A website that performs poorly or goes down is not fun. So you need to focus on WordPress Maintenance.
There can be a state of panic as all of you hard work of weeks, months or years can disappear and you’re left wondering “how do I get it all back?”. Truth is it’s possible to fix broken WordPress websites, but there’s no simple path to make this happen.
Remember: A prevention is better than a cure!
The preventative measures that can make a website’s disappearance a far less likely event is actually pretty simple, it’s basic maintenance. On top of that, there are other things you should do to maintain your traffic and SEO numbers in order to keep the website working, sharing information and making you money.
So, let’s get into it. Here are the 10 regular WordPress maintenance tasks you should perform on your WordPress website.
Update, Update, Update.
I’m talking your WordPress core, your plugins and your themes.
Every piece of software is as imperfect as the programmers behind their creation. That means they can crash, get hacked or even simply become incompatible with the server or other programs they run alongside.
So regular updates should be a major part of your WordPress Maintenance Schedule.
So you really need to get into the habit of updating your software. I made a simple video showing you how to do it in little to no time at all. You can watch it below:
Before you do this though, it’s smart to make a backup of your WordPress website. Here’s why…
Backup your WordPress website
Want to know the ultimate cure for a broken website? Being able to replace the whole thing with a version that is up to date and 100% functional.
WordPress makes this easy and it should definitely be in your maintenance schedule.
If you get hacked, server crashes, you delete a heap of info or do anything which destroys the website than pulling out last weeks backup will restore the site pretty quickly.
There’s a few ways you can backup:
- Your host may have a backup service you can use
- You can install BackupBuddy and schedule automatic backups to DropBox or another service
- You can even just backup manually, downloading your files / databases – or even use the WordPress export
- Best – use more than one of the above and have options.
This means that regardless of how difficult a problem is, you have the ultimate safety net. This is MUST for all website owners.
Check for broken links
Broken links can creep up on you and slow down the progress which you’ve worked so hard for on your WordPress blog.
Quite simply, broken links can have negative effects on your SEO, user experience, conversions and can make your website seem unkept and abandoned. It can simply be that websites you’ve linked to have gone down, or maybe you’re linking to an old post you’ve removed.
If you’re an affiliate marketer, sometimes your affiliate links will be changed on you and you’re then losing money! If you want to maintain your income this is a big deal!
Search for and install Broken Link Checker, install it to your WordPres ssite and regularly perform the check to avoid these issues.
Perform a malware scan and maintain your blog health.
Want your WordPress website to go down? If you have malware on your website that can happen.
But it may not go down! I once redesigned a website for company that had no idea they were advertising a product, let’s call them “marital aids” for use in the bedroom, on their construction equipment hire website. It had likely been there for a year or more because their site had not been maintained for years.
If you have no idea that your WordPress website is infected then you cannot address the issue.
Without regular blog maintenance an dmalware scanning, this can have disastrous results.
Clean up & Maintain your WordPress database
Your website will run quicker and smother with an optimized database that trims off the fat that accumulates over time.
For this I recommend searching for and installing WP Optimize, it will scan and tidy up your database, maintain it and improve the overall health and performance of your website.
Content audit / update blog posts
Times change and with regular maintenance, so should your website.
If you have written a guide to using a piece of software that no longer exists, you may cop some flack from Google. Even if you write a post about a topic that is clearly out of date and not usable, than your traffic slow down and your WordPress website will be identified as being out of date and it can affect your current, up to date posts.
For this reason you should regularly review all of your content and bring it up to date, or delete it entirely. Many people have spent months deleting and updating blog posts and noticed massive spikes in traffic from it.
Don’t be lazy and try to make your WordPress website as valuable as possible. Useless content only damages your image and performance.
Moderate your comments
If you have no protection than sure, you’re going to get a tonne of spam.
But even with protection, people will still spam your website in search of crappy backlinks!
Comment Maintenance is important to keep things running smoothly. Always check your comments in WordPress, reply to those who are genuine, remove those that aren’t and keep a level of healthy and useful interaction so people don’t feel ignored. Also, multiple spam comments doesn’t just make you look bad, but can negatively affect SEO (especially if someone links to a dodgy website).
My advice? Set some rules.
Tell visitors to leave relevant comments only, no ignorant hate and use a REAL NAME, no keywords. You then will find it easier to remove people who don’t adhere to your standards because you’ve laid down the rules.
Check your website speed
When you start a website your page’s load time might be 2 seconds. Nice.
After you add some widgets, plugins, images and info that time can slow down. Now WordPress takes 9 seconds to load – crap!
People generally wait 3 or 4 seconds and then bounce. So you can be missing out on a LOT if your website is slow.
Head over Pingdom’s Speed test and test your home page and some your blog posts. If you’re slower than 3 seconds, try to speed things up. Check regularly and maintain a high speed. Here’s a useful post that can help you speed up your WordPress website.
Test your forms in WordPress
When you frist set up a contact form or some kind of data gathering form, you should definitely test it. A lot of people do and a lot of people don’t.
You need to make sure the thing works!
But sometimes they work and then, later on, stop working. So log into WordPress and test that form every so often! If you continue to get enquiries through it, you know it’s working but if you hit a quiet patch, test it out. Youc could be missing out on potential sales, sponsored posts or any of the stuff you actually want.
Schedule, track & maintain
Take the above points, create a check list and set an alarm or some kind of reminder to actually step up and make this happen.
If you try to remember then you’ll get distracted. Maybe your backup will fail and your site will go down, losing months of work. Maybe you’ll lose some precious SEO traffic because you link to a site that has been infected with malware recently…
…or maybe you end up infected and your WordPress site ends up flagged for months!
Prioritize, schedule, remind yourself and keep your website healthy with these maintenance tasks.
Thank you for ready, I hope you found that handy. If you have any input or something I missed, please leave a comment below. Talk to you again soon!
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