The 5 Most Common WordPress Mistakes that New Bloggers Do (and how to fix them)

If you have a blog or a website, I’m sure you are familiar with WordPress.

WordPress is a great platform that gives infinite possibilities of customisation to help us reach our goals.

Because of its nature, WordPress is also easy to manage yourself. You don’t need a developer to manage your website or blog! You can do everything on your own.

But knowing the basic can make a huge difference and also create a good foundation for a successful and profitable blog or online business.

In this post I’ll show you how to identify and easily fix the 5 most common WordPress mistakes the you might be doing. And without paying for expensive professionals!

Let’s get started….

1. Permalink structure

First of all… What is a PERMALINK?

Permalink is the URL of a web page or blog post. Those letters and numbers you can see after your domain name when opening a specific page.

Every post has a unique permalink and is permanent. There’s no two posts with the same permalink neither it changes if you change post title.

WordPress, when you first create a website, will give you a default permalink.

But it’s not very “good looking” and SEO friendly either. With a link ending in something like “/?p=123” you can imagine that a search engine will never understand what your post is talking about.

So, we need to go and change it!

Simply go on Settings and select Permalinks. You’ll have different options. We don’t want to include day nor month of publication as we want to be able to re-use the content for “evergreen” posts.

Common Beginner WordPress Mistakes and how to fix them

So the best option is using the “post name” structure. Select it and click Save Changes at the bottom of the page.

2. Not using a Favicon

We all want our blog or website to look fabulous.

Using a Favicon is part of the branding process and show readers that everything is in place when they visit your blog or website.

A Favicon is that small image next to the URL that you can find in every big website. For example Wikipedia, Apple or even your favourite blogger like Michelle from Making Sense of Cents.

Common Beginner WordPress Mistakes and how to fix them
Common Beginner WordPress Mistakes and how to fix them

Choose an icon that represents your blog or brand. The favicon file must be square and at least 512px x 512px in .ico format or .png format.

Once you’ve got it we have to upload it into WordPress. Go in Appearance and then Customize. It will open the visual editor and you’ll have different tabs on the left. Select Site Identity and click on select image to upload the Favicon.

3. Blocking Search Engine

Your blog, in order to be found, needs to appear on search engines. We want to rank as higher as possible because it’ll be more likely that people will click on the link to our blog or website.

However, with WordPress, you can choose to not index your blog/website so you cannot rank in results.

We don’t really want to do that unless you need to hide your blog. So, go to settings>reading and make sure that the ‘Discourage search engines from indexing this site’ checkbox is not checked.

It’s important to keep in mind that making sure your blog is indexed is only the first step in ranking. It’s a great idea to do some research on basic SEO. 

If you really want to stand out, consider working with an expert SEO agency. This is a great post by FATJOE if you’re interested in outsourcing your SEO tasks.

4. Renaming the “Uncategorized” Category Option

When you create a website with WordPress, as default it starts categorising the new posts under “uncategorised”.

This is not ideal if we want to keep everything organised and help our readers to find posts easily!

So, as you will start to create new categories depending on what the blog or website is about, we also want to change the name to this one.

If you think about it, UNCATEGORIZED doesn’t really sound pretty.

So to rename it with something different, like “other” for example, go to posts>categories and find “uncategorized“. Point the mouse over it and select quick edit and change Name and Slug with the new name. Click “update category” to save the changes.

If you decide to also change the “slug”, don’t forget to set a redirection! So people visiting the old URL will be automatically redirected to the new one. Otherwise, they will just see an error page.

5. Changing “admin” username

If you’ve decided to use “admin” as a username to log into WordPress.. Well, it’s better if you change it!

If you think, it’s a very easy word to remember – from the fact that you have admin privileges as the creator of the website.

So, as it’s easy for you to remember, is also easy for hackers to guess it and enter into your website or blog.

We want to make sure that your username is not easy to guess and it’s different from the displayed name!

To change the “admin” username, go to users>add new. Why adding a new user? Can’t I simply change my username?

As you can notice, we cannot change the username of an existing user. But we can create as many new users as we want with admin privilege.

Fill in the information for the new user and make sure to select “Administrator” as “role”. Click on “Add New User” to proceed.

Now, log out from the account and log in again with the NEW admin account.

Go to users>all users, and find the account with the “admin” username and delete it. If you think you need some time to remember the new password, you can wait to delete the old account until you are confident with the new credentials.

Share your thoughts

Have you identified one or more of those things in your blog or website? Let me know in the comments below!

Isa Lillo


18 thoughts on “The 5 Most Common WordPress Mistakes that New Bloggers Do (and how to fix them)

    1. That’s true ? some of these things are not in what you usually open every day on the blog you everyone can miss them! Thanks for stopping by 🙂

  1. Great post! The permalinks thing drives me crazy. I’ve set it up so that it goes to post name, but even so, it always goes back to the default. I’m not sure why– I’ve saved it multiple times. Have you ever dealt with that?

    Thanks for the great post!

    1. If the things happen when the post is still on draft.. that’s normal, it happens to me too 🙂 The important thing is the permalink once is published ?? Search engines cannot even find draft posts so I won’t worry too much about that.

    1. To be honest, even for me that I work with WordPress every day is the newest thing I’ve learnt.. but it makes a big difference and helps your blog looking more professional and that you give it more attentions 🙂

  2. These are very helpful tips. I’ve been blogging for a while but just recently became self hosted and got more serious about it. Your post really helped me understand things I’m missing.

    1. Glad it helped 🙂 Definitely agree that if you go self-hosted you need to refine your blog to make the most out of it!

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