What Is WordPress Website Maintenance?

Maintaining your WordPress website is essential for the success of your business. From protecting against hackers and malware to improving loading times and SEO, regular website maintenance can make all the difference.

But with so many WordPress maintenance tasks to do, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by it all. That’s why we’ve put together this article with some of the best tips for effective WordPress website maintenance.

Why Is WordPress Website Maintenance Important?

As a website owner, it's important to keep your WordPress site up-to-date and well-maintained. Not only does this help ensure that your site is running smoothly and efficiently, but it also helps keep your visitors safe from security threats.

There are a few key reasons why it's important to keep your WordPress site well-maintained:

1. Security Threats: Perhaps the most important reason to keep your WordPress site up-to-date is to protect your site from security threats. WordPress is a popular target for hackers because it powers millions of websites worldwide. As such, new security vulnerabilities are constantly being discovered.

When a new vulnerability is discovered, the WordPress team releases an update that includes a fix for the issue. If you don't update your WordPress site, you're leaving it vulnerable to attack.

2. Compatibility Issues: Another important reason to keep your WordPress site up-to-date is to avoid compatibility issues. As WordPress evolves, some themes and plugins become outdated and no longer work with the latest version of WordPress.

If you don't update your WordPress site, you may find that some of your plugins stop working or that your theme breaks. By keeping your WordPress site up-to-date, you can avoid these compatibility issues.

3. New Features and Improvements: One of the great things about using WordPress is that new features and improvements are constantly being added. Each new WordPress release includes new features, performance improvements, and bug fixes.

If you don't update your WordPress site, you're missing out on all of these new features and improvements. By keeping your site up-to-date, you can take advantage of everything that WordPress has to offer.

4. Better Search Engine Rankings: Finally, keeping your WordPress site up-to-date can also help you improve your search engine rankings. Search engines like Google prefer websites that are well-maintained and regularly updated. So if you want your website to rank well in search results, it's important to keep your WordPress site up-to-date.

WordPress Website Maintenance code on computer screen

Keeping Plugins Up to Date

One of the most important aspects of keeping a WordPress site running smoothly is to ensure that all plugins are kept up to date. While it may seem like a tedious task, it's actually quite simple to do and only takes a few minutes each week.

Here are some tips for keeping your plugins up to date:

1. Check for updates regularly. At least once a week, open up the WordPress admin area and check for any plugin updates that may be available. This can be done by going to the Dashboard > Updates page. Any updates that are available will be listed here, along with information on what version of the plugin is currently installed and what the new version will be.

2. Update plugins as soon as possible. Once you've seen that there is an update available for a plugin, go ahead and update it right away. The sooner you update, the less likely you are to experience any compatibility issues or bugs.

3. Keep backups of your plugins. Before updating any plugin, it's always a good idea to create a backup first. That way, if anything does go wrong during the update process, you can always restore your site from the backup.

4. Use a staging site for testing plugin updates. If you're really not sure about updating a plugin on your live site, then create a staging site where you can test out the update first. This way, you can see if there are any issues before making the changes on your live site.

5. Use a plugin management tool. There are various tools and plugins available that can help simplify the process of keeping your plugins up to date. Some of these tools will even automatically update your plugins for you, making it even easier to keep everything up to date.

WordPress Website Maintenance graph

Optimizing Your Database

Your WordPress database is where all of your website's content is stored. That includes posts, pages, comments, settings, and more. Keeping it running smoothly is crucial to the success of your site.

Here are a few tips for effective WordPress database maintenance:

1. Run regular backups

Backing up your database is the single most important thing you can do to keep it healthy. If something goes wrong, you'll always have a recent copy to restore from.

There are a few different ways to back up your WordPress database. One popular option is the UpdraftPlus plugin, which automates the process and makes it easy to schedule regular backups.

2.Clean up after yourself

Every time you delete a post or page, WordPress doesn't actually remove it from your database. The same goes for comments and other data. This can clutter up your database and make it harder to work with over time.

You can clean up your WordPress database by using a plugin like WP-Sweep. It will delete any unused data and help keep your database tidy.

3.Optimize your tables

Just like any other type of database, the tables in your WordPress database can become fragmented over time. This can cause performance issues and slow down your site.

You can defragment your WordPress database tables by using a plugin like WP-DBManager. It will optimize your database and help keep it running smoothly.

4.Repair any corrupt tables

Corrupt database tables are another common issue that can cause performance problems. If you suspect that one of your tables is corrupt, you can use a tool like phpMyAdmin to repair it.

5.Restrict access to your database

Restricting access to your database is a good security measure to take, especially if you're on a shared hosting account. This will prevent unauthorized users from being able to access or make changes to your database.

