WordPress

8 Steps to Failure with WordPress Development and How to Avoid Them

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WordPress is a popular way to develop high-performance and smooth websites cost-effectively. However, it does not come without faults of its own. In a bid to develop many sites in haste, WordPress development teams often commit mistakes that prove expensive in the long run.

Not that it’s the end of the world if you make a mistake developing your WordPress site, but if it’s avoidable, let’s avoid it, right? Let’s see the most common mistakes developers make when building websites using WordPress and avoid them.

Common WordPress development failures and how to prevent them

Not making data backups

There could be many reasons why someone loses their critical data in this day and age- data theft, human errors, hacking attempts, and more. Data loss can make your website useless unless you have essential backups to restore to the site.

Loss of data can compel you to restart from scratch and cause loss of resources, money and effort. The solution? Take a few minutes to set up automated backups for your website. Various WordPress backup plugins allow you to back up your files locally as well as on a remote server.

A few popular ones include UpdraftPlus, BackupBuddy, VaultPress, BlogVault and BackWPup.

Using common names for classes, variables, functions and constants

When developing a plugin, it’s a coding best practice to use a naming convention that differentiates your code from that of a different plugin. This is why developers would usually prefix the names of their variables with something unique related to the plugin itself.

On the other hand, some developers prefer to use PHP namespaces to solve two distinct issues-

  • Name collisions in their code and other third-party or internal PHP functions, constants, variables and classes
  • Long names often compromise the readability of code. You can alias these names and manage code quickly without having to worry about unique and long names.

Depending on whether it’s a new project or an old one that you’re extending, you may need to stick with the existing coding style in the latter case. But it can be fruitful to stick with a uniform coding standard throughout the code.

Failing to leverage the full potential of WP core

WordPress comes with a host of existing functionality that can be simply called in themes and plugins. Often developers mistake including files in their assets directory that are already available in the core files.

This leads to bigger package size, longer loading time and slow performance. Besides, you will need to ensure time and again that all third-party libraries are regularly updated.

Be sure to leverage what WP has to offer by default, and you will have a lightweight WP site or theme or plugin that is automatically upgraded to the latest version and is therefore secure and robust.

Choosing a random theme

One of the areas developers take for granted is choosing the theme for a site. Answer the following questions to decide which kind of theme would be the best for you-

  • Do you need it to be customizable? A customizable theme makes it easy for the site admin to change color, fonts, animation, pictures and more.
  • Do you need it to be free or paid? If you’re building a website on a shoestring budget, many great free themes are available with WP. However, if you’re starting up a serious business and want to do it right from day one, pick one of the premium themes for more room for innovation, scalability and performance.
  • Do you need a responsive theme? More often than not, no matter the nature of your site, you want it to be responsive so that your users can get the best experience across screen sizes.

Test a few WP themes based on the factors above to decide on one that works best for you.

Not optimizing the site for SEO

If your website is not optimized for SEO, it’s practically non-existent. That’s the truth about search engines. If they can’t locate your site, how will the users? It’s important to implement SEO basics on your site to stand a chance for some visibility online.

Here are a few steps to take:

  • Host your site with a reliable service provider for better site speed and performance- which ultimately impacts search engine rankings.
  • Use an SEO-friendly WP theme. Before finalizing one, run its demo through web.dev to uncover potential SEO and performance issues.
  • Install a free SEO plugin such as Yoast SEO.
  • Enable an SEO-friendly URL structure by updating the Permalink setting.
  • Finally, carry out keywords research and follow SEO best practices across your site’s content.

Not handling WP updates

Outdated plugins, themes and even WP core cause reduced site speed, site crashes and compromised security. WordPress developer teams release regular updates that fix bugs and loopholes in plugins, themes and the WordPress core. 

Update WP plugins as soon as updates are available to safeguard your site against malicious attackers scouring the internet for sites that were not updated and are now left more vulnerable than before.

Not optimizing the site for speed

One of the most crucial factors that affects site experience is speed. Google takes into account site speed in ranking websites on both mobile and desktop. Optimizing your site for speed can prevent visitors from prematurely fleeing your site and arriving at competitors.

One of the ways to optimize for speed is by installing a caching plugin. Another could be to optimize images and rich media for the internet so that the site isn’t under load and bots up quickly.

Installing too many bells and whistles

Plugins can bring innovative functionality to your site, but too much can harm the user experience. A bad plugin can severely damage your site’s overall performance, jeopardize security, and do more harm than good.

Aim for quality over quantity. And make sure all the plugins you install come from reputable online sources.

Sidestep these common ways to failure with WP site development with expert developers from KiwiTech. With extensive experience working closely with startups, we know how to help you with our WordPress development services.

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