Maintaining a WordPress website is crucial to ensure its optimal performance, security, and usability. Every website needs regular maintenance. WordPress maintenance involves checking your site’s configuration, functionality, security settings, available updates, unused files, and more. Regularly Update WordPress Core, Themes, and Plugins: Keep your WordPress installation, themes, and plugins up to date to ensure compatibility, security patches, and access to new features. Update them promptly as new versions are released.
This article will cover the ten most important WordPress maintenance tasks you need to execute. We’ll discuss how each task works and why it’s essential. Let’s jump in to the main topic!
Top 10 Website Maintenance Tips For Your WordPress Site More Secure
Tips 1 – Regularly Update WordPress Core, Themes, and Plugins:
Keep your WordPress installation, themes, and plugins up to date to ensure compatibility, security patches, and access to new features. Update them promptly as new versions are released.
At least once a week, go to the WordPress dashboard and open the Dashboard > Updates tab. Look at the list of components that need updates, and execute all of them. Updating WordPress core, plugins, and themes can lead to errors sometimes. Some managed WordPress hosting providers offer automatic updates for the CMS and its components. However, the process is so straightforward that we recommend checking for updates manually.
Tips 2 – Perform Regular Backups:
Back up your website regularly to safeguard against data loss or unforeseen events. Use a reliable backup plugin or your hosting provider’s backup solution. Store backups securely in an off-site location. Ideally, you’ll back up your website every day. You can do this manually by copying your site and database files to a different storage location.
If you don’t want to opt for managed hosting, another alternative is a WordPress backup plugin. Tools such as UpdraftPlus create copies of your site and even configure automatic backups on any schedule.
Tips 3 – Remove Unused Themes and Plugins:
Remove any inactive or unnecessary themes and plugins from your WordPress installation. Unused themes and plugins can pose security risks and slow down your website. Deleting inactive plugins and themes frees up space, removes entries from the WordPress database, and makes maintenance tasks go smoother. Sometimes, using too many active plugins can slow down your website. Furthermore, the more active plugins you have, the more potential compatibility and security issues can pop up.
Tips 4 – Optimize Website Performance:
Ensure your website loads quickly and provides a smooth user experience. Use caching plugins, optimize images, clean up the database, and consider a content delivery network (CDN) to enhance performance.
To test a page, enter its URL, and you’ll receive a breakdown of its loading time and potential improvements.
Tips 5 – Monitor Website Security:
Implement security measures to protect your website from hacking attempts and malware. Use security plugins, strong passwords, two-factor authentication, and a reputable web hosting provider.
Tips 6 – Optimize Database Tables:
Before making any changes to your database, it’s crucial to back it up. This ensures that you have a copy of your data in case anything goes wrong during the optimization process.
WordPress uses database tables to store various types of data. Over time, these tables can become fragmented, affecting the overall performance. You can use plugins like WP-Optimize or WP Rocket to optimize your database tables and remove unnecessary data.
Tips 7 – Check and Fix Broken Links:
Regularly scan your website for broken links and fix them. Broken links negatively impact user experience and SEO. You can use plugins or online tools to identify and correct broken links.
You can use the plugin to scan your website for links to pages that don’t exist or aren’t loading. The tool also checks pages for missing images and redirects.
Once you’ve identified a broken link, you can correct it if it’s wrong or point it toward another page. By the end of the process, every link should work and point to relevant pages.
Tips 8 – Check Website Forms and Functionality:
Regularly test all forms, contact pages, and interactive elements on your website to ensure they are working correctly. Fix any issues promptly to maintain user engagement. If the form doesn’t display a success message, make sure you’ve received an email notification when someone makes a submission. Depending on the type of form, you probably already get an email upon submission (such as for contact forms).
If you suddenly stop receiving notifications about new submissions, that’s usually a sign that a form is not working correctly. In that case, jump right in and test to make sure the form is functioning as it should.
Tips 9 – Clean Up Spam Comments and Revisions:
Regularly delete spam comments and clean up post revisions to keep your WordPress database lean. Unnecessary data can slow down your website’s performance.
Tips 10 – Monitor Website Analytics:
Keep track of your website’s analytics using tools like Google Analytics. Analyze visitor behavior, traffic sources, and popular content to make data-driven decisions and improve your website’s performance.
Bonus Tips – Monitor User Activity:
WordPress maintenance boils down to knowing what is going on with your website and using security monitoring for changes and potential issues.
Tools like WP Activity Log provide an in-depth overview of everything that happens on your site. You can use activity logs to monitor what users are doing, look for specific activities, track e-commerce transactions, and even configure custom notifications.
For example, an activity log can help you monitor backups and WordPress updates. This way, you’ll be able to keep a maintenance record and see if you’re missing any key tasks while optimizing your website.
Stay vigilant, backup regularly, and address issues promptly to maintain a healthy and secure WordPress website. Do you have any questions about WordPress maintenance? Let’s talk about them in the comments section below!