WordPress 101: Attitudes to Avoid (Part II)

In part one of this series we looked at some of the pitfalls that many budding WordPress users may fall into,
such as forgetting to backup your site or going overboard with glitzy plugins and extras. This time we’re
going to look at a few of the subtler details that might pass the average DIY-er by, and see how to give your
new website-in- the-works its best start in life.
So … where were we? Ah, that’s right:

3. “I’m not really a tech-y kinda person, so …”

… that still doesn’t mean you can ignore the details, alas. What kind of details? The kind that are very easy to
miss if you’re not looking for them.
For instance: default settings are not always the best. Consider your username – the one you logged in with
when setting up your website initially. That username and password are like having two combination locks
on a safe – and using the default username ‘admin’ is like leaving one lock as ‘0-0- 0-0’. Not good! If you’re
still using the default then please change it now.
Other extra security features to consider are setting a limit on login attempts, adding two-factor
authentication, or even Google’s invisible reCAPTCHA technology, all of which help prevent automated
attacks on your site. And, as mentioned in the previous post, you must stay up-to- date with updates.
Security is not the only area to keep an eye on though; visibility is another. Consider permalinks, or the
extensions tacked on the end of your site address for each page (e.g. google.com/maps). By default, the
permalinks assigned are meaningless jumbles, which both search engines and humans will overlook. (To
prove it, look up anything on a search engine and scroll down page one: almost every result will have a
descriptive permalink.) Think of it like an apartment block: having your name and profession listed by your
unit number makes it far easier to find you and is good advertising. So if you haven’t already, go into
‘settings’ – ‘permalinks’ – ‘postname’ and choose your own description. Your website will thank you for it.
Finally, don’t forget to install a proper contact form. Emails and phone numbers are all well and good, but
having a built-in contact form right there on the page makes it much easier for visitors to get in touch. Don’t
overlook it!
Phew! That’s a lot to remember. But there’s still one more trap to discuss that must be avoided …

4. “Free is always the right price”

Again, this idea is beguiling and often true – but not always. Sometimes with websites it runs straight into
the bulky might of the even older saying: “You get what you pay for”.
Website hosts are one example. Where are you hosting your website? Is it a flash 5-star, tiny-chocolate- left-
on-the- pillow kind of place? Or is it more a dirty, back-alley, what-is- that-awful- smell kind of place? There
are tons of website hosting providers around, but only a few will work for you. Our advice? Go with a host
that specialises in WordPress and whose plans suit your specific requirements and expertise. There’s no
point choosing a hotel that’s too small or in the wrong city, no matter how cheap or luxurious it is. Pick your
host wisely, and if it costs a little more, so be it.

Most of all though, remember that sometimes you just need an expert eye on things. You can get the 12-
year-old nerd from next door to do it – and hey! it might even work – but honestly, he ain’t gonna be
bothered if it all goes pear-shaped. It’s much better to find a trustworthy expert in the field and get their
advice, even if nothing has gone badly wrong yet. Give your website the best start it can, and you will reap
the rewards later on.

Thanks for reading! If you’d like to discuss any of the things mentioned in these articles, or other WordPress-
related topics/features – things like child themes, staging environments, and other useful concepts – feel
free to get in touch via our contact form (see – they really are handy). Either way, we wish you all the best in
navigating the ocean of options that WordPress can provide, and hope you’ll take full advantage of this
powerful and flexible tool.

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