You’ve just created a WordPress website. After months of planning, layouts, copy, SEO and much more, you’re ready to step away from the site and let it do its thing. Not so fast! Although creating a stunning and highly functional WordPress website may seem like a one and done project, the truth is that this is just the beginning.
WordPress is a dynamic Open Source platform. The core team is constantly developing new functionality, correcting bugs, repairing security holes that have been found and working constantly to ensure it is always running smoothly and to its best ability. By performing routine WordPress maintenance chores, you can keep your website up and running, safe, and servicing your users.
Your website is also dynamic. You need your website to keep up with you, and so you’ll likely be adding fresh material, updating the appearance and adding new features. Whether you are adding new features, changing the appearance or adding new content, each website owner needs to be familiar with the hazards involved in not keeping their website up to date, as when not maintained your website can stop functioning properly.
While this may sound alarming, it doesn’t need to be; updates and changes to your site will usually be implemented without issue. It is however, necessary to put in a little maintenance effort to prevent those uncommon instances where something does go wrong, and to keep up with trends at your site.
The Benefits of WordPress Maintenance
It is crucial to implement regular maintenance for your WordPress website, to ensure that the multiple components of your site continue to function flawlessly together. WordPress is an open-source platform, meaning that upgrades and developments happen frequently and regularly. Skipping updates means that your website may be vulnerable to theme and plugin conflicts as well as face increased security risks.
There are three key factors to bear in mind to understand why frequent WordPress maintenance is necessary.
Every WordPress website has a database that holds all the content of the site. The database tends to gather a lot of data over time, but not all of it is useful. Trimming superfluous data through routine database optimization and maintenance will help keep your database in good condition.
There are 22,805 known vulnerabilities in the WordPress core, plugins, and themes, according to WPScan. Now, as bad as this sounds, it’s not really. Whenever a vulnerability is found in the WordPress core, a theme, or a plugin, it is normally addressed in an update.
Utilize those upgrades to keep your website secure!
Search Engine Optimization
The Google Core Web Vitals program will increase traffic to websites that are structurally sound. Additionally, you’ll want to keep up with or outpace your competition by creating the most pertinent content in your industry.
This entails conducting regular content gap analyses and coming up with strategies to enhance your current content in order to better serve the demands of your readers.
There are many services out there that offer website maintenance, in order to ensure your website stays in tip-top shape, and performing as they should. Here at Visual Click Studio, we offer WordPress Maintenance for all websites, tailored to suit the needs of your site and business.
Whether you choose to go with a WordPress Maintenance Service or look after your site yourself, here are the elements that will require maintenance:
Weekly WordPress Maintenance Checklist
1. Keep visiting your website
Simply visit your website once a week and explore a few of the important pages to ensure that everything is still operating as expected.
2. Delete all spam comments
If you want to ensure that only legitimate comments are approved and that spam comments are flagged or deleted, you’ll need to spend some time each week filtering the comments on your site.
3. Secure Your Website
To keep the data on your website secure, a recent backup is necessary. Weekly backups are a good frequency for the majority of sites. The ideal backup frequency for your website truly depends on how frequently you’re updating and adding content to the database.
4. Update Software
Applying updates as soon as they become available is crucial if you want to secure your website and keep it operational. You ought to check in each week to see whether there have been any modifications to the WordPress core, any plugins, or any themes.
5. Test Features and Contact Forms
It’s crucial to periodically test any crucial forms or features (like a checkout procedure) that you have. Instead of doing this every week, you might want to do it once a month for some websites. Really, it all depends on how crucial the forms and features are to your company.
Additionally, you might want to put up some sort of automatic monitoring system for aspects that are truly mission-critical.
6. Verify Google Search Console
Google Search Console will provide alerts if there are any problems with the mobile or SEO of your site. Because of this, it’s crucial to regularly check in to see if Google has noted any problems with your site.
Monthly WordPress Maintenance Checklist
7. Run performance evaluations
The user experience, conversion rates, and even SEO are all strongly influenced by how quickly your site loads.
Your website was presumably performance-optimized when it was first developed. It’s still vital to regularly evaluate your site’s performance to identify any potential problems because this does not guarantee that your site will remain optimized.
8. Examine the Traffic to Your Site
You should be using a web analytics service like Google Analytics to understand what is occurring on your website.
To maintain track of events and spot any trends, it is still helpful to check in once per month or so.
You may also want to set up keyword monitoring to track your site’s rankings on Google and check in once a month if SEO is a crucial component of your strategy.
9. Perform a security scan.
WordPress’ immense popularity makes it a desirable target for bad actors. Running routine security scans to identify potential problems is an excellent way to ensure that your site doesn’t fall victim.
10. Improve the Database on Your Site
Your site content, theme and plugin settings as well as your other site settings are kept in the site’s database. By means of things like post modifications, transients, spam comments, etc., it can eventually produce a lot of clutter.
To get rid of all of this unwanted clutter, it is recommended to frequently optimize the database of your website.
11. Look for 404 errors or broken links.
Broken links and 404 errors on your website make it difficult for users to locate what they’re looking for, which is terrible for user experience. In order to rectify this, use a broken link checker to see if there are any on your site.
12. Check the Backups on Your Site
A backup is only valuable if it functions. Therefore, while you should conduct weekly site backups, it’s also crucial to regularly make sure those are accurate. Backups are functional. In order to determine if your backup is functional, restore the site backup to a staging site and check your backup.
Annual WordPress Maintenance Checklist
13. Think About Getting New Hosting
It’s simple to outgrow your current hosting when your website expands. This is a good problem to have, but it might necessitate upgrading to a higher-tier plan at your host or maybe even moving to a better host.
Your host will definitely contact you proactively if you’re already pushing their boundaries. If your host hasn’t contacted you, you should still check in once a year to ensure that you’re still getting the performance and functionality you require on your site.
14. Update Your WordPress Password
Even the best WordPress security advice is useless if a hostile actor obtains your username and password. Because of this, it’s a good idea to follow good password guidelines and alter your WordPress admin password approximately once a year.
This should defend you against brute force assaults and other login-based risks, together with other strategies like limiting login attempts.
15. Check the Website Content
An excellent strategy to raise your site’s SEO and user experience is to conduct a content audit. With it, you may improve your website’s weakest content as well as double down on its best-performing material.
Your main objectives with a content audit are to:
- To help it maintain its ranks or perform even better, update and enhance your best-performing content.
- Discard useless content and either combine it with other content or reroute it to other content.
In order to concentrate your strategy moving ahead, it will also assist you in understanding what material works best for your website.
16. Audit Your Plugins, please
Every plugin you install to your website increases the risk of a security breach and decreases the speed of the site. In spite of this, you should exercise caution and limit your use of plugins to those that are absolutely necessary.
Because of this, it’s a good idea to evaluate once a year whether each plugin you use is still giving your site benefits. Consider disabling and uninstalling the plugin if your site isn’t gaining as much as you anticipated when you installed it.
Keeping Up With Your Website
You may wish to modify the frequency for your website since this checklist is not rigidly adhered to. For instance, you probably don’t need to review your website’s forms every week if they don’t play a significant part in your firm.
This checklist is a wonderful place to start when developing your WordPress maintenance plans because we tried to establish a good frequency that will be ideal for the majority of websites.
Overall, though, your maintenance duties should only take a few minutes per week after you get into the swing of things, with a little extra time every month or year to complete some other tasks.
We at VCS offer a WordPress Maintenance Service which takes care of all of your website needs.