Make no mistake: WordPress is an awesome CMS. But nothing is 100% perfect. There are always going to be frustrating things about WordPress, even for hardcore fans like us. That’s why WordPress has been designed to be incredibly extendable with themes, plugins, code snippets, and more. Because of this, there is almost always a great fix for any little annoyance. Which is what we’d like to highlight in today’s post. We’ve listed twelve things that frustrate people about WordPress and the solutions that make those annoyances go away.
- 1 Common WordPress Frustrations & How to Eliminate Them
- 2 Frustration #1: Loss of Hard Work & Site Data
- 3 Solution #1: Regular & Thorough Backups
- 4 Frustration #2: The White Screen of Death
- 5 Solution #2: Our White Screen of Death Troubleshooting Guide
- 6 Frustration #3: Getting Locked Out of WordPress
- 7 Solution #3: WordPress’s Step-by-Step Login Troubleshooting Guide
- 8 Frustration #4: WordPress Admin Insecurities
- 9 Solution #4: Our Guide to Securing Your Admin Access from Every Angle
- 10 Frustration #5: Poorly Coded Themes
- 11 Solution #5: Identify High-Quality WordPress Themes
- 12 Frustration #6: Poorly Coded Plugins
- 13 Solution #6: Identify High-Quality Plugins
- 14 Frustration #7: Managing Frequent Updates
- 15 Solution #7: Automate Updates Safely
- 16 Frustration #8: Limited Visual Editor
- 17 Solution #8: Enhance Your Visual Editor with a Plugin
- 18 Frustration #9: “Uncategorized” Category
- 19 Solution #9: Clean Up Post Categories
- 20 Frustration #10: Comment Spam
- 21 Solution #10: Use a Plugin to Fight Spam
- 22 Frustration #11: Broken Links
- 23 Solution #11: Monitor for and Repair Broken Links
- 24 Frustration #12: Creating Page Layouts in The WordPress Backend
- 25 Solution #12: A Front-end Builder
- 26 Final Thought
Common WordPress Frustrations & How to Eliminate Them
WordPress users of all levels have experienced frustration with the CMS at one point or another. Regardless of how basic or advanced your recurring issues with the platform may be, there is (almost) always a tool or resource you can turn to in order to alleviate that frustration.
Below you will find the most common issues WordPress users encounter within the platform. If you’re tired of running into them, we’d urge you to give these solutions a try.
Frustration #1: Loss of Hard Work & Site Data
In the course of managing your WordPress website there are many actions that can result in the catastrophe of accidentally deleting valuable information. Files that represent a great deal of hard work. Such as: customized theme styles, users, user information, site content, and more. All of it can be irretrievably lost in just a few clicks! And those who haven’t taken the proper precautions can find themselves in an incredibly frustrating situation.
So what should you do to make sure it doesn’t happen to you?
Solution #1: Regular & Thorough Backups
Thankfully there are a large number of tools and service providers who offer WordPress backup plans. UpdraftPlus is one of the best WordPress backup plugins. It currently has over 800,000 installs and a 4.9-star rating. With a bit of configuration it can easily take care of your site’s backup needs.
Frustration #2: The White Screen of Death
The white screen of death on your WordPress website can become a big problem for both you and your brand if visitors take notice of it before you do.
Never fear. The white screen of death usually has simple origins. So long as you have a recent backup of your site in place and know where to look to fix the issue, your site will be just fine.
Solution #2: Our White Screen of Death Troubleshooting Guide
The white screen of death is usually caused by one of the following:
- Low memory limit
- Theme or plugin conflicts
- Theme or plugin code quality
- Plugin compatibility issues
We’ve created a step by step tutorial to guide you through the process of discovering which of these is to blame for your white screen of death and how to fix it.
Frustration #3: Getting Locked Out of WordPress
There are a number of reasons you might get locked out of WordPress. You might have forgotten your username or password. Your site may have been hacked (if so, see Frustration #4). A plugin may be causing the issue (see Frustration #2). Or it may be something else entirely.