You can restrict access to your WordPress database by adding some code to your wp-config.php file. Just add the following line of code:

define('DB_USER', 'username');

define('DB_PASSWORD', 'password');

This will prevent anyone who doesn't know the username and password from being able to access or make changes to your database.

WordPress Website Maintenance screen

Securing Your Website

  1. Keep your WordPress installation and all plugins up to date.

    One of the most important things you can do to keep your WordPress website secure is to keep your WordPress installation and all plugins up to date. New versions of WordPress and plugins are released regularly, and these often include security fixes for vulnerabilities that have been discovered. By keeping your site up to date, you can help protect it against these threats.

    2. Use strong passwords and change them regularly.
    Another important security measure is to use strong passwords for your WordPress administrator account and any other user accounts on your site. A strong password is one that is difficult to guess or crack, and contains a mix of upper and lower case letters, numbers, and symbols. It's also important to change your passwords regularly, especially if you suspect that they may have been compromised.

    3. Don't use 'admin' as your username.
    One of the most common mistakes people make when setting up their WordPress site is using 'admin' as their username. This is a bad idea for two reasons: first, because it makes it easier for hackers to guess your username and gain access to your site; and second, because many brute force attacks will target the 'admin' username specifically. If you haven't already, be sure to change your username to something else (and make it something difficult to guess!).

    4. Use a security plugin.
    There are a number of excellent security plugins available for WordPress, which can help take care of some of the tasks involved in securing your website. Some plugins will help you create strong passwords, others will help you block malicious traffic, and still others will perform regular scans of your website for malware and other threats. Whatever security measures you decide to take, using a plugin can make the process easier and give you peace of mind knowing that your site is better protected.

    5. Back up your website regularly.
    Backing up your website is always a good idea, but it's especially important if you're worried about security threats. By creating regular backups, you'll be able to restore your site if it's ever hacked or attacked in some other way. There are a number of WordPress plugins that can help with this, so be sure to choose one that meets your needs.

    Monitoring Site Performance Assuming you've already set up monitoring for your site (see our article on how to do that here), there are a few key performance indicators you should always keep an eye on:

    1. Page load time
    2. Number of queries per page
    3. Overall server load
    4. Uptime

    Page load time is perhaps the most important metric to monitor, as it directly impacts the user experience. If your pages are loading slowly, users are likely to get frustrated and go elsewhere.

    Number of queries per page is also important, as a high number of queries can indicate a problem with your database or server configuration.

    Overall server load is important to monitor because if your server is overloaded, it can lead to slow page loading times and, in extreme cases, crashing.

    Uptime is also crucial, as even a few minutes of downtime can be costly in terms of lost traffic and revenue.

    How to Perform WordPress Website Maintenance If you own a WordPress website, it is important to perform routine maintenance in order to keep your site running smoothly and prevent any potential issues. Here are some tips for effective WordPress website maintenance:

    1. Update WordPress regularly. WordPress releases new updates on a regular basis, and it is important to install these updates as soon as possible. Updates often include security fixes and performance enhancements, so it is crucial to keep your WordPress installation up-to-date.

    2. Install security plugins. There are many security plugins available for WordPress, and it is a good idea to install at least one of these plugins on your site. These plugins can help to protect your site from hackers and other security threats.

    3. Perform regular backups. Backing up your WordPress site regularly is an important part of maintaining your site. There are many plugins available that can automate the backup process, or you can perform manual backups using FTP or your web host’s control panel.

    4. Keep an eye on your traffic levels. Monitoring your website’s traffic levels can help you to identify potential problems early on. If you notice a sudden decrease in traffic, it could be an indication that your site has been hacked or there is some other issue that needs to be addressed.

    5. Check for broken links. Broken links can frustrate visitors and cause them to leave your site. Use a broken link checker plugin or online tool to scan your site for broken links and fix them as soon as possible.

    By following these tips, you can help to ensure that your WordPress website is well-maintained and free of any potential problems.

    Check for Broken Links The first step in checking for broken links is to install and activate the Broken Link Checker plugin. Once activated, the plugin will begin checking your site for broken links and report any findings in the WordPress admin area.

    To view the results of the scan, click on the 'Broken Links' tab in the left-hand sidebar of the WordPress admin area. From here, you can see a list of all broken links found on your site, as well as the URL of the page on which each link is located.

    If any broken links are found, you can choose to either edit the link directly from the plugin's interface or remove it completely. Once you've fixed or removed all broken links, be sure to deactivate and delete the plugin to avoid potential security risks.

    Check Server Logs If you're running a WordPress website, it's important to periodically check your server logs for errors. By doing this, you can fix any problems that may be causing your site to run slowly or not function properly.

