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WordPress monthly maintenance

Checklist for WordPress Monthly Maintenance

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Now that you’ve finally decided to use WordPress as your website’s platform, you might either be spending time over DIY’ing it yourself or would have handed over the project to a professional developer. In either case, when it comes to WordPress monthly maintenance, the responsibility falls in your court.

With every significant advancement, search engines continue to pressurize older websites, especially the ones using older technology. The bottom line here is that if you don’t look after the requirements of your websites, it will decrease in terms of results.

So, to ensure that you get fantastic compliments, amazing traffic influx, and most importantly, a high number of sales, it’s time to take care of your vital asset – that’s your website. But, how can you do that? Here is the checklist that will help you maintain your website on a monthly basis. Now, it’s time to learn and apply.

Backing Up the Website:

In the world of uncertainties, the importance of backup isn’t denied. Being a mandatory process, backups are the saviors that can help you get back over your feet, in case some adversity takes down your website completely.

Backup

Basically, it doesn’t have to be a problem with your WordPress website, but you never know how the problem arises. What if your hosting shuts down? Or, what will you do if your website gets hacked? If you have adequate backup, bringing back the site will not be that difficult.

Although it’s recommended to take a daily or weekly backup, however, if not that frequently, a monthly backup is something that should be on your checklist for sure. Also, it’s important to store the backup in different locations, both online and offline, to be on the safe side.

Updating Plugins & Themes:

With constant updates and upgrades taking place, current versions are becoming obsolete real quick. It implies almost everything related to technology, including the core of your WordPress, themes, plugins, and so much more.

In such a scenario, keeping pace with advancement is quite important so as to safeguard the tools from potential risks. Therefore, whether you’re using premium WordPress plugins and themes, or the free versions; keeping them updated is essential.

Moreover, with every update that you execute, the chances of obtaining new features become higher as well. And then, there are always some risks that you carry with yourself if you use outdated versions. These risks can be as grave as opening the entrance for hackers to exploit the data.

Downtime Notification:

Every second that you spend dealing with the downtime of the website may impact your traffic and conversions tremendously, especially if your site receives a massive amount of daily traffic. With frequent downtime, not just you can lose visitors, but your brand’s reputation might get damaged as well.

Surely, your hosting service has to play a huge role behind your website going down now and then. While once or twice is acceptable, if it’s frequently happening, it might be an indication of serious trouble.

Thus, every month, make it a habit of checking up on the downtime of your website. If you find it recurrent, maybe it’s time to exchange a few words with your hosting provider. And, if still, things don’t seem like going on the track, how about changing the operator once and for all?

Protection Against Hackers:

Considering how WordPress powers a third of the entire web, it’s a favorite spot for hackers. For intruders, who have already sharpened their skills way more than you can imagine, hacking innumerable websites developed on WordPress wouldn’t be an easy thing.

Although the team of developers behind WordPress takes some strict measures to prevent this trespassing, you cannot simply rely upon the platform and do nothing. For every month, try and implement at least one such policy or technique that would strengthen the security of your website.

Whether it’s experimenting with a new WordPress backup plugin or taking some cautious measures, you must make sure that the security of your site is uptight and cannot be played around with. Keep a tab over every activity that happens on your website and takes prompt action whenever you feel something suspicious.

Monitor Traffic & Rankings:

Although you might be quite excited about getting a steady flow of traffic, if at all it’s a possibility for you currently, however, can you mention the exact numbers of visitors you’ve been receiving each alone? Or, let alone the number, can you just talk about whether your traffic went up or down without getting confused?

Ranking

There are high chances of you not knowing a thing about it. If you’re scratching your head over it, now is the time to take charge. Keeping an eye over your traffic and search engine rankings can be a gamer changing scenario for your business.

You can easily use this data to achieve a variety of goals, including content marketing campaigns, SEO strategy, and much more. Hence, it’s important to know the amount of traffic you’re getting and how you’re getting it along with the rank that you have on search engines.

Remove Unwanted Users:

While you clear other things from your site every month, eradicating inactive users from there is an important step that you can take to keep the security risk at bay. These users can be anyone who has got access to their site in any way.

They can be co-workers who have switched divisions or left the company. If they still have login credentials of your theme support, authors section, or any other area of the website, make sure you change the credentials and remove those users.

