Let’s face it, maintaining a website is not everyone’s cup of tea.
You’ve got to keep the site safe and secure, make sure search engines can find you and the content, and check if anything has been hacked or broken.
That is quite a bit of work, isn’t it? And that is why I’ve put together this quick guide with lots of awesome WordPress maintenance tips and tricks so that you’ll know exactly what to do when it comes time to maintain your site.
But before we go over the different ways to maintain your WordPress website, let’s discuss why maintenance is important and what it can do for you.
Table of Contents
The Benefits of WordPress Maintenance
WordPress maintenance is important because it helps keep your website secure, fast, and up-to-date.
Some benefits of regular WordPress maintenance include:
- Security: Keeping your WordPress core, theme, and plugins updated can help prevent hacking attempts and vulnerabilities.
- Speed: Regularly optimizing your database and removing unnecessary files can help keep your website running quickly.
- Compatibility: Updating your theme and plugins can ensure that your website works correctly with the latest version of WordPress.
- SEO: Keeping your website up-to-date and running quickly can help improve your search engine rankings.
- Backups: Regularly backing up your website can help protect against data loss in case of an emergency.
Overall, maintaining a website is more than just ensuring the site is running properly.
It’s also making sure that the site is secure and safe from malicious attacks, that it’s easy to update, that the code is search engine optimized, and so much more.
Taking the time to maintain your website will help ensure that it is fully optimized and protected. It will also help you avoid problems in the future, which could save you a lot of money and frustration.
WordPress Maintenance Tips and Tricks
Here are a few tips and tricks you can use to maintain your WordPress site.
1. Update WordPress Core Files
One of the most important things you can do for your WordPress site is to make sure that the core files are always up to date.
Updating the core files ensures that you have the latest security patches, bug fixes and new features.
To update the core files, you can either do it manually by going to the “Updates” section in your WordPress dashboard, or you can enable automatic updates. Automatic updates are a great way to ensure that your site is always up-to-date and secure.
2. Update Themes and Plugins
Just like the core files, it’s important to make sure that your themes and plugins are also always up to date. This is because themes and plugins can also contain security vulnerabilities and bugs that need to be fixed.
To update your themes and plugins, you can go to the “Updates” section in your WordPress dashboard and see if there are any updates available.
Alternatively, you can also set your plugins and themes to update automatically.
3. Enable Automatic Backups
Backing up your website is one of the most important things you can do to protect your data. If anything goes wrong with your site, you’ll have a recent backup to restore from.
There are a number of different ways to back up your website, such as using a plugin or an external service.
Some hosting companies provide in-built backups, but you should have a separate system to back up your site in a secure place (such as Google Drive or Dropbox) to prevent any problems caused by the hosting companies.
You can also use a plugin like Updraft or Duplicator to automatically back up your site on a regular basis. Both of these plugins are free and require only a one-time setup. Once you’ve finished setting them up, they will back up your site daily or weekly (as you set) to your selected location.
Whatever method you choose, make sure that you have a backup of your website before making any major changes.
4. Remove Unused Plugins and Themes
Keeping your website clean and organized is important for both security and performance.
Unused plugins and themes can slow down your site and also pose a security risk. So it’s important to remove any plugins and themes that you’re not currently using.
To remove a plugin or theme, simply go to the “Plugins” or “Themes” section in your WordPress dashboard and delete the ones you no longer need.
5. Change the WordPress Login Page URL
One of the most basic security measures you can take for your WordPress site is to change the URL of your login page. By default, the login page for WordPress is located at “yoursite.com/wp-admin.”
This makes it easy for hackers to find and try to gain access to your site. By changing the URL, you can make it more difficult for them to find the login page and increase the security of your site.
6. Change Your WordPress Login Information Regularly
Another important step in maintaining your WordPress site is to change your login information regularly. This includes your username and password.
By regularly changing your login information, you can make it more difficult for hackers to gain access to your site.
You should also make sure to use strong and unique passwords for your WordPress site. A strong password is one that is at least 12 characters long and includes a mix of upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters.
Avoid using common words or phrases, and don’t use the same password for multiple accounts.
7. Clean Up Your WordPress Database
As you add and remove content from your WordPress site, the database can become cluttered with unnecessary data. This can slow down your site and make it more difficult to manage.
To keep your database clean and running smoothly, you should regularly delete unnecessary data.
You can use a plugin like “WP Optimize” to help you clean up your database. This plugin allows you to easily delete unnecessary data such as post revisions, trashed posts, and spam comments.
8. Clean Useless Data
Another important step in maintaining your WordPress site is to clean up any useless data such as old backups, deactivated plugins, and old themes. These files can take up a lot of space and slow down your site.
Again, you can use a plugin like “WP Optimize” to help you clean up useless data. This plugin allows you to easily delete old backups, deactivated plugins, and old themes.
9. Clear Out Spam Comments
Spam comments are a common problem for WordPress users. These comments can not only be annoying, but they can also negatively impact your site’s performance and search engine ranking.
To keep your site free from spam comments, you should regularly clear them out.
You can use a plugin like “Akismet” to help you filter out spam comments. Akismet is a popular plugin that uses advanced algorithms to detect and delete spam comments.
