If you’ve ever built or managed a website, you’re familiar with WordPress. To date, this content management system remains one of the best ways to operate a website. It is currently estimated that WordPress powers 38.8% of the world’s websites.
Although WordPress can be very powerful, it still needs constant attention in order to keep a website optimized and healthy. It may sound simple, but few brands have website maintenance checklists to keep their website loading fast and secure.
Hopefully, you will find here 5 essential WordPress maintenance tips and tasks that you should do regularly to keep your website in tip-top shape and your visitors happy!
These tips are useful whether you have a single website, or manage multiple WordPress sites.
1. Back your Website Up
A backup is usually taken in case something goes wrong or if a restore point is necessary. Websites are no different.
By performing periodic backups you ensure that if anything goes wrong with your WordPress website such as speed issues, malware attacks, virus attacks, etc. where your website can crash, you will have a restore point. When your website is restored from a backup, your website will be up and running in a shorter amount of time.
In contrast, failure to backup your website can have significant consequences for your business. Fixing the problem may involve creating a new website from scratch. Good luck with that!
Hosting providers may offer periodic backups for your website, but it is up to how good they are. Otherwise, there are several plugins available, the most famous being updraft plus.
2. Monitor your WordPress site
You should not wait for a visitor to let you know that your website is down or have issues. You can’t always know by yourself if your website breaks either.
Hopefully, there are free and premium monitoring solutions available for WordPress.
They all use monitors to check out your website every 1 to 30 minutes and will instantly alert you if your website goes down.
My favorite uptime monitoring plugin is WP Umbrella, but there are plenty of other third-party services available on the Internet.
3. Regularly Update Themes, Plugins and WordPress Core
Once their site is up and running, most website owners stick to a set-and-forget attitude. Having this mindset will never lead to better results for your website.
Regular updates to WordPress keep it at the forefront of technology. Unless you regularly update your site’s WordPress theme, core, and plugins, your website will become out-of-date and will perform poorly.
With WordPress updates, new features are added, bugs are fixed, and security holes are filled to streamline your site and make it more robust, responsive, and user-friendly.
Remember to take your time while updating themes, plugins, and WordPress core to prevent technical issues. Sometimes, plugins start to conflict with each other and cause your website to crash. Usually, all bugs are fixed within 48 hours, so it’s best to wait 24-48h before updating something after a release.
4. Post regularly to Your Site
During the early phases of your site’s development, you are likely to have lots of adrenaline and write a lot of content.
Your interest will fade over time as you become distracted by other things, you’ll lose your enthusiasm, and your publications will decrease.
Eventually, you may stop publishing altogether..!
This cannot happen if you want people to continue visiting your site and for search engines to find it. So, it’s important to establish a publishing schedule you will be able to follow.
As soon as you get an idea, start working on it but don’t publish it immediately: save it as a draft or as a note and publish it later when you don’t have so many ideas or so much time.
Some WordPress sites like Miketendo64.com try to post new content daily. As they are dedicated to covering video game news on all things Nintendo, there is always something to write about. However, you can still update your own website regularly, even by posting once a week. It is important to make a schedule that works for you.
5. Optimize your site speed
Increasingly, search engines count on speed as a ranking factor. Performing speed tests on your website to determine if it is running fast will help you rank your website in search engines.
This will also have a critical impact on your website user experience. Slow load times indeed decrease conversion rates.
The easiest way to improve your load times on WordPress is to install a cache plugin and to compress your images.
There are plenty of free and premium cache plugins that don’t require much configuration.
The most famous and powerful is WP Rocket, but you can also check out free alternatives such as W3 Total cache.
Once your website is cached, it’s also important to compress your images since they are the heaviest thing on your page. You can do it automatically with plugins like Imagify or Smush.
WordPress Management tasks: final thoughts
These 5 tasks are really important if you want to have an optimized website offering a nice user experience.
If you are overwhelmed, keep it cool! It’s WordPress, so there are a ton of good plugins available to help you deal with this – as long as you keep them up-to-date! 😉