WordPress maintenance involves various tasks and steps that you must take to ensure your site runs smoothly without any glitches. The smooth running of your WordPress site is critical to getting customers. You can either use a WordPress Website Maintenance Service or conduct the maintenance yourself. Below are tips for maintaining your WordPress website:
Prioritize Your Website’s Security
The most critical WordPress website maintenance task is to create a robust security plan and execute it. Your website should be free of malware as that can cost you customers or even blacklist your website. You can use a security plugin that schedules regular scans of your sites and alerts you when it detects suspicious activity. The plugin will always give you control of your site’s security. The plugin should also offer firewall protection so that it can stop any incoming attacks.
Regular Back Ups
Backing up your website is necessary for it to function properly. Most website owners underestimate the importance of backups. If your website gets hacked, the backup will prevent you from losing all the site data. If you have backed up your site, you can have your site up within minutes, reducing downtime and minimizing your losses. You can use a backup plugin, rely on your site host’s backups or back up your site manually.
Optimize the Site’s Performance
Ensure your website loads quickly. One of the primary reasons people leave your website is because it takes too long to load. WordPress sites have several tools and plugins that can be used to improve page load time. These plugins and tools remove junk data and optimize images.
Upgrade to the Latest Version
You must update your WordPress version regularly to ensure the site works properly. WordPress releases new versions almost twice a month. You should install these versions as soon as possible. These versions will have patches, enhanced features, bug fixes, and other improvements. You can also turn on the feature of updating minor updates automatically. However, major updates will require authorization. While updating your website versions is a good maintenance practice, you should look out for incompatibility issues with existing plugins and themes. Ignoring these issues can even break your site.
Update Themes and Plugins
Just like the core, WordPress plugins and themes also need to be updated regularly. Typically, theme and plugin developers may fix issues and vulnerabilities that are discovered in the original plugin when releasing patches and updates.
Spam can cause several problems with your website. If you have a site that attracts many visitors, it becomes an easy target for spammers. For instance, if you allow comments on your site, you may get a lot of spam comments that you need to filter out. People may post random comments promoting their site, products, or services. There could be malicious links that can trick your target audience into giving important personal information. You must monitor your site for spam and delete any spammy content or comments. You can use an anti-spam plugin to identify and delete spam.
Fix Broken Links
While broken links are minor issues for your WordPress site, they can interfere with Google bots and other crawlers that index your web pages. This can lead to many error pages and affect your site’s performance in search results. You must regularly check for broken links across the site and fix them. You can use different site audit tools to crawl your site and check for other issues.
Check Downloads and Social Links
If you offer downloads on your websites or give out social media links, you must ensure these links and downloads are functional. Sometimes, these downloads and links may not be functional due to bugs or errors in codes. This can affect user experience, making them question your credibility. You can check if your links and downloads work by visiting your site from an incognito window and checking the links.
Check Browser Compatability
How your site performs will impact how many users it will attract. Sometimes, your website will perform well on a desktop browser but may not do well on mobile or different browsers. You must check your website’s performance on different browsers regularly to ensure your site’s user experience is good. Various plugins help you check your device and browser compatibility.
Check User Accounts
The user accounts on your WordPress site should be as secure as your admin account. Hackers can access your site through any user account by escalating privileges. A large aspect of WordPress website maintenance involves tracking your user accounts and ensuring they are safe. You can follow the given steps to ensure user account security:
- Enforce a strong password policy
- Use least privileges when assigning user roles
- Delete old or inactive user accounts regularly
- Enforce frequent updating of passwords
Website passwords are one of the primary reasons for security breaches on WordPress sites. People often use weak or overused passwords that can easily get exploited by hackers. Below are some password best practices to ensure security:
- Combine lowercase and capital letters, symbols, numbers, and punctuations in your passwords
- Create lengthy passwords
- Update your password frequently
- Avoid repeating passwords across accounts
Clear Database Trash
The WordPress database stores all of your content. Every image, post or comment your website gets is stored in this database. Over time, this accumulated content can slow down your site. You must clear the database trash regularly. You can either clear the trash manually or use different plugins to delete trash and automatically optimize database tables.
Hire a Web Maintenance Service
While it is important to maintain your WordPress website regularly, you may not remember to cover all the aspects. Website maintenance services like WP Assist can handle your WordPress maintenance for you. They can take care of your site’s upkeep and ensure everything is running smoothly.
Many people often overlook WordPress maintenance. If you want your site to do well and attract customers, you need to ensure regular maintenance. Scheduling the maintenance, making checklists, or hiring professional services will help you maintain your site well.