Powering over 24 percent of the Internet, it’s no wonder why WordPress is the content management system (CMS) powerhouse it is today. Consumers and Web professionals alike are relying on the platform to create a unique online presence. Common mistakes, however, can prevent users from getting the most out of the platform.

Be sure you are not making one of these five mistakes when launching or managing your WordPress site:

Choosing the Wrong Platform

WordPress.com or WordPress.org? There is constant confusion between these options, especially among those that are new to the CMS. Put simply, while WordPress.com is free to use, it does have some appearance and functionality limitations. If you are launching a personal blog, this may be a reasonable option for you.

However, if you are looking for a more professional online representation of yourself or your brand, you will want to seriously consider WordPress.org where you can have your “own” site with the help of a Web hosting provider. While it may require a monetary investment, you have great customization freedom and security for your Web project. Consider what the ultimate goal of your website is before committing to a platform.  A more detailed comparison can be found here.

Allowing Broken Links

Broken links are perhaps one of the most detrimental elements to have in a website, especially when it comes to SEO and user experience. Over time this may occur within older posts and list articles. By incorporating a plugin that searches all links within the WordPress site, you will be able to automatically identify which ones are not working properly and replace them quickly with more relevant options. Consider using the Broken Link Checker plugin, which will notify you about these errors by email or via the dashboard so they can be fixed in an efficient manner.

Ignoring Updates

As an open-source CMS, WordPress is constantly rolling out updates and bug fixes to its platform. It is critical that users keep their backend updated to prevent sensitive data and files from being vulnerable to malicious activity. If you are unfamiliar with how to do this or just don’t have the time to regularly maintain the backend of your WordPress site, you may want to consider a managed WordPress solution. With this, professionals from your Web hosting provider will manage all updates and fixes for you, thus ensuring that all necessary changes deemed by WordPress are completed correctly and in a timely manner.

Not Leveraging Analytics Plugins

As all Web professionals know, analyzing website statistics is important to ensure the success of a site. This data can not only tell you what is working but perhaps most importantly, it identifies what needs to be adjusted to drive online success. However, it can be quite time consuming to filter through an extensive library of reports. Offering real-time statistics, think about installing plugins like WP SlimStat, which allows users to configure the report to highlight the analytics they want.

Forgetting to Backup Data

Integrating a strong backup process plan is one of the most effective and simplest steps you can take to ensure data security. You can do this one of two ways: Manually or with the help of Plugins. To manually backup data, you will need to backup the MySQL databases via your hosting dashboard. Then you will need to backup your files using an FTP client. While this may seem like a complicated the process to many, rest assured that there are solutions to simplify it. For example, BackUpWordPress is a plugin that backs up files and databases for you and allows you to automatically schedule future backups so you can focus more time on the actual website.

Kelly Meeneghan Peters is a manager for 1&1 Internet, Inc. (www.1and1.com) – Read the original article