Do you own a popular blog that runs on WordPress? It must be an enjoyable experience. Without a doubt, it can be exciting to run a blog that is visited by thousands or millions of visitors every day.
But, it is a challenge you must face. It means everything to your business. You need to perform regular WordPress maintenance checks to ensure that the website works well. Do not wait until your site slows down, breaks down, or starts dropping in ranking before you sense the alarm bells, indicating something is amiss. Start planning today to carry out the necessary WordPress maintenance tasks.
WordPress is a complex system, and it is composed of several vital parts. These are the WordPress software, plugins, WordPress hosting, and themes. You are always free to add content. This content can include text and images. The result should be a robust website that attracts heaps of traffic.
The question is: “How often should these WordPress maintenance tasks be carried out to ensure the website runs well?”
The answer depends on how much traffic the site commands. If your website has lots of traffic, you should do this once every three months. If your website has less traffic and content, then you can do this every six months.
Ensure that your website is secure and stable by putting in place a plan. If you want to succeed, it is vital to have a useful WordPress maintenance checklist. You can even automate this. In most likelihood, you will also find software that does this better than humans. You can schedule some tasks daily, weekly, or monthly basis. Other tasks can do manually also.
What are the essential WordPress maintenance tasks that ought to do regularly? Here is a list of such tasks:
1. Website Backup
It is imperative to back up your website. It protects the site from numerous threats like challenges with WordPress itself, server issues, or a website crash. You can get backup solutions from manages WordPress hosting schedules to install a cloud-based backup.
You may use free plugins like the UpdraftPlus WordPress Backup Plugin to maintain your WordPress site. It can be easily installed from the WordPress dashboard. After this, you should configure automated backups for daily use. You can store a backup on your preferred cloud service or dropbox. Some paid plans like the accessible 24/7 also exist.
2. Visit Websites like Visitor
This can enable you to find errors on your website. Most of the time, you get stuck on the admin dashboard while avoiding the user experience. While visiting your website as a visitor, you focus on the front-end like design layout, content, etc. It can show you the necessary aspects of website maintenance. And guess what? Such a visit can barely take a couple of minutes!
3. Keep off Hackers:
Hackers love WordPress. Why? WordPress powers one-third of the internet. It is an important point. When many websites are operated on a similar platform, so the potential for damage can be significant. Do you run a relatively small site with little traffic and limited content? Don’t assume you are safe. These days, most attacks by hackers are automated. Hackers don’t mind attacking all sorts of websites, even small ones.
To insulate yourself from such dangers, you can use the services of Liquid Web security. You may even go a step further. It is possible to install tools like Wordfence. It guarantees that your files are monitored and protected from malware and similar threats. Wordfence is a critical firewall and malware tool that should always be in your WordPress maintenance checklist.
Related Reading: Top 10 WordPress Security Plugins 2019 (Keep Your Site Secure)
4. Downtime Notification
Each second, visitors are unable to access your website means you are losing out. What is the final cost? Not only are you losing traffic, but this also deals a blow to your brand reputation.
Ponder this: “what would happen if YouTube suddenly went offline?”
It would make headlines in major press and damage the company’s brand reputation. Similarly, be careful not to risk your reputation by allowing your website to be inaccessible. You can use specific services to monitor the operations of your site in real-time. Consider these two:
- UptimeRobot: You can use the Uptime Robot to test your website regularly. You can do it every five minutes. If any fault discovers, you will get a notification from UptimeRobot. It allows you to contact the hosting site over the issue. It’s a free service.
- Pingdom: Pingdom can help you monitor your website. It is, however, not a free service. It has automated checks that ensure all goes well with your site.
5. Use Child Theme
The Child theme on your WordPress website can help you make significant changes as and when necessary. You can take the assistance of a reputed WordPress development company to create a child theme. Here we give a detailed guide on WordPress Child Theme for your reference.
6. Pending Updates
This is among the most crucial WordPress maintenance tasks you can carry out. Make sure you always have a backup. After this, you need to fix the updates on a staging website. Alternatively, you can still install the updates one after another. Make sure that the following updates are obliged to install:
- Core WordPress updates.
- Plugin updates.
- Theme updates.
7. Update Themes And Plugins
The core strength of your business website lies in WordPress themes and plugins. You can readily update the child theme on your website. All you need to hit the update link and it’s done! Similarly, you can easily update WordPress plugins also to strengthen the security and performance of your business website.
The WordPress web development company can optimize the database to maintain your website more effectively, and therefore, database optimization is an important aspect of the WordPress maintenance checklist.
8. Monitor Rankings:
Do you know how your traffic and rankings have been developing in the last few weeks? Knowing this can be a game-changer in managing your website. Indeed, you should know whether things are going well or not with regard to your business. It can help you to make decisions that impact your success in business. The sad news is who run websites often do not know this. Think about the following factors:
- How is your SEO strategy? Is it working?
- Are some of the content receiving special attention?
- How is your content marketing campaign doing?
- Has your site ever been blacklisted, making organic traffic drop?
- How are your visitors responding to your content? To determine this, check the bounce rate, time on page, and other significant factors.
- Use the leverage Google analytics tools. These will give you a crucial weekly data report. Retain relevant numbers and delete extraneous ones. It will help you to finish the tasks in the shortest time possible.
9. Perform Malware Scans:
Apart from the Wordfence plugin, there are other useful tools to ensure your website gets protected from hackers. One of these is Sucuri. The Sucuri SiteCheck is an excellent malware scanner. It can help you analyze the website for familiar WordPress malware. It also gives other beneficial information. The good thing is that it is available for free.
