How to fix common mistakes with WordPress

WordPress is the most popular CMS in the world. It is not surprising that users of this engine are faced with typical problems and make common mistakes. What mistakes are we talking about and how to fix them?

Mobile menu error

When trying to use the site menu, users may encounter a problem (see illustration).

This happens if you forgot to specify the mobile menu in the WordPress settings. To correct the error, select the section "Appearance - Menu - Area Management" in the console. Select the desired menu and save the changes.

Check the availability of the mobile menu on the site.

See also: What mistakes make the largest online stores Runet

Structured data error (hatom, hcard)

This is a very common mistake that WordPress resource owners usually learn about through notifications in the Search Console.

Where did the error come from? Most WordPress design templates support markup using microformats by default. Many theme developers implement the data with errors.

Do errors in structured data interfere with users? No, they have no direct effect on user experience. Micromarking helps search engines to correctly index sites.

In theory, in the future, semantic data may become a ranking factor. In this case, errors in the markup will adversely affect the visibility of the resource in the search. Also, due to errors, search engines do not display an extended snippet on the output page. Another argument in favor of working on the bugs: the corresponding messages in the Search Console are just annoying.

There are two ways to correct the error and one way to prevent it. Prevention consists in choosing a design template in which the markup is integrated correctly. Choose a theme with SEO Friendly and Microformats features, install and test with the Google micromarking test tool.

Please note that this does not guarantee the absence of errors in structured data, but only reduces their likelihood. There is such a problem: the theme is being validated in the Google service, but after indexing the pages in the Search Console, error messages appear. In this case, they need to be corrected.

The first way is to correct errors using the DT hAtom Error Removal plugin. Please note this is a commercial product that the author currently distributes for free. Also note the absence of this plugin in the official directory on This means that the add-in may not meet security requirements.

DT hAtom Error Removal automatically removes microformats from the theme files and adds the correct markup. The developer warns that the add-in does not work with all themes, so there is no one hundred percent guarantee for correcting errors.

Install and activate the plugin. To correct errors in the layout of publications and pages, check the box next to Add hAtom code to Posts and Add hAtom code to Pages. Save the changes.

The plugin adds the correct microdata to the pages. Relevant information is displayed under the content.

The markup created by the plugin is validated.

If archives, tags and categories are open for indexing on your resource, and there are error messages in Search Console, select the option Remove hentry class from Archive Pages. It removes structured data from archive pages. If the pages of the archives on your site are closed from indexing, no additional settings are required.

If your site uses a static home page, check the box next to Add hAtom code to Home Static Page. If the main page is the records page, check the Remove Hentry class from Home page option.

There is one more plugin with which you can fix leakage errors. Hatom fix by paid. Please note that it is also missing from the official WordPress directory.

The second way to correct the error can be called radical. Using the Hatom / hentry remover plugin, you can remove microformats from any topic. The developer claims that the use of the add-in does not affect the other functions and appearance of the design template.

If you use other types of markup, removing microformats is a logical step. For example, if you mark up publications using Article or BlogPosting, search engines obtain semantic data using this type of markup. Microformats simply duplicate information, so they can be deleted.

Install and activate the plugin. Using the structured data verification tool, make sure that the plugin has removed microformats from the pages of your resource. After reindexing a resource, error messages in Search Console will disappear.

See also: What to do when your hands itch: advice and life hacking for advanced WordPress users

Inconvenient URLs for users

Recommendations for setting up CNC are available in almost every WordPress site creation guide. However, many site owners use user-friendly URLs.

By default, links in WordPress look like this: // site-wordpress /? P = 112. Search engines understand and accept such URLs, so from a technical SEO point of view they can be used.

Why are default links considered inconvenient for live users? They are uninformative. A person is not told about anything by the set of characters "/? P = 112", therefore it is difficult for him to remember the URL or to assess the expediency of following the link. Compare the default CNC links that look like this: // site-wordpress / kotiki or // site-wordpress / cats / britancy.

To customize the URL, install the plugin Cyr to Lat enhanced. This add-in converts Cyrillic characters to Latin in references. After activating the plugin go to the console menu "Settings - Permanent links." Select the appropriate URL structure and save your changes.

To display the heading name in the URL, on the permalink settings page, check the box next to the option "Free." In the empty field, enter the value /% category% /% postname% /.

No accelerated mobile pages

This strategic mistake deprives your site of the share of mobile traffic. You can fix it in a few minutes.

Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) is a content display technology that greatly increases the speed of a site’s loading when using mobile devices. For more information, visit the AMP project website and the Google webmasters reference guide.

