We encounter critical errors on the sites on a daily basis. Those that end up costing a lot of money and quite a bit of nerve. Therefore, if you have your own independent website or blog, or if you are planning to set up a new website, you should read the following guide and learn from our experience how to avoid material mistakes on the site relatively easily.
If you have started a search process for a company or professionals who will build the site for you, the following tips will help you make sure that the service you have chosen is professional enough.
Mistake # 1 Choosing the wrong web hosting service
This is one of the most critical issues. This is not the place to save a few dollars a month, the loss will be immeasurably great.
Storage that makes your site slow will instantly drive away visitors and hurt your chances of advancing in Google and bringing customers from the site.
Falling storage often will do real damage for the very same reason and will also damage your reputation.
That is why it is so important to choose storage that meets the appropriate standards:
- Customer service in a language that you are comfortable communicating with, during your business hours and in a means that suits you (phone / chat / email).
- It is advisable not to purchase the storage from the person who develops the site, in order to create your complete autonomy over the storage in case of a change of supplier. You should have direct and independent access to storage, regardless of the relationship with the person who developed or maintained it (the same goes for domain management).
- The storage should include a free SSL certificate to secure the links on the site.
- Commitment to daily / weekly / monthly backup and preferably double backup – both on the storage server and in the cloud or on a separate server.
- Option for Staging, ie a replicated version of the site, where you can perform tests and changes without harming the live site.
- Security: A critical issue, especially in light of the increasing number of attacks on websites recently. You may want to read the following post about WordPress Security Headers.
- It is advisable to choose storage adapted to the platform, for example storage that specializes in WordPress. This is a specific specialty that is important to ascertain in advance and it can also save labor in the installation stages.
Mistake # 2 does not address any legal requirements
Not every website owner needs close legal advice, but it is advisable to consult a lawyer on a one-off basis prior to the launch of a new website and make sure you know what regulations are required as a website owner and prepare accordingly. For example:
- Terms and conditions
- Cookie Consent Notices
- Privacy Policies
- The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
- Website ADA-Compliance
- HTTPS for Ecommerce
- ABA Requirements For Attorney Websites
Mistake # 3 Ignoring security vulnerabilities
Beyond security with a quality hosting service, it is important to secure the site on your side as well.
- Use high-strength usernames and passwords when logging in to Admin.
- Proper use of admin privileges
- A basic security plugin such as Wordfence
- Using the SSL protocol
- Avoid using Plugins
Mistake # 4 Disregard for site backups
It is very important to make sure that your site has a backup that can be accessed even in the event of a server crash or hostile takeover. Before any change in design, upgrade, or add functionality it is extremely important to produce a backup for the current version of the site and check the change in the backup version before updating to the live site. It is advisable to manage the version changes using the Staging environment.
Mistake # 5 Updating WordPress version unsupervised
It is important to keep your WordPress version up to date at all times. Each version brings with it innovations and improvements in performance and security.
but! Automatic upgrade is dangerous for the site.
It is twice as dangerous if your site is based on plugins, as many of them do not adapt to the latest versions of WordPress.
Mistake # 6 Using too many plugins (add-ons)
If your site is not based on clean code but is loaded with plugins, the chances of failures over time are great. The plugins do not always adapt to the latest WordPress version, sometimes they collide with each other and even more often slow down the site very much. In more dangerous cases also create security problems or just stops working one bright day.
Of course, there are great, old, and powerful plugins that are no problem to use (SEO plugins like Yoast or store plugins like Woocommerce or reliable form plugins).
But the other functions on the site do not need plugins and the damage they can do to the site outweighs their benefits.
- Avoid using plugins that do simple operations, such that any professional developer can perform using code without the help of a plugin (for example – a question and answer plugin / plugin for installing Google Analytics, a plugin for implementing comments / a plugin for a slider and more and more).
- Disable any unnecessary plugins that have been historically and in fact unnecessary installed on you. If you have a good developer you almost never need plugins!
- Consider moving to a non-plugin based site. If not on the current site, then in your next project. A plugin based site will never get you really far.
Mistake # 7 Improper handling of images on the site
- Do not upload images that are too heavy for your site. Maintain a resolution of 72DPI and no more.
- Cut images to the right size for the design, do not rely on automatic cropping that distorts the content and quality.
- If the weight of the images exceeds a few tens / hundreds of KB, it’s time to use an external image compression service, like tiny.png.
In our complete guide How To Optimize Images For WordPress, you can read and apply it easily
Mistake # 8 Google Analytics – You added and did not measure? It’s the same as if you did not
Google Analytics (or any other measurement tool that fits the site) must be a part of your daily routine. At any given time it is important to know how many people enter the site, which pages are more in demand and which are less, where they come from and what they are looking for.
Mistake # 9 Mobile incompatibility
Factually, a site that is not 100% optimized for various end devices, loses hits and loses trust from customers. And Google will not like or promote your site fully if it is not optimized for mobile
Mistake # 10 Website too slow and cluttered
Maintaining a high loading speed of the site is critical over time. It is important to regularly perform quick checks on the site to prevent visitors from escaping even before they have had time to read your content or contact you.
We have shared here 10 Critical Mistakes Website Owners Make that we see daily on sites that come up for our review. These are issues that can ruin a website.
But the good news is that you can easily fix them and see great results that will help the success of the site. Do not neglect your site, and it will love you back.