Even if you decide to keep those passwords, you may never know whether the credentials are secure or not. What if they’ve shared the access with others too? What if hackers are wary of their email addresses and launch attacks against your site through these IDs? There are many possibilities to make sure that you’re taking stern actions.

Loading Time of the Website:

When it comes to understanding WordPress monthly maintenance, you must count upon the loading speed of your website. Of course, the internet is full of tips and techniques that can help you decrease the website’s loading time, but there isn’t any point if you aren’t making use of it.

Nobody wants to linger around a website that takes eons to load properly. Even if you think that your site’s loading time currently is perfect, it might not remain consistent next week or month. Therefore, you must keep checking it periodically.

After all, it’s even important for search engine ranking, considering how Google keeps the loading time in mind while ranking websites. Generally, make sure that your website doesn’t take more than 2 seconds to load properly. If it’s taking longer than that, optimize it carefully to get better results.

Website Cleanup:

It isn’t tough for any WordPress website to get weighed down, especially if you’re too much focused on creating content and not emphasizing on other things. That’s the reason why you should be executing a monthly cleanup on the website.

Cleanup

It should include the following things:

Plugins:

Make sure there aren’t any untested or bad plugins and verify that the support from the developers as well as the reputation is rock solid. Also, if there are any inactive plugins, remove them instantly.

Themes:

You must confirm that only those themes are there that actually belong in that place. And then, keep in mind that the quality is good enough and the support forum come up with updates frequently.

Images:

Next, you must review the media storage and verify that every image is completely optimized. Also, if there is any image that doesn’t belong in your website, remove it then and there.

Database:

Every month, you must also run a thorough scan through the database to look out for unjustified changes to files and clean them out if they aren’t required anymore.

Front-end Audit:

Amidst everything else, it’s also important to check out the website from the front-end every month. This activity should include:

  • Review of code to make sure it’s up-to-date
  • Ensuring accessibility
  • Testing design’s responsiveness
  • Repairing or removing broken links
  • Repairing anything else that is essential and would be broken, such as feeds, checkout, contact forms, clickable buttons, internal search, and more.

In other words, while constantly working on the backend, don’t miss upon the other factors. Thus, take some time and walk through the front end of your website.

Summing Up:

Irrespective of the niche of your website and the operations that are executed over it, concentrating on WordPress monthly maintenance is extremely important to shoo away unwanted problems. By now, you’d obviously have understood it, isn’t it? Pay special attention to the tips mentioned above and execute them without any delay.

Such maintenance tasks will help you keep the website updated seamlessly. So, instead of neglecting now and regretting later, take the preventive measures today and keep fixing your website periodically.

Database Backups for WordPress

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If you've never backed up your WordPress Database, you're not alone. Most people don't realize the importance of doing this before it's too late. It is of course unlikely that you will need to use the backup, but you should treat backups like car insurance : You don't plan to use it, but if you do need it you'll really regret not having it.

Database Backups

The most critical time to backup your database is prior to upgrading your WordPress installation to the latest version. You should always upgrade on a regular basis as failure to do so can result in security holes of varying severity.

You should consider using a plugin for backup which allows you to do an online SQL server backup of your WordPress Database and potentially even your site contents and files. It will allow you to do an online SQL server backup of your database . If you use a plugin for backup you can also opt to do an offline SQL server backup, which allows you to store the backup files anywhere you like.

Some backup plugins are available for a fee, while others are free. The paid options generally come with a great amount of support if you run into issues, so you will want to consider a paid plugin if you are not technically inclined.

No matter which backup method you choose, you should always have a plan in place for restoring your site if the worst happens. This means you should not only save your backups, but you also need to know how to restore them if needed. You don't want to find out that there's a problem with your backups after your site goes down, always check that backups are taken on a regular schedule and ensure that they are usable.

Top 3 Ways to take WordPress site Backup

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Do you take WordPress site backup seriously? Do you have a strong disaster recovery strategy?
I don’t have to tell you how important it is have a good backup plan for all the hard work you have put into your site or blog. Disasters can occur any time like servers get crashed, developers make mistakes or websites get hacked.
Two years back a fashion and lifestyle blogger friend of mine posted on Facebook “My site is hacked. I have lost all my valuable and popular posts. I don’t know how I’ll create all those months’ work again”
She was devastated. She lost all her content, comments, emails, media files, everything because she did not bother to backup her site.
Let me show you how you can secure your WordPress site in three ways.

