Top 10 WordPress Newbie Mistakes could destroy your Photography or Creative website

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Got your domain name and your own hosting? You are excited for your new website and anxious to brag all around. You jump to your server, install WordPress and select a theme. At this moment, you realize, you don’t have a content or you’d like to polish everything up before launching your website. So – you leave your website like that. You think this is not a problem, no one knows my website exists (you even link your website somewhere in your social profiles, and think – “who one earth will click my link anyway”) Wrong! Reality – most people will click just out of curiosity, and while you think your website is invisible to search engines you are wrong here, too! There are some real potential threats, too!

Don’t forget to set a coming soon or maintenance page

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not a problem to have a half-finished website, or re-think your content or layout. Most websites aren’t just finished in a day or two, anyway! However, you don’t want a visitor to hit your half-finished copy, theme demo photos or even that annoying lorem ipsum text. You know they say, the first impression lasts. So, please make sure you set a Coming soon page while you build your website. A coming soon page is very easy to setup, and there are plenty plugins – many of which would provide an option to include an opt-in to your newsletter, so you don’t miss out on subscribers while you design and polish your website.

 

Don’t install every single plugin and theme

Plugins and themes are not just files stored on your web server. Each plugin creates and updates entries to your website database, making your website heavier over time. Installing many plugins and themes potentially can lead to slow website performance or make your website inaccessible. No visitor wants to hang out at a slow website or will ever come back to your ‘sometimes not available website’. You don’t want this, do you?

Top WordPress Newbie Mistakes could destroy your photography or creative website

Don’t leave default WordPress permalinks on

WordPress automatically enables the default permalink structure upon successful WordPress installation. The number that is used in the default permalink references WordPress where the content can be found in your database. However, this permalink structure is not user-friendly. It is better to refer a visitor to a readable to the naked eye URL (web page address) such as http://www.yourwebsite.com/your-page-title than to http://yourwebsite.com/p=?25. Not to mention Google prefers user-friendly URLs, so this is actually a small boost to your SEO (search engine optimization) efforts.

 

Don’t forget to set site name and tagline

Your website title and tagline are first things your site visitors will see. Therefore, it is essential to use them to communicate effectively what you are doing, what services or products you offer or you are just putting your name out there. Your website purpose should be evident at a first glance – your message should be delivered to your site visitors effectively in just a small fraction of their time. Therefore, one of the first things you need to configure at your new WordPress website is your Title (your website name) and Tagline (short statement similar to a slogan or subtitle). By setting your site Title and Tagline your website will appear professional to site visitors and if you are creative enough entice them to even subscribe to your newsletter, program, service or inquire about your services.

 

Don’t upload high-resolution images

While it is understandable you want your photography or creative website to show and project high-quality work to visitors, it is not a good idea to upload them in high resolution. High-resolution photos take longer for websites to load thus search engines prefer faster loading websites. Therefore, there is a threat your website to load slow or not rank high in search results. Both things cost traffic and may greatly affect your photography or creative business marketing goals. However, the good news here is – you can still optimize your beautiful high-resolution images for the web without losing too much of their quality.

 

Don’t forget a backup plugin or a plan

You put so much time and effort to develop your website. Are you ready to lose that work overnight? Certainly, you don’t! So, even if your hosting company claims they make backups for you (most of them do), don’t just rely on that. After all, a hosting server runs on disks and servers. You know, they can disappear overnight, too! But, don’t panic. Just make sure you get either a backup plugin for your website or a plan. While some may prefer to develop their website on their local computer, and always have a backup other are content with a backup plugin. However, it is of utmost important to have a backup plan for your website. Your website is your business, remember?

 

Don’t forget a spam and security plugin

Let’s face it. When was the last time you received spam in your inbox or read somewhere a site was hacked? It was probably several times this month. Don’t think simply because you are starting out, no one would have the interest to spam you or hack your website. In reality, smaller websites are hacked more often, and you don’t want to be ‘that person’ do you? So, don’t just leave your website vulnerable. Make sure your hosting has a scheduled backup feature or you use a plugin to do your backups. Don’t forget that spam protection plugin, too! A small Captcha can go a long way!

 

Don’t create an username named admin or use a password generator

Please, by all means, don’t create your administrator username the default one to WordPress. A username named ‘admin’ is common for WordPress since it is a default one. By using the default username, you open your site to hackers. Same goes for the password generator scripts and websites. While these are handy, please don’t use them – there is no safer password than one you create yourself.

 

Don’t forget to implement social media share buttons

Yes, your great content and photography speak volumes for you and your business! However, don’t miss out on the chance someone to share your content and potentially land you a new client. Don’t make it hard for people to share your beautiful content, you need to make this as easier as possible so you don’t miss out on that ‘share love’. So, before launching your amazing WordPress website make sure social media sharing icons are in place and they actually work!

 

You can’t do it by yourself all of the time

It is extremely exciting to launch and own your own photography or creative business websites. You should be proud of yourself! However, please don’t make your website your only job. Remember, you started your website to bring more clients not to update and design everything by yourself. It is ok to start with a DIY (do it yourself) approach when you are starting out. But, don’t forget to hire a professional to do this for you and enable your business to grow, thrive and attract dream clients you deserve!

 

So, tell me, have you ever made any of the above WordPress mistakes? Did it lead to something serious or? I’d love to hear your experience!

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