Day in and day out, I land on WordPress blogs and websites. Whether it’s to look for resources, read a great blog post, explore someone’s business, or just keep tabs on certain industries, I’ve seen it all.
But there are a few things that drive me crazy when I see them. They are the simple, easily-fixed things. They don’t always mean that the blogger is careless. Sometimes, they never think of them—until someone points them out.
Here they are, five things that drive me crazy:
1. Your Recent Comments widget has gone sideways.
You are probably asking, what? Yes, most of us use them on our blog, and for good reason. They show visitors at a glance that something is going on here, that people are talking. That the community is alive.
But it’s a little weird when the six most recent comments—all in a row—have been made by the blog’s author (that would be you). Maybe time got away from you and you are playing catch up with your replies. But that will result in the Recent Comments widget including all of your comments and none of your readers’. It isn’t something that will kill your site and send your visitors running, but it bugs me.
2. You have a screwy author name on your posts.
Most of us like to have our name on our posts, whether we are the sole author or we have guest posters every once in a while. But often I find that name perplexing. Here’s why. For security reasons, we are always told to create a strong username to sign into our sites. And that makes sense.
The problem is that many times, as a default, WordPress chooses to list your username as the author name on your posts. So if your username is “clowN349Xing,” well, you get the point. When that happens, it shows me that you have forgotten to go into your user profile and choose your first name—or first and last name— to show publicly.
3. I see comment boxes in strange places.
I see this one all the time. People set up their site and don’t take the time to either hide or choose not to have comments open on their static pages. There is nothing stranger than going to someone’s contact page and finding a comment box.
Some visitors will be confused enough to wonder why it’s there. They think that they are supposed to leave a comment: “Wow, this is a great looking contact page. How did you do it? I really like those checkoff boxes.”
4. You have an ‘Uncategorized’ category.
This little bugger pops up everywhere. And if you leave it as is, and don’t pay attention, your post will be assigned to that category since it’s the default category. Your best bet, since you cannot delete it, is to rename it with a category title you will be using a lot. For example, blogging tips, social media, etc. Ideally, you have a handle on the topics you cover on your blog. And if you do have a post that doesn’t fit into a category, why point it out?
5. I see a meta box in you sidebar or footer.
With most themes, by default, the meta box is automatically dropped into a sidebar or footer. Some new WordPress users like it because it’s much simpler to use that to login than having to go to their login URL. And those other things they list in this widget, well, you think they must be important, too.
My advice? Get rid of that sucker. You can put an admin link somewhere else that doesn’t take up valuable sidebar space. Also, it’s confusing to your readers. It might actually distract them and force them to click on something they shouldn’t.
So there you have it. Five things that drive me crazy when I see them on a blog.
What bugs you?