Host-provided backups

Most hosts provide this facility. It is certainly a nice benefit. You don’t have to worry about managing backups manually. Some hosts provide daily or weekly backup facility.
However, this is not exactly a fail-safe way. As not all hosts have a remote location to store the backups. Moreover, if they have problems with their servers it will affect your site’s backup too.
So at the time of disaster you will have to be at the mercy of your host’s support staff.

WordPress plugins

WordPress provides many plugins to backup your site. These plugins are very easy to install and use. They provide automatic scheduling for your backup.
Before you buy any plugin, you need to check if they provide the cloud backup facility. Because many plugins store backups in the wp-content folder and if your site goes down, your data will be gone too!
Some plugins only backup the database of your site and not your media files. In such case, you’ll have to backup your files.
You can use both the above methods on your WordPress site or try my personal favorite Backup Breeze!

Cloud backup

In cloud backup, data is stored in remote cloud-based servers. These providers can easily restore your website. Some cloud backup providers let you schedule backups and it is done regularly and automatically.
The best feature in this is “cloud sync”- data automatically is saved as you’re creating or updating it. In addition, these services are very affordable.
Using this method, you’ll have peace of mind that your WordPress site is safe in off-site cloud-based servers. It takes every minute’s backup of your site and you’ll have a strong disaster recovery plan.
Conclusion
It is better to take preventive measures to avoid any disasters with your WordPress site. This will save your time and money.
So choose a backup method which will provide you best services, as per your website’s and your business’s needs. Many people prefer to use all the three methods and like to receive a copy of their data in emails every day.
In the comments, share your experience you may have with poor backup services or where the backup saved you from a disaster.
Which backup method do you use? I would love to hear from you!

WordPress website hacked? A successful recovery guide for you.

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You tried everything to keep your website safe from being invaded by hackers. But alas, your worst nightmare turned out to be true. Suddenly, one fine morning you woke up to find your website is hacked.

Panic is the first reaction which is expected when you first come to learn about your WordPress website hacked. The truth is that this is no time to panic and instead take matters into your own hands and do whatever is required to reclaim your site and let it function like before. Here’s a guide to successfully recovering from a hacked WordPress website, at the earliest.

Rather than pressing the panic button, the first thing which you should do is to change the admin password. By doing that you ensure that nobody is accessing your website during that time and you can concentrate on recovering the website.

For a WordPress website owner, along with the change in the admin password, a lot of other password changes are also required. That will revoke any active logins in your website using the old username and password. You should immediately change the server passwords, cpanel logins, FTP username and password and even the secret keys. Once all the password changes are made, you can log out, clear the cache and cookies and only then log in back.

While you are busy recovering your hacked WordPress website, put the site in maintenance mode. This is to be done to ensure that the visitors of your site do not encounter any issues like being redirected to a third-party site or accidentally clicking on ads which might contain malware.

You should next identify the backdoor via which you website might have been hacked. A backdoor is a method which can be created by a hacker which allows them to bypass normal authentication and access the server remotely.

There are both paid and free malware scanner WordPress plugins like Sucuri and Exploit Scanner which can help you detect a backdoor. Once you are able to find a backdoor fix it as quickly as possible.

The next best step would be to restore your WordPress site from a previous known safe copy. It might seem to be a lot of hassle and it might act adversely for sites whose contents keep on changing at a quick pace. However, if you analyze the situation properly, you can see that the pros outweigh the cons.

It would also be a better idea to dump the current database, do a fresh installation from the WordPress site and then performing a restore of the site. By following these steps, you can make sure that your core files are devoid of malware code.

Once the restoration is done, you should upgrade your site and again change all the passwords, FTP details, and server access information. When you are done with them, you can perform a complete backup of your website and its content.
If you do not have a backup of your site, the entire process becomes tedious and there still remain the risk of your site getting infected again. You can, in such circumstances, copy and paste as much content as possible in .doc file, delete the website content and repost the content fresh. In case your website caters to a lot of photographs, the only option left is to again upload those photos.

