How Mistakes on Your WordPress Site Can Mess Up Your SEO

How Mistakes on Your WordPress Site Can Mess Up Your SEO

Understanding the usual WordPress Errors and why they’re bad for SEO: 400, 403, 404, 405, 413, 429, 500, 501, 502 errors.

Imagine if WordPress was a city and websites were houses. WordPress is like a big city, with almost 30% of all internet houses (websites) built there. It’s popular because it’s easy to use, even for people who’ve never built a house (website) before.

Just like you can add cool decorations to your house, you can add SEO plugins like The SEO Framework and All-in-One SEO to your WordPress site. These plugins help your website get noticed on search engines, kind of like putting up a big flashy sign on your house. But, even with these tools, running a website isn’t always easy. There can be problems, or errors, that pop up and make things go wrong, affecting how search engines see your site and how well it ranks.

Let’s take a look at some of the most common problems that can mess up your site’s SEO:

  1. 400 Bad Request: This error can have several causes, including an incorrectly typed URL, corrupted browser caches or cookies, discrepancies between DNS data and your local DNS cache, uploading a file that is too large, or some kind of general server error. The potential solutions include checking the URL for typos, clearing your browser cache and cookies, clearing your DNS cache, and deactivating browser extensions​.
  2. 403 Forbidden: This error can occur if the permissions on your WordPress site are not set properly. To fix it, you’ll need to reset your file permissions or generate a new .htaccess file. The issue may also be the result of a problem with a plugin, your Content Delivery Network (CDN), or hotlink protection​.
  3. 404 Not Found: This error occurs when a user attempts to access a web page that doesn’t exist. To avoid this, make sure to fix broken links on your site periodically and implement redirects if you delete a page or move it to a new URL​.
  4. 405 Method Not Allowed: This error means that the server has received the browser’s request but rejected it for some reason. Possible solutions include rolling back recent theme and plugin updates, checking your server’s configuration and error logs, and debugging your application code​.
  5. 413 Request Entity Too Large: This error usually occurs when you’re trying to upload a very large file. You can resolve this problem by increasing your maximum HTTP request size​.
  6. 429 Too Many Requests: This error occurs when a user attempts to access a certain resource too many times over a short span of time. To prevent cyber attacks that may lead to a 429 error, you can change your login page’s default URL. Other solutions include testing for theme and plugin conflicts​.
  7. 500 Internal Server Error: This error has many possible causes and solutions. You can start by clearing your browser cache and reloading the page. If that doesn’t work, you can dive into more technical debugging methods​.
  8. 501 Not Implemented: This error means that your server doesn’t have the functionality needed to complete the request made by the user’s browser. You can try reloading the page, clearing the browser cache, and disabling any active proxy settings to resolve it. However, you’ll likely need to contact your host for help​.
  9. 502 Bad Gateway: This error occurs when one server is acting as a proxy for another and receives an invalid response from the inbound server. Reloading the page and clearing your browser cache are good places to start. If those solutions don’t work, check for issues with your DNS, try disabling your CDN or firewall, or contact your host for assistance​.
  10. Crawl Errors: Crawl errors are like having locked doors in your house that prevent search engines from visiting all the rooms. These errors can be either Site errors (the whole house can’t be visited) or URL errors (specific rooms can’t be visited). These errors can lower your site’s ranking, as it’s like having parts of your house that can’t be assessed for a property valuation.

How to avoid these errors:

  • Make sure the code for your site (the blueprint for your house) is correct.
  • Let search engines index your site (like letting appraisers evaluate your house).
  • Regularly check your site’s URL (like checking your house’s address).
  • Submit your site’s sitemaps to Google Search Console (like submitting your house plans to the city council).

Extra tips to keep your WordPress site in good shape:

  • Ensure your site loads quickly, like making sure your house’s doors open promptly.
  • Use caching to make your site load faster, like having shortcuts around your house.
  • Make sure your site’s design is neat, responsive, and mobile-friendly. It’s like having a well-maintained, accessible, and attractive house.
  • Use WordPress tags, like signposts, to help visitors find your content easily.
  • Optimize the images on your site to improve SEO, like having high-quality pictures of your house.
  • Choose the right themes and plugins to make your site look good and perform well, like choosing the right decorations and appliances for your house.


Running a WordPress website is like maintaining a house. There are many potential problems that can occur, and these can affect your site’s SEO, or how well your house stands out in the city of WordPress. Regular checks and maintenance can help you catch these issues early and fix them before they start to cause problems. By staying on top of things, you can keep your site running smoothly and looking great for both visitors and search engines.

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