As most bloggers quickly learn, blogging involves a lot more than just writing. And those “how to start a blog” tutorials usually only cover the tech side of things through you buying your web hosting.
But there are some easy to make (and avoid) tech mistakes than can hold you back from the success you want to see with your blog.
In this post, I’m breaking down the 7 most common tech mistakes new bloggers make, and how to fix them.
1. Not Setting Up a Post Structure URL
By default WordPress will have the “day and name” permalink structure selected. However, most of the time you don’t want the date in your URL because years later it will appear dated, even if it’s evergreen content.
If you’ve just started your blog and haven’t published any posts, then fixing this mistake is quick and easy.
The Fix: Adjusting Your Permalink Settings
Go to Settings and then Permalinks:
Then select “Post Name” or whatever your preferred permalink structure is, and hit “Save Changes”:
If you’ve already been blogging a while, there is a lot more to changing the permalink structure. You see if you just go into the settings and select something else, it will change ALL your URLS to match the new permalink structure.
This means any internal links (when you link to related posts within a post) or external links (a Pinterest Pin) will all be broken.
This does not mean you can’t change your permalink structure it just means you have an extra step involved. Before changing the permalink settings you’ll need to take note of all your current URLs so that you’ll be able to forward them to the new URL.
If you have a lot of blog posts, you might want to consider hiring this out, as it can be a bit technical and you don’t want to break your site.
2. Making Closed Content Searchable
Do you have a lead magnet on your site? For example a PDF and it’s uploaded to WordPress and you deliver it by providing the link.
If so, then you want to make sure the SEO settings for your PDF are set so that someone can’t just find the PDF through a Google search without having to sign up to your list.
The Fix: Using Yoast SEO to Have Search Engines Ignore the File
To change the settings on a media file in WordPress, you’ll need to navigate to your media and run a search for the file. If you have multiple PDFs you’ll just search for “pdf” and it should bring them all up:
Open the media file and click “Edit More Details”
Scroll down to the Yoast SEO Settings, and open up the “Advanced” Settings. Where it says “Allow Search Engines to Show this Media in Search Results” select “No” from the drop down menu.
Repeat this process for anything you don’t want people to find through a google search.
3. Not Compressing Images
Images can be pretty big files, this is especially true if you’re using images you’ve taken with your phone. Bigger image files take longer to load, which slows down your site.
A slow site can lead to a higher bounce rate and have a negative impact on your search engine optimization.
Rather than deleting, editing, and reuploading all your site’s images, you can compress them to make the files smaller, without losing the quality of the image.
The Fix: Using a Tool like ShortPixel to Bulk Compress Images
Most image compression tools will allow you to compress 100 images/month for free. But if you need to run all your images, you’ll likely need to buy some credits. Fortunately, this can be done for a super affordable price.
Shortpixel, my preferred tool costs just $10 to compress 10,000 images. This video walks you through getting Shortpixel set up on your site and bulk optimizing your images:
4. Not using a naming system to start
Staying organized is key to saving time as a blogger. It makes it easy to find files and images, both inside of WordPress and on your computer.
If you don’t have a file naming system set up you could be wasting tons of time trying to find what you’re looking for. Was that named “untiled 21” or “June blog post”?
The Fix: Decide on A File Naming Format & Stick To It
A good naming format should be fewer than 25 characters and descriptive. But also having a strong file organization will help too.
For more information on how to name your files as a blogger check out: Why You Need a File Naming System
5. Installing Google Analytics Twice
If you have a bounce rate of 0% or close to it, you might have Google Analytics installed twice. Which makes your data unreliable. Here is how to quickly check if you have Google Analytics installed twice.
1. Using Chrome, go to any page on your site.
2. Right click and select “View Page Source”
3. Using the Find function (on mac: command+f) type in “UA-“
4. If it finds that mentioned in more than one section, then you have GA installed more than once
The Fix: Uninstall One
If you have Google Analytics installed twice it might be because you’ve done it through a plugin as well as inserting the coding or using the specific Google Analytics plugin or Google Tag Manager plugin.
If you look at the page source more closely it should help you figure out where all you have Google Analytics Installed.
You can see in this example, Google Analytics has been installed using Google Tag Manager:
Once you know the two places with it installed, you just need to delete one.
6. Embedding Social Platforms on Their blog
An Instagram feed may look nice on your homepage, but it can really slow down the site speed. All those images can take a long time to load. And since they are being embedded instead of hosted on your site you can’t compress them to make the file size smaller.
There is also the fact that once you have them on your site, why would you want to send them over to Instagram? Instead of getting them to sign up for your email list or click an affiliate link?
The Fix: Take a Screenshot and Link it
If you really must have something resembling your Instagram feed (or other social media) on your site, take a screenshot of what it would look like.
The replace the embed with the screenshot and link the screenshot to your profile.
While the screen shot won’t update like an embedded feed would, it will still look nice and speed up your site load time.
7. Using the Alt-Text on Images Wrong
Many years ago it was common practice to use the Alt Text on images for your Pin description. But the purpose of the Alt text is to enable those who access websites differently, for example someone who is blind, to understand what the image is about.
Even if you’re not using the Alt Text for a Pin description, leaving it blank isn’t good either. You want to make sure you are filling in the alt-text for every image you use on your site.
The Fix: Make it a Habit
The alt text really just needs to be a description of what the image is, so that someone who can see it knows what it is and how it ties into the content.
If you have tons of images currently missing Alt-Text there are plugins to make it possible to bulk edit them, simply search “bulk edit alt text WordPress” and you’ll see lots of options.
No website is ever done or perfect but avoid and fixing tech mistakes can help make sure you’re optimizing your site and your earnings.
You don’t want something that is easily fixable to hold you back from seeing success.
Got questions? Let me know in the comments!