WordPress Tips

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1. Installing too many plugins

Think minimal when it comes to installing plugins. While the WordPress repository contains more than 40,000 plugins, it’s easy to feel like a kid in a candy store and want to try them all. But if you install too many plugins, it’ll cause your site to bloat and run slower than a herd of snails traveling through peanut butter. (Okay maybe not that slow, but you get the gist.)

The fix: Wisely choose the plugins you install and be sure to uninstall the ones not in use. Ask yourself,is this necessary to the functionality of my client’s site (or my site)?

2. Not optimizing content for SEO

It’s a missed opportunity to publish a piece of content having put zero thought into its SEO. To increase traffic and get your content found by search engines, it’s crucial you prepare your written content and images with SEO in mind.

The fix: Install a WordPress SEO plugin like Yoast. Yoast will help up your SEO game by giving you helpful tips to make your content more likely to rank on Google.

3. Neglecting to backup a site

Failure to consistently backup your clients’ sites is like spending months writing a novel and never pressing “save” on your valuable work. Creating a backup of your work is crucial so you don’t lose anything should, worse come to worse.

The fix: Some hosting companies provide daily automatic WordPress backups so you don’t have to worry about doing it yourself. This ensures everything is kept safe – your database, theme, plugin, uploads, and all core files. Of course, if your host doesn’t offer this service there are also a range of plugins that can backup your site.

4. Changing a post’s URL after it’s been published

It can be tempting to go into an article and change its URL when updating an old blog post or page, but this is something you and your clients should be aware of not doing. By changing the post slug, you are breaking all existing links out there. So any old links will lose traffic and present a bad user experience that leads to a 404 error page.

5. Not resizing images for web upload

Images are often the culprit to a slow site and you should seriously consider preparing your images for upload by reducing their size. This can be done either by using an editor like Photoshop, or a plugin to resize images so they’re not taking up a huge chunk of space and causing your site to run super slow.

The fix: If you’re working in Photoshop, go to Image -> Image Size. Make sure the resolution is set to 72. You’ll then want to reduce the width of the image if applicable. 2,500 pixels on the wide side is ideal for displaying images at large on the screen, but you can decrease this size to around 600 to 1,000 pixels on the wide side for regular site display. This will reduce the file size drastically, requiring less bandwidth to upload images whenever someone visits your client’s site.

Always set the resolution to 72 pixels/inch for web upload. If “Resample” is checked, the image’s dimensions will automatically be reduced when when you adjust the resolution.

Another fix is to use a WordPress plugin that optimizes images for you, like WP Smush.

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About the Author

Wordpress Developer, Security Consultant, Blogger. Works in Edmonton Alberta Canada.

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