These WordPress Errors Can Cost You: What to Avoid
It’s easier than ever to create a website from scratch in relatively no time at all. Driving this trend arguably more so than any other aspect is the availability of WordPress, which powers more websites online today than any other single service or content management solution. Even complete novices can use WordPress to have a basic website up and running in just a few minutes.
With such ease of deployment comes potential problems. A basic WordPress installation can leave much to be desired in terms of maintenance, ease of use or even security. Furthermore, many of the best websites from a structural or user experience standpoint that are running WordPress require a plethora of tweaks to operate smoothly and efficiently.
As such, there are many mistakes and errors that can compromise the performance of such an easy-to-deploy creation. We’ll examine some of the most common examples of problems today.
Picking the Wrong Theme
The use of the wrong WordPress theme can cause plenty of problems and headaches for webmasters. While some themes may look snazzy, their underbellies can be infested with poorly-written code that causes a litany of errors, slow loading times and even security issues.
With so many options available, knowing which ones are acceptable can be difficult. Ultimately, minimal use of coding and elements and up-to-date scripting are two telltale signs of a theme that is likely to run more smoothly than its competitors.
Using Too Many Plugins
While there is no limit to the number of plugins WordPress can install or use, in practice, the more plugins installed, the more inefficiently your website will run. Even plugins that aren’t active take up space and can load scripts that impact website functionality. The more plugins you install, the more there are pinging servers and causing performance issues. Fundamentally, there is only one broader solution to combating this plague.
Do your best to rely upon well-established plugins that are optimized to run effectively. When you no longer need a plugin – even if it’s just temporarily – consider uninstalling the plugin entirely to improve overall site performance.
Not Creating a Sitemap
It may not be a concern that comes to many minds initially, but a sitemap is a crucial component of any well-designed WordPress installation. Search engines in particular need to be able to determine what your website is about and the content of each page. In order for search engine crawlers to find your pages, it must use a series of links to navigate from one page to the next.
While standard linking and navigational structures may make this possible in some respects, a sitemap is a much more efficient utility. This ensures that search engines can find all pages regardless of how many links are pointing at them. A sitemap can easily be designed via a WordPress plugin or third-party utility, thereby easily allowing search engines the option of pinging servers at regular intervals.
In the end, a lot of WordPress functionality and efficiency comes down to the decisions and behaviors of webmasters. Avoiding an excessive amount of plugins, designing a thorough sitemap and choosing your theme carefully can all ensure you avoid the most common and painful WordPress decisions webmasters often make.