WordPress is arguably the poster child for ‘easy-to-build’ websites. Creating a website, however, is just the first step… It is important to pay attention to ‘website maintenance’ to ensure that the website remains relevant and does not falter in search engine rankings!
You don’t have to be overwhelmed any longer… It’s just a set of tasks that you must complete in order to keep your website alive and well! To make it simpler for you, we created a quick checklist that you can cross off as you go!
i. Checklist for WordPress Site Upkeep!
Let’s get started…
1. The obvious… take a backup of your entire site
It’s important to make a backup of your WordPress account and database. If you have a backup, your company would not lose as much if there is a server failure or a security breach. This involves backing up your blogs, websites, media files, and other important data on a regular basis.
2. Make sure your site is secure
When it comes to website maintenance, protection should be the highest priority. To keep your website secure from malware, viruses, and other security threats, you should review it on a regular basis. Here are a few ideas:
- Passwords should be changed: Passwords should be changed on a regular basis to shield your website from malware attacks and hacking attempts.
- Inactive website administrators should be removed: Remember the old adage, “too many cooks ruin the broth?” To avoid security breaches, make sure your website doesn’t give a lot of people admin access.
- Perform a malware scan: If you run a malware scan on a regular basis, you will be alerted automatically if your website has been hacked. After that, you can clean your site with a malware removal plugin and take action to protect it from potential hack attacks.
3. Update and upgrade everything
Regularly upgrade your WordPress website to the latest version to ensure that it is stable and working at its best. Additionally, please keep the following information up to date:
- WordPress plugins: Updating all of your plugins to the most recent versions is one way to keep your website safe.
- WordPress theme: Periodically updating your WordPress theme ensures that your site is still consistent with new
- WordPress launches, mobile devices, and browser updates.
- Additionally, the updates help keep the themes safe from hackers and other attacks, ensuring that your site is stable.
- WordPress widgets: Keeping your widgets up to date is just as critical as keeping your plugins and theme up to date if you want your website to run smoothly.
- Updating the website’s posts and pages ensures that your search engine rating remains high and that traffic continues to flow.
- Copyright: In addition to keeping your website up to date, you can also keep your copyright up to date. Your audience will be more trusting as a result of this.
One important thing to remember is to turn off Automatic WordPress Updates, which have been known to break a large number of sites, making them useless in terms of SEO and security.
4. Delete what’s not needed
It’s important to keep the website clutter-free in order for it to run properly. You can uninstall the following items:
- Spam comments: You can use a plugin to remove all spam comments from your website and ensure that it runs smoothly.
- Unwanted themes: Outdated themes are one of the most popular triggers of website hacks, posing a security risk to your WordPress account.
- Unwanted plugins: Having too many unwanted plugins on your web can cause slow page loading times, site crashes, and security breaches. It will only benefit your website if you evaluate them and hold only the ones that are important.
- Temporary and redundant media files (images, audio, and video) will cause your website’s storage space to run out. It is possible to boost the efficiency of your website by clearing them on a regular basis.
- Drafts and post revisions: If you have a frequently updated blog, you can have a lot of draughts and post revisions clogging up your pages. To keep your website optimised, you might want to perform a weekly review and remove any unwanted content.
To ensure a smooth running website, always clear your database tables after deleting a plugin or theme.
5. Check for broken links
Broken links will cause problems for your website because they prevent search engine robots from indexing it. This could happen if you’re trying to switch web hosts, domain names, or servers! It is important to locate them and correct them as soon as possible.
When a user clicks on a connection and gets a 404 error page, it can be very frustrating. Be sure to use a 301 redirect to reroute broken links to other pages that are similar. The trick here is to keep an eye on Google Search Console for any errors. To quickly check the URL status codes, you can use resources like Screaming Frog SEO Spider.
You can also review your sidebar links and blogrolls on a regular basis to remove any dead or broken links, as well as any irrelevant material!
6. Check your download and social media links
Check your download links on a regular basis to ensure that your site is available and functional. The same is true for your social media ties, which can have an effect on your site’s SERP rating (Search Engine Result Pages). Check and update your affiliate links to ensure that Google does not penalise you and that you do not lose traffic and sales.
7. Conduct a website speed audit
Keep an eye on your site’s page speed and loading time – these factors contribute to a better user experience, as well as improved traffic and sales! Using Google’s PageSpeed Insights app, as well as GTMetrix or Pingdom.
