As easy as WordPress is for blogging and website development, it is a content management system (CMS) that has inherent strengths and weaknesses that need to be accounted for. New users who do not really understand all the ins and outs of WordPress are prone to making certain mistakes that can either make their sites insecure or simply not as effective as they otherwise would be.
If you are a new WordPress user, you can help your own cause by taking the time to research and understand the basics of the platform. To get you started in that research, here are the top five worst WordPress mistakes and how you can avoid them:
1. Using Weak Usernames and Passwords
Weak usernames and passwords are the top cause of WordPress sites being successfully hacked. New users should understand that sophisticated hackers have access to equally sophisticated software that can discover usernames and passwords through a brute force technique.
If you are still using the default ‘admin’ user name and an easy to remember password like ‘1234’, your site is just asking to be hacked. Create both a username and password that consists of letters, numbers, and characters. Use a random password generator if necessary.
2. Using Free WordPress Hosting
The idiom that says you get what you pay for certainly applies to WordPress hosting. Free hosting might be nice when you are first looking to get your site launched, but it will not be so nice if your site actually accomplishes what you intend it to. You’re going to have to go to a paid host at some point, and transferring at a later date is a lot of trouble.
3. Failing to Make Backups
The number of WordPress users who do not make backups is astounding. Failing to make backups is a big mistake. Moreover, WordPress makes it easy to create backups with just a few clicks of the mouse. These can be created directly from the control panel provided by the hosting company.
4. Failing to Run Updates
Next to weak usernames and passwords, the easiest way for hackers to break into a WordPress site is to find one that is not kept up-to-date. Running updates is critical for any CMS, including WordPress. Updates to the platform should be made automatically; plugins need to be updated manually in most cases.
5. Settling for Any Theme
Lastly, choosing the right theme for a website is more important than many people realize. A site’s theme plays directly into the perceptions of visitors. If a theme and website content are mismatched, the resulting lack of cohesiveness will drive visitors away. Furthermore, there are some WordPress themes that are just plain ugly, hard to read, or barely functional.
WordPress is a great content management system for bloggers and business owners alike. If you are new to the platform, do your research so as to get a better understanding of all its nuances. And whatever you do, avoid the top five mistakes listed here.