WordPress has been one of the leading content management systems (CMS) in the world. Business owners, authors and so many others have found a way of sharing their creative content with the world. WordPress is almost limitless in potential but just like any other great software out there, it all comes down to the execution of the technology involved. You could have a top software but you are unable to use it to tap into your business needs. How you implement WordPress will be extremely critical in helping your new site succeed.
So, today we will take a look at some of the common pitfalls that can derail you in any of your WordPress projects.
1. Outdated Plugins, Themes or Core Files
Starting us off is the use of outdated plugins, themes or core files. This is by far the most common bad practices as far as website maintenance is concerned and it is top of our list for a reason. Any type of software is bound to have loopholes but what differentiates the top software from the bottom is how fast patches or fixes are developed in the next version of the software. WordPress is no different and its core is regularly updated to ensure that sites running on it are secure and stable.
If the core files are not updated then you are exposing yourself to hacks and attacks from malware. Themes and plugins should also be maintained to address security issues as well as remain relevant with the latest version of WordPress. Subscribing to a WordPress maintenance plan will take care of this.
2. Use of Pirated Software
Pirated software can cause serious damage to your website and business as a whole. First and foremost, pirated software is illegal in nature, second, pirated software could contain malware that could harm your site. If you are not getting your software from authorized sources then you won’t receive regular updates from them, and as we have seen in our first worst practice, outdated themes and plugins could spell doom for your WordPress site.
As we have also said earlier, pirated software will more often than not come bundled with malware and as such, getting assistance from WordPress will be impossible because you are not using genuine software and they are therefore not liable for any damages caused by the same.
3. Non-WordPress Content
Hosting non-WordPress images, HTML and PHP in the docroot of your WordPress installation could be detrimental. If for example, you have just converted your site to WordPress or you are simply new to the ways of WordPress then, you may be drawn to host customized HTML in conjunction with your WordPress installation or maybe upload images manually to your WordPress site.
The above methods could be quick solutions to short-term needs, however, they will create long-term headaches for you. For example, when the time comes to either change hosts or reinstall WordPress, you will have to work around the custom code you created. You might also run into trouble when it comes to restoring your site from a backup. This is because many backup plugins only back up files contained inside the wp-content directory.
4. WordPress Modifications
You might feel the need to change the functionality or style of your site and the first thought would be to modify the core and theme files. This is the worst practice you can possibly implement especially when it comes to the WordPress core.
Any modification you perform to the core files will be overwritten by future updates. This goes without saying for themes and plugins too. If you must change code, use child themes, or have a developer create you a new plugin tailormade for you.
These are just a few of the numerous website maintenance bad practices. They are however, the most important to note and avoid. Getting a website maintenance service provider to help you with maintaining your website will go a long way in ensuring your website is in perfect shape.