4 steps to successfully maintain your WordPress website

Are you maintaining your WordPress site? Do you want to make sure you’re doing it correctly? In short, here is a summary of how to effectively cover all the 4 main bases:

1. Take regular backups of the website

Your website data is not dissimilar to data you have on your home or office computer. It is possible that the site is compromised with malware, modified by mistake, or deleted from the server (yes, even hosting companies have accidentally done this).

While most hosting companies provide at least one weekly backup, it is possible you may want to revert back to a previous version. Or, if you made changes to your site recently, the last weekly backup taken by the hosting company may not have the latest changes.

We recommend several daily, weekly and monthly backups to ensure you have a choice of which backup to revert to.

Our preferred free plugin for taking backups is UpdraftPlus. Once you install the plugin to your WordPress site, you can set it to automatically schedule backups for you, and link it to a cloud account such as Dropbox, Google Drive etc. It is best to save it away from the server where the website is hosted with, so in an extreme emergency, if something happens to the server, you can easily get your website up and running on another server.

2. Update WordPress, plugins & themes

WordPress websites, along with all content management systems, have regular updates to their platforms to improve security, performance & fix bugs. At the very least, these should be performed on a monthly basis.

In addition to this, over time, certain features stop working, or become incompatible with updates to the software, browser or device, and regular maintenance can help look out for these issues before they become live.

Here is a thorough guide to follow when carrying out updates

3. Scan for security issues

No site can be completely safe from being hacked, but you can take preventive measures, as well as being proactive with finding issues before they affect your website. There are many WordPress plugins, free and paid, that can actively scan your site on a regular basis.

We recommend iThemes SecurityWordFence, Sucuri, & Anti-Malware Security & Firewall. All plugins are free, but for added protection, you can upgrade to the premium versions.

4. Check the site for performance

We encourage checking sites for issues on a regular basis. Broken links, contact forms that no longer work and browser compatibility issues are some of the reasons visitors will leave your site and visit your competitors.

We urge website owners to make time to ensure that their forms are working, the site is loading at a reasonable speed, and all links are working as expected.

We’ve recently introduced care plans as not all our clients have the time or inclination to maintain their sites. If you would be interested in securing a maintenance contract for your web site, contact us to learn how we can keep your site in proper working order.