The 5 No-Nos Your WordPress Guy Or Gal Should Never Do

Whether you hire someone or you’re working on your site yourself, here are 5 things you absolutely never want to do. (I was going to say “no brainer” but that’s a no-brainer.)

1. Do Not Work On Your Live Site

Do not install plugins, change themes or make any major change on your live site (a site that is available to the public) – even if you have a backup!

You don’t want to take a chance that something could break causing your site to go missing in action. There’s no reason to take that chance.

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Have a duplicate (a mirror aka development site) that is either offline or password protected, so that no one can see what you or anyone else may be doing to the site. If you mess up, your live site will not be affected.

Once you’re finished making the changes using your dev site, you can – depending on the extent of the changes – do either of the following:

  • Migrate the dev site to your live site making the changes available on the live site.
  • Manually make the changes to your live site knowing that your live site will not break.

2. Do Not Steal Content

The web makes it oh so easy to steal just about everything you see on a page – but don’t do it. If you’re a content creator, you’ll know what I mean and why.

There are now so many legit ways to share the content of others on your site. There is no reason to five finger images, text or other assets that you are not legally entitled to.

3. Do Not Use A Low Quality Web Host

Free!! sounds great until you choose a free host. Just don’t bother. You won’t be saving anything with a free host…and good luck when they go out of business.

Low cost hosts can be ok, and certainly attractive, if money is tight. But if you have a real business or are running any kind of online shop, the low cost host will not be the way to go.

When it comes to web hosts, there are no real bargains. You get what you pay for.

4. Do Not Customize Your Theme By Editing Theme Files

If you – or someone you hire – edits your theme’s files, you’ll be heading to a bad place. If and when the theme is updated, all the custom coding that went into your theme will be overridden destroying the custom work.

I’ve seen people who should know better do this and they leave a client in a real bind.

The preferred practice is to create a Child Theme where the customizations are kept in separate files apart from your theme. This way if the theme is updated, the files in the Child Theme will remain unaffected.

5. Do Not Hack WordPress

This is developer talk, but the bottom line is that the files that makeup WordPress Core are not to be touched ever. It’s a cardinal sin in WordPressdom.

Developers know there are ways to get your site to do whatever is needed. Changing the WordPress files is not the way to do it.

Like a theme, if WordPress itself is edited, what do you think will happen when WordPress is updated?

Nothing good, that’s for sure!

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