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21 Most Common WordPress Mistakes (AND HOW TO FIX THEM)

This is a comprehensive list of common WordPress mistakes that even veteran users make. 

If you’re just starting out with your blog or website, this guide will be especially useful to avoid any pitfalls early on in the game. 

Once again, we will look at some tips and tricks for our favourite content management system! 

I wanted to give everyone something they could use as a reference whenever they encounter an issue while using WordPress, so here it is: 21 Most Common WordPress Mistakes (AND HOW TO FIX THEM)! 

Like most top-level lists, there isn’t necessarily a specific order but items grouped by category. Feel free to choose whichever topic interests you from below!

1. Neglecting to Keep Your WordPress Site Updated 

One of the most common WordPress mistakes is neglecting to keep your site updated. 

WordPress releases updates for a reason: they patch security vulnerabilities, introduce new features, and improve performance. 

By not updating WordPress core, you’re leaving your site vulnerable to attack and missing out on all the great new things that each update brings!

How do I fix it? 

It is really easy – just ensure you always update the latest WordPress version whenever a new one is released. 

You can either update manually by downloading the latest version from and uploading it to your server or automatically using a plugin like Jetpack (my recommended method).

2. Not Using Strong Passwords

This is a WordPress mistake that even I used to make! 

When creating an account online, you should always use strong passwords consisting of upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. This makes it much harder for hackers to brute force their way into your account.

How do I fix it? 

When creating new accounts (for WordPress or anything else), use a strong password consisting of at least 8 characters, including uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. 

A good method for coming up with secure passwords is to think of a phrase or song lyric and use the first letter of each word – for example, “This Little Light of Mine” could become Tllom1!. 

Easy to remember but hard to crack!

3. Not Backing Up Your Site Regularly

Backing up your WordPress site is one of the most important things you can do to protect it from data loss. 

Whether it’s a hardware failure, hacking attack, or user error, there are countless scenarios where things could go wrong, and you could lose all your hard work!

How do I fix it? 

Many WordPress backup plugins are available that make it easy to automate backups of your site (I recommend UpdraftPlus). 

Once activated, configure the plugin according to your preference and schedule regular backups. 

That way, if something ever does happen to your site, you can rest assured knowing that you have a recent copy saved off-site.

4. Choosing a Poor Hosting Provider

When it comes to hosting, you generally get what you pay for. 

Cheap hosting providers in the UK may be tempting, but they often cut corners in important areas like security, performance, and customer support. 

This can end up costing you more in the long run!

How do I fix it? 

Do your research and choose a quality WordPress host that offers managed updates, daily backups, staging sites, etc. 

A few of my favourite hosts are Truehost Cloud (my #1 recommended provider), Kinsta, and SiteGround.

While they are on the pricier side compared to some other hosts out there, they offer an incredible level of service and peace of mind – which is worth its weight in gold when running a WordPress site.

5. Failing to Optimize Your Homepage for Search Engines

One of the most common WordPress mistakes is failing to optimize your homepage for search engines. 

Your homepage is often the first thing people see when they visit your site, so it’s important to make a good impression!

How do I fix it? 

There are many things you can do to optimize your homepage for SEO. Still, some of the most important include:

  • Use keyword-rich titles and descriptions
  • Include social media share buttons
  • Add internal links to other pages on your site
  • Use images and videos

6. Installing Too Many Plugins and/or Themes

While WordPress is incredibly versatile, thanks to its huge plugin and theme libraries, it’s important not to go overboard! 

Too many plugins and themes can slow down your site, create conflicts, and even open up security vulnerabilities.

How do I fix it? 

Be selective when choosing plugins and themes for your WordPress site. Only install the ones you absolutely need, and be sure to delete any inactive or no longer serving a purpose. 

Additionally, check for updates regularly, as new versions may introduce performance improvements or patch security vulnerabilities.

