A well-oiled machine works smoothly. Just like in a real life, we always service and carry out maintenance activity for cars, computers, machinery so that they work as they are indented to.
Well, then why forget your virtual online business? After all, it takes years of hard work and commitments to establish an online brand.
It is always advised to schedule regular interval maintenance for your WordPress site to keep search engines happy. Maintaining your website in a good health will significantly keep your database optimized and your website fast. And when your website will load fast, you will have happy customers, increased conversion rate and increased profit.
Easy to follow wordpress maintenance tips
In this article, we are going to share some important WordPress maintenance tips that you should be carrying out on a regular basis so that your website runs in a way it should.
Table Of Contents
- Easy to follow wordpress maintenance tips
- 1. Regular Full WordPress Backups
- 2. Database Maintenance and Optimization
- 3. Latest WordPress Updates
- 4. Manage spam comments
- 5. Regularly monitor health & security of your website
- 6. SEO On page checklist
- 7. Check basic functionality & usability of your website
- 8. Get rid of broken links
- 9. Speed Optimization
- 10. Declutter
1. Regular Full WordPress Backups
Before conducting any maintenance activity, it is very important that we should have a backup of the database, content files, plugins and your themes. In case, anything goes wrong with new updates or creates any issue post maintenance, then we must have a recent backup to rely on.
There are various tools out there to take your website’s backup just in few clicks or else you can ask your hosting company to regularly take back-ups of your website. There are a number of service providers who can do these maintenance activities for you.
All the other tasks are useless, until and unless you don’t have any recent back-up. Storing a backup in local hard drive or in any cloud service is a feasible option. Also, it is really not enough just to have a backup plan. You should also consider a restoration activity for your website.
Backup is an insurance license for your website, so don’t miss it ever.
2. Database Maintenance and Optimization
It is a good practice to clean up the most important element of your website i.e Database. Whatever posts or pages we add; it is saved on a virtual table of your website. Gradually, the database becomes less organized due to addition and installation of some plugins and data. It accumulates some useless data and so it can affect your website’s speed performances
Just like plugins or themes needs update and optimization, WordPress database needs attention. There are some plugins like WP-SWEEP that will help you keep the database in an organized system.
So start practicing the database clean up from today!! Don’t miss to take a backup
3. Latest WordPress Updates
Leaving your WordPress and other plugins outdated can be a risky factor for your website. It’s good that WordPress is open source because this allows developers and designers from all across the globe to contribute to this awesome blogging platform.
But this also means that the source code is available to those hackers who loves to find venerability and to exploit them. So keeping all your wordpress plugins and core elements updated is the best way to remain safe. Don’t ever ignore on a small update notification too. For example, 4.2 to 4.2.1 is a must update for your website as such updates usually consist of security patches.
Always keep an eye on updates notification for:
- WordPress Core
If you have purchased themes from the premium marketplace like Themeforest.net, MojoThemes, MyThemeShop, ElegantThemes or Creativemarket, then make sure to check your email notifications for theme/plugin updates. And install them on your site as soon as possible.
Note: Please read major release notes on updated versions. It is advised because we must make sure that our website must work well with updated versions.
4. Manage spam comments
To increase the inbound links, some marketers always keeps commenting on your blog or website. The never ending spammy comment is a common headache topic for every WordPress site owners. Don’t let the spammers exploit your blogs and start using some amazing WordPress spam killer plugins like Akismet, Spam Sheild or Zero Spam.
These plugins will help you to block offenders and report them to the community. Moreover, you can also use the popular commenting platform “Disqus” that manages the comments very well. It also reduces database queries on your server as all of your comments are stored on their servers.
Furthermore, Disqus offers outstanding comment management platform where you can easily whitelist, block members through specific email id or IP. You even have options yo whitelist specific URL.
You can also try adding captcha plugins to your blog or website. Generally, it has been found that this option is less favored due to the increased complexity which users have to deal with.
5. Regularly monitor health & security of your website
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure or prevention is better than cure. Both these sayings perfectly suit this activity. Checking the basic safety guards as a part of a maintenance review will always help you stay ahead of any situation. Checking for malware attacks and blacklist status won’t take your much time.
Use some site check up tools like Sucuri to check the current status of your website. Conduct a visual check up just to make sure that no links are unexpectedly redirected. You may also check your website’s health and security by entering: “site: yourdomain.com” in Google. Observe closely, the description and titles of the indexed page. If no such suspicious element is found then you are safe.
6. SEO On page checklist
Keeping your website SEO friendly will help your website perform well in Google. If you still haven’t focused on some basic On page SEO checklist, then start implementing it.
With perfect (not overdoing) On page optimization, you will certainly keep your website rank well in search engines. Search engines love perfectly optimized websites. Some of the basic things to be remembered while doing On page optimization:
- Relevant keywords target
- Appropriate use of keywords
- Title and description length
- Inbound links
- Header tags
You must also read the following guides:
7. Check basic functionality & usability of your website
Testing your website’s basic functionality is often ignored. Review the website’s basic functions in order to offer a perfect user experience to your customers or readers. But remember that their’s a huge difference between user and customer experience and you can read more it here.
Make sure that all the browsers are supporting your website. Browserstack.com offers to check the browser compatibility of your website quickly.
Navigational Check: Checking the breadcrumb or other navigational links are working properly or not. It will be quite annoying for users if they experience that they have been landed into a wrong location. Wrong navigation may lead to increase bounce ratio. It is utmost important to check navigations in mobile view.
Broken links are always frustrating for any end user. Broken links create a very bad impression for visitors and customers. On the top, it is very bad for website’s SEO. Manually checking for broken links is a nightmare and so you should try using some online link checker tools so that you can fix them quickly. Clean link structures make it easy to browse website smoothly.
Google Search Console is the best tool to find some crawl errors. Try to check your website and optimize the links which appear in results for crawl errors. You can either fix these broken links by creating a new post/page using the same URL structure or you can redirect them to any existing article/product. For redirect purpose, you can try any of the free SEO plugins or redirect plugins.
There are various freely available online and offline tools which can help you to find all sort of broken links ( internal and external ) within your website. Some of the popular tools have been listed below.
9. Speed Optimization
Google considers page speed as the important ranking factor. Fast loading websites are easier to browse and they also make visitors happy. This, in turn, improves your page views, average user interaction time and these are some of the important factors which decide your position on search engine result pages.
Just like we empty Recycle bin after deleting not so important data, we have to clean unused and deleted data in the trash to better optimize the website.
WP-Clean Up is the best plugin to use for clean up. Any temporary files or uninstalled plugins might have generated temporary cache folders. Deep cleaning all these resources will boost a new speed and power to your website. At least once in a month, you should check whether the theme or plugin which you were trying to experiment is deleted or not.
So these were the important points for the WordPress site maintenance and we hope you will now have regular checkups for your website using these activities. You can automate some of these tasks to save you more time and so you can spend some time on other important manual checks.
Have a happy healthy website!