Blogging is one of the most effective and influential ways to communicate with a large audience via the world wide web. Whether you are a self-proclaimed foodie who wants to share your culinary adventures with like-minded individuals, or you are the owner of a medium-sized business who is looking to connect with customers on a deeper level, a WordPress blog is always a beneficial tool. This article covers the most common mistakes bloggers make when setting up a WordPress blog, and shares some inside tips for ensuring your blog is a cut above the rest.

Let’s get started! Here are the five mistakes you should never make when creating a WordPress blog.

Forgetting to Back Up

There is perhaps nothing more frustrating than making changes to your website, only for something unexpected to happen. Maybe you’ve accidentally deleted a portion of text that you really need, or maybe you made an adjustment to your theme but it caused other issues on your page. If you backed up your website, you’ll be able to restore your site to its last cached state, making your life a whole lot easier.

Without a backup, you’ll be left to do the repairs manually, which is not only risky, but incredibly time-consuming.

We recommend reading this easy-to-follow instructional article to familiarize yourself with the steps of backing up a WordPress site.

Using “Admin” as Your Login Name

When a new WordPress site is created, the default username is always “admin,” and far too often users keep this username. The issue? Hackers are aware that hundreds of thousands of WordPress accounts have this username, meaning they only have to manipulate their way past the password.

Why only put one obstacle in a potential hacker’s way, when you could put two?

If you want to reduce the risk of your account being accessed by someone with ill intentions, always change your username when prompted during the setup process.

Keeping the Default Permalink Structure

Permalinks are the addresses that appear in the search bar of your web browser when you are visiting a specific web page on the internet. They are the links that users share when directing others to your blog post or other areas of your site. In a nutshell? They’re important. Real important.

By default, WordPress will set your permalinks to look something like this:

http://www.yoursitename.com/?p=123

While functional, these links are not ideal and do nothing to support the SEO of your site. Not to mention the fact that the numbers at the end of the link offer no explanation to users with regards to what they may be clicking, making them less likely to click the link and follow it to your website.

Choosing a Theme that Looks Nice, but Isn’t Functional

For most creative types, choosing a theme is one of the most enjoyable aspects of setting up their blogging site. With thousands of themes to choose from, there really is a style for every niche and industry you can think of.

Unfortunately, not every WordPress theme is as practical as it is pleasing to the eye.

It’s important to remember that WordPress themes are created by graphic designers, who then sell access to that theme to make a profit. While some designers make themselves available to answer questions about their theme and provide ongoing support, many do not. So it’s important to check the reviews of any theme you consider and do your research before shelling out your hard-earned cash.

Also, be sure to look into the theme license. Typically, you will have to choose between three licensing options:

  • A one-time fee that includes ongoing updates and tech support
  • A recurring payment (annually, monthly, bi-annually, etc.) that provides you with access to updates and support
  • Paying for premium support on an “as-required” basis

Lastly, you want to make sure that your WordPress theme is highly customizable. You’ll likely want to make numerous changes to your site over time in order to create a streamlined look that matches your brand or to make your site function better for those who visit. Most theme sites will provide in-depth descriptions of the theme, and some even include reviews from others who have utilized that same theme. Do your digging before you pay!

Your Design Isn’t Responsive

In today’s world, this is a cardinal rule that should always be met. Responsive design is what makes your website user-friendly across all devices, from cell phones to tablets to desktops. Without responsive design, you are essentially shooting yourself in the foot before you’ve even left the gate.

Not only do you make it more difficult for users to access and read your site when you opt for a non-responsive WordPress theme design, but you also penalize your site in the eyes of Google. In fact, in a recent study, 68 percent of companies that developed a mobile-first, responsive website experienced an increase in sales after their website launched.

So, if you want to set your blog up with the best possible odds of being successful, mobile responsive design is a must.

And there you have it! By avoiding these common missteps and taking advantage of the resources available to you, you can rest easy knowing that your blog is properly set up and optimized for maximum performance.

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