7. Creating Duplicate Content 

Duplicate content is when the same or similar content appears on multiple pages of your website. 

This can confuse search engines, resulting in lower rankings and less traffic to your site.

How do I fix it? 

There are a few ways you can avoid duplicate content on your WordPress site:

  • Use canonical tags to specify the main/original version of each page   
  • Avoid using identical titles and descriptions for different pages
  • Don’t publish duplicates of posts or articles from other sources
  • Add unique, keyword-rich text to category/tag pages

8. Not Using Google Analytics 

Google Analytics is a free service that allows you to track vital statistics about your website’s traffic and performance. 

This includes how many people visit your site, where they come from, what kind of device they use, etc. 

It’s an incredibly powerful tool that all WordPress sites should take advantage of!

How do I fix it? 

If you’re not already using Google Analytics, then sign up for a free account and follow their instructions to add the tracking code to your WordPress site. 

Once installed, you can start generating reports and gaining valuable insights into your website’s traffic and performance.

9. (Mis-)Configuring Permalinks 

Permalinks are the URLs used to access your WordPress pages and posts. 

By default, they take on a rather ugly format like “?p=123” but can be easily customized to look cleaner and more professional. 

However, if not configured correctly, permalinks can cause 404 errors when trying to access certain parts of your site!

How do I fix it? 

In most cases, the best settings for WordPress permalinks is either “Post name” or “Custom structure” using pretty URL slugs like /%postname%/. 

To change your permalink settings, go to Settings >> Permalinks in your WordPress dashboard and select the desired option.

If you ever run into issues with broken links after changing these settings, check out this guide on properly redirecting old URLs.

10. (Improperly) Handling Redirects

Redirects are used to send visitors from one URL to another and are often necessary when changing the permalink structure of your WordPress site or migrating to a new domain. 

However, if not done properly, redirects can create an endless loop that prevents visitors from ever accessing your site!

How do I fix it? 

When configuring redirects, use the correct HTTP status code for each one. 

For example, a 301 redirect should only be used when permanently moving a page to a new URL, while a 302 redirect can be used for temporary changes. 

Additionally, ensure your redirection rules don’t conflict with each other – otherwise, you may create an infinite loop.

11. “Hacking” Your Own Code 

Another one of the most common WordPress mistakes is making changes to your site’s code without understanding what you’re doing. 

This can often lead to broken functionality, security vulnerabilities, and other issues that are hard to track down and fix.

How do I fix it? 

If you are not a developer or don’t feel comfortable editing code, then my best advice is to leave things as they are. 

Plenty of plugins and themes are available to make the changes you need without touching any code. 

However, if you do want to learn how to edit code properly, then be sure to educate yourself on basic concepts like HTML, CSS, PHP, etc., before making any major changes.

12. Leaving Default “Admin” as the username

When you first install WordPress, the default username is “admin”. 

However, this is a major security risk, making it much easier for hackers to guess your login credentials!

How do I fix it? 

The easiest way to change your WordPress username is by creating a new user with admin privileges and then deleting the old “admin” account. 

Alternatively, if you don’t want to go through the hassle of creating a new user, then you can use a plugin like a Username Changer, which allows you to change the username of an existing account simply.

13. Not Using SSL Certificates 

SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificates encrypt data being transferred between your website and its visitors. 

This is especially important if you have an eCommerce store or any other type of website that collects sensitive information like credit card numbers, addresses, etc.

How do I fix it? 

If you don’t already have an SSL certificate installed on your WordPress site, I recommend getting one as soon as possible. 

In most cases, your hosting provider will offer a free Let’s Encrypt SSL certificate, which can be easily installed with just a few clicks. 

Once activated, always configure your website to use HTTPS instead of HTTP. 

You can also add HSTS headers for extra security.

14. Not Restricting Access to wp-admin 

By default, anyone who knows the URL of your WordPress login page ( can attempt to brute force their way into your site. 

This is a major security risk, so it’s important to take measures to restrict access to this page!

