I get a lot of requests for help with WordPress blogs that are not working properly, look terrible, worse or don’t show up at all. I have seen and have had to backward engineer some really interesting things for some people. So in my typical sarcastic style, here is what to do if you really want to screw up your WordPress blog.
Load up as many plugins as possible.
Yeah, this is always a good thing to do, I mean grab every conceivable plugin you think is cool. Don’t know what a plugin does? No problem, just activate it, oh and don’t bother reading the instructions to see if any special code needs to be embedded into your theme, or if it is incompatible with other plugins or your version of WordPress. Don’t bother to see if there is a menu in the dashboard to configure or use the plugin either. Just load up the plugins, active them and scratch your head when the blog doesn’t load.
Using Themes Without Theme Required Plugins.
This one is always fun, you have seen the themes with the tabs on the top sidebar or special sections on the navigation bar for Recent Post, Popular Post or Popular Comments. Well, they probably require specific plugins to work because there is usually code embedded into the theme. Using a theme like this without the plugins can really screw up your blog and may cause it not to display correctly or at all. Don’t bother reading the instructions with the theme, just load er’ up and let er’ rip!
Add or paste as much crap as possible into the theme’s files.
Another all-time favorite is seeing pop-ups, scripts, and banner ads placed all over the theme so much so that the content is blocked or worse. Don’t get me wrong, I believe that you should monetize your blog but you need to be careful loading it up with crap. I see many pop-ups that are floating off borders, or ads that are too big for the area they are in. The more scripts and HTML code you paste into the actual theme, the more chances of a tag left open and screwing up your blog. The more crap that needs to load takes more time and, sorry I don’t have time to wait for all that to load on your blog, I’ll find the information elsewhere. Then there is the fun involved troubleshooting issues when you have a full static HTML page complete with newsletter opt-in scripts, feeds from other blogs, banner ads, AdSense ads and any other piece of code you can possibly paste into your index.php file. My point here is to keep the theme files as clean as possible.
Use images, graphics, and scripts that pull content from another site.
Like an image or banner ad? Don’t bother hosting it on your site, just point to it on your theme or blog and when the other site is down, hey you will just see a big open spot or worse on yours! Too lazy to post any new content on your blog? No problem, just paste a script into the index.php file that pulls feeds from other blogs or sites. When the other sites go down or your hosting account blocks the scripts, no problem you will just have a big empty space on your blog now. I know there are instances like AdSense that you can’t get around this but try to keep your blog as self-sufficient as possible.
Make sure you write your posts in MS Word or copy them from another site.
Yep just use MS Word and paste your posts directly into the visual editor. Or copy from another website and paste them directly into the visual editor. Then scratch your head when the formatting from Word or the other site completely destroys your WordPress blog. Don’t bother using the small W icon on the visual toolbar editor to paste it into. Don’t bother to paste the text into the HTML editor, and whatever you do don’t bother to see if any HTML tags are left open. No just leave that <b> HTML tag open and look at amazement while all the text under it and on the sidebar is now bold.
Make sure you change the Blog or WordPress address.
You see that setting in the general settings menu that tells you that you can change the home address of the blog? Oh yeah just do that and contact me to fix it when you can’t log in anymore. Same with the WordPress address, go ahead change it without reading what needs to be done before or after. You will be in a panic when your WordPress blog disappears. Fixing one of these is always a fun way to spend an evening!
So there you have just a few simple ways to really screw up your WordPress blog. There are much more and I am sure if you use your imagination and lack of knowledge you can find them!