There are more than 455 million websites that use WordPress today. However, not all of those websites are being maintained properly.
There is more to it than just launching your site, you need to put effort into taking care of it as well. If you want your WordPress site to function well and look great, you must be sure to perform regular maintenance on it.
Read on as we tell you how to maintain your site in this complete guide to WordPress maintenance.
Importance of Maintaining Your WordPress Site
What many new website owners need to realize about having a website is that it will need ongoing care and attention. Once you've launched your website, your job isn't done. In addition to adding new content and changing your WordPress design from time to time, it's essential to maintain your site as well to ensure that it keeps working as it should.
A WordPress website maintenance schedule is essential if you want a great site. It will help ensure that everything on your site continues to work as time goes by.
It's necessary to ensure that your WordPress installation and all plugins are updated, that your site is secure, and that you're backing up your site regularly. Maintaining your site properly helps your site continue to work well for visitors and helps prevent security risks and potential issues.
Some tasks you should perform to maintain your WordPress installation should occur weekly, but others can be done monthly or annually. The key is to set a schedule that works for you and that you'll be sure to stick to.
Giving your WordPress site enough care and attention will be essential for keeping your website in great shape.
How to Maintain Your WordPress Site
So what should you do to maintain a WordPress site? Here are some of the main actions you'll need to take regularly.
Check Your Security
One of the top things that you need to do regularly to maintain your site is to perform a security check.
You should run a malware scan on your website and find out if there's anything on your site that shouldn't be there. This will help you identify whether your site is infected and if there's anything that needs to be removed.
If you have a security tool that provides logs of suspicious activities or security events that occurred, you'll want to review these and look for issues as well.
If your WordPress site is hacked, learn more about how we can help you restore it.
Backing up your site is also something you should do regularly as part of your WordPress maintenance schedule.
There are many WordPress plugins available that can help you easily backup all of the data and pages on your website. Or if you have the skills, you can also back up your site through cPanel or your web host's tools.
Taking the time to back up your website is well worth it. It can be a big help if your site ever crashes or you suffer a data breach or data loss of some kind.
It's also a great idea to get into the practice of changing your WordPress passwords. While you should use strong passwords from the very beginning, it's also a good idea to change them often.
If your passwords get compromised without you knowing, you can prevent access in the future.
Clean the WordPress Database
It would be best if you also spent time cleaning up your WordPress database while performing maintenance on your site. This will help your site to run more smoothly.
Cleaning up the database can consist of many things and helps you get rid of files and data you no longer need. This includes getting rid of unneeded post revisions or trash that has gathered over time.
Fortunately, there are WordPress plugins to help you clean up the database quickly and eliminate any clutter.
Check the Speed and Performance
Running performance tests and checking site speed can also be helpful to do when maintaining your weekly or monthly maintenance.
You must keep your site running fast. Unfortunately, pages can become slower over time, so it's essential to check the speed of your site regularly to ensure that nothing has changed.
Your site should perform well and load all of the critical elements on your site in a short time frame. Consider using a plugin to check site speed or Google's PageSpeed Insights to test your pages and ensure they run quickly.
Find Broken Elements and Errors
It's also a good idea to check for broken elements that are on your website as well. Two of the most common things in this category include 404 errors and broken links.
A 404 error means that a page on your site is missing or can no longer be accessed publicly. A broken link is a link on your site that directs visitors to the wrong page or a page that no longer exists.
Use WordPress plugins to search for broken links and 404 errors. Then, fix any problems you come across as part of your maintenance plan.
If you allow comments on any of your website pages, then reviewing them regularly is a good idea. It is best to delete any spam comments your content has gained so that they aren't accumulating on your site.
While you can use a tool such as Akismet to automatically moderate comments and reduce spam, it's also a good idea to check comments manually.
A quick review of the spam comments ensures no real ones have been blocked by mistake.
Audit Your SEO Strategy
As part of your regular WordPress maintenance plan, you should also perform an SEO audit now and then to get a clearer look at how well your site has been optimized for search engines.
You can audit SEO on individual pages and posts using plugins such as Yoast SEO to determine how well your current site is optimized. It's also a good idea to look at the Google Search Console or Google Analytics. This can help you learn more about where your search traffic has been coming from and what keywords you're ranking for, and it can help you get more insights into how to improve your SEO strategy as time goes on.
Make WordPress Updates
Another thing that you should do when maintaining your website is to update everything.
You need to check if there's an updated version of WordPress available and if there is, you should update it to the latest version. However, you shouldn't stop there. You also need to make sure that you update all of the plugins you have installed on your WordPress site and the WordPress theme you're using.
Getting all the essential updates for your site will help improve security and make it so that your site keeps functioning correctly.
Optimize Your Images
It's also a good idea to check the images that are on your site as well.
It's important that you optimize your images when initially uploading them to your WordPress site. However, in case any unoptimized images end up on your site, you need to make sure that you run an image optimizer plugin to scan your images to ensure that the images are compressed and small in size.
Images will need to be on the small side to ensure that your pages load well and that your site remains fast. Check your images regularly to ensure that they're all optimized.
Using These Tips to Create a WordPress Maintenance Plan
Use the WordPress maintenance tips listed above if you have a WordPress website. Creating a maintenance plan for your WordPress site will ensure your website looks great and keeps working as it's supposed to.Interested in keeping your WordPress site maintained? Click here to learn more about our WordPress maintenance services now.