Regardless of the reason, you’ve got to get back into your site ASAP and you’ll need an easy way to do it. This is something WordPress can (sort of) help you with.
Solution #3: WordPress’s Step-by-Step Login Troubleshooting Guide
WordPress did such a good job covering this topic that we don’t feel the need to recreate the wheel for you. Just check out their super comprehensive guide on Login Trouble and work through each step via your FTP, control panel, or phpMyAdmin.
Frustration #4: WordPress Admin Insecurities
WordPress is a fairly secure platform from which to run your website. Nevertheless, that doesn’t mean your site is safe from an attack. In a recent Sucuri report, they discovered that 75% of the hacked websites they reviewed were built in WordPress.
The main entryway to your site—your admin login page and panel—is often the first place hackers will turn to when they want to gain access to your site. That’s why you need to ensure you haven’t made it too easy for them to get inside. (And then, of course, continue to work on keeping them out.)
Solution #4: Our Guide to Securing Your Admin Access from Every Angle
A hacked website can put everyone at risk: you, your business, your site’s visitors, and your customers. That’s why you need a comprehensive security system that will keep your website safe from every angle.
Start with our guide to The 5 Essential WordPress Security Measures You Must Take. This will give you a good place to start in terms of providing coverage for your website’s exposed entryways.
Frustration #5: Poorly Coded Themes
As you can see from the above frustrations, just one bad egg can throw a major wrench into the works—and that wrench can cause irreparable damage if you’re not careful.
One of those potential wrenches comes in the form of the free WordPress theme. That’s not to say that all free themes found in the WordPress directory will cause your website trouble. However, if you happen to use one with faulty coding or one that’s severely out of date, you may wish you paid more money originally to avoid the trouble later in finding a new theme to replace it.
Solution #5: Identify High-Quality WordPress Themes
Regardless of which type of theme you go with (free or premium), it’s important to take the time to research them first. In our Free vs. Premium WordPress Themes discussion, we cover the essential questions you should ask in order to determine whether a theme is properly coded, supported, and maintained.
Frustration #6: Poorly Coded Plugins
Poorly coded plugins also pose a problem for WordPress sites. Since plugins are meant to add an extra layer of “something” to your website, it would be a shame to install one only to discover that it’s creating more issues than it’s solving. For instance, plugins can:
- Increase your chance for a security breach.
- Cause a slow-down in load times
- Introduce conflicts with other plugins
If you’re not familiar with proper WordPress coding standards (and if the developer of the plugin wasn’t either), it can be difficult to know how to fix these issues behind the scenes.
Solution #6: Identify High-Quality Plugins
If you’ve recently downloaded a new plugin and have noticed some new issues within WordPress or your website, it’s important to know What To Do When a WordPress Plugin Causes an Error.
You’ll also want to check out the P3 plugin. This is a plugin that was built with the sole purpose of analyzing all your other plugins’ performance. If something’s slowing down your site, you’ll find out with this tool.
Frustration #7: Managing Frequent Updates
WordPress releases a lot of updates. With each new iteration, they resolve known bugs, patch up security breaches, and improve functionality. And it’s not just WordPress who issues updates either. If you’re using a well-maintained theme or plugin, you’re going to run into a lot of updates from them as well—many of which coincide with WordPress core updates.
Since these system and tools updates happen quite often, the annoyance factor can be high when you see a new update pop up every time you log into WordPress. Even though these updates only take a few seconds to execute, it’s the distraction that keeps you away from doing your work that is the problem.
Solution #7: Automate Updates Safely
If you’re not using custom-coded plugins or themes, and you’ve got regular backups of your website in place, you may want to consider automating this process. Check out our guide for some tips and tricks on How to Update WordPress Safely Every Time.
For plugin assistance, you can use one like the Easy Updates Manager to automate all core, theme, and plugin updates.
Frustration #8: Limited Visual Editor
As a developer, you probably don’t use the Visual Editor view when adding content to a Page or Post, right? The HTML-friendly Text Editor most likely serves as your home base, so this frustration may not be the first to cross your mind.
