Whenever we talk about WordPress we usually look at it as the easiest way to build your website. It’s an accepted fact that you can build any type of website using WordPress, may it be an online store, a portfolio website, or a corporate website. Make it or modify it this platform has got your back! Have you given a thought to WordPress Maintenance?
However, creating and maintaining a website are two different things, Creating and making your website online is just a fraction of your task. The main task starts when your website is up on the web. Many new tasks come up viz. content updates, plugin updates, participation amongst website audience and yourself and most importantly keeping your website up and running all times on the internet.
Your inconsideration towards basic website maintenance might get you in trouble giving rise to the following points
- Higher page load time
- Bad User Experience
- Low security
- Decreased ranking on web searches
Hence, if you want to have a seamlessly working website over the internet it is essential to maintain it like a well-oiled machine.
In this article, we’ll see how to take care of the basic maintenance of your website all by yourself and how often you should do it. We should always keep in mind that WordPress is a CMS tool and like any other tool you need to take a proper care so that your internet presence is always up to the mark.
Now, let us look at the tasks that are to be performed as far as WordPress maintenance is considered.
Always install the latest version of WordPress
Keeping your WordPress to the latest version is very important for many reasons and is the basic step forward towards your WordPress website maintenance
Updated WordPress ensures that you have the latest code and features. Also, WordPress regularly releases security fixes (latest being WordPress 4.9.1). This keeps you away from some known security concerns. Not updating your WordPress can be one of the reasons for your website getting hacked.
Currently, the Major Release being WordPress 4.9 “Tipton”. Check here to learn more about Tipton.
Updating your Plugins & Theme
Themes and Plugins are an integral part of WordPress and hence cannot be ignored. What is applicable to WordPress is also applicable to the theme and plugins that are installed and active. The reason being the same, outdated themes and plugins act as prime gateways for hackers and can be extremely vulnerable to data theft.
Generally, authors of these themes and plugins provide regular updates & security patch to their products so as to provide seamless functionality & compatibility with the latest version of WP and keep your website secure.
P.S. It’s always recommended to take a back-up before you upgrade your core WordPress. Another piece of important information being you should always perform the core updates first followed by theme and plugin updates.
Keep an eye on Security & Major WordPress Updates
WordPress updates are released at a regular interval, they can be widely classified into 2 types, i.e. Security Updates and Functionality Update and are easily identifiable by their release versions. You can view all WordPress releases here
Although WordPress security updates are applied automatically, there is an option where you can disable this feature. As WordPress Experts, we do not recommend you to disable this feature because security updates are very unlikely to break your website’s functionality.
On the other hand, you also have the auto-update feature for major releases. however, there is a risk of functionality break on your website. This is where we step in! (just boasting :p). Auto update for major releases we do not recommend to use.
Now, we know how important is WordPress Maintenance, we know that WordPress Releases Security Updates & Major releases regularly, We know why we need to keep our theme and plugins updated. Moving forward we’ll see.
8 Things you can do yourself to maintain your website
Backup – Regular interval backup always comes handy when something goes horribly wrong with your website. If you have a high traffic website it’s recommended to have a daily backup. Backups eliminate the risk of losing data and crucial information. Following are some ways you can take backups
- Plugins paid or free (please stick to only one plugin if you use any) – write to us if you need to know more!
- Find a good hosting provider who does it for you
- Subscribe to WordPress Maintenance Services like us! There are many service providers. You need to check the plan in detail before subscribing.
Keep enhancing User Experience – You have made your website live to the world. People from all over the world are now able to view it. It is looking fine on your devices, have you checked it on some other devices? Considering your audience is all over the world, there is a wide range of devices from where your website can be accessed. Take some time after every few weeks see how the user feels while using your website. Ask your friends & family to review the website. Make your website easy to use.
Keep an eye on the user demographics – Well yes, stalk your website audience. Multiple plugins will help you do that right on your Dashboard! Perform your traffic analysis and provide/adapt your website content that will suit best. You can do this every month or two.
Interact – Interaction on your website also helps in maintenance of your website. Keep your visitors engaged by replying to their concerns, write blogs on related topics. With this, you get to know what are the things that your customers expect from you and your website, what problems they face while using the website and you can eventually improve. Delete spam comments regularly if you have a very high traffic website (frequency can change with website traffic)
Sort, Organize, Repeat – This is for every type of website but most importantly it’s for content driven websites. Where there are multiple contributors contribute to the content of the website. You’ll need to delete unwanted drafts and pages, sort them and clear all the trash. Increase in unwanted pages causes the website to become heavy and takes more load time! Increase in load time affects your web rankings which are not good for any business.
Plugins – Plugins expand the functionality of any WordPress Website and you install 2-3 plugins to check which one works better for that particular functionality. Generally, when you find out which suits best, you forget to remove the unwanted plugins. It is recommended to remove all unwanted plugins as they can be responsible for more load time and can pose as a gateway for hackers.
Security Scan – Hack, malware attack are the worst nightmares of any business these days. Might your business need users to share their crucial information right? What if the information is compromised? It’s always better to take preventive measures as far as security is concerned. You should always give the highest priority to Website Security. There are plugins like Securi that lets you monitor your website security they check for irregularities and potential threats so that you can fix those beforehand and this way you can be safe. Can’t invest this much time? View our plans and subscribe! We’ll do it for you!
Server and Database Optimization – Keep your server optimized for your website, it directly affects the load time. Always remember people look for a solution online to save time; if your website takes time to load they won’t wait too long for your website to load! You lose your business. If you have an in-house team to look after your website you can direct them to work on the server & database optimization. WordPress uses MySQL as a database, and database can accumulate a lot of redundant and unwanted data that needs to be eliminated.
if you want an online presence for your business, you’ll need your time and money to be invested in the Website maintenance as there is no other workaround for this. Internet presence gives you global exposure and also keeps you on your toes. A little effort on a regular basis towards your website will ensure a fast loading, secure, user-friendly website where users are happy to browse, shop and spend time!