December 13, 2016

5 ways to ruin your WordPress website

Published: 13 December 2016 

When you’re a newbie, or someone who’s not that tech savvy and a bit out of their depth, it can be easy to do something wrong on WordPress. You don’t even have to try very hard to end up ruining your WordPress websites.

Think you’d like to ruin your WordPress website? Here’s how:

1. Not Updating WordPress

Like with the apps and operating system on your mobile, it’s important to keep WordPress up to date. Unlike your phone, there’s worse consequences if you don’t keep it updated. You could risk ending up hacked, or having difficulty using new WordPress products that require the latest version.

WordPress releases updates when there are problems, to introduce new tools, or improve its existing features. When WordPress 3.7 was released in October 2013, it included a new auto-update feature, which, as the name suggests, allows maintenance and security updates to be applied automatically. So if you’re already using this or a later version, you don’t have to worry about updating the WordPress core. If you still have an old version, it’s best to backup your data, and head to Dashboard>Updates and press “Update WordPress”, or download the latest version.

Plugins and themes are a different story. In the Plugins tab, you’ll notice these bright little numbers. Those aren’t just there for aesthetic. These let you know how many plugins are out of date. Plugins are updated in sync with the WordPress website, so it’s in your best interest to not use outdated plugins. Before you update, make sure to check if the plugins are compatible with the new version of WordPress to avoid annoying errors on your website. Simply delete the ones that aren’t compatible, and upgrade the ones that are.

2. Using bad or unnecessary plugins

There are thousands of plugins that will make you life easier and enable your WordPress website to have tons of different features.

Unfortunately, not all plugins will be completely helpful.Some will be poorly tested and will make your website worse. Others will be designed to be intentionally malicious. Before installing any plugin, double check if it’s legitimate, if its compatible with your version of WordPress, and what other people think of the product.

It’s also best to avoid unnecessary products. Have you stopped using a plugin? Instead of hoarding plugins, delete ones that are idle. Having a ton of plugins installed will slow down your WordPress website. Only use plugins that will help with the success of your website. Deactivate and uninstall the rest.

3. Never backing up your website


If you’ve made a bunch of changes to your website, and then you make one change that ruins the whole website and makes it all go wrong, it’s not always a problem. If you’ve backed up your WordPress data, then you can use your backup data. If not, then you’ll have to fix the problem and waste time that could have otherwise been spent elsewhere.

There are services you can use for backup. You can use paid services such as VaultPress, or free tools such as the WordPress Backup to Dropbox plugin.

4. Publishing incomplete pages

If you have a website for your business, you want to look like you know what you’re doing. Publishing “under construction” or “coming soon” pages is a sure way to make sure you lose hits and sales. It will also leave your potential customers with a bad impression of your business. There’s only a limited amount of times customers will keep checking your website to see if the page is live before they go to a competitor's site.

The best solution is to wait until your website is completely finished before launching it. You might have to wait a bit longer, but it will make your business look far more professional.

5. Never changing passwords

This might not seem like a big deal. After all, what’s a password got to do with how your WordPress website looks? Potentially everything, if you get hacked.

The best way to avoid getting hacked is to use passwords that are hard to guess, and update them frequently. Try and think of something a bit harder than “password1234.”

If you’re stuck for ideas, you can use random password generators from Password Generator, Norton or LastPass.


Image: Owlturd Comix

If you already know you’re going to struggle to remember a complex password, you can use password managers to store all your username and password details. PC Mag and Lifehacker give recommendations on which password manager is the most secure.

There are plenty of ways which you can ruin your WordPress website and end up with disastrous consequences. Following the solutions to these five rules will ensure your website will stay safe, look better and run smoother.

Ben Maden

Read more posts by Ben

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