A Checklist for Maintaining Your WordPress Website
How do you make sure that your WordPress website is in good shape? What are the things that you need to check on a regular basis? Here’s a simple checklist for maintaining your WordPress website.
1. Core software
Question: Is your WordPress software up-to-date?
Every now and then, WordPress notifies the community of minor and major software releases. You can find them stored at the Releases Category Archive and at WordPress Planet. You can also find notifications on your admin dashboard when they are already available.
Updating your core software helps keep your website from problems that could’ve been mitigated, if not prevented, by installing the new release.
What an updated software carries:
- Updated security
- Bug fixes
- New features to try
It also allows for compatibility with new plugins and themes. So, check what’s working and what’s not on your website. Both manual and automatic updates are available.
2. Plugins and themes
Question: Are there any plugins and themes that you need to deal with?
Corrupt or outdated plugins and themes are among the common causes of errors. They also leave holes in your website which make it easy for hackers and malware to penetrate.
What you can do:
- Uninstall plugins and themes that you are no longer using
- Take time to review a plugin or theme before installation
- Be in the loop for updated versions of your plugins and themes
Unfortunately, not all plugins offered on the internet are reliable. Before purchase or download (if free), look for user ratings and reviews to help you pick the right one.
Knowing when they were last updated or up to which software version they have been tested is also helpful.
Relevant Blog Post: 5 Common Causes of WordPress Errors
Question: Do you have a backup of all the important things on your website?
Avoid losing any of your important data by securing a backup. Nowadays, there are cloud storage services that you can use for your images, videos, and other files. To name just a few, there are Google Drive, Dropbox, and OneDrive.
You may also use an external storage device for this purpose.
As for your database, you can run an automatic backup by installing a reliable plugin. Like millions of other active installers, we also recommend the UpdraftPlus plugin.
It creates a direct backup to any of your storage locations including your FTP and also has the ability to restore.
Question: How strong is your website security?
A safe and secure environment builds trusts and strengthens relationships be it at work or personal life. With your WordPress website, you can create the same healthy environment as well.
What you can do:
- Set a strong login password
- Use a two-step verification
- Update core software, plugins, and themes
- Install a security plugin
- Secure a backup
You might also want to consider using a passwords manager like LastPass to store all your account passwords in one place. When you arrive at a login page, LastPass can fill in the login form immediately.
It also allows you to share your passwords with your employees or colleagues in a more secure manner.
Tightening your security does only keeps your website safe. But it also adds value to your business and site users.
Related Blog Post: How to Secure Your WordPress Website
5. Site speed
Question: How long does your site users have to wait for your pages to load?
Slooooowding — it’s the term we usually say when a page seems to take a century to show up. Well, does it also apply to any of your website pages?
Your WordPress website’s speed is influenced by various factors. Among them are poorly coded plugins, images, and your hosting provider.
How to improve your site speed:
- Install a caching plugin
- Get rid of outdated or corrupt plugins
- Compress images
You may also run a speed test on your website to check your site’s speed performance. Popular tools online are Pingdom Website Speed Test and Google’s PageSpeed Insights.
They can help you determine which issues you need to address. With faster site speed, your users will enjoy a better experience. That way, you receive a higher chance to increase your search rank.
Question: Can your website be viewed in its best state on any of the mobile devices?
The rise of mobile devices and their number of users are no longer a secret. People use their smartphones and tablets to find significant answers to their concerns. It has helped shape the way they buy and make decisions online.
You can make your website useful to users as well by making it mobile-responsive. That means, your website will:
- Respond well to different operating systems
- Adapt to any mobile screen
- Enable convenient access for your users
By going mobile-friendly, you open your website to the millions of mobile users around the world. And because more people can access your website conveniently, you get a higher chance to boost your search rank.
Overall, you don’t only improve the user experience. You also unlock more growth opportunities for your business. To check whether your website is ready for mobile devices, you may use Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test.
Relevant Blog Post: 5 Ways to Improve Your Business on Mobile Devices
Question: Does your website needs some cleaning?
As you go on in running your website, there could be some items in your database which you could no longer use. Unfortunately, they could pile up faster than you expected. And they could also give room for issues on your website as we’ve discussed in numbers 2, 4, and 5 above.
Things you can get rid of:
- Old posts and pages
- Spam comments
- Images and videos
- Categories and tags
- User permissions
But before you delete them forever, check to see whether they are no longer useful. You surely don’t want to regret losing any of your important items.
If not delete, another option to make your website neat and organized is by improving any of the items instead. For your old posts and pages, for example, you can update your content to match the current needs of your site users.
8. Search engine optimization
Question: How is your website structure doing? Do you have any posts and pages that need to be optimized?
A higher rank in the search engine results generates a higher chance for your WordPress website to be visited by users anywhere in the world.
The good news? There are plugins like Yoast SEO that can guide you on how to go about doing it.
Among the things you can do:
- Create quality content
- Use paragraph headings appropriately
- Avoid using lengthy sentences
- As much as possible, use active voice in your writings
- Use captivating titles
- Use images for support
- Link to relevant content
- Create structure through categories and tags
Consider which topics you want to be found for and use them in creating and marketing your content. Learn what strategies you can implement, too.
It could be challenging in the beginning. But, you can learn from the data you receive and reap lasting benefits in the end. Only move forward.
9. Website statistics
Question: How is your relationship going with your followers and site users?
Finally, in our checklist for maintaining your WordPress website…
Data is among the digital marketer’s best allies. It can point her to the users’ geographical location, to the most visited page on her website, and also to her site users’ referrer.
Success online does not stop at having a remarkable website. There is a need for you to promote your website or content to others — to build a loyal community of site users or business consumers.
Among the things you can do:
- Check your website statistics
- Understand which areas you need to improve
- Empower your business with data
This applies to both your website and marketing platforms. You could be on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or anywhere else. Check to see your weakness and strengths; you just might be a chat away to building that steady network for your website.
Done-for-You Website Management Services
Do you have any specific concerns you wish to address regarding your WordPress website? We at Slapshot Studio delight in helping business owners, entrepreneurs, and creatives craft a remarkable brand experience for their users.
Website management is among our specialties. This covers website updates, plugin installation, backups, security monitoring, and performance optimization.
You may schedule a free consultation with us. Simply scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on Contact at the bottom right.
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