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Noob mistakes that small business make with WordPress

Don’t get me wrong, I love WordPress. But a lot of people use it poorly, and wonder why they don’t like it as much as me.

  1. buying theme’s that don’t have good support and updates.
    • all theme’s need updates, to keep theme relevant, keep them working with new versions of WordPress, to keep them safe from hackers.
    • poor theme’s don’t get updates – and then you’re in trouble.
    • or you get hacked via your theme
  2. buying a theme based on it having a load of features
    • some features are good, but more features creates problems
    • more features means more things that can go wrong, and get hacked
    • it makes it more confusing to get it to work
    • you end up focusing what the theme does, and not what your website needs to say to customers
    • more complex themes make more support issues
    • more complex themes makes your site slow.
  3. adding too many plugins
    • plugins are one of the best things about WordPress
    • more plugins cause more problems, a bit like themes above
    • themes start to interact with each other, and the theme, and then its spiral of support
  4. leaving everything in the hands of someone else
    • just leaving it the management of your site to someone without asking questions is trouble. You need to ask at a minimum of :
      • how often will you be backing it up ?
      • are you keeping the backups offsite ?
      • how many backups are you keeping ?
      • how often are you updating plugins/themes ?
      • if my site gets hacked, will you be fixing it
      • if there is any issue with the site working, are you going to take care of it ?
      • be specific, one day you’ll need those answers
  5. thinking that once the site is built you don’t need any changes
    • in the real world things change
    • your website needs to keep pace
    • as your business changes, you need to reflect that on your site
  6. not asking your hosting provider if they have a plan forĀ a total disaster in the hosting company
    • how long will it take you to start my site on another provider ?
    • what is their disaster recovery plan ?
    • how often to they test their disaster recovery capability
    • read about the biggest UK hosting company disaster here
  7. not understanding their WordPress website won’t last forever
    • without maintance it will be hacked
    • technology will move along, and leave your site behind
    • it will eventually break
    • I think WordPress website generally have a lifetime of 3 years, at most 5 years.
    • by then you’ll need to refresh what you are saying, how your saying it.
  8. not updating for mobile
    • site older than a year or so perhaps didn’t treat mobile well
    • more than 50% of most visitors are mobile
    • but other technology will come along, users will change, and your site will need to adapt
  9. not understanding how the web hosting industry works
    • there are lots of levels of reselling
    • at each level removed, the web hosting company is earning less, and care less about your website
    • at each level add on, the people are less skilled at hosting
    • thinking a web developer with ‘hosting’ on their website knows everything about hosting
  10. using WordPress when you don’t need it
    • if your web site is mostly static, if it’s mostly a brochure, WordPress is probably not the best
    • WordPress is a flexibile tool, with lots of capability, if you aren’t using that – it can become a bit of a noose around your neck
    • here is my advice for small business building their first website

By on February 15th, 2016

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