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How Long Does WordPress Maintenance Take?

As a WordPress developer with over five years of experience, I have often found myself wondering how long it takes to properly maintain a website. 

The reality is that there are a variety of factors that can affect the time and effort required for maintenance, such as the age and complexity of the site. 

In this guide, I will share my insights and experience on the various aspects of WordPress maintenance, including what tasks take up the most time, and provide tips on how to optimize your site’s performance and troubleshoot common issues. 

Whether you are a website owner or a developer, this guide will help you understand how long does WordPress maintenance take and effort required to keep your WordPress website in top condition.

Let’s start!

What is WordPress Maintenance?

WordPress maintenance is the process of keeping your site running smoothly and securely. This can include things like updating themes, plugins, and core files; making sure everything is running smoothly; and making sure that any security issues are addressed.

This is a critical part of running a website. If you don’t take care of your site, it will become outdated, insecure and slow. This means that it won’t perform as well as it should or be able to handle the amount of traffic that it receives.

The maintenance process is also often overlooked because it can be confusing and time-consuming. However, if you want your website to stay secure, perform well, and be easy for visitors to use then it’s important that you don’t neglect this aspect of your site.

How Long Does WordPress Maintenance Take?

The answer to this question is: it depends.

Depending on the size and complexity of your site, WordPress maintenance can take anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours

The time it takes is also affected by how often you do maintenance on your site. If you haven’t done any maintenance for quite some time, then it can take longer than usual because there will be more work to do.

However, if you do maintenance regularly then it will be faster because there won’t be as much work to do. 

It’s also important to know that your WordPress site won’t always be down during maintenance. For example, if you’re only upgrading themes or plugins then these changes should take less than a minute and shouldn’t affect your site’s performance in any way.

How Do You Perform WordPress Maintenance?

The first step to performing WordPress maintenance is to make sure that you have a backup of your site in case something goes wrong. 

If you don’t have a backup, or if the backup is old, then it’s time to start fresh with a new one. You can do this by restoring from your last backup or downloading a new copy from GitHub or another source.

Cloudways hosting backup

Next, update all of your plugins and themes. This will ensure that they’re up-to-date with security patches and bug fixes. Be sure to check out the documentation for each plugin or theme as well; there might be specific instructions for upgrading them!

WP Plugin Updates

Once everything is updated, it’s time for some housekeeping! Run through all of your posts and pages and make sure they’re up-to-date with the latest information (including formatting). 

Also, check over any links within those posts; sometimes things get broken when sites move around on the web–and if you don’t take care of them now, they could become broken later!

What Does a WordPress Maintenance Checklist Look Like?

A WordPress maintenance checklist typically includes the following tasks:

WordPress Maintenance Plan
  1. Software updates: Ensure that the WordPress core, themes, and plugins are all up to date to ensure security and compatibility.
  2. Backup: Regularly create backups of your website’s content, database, and files to protect against data loss.
  3. Security: Monitor your website for malicious activity and implement security measures such as using a strong password, limiting login attempts, and using a security plugin.
  4. Performance optimization: Optimize your website’s load times by compressing images, minifying code, and using a caching plugin.
  5. Database optimization: Regularly clean up your database by deleting spam comments, trashed posts, and other unnecessary data.
  6. Broken link check: Check your website for broken links and fix them to improve user experience and search engine optimization.
  7. User management: Review and manage user accounts to ensure that only authorized individuals have access to your website.
  8. Contact forms: Check that contact forms are working properly and that messages are being delivered to the appropriate email address.
  9. Analytics: Monitor website traffic and analyze data to identify areas for improvement.
  10. Disaster recovery plan: Have a plan in place for how to restore your website in case of a disaster or other emergency.

It’s important to note that this is a general list, and you may need to add or remove tasks depending on your specific website and its needs.

If you’re not sure where to start or what needs doing, it may be worth consulting with an experienced web developer. 

Factors that Affect Website Maintenance Time

Here are a few factors that will affect how long it takes to perform maintenance on your site.

How Long Does WordPress Maintenance Take

The first and most important factor is how you’re using your website. If it’s just a blog, then the maintenance will be much less than if you’re running an eCommerce site or something similar because there are so many more things that need to be done to keep those types of sites running smoothly.

The second factor is how many plugins and themes you have installed on your site. The more plugins and themes you have, the more maintenance you’re going to need. Also, if you’re running a lot of plugins that are outdated or vulnerable then this can cause additional problems as well.

The third factor is the complexity of your website. If you have a really simple, single-page site then the maintenance will be much less than if you have a complex site with lots of different pages and content types.

The fourth and final factor that can affect the amount of maintenance you need is how many people are using your website. If you have a small blog with only a few readers then this won’t be much of an issue, but if you’re running a high-traffic site then things will definitely get more complicated.

How to Reduce Maintenance Time?

To minimize the time spent on maintaining your WordPress website, you can:

  • Use a maintenance plugin to automate tasks like updates, backups, and security checks.
  • Optimize your website’s performance by compressing images, minifying code and using caching plugins.
  • Use a managed hosting service to handle technical aspects of maintenance.
  • Implement a Content Delivery Network (CDN) to reduce load on your server.
  • Use security plugins to secure your website and monitor for malicious activity.
  • Keep your website organized by regularly cleaning up your database and removing unnecessary data.
  • Schedule maintenance tasks to be done during low traffic hours.
  • Outsource maintenance tasks to a professional if you’re not comfortable handling them.

Finally, make sure you have a backup of your website’s files and database. This will help you in case anything happens to your site.

Is it Hard to Maintain a WordPress Website?

It’s not hard to maintain a WordPress website, but it does require some time and effort.

If you’ve just started your business, or if you’re new to the world of web design and development, it can be overwhelming to learn how to maintain a WordPress site. 

The good news is that you don’t have to learn everything at once. As you get more comfortable with the platform, you can start learning how to make small changes and fix small problems yourself. Once you get the hang of it, maintaining a WordPress site will be one less thing on your plate!

Final Words!

WordPress maintenance may be something that goes unnoticed by many site owners, but it is still important for keeping your site up to date and running smoothly. 

In fact, WordPress maintenance should be thought of not as an annoyance, but as a way for you to get more out of your time without fully devoting your attention to it.

All in all, you should always be thinking about how to make your site run better and more efficiently. If you have time to do maintenance on your own, that’s great! But if not, using a managed WordPress host like Cloudways can help you save time and money while still getting amazing results with your site.


Is it hard to maintain a WordPress website?

Yes, it can be. But the process doesn’t have to be an overwhelming one. You just need to know what needs to be done and how to do it. The more you learn about WordPress maintenance, the easier it will become for you.

Why is my WordPress site down for maintenance?

This means that your site is being updated with new features or security patches. You may be able to see when this happens by checking the status of your site on a hosting provider’s website. If you don’t have access to this information, contact your host and ask them what’s going on.

How long does scheduled website maintenance take?

This depends on how much needs to be done. If it’s just a security patch, it might only take a few minutes. But if you’re upgrading WordPress or installing new plugins and themes, then it can take hours or even days before everything is back up and running again.


Saksham Kumar

Designer, WordPress developer, and Marketer @ WPEssentials. Saksham creates and designs all the WPEssentials templates and writes on WordPress-related products. He also works as a freelancer and loves to help individuals, blogs, and brands establish their businesses online.

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