8. Test for browser and device compatibility
If your website runs on different browsers and computers, you’ll want to make sure it’s compatible with each one to avoid losing traffic. We shouldn’t even be discussing it in 2019, but your website must work flawlessly on mobile!!! Although checking your website on real devices is ideal, Chrome’s own mobile device toggle can be used to simulate mobile devices. To do so, simply follow these steps:
Step 1: Pick Inspect Element from the context menu of any blank area on your webpage.
Step 2: And then Click on the Toggle Device Toolbar option…
Step 3: And select any device you’d like to emulate your website on… Or use Edit to create a custom one!
9. Use fresh, optimised images
Using optimised photos will help you produce content faster, which leads to better search engine indexing and a better user experience! Maintain the freshness of your header, banner, and site photos at all times. Visual elements help to attract visitors to the website, and changing them up from time to time is a good idea!
10. Check email opt-in, contact forms, and overall navigation
Check the functionality of your email opt-in and communication forms on a regular basis if you rely on them for lead generation. Also, make sure that all of your site’s navigation links are operational, as these are critical for a smooth user experience.
11. Review Google Analytics and check Google Console tools
Google Analytics will give you information about how well your website is doing as well as recommendations about how to improve it. It’s a good idea to go over it once a week. Google Console contains vital details about the site’s backlinks, keywords, search requests, broken links, and other SEO factors. Keep an eye on the GA and GSC dashboards to make sure they’re all working properly and that you’re getting the information you need.
12. Review meta title, meta description tags, and your on-site SEO
The optimization of your meta title and meta descriptions has a big impact on your site’s CTR (click through rate). Make sure you check them on a regular basis. Make sure you understand what a well-optimized website looks like! Internal linking, sprinkling keywords in your blogs, using SEO-friendly URLs, and using H1/H2/H3 tags in your posts are all examples of on-site SEO best practises. All issues must be checked on a regular basis to ensure that all of these points are addressed.
13. Review your ‘About Us’ page
Almost every reader can read the ‘About Us’ page on your website because it informs them about your business and allows them to form an opinion based on it. It’s important to keep it up to date.
14. Check your site’s feeds
When you update your site or add new content, RSS feeds will automatically update your subscribers. It’s important to keep an eye on these feeds to avoid losing any traffic. Despite the fact that RSS feeds are somewhat outdated, many people do use them. As a result, you must not overlook this. More significantly, many apps use RSS feeds to inform users about new blog posts. So now you know why it’s so critical!
15. Disable trackbacks and pingbacks
Trackbacks let legal blog systems know that you’ve connected to them. Consider them the acknowledgements or citations at the end of a research paper or a book!
A pingback is a form of comment that appears when you connect to another blog post that allows pingbacks. Simply link to another blog post to build a pingback. If pingbacks are allowed on that article, a pingback may appear in the blog owner’s comments section, which they may accept. Although they are useful for increasing traffic, they are gradually becoming obsolete. They can generate a lot of spam and should be turned off!
16. Define ‘Auto Save Interval’
Unchecked post revisions will cause your database to become overburdened, as we discussed earlier. You can restrict the number of revisions per post by specifying the autosave interval in your wp-config.php file, thus optimising your database.
17. Disable the ‘Debug Mode’
Disable debug mode to prevent error messages from being published on your live site.
18. Check web host statistics
Check the server uptime, bandwidth use, disc space, and CPU throttling on a regular basis to ensure that your site is performing at its best!
19. Renew hosting and domains
You don’t want some ‘downtime’ on your website, do you? Make sure your hosting and domains are up to date.
Increase the memory cap by 20.
WordPress‘ memory limit is set to 32MB by default. When your company expands, it’s critical to check and increase your site’s memory cap so that you can upload photos, videos, and other files without interruption.
21. Check the Ads on your website
If you have advertisements on your blog, make sure to check them on a regular basis to avoid harming your SEO and conversion rate. Irrelevant, offensive, or redundant advertising will lower your CTR.
22. Run the site through a Check-up plugin
Running your site via a reputable WP health checkup plugin is important if you want to know how it’s doing and how stable it is. It will assist you in quickly identifying all problems! You can use the WP Health Plugin to get started (formerly My WP Health Check). That concludes the list! Isn’t it short and sweet?
We are assured that if you follow these measures, your website will be in good health and safe from hacking attempts.
Using a security plugin is one of the most important aspects of website maintenance. It performs a regular scan of your website. In addition, if your website has been hacked, the plugin will assist you in restoring your hacked WordPress account.