For your clients who want to work in the simplified Visual Editor format, there are some issues they may run into:
- When WordPress is first installed, the Visual Editor button options are very simple in nature and don’t leave much room for text customization.
- If your clients decide to include custom coding (which requires a switch between the Visual and Text Editor), formatting issues may occur.
- The Visual Editor itself only gives you a view of the main content on a page, not of the whole page itself. (We’ll address this frustration in #12 below.)
Solution #8: Enhance Your Visual Editor with a Plugin
Aside from the last issue noted above, the TinyMCE Advanced plugin will actually address all of these Visual Editor issues. You’ll find that more formatting options become available, you’ll have more control over what you can and cannot accomplish within the Visual Editor, and it’ll cut down on the back-and-forth formatting issues by keeping you working solely within the Visual view.
Frustration #9: “Uncategorized” Category
This frustration is another one of those end user-only problems. As a developer, you probably won’t be involved in the process of setting up blog posts for your clients. Regardless of whether or not that is the case, you should always make sure to clean up the Categories before any blogging takes place.
The default category that WordPress creates is called “Uncategorized”. It’s unsightly, not reflective of the content found on a website, bad for SEO, and it also demonstrates a lack of marketing savvy.
Solution #9: Clean Up Post Categories
There are two steps needed in order to clean up Post categories.
The first step is to get rid of “Uncategorized” altogether. This category should never be used, so to avoid accidentally assigning it to a post, just replace it with whatever you want your default blog post category to be.
- Hover over Posts in the sidebar.
- Click on Categories.
- Open the Uncategorized category.
- Replace it with your new default category name and slug. Then save.
- Hover over Settings in the sidebar.
- Click on Writing.
- Make sure your new Default Post Category is correct.
In addition to updating/removing the default Uncategorized, you should consider adding all the other categories at this time (if you know what they are). This’ll make the process of blogging a lot easier and will improve your site’s overall structure and SEO.
Frustration #10: Comment Spam
Spam is not only annoying, it’s also harmful to your website’s security. If you’re tired of receiving endless notifications about spam comments and being forced to sift through the pile for genuine ones, there are some easy fixes for this problem.
Solution #10: Use a Plugin to Fight Spam
WordPress plugins are helpful in cutting down on the time you need to spend with your site’s comments. Start with a Captcha to cut down on bot traffic. You should also consider using one of these great WordPress comments plugins.
If you want any additional layers of spam protection, consider these other tricks.
Frustration #11: Broken Links
There are a number of reasons you may want to switch your website’s URL. For one, to increase security by moving to HTTPS. Secondly, you may need to change your domain name.
WordPress uses absolute URLs when establishing links within your website’s content. This means that any change of your site’s URL will lead to a smattering of broken links all around your site after the switch.
Solution #11: Monitor for and Repair Broken Links
If you don’t want to spend time going through each and every single page and post to fix all the broken links, check out our guide on How to Find and Fix Broken WordPress Links.
Frustration #12: Creating Page Layouts in The WordPress Backend
For anyone who uses WordPress on a regular basis, it can be frustrating to only have two options for writing or creating content: the Visual Editor and the Content Editor. Haven’t you ever wished for something more, something that would allow you to create content while working within the actual context of your website?
Solution #12: A Front-end Builder
If you’ve ever wanted a way to see what you’re working on as you work on it, Divi 3.0 may just be the solution you’ve been waiting for. But of course it’s not the only front-end builder for WordPress available.
Take a look around and see which one best suits your needs.
They say that if you truly love someone (or something) that you should accept them for who they are—flaws and all. Thankfully, that’t not the case with WordPress. You don’t have to let these frustrating things about WordPress continually wear on your patience. From large issue to small there is almost always a free or premium tool available to transform WordPress into exactly what you need it to be.
Over to you: What frustrates you about WordPress? Have you found a solution yet?
Article thumbnail image by Bennyartist / Shutterstock.com
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Section #1 Concerning backups, I use Updraft everywhere, its the best.
Section #12 For the front end builder I like the new Divi builder, and also the free plugin ‘Elementor’.