First off, if you are someone who likes to DIY everything and save money, I know exactly where you’re coming from. I’m a DIY’er myself! I once washed my clothes in the sink for a month and hung them to try because I wanted to be more self sufficient and I was at war with my apartment building’s laundry room. I TOTALLY get it. As a business owner you want to do everything in your power to save money. And if feels SOOOO good to say you did it yourself.
With that said, WordPress is pretty cool isn’t it? It’s open source, easy to use (compared to other CMS’s in my opinion ), and anyone who can navigate a computer can get a fully function website up and running in seconds. You can even go to websites like ThemeForest or Creative Market and buy an “all-in-one” theme with color and layout options, image galleries, home page sliders, contact forms, and drag in drop page builders. It only makes sense as a smart and independent business owner to want to do it yourself right? Oh believe me. I understand all too well.
But here’s the thing: If you want your website to make you more money, you are making a huge mistake. In fact, there are a number of mistakes that DIY WordPress sites make that will loose you money. Period.
Slow load times will ruin you
To find out how your website is doing, you can check out Google Page Speed Insights. It will give you a rating on page speed and user experience, as well as give suggestions on how to improve speed. But again, if you’re not familiar with code, this might not be something you can do on your own.
You can also install the P3 Performance Profiler plugin on your WordPress site to see which plugins are slowing down your site. Sometimes all it takes is one plugin to bog everything down.
There Is No Clear Call To Action
I’m going to assume that if you’re running a business, you’re going to want you’re customers to take action after visiting your site. That could mean subscribing to a newsletter, purchasing something, or contacting you directly. It should be made very clear the action you want the user to take. This isn’t always clear with DIY WordPress Sites. Your call to action should either be the first thing the client sees, or the site’s flow should eventually lead to that point. An example of a good call to action would be Square’s website. Right away on the home page they have a brief message and a button to sign up with square.
Using The Default Permalink Structure
Permalinks are the links that are generated for you blog posts or pages. The default permalink structure looks like http://www.mysite.com/p=123/. This is really bad for search engine optimization and will likely cause you to rank lower on search results. To remedy this, you want to use the “Post Name” structure. Then your links will look like http://www.mysite.com/post-name/.
Not Being Mobile Friendly
Not allowing your site to be mobile friendly is one of the worst mistakes DIY WordPress sites make. Almost everyone surfs the web on their smartphone or tablet. Because of this, google recently changed their search algorithms to favor mobile friendly websites over their desktop exclusive counterparts in the search results.
So these are just what I consider to be the big No No’s of DIY WordPress sites, and there are many more. The bottom line is if you want your website to succeed, invest well in it. Hire a WordPress developer. Its our job to build websites that actually create results and solve a need. We took the time to learn the technical details so you don’t have to.