Basic Tips for Website Security

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The life of a website owner is more often that not plagued by the fear of his/ her website getting hacked. Are you one such owner who remains constantly afraid that your site might be compromised? Aren't you worried about your website security?

No one can blame you for being so skeptical as time and again we hear of popular websites being hacked by people to give shape to their dubious ideas. Don’t we all believe that the security of a website is one of the most important factors on which the success of a website depends on?

There are a number of basic steps, which if followed from the inception of a website, can help the owner inch closer to secure the website. Each step when followed religiously can protect a website and allow the owner to enjoy complete peace of mind.

Change the Admin Username – The default Admin username is most susceptible of being compromised by hackers. Change your Admin user immediately after your account has been created and login with the new name.
Update Everything on a Regular Basis – Do not forget to update your site with the latest templates, plugins and version of WordPress on a regular basis. Obsolete plugins and software also make your website more vulnerable to attacks.
Choose a Hard Password- There are a very few things in our life which should be complex and one such thing is the password of our website. The security of a website depends a lot on the complexity of your password.You have never been good with numbers and their permutations and combinations? Alas, while choosing your password these are the aspects which will matter in the long run. One of the rules of thumb to protect a website from hackers is to ensure you have a password which will be as hard as a stone to crack, even for the wickedest brains.
Implement Login Lockdown – Another measure which you can opt for the security of a website is to make Login Lockdown functional. If you are not sure on how to implement it, you can simply install a plugin which will lock anyone who tries to log in to your account with incorrect passwords for more than three times.
Install Security Plugins– Research about the different security plugins available, understand their features and functionalities and then install the one which suits your requirements.In order to protect a website from invasion, a security plugin offers a lot of useful features. They keep a log of all the activities on your WordPress site and monitor all live traffic and intimate you when someone tries to barge in into your account.
Install WordPress backup plugin– Things start looking better once you install a good WordPress backup plugin. With such a plugin, you can backup, copy and restore everything from your site which you deem important.Even if your site is compromised, you can fix it quickly if you already have a current backup ready.

BackUpBreeze is an automatic WordPress backup plugin which helps in website security, at the click of a button. The security of a website becomes pretty simple and easy with a powerful plugin like BackUpBreeze and you can enjoy a good night’s sleep.

Backup WordPress site

Backup WordPress Site – What do you need to Backup?

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Backup WordPress site

Highway Signpost with Data Archiving wording on Sky Background.

You are the owner of a WordPress website and is constantly worried that your site might face issues like server crashes or might be invaded by hackers? Backup WordPress site for your safety!

Are you one of those few site owners who take great care to avoid such a situation and have all the security and backup plugins in place to protect your website? Kudos to you!

But with loads of all-too-precious plugins and content on your site , you are confused about what bits you need to backup.

The simple solution in such a situation is backup your WordPress website in its entirety.

To make things simpler, let us segment the website into three parts and discuss the importance of each of them and why they all need backup.
The textual content
is considered the most important part of your website. It contains all the textual contents of the pages, posts as also the comments and is stored in the database.The texts are the core of a website – in its absence there is hardly left in the site. When you backup a WordPress site, the first and foremost thing to do is to backup the texts.A major part of your work is done once you have a backup of the textual content and you will not be devastated in case of any untoward incidences.
The media content

It is another important segment which comprises of the images, videos, plugins and themes which you have used in your site.Though images and videos can again be incorporated in your website, it entails to a lot of hard work. If you have a big site, the problem increases manifold. So, when you backup your WordPress site, do not ever forget to backup the images and videos.You might feel backup of plugins and themes is not that important. Now consider yourself in a situation wherein all your customized themes and plugins, which you purchased at quite an expensive tag, have gone kaput. Don’t want to even imagine such a scenario? No need to if you have already backed them up.
The WordPress system files

You might choose to ignore them while doing a backup of your WordPress site. Yes, you can download them again if they are lost – but why take the pain and waste your precious time when you simply have their backup? They don’t even take up a lot of space.

Now it is evident that is it always a better proposition to backup a WordPress site fully. With superb backup plugins like BackUpBreeze at your service, it only makes sense to use it to your full advantage.