on themes, plugins, tools and all kinds of software that promised me quick results.
The truth is that you shouldn’t be spending a lot of money on these types of things when you’re first starting out.
I know that you probably want that cool plugin that promises you to increase your income and opt-ins.
I’ve purchased all kinds of plugins and themes that are sitting on my dead PC. I don’t use half of them.
Do yourself a favor and save your money. There are no plugins on the market that will skyrocket your blog to success.
I’m not saying not to invest in plugins if you find something that will help you run your blog. In fact, I’ll share 7 of my favorite plugins that I use for my blog.
Don’t feel like you need to invest in any of them. Find the plugins that will help make your blog successful. Every blogger has their own set of plugins that they just can’t live without and these are mine.
#4 Not Wanting To Spend Any Money
We just talked about not overspending on unnecessary items when you’re first starting out. While it’s true, I no longer buy any more themes or plugins because I’m very happy with what I have.
This doesn’t mean that you should never spend any money on your blog.
It’ss important to realize that you can’t do everything for free.
The great thing is that starting a blog on WordPress doesn’t require a lot of money. In my opinion, the most important thing to spend your money on is a good hosting account.
I currently host my blog on the GrowBig account on SiteGround.
As bloggers, we have different options for hosting such as:
You don’t have to spend a fortune if your blog is brand new. However, you want to make sure that you choose a hosting account that will make you happy.
#5 Failing to Delete the Hello Dollie Plugin and The Sample Page and Hello World Post
When you first install WordPress, you’ll notice that there’s a plugin called Hello Dollie.
I am not really sure what that plugin does, but here’s a post that tells you everything you need to know.
Make sure that you delete the Hello World post and the Sample Page that comes pre-installed on WordPress.
I was actually on a blog the other day and I saw their hello world on their blog.
They did have some other blog posts written, but for some reason, they didn’t delete their hello world.
Just because you’re a beginner with WordPress, doesn’t mean that you should look like a beginner.
#6 Failing to Make Your Software Updates
When you start using WordPress, you’ll notice that software updates are released on a regular basis.
One of the most common mistakes new bloggers make is ignoring the updates.
I’ve had clients who are still on WordPress 4.0 and earlier because they are scared to update their software.
I’m not going to lie, it can be scary to update the software. However, these updates are necessary for security reasons.
You always want to make sure that you have a backup on hand, in case something happens during the update.
Unfortunately, things happen and if you experience any issues, you can always revert to your previous version before the backup.
Related posts on how to maintain your WordPress blog:
- WordPress Maintenance Tasks
- How to Update The WordPress Core
- How to Deal With WordPress Problems As A Beginner
Remember, working with WordPress doesn’t have to be hard. The more you work with it on a regular basis, the more confidence you’ll gain.
You don’t have to become a WordPress expert just to blog.
#7 Not Changing Your Time Zone
We all blog from different parts of the world. That’s what makes blogging so great.
You have the opportunity to start a blog and share your thoughts, opinions, and passion with the world.
Heck, I started this blog so I can turn it into a full-time profitable business and walk away from my freelancing business.
It’s amazing what my MacBook Pro and my Internet connection can do for me.
One of the best pieces of advice I can give you if you’re serious about starting a blog and turning it into a profitable business is to create your content in advance.
You’ll hear so many bloggers talk about creating a content editorial calendar.
Since I’ve started doing that, it makes it a lot easier to take time off from my blog. I’ve gotten to the point where I have months of content written in advance.
However, depending on where you live, you want to make sure that your WordPress time zone is set correctly.
Otherwise, your blog posts won’t get scheduled when you want them to. If you’re looking for the best time to publish your blog posts, read this.
#8 Not Creating A Favicon For Your WordPress Blog
We’ve all heard that important word called “branding” your blog. We see favicons every day when we visit our favorite sites.
As you can see from the image above, the site I am referring to does not have a favicon.
You don’t want your site to look like that.
Favicons make sites easy to locate. If you’re like me, then chances are you work on your blog with several tabs open.
There are days that I have more than 5 tabs open. If the sites that I visited didn’t have a personalized favicon, it would take me forever to find the site again.
You want to make sure that you’re taking the time to add your personal branding to your WordPress blog.
I’ve even created a tutorial that will walk you through step-by-step on how to create a favicon for your WordPress blog.
The great thing is that once you create it an upload it, you won’t have to do it again.
#9 Not Creating A Gravatar
If you haven’t taken the time to set up a gravatar, today is the day. I don’t know about you, but I personally hate it when someone comments on my blog and they haven’t set up a gravatar.
In my opinion, it looks extremely unprofessional. It makes me feel as though that blogger is trying to hide their identity. Now I know that may not be the case.
It’s just how I feel. If I feel this way, can you imagine what other people feel like?
Take the time to look at other successful bloggers, you’ll see that they’ve created a gravatar. Why?
Because they’re not trying to hide behind their computers. They want to build trust with their readers.
It’s impossible to build trust with a reader if they are constantly staring at the WordPress mystery man gravatar.
If you still haven’t created a gravatar, then today’s the day to get your pearly whites on your blog.
Final Take Away
Starting with a self-hosted WordPress blog can be confusing. The great thing is that you don’t need to know everything.
Even if you make some mistakes along the way, which you most likely will.
You can still create a profitable blog.
Hand Picked Articles For You
- 51 Most Common WordPress Questions
- Scared to Start A Blog
- Getting Started With WordPress What You Need
What common WordPress mistakes did you make when you first started your blog? Let me know, I’d love to hear if your mistakes were different than mine.