WordPress serves almost a third of all websites for a reason. Flexible, intuitive, and inexpensive, it can deliver an exceptional site tailored to your business needs. It is also sometimes touted as a DIY option for businesses strapped for cash.
In theory, you can set up a WordPress website by yourself. However, utilizing WordPress support in the form of professional services like Distinct Web Design is usually a good idea. Why? Because there are a number of pitfalls that can easily derail your site. Here are a few of the most common mistakes that WordPress support can help you to avoid.
Mistake 1: Installing Subpar Plugins
One of the great benefits of WordPress is the ability to add plugins. With tens of thousands of plugins at your fingertips, it can feel like Christmas when it comes to adding functionality to your site. Whatever you want to do is probably very doable with the right plugin.
Unfortunately, not every plugin is created equal. Some are simply not high quality enough to become part of your site. Here are the main problems you might encounter:
- Weak security
- Lack of updates/support
- Poor design
If you want to add plugins that are well-maintained, well-designed, and secure, you need to do your research. Plus, consider using WordPress support. These experts can quickly point you toward tried and true plugins that can give your site the functionality it needs.
Mistake 2: Failure to Maintain Plugins
Even after you identify and install the right plugins for your site, you need to take the time to care for them. These additions to your site require regular update installs, security patches, and checks to make sure they continue to work correctly and meet your needs.
Unfortunately, many website owners fail to maintain this level of attentiveness toward their WordPress plugins. The result? Plugins that are out of date or broken and therefore susceptible to hacking. They may even break down and fail to deliver the functionality you need for your site.
Instead, make sure you keep up with your plugins. This means checking for updates, installing updates, replacing broken plugins with new ones, and so forth. WordPress support can complete these tasks for you, saving you time, effort, and stress.
Mistake 3: Failing to Install a Backup
You wouldn't be the first or the last person to think that site crashes and hacks would never happen to them. The reality, however, is that these crises do happen, to even well-maintained sites. If it happens to you, it can be either an inconvenience or a catastrophe. The difference is whether or not you have a backup.
Failing to keep a backup of your WordPress site means that crashes or hacks force you to create your site, again, from scratch. That can be a daunting, and expensive, prospect. A backup, however, allows you to easily restore your site.
Make sure your backups are both automatic and cloud-based. You don't want to lose your backup because you forgot to save the current version of your site or because your server crashed. And hire some WordPress support to help you out. They can point you to the best plugins and services for creating that all important backup.
Mistake 4: Updating a Live Site
It might feel easier in the short term to implement changes while your site is live. You may even want to build or revise your site while it is live. However, this process can be risky. What if you make a mistake? What if the changes do not work? Your errors are then on display for all of your website visitors to see.
Even worse is the impression people have of your site when they see it under construction. A partially completed site doesn't look nice. It does not scream professionalism. It won't tempt visitors to stay and learn more.
Unless you are posting small pieces of content, avoid live updates. Instead, use a staging site to build your site and make updates. Once everything is perfect, then make it live. WordPress support in the form of experts can help you to create and use this staging site successfully.
Mistake 5: Failing to Use Analytics
Once your WordPress site is up and running, you will need to track its performance. Failing to use analytics to see how your site is performing means failing to see if you need to improve any areas of your site. You risk losing customers, and you risk having a site that is less than excellent.
Instead, take the time to integrate Google Analytics into your WordPress site. You should be able to accomplish this task with a plugin. Then, take the time to study, understand and use these analytics to identify and improve weak points in your site.
WordPress support can help you avoid the most common mistakes. Whether this be installing subpar plugins, failing to maintain plugins and themes, failing to install a backup, updating a live site, or failing to use analytics, these mistakes can cost you time and money. Avoiding them can help you create a compelling and effective WordPress site.
Here at Distinct Web Design, we can offer you the WordPress support you need. Years of experience combine with a passion for small businesses to offer you the help you need. Reach out today to learn more.