As a beginner, navigating the WordPress backend can be a daunting task. While it offers immense power, it also comes with a great deal of responsibility. Unfortunately, many users make mistakes that can break their website or pose a security risk. In this article, we will discuss five things you should avoid doing in WordPress to ensure your website is safe, reliable, functional, and enjoyable for visitors.
1. Don’t Use the Code Editors
The WordPress backend contains a few landmines that can be accessed via Appearance > Editor and Plugins > Editor in the sidebar. While these editors may seem interesting at first glance, they can cause serious damage to your website with just one wrong keystroke. It is easy to accidentally disable access to the backend of your WordPress site, leaving you with no means of restoring order.
To avoid this, we recommend that you only access and edit your site’s PHP files with an FTP application such as Filezilla. Before making any changes, make a copy of the PHP file you intend to edit so that you can quickly switch back to a working version if necessary.
2. Don’t Keep Deactivated Themes Installed
If you have old themes lying unused on your site’s backend, we recommend deleting them immediately. Even though these themes are deactivated, they still exist on your WordPress installation, and any security flaws or vulnerabilities can still be exploited. WordPress is a big target for hackers, so don’t make yourself an easy target.
3. Don’t Use Your Theme’s SEO Functionality
While some themes offer built-in SEO features, we recommend avoiding them for two reasons. First, if you ever decide to change themes, the SEO data within your theme may be lost or difficult to extract. Second, the free WordPress SEO by Yoast plugin has the best SEO functionality of any plugin or theme available.
4. Don’t Categorize and Tag Prolifically
Categories and tags should be used to benefit the user. Categories should represent the broad topics covered on your blog, while tags should be more specific. A post should rarely be allocated to more than one category, and you should only use tags that are directly related and relevant to the content. Generally speaking, you should only use up to 50 tags.
5. Don’t Leave Comments Moderation On
Comments moderation can be frustrating for users and represents a lack of respect on the part of the blogger for the commenter’s time. While spam can be an issue, plugins such as Akismet do a great job of stopping most spam. Turn comments moderation off via the Settings > Discussion screen accessible from the sidebar.
In conclusion, these five things should be avoided in WordPress to ensure your website is safe, reliable, functional, and enjoyable for visitors. Do you have any other recommendations for avoiding mistakes in WordPress? Let us know in the comments section below!