Key points you need to know about accelerated mobile pages:

  • AMP is a shortened version of site pages. On accelerated pages only main content is displayed.
  • Google caches AMP with the correct markup to increase page loading speed when browsing from a mobile and using a slow internet connection.
  • The largest search engine in the world can display the content of accelerated pages of your site in the carousel on the search results page.
  • AMP has no advantage in rankings. But if the pages of the site are displayed in the carousel, you will get more traffic. The carousel is located at the top of the SERP.
  • If you are using a mobile version or an adaptive layout with AMP, Google will prefer accelerated mobile pages. That is, with the correct implementation of AMP, Google users will most likely get on the accelerated pages of the site, rather than on its mobile or adaptive version.

To create accelerated mobile pages, use the Automattic AMP plugin. After installation and activation on your site will appear AMP. To get to the accelerated page, add the ending / AMP / to the URL. Please note, the plugin creates accelerated pages only for publications. For categories, tags, static pages and main AMP is not created.

In order for accelerated pages to be displayed in the output, they must be valid.

After indexing AMP information about them will appear in the Search Console in the menu "View in search - Accelerated mobile pages".

Please note that the presence of accelerated mobile pages on the site does not mean that all owners of smartphones and tablets will automatically go to the AM version of the pages when they visit your site. The expediency of directing users from a search on AMP is determined by a search engine.

Visitors from other sources by default fall on the mobile or adapted version of the resource. If desired, they can independently switch to AMP. For this you need to change the URL. Some optimizers recommend doing server redirect, which automatically redirects all users to accelerated pages. This is an incorrect approach, since not all users of smartphones and tablets need AMP.

Simply create accelerated pages and let Google decide whether to send users to them. Redirect from the mobile version to AMP is not necessary.

Adjust the performance tracking of accelerated pages. To track AMP visits with Google Analytics, install and activate the AMP Analytics plugin or AMP Toolbox. In the settings, specify the tracking ID GA.

Indexing pagination pages

Almost every site running CMS WordPress has pagination pages. If no action is taken, extra pages like // site-wordpress / page / 2 / or // site-wordpress / category / page / 2 / may appear in the index of search engines.

Google offers three ways to solve the problem:

  • Do not do anything and allow the search engine to independently determine whether to include pagination pages in the index.
  • Make the "Show All" page and specify it as canonical.
  • Use the attributes rel = "next" and rel = "prev" to indicate to the search engine the link between the pagination pages.

A "Yandex" recommends making the second and subsequent pages of pagination non-canonical. The problem is solved with the help of the All in One SEO Pack plugin. Install and activate the add-in. In the settings, enable the "Canonical URLs" and "Prohibit pagination for canonical URLs" options.

The plugin specifies the rel = "next" and rel = "prev" attributes and makes the first page of the pagination canonical.

Closed / open for indexing pages of headings, tags and archives

Speech is not about an error, but about a question that requires attention. CMS WordPress creates navigation pages headings, tags and archives. Some site owners leave them open for indexing, and some are barred from robots to avoid sanctions for duplicate content.

There is no general opinion on the expediency of blocking the indexation of pages of categories, archives and tags. Therefore, proceed according to the situation.

Leave category pages open for search robots if you find them useful to users. Non-WordPress example: for “laptops”, “Yandex” offers online store category pages. They are useful for users who, after navigating to a category page, will be able to search for a suitable laptop using filters and navigation menus.

WordPress blog heading pages can also play the role of a navigation hub. Imagine that you are writing about musical instruments. The user enters the heading page for "acoustic guitars". On this page he will find reviews of the tools he is interested in.

Search engines will not penalize the site for duplicate content if the headings pages remain open for indexing. First, on the category pages only the name and the announcement of the publications is displayed. And search engines are well aware that the value of category pages is to simplify navigation and search for the necessary information, and not in the content.

Secondly, you can add unique information to the rubrics pages. To do this, select the menu "Records - Categories" in the console and add text in the "Description" field. Please note that not all design templates display descriptions on the rubrics page.

Heading pages should be closed from indexing only if you do not want them to appear in the search. For example, if you want to send visitors from a search not to the page of the Acoustic Guitars category, but to a specific article on acoustic guitars, prevent robots from indexing category pages.

For example, this can be done using the All in One SEO Pack plugin (menu “Basic Settings - Indexing Settings). You can also close archives of dates and authors and tags page from indexing.

See also: How to create a website on Joomla !: A step-by-step guide for beginners

Posting entire posts

This is a typical mistake of novice bloggers. When publications are displayed entirely on the main, on the pages of headings and archives, it impairs the user experience. Readers are more difficult to find the desired post.

