Basic Website Maintenance For WordPress

Website maintenance, it is true that after creating a website, most owners do not think or may not find it important. But the wild fact is that just as you maintain your car, tidy your shop, etc. your website requires exact same attention. However, creating and maintaining a website are two different things, the actual work of a website starts as soon as the website goes live online.  I am no way talking about content creation or site promotion here, but the simple task of keeping your Internet presence up and running, and in perfect condition.

As websites may vary, it is also important to note that some may be less stressful with less time as the others. For example a company website with less contents and static pages may not require a lot of attention, as opposed to a blog or news website that has dynamic pages with constant content updates.

Neglecting website maintenance may result in the following (not limited to);

  1. An increase in page load time, making your website very slow in retrieving contents to visitors.
  2. Lowered security leading to hack exposure.
  3. Exposing visitor’s computer to malware, and may cause declining in search engine rankings.
  4. Destroys user experience of your visitors on the website.

Below are a checklist of basic website maintenance activities you can do yourself;

Daily Maintenance Checklist

  1. Uptime. Visit your site to make sure it is working. If up time is crucial, you can enable SMS notifications from monitoring services like Uptime Robot, WordPress Monitoring Plugin or Super Monitoring.
  2. Daily security report. Use a website security monitoring service (like Sucuri) to email you a daily status report, and send an SMS when something suspicious occurs. Check the reports daily, and act immediately when necessary.
  3. Backup. Perform a daily offsite backup of the WordPress files and database. Automate this with a plugin like BackUpWordPress, Backup to Dropbox or BackupBuddy. Some hosting providers like SiteGround perform daily backups of your site, so you don’t have to worry about doing it manually.

Weekly Maintenance Checklist

  1. Comment moderation. Approve any comments in your moderation queue, and check your spam list for false positives. If you get a lot of comments, you should do this daily.
  2. Malware scan. Scan for any infected files or malware. Again, your host can be of extra help here if they perform automated daily malware scans, like SiteGround does. If they don’t, you can use a plugin like Sucuri Security, Bulletproof Security or Wordfence.
  3. Updates. Update WordPress along with your plugins and themes if new versions are available. SiteGround performs updates automatically for all clients, to make sure they have the latest version.

Monthly Maintenance Checklist

  1. Visual inspection. Visually inspect your website and check for problems with layout or formatting. Do this with different web browsers, including Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari and Chrome. View your website from a mobile device to make sure it looks good and is responsive.
  2. Analytics. Log into Google Analytics and review trends, referrals and page-flow. Consider how to use this information to increase traffic to your site.
  3. Verify backups. Make sure that your backup files are going where they are meant to, and performing a restore. You don’t want to discover that your backup strategy is broken on the day you need it most.

Quarterly/Half-Yearly Maintenance Checklist

  1. Change passwords. Change your password, and have other users change theirs too. Don’t make it easy for hackers—use a strong password.
  2. Delete unused plugins and themes. Deactivate and delete all unnecessary plugins and themes, though never remove the latest default WordPress theme. Unnecessary plugins increase your website’s overhead and the risk of vulnerabilities.
  3. Minimize admin users. Delete or downgrade unnecessary admin users (and delete the default admin username). Hacked admin accounts can do the most damage to your site, so minimize the number.
  4. Fix dead links. You don’t want your visitors receiving a “Page Not Found” error when clicking on a link. Find any dead links by using a link checking tool like Broken Link Checker or Link Checker.
  5. Delete unnecessary files Website clutter can hide vulnerabilities. Check for unnecessary files in your wp-content folder and browse through your Media Library to remove any images, videos and audio files you no longer require. You can use a plugin like Delete Not Used Image or Media Cleaner to automatically remove unreferenced images. Perform a backup before deleting anything.
  6. Verify your contact form. Send yourself a message using your website’s contact form, and make sure you get it.
  7. Speed audit. Use Pingdom or Google PageSpeed Insights to see how fast your site loads. If it takes more than five seconds, consider implementing caching and other measures to speed up your site. Slow sites lose visitors and search rankings.
  8. Optimize your database. Delete any draft posts you’ll never finish, and empty your comment spam. Then optimize your database by running a plugin like WP-Optimize, Optimize Database after Deleting Revisions or WP-DBManager.

Yearly Maintenance Checklist

  1. Review your About page. Check your About page for anything that needs to be updated: your contact details, profile picture, mission statement, testimonials.
  2. Review your site. Sit down with an impartial friend and let them explore your website. A fresh pair of eyes may find issues that you’ve overlooked. Update the copyright date in your website footer
  3. Review your theme and plugins. Check for new plugins that outperform those you’re currently using. Check for new themes that appeal to you and are suitable for your needs.
  4. Webmaster tools. Log into Google Webmaster Tools and resolve any error messages.

It is understandable that you may not have time to do a regular maintenance for your website due to home and office activities. Hence, it is a best idea to hire a web developer to maintain your website for you. Then you do not have to worry about your site failure or down-times, you can focus on what you take more priority on.

Why don’t you contact us today for our WordPress website maintenance plans. CONTACT US

 

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