How do I fix it? 

One of the best ways to protect your wp-admin area is using two-factor authentication (2FA). 

This adds an extra layer of security by requiring users to enter a one-time code in addition to their username and password. 

Alternatively, you can limit login attempts or use IP blocking/whitelisting.

What I have done for my sites actually is use a plugin that changes the wp-login.php to anything I want.

15. Not Creating a Responsive Theme 

Responsive design is a technique to ensure your website looks good on all devices, from desktop computers to mobile phones. 

This is important because more and more people are using the internet on their smartphones and tablets!

How do I fix it? 

There are many WordPress themes available that are already responsive, so you can simply install one of those. 

Alternatively, if you’re comfortable with coding, you can create your own responsive theme from scratch or modify an existing non-responsive theme.

Read also: How to Pick the Perfect WordPress Theme.

16. Not Using Caching 

Caching is a technique to speed up loading times for frequently accessed files on your website. This includes things like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript files. 

By caching these files, your server can quickly serve them up the next time they’re requested!

How do I fix it? 

There are many WordPress caching plugins available that make it easy to implement this technique on your site. 

My personal favourite is W3 Total Cache, but feel free to experiment with different options to see what works best for you. 

Once installed, configure the plugin according to your preference and test things out thoroughly before making any changes live.

Read also: 14 Hacks to Speed Up Your WordPress Site.

17. “Pinging” Unnecessarily 

Pinging is a technique to notify search engines when new content is published on your website. This can be useful for quickly indexing new posts and pages, but often pinging can decrease performance and even get you banned by some services!

How do I fix it? 

In most cases, it is best to let WordPress handle pinging automatically. 

However, if you want more control over when and how often your site is pinged, you can install a plugin like WP-DBManager. Once activated, simply go to Settings -> Database and configure the plugin according to your preference.

18. Not Optimizing Your Images 

Images are an important part of any website, but they can also significantly contribute to slow loading times if not optimized properly. 

Be sure to save your images in the correct format (JPG for photos, PNG for graphics), and at a reasonable size appropriate for web use.

How do I fix it? 

Many WordPress plugins can help you optimize your images automatically, such as WP Smush it. 

Simply install and activate the plugin, then go to Settings -> Media and configure the settings according to your preference. 

Once activated, run any existing images through the smusher to optimise them!

19. Installing an Untested Plugin 

WordPress plugins are great for adding new features and functionality to your site, but it’s important to be careful when installing them. 

Make sure you only install plugins from reputable sources and that you test them thoroughly on a staging environment before making any changes live.

How do I fix it? 

Before installing any plugin on your WordPress site, check the reviews and ratings first. If possible, find an alternative plugin with more positive feedback. 

Also, test out any new plugins on a staging or development environment before making any changes live!

20. Neglecting SEO altogether 

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of optimizing your website to rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs). 

This can be complex and time-consuming, but it’s important if you want people to find your site!

How do I fix it? 

There are many WordPress plugins available that can help with SEO, such as Yoast SEO. 

Simply install and activate the plugin, go through each section and configure the settings according to your preference. 

Test things out thoroughly before making any changes live, as some settings may have a negative impact on your traffic!

21. Not utilizing social media. 

Social media is a powerful tool that can help promote your website or blog to a wider audience. 

Take advantage of social networks like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to share your content and attract new visitors!

How do I fix it? 

Many WordPress plugins can help you integrate social media into your site, such as Social Media Feather

Simply install and activate the plugin, go through each section and configure the settings according to your preference. 

Again, once activated, test things out thoroughly before making any changes live, so you don’t accidentally share private information!

Final thoughts 

And that concludes our list of the 21 most common WordPress mistakes (and how to fix them)! 

I hope you found this guide helpful and that you’ll be able to avoid some of these pitfalls in the future. 

If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below!

Read also: 10 Reasons to Switch to WordPress in the UK.