Isn't that enough? Here is another argument: when you publish a post entirely, it is easier for attackers to steal your content. Moreover, the aggregators automatically receive your content via RSS and publish it almost simultaneously with you.

To avoid problems with usability and theft of content, remove the main part of the post under the cat. This can be done using the "Next" tag.

To protect content from theft via RSS aggregators, go to "Settings - Read". Make sure that you are allowed to display only post announcements in the RSS feeds.

The translation of the template with an ax

We are talking about the clumsy way of Russification of topics: editing file templates. This is at least inconvenient. To quickly translate a topic, proceed as follows:

  • Select and install a theme adapted for translation. Typically, developers flag them with a translation ready tag.
  • Install and run Poedit.
  • Download the theme language pattern file to your computer. This can be done using an FTP client or the File Manager plugin. The language template file has a .pot extension. It is in the Languages ​​folder of your theme. You can also use an existing translation file with the .po extension.
  • Use the "Create New Translation" menu in Poedit. Translate the proposed phrases and sentences. Save the translation files to your hard drive.
  • Using a file manager or an FTP client, upload files with the .mo and .po extensions to the template language folder.

Lack of post thumbnails

If you do not select a thumbnail of the publication, the engine will do it for you. Depending on the theme, the first or last photo published in the article is used as a thumbnail.

Thumbnails are displayed in publications announcements on the main page and category pages. Also, depending on the settings, they can form snippets on social networks.

You can select an arbitrary thumbnail on the record editing page. You must first upload a photo to the media gallery.

Ignoring OpenGraph microdata

The Open Graph protocol refers to the basic types of micromarking. He is responsible for displaying a snippet of the page in social networks. If there is no Open Graph markup on the site, when publishing a link or sharing, the link to your site will look minimalistic.

If the site has an Open Graph micro-markup, the social networks display an attractive snippet on the pages. It includes an image and description.

You can implement Open Graph markup using the appropriate plug-in. And if you use the SEO in All in One SEO Pack, additional tools will not be needed. In the menu "All in One SEO - Module Management" activate the module "Social Meta".

Go to the menu "All in One SEO - Social Meta". In the module settings, specify the site name. In the "Image Settings" section, specify a recording thumbnail as the source. Now when you publish links, social networks will draw a snippet using the photo that you chose as a thumbnail. The remaining settings can not be changed.

See also: Which CMS to choose: a guide for choosing a "engine" for the site

Plugin Abuse

The ability to quickly extend the functionality of the engine using plug-ins - a business card WordPress. This medal has a reverse side. Many site owners install extra add-ons. They can conflict with each other, reduce the speed of loading pages, increase the likelihood of hacking resource.

Imagine that you want to add a block "Share" from "Yandex" to the blog pages. This can be done using the appropriate plug in one minute. The same problem can be solved without a plug in 60 seconds. Configure the block, copy the code and paste it into the site.

You can insert the code in two ways:

  • In the menu "Appearance - Editor" find the template file, which is responsible for the publication of publications. Depending on the topic, it can be single.php, content-single.php, index.php. Paste the block code before the closing tag.
  • If you use plugins to insert a WP Insert Code, insert the Share block code on the administrative console code setup page.

Не будет ли злоупотреблением вставка кода с помощью плагина? Нет, так как надстройки типа WP Insert Code действительно полезны. С их помощью вы можете мгновенно вставлять произвольный код. Например, плагин для вставки кода позволяет быстро установить коды сервисов аналитики, пиксели ретаргетинга, социальные виджеты и так далее.

Слишком много рубрик в меню навигации

На сайтах и блогах под управлением WordPress в качестве навигационного меню обычно используется виджет рубрик в сайдбаре. Если вы создали слишком много категорий, навигация по сайту усложняется.

Сколько категорий должно быть в блоге? Постарайтесь уложиться в 15-20. Что делать, если вы пишете много и на разные темы? "Лента.ру" тоже пишет много и на разные темы. Посмотрите, сколько рубрик отображается в основном навигационном меню сайта издания.

Планируйте структуру рубрик так, чтобы пользователю было легко искать нужную информацию. Подумайте, стоит ли создавать дочерние категории.

If you cannot limit the number of rubrics on the site, display only the main ones in the navigation menu. To do this, discard the "Categories" widget, which by default shows all created categories. Instead, create a navigation menu in the corresponding section of the console. Include the main headings.

Display navigation links in the sidebar using the Custom Menu widget.

If you want, show users the full list of categories in the form of a drop-down menu using the "Categories" widget. If you have created child categories, check the "Display hierarchy" option in the widget's settings.

Ignore https protocol

Google made the secure https network protocol one of the ranking factors in mid-2014. And from the beginning of 2017, the world's largest search engine will mark as unsafe resources that have not switched to a secure connection.

