This is a guest post by Ishan Sharma. If you want to guest post on this blog, check out the guidelines here.
It’s easy to get lost when you are new. After all, there’s too much to manage! You have design, content and what not. In all this mess, it is easy to make small mistakes.
Recently, I had a very bad experience when a friend’s blog got messed up because of some configuration problems and we had to setup WP and design from scratch! So I thought about writing a post that would save bloggers from making common mistakes and here they are:
Using A Free Service
Using a free host like Blogspot and WordPress.com seems good from far. But there’s a big problem with this option! You don’t own your content, the host does! Recently, blogger blocked and even deleted a lot of blogs. Among the victims was a customer who had 60,000 subscribers! Now, blogspot team is either nuts or using bots(which is likely high, considering it’s a property of big G) for blocking blogs.
In any case, the point is that you can loose a lot if you use a free platform. Consider getting a self hosted WordPress blog and while doing that, avoid the following mistakes:
Using “Cheap” Hosting
Many bloggers would move to a hosting company but would look for cheapest or worst – a free host. And the features they get are:
- Regular outages.
- Awful support.
- Slow loading times.
Remember, you get what you pay for. Do not fall for the “unlimited bandwidth” and other tall claims! Before buying hosting, research well and shortlist 2-3 hosting companies and then compare them. It is also advisable to contact friends using different hosting companies.
Using Your Host As Domain Registrar And Vice Versa
Keeping both hosting and domain with same company is a really bad idea. Yes, there may be some discounts involved but it’s a bit dangerous.
Imagine something bad happens with your hosting company and there servers crash! Now, if you have both domain and hosting with them, your site will be completely down.
If you have domain with a different registrar, you can at least redirect it to a new page explaining something bad has happened. It won’t retain all the visitors but hey, a bird in hand is worth two in the bush!
Wrong Permalink Structure
No explanations for this one, just a quick question: Which one is better and easy to remember out of the next two URLs?
- http: //myblog.com/my-post
Of course it is the second one unless you have got a super photographic memory! Not to mention that it is also better for search engine bots(and they don’t have photographic memory even if you have! 😉 ).
You should always use a informative permalink structure for post. In WordPress, this can be easily changed by going to Settings → Permalinks. Set the structure to custom and in the text box, enter /%post-name%/ for structure like the second example. For more permalink structures, see WordPress Codex.
Using Too Many Plugins
Plugins add lot of functionality to WordPress. But the main problem with them is that it is easy to get carried away with them.
This was a mistake I made when I was new to WordPress. I fell in love with lot plugins and in first month, I had some 60 plugins active at one time. Now, you can imagine how slow the blog would have been. Thankfully, I realized it soon and uninstalled several useless ones. Now, I have around 30 plugins and performance is better.
As a rule of thumb, you should not install more than 25 plugins unless absolutely necessary and delete the inactive ones.
Not Tracking Stats
If you don’t know your stats, you are missing a lot. Using stats you can know where your visitors are spending more time on your blog, from which page they are leaving the blog, bounce rate etc. With all these data in hand, you can tweak the blog and significantly improve your blog and your readers experience.
And another thing is tracking feed subscribers. For this, you can use FeedBurner. You can use your platform’s default feed without any problems but FeedBurner has lots of advantages. First of all, you can track number of readers(although inconsistently). You can offer free e-mail subscriptions and also add AdSense to monetize your feeds.
Not Taking Backups
Taking backup is something you should start doing today.
Anything can go wrong at anytime and having a backup locally(i.e. on your hard disk) may be the only security measure. You should setup a automatic backup for your blog using a plugin like WP DBManager. For detailed tutorial, take a look at this tutorial: How To Backup A WordPress Blog.
These were top 7 mistakes that new bloggers tend to make. Do you have any tips for new bloggers? Do share with us in comments.
About Author: Hi, My name is Ishan Sharma. I am a teen entrepreneur and I love blogging and WordPress. I blog at Blogging
With Success about Blogging Tips and WordPress. If you need any type of help with your WordPress blog/website, I can be found at WordPress Blog Experts.