Brushing the teeth, washing the dishes and making the bed are some of the daily chores that everyone has to do day in and day out. No one feels great in doing these tasks, but yet everyone is compelled to repeat these everyday. As a website owner, you too need to perform a set of tasks in routinely manner. These are maintenance tasks that keep your site secure and fast. If you ignore or neglect doing these chores regularly, your site is expected to:
- Take an eternity to get loaded
- Lose certain crucial functionality
- Get ignored by the search engines while generating SERP for organic searches
In addition to the factors mentioned above, your visitors’ computers may get infected by malware. Therefore, prioritize the task of your website maintenance above everything else to avoid the unwanted consequences. If you perform these tasks regularly, it will not take much time.
As far as WordPress sites are concerned, the same holds true. Therefore, WordPress site owners just have to be a bit more cautious in keeping their sites fast and smoothly functioning. Read on to learn about some important tips related to WordPress site maintenance.
Every WordPress site is different and so, their maintenance approaches must be different too. For greater convenience of the readers, the tasks are categorized into daily, weekly, monthly, half-yearly and yearly basis.
The daily maintenance checklist
- Visit the site every day, to ensure it is running smoothly. Enable SMS notification by using monitoring services like WP Monitoring Plugin, Uptime Robot, etc. if uptime is your priority.
- Daily generate a security report. You may use a website security monitoring service, like Sucuri, to email you a status report every day. If anything goes wrong, it will alert you by an SMS.
- Maintain a daily offsite backup of all the WordPress database and files. You may automate this task by using plugins like BackupBuddy or BackUpWordPress.
The weekly maintenance checklist
- Go through the moderation queue and approve the pending comments that are positive and encouraging.
- Carefully update WordPress, along with all your plugins and themes, provided the newer versions are available.
- Scan for malware or other infected files. Plugins like Sucuri Security and Wordfence prove helpful in this aspect.
The monthly maintenance checklist
- Inspect your site visually. This helps to identify layout and formatting issues. However, you’ve to perform this task using different web browsers, like Chrome, Firefox, Safari and Internet Explorer. Also, view your WordPress site from handheld gadgets to be sure about its responsive quotient.
- It is important to verify your backups at least once a month. This effort ensures your backup files are going to the right destination, apart from making site restoration easier.
- Log into your Google Analytics, as this will help you review the current trends and referrals. As such, Google Analytics offers loads of crucial information to boost traffic to a website.
The half-yearly maintenance checklist
- Change your existing password to make things at least a little more difficult for hackers.
- Minimize the number of admin users to minimize the chance of a hacked admin account.
- Delete the unused themes and plugins. These unnecessary components make your site more vulnerable to hackers. However, you should not remove the latest WP theme under any circumstance.
- Make sure that you visit the wp-content folder and the Media Library to remove any audio, video and image file that is currently of no use. Additionally, you may use plugins like Delete Not Used Image or Media Cleaner to automatically clear out such unwanted files.
- Your visitors will not appreciate, if and when they encounter a “Page Not Found” error on your site. Thus, identify the dead links on your WordPress website by using helpful tools like Link Checker or Broken Link Checker.
- Use your website contact form to send yourself a message. This will ensure whether the contact form is working smooth.
- Delete all unwanted draft posts and also empty the comment spam. After doing these tasks, optimize the database through plugins like WP-DBManager or WP-Optimize.
- Google PageSpeed Insights or Pingdom are efficient tools to test your site’s speed. If your site takes more than 5 seconds to get loaded, take measures to cut down that delay unless you don’t want to lose traffic.
The annual maintenance checklist
- Carefully go through your About Us page to see, if it needs to be updated. Make sure, the contact details, profile pictures, testimonials or anything else needs to be updated.
- Check for the latest versions of your plugins and themes to make them fit more suitable to your needs.
- Ask your friends to explore your WordPress website carefully. They might locate some issues that your eyes missed.
- Last but nevertheless the least, log into the Google Webmaster Tool to resolve the error messages.
The efforts mentioned above are helpful to keep any WordPress site up and running. Initially, you may encounter difficulties in handling these responsibilities, but in course of time, things will become easier. By performing the maintenance tasks discussed above, you will keep your WordPress site safe from malware in one hand, while ensuring its faster loading on the other.