25 Reasons Your WordPress Installation Is Not Correct

WordPress dashboard

WordPress doesn't need any introduction. It is now regarded as the most popular content management system on the internet. Every day thousands of new websites and blogs are sprouted on the web that uses WordPress as their preferred CMS. But the big question is - Are these installations done in a correct way? Do webmasters implement all the elementary precautions to make their WordPress installation correct and secure? Well, here are some of the reasons that may categorize your WordPress installation as incomplete or insecure. Carefully scan these points and see if it applies on your website.

WordPress dashboard

Addressing all the issues mentioned below will make your WordPress installation secure and search engines will love it. You'll see the difference once you've fixed all these issues on your website.

Read Also:
15+ Things to Do After Installing a New WordPress Site

So, let's get started and see why our WordPress installation may be correct after all. What shortcomings are common to most new WordPress websites and how we can make sure it doesn't happen on ours.

  • You've not applied correct directory/file permissions - This is one of the most common problems existent in insecure WordPress installations. Make sure all important files and directories have the correct file permissions.
  • You've not created a sitemap - No site is complete without a proper sitemap. The same rule applies to a WordPress powered website. Make sure you have a search engine friendly sitemap for proper indexation.
  • You don't know what .htaccess is! - This is a powerful way to do many things that include restricting access to selective directories and blocking certain bots and visitors. If you're not familiar with .htaccess file, you cannot properly configure your WordPress installation.
  • You have not configured a custom 404 page - Often visitors land on a non-existent page on our blog. You must create a custom 404 page to divert such traffic towards the main content. Webmasters generally showcase their best content on such pages along with a link back to the home page too.
  • You're installing tons of plugins for every little customization/feature - It feels good to have a pre-made custom solution for every requirement. But, you should never fall in the trap of installing countless plugins for integrating different functionalities. The more plugins you have, the more sluggish your website is.
  • You've chosen a simple password for admin account - Although this is quite obvious, still is worth mentioning. Create a strong password with special characters and digits. Reports suggest that lot of people create very common passwords that often result in account hacking.
  • You've chosen a default database prefix - If you've not changed the default database prefix while installing your WordPress blog, you inviting hackers to launch an SQL injection attack on your database.
  • You've not created a separate administrator account - It is always advisable to delete the default administrator account transferring all the rights to a new administrator account. This hardens the security of your WordPress installation.
  • You're using a free WordPress theme from an unknown source - Every free WordPress theme is not bad, but installing such a theme from an unknown source may carry hidden malware that may infect your website or blog without your knowledge.
  • You've not configured your website's permalink structure - The default permalink structure of WordPress isn't SEO-friendly. You must change this permalink structure to a more SEO-friendly format as soon as the installation is completed.
  • You've not installed any anti-spam solution - Spam is one of the major problems faced by almost every webmaster, no matter what CMS is being used. You must install an effective anti-spam solution during the installation process.
  • You've not installed a powerful sitemap generator - For better content indexing, you must install a plugin or a custom code that automatically creates a crawler-friendly sitemap for your blog or website. This is extremely important because proper indexing can bring tons of traffic from organic sources.
  • You're do-following your archives & category pages - Some newbies, do-follow every single web page on their WordPress blog. There's no need to do-follow certain category of pages to prevent leakage of link juice. Category and archive pages must always be no-follow along with search result and 404 page.
  • You've not created a gravatar account - Before installing WordPress, you must create a Gravatar profile so that you can not only use it on your own website but can also use it on other WordPress powered websites.
  • You've not created proper author profiles - Creating a proper author profile with a thumbnail image, full name and other details is very vital for attributing content to the right person. This also lets the readers know about the person who've written that piece of content.
  • You're creating a large number of categories - For better on-page SEO and content management, you must limit your categories around a dozen or less. Creating large number of categories dilutes your on-page SEO and also makes content management cumbersome.
  • You've not deactivated image hot-linking - Bandwidth stealing is quite prevalent nowadays. You must ensure that such people are not able to directly link to your images. With a simple .htaccess directive you can easily block direct image hot-linking.
  • You've not provided multiple feed subscription options - The dynamic nature of WordPress blogs inherently provide feed subscription options to the readers. You must provide direct feed subscription as well as email subscription facility to the readers.
  • You've loaded your blog with tons of widgets - Resist the temptation to populate your blog's sidebar with fancy widgets. Quite similar to plugins, these widgets are only going to defeat the primary purpose of your blog and will also make the entire website sluggish.
  • You've not created a contact page - No WordPress blog is complete without a dedicated contact page that is easily accessible and provides easy options to content the owner. Create a page with embedded form to let your visitors contact you easily, in case they want to ask some question.
  • You've not provided a search box for visitors - This is one of the biggest mistakes that is often committed by webmasters. Large numbers of visitors' often try search queries on the website to find relevant content. You must provide a search box to let visitors scan the content they intend to read.
  • You've never cross-checked your fresh install for security - After the installation is complete, you must manually cross-check all the security aspects of your blog. You can also take assistance of special security scanning plugins to assess the loopholes in your WordPress blog.
  • You're using old version of WordPress - All your precautions can go in vain, if you're using an old version of this popular CMS. Always download the latest version before you start the installation process.
  • You're embedding custom code into core WordPress files - Avoid this disaster at all costs. Embedding custom code in core files can prove fatal when you update your blog to a new version of WordPress. During upgrade process, all your custom code will be overwritten breaking your entire site without any warning.
  • You've decided to turn-off comments (even on new posts) - To combat spam, blogs with high volume of traffic often close comments on old posts. Every blog grows around a community. Kindly keep the comments open for new posts and let it be so until you feel that your spam problem is getting out-of-control.