The expediency of using https for content projects, which include most WordPress sites, can be discussed. But if Google adds a warning icon to the link to your resource in the Chrome browser or in the search results, you will certainly lose some of the traffic. Therefore, go to https, even if you have a blog about pipes or photo magazine about cats.

Here are a few life hacks that will help you quickly and painlessly translate a WordPress site to a secure connection:

  • SSL certificate can be obtained free of charge. Carefully read the terms and conditions of your hosting plan, as well as familiarize yourself with the actions of the hoster.
  • You can install an SSL certificate on the site using the Really Simple SSL plugin. This add-in automatically solves the problems associated with the transition to a secure protocol. The plugin fixes internal links and includes a constant redirect from http to https version.
  • To fix internal links, in the settings of the Really Simple SSL plug-in, check the Auto replace mixed content option.
  • Make sure that the plugin has configured server redirect 301. The following entry should appear in the .htaccess file after enabling the plugin:

RewriteEngine on

RewriteCond% {https}! = On [NC]

RewriteRule ^ (. *) $ //% {HTTP_HOST}% {REQUEST_URI} [R = 301, L]

If the add-on has not enabled the server redirect, do it manually on your own or contact your hosting provider.

After setting up a 301 redirect, Google will automatically determine the site’s main mirror. You only need to add a resource with https in the Search Console and confirm management rights. Data will be updated within a few days.

With Yandex, additional actions will have to be taken. Theoretically, the largest search engine of the Runet should change the main mirror after correctly setting a permanent redirect. In practice, it is better to specify the main mirror using the host directive in the robots.txt file.

Editing the robots.txt file is convenient using the Virtual robots.txt plugin or similar add-ons.

When you have specified the main mirror in the robots.txt file, use the "Site Moving" tool in Yandex.Webmaster. Check the "Add https" option and save the changes.

NB! Specify the main mirror in the robots.txt file and tell Yandex about the change of the main mirror using the Site Move tool before turning on the server redirect. In this case, you do not have to create separate redirection rules for the robots.txt file on the http version of the resource, and also delay the setting up of the server redirect until the mirrors are glued together.

After saving the changes in the "Moving site" section, add a website with https to the "Webmaster". In about a week, Yandex will report a change in the main mirror.

Do not be afraid to lose search traffic. If you do everything right, the search engines will respond normally to a change of protocol. The graph marks the transition point of the test site to https. The change in the protocol did not affect the general trend.

Widget Abuse

CMS WordPress supports several widgets: Meta, Recent Publications, Popular Publications, Tag Cloud, Calendar and others. Many design templates allow you to display additional widgets, for example, a widget with icons of social networks or a customized block of popular entries. Finally, many plugins also allow you to display additional widgets on the site. For example, the polling plugin WP-Polls allows you to show the results of polls in the sidebar or footer.

Widgets enhance the functionality and information content of the site, as well as improve the appearance of the resource. Then what's the problem? It appears when the webmaster catches on the site almost all the visual elements found in the "Appearance - Widgets" console menu. It does not just spoil the look of your blog. This confuses the user and creates inconvenience for him.

Do not post more than three or four widgets in the sidebar of a site or blog on WordPress. Be sure to find a place for the navigation menu, which can be implemented using the "Headings" or "Arbitrary Menu" widget. Publish a regular or custom widget of popular publications. You have two places left. Post a social widget and a subscription form.

But the widgets listed below should not be displayed on your site under any circumstances:

  • Tag Cloud. This widget is only suitable for blogs like "Our fifth grade."
  • Meta. This element is generally not needed on sites. The only exception: community sites with a large number of users. In this case, the widget is needed to make it easier for users to log in to the site.
  • Calendar widget. This is a useless item that takes up a lot of space.
  • Archives. Do you really think that someone will look for publications in the archives over the past year? Then hang the widget in the form of a drop-down menu somewhere in the footer.
  • RSS. Why broadcast on your site other people's RSS feeds?
  • Extra social widgets. You can hang one visual element of this type. Alternatively, you can consider the panel with links to groups in social networks.
  • Counters and puzomerki. If you want, leave one or two counters of the most reputable services, for example, Liveinternet. But you can monitor the effectiveness of the site using the "Metrics" or Google Analytics, which do not require the installation of visual elements on the site.

Remember, external service widgets can increase page load time.

See also: How to make a website on Drupal yourself

JS and CSS code that blocks the display of the top of the page

This is a mistake that I have not yet learned to correct. But partially solved the problem, so the experience can be useful for CMS WordPress users.