    Here are some tips for effectively checking your server logs:

    1. Use a log viewer tool. There are many free and paid tools available that can help you view and analyze your server logs. Some popular options include Splunk, Papertrail, and Loggly.

    2. Set up alerts. Once you've set up a log viewer tool, you can configure it to send you alerts whenever certain types of errors occur. This way, you can stay on top of any potential problems with your site.

    3. Check regularly. It's a good idea to check your server logs at least once per week, or more often if you're noticing any issues with your site. By doing this, you can quickly identify and fix any problems that may arise.

    Create Backups Regularly
    It is important to create backups of your WordPress website regularly in order to avoid losing any data in case of technical issues or hacking. There are a few different ways to create backups, such as using a plugin or doing it manually.

    Here are some tips for creating backups of your WordPress website:

    1. Use a plugin: There are many plugins available that can help you create backups of your WordPress website. Some popular options include BackupBuddy and WP DB Backup.

    2. Do it manually: If you prefer, you can also create backups of your WordPress website manually. This involves exporting your database and copying your files to a safe location.

    3. Schedule backups: Regardless of which method you use to create backups, it is important to schedule them so that they are done automatically on a regular basis. This way, you don't have to remember to do it manually and you can be sure that your website is always backed up.

    4. Store backups off-site: In addition to creating backups, it is also important to store them off-site in case of problems with your server or hosting account. This way, you will still have access to your backups even if something happens to your website.

    Following these tips will help ensure that you always have a backup of your WordPress website in case something goes wrong.

    Update Your Content
    One of the most important aspects of effective WordPress website maintenance is keeping your content fresh and up-to-date. Outdated content can give your visitors the wrong impression of your business, and it can also hurt your search engine rankings. Here are some tips for keeping your content fresh:

    1. Write new blog posts on a regular basis. A good rule of thumb is to aim for at least one new post per week. If you can’t commit to that, try to publish new content at least once per month.

    2. Regularly update your existing content. As your business changes and grows, so too will your website content. Make sure to keep it updated so that it accurately reflects your current offerings.

    3. Keep an editorial calendar. This will help you stay organized and ensure that you’re always publishing fresh content.

    4. Make use of tools like CoSchedule and Google Analytics. These tools can help you track your progress and see what’s working (and what’s not).

    5. Use social media to promote your new content. This is a great way to get more eyes on your latest blog post or product page.

    By following these tips, you can ensure that your website always has fresh, relevant content that will appeal to both your visitors and the search engines.

    Optimize Your Images

As a website owner, you know that images are an important part of your site. Not only do they help you communicate your message, but they also contribute to your site's overall look and feel.

That said, you also know thatimages can be a file size nightmare. Large image files can contribute to slow page load times, which can impact your site's SEO and user experience.

That's why it's important to optimize your images for the web. By reducing file sizes and using the right file format, you can ensure that your images load quickly and smoothly.

Here are some tips for optimizing your images for the web:

1. Choose the right file format.

The three most common image file formats are JPEG, PNG, and GIF. Each format has its own benefits and drawbacks.

JPEG: JPEGs are best for photos and images with lots of colors. They're also great for images that need to be compressed to smaller file sizes. That said, JPEGs can lose some quality when they're compressed, so they're not ideal for images that need to be high-quality (like product photos).

PNG: PNGs are best for line drawings, logos, and images with transparent backgrounds. They don't lose quality when compressed, but they can be larger files than JPEGs or GIFs.

GIF: GIFs are best for small images with few colors, like logos or icons. They can also be used for animated images. One downside of GIFs is that they tend to have large file sizes.

2. Reduce file size without compromising quality.

When it comes to image file size, smaller is better. The reason is that large image files can slow down your website's loading time. And as we mentioned before, slow loading times can impact your SEO and user experience.

There are a few ways to reduce an image's file size without compromising quality:

- Use an image compression tool like Photoshop or Kraken.io.

- Resize the image to make it smaller (keeping in mind the image's original proportions).

- Crop the image to remove any unnecessary empty space around the edges.

3. Use a content delivery network (CDN) . A CDN stores copies of your website's files on servers around the world so that visitors can access them more quickly and easily . Using a CDN can help ensure that your images load quickly no matter where in the world your visitors are located .

4 . Optimize your website for mobile devices . More and more people are accessing the internet from their mobile devices , so it's important to make sure that your website is optimized for these users . One way to do this is to serve different versions of your images depending on the device . For example , you could use a smaller , lower - resolution version of an image on a mobile device than you would on a desktop computer . This ensures that mobile users don't have to download unnecessarily large files , which would just slow down their experience .

WordPress Website Maintenance planning