You can also manually delete spam comments by going to the comments section in your WordPress dashboard.
10. Run Regular Scans for Viruses and Malware
Another important step in maintaining your WordPress site is to run regular scans for viruses and malware.
Hackers can use viruses and malware to gain access to your site, steal personal information, and damage your site’s reputation. To protect your site, you should regularly run scans for viruses and malware.
You can use a plugin like “Sucuri Security” to help you scan for viruses and malware. Sucuri Security is a popular plugin that offers a variety of security features, including malware scanning, firewall protection, and security alerts.
11. Run Performance Tests
To ensure that your site is running smoothly, you should regularly run performance tests. Performance tests can help you identify any issues that may be slowing down your site, such as large images, poorly coded plugins, or too many scripts.
You can use a plugin like “Pingdom” to help you run performance tests. Pingdom is a free and popular tool that analyzes your site’s performance and provides recommendations for improvement.
You can also use Google’s Pagespeed Insights which provides reports and improvement suggestions on the user experience of a website on both desktop and mobile.
12. Run SEO Audit
Search engine optimization (SEO) is crucial for driving traffic to your site. To ensure that your site is optimized for search engines, you should regularly run SEO audits.
SEO audits can help you identify any issues that may be hurting your search engine rankings, such as broken links, duplicate content, or missing meta tags.
You can use tools like Semrush or Ahrefs to help you run SEO audits.
You can also use Google Search Console to track your site’s SEO performance. It will let you know if there are any issues with the way your site is set up or if you need to make any changes.
13. Analyze Website Traffic
Analyzing website traffic is a great way to make sure your site is working as it should. You can find out what pages are most popular and how much time visitors spend on them, which will help you improve the site’s design and content.
You can also use this information to see if there are any problems with your site’s performance or loading speed.
If a page takes too long to load, for example, this may be because there’s an error in the code or because it has too many images or videos on it (which will slow down your browser).
14. Test Your Forms
Forms are an important part of many websites, and it’s essential to make sure that they’re working correctly. To ensure that your forms are working correctly, you should regularly test them.
This includes testing the form’s functionality, as well as making sure that any data entered into the form is being properly processed and stored.
You can use a plugin like “Gravity Forms” to help you create and test forms on your WordPress site. Gravity Forms is a popular plugin that allows you to easily create and manage forms on your site.
15. Optimize Images
Images can greatly enhance the visual appeal of your website, but they can also slow it down if they are not optimized. Large image files can take longer to load, which can negatively impact your site’s performance and user experience.
To ensure that your images are optimized, you should regularly compress them.
You can use a plugin like “Smush” to help you optimize your images. Smush is a popular plugin that automatically compresses your images as you upload them to your site, reducing their file size without sacrificing quality.
16. Check Your Website on Mobile
With more and more people accessing the internet on their smartphones and tablets, it’s essential to ensure that your website is mobile-friendly.
To ensure that your site looks and works well on mobile devices, you should regularly check it on a variety of different mobile devices and browsers.
You can use a tool like “Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test” to check how your website looks on mobile devices. It will give you an analysis of your website’s mobile-friendliness, including any issues that need to be fixed.
17. Fix Broken Links
Broken links can negatively impact your site’s user experience and search engine ranking. To ensure that your site doesn’t have any broken links, you should regularly check for them and fix them.
You can use a plugin like “Broken Link Checker” to help you find and fix broken links on your site. This plugin will automatically check your site for broken links and notify you when it finds any, making it easy for you to fix them.
18. Find and Fix 404 Errors
404 errors occur when a user tries to access a page that doesn’t exist on your website. These errors can negatively impact your site’s user experience and search engine ranking. To ensure that your site doesn’t have any 404 errors, you should regularly check for them and fix them.
You can use a plugin like “Redirection” to help you find and fix 404 errors on your site. This plugin allows you to easily set up redirects for any 404 errors, ensuring that users are directed to the correct page.
To sum up, there is a myriad of reasons why you should be performing regular WordPress maintenance.
Whether it’s to fix a site that visitors are complaining about or to ensure that your WordPress is always running at peak performance, you can accomplish both of these tasks quickly with a little effort and patience.
By following the advice here, you’ll be sure that your WordPress site is always humming along smoothly for the benefit of your visitors.
If you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments below.
How to do maintenance on WordPress?
Some common maintenance tasks include: updating WordPress and plugins, backing up the site, optimizing the database, checking for broken links and 404 errors, testing forms, optimizing images, and running security scans.
Do WordPress sites need maintenance?
Yes, WordPress sites need regular maintenance to keep them running smoothly, and securely and to ensure optimal performance.
How do I fix WordPress maintenance?
To fix WordPress maintenance issues, you can try troubleshooting common problems such as updating WordPress and plugins, optimizing the database, checking for broken links and 404 errors, and running security scans. If the issue persists, you can reach out to a WordPress developer for assistance.
How do I clean up my WordPress files?
You can clean up your WordPress files by deleting unnecessary data such as post revisions, trashed posts, and spam comments. You can use plugins like “WP-Optimize” to help you clean up your database. Additionally, you can delete old backups, deactivated plugins, and old themes that are no longer needed.