Top 5 WordPress fails and how to avoid them

By Al  |  21 April 2016

WordPress is an amazing tool for anyone wanting to manage the content of their website. The thousand of plugins and themes makes just about any look and functionality possible at the click of a button or two.

But, as the great philosopher Uncle Ben from Spiderman once said:

With great power comes great responsibility.*

Top 5 WordPress fails

1. Not choosing a mobile friendly theme

We live in the world of mobile devices. A 2015 study puts the number at around 60% of all web traffic coming from mobile devices, and this number is increasing rapidly.

Put simply, if your site is not mobile device friendly, you will be missing out on the largest portion of web traffic that is only growing as each day passes.

Combine this with Google’s recent shift in focus to ensuring websites’ mobile compatibility is taken into consideration when ranking sites on Google search listings, it makes not having a mobile friendly site number one in our top five WordPress fails.

2. Not using WordPress linking and media capabilities

WordPress has come a long way since it early days of basic text editing. Now, WordPress will automatically embed social media posts, insert images into posts, display YouTube videos and so much more straight out of the box.

While the core of your content is what you write, enhancing your content with social media content or multimedia that relate to your topic will provide a richer experience for your reader, and help provide search authority to everything you write.

Linking to relevant content on other sites, as well as your internal content, helps search engines such as Google to understand the topics of your content, and helps enhance the message of your content.

3. Not providing users with more articles to read

Getting readers to an article is one thing, getting them to stick around is another thing entirely. If you are running a WordPress site, there is a good chance you are doing so to share a great wealth of knowledge.

This is why not providing your reader with options to explore more content on each article they read could mean the difference between that reader returning, or in some cases, buying something from you.

WordPress makes this so easy, it is criminal not to use this tactic to get your content read and keep your readers. It can be as simple as putting a related posts list at the bottom of an article (there are plugins for that), or perhaps a slide-in box with suggestions (yep, plugins for that too) – at the very least, linking to your own internal content in your articles is essential.

Whatever your desired method, linking your content will keep readers on your site and get more of your content read.

4. Not installing a security plugin

With over 25 percent of all websites now built on WordPress, it is essential your site is protected from those looking at targeting the most popular website building platform on the web.

WordPress is fantastically secure these days, but you can never have too much protection when your content, and readers are at stake.

WordPress makes it dead easy to add some extra barriers around your site. Plugins such as All In One WP Security & FirewallWordfence Security and iThemes Security have over 2.5 million installs between them. These plugins, and many more, can add things like two factor authentication, firewalls, automatic backups and much more.

If you are going to create great content, make sure you have great protection.

5. Not installing a caching plugin

Having a great security plugin ensures your content is secure, having a great caching plugin will make sure the readers read it in time.

Caching is the process of saving static content ready to serve quickly to your readers without having to re-process it for each reader. By doing this, content is served quickly, because it’s only serving static files instead of making round trips to a database, and it reduces the load on a server during traffic spikes when some content gets popular.

Caching can be tricky to do manually, but WordPress provides solutions to caching that are as easy as click, set and forget.

Plugins such as W3 Total Cache, Comet Cache and WP Fastest Cache make keeping your site as fast as possible easy.

With recent studies suggesting around 25% of readers will abandon content after waiting four seconds for content, a caching plugin is essential to keep your readers coming back time and again.

The great thing about each of these fails is that they are easily avoided. Take some time to ensure your site doesn’t fall into these traps, and you will be well ahead of the pack.

 

* Uncle Ben may or may not have been speaking specifically about WordPress.

Written by Al  |  21 April 2016

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