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.
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 And then, there are always some risks that you carry with yourself if you use outdated versions.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.
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?
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.
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.
It should include the following things:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.