Essential WordPress Maintenance Tasks
There are many steps you can take to get the best performance from your WordPress site and avoid frustrating site visitors. The more you add to your site, the bigger the chances of its slowing down become. By following these steps and repeating them on a regular basis, you can maintain a high-quality site that gets visitors coming back, time and time again. Depending on how big and popular your site is, you should repeat these steps every three-to-six months.
Let’s look at some of the main and most important tips now.
- Change your WP passwords
Passwords are incredibly important for preventing unauthorised access to your site. You need to have strong passwords in place for your site, FTP accounts and database. It’s possible for malicious activity to take place without you even noticing until it’s too late, so ensure all your passwords are changed at least twice a year.
2. Conduct a full back-up of your site
It’s vital that we don’t underestimate the importance of backups. There are many backup plugins you can use to make this task easier for you. From time to time, you may need to run these plugins manually so your entire site is backed up. Ensure backup files are backed up at the remote location you are using, whether that’s Google Drive, Dropbox or anywhere else.
3. Remove spam comments
Some plugins sometime treat innocent comments as spam, which means you may need to check that legitimate comments aren’t being removed – or that spammy comments are finding their way through to your site. Whilst this step won’t usually boost the performance of your site, it will help you maintain a great user experience.
4. Check and update WP files
Make sure you are using the latest version of WP and that all your plugins and themes are updated. From time to time, updates can be missed by your systems, so you will need to go to the WP Updates page to ensure you are using the latest versions of your plugins and themes.
5. Check your WP forms
WP form plugins make the process of creating great-looking forms easy. However, misconfiguration can mean the forms stop generating e-mails. Check your forms on a regular basis so you know they are working properly.
6. Optimise the WP database
The vast majority of your data is kept in your WP database. This data includes content, comments, information about users and settings. As the months pass by, the database may collect a wealth of irrelevant data, which will increase your backup sizes and make the uploading, downloading and backup processes tougher and longer. By optimising the database, you can get rid of clutter, defragment your tables and boost its performance.
7. Fix 404 errors
WP shoes users 404 error pages when they request pages that don’t exist. These pages can have a negative impact on the user experience. There are steps you can take to track error pages and redirect users to live pages.
8. Carry out performance tests
Over time, site owners tend to install a wealth of plugins, change their themes on multiple occasions and add a wealth of new content. Little by little, performance can slow down as a result. You shouldn’t just think about your home page when it comes to assessing performance – you also need to find out how your most popular and important pages are faring. There are many tools you can download to optimise performance.
9. Conduct an in-depth content and SEO audit
Valuable data from Google Analytics and Google Search Console can give you the information you need to perform an in-depth audit. Google Analytics provides you with value information about how your visitors get to you and what they do when they are on your site. It will tell you which content is the most efficient at converting visitors into subscribers and customers. Search Console gives you information on keywords that are making your site show up on Google and will tell you which keywords will help your site rank higher if you update certain articles.
We hope you found this article useful. This is just a small selection of the steps you can take to maintain your site efficiently. At Top 10 Website Hosting we always conduct these measures to ensure the site is running as smoothly as it can be.