10. Moderate Comments:
Apart from the above measures, you should moderate the comments that are active in your blog. You can do it on a weekly basis. Also, ensure that delete spam content to create space in your database. It will enable you to respond to relevant comments. In this way, you can maintain a good relationship with your readers besides decluttering your WordPress site.
11. Test the Site:
Every week, ensure to check how your website is performing. Is this exactly how you want it to be? Make sure you test your website in several popular browsers apart from your favorite one. For instance, check this out in Safari, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Chrome, Microsoft Edge, iOS, and Android devices. Make sure you do this regularly.
12. Clean Up Database:
You need to clean up your WordPress database for your website to load up faster. Remove all junk data. These include spam comments, uninstalled but undeleted plugin settings, revision posts, and similar data. You can use such tools as the Swift Performance Pro to optimize the WordPress database. A great alternative to this is the WP Sweep. You can get it free. You can manage your media files as well as text, video, or audio effectively with WPFileo WordPress Plugin. Some caution is in order: Before you commence the clean-up process, make sure all your data is securely backed up.
13. Update to Latest Version
The WordPress platform itself keeps on updating regularly. It not only fixes bugs and increases security but also improves the user experience. This is one of the most important aspects to consider when it comes to WordPress maintenance. The automatic update of your website can save a lot of time and effort while making your website up to date.
14. Optimize Load Speed
Page Load Time (PLT) is an important factor that can make or break your website’s online reputation. You need to spare a few minutes to find the page load speed of your WordPress website. All thanks to advanced technology tools like GTmetrix and Google Page Speed Insights are available to give the real-time speed and suggestions on how to fix the slow speed.
15. Get Rid of Obsolete Users:
Beware of the high-security risk posed by unnecessary users who, nevertheless, remain active on your site. Such users can be coworkers that were transferred to other divisions or who left the organization, inactive authors, and similar users.
You can never be sure whether their passwords are secure, whether others use the same passwords or whether some hackers are aware of their email addresses and can, therefore, attack your website without warning. Peruse through your user’s list at least once a month and delete all unnecessary users. Focus on users with administrative capabilities and determine if they still need to retain this status.
16. Expunge Broken Links:
What are the broken links? These are links that only lead to error messages. They are not as useful as part of your content. Indeed, readers will think that your content is badly researched. One popular plugin to deal with this matter is the Broken Link Checker. It can help you determine the location of all broken links on the website. However, it has a downside.
A broken link checker is notorious for hindering load times. It is unacceptable for most website owners. A good alternative is deadlinkchecker.com. It can successfully help you search for all broken links on your website.
17. Eliminate 404 Pages
Broken links bring 404 error pages that can annoy your customers and website visitors alike. Here, you can either create or modify the 404 pages to minimize the impact and do not let them go. You can consider options like putting links to other pages or a search box that can prompt the visitor to move ahead smoothly. It is fair to remember that your 404 pages should not show the ‘dead-end’. You can also google some of the creative ideas for modifying the 404 pages.
18. Google Search Console:
It is essential to know what Google thinks about the performance of your site. How can you get into Google’s mind? Use the Google Search Console to give you an idea about this. You can obtain it for free and utilize it to your advantage. Make sure to check out the Google Console at least once per month. It will help you know where errors are coming up on your page, including indexing errors and other faults.
19. Delete Unused Themes:
Is there a good reason to maintain unused plugins and themes on your website? There is no need. Go ahead and delete these items from your WordPress website. Ensure such files are no longer found in your server or database. Also, ensure to clean up your WordPress cache. Once you do this, your website will remain with useful plugins.
20. Website Load time:
You need to check the loading time for your site regularly. It will ensure the website runs smoothly, efficiently, and speedily. To help you check this loading speed, use the GTMetrix. If you perform such website maintenance tasks regularly, you can quickly identify all impediments to the site’s performance and take remedial measures in good time.
21. Review WordPress:
You should review the setup of your WordPress annually. Take time to carry out this crucial WordPress maintenance task. Ensure to do the following tasks:
- Review the plugins. If need be, get alternatives that will ultimately perform better.
- Review your theme. If necessary, find out if you can get better alternatives to improve load times.
- Review the hosting company. Does it still fit your requirements? How does it compare to alternative WordPress hosting companies?
- Review your third-party services. These might include analytic tools, split-testing tools, and CDNs.
If you perform these tasks using the WordPress maintenance checklist, you will better prepare your website for excellent online marketing and reap the benefits accruing to successful website managers.
22. Review Your Content Strategy:
How is your content performing?
Take time to review this. Remember that several factors must feature in your content strategy for you to be successful. Consider a few of these as outlined below:
- Review the performance of your opt-in and call-to-action plans.
- Determine the geographical areas that favor your content more than others.
- Ensure that event-tracking is set on course. Make sure to include clicks on useful buttons.
- Find out the category of content that gets a lot of shares and comments. Narrow down to the relevant topics.
- Determine the items that command the highest time on page, lower bounce rate, and high conversion rates.
- Use Google analytics to determine which pages and posts receive the most visits.
23. Test for Mobile-friendliness
Responsive web design is the present and the future. A fully mobile-friendly WordPress website can work wonders for addressing a huge audience consisting of smartphone users. The responsive or mobile-friendly website can effectively meet your diverse business needs and help you retain existing customers while attracting new ones.
During website maintenance, it is therefore essential to check whether your website is mobile-friendly.
It is crucial to carry out these essential WordPress maintenance tasks. Use the WordPress maintenance checklists outlined here. It is useful in helping you save a great deal of time that can be channeled to other productive endeavors so that you don’t miss any stage in the crucial process.
You want to have your website running without the hassle and keeping up good traffic and high ranking. You certainly want to maintain the popularity of your website or blog. If your WordPress site is well maintained, you will achieve these goals and reap the fantastic profits that come with an excellently maintained website.