The error is not related to the actions of webmasters. The JavaScript and CSS code that blocks the display of the top of the page is found in most design templates, including the default themes of the Twentieth family. You can learn about the problem by checking the site with Google’s PageSpeed ​​Insights tool.

Techies with "Habra" recommend transferring styles from file to code. This optimizes CSS and increases page loading speed. If you do not have professional knowledge of HTML, CSS and JavaScript, you should not edit the template yourself. Contact the experts or use ready-made solutions. Below you will find a list of plugins that partially solve the problem of displaying the top of the page.

Paid version of WP Fastest Cache

If you are ready to lay out 40 dollars for a lifetime license, then get access to the advanced optimization features of JS, CSS and HTML. I have no experience with using the paid version of the tool. In the webmasters' forums, the premium version of the plugin receives good reviews, so the add-in deserves a mention.

W3 Total Cache

This plugin partially solves the problem "render-blocking JavaScript and CSS". It has advantages over WP Fastest Cache: the functions you need are available for free. But more disadvantages:

  • First, you have to tinker with the settings.
  • Secondly, the following recipe for solving the problem of blocking scripts that display the top of the page does not work in practice with all topics. For example, the plugin worked with the default Twenty Sixteen template, but there was no effect on the Realistic theme.
  • Third, as noted above, the effectiveness of the recipe is limited. With its help, it was possible to solve the problem of preventing the display of JavaScript code. But to fully optimize the work of CSS failed. As a result, even after the removal of JSS, the number of PageSpeed ​​Insights points did not increase. In the test results, only the recommendation has changed: instead of "Correct necessarily," Google writes "Correct as much as possible."
  • Finally, the main drawback: because of the W3 Total Cache plug-in, sites become inaccessible from time to time. Two test sites that are located on different physical servers went offline with an error of 500 after installing and activating the add-in. After disabling the plug-in sites recovered.

Want to take a chance and try? Then proceed. Install and activate the plugin. In the general settings, enable the Minify option. Select manual optimization mode.

Go to the settings section of the plugin Performance - Minify. In the JavaScript optimization settings, select asynchronous code loading in the page header.

Copy the URL of the blocking scripts from the PageSpeed ​​Insights page.

Insert the URI in a special form in the W3 file management section of the W3 Total Cache plugin. Please note that the path to each file must be specified separately.

In the settings section of the CSS File Management plugin, add the URL of the CSS that blocks the display of the top of the page. The path to CSS can be found on the PageSpeed ​​Insights verification results page.

After setting up the plugin, check the website availability in incognito mode in the browser. Check page loading speed with PageSpeed ​​Insights. If the site is available, and the problem with the JS and CSS code blocking the display is solved or partially solved, use the tool.


The Autoptimize plugin also solves the problem of partially blocking the display of JavaScript and CSS code.

Install and activate the add-in. In the settings enable HTML, JS and CSS optimization. Before using the plugin, PageSpeed ​​Insights strongly recommends removing blocking JavaScript and CSS code.

After you enable the plugin, the number of problematic CSS files is reduced, and Google recommends correcting the error if possible. The number of PageSpeed ​​Insights points is increased from 65 to 71 for mobile and from 84 to 86 for stationary PCs.

Above the fold optimization

The Above the fold optimization plugin is also positioned as a tool for solving the problem of JS and CSS code blocking the display of the top of the page. The add-in does not completely solve the problem.

After installation and activation, go to the settings page. On the CSS tab, enable the Optimize CSS Delivery and Optimize Web Fonts options. On the JavaScript tab, enable the Optimize Javascript Loading and Lazy Load Scripts features. Check out the site pages using PageSpeed ​​Insights. The plugin should remove unwanted JS code and reduce the number of blocking the display of CSS files.

In practice, the best results in the fight against the blocking code among the free tools shows plugin Above the fold optimization. Participants in English-language forums for webmasters prefer to solve a problem with the help of W3 Total Cache, but this tool is unstable.

Correct mistakes to make the site better.

There is no technically perfect CMS. There is not a single webmaster who correctly uses the capabilities of the engine. Therefore, the development of the site can be represented as a permanent work on the errors: own and others.

To make a WordPress resource better, start with the strategic goals described above. Implement accelerated mobile pages, connect the https protocol, take care of the speed of loading pages, make a convenient navigation menu and widget area. Then pay attention to tactical technical issues: fix structured data errors, integrate OpenGraph markup, set up a mobile menu. This will make your site more user friendly.

By the way, if you have experience solving the problem of blocking the display of the top of the page code JavaScript and CSS, share in the comments.

Watch the video: 10 Most Common WordPress Security Mistakes (March 2020).


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