3 WordPress beginner mistakes and how to avoid them

Everyone makes mistakes, but some mistakes are more costly than others. If you’re setting up a website for the first time, it’s easy to make some mistakes along the way. Most are easy to fix, but a few will create major headaches for you. Here are 3 mistakes that could make managing your website difficult — and how to avoid each one.

Choosing the wrong platform

WordPress, SquareSpace, Shopify, Wix, Weebly, Joomla, Blogger — there are so many options out there to manage your content. And those aren’t even all of your options! Which one is right for you? We recommend WordPress for a variety of reasons, but primarily because it is easy to learn, widely supported, and infinitely extendable. Read more about why we recommend WordPress in this article, but if you choose a different platform, be aware that some of them are more difficult to migrate away from than others should you regret your decision after the fact.

If you do choose WordPress, know that it exists in two forms, WordPress.com and WordPress.org. And frankly, one weakness of WordPress is that it doesn’t do a very good job of differentiating the two. WordPress.com is easier to set up initially, but it’s a lot more limited. If you start with WordPress.com and find it to be too limiting, the process for moving your site to a self-hosted one is a bit cumbersome. You’ll want to make sure you choose the right platform for your needs so you don’t have to make a transition later on. Read this article to learn all the differences between WordPress.com and WordPress.org and how to tell which one is right for you.

Choosing the wrong theme

Even if you start out on the right platform, you can create a lot more work for yourself in the long run if you choose a theme that doesn’t meet your needs well. Be sure to choose a theme that meets the following criteria:

  • Is well-maintained
  • Has been updated recently
  • Is compatible with the latest version of WordPress

A theme that is updated infrequently and isn’t compatible with the most recent version of WordPress will create a lot of headaches for you, and you’ll encounter even more if you decide you need to switch. Also make sure not to be deceived by themes that look nice but only because they include lots of colorful images. Use our 4 tips for choosing a WordPress theme to help you decide which theme is right for you.

Using posts and pages improperly

Another aspect of WordPress that isn’t obvious on the surface is the difference between posts and pages. Use pages for your static information that doesn’t change often, like an “about me” page or a “contact me” page. Use posts for topic-based content. For a more detailed explanation on the difference between these two types of content, watch this video:

Making any of these three mistakes will make your website difficult to manage later on. Get a good grasp on each of these concepts before you start your site and you’ll be glad you did!