Even seasoned WordPress developers can make mistakes when working with the platform. These errors, however, can be avoided with a little awareness and care. In this regard, it is beneficial for developers to be aware of common mistakes. That’s irrespective of whether they are a novice or experienced developers.
Some common mistakes that WordPress developers make include overloading the website with unnecessary plugins, failing to back up the website, using weak passwords or storing them in an insecure location, using unoptimized images, and neglecting to update the site regularly. Other errors may include choosing an inadequate hosting plan, not optimizing the site’s speed, and failing to test the website across various devices and platforms.
By being mindful of these common mistakes and taking appropriate steps to avoid them, WordPress developers can improve the overall performance of the website, enhance security, and ensure a better user experience for visitors. It is essential to prioritize website maintenance and employ best practices to make the most of the WordPress platform.
When optimizing the speed of a website, your developer may need to use a premium theme. That too with all the libraries, including custom code, within a single file named main.js, theme.js, or custom.js. However, this practice can have negative consequences for several reasons.
Firstly, over time the file can become quite large as the theme keeps growing in features. It is common to see files as large as 1 MB in size. Loading such a large file site-wide can significantly slow down the website. Especially if it contains render-blocking code within the head section of the page. This can increase the time it takes for pages to download and render, leading to a poor user experience.
It is important to avoid using a single file to store all libraries and custom code to improve website performance. Instead, code should be separated into distinct files and enqueued only on the pages where they are required. This can help reduce page load times, improve website performance, and provide better user experiences. Therefore, it is crucial to ensure that all WordPress themes and plugins used on a website are optimized for page speed and do not hinder performance.
Underutilizing the WordPress Core Functionality
To optimize the functionality and maintenance of your WordPress website, it is best to utilize the existing core functionality in WordPress. This is due to the fact that WordPress offers a suite of regularly updated libraries that can easily be integrated into your plugins and themes, without the need for additional third-party libraries. It is important to avoid duplicating files that already exist in the WordPress core files, such as jQuery or Color Picker, as this can cause the package to become larger and take longer to load over the network. Moreover, having to update third-party libraries in addition to WordPress can add an extra layer of maintenance, and can become time-consuming.
By utilizing the existing core functionality provided by WordPress, your project can become more lightweight and easier to maintain. This also allows for more frequent updates to WordPress. Developers access access more features, improve the Dashboard, and enhance security measures. Keeping your website up-to-date and secure is crucial, especially in the event that vulnerabilities are found in older code releases. By following these best practices, you can ensure that your WordPress website is optimized for performance, functionality, and security.
Not Monitoring Changes
When developing custom-coded files, you can utilize version control to streamline the development process. Git is a widely used version control system that can create a record of any changes made to the code and allow multiple developers to work together seamlessly on the same WordPress project. Additionally, Git makes it easy to revert to a previous version of the code in the event of an error or malfunction on the website.
Using Git for custom-coded files also benefits clients. They can track the work history of all developers who have worked on their websites. This is especially useful for large, long-term WordPress custom websites that require a lot of development work.
Git may seem intimidating at first, especially for junior developers. But taking the time to understand and utilize Git is well worth it. A Git GUI software such as SourceTree can make the learning curve more enjoyable. It simplifies the interaction with Git repositories. Once a developer understands how Git works, they can explore Git’s best practices and tips from reputable sources.
By utilizing Git and following best practices, developers can streamline their development process. They can also collaborate more effectively, and maintain a detailed record of their work. This ultimately leads to the more efficient and effective development of WordPress websites. And that benefits both the developers and their clients.
Not Sticking to the PHP Coding Standards
A common mistake made by developers when coding in PHP is the implementation of code snippets into themes and plugins. Specifically those that only function correctly under certain conditions. This error is avoidable by adhering to PHP coding standards.
For example, developers may include a PHP function that executes certain actions only in response to a specific HTTP User Agent. This function may include actions like enqueuing scripts that are for mobile users only. However, if a caching plugin such as W3 Total Cache or WP Rocket is installed by the client, and it does not trigger the conditionals in the theme or plugin, the PHP code will become useless.
By following best practices and standards when coding in PHP, developers can avoid these common mistakes, ensure the effectiveness of their code, and prevent issues that may arise due to the use of outdated or ineffective practices.
Neglecting Google Analytics
Not utilizing Google Analytics for a website is like driving a car without headlights. WordPress is one of the most efficient content management systems available. But it does not offer a detailed analysis of a website’s performance through its dashboard. Therefore, it is essential to implement web analytics services, with Google Analytics being the top recommendation.
Google Analytics is a free tool that offers a wide range of resources for monitoring website traffic, analyzing and recording visitor behavior. You can also identify potential keywords to generate more traffic to the site. For optimal results, you can combine Google Analytics with Google Webmaster to achieve the best website statistics and reports.
By utilizing Google Analytics, website owners can gain critical insights into their website’s performance. They can study data on the number of visitors, page views, bounce rate, and demographics. With this information, website owners can make data-driven decisions and optimize their websites to attract more traffic and improve the user experience.
With consistent learning and practice, one can enhance their skills and become a WordPress developer. To remain up-to-date with the latest advancements, WordPress developers must continuously learn and explore new techniques and tools. By engaging in online communities, attending workshops and conferences, and exploring WordPress resources, developers can stay ahead of the game and gain knowledge to improve their skills.
Additionally, reflecting on past mistakes is an excellent way to learn and improve. Developers need to acknowledge what went wrong and analyze the situation. Hence, they can avoid making the same mistakes in the future and hone their skills. Therefore, every mistake, big or small, presents an opportunity to enhance skills and strive for excellence in the WordPress development industry.