WordPress No-No’s: Custom Theme Rules for Clients

WordPress is a marvelous CMS platform for both web designers and business owners. However, once a custom theme WordPress site is completed by the designer/developer and passed over to the client and administrator, there need to be a few rules to follow.

Wordpress No-No's

1- Remember that you have a custom theme with custom CSS and you should not touch the (Appearance >> Themes) area, unless you want to change the theme completely.

2- Just because certain plugins alert you they have new versions available, doesn’t mean you should just automatically update. The web developer may have custom coded these plugins, so definitely ask first.

3- WordPress itself alerts you when new versions of the software are available, and you have to be careful about just clicking on that update as it may effect many different parts of your site, the theme may be thrown off whether  a custom design or an inexpensive/free wordpress theme and may not be compatible nor function right. If you have a shopping cart installed it may also need to be updated.

4- When a designer creates your custom theme and has a vision of style, color palette and typography, don’t just add whatever colors and font sizes you feel like throwing in, it will look bad and savvy web visitors will wonder what you were thinking.

5- Your custom theme may have size perimeters, so make sure you have sized, optimized, and named those images before you add them to your pages and posts. This is true for embedded video too.

6- Your website/blog content can only be found if you add strong keyword-rich titles, short descriptions and long-tail keywords.

7- Depending on how often you blog, it’s a good idea to download, approximately once a month, an XML file as a backup of your posts and pages. (Tools >> Export). Through your hosting, creating a backup of the site is a good idea too.

8- If you have imported blog posts from another WordPress blog, do not take down that other blog or those posts will disappear.

9- If you aren’t a savvy WordPress user and are intimidated by your new site, ask for guidance. Either watch video tutorials or hire someone to tutor you.

10- Don’t just put your site up and leave it untouched for ages. A site should be a growing content-rich space where others continue to visit to learn and see new things.

11- If you are a creative and have galleries, make those galleries as easy for visitors to view, such as a single image at a time, with a slider underneath. If you prefer thumbnails, then when we click on an image, one pops up above the page and you can turn to view the rest.

12- Make sure that you have protection installed for your site. Especially to guard against the you-know-who’s. I won’t even say that word.

13- When you add a new page, check to see if your theme is using “menus” because this area will need to be updated if you want that new page in the navigation.

14- Before you install new plugins, be sure you don’t already have one doing the same thing or there will be a conflict.

15- Hopefully your programmer installed the “Google Analytics” code and you have your “permalinks” set on month/day, or something similar, rather than the numbered default pages. This way you can track the stats of your pages and posts on Google Analytics and learn more about your visitors.

Another important tip!

16- If you are going to hire a VA (virtual assistant) and you’re asking them to blog for you, but you don’t know exactly what  web development level they have it’s best to not give them full access as an administrator, but instead as an “author” or “contributor.” Below are the definitions:

An administrator has full and complete ownership of a blog, and can do absolutely everything. This person has complete power over posts/pages, comments, settings, theme choice, import, users – the whole shebang. Nothing is off-limits, including deleting the entire blog.

Only one administrator per blog is recommended!

An editor can view, edit, publish, and delete any posts/pages, moderate comments, manage categories, manage tags, manage links and upload files/images.

An author can edit, publish and delete their posts, as well as upload files/images.

A contributor can edit their posts but cannot publish them. When a contributor creates a post, it will need to be submitted to an administrator for review. Once a contributor’s post is approved by an administrator and published, however, it may no longer be edited by the contributor.

A contributor does not have the ability to upload files/images.


If you need guidance, I have a WordPress video tutorial series >> “10 WordPress Video Tutorials.” If you have any questions, just let me know in the comment section below. If you are a savvy WordPress user and wish to add some more rules that will guide others, I’ll welcome that too! Happy blogging!

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