If you wish to run a successful WordPress website, your work doesn’t merely end after you have set it up; in fact, it has just begun. Your WordPress website must be actively managed on an ongoing basis if you want it to achieve its purpose. You need to update your website and create regular backups to keep it going. Moreover, when something goes wrong, you need to step in and make the necessary repairs as quickly as possible. At the end of the day, whether your website serves as a hobby or your entire business is based on it, website maintenance needs to be given utmost priority if you want your website to even survive in the digital world.
However, as people will probably tell you, WordPress maintenance isn’t exactly a walk in the park. All WordPress users have heard unpleasant stories about those annoying plugin updates or, in the worst possible cases, the possibility of your website getting hacked. After all, WordPress is a pretty complex system consisting of several major components. These include your WordPress hosting, the WordPress software itself as well as the themes and plugins. Then there is the need to add compelling content regularly to attract traffic. It is all these things combined that make a reliable website.
Not only are some of these areas related to WordPress a bit technical for the average person to understand, but they also make it sound downright time-consuming to maintain a great website.
However, by having a simplified web maintenance checklist under your belt, this routine maintenance can be a lot easier and far less time-consuming than it would be otherwise. Moreover, if you are inexperienced in maintaining a WordPress website, it is always a good idea to engage professionals to take care of it for you. All you have to do is search for the best WordPress website maintenance services, and it is up to you to decide whether you want complete web maintenance services or services covering just some of the technical areas that are difficult to handle by yourself.
To help you out, here are the five essential items for your WordPress maintenance checklist:
- MAINTAIN BACKUPS
Many WordPress users don’t realize how important it is to have a backup copy of your website until they are faced with an adverse situation. Backups are your insurance policy; they may seem unnecessary at first, but in the event of things going wrong, they are what save your back. So, no matter what you do, make sure to always schedule regular backups for your website, both on your computer and web server.
Many of the hosting providers offer daily backups as part of their hosting plans, but you can also use plugins to automate this process. Moreover, make sure to verify the existence of backup files at least once a month because these services and plugins could stop working unexpectedly at times, and so, it is vital to keep a check on them.
- MONITOR SECURITY
WordPress is the most common platform for building websites, which unfortunately means that hackers know all the secrets and tricks to use it to their advantage. To protect your website, make sure to perform malware scans at regular intervals to help identify any suspicious activity. Moreover, make it a habit to regularly update all your passwords and enable two-factor authentication to tighten security further. It is also recommended to do a clean-up and remove inactive accounts (both inactive users and admin accounts that are no longer needed) because it is these accounts that are often hacked.
- INSTALL UPDATES
To ensure optimum operation of your website, you need to update it to its latest version regularly. It includes updating the following:
- WordPress plugins: Plugins need to be updated to their latest versions from time to time.
- WordPress themes: Keeping your theme updated will ensure that your site stays compatible with the latest WordPress releases, browser updates, and mobile devices. It also enhances security and keeps your theme protected from hackers and other security threats.
- Content: Regularly posting useful, relevant content remains your search engine ranking high, and keeps your audience engaged.
- GET RID OF JUNK
Keeping a junk-free website will allow it to function at its best. It means doing a thorough clean-up and getting rid of the following:
- Draft posts: For those who run blogs, there might be many draft posts that are using up space for no reason and slowing down your website. A weekly review should be done to get rid of all such posts.
- Media files: Every website ends up with plenty of temporary, redundant media files (i.e., images, videos, audio files) in its storage over time, which can take up significant space and cause your website to slow down. These should be removed regularly.
- Unnecessary plugins: Having unnecessary plugins slows down your website’s loading times and are often the cause of security issues and website crashes. For this reason, you should review your plugins from time to time and get rid of any you don’t need.
- Unwanted themes: These are a threat to your website’s security and one of the major causes of hacks. Once you get rid of outdated themes and unnecessary plugins, remember to clean the database tables as well for the smooth running of your website.
- ANALYZE YOUR WEBSITE’S PERFORMANCE
You need to make it a habit to inspect your website from time to time to identify any problems with its layout or functionality and ensure it is performing at its best. There are many free online tools available for this purpose; you just have to enter your website’s URL, and you get a detailed report on any problems with your website.
When analyzing your website’s performance, you should focus on:
- Browser compatibility: You need totest your website across the most commonly used mobile and web browsers such as Firefox, Chrome, and Internet Explorer to ensure that it performs well.
- Responsiveness: Your website needs to adapt to the screen size and resolution of different desktop, mobile, and tablet devices as failure to do so can very quickly result in loss of traffic.
- Loading times: Quick loading times are vital to optimize the user’s experience of your website and also drive sales. If your site is slow, you need to find the root cause of the problem and fix it to optimize performance.
THE BOTTOM LINE
To run a successful WordPress site, you cannot get away from the responsibility of maintaining it. By carrying out the above steps regularly, you are sure to avoid some of the most common problems people face in running WordPress websites. So, follow our tips, and your website will be on its way to achieving digital success in no time!